Happy Rodeo Break!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 16, 2019

Hello Families and Friends!

We made it to Rodeo Break! I explained to the kids that Tucson is the only place in the WORLD that gets days off for the rodeo. Unique, to say the least! 🙂

Parent/teacher conferences will take place starting the first week back to school after break. Please sign up through email invitation via SignUpGenius if you have not done so already.

We had one entry from our class into the “edible car race” this past Monday: Sami won 2nd place with her car named “Speedy Gonzales!”

Yay Sami!

 

We also have had our first class member join the 100 Book Club! Congratulations to Max for reading 100 books and keeping track of them in his reading log! Hopefully more friends will join Max in the club soon!

Yay Max!

 

We had our Valentine’s Day party where we created some super cute Valentine creature mailboxes, exchanged Valentines, and enjoyed yummy treats. Thank you to Monica Gonzales, Nova Burns, and Angie Martinez for planning the festivities!

Does everybody understand the expectations of next month’s book report? If not, please let me know and we’ll talk. The students seem to be excited about working on their “biographies in a can” and we are all looking forward to learning about a numerous amount of notable people!

 

Spelling/Language

One way that we work on our spelling words in class is by playing a game called “Word-O” which is much like Bingo. In each square, the students will write a spelling word and much like Bingo, when the word is said, the student will place a marker on that word. When a student reaches 4 words across, down, or diagonal, he or she will yell “Word-O“ and will read us the four words. We have also been working on identifying nouns, verbs, and adjectives in sentences and paragraphs. Included in our noun work, we are practicing changing singular nouns to plural nouns and are observing how at times, the spelling can completely change when doing so. We are working on locating and using singular and plural pronouns (I, me; them, us) as well as subject and object pronouns (she, it; him, her). Our spelling patters for the past few weeks have been the ‘ar’ sound and the ‘or’ sound spelled OR and ORE.

 

Reading

We started a new reading unit: “Why do people work together?” That is the big question we are exploring at the moment. To answer it, we are reading, writing, and talking about cooperation. The story “Domino Soup” by Carmen Agra Deedy was a play where neighbors cooperate to make soup from just one domino. “Stone Soup” by John Forster and Tom Chapin was a cool story that talked about a soldier who uses stones to make soup for an entire village. All stories weighed heavily upon teamwork and the benefits of cooperation. Some vocabulary words we have been working with during the past two weeks are: cooperate, enough, possible, society, teamwork, and together.

 

Science

We learned about densities of liquids! We learned that the closer the molecules are in a piece of matter, the harder, or more dense, it will be. So, for instance, a liquid like honey is made up of more closely-packed molecules than the molecules in water. We performed an experiment to solidify this concept: we tried to mix water and oil together, but no matter how hard we tried, the liquids would not combine! That’s because they have different levels of density! It seemed like the students had a great time making their “magic potions!” Come by our room to see the gallery of different liquids that they used! Super fun stuff!

 

Social Studies

We began a new study on geography. We are learning that communities have different geographic features and that physical maps show these features: mountains, deserts, rivers, valleys, oceans, lakes, islands, plains, etc. We have practiced identifying geographic features and locating them on a physical map. We practiced drawing the different geographic features on our own physical maps to show understanding.

 

Writing

We finished our Valentine’s Day stories: some were romcoms, some were tragedies, some were downright silly; but all were wonderful! They are in our classroom author’s library box alongside all of the other cool holiday-themed stories the students have written over the past several months. We also learned how to write a proper recipe (in the spirit of the “Stone Soup” book we read). We looked at examples of real recipes (read: we visited my eclectic Pinterest recipe board to find these). We noted that there are ingredients and their amounts, plus there are steps on what to do with those ingredients and for how long. We had some pretty unique recipes from good old chicken soup to Unicorn Rainbow soup and Animal soup. Ask your child about his or her recipe!

 

Mathematics

We completed our math chapter on dividing and multiplying numbers. I know, some of those word problems in this chapter were real doozies! Lucky for me I have the book with all the answers 🙂 I’m mainly concerned that the students are, at the very least, able to solve a word problem by using some sort of logical reasoning. The way these problems are written with extra or missing information makes things very difficult; however, we routinely discuss and practice strategies to read and break down these problems to the very basics: what is the question being asked and what operation do we need to answer it.

 

Teaching Time

Check out all the cool things the kids have been teaching about:

Jady – her dogs, worms

Michael – how to read piano music, butterflies

Twyla – her dogs, Calexico band

Max – reflexes, snakes

Ava – how to play the violin, Gem and Mineral Show

Sami – edible car race, toads vs. frogs

Tate – lacrosse, koalas

Nikolas – the Dead Sea, Jordan River

Elia – stuffed animals, peacocks

Joshua – nerf guns, lacrosse gear

Sienna – stuff made out of rocks, silkies

Noah – dog groomers, his Valentine box

Elizabeth – Minnesota facts

Ife – tigers

 

 

Happy Birthday, Elia!

Happy half birthday, Ife!

Happy half birthday, Sienna!

Will the oil and water EVER mix???

 

Valentine’s Day preparations and festivities!

 

Apostles

 

Magical Potions!

 

See you all soon and blessings for a safe and happy Rodeo Break!

