Happy St. Nicholas’ Day!

0

Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 8, 2017

Hello Families and Friends!

Greetings and happy St. Nicholas’ Day! What special surprise did your child find in his or her shoe from St. Nick? This is just another one of the many wonderful traditions we have here at St. Michael’s! Weren’t the kids adorable at their St. Nicholas’ Day Program? They have been working very hard with Mrs. Faltico to deliver the fine performance that they did ever so successfully yesterday. Speaking of performances, the students have had a great time going to a couple 15 minute rehearsals for the junior high choir because I accompany them on the piano. They love listening to the students and watching Dr. Antista direct (and hearing me play is the best part, of course haha). Many of the kids have said that maybe one day when they are in junior high, I’ll still be sitting behind the piano during their rehearsals…I hope so! Please consider donating items for a 7-year-old boy or girl this week for our Christmas Giving project. Thank you!

Reading

We have had some great stories in our reading series that lend themselves quite nicely to the writing projects on which we have been working. “What are our responsibilities to each other?” That is the big question we are exploring in this new reading unit. To answer it, we are reading, writing, and talking about good deeds and things people do to help others. This week we read “Aesop’s Fables” retold by Shirleyann Costigan. These two fables show that when you do a good deed, help can come from unexpected places. “Wisdom of the Ages” which were proverbs from seven cultures reminded readers to do good deeds. Some vocabulary words of note: character, choice, citizenship, courage, grateful, respect, responsible, right, and thoughtful.

Spelling and Language

We worked on a few different spellings over the past few weeks: Long A spelled with ‘a,’ ‘ai,’ and ‘ay.’ Also, Long E spelled ‘e,’ ‘ee,’ ‘ea,’ and ‘ie.’ At this point, all students are strong in spelling phonetically. We just need to retain the spellings and that comes with more consistent visual exposure to all of these words and spellings through reading! We are getting pretty good at locating nouns and verbs in sentences, as well as subjects and predicates.

Writing

Our new reading unit has provided wonderful topics for us to write about. We have been describing good citizenship through several different writing forms: lists, paragraphs, and short stories. Within these writing exercises, we have been practicing finding all of the subjects and predicates in our descriptive sentences. We also wrote rough and good drafts of letters to Santa. Going along with our “lend a helping hand” theme in reading, we not only asked Santa for items for ourselves, but we also requested items for others. Did you know that I am privy to Santa’s personal information? As in…I have his address?! Knowing this information helped us learn how to address a proper envelope complete with the correct location of a stamp and the return address as well. Speaking of which, not all students have their addresses memorized yet! Let’s make that a goal by the end of Christmas break 😉

Mathematics

We just finished chapter 6 which was all about multiplication and division patterns. Most of this chapter concentrated on operations and algebraic thinking; however, aspects of the number and operations in Base Ten were also used in the study of multiplication and division patterns. As we trudged through the different aspects of multiplication and division patterns, we constantly referred back to the patterns that are found in the multiplication table. These patterns helped lead students to discover the properties of multiplication and the rules of division. We will review a bit next week and be tested on our knowledge as well.

Social Studies

We have been reading several selections and have shared in many discussions regarding good citizenship and how it effects our communities. From the small community of our classroom to the large community of our state and country, every good deed counts. We also learned how to read grid coordinates on maps. The class LOVED map coordinates – like A LOT. We had a great time testing each other on coordinates as well as finding hidden connect-the-dot pictures according to coordinates I would give. Now these kids will all be Battleship masters! We will certainly do some more of this because I just found some fun Christmas coordinate projects! Another map-reading skill we touched on but certainly have not mastered yet is giving directions using the cardinal directions (NSEW). I personally revolt every time someone tries to give me directions to a place using language such as “turn south on Wilmot, and west on Broadway…” no thanks. RIGHT OR LEFT, PEOPLE! But, it is an important skill and I recognize that maybe I’ll become proficient along with the children whilst teaching them 🙂

Science

We started studying the life cycle of spiders by learning all of the arachnid body parts. Have your child sing you the super cute spider body part song! We also learned about the 5 different types of webs that spiders weave: orb, tangled, sheet, triangle, and funnel. Ask your child about some spider facts that he or she learned from our many informational texts. We finished our spider study up by touching a real skin shed from Harry the tarantula, my faithful class pet who was with me for 12 years and brought much happiness to all of my past students. Rest in peace, sweet Harry.

