Awesome April!

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

Hello Families and Friends of 2B!

We have been having an especially enriching and fun couple of weeks here in 2B!

Thank you to all of you who donated eggs to the Casa Maria Foundation. Also, thank you to the parents who helped the students throw a little surprise party for me. Flowers, cookies, and cards – so nice! And I was totally surprised and also impressed that the kids did all of the planning on their own! I felt very special and so very loved 🙂

Our standardized tests seemed to go very well. You should be expecting the test results over the summer.

Mr. Hawes and his 8th graders treated both 2nd grade classes to a sock puppet rendition of Shakespeare’s Tempest. This was the first time that I didn’t really need Cliffs notes for this play 🙂

We met our new headmaster, Mr. Sullivan, last week. The students were able to ask him a few questions; however, somehow they ended up giving him an oral spelling test as he was trying to leave our classroom. The good news is, he spelled ‘chandelier’ correctly! I guess he can stay 😉

The students are really looking forward to performing for you at our Fine Arts Night next Friday, April 20th. The students should be dropped off in my classroom at 6:30. The show starts at 7:00 in the gym and the students will be dismissed at the end of the show from our classroom. Instructions on attire will be coming out this week. It is a super cute show and I can’t wait to see it in its entirety!

 

Spelling and Language

We have been focusing on long vowel words as well as words that we can hyphenate. We also have been learning about articles (‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’), synonyms, and antonyms. The students have been enjoying becoming more familiar with the Thesaurus and dictionary. We are practicing using both resources to find what I like to call $50 words in our writing. We just have to remember to use words from the Thesaurus that we can understand! Our recent spelling patterns are: al, all, oi, oy, ow, and ou.

 

Writing

We have been working very hard on locating details from stories and/or articles and using those details to answer comprehension questions in written form. Rewording information is a tricky skill! We have also been writing sentences while paying close attention to verb form (past, future, present tense). The students have been enjoying writing different types of poems such as cinquains and limericks and also have been using rhyming words from our spelling pattern lists to compose short rhymes. At the end of the year when the kids bring their class spiral notebooks home, you’re in for a real treat as this is the place where the majority of these compositions are being written and kept!

 

Reading

We have finished our reading unit on dependencies in nature. The story “Odd Couples” by Amy Sarver was a science article which describes animals that form partnerships in order to survive. “Working Together” by Lori Wilkinson was an article which explains how flowers and honeybees help each other survive. A few vocabulary words that we worked with in our workbooks and used for dictionary activities were: ability, difficult, enemies, partners, respond, species, threaten, and unusual.

The few days prior to Easter (since it was a short week), we took a little break from our language arts series and instead, we did a fun language arts activity that I love! It’s called a reading “tea party.” We used the book “The Escape of Marvin the Ape” for our tea party. It goes like this: on the first day of a tea party, I make copies of just the text portion of a book. Each student receives a portion of the text. Just like at a tea party, the students go around the room and “mingle” while they would read their story portion to another person. Then that person would read their part to the other person, then switch people, etc. The goal of this portion of the tea party is for the students to work on using the information that they are hearing about the story and then putting that information into an order that makes sense as a story. After this, we fill out a character, setting, plot chart where we make predictions about the story elements. The 2nd day consists of matching each individual sentence/story part to a picture from the book by using comprehension, inference, and critical thinking. Each student then has to explain why he or she picked that picture to illustrate their story part. After doing this, we try to write a story about how we think it is actually written, now having a more clear picture due to words and illustrations being brought together. The third day of a tea party is the day that we actually read the story and compare our predictions to what really happened. Tea parties make reading fun and different. Also, they help students to realize that understanding stories takes time; however, an understanding can be reached through taking what has been read, analyzing the information, and then making inferences and predictions. So fun!

 

Mathematics

We continued learning about fractions over the past 2 weeks. We learned how sets or groups can be divided to show fractional parts. We also learned how to add and subtract fractions with like denominators. In addition, we were introduced to reading and writing mixed numbers. We will be taking a test on this chapter next week and will be moving onto measurement.