Miss O’Meara

 

February Fun

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 1, 2019

Hello Families and Friends!

Hello and happy February from 2B! We hope that you have had a nice couple of weeks. Interesting weather, wouldn’t you say? It is still a bit chilly in the mornings, so please make sure your little one comes to school with at least a sweater or some other type of layer.

If you have not turned in a rectangular-shaped empty tissue box, please do so as soon as possible! We will be making our Valentine mailboxes next week. The cubed tissue boxes would be ok too, but since we’re exchanging Valentines with the students in 2A, I was thinking the squares wouldn’t be large enough to fit all 31+ Valentines.

The students had a successful Math-A-Thon! We appreciate all of your pledges 🙂

Our 100th day of school was fabulous! We created pictures out of the number 100, wrote some funny books based on 100, and participated in a group STEM activity.

Today, the children were able to enjoy a theater production of “Dragons Love Tacos, and Other Stories.” What a wonderful show put on by professional local actors!

The students finally got to meet my husband, Andy Pashos! He and his work partner surprised us after they dropped a patient off at St. Joe’s. The kids were able to ask the guys different questions about their lives as firefighter/paramedics! Now the kids can put a face with a name. 🙂

 

Spelling/Language

As I am sure you have noticed, our spelling lists have grown to be 20 words long. This is in preparation for 3rd grade spelling/vocabulary expectations. There are still phonetic pattern/syllable pattern words as always, but now there are more difficult words included from our reading text and also some words from our science and social studies units. A few of the vowel spellings we have been working on during spelling time are: the ‘OO’ sound spelled oo, _ue, ew, ui, and ou; and the ‘YOO’ sound spelled ue and ew.

We have also been working hard on correct placement of quotation marks. Boy, do we love grammar and punctuation!

 

Reading

We have finished our unit on different cycles in nature. It was the students’ favorite reading unit so far as it contained so many interesting and thought-provoking selections. “What Makes the Seasons?” by Megan Montague Cash was a cool poem-story where the speaker described the four seasons and explained why Earth has them. “A Winter Wonder” by Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D. was an interesting science article where explorer/scientist Tyrone Hayes explained how the American wood frog adapts to changes in the seasons. Some vocab words we have been using in our reading and writing during the last couple of weeks were: affect, autumn, explain, measure, and reason.

 

Writing

We have been completing some fun writing assignments lately! One was another “snowball fight.” The students had to use descriptive language to write clues about their favorite season by describing how a tree looked during that season. We then crumpled up our papers and threw them across the room a couple of times. We picked up a “snowball,” read the clues, and guessed based upon the language used what season the author was talking about.

We also have been refining our writing to flow a little better for the reader. This includes understanding how compound sentences (2 simple sentences joined together with the words ‘and’ or ‘but’) and compound questions (2 simple questions joined together with the word ‘or’) work. We practiced writing compound questions by pretending we were waiters. We wrote mini-plays where we pretended to take a customer’s order and wrote compound questions such as: “would you like fries or apple slices?” The kids had such a good time pretending to be waiters! They also did a similar activity in their Spanish class using content vocabulary and conversational Spanish phrases. Very cool!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we have just started writing the rough drafts of some V-day stories. According to some initial story outlines, we will be having some Valentine’s Day tragedies. The students are getting pretty creative with their writing!

 

Mathematics

We have been focusing on how to multiply and divide by 0, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. We also have learned about the Identity and Zero Properties of Multiplication and how to identify extra or missing information in problems (those are TRICKY). Here are some vocabulary words that we used and will continue to use during our lessons…Inverse operations: operations that undo each other 8 × 3 = 24 so, 24 ÷ 8 = 3. Known fact: a fact that you already have memorized. Identity Property of Multiplication: the property that states when any number is multiplied by 1, the product is that number. Zero Property of Multiplication: the property that states when any number is multiplied by zero, the product is 0. Quotient: the answer to a division problem. The hardest part of our math lessons still are word problems. They are kind of like really annoying puzzles, but they are part of life; thus we practice and practice them. Since these multiplication and division lessons are introductory, the students are allowed to use multiplication charts and/or “cheat sheets” that we make in class. In 3rd grade, the students will be completely ready to start memorizing their multiplication facts having already been introduced to how we actually arrive at an answer in the first place by using repeated addition, skip counting aloud, drawing pictures, etc.

 

Science

We continued our study of solids and used our senses to decipher which properties different solids share in common. We completed an activity including a “sorting circle” where we sorted objects according to common properties, and we also had fun with “guessing bags” where we used our sense of touch to feel properties of a solid and hypothesize what the solid was based upon the properties we felt. We “solidified” our knowledge of solids by creating an object which represented a property which is unique only to solids, i.e. bumpy, rough, pointy, etc. We had a great time creating these solids and they are displayed on our room for all to observe! Next matter up: liquids! We have observed various liquids and have discussed their densities, how they move, and if they are transparent, opaque, etc. More to come!

 

Social Studies

We reviewed how to use map grids on a larger scale. Then we tried our hand at making our own grids…which we quickly found out was harder than it looks, but still a fun challenge! We practiced using our cardinal directions in pairs by playing a fun game. We had a game board and some cards with directions such as “take 2 steps south and 1 step east.” The goal was to get to our specific house on the game board through all these directional steps. Finally, the students are feeling much more comfortable with NSEW direction-giving. Practice makes perfect 😉

We have also been completing some logic and “following directions” activities. Such important skills to practice!