Teaching Time

We sure do love learning new things from our friends! Again, I missed a few teaching time afternoons due to child care issues for my son, but…Zoe talked about quahogs and Totoro, Ava showed us how to make a homemade harmonica and homemade air fresheners, Austin talked about chameleons and geckos, Parneet gave information about horses and dogs, Miles talked about John Sutter and the Fantasy Island bike trail, Cecilia played some pieces on the melody harp and talked about her gingerbread house artwork as well as shared some sweet treats with us, Harper talked about medieval life and her elf named Elfis, Wheeler talked about his old Army flashlight, Paul shared how to make a homemade time capsule and about his elves who are named Spaghetti and Meatball, Alice talked about dogs and puppies and gave facts on the history of Christmas trees, Elias shared tips on how to ride a hover board, Joel gave facts about the Basking shark, Jay gave us tips on how to properly decorate a Christmas tree, Naomi talked about mushrooms, Victoria gave facts about gorillas, and Wylder taught us about African safaris. Great job, everybody!

Important Dates

Monday, December 11: holiday book report due

Friday, December 15: end of Christmas giving project

Tuesday, December 19: we are the Mass apostles @ 8:05am

Thursday, December 21: class Christmas party 2:00-3:00 – thank you Michelle Slavin and Sherry Downer for planning!

 

Happy Birthday, Cecilia!

Happy Birthday, Victoria! What did St. Nicholas leave in our shoes?!Ready for the performance!

St. Nicholas visited!

Singing!

Happy Thanksgiving and more…

0

Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 26, 2017

Hello Families and Friends!

Christmas is just around the corner… can you believe that we just passed the 61st day of school?! The year is just flying by for us! We had a great few weeks here in 2B. The students had a wonderful time during Spirit Week! Lots of fun was had by all during the Field Day events including my personal favorite, the dance station! Unfortunately, the faculty lost to the 8th graders in the annual volleyball game, but the good news is that nobody broke any hips or blew out any knees in the interim 😉 Thank you to Michelle Slavin for baking delicious cookies and brownies for the firemen at Station 20. Even the one guy who doesn’t eat sugar couldn’t help himself! Also, thank you to all of the canned good donations given to our Thanksgiving food drive. Our class alone brought in 171 canned goods to share. On another note, the holiday book report is due on December 11th. I can’t wait to hear about all of the cool books the students have read and I’m looking forward to decorating the class for the holidays with their lovely work! The Happy Campers also earned their first homework party! Ask your child about how we earned that party and the fun games we played from my former PE teaching days 🙂

Reading

We have been reading some very interesting stories together as a whole group as well as in our small reading groups. We finished our unit called “Water for Everyone.” A few recent selections we read were “PlayPumps” by Catherine Clarke Fox which was an article that describes the PlayPump, an invention that has helped millions of people in Africa get clean water. Another selection, “The Mighty Colorado” by Mimi Mortezai, introduces Explorer Jon Waterman, who works to preserve the Colorado River, a source of water and power for millions of people. Some interesting vocabulary words that kept popping up in our reading were: clean, draws, healthy, invention, machine, pipes, provide, pump, require, source, and wells. Our next reading unit will focus on reaching out and lending a hand to those in need.

Spelling

We worked on words with long e and long u during the past two weeks. One way we worked on these spellings is by playing a “making words” game. This is where I give the students a whole bunch of random letters and they put the letters together to make several small words. In these cases, the words had many of the sounds that we were working on. At the end of the game, all of the letters spell one big word. This is yet another “trick” to get kids to learn even when they think they aren’t doing so!

