Fall is Here!

0

Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 29, 2017

Hello Families and Friends!

It is finally beginning to feel more and more like Fall everyday!  We have had a great few weeks together here in 2B!  Progress reports will be going home this upcoming Wednesday. We have been in school for 30 days, so these grades are a collection of both formal and informal assessments to date. If you have any questions on your child’s progress reports, please email me! Thank you to all of the parents who have signed up to help out in the classroom – we have really enjoyed having you work with us…Michelle Slavin and Melissa Brosanders read us some pretty fun books this and last week!  Don’t forget that the haunted house book report is due on Wednesday, October 25thLet me know if you have any questions on that fun project. Also, the students have also started tracking all of the books they are reading on their 100 Book Club logs! Good luck on your road to the 100 Club 🙂 And finally, we are still in need of magazines with pictures of different foods for a STEM project next week. Thank you!

Spelling

We have been working on several consonant blends.  I already see a difference in the students’ spelling when they are writing – they are really remembering the spellings of long vowels and words!  They are also using syllables to more accurately sound out and spell longer words. We continue to review the high frequency words of the second grade.  These are words that constantly pop up in our reading and may contain unconventional spellings – like the words because, people, were, their, etc.  Have your child point out nouns and verbs during your nightly reading!

Writing

We had a lot of fun in our writing over the past 2 weeks! The students  were able to pick any animal and write about its unique camouflaging abilities in paragraph form. We revised and edited our paragraphs and had a great time sharing them in our “author’s chair!” We also worked on making inferences by doing a fun writing activity: we each drew a picture, then we passed the pictures around, then used our inference-making skills to write a sentence on back of the picture stating what we thought was was going on. This was a great activity, though I should admit that I basically ripped this idea off from the super-fun party game titled “Scribblish” 😉

Reading

“What does it take to survive?” That’s the big question we are exploring in this unit. To answer it, we are reading, writing, and talking about animal adaptations and how they help animals get what they need to survive. In our small reading groups, we worked on leveled readers.  We focused on using character voices when we come across quotation marks in our reading.  One of my groups insists on reading everything like it’s some wildly mysterious action-thriller (you know who you are hahaha!). We worked on locating action and helping verbs in our reading and in our workbooks.  We took a test today which tested comprehension and vocabulary skills. A few stories we read were: “Twilight Hunt” by Norelle Oliver where animals use camouflage to hide as a Screech Owl hunts for food, and “Hide and Seek” which is a science article that tells how animals use color, shape, and size to hide in their habitats. Some new vocabulary words that have popped up in our reading are: adaptation, animals, color, defend, habitat, hide, insects, safe, shape, size, and survive.

Mathematics

We took a math assessment a little over a week ago.  Overall, the students did extremely well.  If there were mistakes, they were mostly reading mistakes, not mathematical errors.  We have practiced reading all parts of math questions while underlining pertinent information.  The past two weeks we have been working on subtraction and inverse relationships between addition and subtraction to write related sentences.  Also, we’ve been working on solving problems with missing numbers, finding the rules for number patterns, and adding and subtracting mentally by estimating.  All of these different, almost algebraic, activities will help to improve our number sense. On Monday, I will be sending home some access codes for the students so they can jump online and practice math skills on an extremely useful sight called xtramath.org. You and the kids will love it as it provides the extra help that many students require at this time of the year. The students will also be provided some opportunities to visit this site on our classroom ipads from time to time.

Science

We continued learning about the life cycle of plants. We planted all of our germinating lima beans into the planter outside of Mrs. Schultz’s classroom. Out of 17 seeds…..1 has sprouted into a pretty decent sized little plant which my leaders ever so lovingly water very day. We are pretty sure the church-yard bunny is using our plant as its late-night snacking shrubbery. This led to some fun writing: we wrote a R.A.F.T. (stands for Role, Audience, Format, Topic).  So, the students pretended they were plant scientists (role) who are unhappy about how most of our science class’s seeds aren’t growing.  They wrote a letter (format) to the seeds (audience) explaining why they should start growing (topic)!! These got quite creative! I will display them next week. September 26th was Johnny Appleseed day, so what better day to have an apple taste test with different types of apples? We discussed and charted color, texture, and taste differences and talked about how cross-pollination (more to come on that) leads to different variations of fruits.