 

Teaching Time

Check out what the kids have been teaching each other (and me) about!

Jady – ballet, how to become a princess

Michael – his sister, fairies

Twyla – dinosaurs

Max – Lamborghini RC car, wasps

Ava – her mom, Tamagotchi

Sami – her great grandmother, allergy testing

Tate – basketball, trip to San Diego

Nikolas – Jerusalem, his family

Elia – El Salvador, birthday traditions

Izayah – his family

Joshua – scooter tricks, lost puppies

Sienna – bike riding, Stinky CheeseMan book

Noah – pinewood derby car, Wild Kratts Live

Elizabeth – her family, pandas and giraffes

Ife – the atmosphere, turtles

Evan – evolution facts

 

Important dates:
Friday, Feb. 8th: STEM Night at school. 5:30pm 

Friday, Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day party, relaxed dress with Valentine’s theme. 

 

That’s about all of the big news for the past 2 weeks! Have a great weekend!

Miss O’Meara

 

Watching the hospital helicopter from the library – windy!

Working with solids and representing properties of solids

Can you float 100 pennies in a tin foil boat?

 

Happiness in the New Year!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on January 18, 2019

Hello Families and Friends!

Greetings and happy 2019! We started the new year strong here in 2B! The students seemed to all be excited to get back to the grind and are doing quite well. Since the 2nd half of second grade is very much all about responsibility, you will notice on the spelling packets a new and improved weekly log…a responsibility log! The students will write one thing that they did each day that showed responsibility or helpfulness either at school or elsewhere. This may be an opportune time to introduce different chores for your child to be held accountable for at home. And now, they can’t get mad at you because I’m the one asking you to do it! 😉

This month is our turn to run our weekly Chapel sessions. Our value of the month is kindness. The students have been eager to share their good deeds with the other students in K-3 to give them ideas on how they can show kindness and “be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”

The Happy Campers also earned their first homework party! Ask your child about how we earned that party and the fun game we played from my former PE teaching days 🙂

In other news, this year lower school (grades K-3) will be conducting parent teacher conferences beginning March 1st. In previous years lower school aligned their conferences with intermediate and middle school grades (4-8) in January. Parent suggestions and teacher feedback prompted this change. Report cards will be handed out during these March conferences as we will have just completed our 2nd trimester. We look for these later conferences to provide students with ample time to make improvements and strengthen their skill set from the previous progress report, and assist in setting specific goals for the third and final trimester. Look for conference sign ups in February. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me or Ms. Hart. We are really looking forward to talking with you about your child’s amazing achievements!!

 

Reading

“Why is nature always changing?” That is the big question we are exploring in this new reading unit. To answer it, we are reading, writing, and talking about cycles in nature, including weather and the seasons. When the Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow was one reading selection where a mother explained that things in nature don’t end; they only change or move on to another place. Day and Night was an article and experiment by Glen Phelan which explained what causes the patterns of day and night. While discussing our reading, we have tried to use our new vocabulary words: appear, motion, observe, pattern, repeat, and shadows, to name a few.

 

Spelling and Language

Here are all the various spelling patters we have studied over these past two weeks: long I spelled I, ie, igh; long E spelled e, e_e, ie, y, ea; soft G spelled gi and ge; soft C spelled ci and ce; the N sound spelled n, kn, gn; the R sound spelled r, wr; and the M sound spelled m, mb. Many of the kids think it is cool to point these spellings out when they are reading independently. You can encourage them to do this at home too. Strong reading and strong spelling go hand-in-hand. In language, we focused on complete sentences with correct subject/verb agreement, adjectives, and antonyms.

 

Writing

We have been practicing persuasive writing. This group of bright students is already good at being convincing; however, we can always use practice on using stronger words in our writing paired with details to support out thoughts. We read the book Dear Mrs. LaRue and wrote a persuasive letter to the main character (Ike the doggie) where we used persuasive language to convince Ike to stay at his obedience school. The students had such a great time with this assignment, so we decided to do more persuasive writing: they were given a chance to try to persuade me to take them on a field trip to a place of their choosing. The students had to provide enough concrete examples as to why their field trip would be best and most useful for our class to attend. Boy your kids are wonderful at finding reasons to help them convince others! They also must think I have sacks of money sitting around my house or something…read: proposed field trips to Yellowstone, Germany, the bottom of the sea etc. Haha!

 

Mathematics

Wow – we keep starting and finishing chapters in our math books about every 2 weeks! And the best part is, everyone is becoming really confident with basic multiplication and division! This current chapter is focusing on 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 continuing to work on making and reading maps. During our Social Studies block, we also discussed how we can do our part in society to make things better. We wrote some touching word poems for MLK Day where we named things we wished to improve about the world “with our two hands.” They are displayed in the classroom. We also learned a lot about each other by doing a little snowman hieroglyphic activity. Those are also on our East bulletin board. We were able to take our second field trip of the year to Sabino Canyon to experience their “Back to the Past” tour. This experience allowed us to discover the life of the Hohokam who inhabited the Sabino Canyon area over 1000 years ago. We got to see artifacts, plants, and animals that have been found in Sabino Canyon. We were encouraged through our observations and different activities to imagine and share the Hohokam ideas of life and survival in the desert. The students were able to make clay pots and use a pump drill to make shell jewelry. Both are activities the Hohokam participated in while living in the Tucson Basin. What a wonderful field trip for both the students and the adults! Thank you to those adults who volunteered their time to drive us there and be our group leaders!