Writing

We are all actively working on using more descriptive language in our formal and informal writing. During Spirit Week, we used as many adjectives as we could to describe our crazy hair, our sportswear, and our favorite colors. We also went through a writers’ workshop session with a fun Thanksgiving story. The students all had to assume the role of a turkey who was narrating the story. So, while writing in the voice of a turkey, the students were able to write a fun and interesting Thanksgiving adventure. These books are displayed in our classroom library along with the students’ self-written Halloween books. Spoilers: some of the turkeys didn’t make it out unscathed.

Mathematics

Wow – we keep starting and finishing chapters in our math books about every 2 weeks! And the best part is, everyone is really confident with multiplication and division! This past chapter focused the different aspects of multiplication and division patterns. Through discovering the properties of multiplication, the students in turn will know the rules of division. I am happy to see the students’ algebraic thinking is really growing, and is visible especially through some of those tricky word problems!

Social Studies

We are still continuing to work on making and reading maps. We worked on making maps of our bedrooms making sure to add all of the permanent fixtures. We realize that maps don’t have details, such as people and cars. Rather, maps include large objects that are stationary. We have also been discussing the first Thanksgiving and how it is important to reach out to our community during this time. We focused on Thanksgiving and the history of this holiday. We learned many facts about the Pilgrims and Native Americans. We also were introduced to Native American symbols which were used for writing and wrote our own stories using these symbols. Did you love your little pinecone turkey friends that the students made? I have made one for each year I’ve been teaching in the classroom…that’s now 11 pinecone turkeys to store…and counting! The students also learned the lost art of setting a formal dining table. I’m hoping they’ll use their knowledge of place settings nightly! 🙂

Science

We started studying the life cycle of bees. We learned so many facts about these amazing little creatures; ask your child what he or she found to be most interesting about bees! We made some beehives with hexagonal cells and of course with the three different types of honeybees: drones, workers, and queens. Thank you to Marta Strambi-Kramer who donated real honeycombs all the way from Brazil for our class to examine and try out! Jay Slavin also brought in a couple different types of honey for the class to enjoy. Next up: the lifecycle of spiders!

Teaching Time

We had many interesting teaching times during the past few weeks. I missed a few of them due to having substitute teachers because of child-care issues with my son. BUT… Zoe performed a keyboard piece and talked about campfire safety, Parneet gave facts about bats and ducks, Austin talked about red pandas and woodpeckers, Ava researched narwhals and sloths, Cecilia talked about the coconut octopus, Harper talked about a song that she wrote, Miles gave us the rules to soccer and talked about the Pyrrhuloxia bird, Wheeler talked about a bomber airplane, Alice gave information about icebergs, Paul gave the history of fast food, Jay taught us how to make a burrito and how to eat a honeycomb, Elias taught us how to use a balance board and how to do yo-yo tricks, Wylder talked about Ninjago, Joel talked about how clay forms, Naomi gave facts about cotton and Sacagawea, and Victoria talked about Malala Yousafzai. Great job to you all!

Important Dates

Dec. 8th: St. Nicholas Day performance at 2:00

Dec. 11th: Holiday book report due

 

Crazy hair day!Favorite color day!Favorite team day!Faculty vs. 8th gradersApostles!Homework party!

Research and Information Literacy

0

Posted by stmichaelsschool | Posted in Computers | Posted on November 17, 2017

In Computer Class this week students began working towards meeting Concept 2: (Processing) of Strand 3 (Research and Information Literacy) of the Arizona Educational Technology Standards. These relate to locating, organizing, analyzing, and evaluating information from a variety of sources and media.

We used Kids’ Infobits on the Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records webpage to learn more about bees and spiders. You may search through Kids’ Infobits from the DAZL website by clicking here:  https://www.azlibrary.gov/dazl/learners/elementary

These are free (and fun!) databases for students and parents to search together. Your students enjoyed browsing the various types of resources (articles, images, video) and having text read to them by machine reader.