Social Studies

We are continuing to work on our community unit.  We are building a whole community ourselves, and are discussing all of the necessities of a healthy and well-functioning community. Our cardboard creations and shoeboxes are starting to take shape and look like real buildings! The painting portion of the project started today, which is always “super fun” in a classroom with no sink; so I apologize for the paint in some people’s hair and on faces and clothes at the end of the day today :/ We have been focusing on three different types of communities: urban, suburban, and rural.  We are discovering the similarities and differences between all of these different places. Job well done on the community and culture projects! We discovered that even though we are from different families and cultures, we share many similarities. We learned a lot about each other and our families and I trust that it led to some fun conversations at home.

Teaching Time

We had many informational teaching times over the past few weeks!

  • Parneet: the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower
  • Zoe: Whale watching and human heart facts
  • Austin: raccoon facts and keeping grasshoppers as a pet tips
  • Ava: how to draw a cat and more cat facts
  • Cecilia: how to make brigadeiros and a synopsis of Treasure Island
  • Miles: how to be a Junior Ranger and how a Hexbug works
  • Harper: family recipes and penguin facts
  • Wheeler: how a Hexbug robot works and bulldogs
  • Paul: pinewood derby Dodge Wayfarer and Joel Satore photographs
  • Alice: brigadeiro recipe and how to make Brazilian cheese bread
  • Elias: how to count money using a counter and how Pokemon cards work
  • Jay: how Beyblades work and how to make chocolate chip cookies
  • Joel: geode facts and the history of Winnie the Pooh
  • Victoria: how to make fluffy slime and how Live Theater Workshop works
  • Naomi: cat facts and how to play the pan flute
  • Wylder: magic tricks and geode/mineral facts

 

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, Oct. 3rd: Blessing of the animals mass – each student can bring a stuffed animal to have blessed
  • October 9-13: Fall break

Thank you and have a nice weekend!

Annie O’Meara

Culture box sharingTwinning on picture day!Adorable Happy CampersBuilding communitiesPlanting bunny food

News from Camp Wanna-Learn-A-Lot

0

Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 17, 2017

 

Hello Families and Friends!

We have had a busy couple of weeks here in 2B!  I wanted to say thank you to Victoria’s mom, Susie Wilson, for so kindly offering her time to unpack the Eagle Expresses and volunteering to be our Friday Friend reader last week!  It was great to see many of you this past Friday evening at St. Mike’s Night…what a fun night of dancing, playing, enjoying good food, and visiting with members of our school community! Since we are talking about communities and what communities need in order to function, if anybody knows a doctor, police officer, business owner, etc. who can come to school (or let both 2nd grades visit them) to talk to us about how they help the community, please let me know!  Thank you and have a great week!  

Reading

In a large group setting, we studied several non-fiction stories which spoke about how communities work together in order to achieve a goal that will make life better for everyone around.   In our small reading groups, we worked on trying to make our diction more clear when reading aloud.  We also worked on locating possessive and proper nouns in our reading and in our workbooks.  At the end of each week, the students are tested on the reading comprehension, grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary skills that were taught throughout the week.

 

Spelling

We have been working hard on several different vowel sounds.  As we know, these many vowel sounds are spelled in a variety of ways (English is crazy!)  One way to remember the long vowel spelling pattern when two vowels are together (as in ‘ai’),  I always say, “when two vowels are together, the first one does the talking, and the second one does the walking,” meaning that you hear the long A sound and the I is silent. Please continue to encourage your child to use his or her sounding out and proofreading skills when completing his or her nightly homework!