 

Science

We dove into a new science unit of matter: solids, liquids, and gases. We learned that everything in the universe is made up of matter. This past week, we focused on solids. We analyzed several different solids and observed their properties. We played a guessing game where our partner had to guess what property two chosen solids had in common. The students are looking forward to more fun projects and experiments having to do with matter!

 

Teaching Time

Jady – global warming, clouds

Michael – Ruby Rock dance

Twyla – dinosaurs, robots

Max – his quad, dragons

Ava – calendars, thermometers

Sami – Hatchimals, Zoops

Tate – mountain biking, hockey

Nikolas – how to make a wooden stool, Sea of Galilee

Elia – what Santa gave her, ABBA

Izayah – chihuahuas, humans

Joshua – hockey gear, baby sheep

Sienna – Christmas presents, kites

Noah – desert animals, day with grandpa

Elizabeth – chihuahuas, kites

Ife – dolphins, magnets

Evan – volcanoes, his dog

 

What a great start to the New Year! See you soon!

Miss O’Meara

Sabino Canyon Trip!

 

Discovering properties of solids

 

Happy Birthday, Izayah!

Happy half-birthday, Tate!

Homework party!

“With my own two hands…”

Holiday Happiness in 2B!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 21, 2018

Hello Families and Friends!

Season’s Greetings to one and all! We just passed our 81st day of school, which means that we have less than 100 days left together…get ready, because it’s going to (sadly) fly by. The second half of 2nd grade is much more demanding as far as the level of difficulty in the curriculum, and also in the area of personal responsibility. By this time, the students should be able to complete tasks on their own without the constant reminders to get the jobs done. They are also expected to be able to better work on projects in collaborative groups in terms of communication and positive participation. I appreciate your support in these areas, and of course, I’m here to support you as well!

Thank you for all of the charitable donations for our Christmas giving campaign. Several dogs, cats, and bunnies at the Humane Society will have a happy Christmas indeed due to your kindness and generosity.

Speaking of thank yous, I loved all of the Christmas gifts and cards that I received! I feel like a very loved and special person! Benjamin is especially thankful for the cookies and chocolate 🙂 Thank you so very much!

We had an amazing Christmas luncheon put on by Mrs. Burns and our room parents. From brisket to pavlova to mac and cheese, we had a wonderfully eclectic feast! It was nice to dine with the kids and their beloved families. Thank you all for your delicious contributions!

We hope you like your homemade decorations. 20 years from now. When I’m wiping down surfaces and sweeping the classroom, I will remember this class very fondly because GLITTER!! GLITTER FOR DAYS!!!! I hope we shook off the excess glitter enough and it didn’t find its way into your homes too much!

This is how we looked whilst completing this project…

 

 

Image result for glitter gif

 

Reading

We have been reading several non-fiction texts which have illustrated our theme of responsibilities towards each other. We read, wrote, and talked together about community members far and wide who have done heroic things to help others. In one story, “Giving Back” by William Albert Allard, explorer William Allard described how a photo he took inspired people to help a boy in need. “Iraqi Children Get Wheelchairs— and Big Smiles” was a web-based news article which reported about a charity that donates wheelchairs to Iraqi children who cannot walk. These are just a few of the examples of texts we have been reading to explore community responsibility. Some vocabulary words that popped up were: aid, decide, example, generous, heroes, leaders, serve, and support.

 

Spelling and Language

We worked on a few different types of words this week: long o spelled oa and ow, and compound words. In addition to our spelling word work, we read stories and poems that contained words with these spellings. Through much exposure, the students will recall the spelling of these words when writing and reading them. We also have been working on subject/verb agreement i.e. how verbs need to change depending on the subject. Example: She digs vs. We dig. Understanding what parts of language are needed in order for sentences to make sense and be complete makes us stronger writers!

 

Writing

We have been working hard on writing Christmas stories. The stories are written in the voice of an elf who has to save Christmas because Santa is sick! We are getting used to organizing our writing better by first listing our beginning, middle, and ending ideas then creating a fluid story using those thoughts. This makes for better stories with smoother transitions which is something that all of the 2nd graders need to work on! We also had fun writing in a different format: we wrote a R.A.F.T. This stands for role, audience, format, and topic. So we looked at a picture of a town getting hit by a blizzard. We pretended that we were snowflakes in that blizzard (role), who were writing to another object in the picture (audience) a letter (format) about the damage that was about to happen to that object (topic). FUN! This is something that the kids may enjoy doing at home…be creative!

 

Mathematics

We are just about finished with chapter 6 which is 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 the first week back at school and be tested on our knowledge as well.