~Ms. Hawes

What fun we’re having!

0

Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 3, 2017

Hello Families and Friends!

Happy November! A lot of excitement took place this week when we celebrated Halloween! Thank you to the many parents who donated items and their time to our Halloween celebration, especially Sherry Downer and Michelle Slavin for the planning and baking! Weren’t the 2B Happy Campers GREAT in the Halloween parade?! This is one of my favorite traditions here at St. Michael’s and I can’t wait until my own son will be marching along 🙂 Also, thank you to the many parents who have volunteered to read in our classroom and who drove us to our fire station field trip. You’re all so wonderful!

Writing

We continued to work on our Halloween stories from last week’s pre-writing stage. When we finished up publishing our good drafts, we then proudly shared our work during an “author’s chair” session where each author read his or her story to the class. We did this on Halloween day with the lights out and candles lit, just to have an extra special spooky effect! These stories are being kept in our class library for all of our classmates to read, so please feel free to stop by and read a few. The students also wrote another RAFT. The students assumed the role of a piece of Halloween candy. Their job was to write a persuasive letter to the trick or treater who owns them to talk the trick or treater out of eating them! These were incredibly funny! Speaking of writing, the haunted house book report projects were absolutely spectacular! The students chose a variety of books to read and every project is uniquely fun and different. They are all displayed in our room, so please come by and take a look. I can tell the students enjoyed doing this project and they were all so proud to present their work to us. Next project will be a winter holiday book report…stay tuned for details 🙂

Reading

We started a new theme in reading called “Water for Everyone!” “Where does water come from?” That is the big question we are exploring in this unit. To answer it, we are reading, writing, and talking about the water cycle and water as a natural resource. We read “Frog Brings Rain” by Joseph Bruchac. In this traditional tale, Frog helps First Woman when he turns Water into rain and puts out Fire. We also read “Make Rain” by Mimi Mortezai. This science experiment book demonstrates how rain forms and falls from the sky. In addition to the weekly class stories, we also worked in small groups on leveled readers. We reinforced the correct usage and spelling of the weekly vocabulary and spelling words which were then practiced in the students’ workbooks and later tested through a comprehension and vocabulary test. Some of the current vocabulary words which we are focusing on are: absorb, become, carry, change, cloud, lake, ocean, rain, rise, and sky.

Spelling

We have been working on words that contain the long a, long o, and long I sounds spelled with the “magic silent e” on the end. In addition to our weekly spelling homework, to practice these different vowel spellings, we read poems, short stories, do workbook pages, and complete word sorts that contain words with these long vowels. As I have said before, the more times the students see these spellings in words, the better they will be at reading and/or spelling them during applied spelling times.

Mathematics

We started a new chapter where the students were introduced to the concept of division. In a division problem, the students now know that one number (dividend) tells how many items a person has. The other number (divisor) tells how many equal shares, or groups, to form. Recently, we have made the connection between multiplication and division where students can use multiplication facts to find the unknown number in a division problem…this is called using the ‘inverse operation.’ Please make sure to urge your child to work on his or her xtramath facts. I receive weekly reports and I have only one student working on her facts consistently…we can do better!!!

Science

We ended our study about plant life cycles this past week. We talked and read about pollination, photosynthesis, and transpiration. The students really enjoyed our tulip dissection project! We each were given a tulip so we could see all of the reproductive parts of flowers. We learned to identify each part of a flower and what its purpose is by dissecting and by color coding a flower part diagram. This has been a lot of fun to study! I have noticed through observation that many of our happy campers are deathly afraid of bees. We are most afraid of things we don’t know much about, so this is the perfect time to learn about the life cycle of bees (goes along with pollination anyhow!). We kicked this unit off with a bee body diagram and reading some informational texts and writing bee facts down in our bee journals. We will continue learning about bees for the next week.