 

Writing

We worked on several different writing strategies during the past two weeks.  One strategy focused on using more adjectives in our sentences.  We practiced this numerous ways, but the favorite way was by writing a “guess who” list where we wrote sentences with several adjectives describing ourselves in the form of clues. We then crumpled up our papers and had a “snowball fight” which allowed us to anonymously trade papers. We then shared them with the class  and according to the adjectives used, we tried to make guesses as to who the author was. This was super fun and I’m sure the kids will be trying to think of other ways to have snowball fights in our class 🙂   We also started to write full paragraphs using a topic sentence, 3 supporting detail sentences, and one concluding sentence.  Paragraph writing will be our main focus for the next long while.

Mathematics

We started a new chapter last week which concentrates on adding numbers in base ten. We have also been using basic aspects of algebraic thinking as far as patterning and finding missing addends. We have a small portion on each day’s math lesson where the new concept is practiced in the form of the dreaded “word problem.” We have discussed the fact that math problems can be solved in multiple ways such as drawing pictures, using counters, writing a math problem, etc.  Everybody thinks differently and we are figuring out how to make math work best for each individual (hence the rounding and breaking-apart of addends lesson which many people “loved”).  We will take an assessment on all that we have learned so far this upcoming week. Please keep reviewing rounding numbers to the nearest 10 and 100. Rounding is one of those concepts that needs constant review and practice for complete retention.

Social Studies

We are continuing to work on our community unit.  The past two weeks, we have been planning and building our own models of communities.  We created our community ideas in small groups and we are in the process of building them and pulling them all together to make one big city!   In the coming weeks, we will be assessing our city to see if there’s anything that we need to add in order to enable the communities to function properly.  We are also working very hard on knowing the cardinal directions (NSEW)! We also had a great time sharing our family trees and I hope it led to a fun dialogue between you and your child about your family history. I always loved hearing my own parents tell stories of their parents and grandparents.

Science

We continued learning about the life cycle of plants!   We dissected a lima bean to see what was on the inside of a seed (have your child tell you his or her discoveries!).  We also created “greenhouses in baggies” where we placed lima beans with a wet paper towel and hung them outside on the poles in the breezeway.  After about 2 days, most of the seeds germinated (hey, ask your child what “germination” means!) and some even grew shoots…we’ll just have to wait and observe!  We understand that not all of our seeds will grow (variances in sunlight and how wet their paper towels were, etc.), but we know that this type of science is at times not perfect and/or uniform! We plan to plant these sprouted beans in the planter outside of Mrs. Schultz’s class and see how far we go in the plant life cycle! Super exciting!

Teaching Time

We had some great presentations over the past couple of weeks: Cecilia presented capybara and Antartica facts, Zoe talked about horseshoe crabs and UV light’s effect on animals, Miles shared a Roman warrior helmet and facts about eagles, Parneet talked about elephants and snakes, Ava taught us how to draw Pusheen and gave facts about beavers, Austin presented wolverine and spider facts, Harper taught us about her eye doctor visit, Paul taught us about origami and astrological signs, Alice gave whale and cactus facts, Wheeler talked about lizards and slugs, Elias gave facts about gold and his Hexbug robot, Jay taught us about his poodle/doxy dog and spoke about his baker Aunt May’s work, Joel shared his grandparents’ doxy dog and gave some spider facts, Victoria made two Smartboard presentations tracking her dental visit and her cat’s life, Naomi talked about her Roman stone bracelet and seashells, and Wylder gave facts about ancient seeds/spices and caterpillars. Great job, everyone!!

 

Important dates:

Monday, Sept. 18: Family member interview due

Wednesday, Sept. 20: Noon dismissal

Tuesday, Sept. 26: Class picture day (uniforms)

Wednesday, Sept. 27: individual picture day (free dress, but remember we have PE on Wednesdays)

Camp Wanna-Learn-A-Lot is in Full Swing!