 

Social Studies

We are still continuing to work on making and reading maps. We also created our very own maps of the North Pole. We were given a few places to include on our map like a runway for the sleigh, Santa’s house, and the elves’ workshops. Each map of course included a map key. They turned out super cute and creative! The students also worked on special Christmas coordinate grids which revealed hidden holiday-themed pictures. These grids introduced the students to trickier grids using a numbered X/Y axis. Now, we need to continue practicing giving directions on how to get from place to place only using the cardinal directions!

 

Science

We completed some Christmas-themed STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) challenges over the past 2 weeks. The first one was a “STEM Christmas Tree Building Challenge.” Can you build a 3-D Christmas tree that will stand up by itself, using just paper, 2 popsicle sticks, and tape? Well, maybe you adults can’t, but the kids sure did! They had a fun time, lots of trial and error, and loooots of tape. The other project was “Build a STEM Shelf for the Elf!” Working in pairs, the students had to build a sturdy shelf for a paper elf using popsicle sticks and a very small amount of clay. These shelves served as wonderful lessons in planning, communication, and teamwork. I was proud of how well the students worked together to successfully build strong,tall shelves for their Christmas elves!

 

Teaching Time

We learned a lot from our peers this week:

Jady – cavemen, Lights of the World

Michael – cats, Christmas traditions

Twyla – twin ornaments, tips on having braces

Max – birthday holiday, Santa’s sleigh magic

Ava – Christmas traditions, difference between coyotes and wolves

Sami – decorating cookies, caribou facts

Tate – family trips, black bears vs. brown bears

Nikolas – family Christmas cards, his Christmas tree

Elia – Boxing Day, played Jingle Bells on the violin

Izayah – how to make a candle

Joshua – Christmas traditions, how his brother got his name

Sienna – half marathons, snowflakes

Noah – the Nativity, Snoopy Santa

Elizabeth – her baptism, crystals

Ife – Christmas day traditions

Evan – Christmas cookies and hot chocolate (with samples!)

Great job, everyone!

 

Important dates:

January 7th: first day back at school – happy 2019!

January 10th: Sabino Canyon field trip 9:00-12:30. Lunches needed.

January 21st: no school

 

Blessings to you and yours during this holiday season! See you soon and enjoy the break!

🙂 Miss O’Meara

Cardinal direction games

Happy birthday, Max!

Holiday book report projects

Pine cone ornaments

Christmas tree STEM project

My Uncle John, guest reader of Christmas stories!

Las Posadas lunch

Ife in the Las Posadas procession playing the part of Camel I

STEM Shelf Elf project

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 7, 2018

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 Ms. Allen to deliver the fine performance that they did ever so successfully.

Please consider donating items for dogs, cats, and bunnies who are staying at the Humane Society for our Christmas Giving project. Thank you to Elia for her wonderful idea to make reindeer decorations to sell in order to raise donations for the Humane Society. How amazing that Elia and her family donated all of the supplies needed to make these cute decorations so that each child can potentially sell to raise even more donations! Thank you!

If you have not signed up to bring in a dish for our Holiday Luncheon on December 14, please do if you can! It will be a lovely day for both 2nd grades along with their parents and grandparents who can join us. Lunch will start at 11:30 in the Parish Center. We look forward to trying new dishes that our friends and their families love!

 

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. We also read “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 odd vowel 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 complete 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

 

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.’ We took a test on this chapter and the scores were the highest average test scores to date! Nice job! Please make sure to urge your child to continue working on his or her basic addition and subtraction facts!

 

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. 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.

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 learned about aquifers and groundwater as well as the value and importance of 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 sure do love learning new things from our friends! This past week was our special Holiday Traditions teaching time where all of the students were able to share and/or talk about a special holiday item or tradition that is special to their family.

Jady – her dog Grut, every year she gets a new fairy ornament

Michael – Thanksgiving dinner, Family togetherness tasks for 12 days before Christmas

Twyla – art, Christmas Eve traditions and Christmas bundt cakes

Max – riddles, stocking and ornaments

Ava – Elf on a Shelf, how her family includes pets at Christmas

Sami – fidget spinner, ornaments

Tate – his dog, red star tree topper

Nikolas – White Sands National Monument, homemade ornaments (thank you for making me one!)

Elia – nutcrackers, Boxing Day traditions

Izayah – bunnies, Christmas pickle

Joshua – hockey goalie gear, Christmas pickle and other ornaments

Sienna – bear facts, special ornaments

Noah – Stuff the Bus charity, Christmas Nativity story

Elizabeth – maps, her family’s Christmas traditions

Ife – polar bear facts, the story of Jesus and the first Christmas

Evan – electricity, Mexican hot chololate

Great job, everybody!

 

Important Dates

Dec. 11th: Holiday book report due

December 14th: Holiday luncheon 11:30 (please see sign-up email to cook a dish to share!)

December 17th: Christmas Giving projects needed by this date please

December 21st: last day of school before Christmas break

 

 

Have a nice weekend 🙂

Annie

 

Learning how to be Water Smart!

 

Random, but we got our classroom piano tuned! Pretty cool on the inside!

Elia demonstrating how to make the reindeer decorations to sell for donations

Working busily on reindeer decorations!

 Rehearsal  What did St. Nicholas leave us in our shoes??

 Cuties 🙂St. Nicholas visited us in person too!

 

Happy Thanksgiving and more!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 16, 2018

Hello Families and Friends!