Social Studies

To further our knowledge of our community and its workers, we visited Tucson’s fire station #20! We were able to see many of the special tools that firefighters use and we also got to go on one of their engines! We were able to see where they sleep, eat, study, and workout! They let us ask all the well thought-out questions we wanted to and we were able to fill out some question forms as well as complete a station scavenger hunt. Thank you to those of you who drove us there, and thank you Firefighter-paramedic Andy Pashos for arranging this visit to his awesome station! Firefighter Andy gave the students some homework to complete regarding safety tips for the students and their families. Please take time to fill those homework packets out with your child. We hope the packets create a dialogue for you and your child about fire safety in your own unique home environments. We also continued to work on maps and understanding map keys.

Teaching Time

We had many interesting teaching times during the past two weeks: Zoe talked about quartzite and pangolins, Ava taught us about releasing sea turtles and how to carve a cat pumpkin, Parneet gave us mice facts and shared her eye exam experience with us, Austin talked about seashells and how to play Pokemon, Miles gave facts about pigeons and Pokemon characters, Harper gave information about the Dia de los Muertos and about Harry Potter, Cecilia taught us about Isaac Newton and cockroaches, Alice taught us about Brazilian currency and plants, Paul shared information about a “leprecorn” and stop-motion animation, Wheeler talked about geodes and different coins, Joel told us facts about rocket ships and arrowheads, Jay shared information about herbivores and fire prevention, Elias talked about his ukulele and magnets, Wylder talked about different branches of law enforcement and magnets, Naomi shared facts about Petoskey stones and Desert Rose rocks, and Victoria talked about pinecones and seashells.

Important Dates

Monday, Nov. 6: Crazy hair and socks day (with uniform)

Tuesday, Nov. 7: Favorite color day (free dress)

Wednesday, Nov. 8: Favorite sports team day (free dress)

Thursday, Nov. 9: Field Day t-shirts and noon dismissal

Friday, Nov. 10: No school

Science is cool!

Transpiration!

Spooky stories by candlelight

Be serious…

Or not!

Relay races!

Pinata time!

Parade!

Fire Station 20!sleeping quartersTaking notesSitting in the engineer’s seatAll suited upTrying to spray a cone, and a paramedic

Even Ms. O’Meara got in on the action!

Full Steam Ahead!

0

Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 20, 2017

Hello Families and Friends!

We have had a great few weeks here in 2B! We are “cooking with gas” after feeling refreshed from Fall Break! We wanted to thank our room parents, Michelle Slavin and Sherry Downer, for planning a fun Halloween party for us! The students may wear their costumes to school that day. Our first field trip will be to fire station #20 on Friday, November 3rd. We were originally scheduled for fire station 1 (which the permissions slips stated), but today I received a call from TFD asking if we could move our trip to a different station. Anyhow, station 20 is at First and River. Same time, same day. We will be leaving school at 9:00am and will be returning approximately around 11:30am. Please make sure to wear your red uniform shirts and khaki bottoms for our field trip. Grandparent’s Day was a blast! The students did a wonderful job on their singing performance and much fun was had by all during our classroom visitations and receptions.

Spelling

We have been working on a variety of sounds: sh, ph, wh, th. Sometimes, knowing when to use these consonant digraphs is tricky, but the more the students work with these odd spelling patterns, the more familiar they will become with some of the “rule breaker” type words. We have also spent some time on studying abbreviations. I wanted the students to see them because we run across them daily and they’re everywhere! The students understand that we are to read the abbreviation as if the whole word is actually there. We understand that there is also a time and a place to use abbreviations…like in a quick note to a friend, but not in a report!

Writing
We pretended we were botanists and worked on writing a friendly letter to our non-growing seeds using proper letter-writing formats. We also worked on where and how to place quotation marks to signify a character speaking in our writing. This is a tricky concept, but the students grasped it well. We worked on story sequencing using the words first, next, then, and last. This will help the students to organize their thoughts in a more systematic way when they are asked to write a story or complete a summary and/or book report.