0

Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 4, 2017

Hello Everyone!

I finally got our classroom blog all set up!

We have had a very exciting first 2 weeks here at St. Michael’s in the second grade!  It was wonderful to meet you all during our intake conferences and to see you at Curriculum Night!  I can already tell that we have a great group of involved parents on our team! I wanted to thank Sherry Downer and Michelle Slavin for volunteering to be 2B’s room parents. And, thank you to all of YOU, the parents, for your support at home during these first couple weeks of school! All of the students have adjusted well and (besides the heat) everyone seems very comfortable in 2nd grade!

Reading

In a large group setting, we have studied several short stories regarding our community and what makes a community thrive.   All of the stories created much room for personal connections, discussion, and reflective writing.  In our small reading groups, we worked on leveled readers which reinforced the topic of life in a community.  Also in small groups, we reinforced the reading and spelling of the weekly vocabulary and spelling words which were also practiced in the workbooks and then tested through a comprehension and vocabulary test.

Spelling

We have been reviewing all of the short vowels.  We continue to reinforce spelling patterns by making rhymes with same-vowel spellings and completing word sorts.  We are still practicing our sounding-out skills and we will be working on locating words in the dictionary (which can be practiced at home too!).

Writing

We have done much reflective writing on the topic of community. Also, we are continuing to practice our proofreading skills – a skill that even adults have to do (or should do!) on an everyday basis!  We are working on creating longer, more descriptive and interesting sentences rather than simple 4-5 word sentences. 

Science

We will be using our scientific method skills of making predictions, testing, analyzing, and synthesizing results as we venture into the exciting topic of plants!  We will start this unit by bringing in something from home that comes from a plant. That homework will be going home tomorrow and will be due on Wednesday the 6th.  There will be lots of fun ahead while we study the lifecycle of plants!

Mathematics

We have been developing place value concepts through the thousands place.  We are also working on comparing numbers and ordering numbers.  To practice our math skills in class, we use our Smart Board as a whole class to view and practice the lesson, workbooks to practice the skills independently, and skill games on the Smart Board and soon on the iPads to reinforce the concepts in a fun way. To the right of this blog is a link for your online math curriculum. You have already been given your passwords and usernames. Please let me know if you need any further assistance logging in. This site contains access to your math books, homework, skills games, etc. Please check it out!

Social Studies

We have been studying the topic of “community.”  Through reading multiple texts and discussing our community, we are becoming more aware of our surroundings and what is necessary in order for a community to function properly.  We will be working in small groups on building our own community.  Tomorrow, I will be sending home a Culture and Community packet  so that you can work on your very own family tree.  This is due Monday, September 11th.

Teaching Time

We are practicing our oral presentation skills daily on our designated “teaching time” days.  As I have said before, I would like the students to prepare and teach something to the class during their teaching time.  A few examples of some great things that we learned from our friends: Zoe – vaquita facts, Austin – gems, Parneet- owl facts, Ava – homemade cat house, Cecilia – how to sew a stuffed bear, Harper – her pet cat, Miles – Harpy Eagle facts, Paul – playdough experiment, Alice – weaving craft, Wheeler – moth facts, Elias – caterpillar lifecycle, Joel – polar bear facts, Jay – Garfield cookie decorating, Naomi – fox facts, Victoria – elephant facts, Wylder – Jellyfish facts.  We learned a lot of interesting new bits of information!

 Important Information

I will be placing a volunteer sheet on our outside bulletin board.  There will be times to help with reading groups and be a “Friday Friend,” which entails coming in and reading to the students for 15-20 minutes every Friday morning.  Thank you in advance for your time and help!

Important Announcements/Dates

  • Friday, Sept. 15th: St. Mike’s Meet Yourself
  • Wednesday, Sept. 20th: half day – noon dismissal

Thank you all for a great beginning of a successful year!

Subscribe

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Skip to toolbar