Christmas is just around the corner… can you believe that we just passed the 59th day of school?! The year is just flying by for us! It is now sweater weather…time for our old wing of the school to turn on our archaic radiant floor heater and see crayons melt and children lay all over the warm floor haha 🙂

We had a great few weeks here in 2B. Lots of fun was had by all during the Field Day events including my personal favorite, the dance station! Plus, the faculty beat the 8th graders 5 times in the annual volleyball games…and more good news is that none of us teachers broke any hips or blew out any knees in the interim 😉

Thank you to all of the canned good donations given to our Thanksgiving food drive; Monday is the last day to bring in any donations for our collection. 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!

During the week of December 3rd, we will be beginning our “Holiday Traditions” project. In lieu of regular Teaching Time items, each student will be asked to teach us about his or her own winter holiday traditions. Some ideas that the students may want to talk about might be: when and how your family begins decorating the house, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day traditions, special meals, gift giving and/or any other special traditions you might have. Along with the oral presentation, your child will be asked to bring in some things that they might use or exhibit during the holiday season. Some examples might be a special ornament, a favorite Christmas stocking, stuffed animal, etc.  They may bring in up to 3 items. The presentations will take place on your child’s regularly scheduled Teaching Time day starting on December 3rd. We look forward to learning about your different winter holiday traditions!

Also, the whole 2nd Grade will be hosting a Holiday Luncheon on Friday, December 14th at 11:30 in the Parish Center.  Each family will be asked to bring in a special dish that your family enjoys during the holiday season.  We will need main dishes, side dishes, and desserts that day. Parents and grandparents are welcomed and encouraged to join us that day.  A sign-up sheet will be sent out asking what dishes your family would like to provide for our luncheon. Thank you in advance for your contributions! It will be a lovely day. Thank you to Mrs. Burns for bringing this lovely tradition down to 2nd grade!  

 

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. We 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 will be displayed in our classroom library along with the students’ self-written Halloween books. Spoilers: some of the turkeys didn’t make it out of their adventures unscathed.

 

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.

 

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 will be continuing to learn many facts about the Pilgrims and Native Americans. Next week, we will use Native American symbols to write our own stories. 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 12 pinecone turkeys to store…and counting! The students will learn 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 learned various facts about the hexagonal shaped cells that the bees make in their hives, the three different types of honeybees: drones, workers, and queens, and the different body parts of bees. Did you know that only female bees have stingers?? Next up: the lifecycle of spiders!

 

Teaching Time

We had many interesting teaching times during the past few weeks:

Jady -her dogs

Michael – Florida

Twyla – Lucille Ball

Max – different currencies, U of A basketball game

Ava – Grand Canyon, her retainer

Sami – St. Michael’s history

Tate – Lacross, baseball

Nikolas – wedding traditions

Elia – Indian music, Frank Sinatra

Izayah – gunny sacks, Alaskan Huskies

Joshua – Cardinal football team, BMX

Sienna – gymnastics, national parks

Noah – tips for camping, his family

Elizabeth – different birds, dice

Ife – mountains, lillies

Evan – lizards, Texas map

Great job to you all!

 

 

Important Dates

December 3-7: Holiday Traditions at Teaching Time

Dec. 7th: St. Nicholas Day performance 2:00

Dec. 11th: Holiday book report due

December 14th: Holiday luncheon 11:30

 

Thank you! 

Annie

Apostles

Field Day

Sharing community maps

 

Pinecone turkeys!

What Fun We’re Having!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 2, 2018

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 Monica Gonzales, Nova Burns, and Angie Martinez for the planning! 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 next year 🙂

If you hear your child referring to “WeddGiving,” there’s a reason…I’m getting married on Thanksgiving Day! Life is good, happy, and filled with many blessings 🙂

Writing

We continued to work on our Halloween/Fall 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!

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 Native American 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

The past two weeks we have been working on subtraction and inverse relationships between addition and subtraction to write related sentences.  Also, we have been working on solving problems with missing numbers, finding the rules for number patterns, and adding and subtracting by estimating.  All of these different, almost algebraic, activities will help to improve our number sense.

Science

We ended our study about plant life cycles this past week. We talked and read about pollination, photosynthesis, and osmosis. 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. We also saw osmosis occur in front of our eyes: we placed celery stalks in red water and left them overnight. The very next day, we saw how the colored water traveled through the veins of the stalks and into the leaves! After this process, transpiration begins (which is the process by which moisture is carried through plants from roots to small pores on the underside of leaves, where it changes to vapor and is released to the atmosphere). 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

We have been doing several small group activities where we focus on completing a task while using effective teamwork strategies such as positive communication, asking questions, dividing jobs equitably, staying on task to complete the goal, etc. Teamwork is a big part of the social studies and science grades in the second grade. Also, these are such important skills for life in general, don’t you think? 🙂 We also continued to work on maps and understanding map keys.