Reading

We read several interesting selections; one being “Living Lights” by Dr. Dennis Desjardin in which we learned about plants and animals that use light to attract prey, hide, communicate, and reproduce. Another cool selection was “Clever Creatures” by Douglas Florian which included three poems describing animals with special features that help them survive. We have been working in making inferences when we are reading. By definition, an inference is “the process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true.” In 2nd grade terms, we take information that we have read, combine that with information that we know about that fact, then put those two together and formulate an inference based upon these facts. This is a great comprehension strategy and also is helpful in creating a dialogue about a story that your child may be reading at home.

Mathematics

We have begun studying the basic concepts behind the operation of multiplication! In our old math series, we didn’t start multiplication until April, but I was delighted to find that the students were ready for this concept and all understand the theory behind it! Of course, I would love to believe this is due to my stellar teaching 😉 however, this math series is proving to be thorough enough with its routine exercises to really assist the students in being ready for the next concept. We know there are several ways to arrive at an answer to a multiplication sentence, including repeated addition, drawing equal groups, or creating an array to illustrate the factors and their products. Please encourage your child to continue working on their basic addition and subtraction skills through the Xtramath website.

Science

We are coming to an end of our unit on studying plants. Our garden in the church yard is looking very…bare. Nothing new has sprouted, and the church-yard bunny has successfully eaten the one sprout that we had! We talked about how pollination needs to occur in order for there to be growth of new seeds. We will continue talking about pollination and different flower parts next week. We did, however, talk about fruits and vegetables and how we should “eat a rainbow” of foods in order to obtain all of the nutrients we need to benefit our health. We made rainbow collages out of magazines which contained different colored fruits and veggies, and then we learned about what vitamins and health benefits each color of food has.

Social Studies

We completed studying the differences between urban, suburban, and rural communities. We are now discovering what a map is and we are learning to use its basic features. We are becoming familiar with the compass rose and with map keys. Through different activities and our social studies text book, we will discover the purpose of maps and we will apply our knowledge in a few processing activities by drawing our own maps. We had a guest speaker from Tucson Water come to talk to us about being water smart in our desert community. We learned that Tucson’s main sources of water are groundwater, the Central Arizona Project, and reclaimed water. We completed some writing activities on how we can be Water Smart kids and brainstormed different ideas on how and why to conserve water.

Teaching Time

We had many informational teaching times over the past few weeks! Zoe shared information about titi monkeys and sequoias, Austin taught us how to make different types of slime and gave facts about sea urchins, Parneet talked about monkeys and different types of trees, Ava talked about archaeological excavations and beluga whales, Harper talked about grasshoppers and diamonds, Miles spoke about Pokemon metamorphosis and his trip to Goblin Valley, Cecilia researched banana facts and information about echidnas, Wheeler talked about scorpions, Paul gave us the history about the first Wright Brothers airplane and the history of jack-o-lanterns, Alice gave facts about bees and shared a slime recipe, Jay explained a few scenarios in his survival book and also described the different Angry Birds’ powers, Joel talked about Squirtle the Pokemon and taught us how to draw an eagle, Elias showed us how to use nunchucks and gave us the history of roller skates, Victoria spoke about the Phantom of the Opera play and gave the history about the Day of the Dead, Naomi spoke about Russian stacking dolls and our digestive systems, and Wylder showed us how to use a hover board and displayed different currencies from all over the world! Great job to you all!

Important Dates

Wednesday, Oct. 25: Haunted House Book Report due!

Tuesday, Oct. 31: Halloween party, costumes may be worn to school

Friday, Nov. 3rd: Fire station 20 field trip! Leaving at 9:00am

 

Little Red Riding Boots play

Getting ready to sing to our grandparents 

Grandparents Day performance!

Treats on Grandparent’s Day!

Happy Birthday Wheeler!

Communities we built!

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