 

Teaching Time

We had many interesting teaching times during the past two weeks:

Jady – artwork she made, book report on Charlotte’s Web

Michael – sea coral, his trip to Sea World

Twyla – twins, dog training

Max – phases of the moon, Australian currency vs. US currency

Ava – her trip to Disneyland, how to finger weave

Sami – Pikmi pops, honeybee facts

Tate – soccer rules, how popcorn is made

Nikolas – Tibetan prayer flags, Usain Bolt

Elia – the Ice Age, history of Halloween

Izayah – different types of apples, pirates

Joshua – working on the ranch, skateboard tricks

Sienna – pugs, monarch butterflies

Noah – origami

Elizabeth – pumpkin facts, volcanoes

Ife – computers, New York

Evan – sea animals, Pokemon

Important Dates

Monday, Nov. 5: Canned food drive begins

Friday, Nov. 9: Field Day, noon dismissal

Monday, Nov. 12: no school

Friday Nov. 16: 2A/2B Fall/Pie party

Have a nice weekend!

Best,

Annie

Dissecting tulips

Seeing osmosis happen!

Happy Halloween!

Harry Potter buddies

2A/2B Fall/Halloween party!Reading Halloween/Fall stories by candlelight

Full Steam Ahead!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 19, 2018

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! My family and I went to San Diego, found 63 perfect sand dollars on the beach, and visited Sea World. We all had a blast! I came back to school with bronchitis and an ear and upper respiratory infection, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? 😉

We wanted to thank our room parents, Nova Burns, Angie Martinez, and Monica Gonzales, for planning a fun Fall/Halloween party for us! The students may wear their costumes to school that day (the 31st). There will be a costume parade beginning at 2:45 that your child may participate in if he or she wishes to do so.

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 necessarily in a formal 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. Speaking of book reports, the haunted/fall/mystery 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. The next project will be a winter holiday book report…stay tuned for details 🙂

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 on 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 already 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 been working on a chapter 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.  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 (and it never goes away :). Please encourage your child to continue working on his or her basic addition and subtraction skills as well.

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 last 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, pollinators, and the anatomy of flowers next week. We did, however, discuss how all living things consist of many parts that serve different functions vital for survival such as the different parts of a plant that are consumable by humans and animals: seeds, roots, and leaves. This lead to some wonderful studies about 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. What colors did YOU eat today??

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.

A member from Tucson Electric Power’s education team came to talk to us about electrical safety and usage. This went along perfectly with our ongoing talks about our community responsibilities of reducing usage of different resources.

 

Teaching Time

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

Jady – sang songs from Frozen, bird facts

Michael – history of candy corn (with samples!), 3 different states of matter

Twyla – her family, ancient Egypt

Max – grasshopper facts, Harris’s Hawk facts

Ava – black Mamba facts, her family

Sami – history of Barbies

Tate – basketball, shark facts

Nikolas – Great Wall of China, history of Halloween

Elia – 2 headed snake, lion facts

Izayah – bat facts, shark facts

Joshua – spy tools, being a ranch hand

Sienna – puffer fish facts, whale facts

Elizabeth – unicorns, green sea turtle facts

Ife – Nigeria facts, recited two poems

Evan – race cars, Legos

Great job to you all!

 

Important Dates

Wed, Oct. 31: Halloween party, costumes may be worn to school. Parade at 2:45pm

Looking ahead

Friday, Nov. 9th: Field Day, noon dismissal

Monday, Nov. 12: no school

 

Happy weekend!

Annie

Blessing of the Animals Mass

TEP presentation

Happy Birthday, Ava!

Learning about Pollination from the good old Magic School Bus!

Happy birthday, Jady!

Book report projects 🙂

Fall is Here!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 28, 2018

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 next week. 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. Don’t forget that the fall house/haunted house book report is due on Wednesday, October 17th . Let me know if you have any questions on that fun project. Also, the students have really started doing a nice job in 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 in need of magazines/ads/newspapers/flyers with colorful pictures of different fruits and vegetables for a STEM project next week. Please and 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! We 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. 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, we next 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 called 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.  We worked on locating action and helping verbs in our reading and in our workbooks.  We took a test today which checked comprehension, writing, spelling, 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, defend, habitat, insects, safe, and survive.

Mathematics

We have been focusing on place value for the past couple of weeks. Understanding place value is an important tool for solving problems and checking that solutions make sense. The students were introduced to the value of a digit (7 in the thousands place = 7,000), standard form of numbers (only digits), word form (words to express digits) and expanded form (showing the sum of the value of digits). The students also compared and ordered numbers and rounded to the nearest 10 and 100. Whew! These are tricky concepts that are practiced every day during our “daily math” session based on the day of school. We took a few short math assessments on these concepts over the past week. 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 as well.

Science

We continued learning about the life cycle of plants. We planted all of our germinating lima beans into the planter outside of Mrs. Stalkfleet’s classroom. Out of 17 seeds…..about 4 have sprouted into a pretty decent sized little plants which my leaders ever so lovingly water very day. 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 is there 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

To further our knowledge of our community and its workers, we visited Tucson’s fire station #1! We were able to see many of the special tools that firefighters use and we also got to go on one of their engines and spray their hose! 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: Max’s dad, Ava’s mom, Elia’s mom, Sami’s mom, Noah’s mom, and Sienna’s mom! I gave the students a fire flipbook to complete regarding safety tips for the students and their families. Please take time to fill those packets out with your child. I hope the packets create a dialogue for you and your child about fire safety in your own unique home environments.

We are continuing to work on our community unit. We are “building” a whole city ourselves, and are discussing all of the necessities of a healthy and well-functioning community. A large part of the students’ social studies grades are based upon their effectiveness and use of collaborative skills during these types of teamwork activities.

We have also 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!

Jady – step dancing, karate moves

Michael – astronomy, Hawaii facts

Twyla – her family lineage, Jane Goodall

Max – spider-eating butterflies, saguaro birdhouse

Ava – played the violin, her doggie

Sami – tuxedo cat facts, luna moth facts

Tate – history of pencils, hockey

Nikolas – Trinity icon, Willis Tower

Elia – Santa Monica, England

Izayah – how to crochet, wasp nest

Joshua – hockey, exercise board demo

Sienna – how to use a hammock, her family

Noah – how adoptions work, how airbags work

Elizabeth – clay, history of electricity/lightbulb

Ife – played piano, book report on Sarah Noble

Evan – how to yoyo, baseball

Important Dates

Tuesday, Oct. 2nd: Blessing of the animals mass – each student can bring a stuffed animal to have blessed
October 8-12: Fall break
Thank you and have a nice weekend!

Annie O’Meara

 

 Jady teaching a Step Dance Fire Station #1  Culture box sharing!  Happy Birthday, Noah!

Watering and taking care of our plants

 

 

News from Camp Wanna-Learn-A-Lot!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 14, 2018

Hello Families and Friends!

We have had a busy couple of weeks here in 2B! 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! 

We are excited to have our first field trip of the year coming up next Friday, Sept. 21st. We will be heading to Fire Station #1 downtown to learn more about firefighters/paramedics and their jobs in the community. Not only is this the largest station in town with a museum to boot, but it’s also the only station here with an actual pole! Very cool! Thank you to Sami’s mom, Monica Gonzales, for signing up to drive us to the field trip. We need more drivers so please join us if you’re available!

 

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. “Be My Neighbor,” by Maya Ajmera and John D. Ivanko, is a photo-essay which shows neighborhoods around the world and how people live together in them. “My Favorite Place” is an Internet bulletin board story where different students from around the country wrote in to tell about favorite places in their communities. 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. Some of the vocabulary words that we worked into our reading and writing lessons over the past few weeks were: area, building, identify, library, locate, and population.

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 have been challenging ourselves by writing stories using random words from phonics word sorts in our reading workbooks. I have encouraged the students to think about writing spelling stories with their spelling words instead of writing their typical 10-18 spelling sentences each week. I know it’s a challenge, but it can be fun and maybe even a little more interesting!

Mathematics

We continued to review skills learned last year: double and triple digit addition and subtraction involving regrouping (otherwise known as “borrowing” and “carrying” back from the days of yore, which yes, I use these terms with the students in addition to the new terms). We are also working on comparing numbers (least, greatest, equal to) and ordering numbers.  

We were able to spend a bit of time practicing basic math facts on our iPads after we had a quick lesson on appropriate iPad usage and basic care (each student has his or her own set of earbuds provided by St. Michael’s, so nobody has to worry about sharing too many germs). We also took our first 5-minute timed test of the year. In case you forgot, the students are expected to be able to complete 100 basic addition facts in 5 minutes or less with at least a 95% to pass on to the next test. Flashcards are the tried and true method for mastery of facts, just FYI 🙂

 

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.  We look forward to hearing what our fellow students learn in the next culture packet assignment: the “senior” family-member interview!

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 inside a baggie and then 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 to see what happens next!  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 science is at times not perfect and/or uniform! We plan to plant these sprouted beans in the planter outside of Mrs. Stalkfleet’s class and see how far we go in the plant life cycle! Warning: there is a rogue “church yard bunny” who ate all of our plants last year.

 

Teaching Time

We had some great presentations over the past couple of weeks:

Jady – gorillas

Michael – strange facts about different foods

Twyla – Sacajawea

Max – praying mantis facts, how to play the didgeridoo

Ava – American girl doll history, how to make a pasta pencil holder

Sami – scorpion facts, fox facts

Tate – football book, performed a piece on his ukulele

Nikolas – Hoodoos Mountains, being an acolyte

Elia – Portland trip, performed a piece on her violin

Izayah – how to make a paper car, Chinese stress balls

Joshua – his bunny Coal, being a pirate

Sienna – The Blue Bunny Bubbit story, played the harmonica

Noah – fossil impression he made, rock facts

Elizabeth – grizzly bear facts, seashells

Ife – performed “When the Saints Go Marching” on piano, Jamaica

Evan – geode facts, Korean bird calls

Great job, everyone!!

 

Important dates:

Tuesday, Sept. 18: Family member interview due

Wednesday, Sept. 19: Noon dismissal

Friday, Sept. 21: Fire Station field trip – red shirts and khaki bottoms please

Tuesday, Sept. 25: Class picture day (red shirts and khaki bottoms please)

Also Tuesday Sept. 25: Culture box due

Wednesday, Sept. 26: individual picture day (free dress)

Happy weekend!

Annie

Joshua’s bunny, Coal!

Word sort gamesIfe playing the piano!

Apostles

Family Tree sharing

Elia playing the violin!

Sienna playing the harmonica

Learning how to jump rope

Checking out our greenhouse baggies 🙂

 

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