The class has been very interested in BIG numbers! So we have been doing a lot of extra work on place value up to the millions place through a fun game called “Last Number Standing.” We play it on our individual white boards and it is surely a class favorite! Ask your child about it!

 

Science

We have continued working on our weather unit. We have had a great time going outside to observe the weather to write in our weather journals. Not only do we (as meteorologists) have to feel the conditions, but we also have to see them as well…like seeing which direction the wind is blowing according to a windsock or flag, or observing the cloud formations. We will be taking part in more fun weather activities shortly!

We did an experiment with several solid objects to see how air affects them. We discovered that air can move and push things, it can be changed into different shapes, and can make things fly. This knowledge is connected to how air pressure in our atmosphere brings changes in weather.

This past Monday, we visited Sabino Canyon for a wonderful field trip. We were presented facts about the desert and riparian environments, predators and prey, and desert animal camouflage. We learned some tips on finding clues from nature that normally hide themselves so well from us; hence the name of the presentation: “Now you see it; now you don’t!” Thank you to Wylder’s mom, Jay and Joel’s mom, and Austin’s nanny for driving us there!

 

Social Studies

We have just started a new unit on how goods are produced and distributed. In small groups, we created a simple toy car using assembly-line techniques and learned that most goods and products we use and buy are produced by teams in factories. We learned that using assembly lines and good teamwork strategies including effective communication and job distribution, all make the job easier and quicker! We will continue to research how goods are moved from the factory to the store. We also had a wonderful class conversation about U.S. factory workers, minimum wage, and factories in other countries.

We enjoyed a recycling presentation called “Too good to throw away” given by the City of Tucson. We learned about all the things we can and cannot recycle. Ask your child about it! To reinforce the whole idea of recycling, the students will be creating some really cute Mother’s Day gifts out of recycled objects. So, we are needing to collect tin cans and sturdy sticks (from trees) no more than a foot long. All sizes of cans work, however the larger the better! Please bring in as many as possible starting Monday!

 

Teaching Time

Many of the students have been preparing some pretty awesome visual aids to accompany their presentations! Wow!

Check out all of the interesting things the kids have been teaching about:

Zoe – molecules, red snapper, remora fish

Austin – making an origami cat, getting braces, how to say some Korean words

Parneet – tarantulas, chimpanzees, sea turtles

Ava – penguins, pandas

Cecilia – pallas cat, hagfish, tardigrades

Miles – Ft. Bowie, how to draw a tree

Harper – her dog Romeo, poem by Edward Thomas, necklace from Mexico

Paul – frogs, how the wheel-o works

Wheeler – deadly animals, obsidian

Alice – Easter facts, great white sharks, her dog Dori

Jay – science experiment, how to make the perfect grilled cheese

Joel – how to make a bubble wrap glove, how to do fingerboard tricks, world’s records

Elias – how to make a fingerboard, fingerboard competitions

Victoria – starfish, how to weave

Naomi – homemade greenhouse, desert hare facts

Wylder – his cat

That’s a wrap! Have a great weekend!

Annie

 

First day of the big Tea Party!

Recycling presentation

Sabino Canyon!

Apostles

The (sock) Tempest

 

Assembly Line teamwork

Final products from assembly lines!

Happy (almost) Easter!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 23, 2018

Hello Families and Friends!

Can you believe March is almost over and we only have under 45 days of school left? This year has flown by for us here in 2B!

March 28th is the 2nd grade’s turn for each family to donate a dozen peeled hard boiled eggs for the Casa Maria project through our church. Thank you in advance for your donations.

The week we come back to school after the Easter holiday is standardized testing week. Testing will take place in the morning hours and homework will be lighter than usual since we will not cover as much material as we normally do each day.

Thank you to all of the parents who joined us at the Desert Museum! The kids did a wonderful job presenting their facts on the animals that they researched! It was also a beautiful day weather-wise and all the animals were out enjoying the breeze and sun along with us.

Monday, April 9th is our next field trip! Since we study desert plants and animal adaptations, we will be heading to Sabino Canyon for a presentation called “Now you see it, now you don’t.” We will be leaving campus at 9:00 and will come back at in time for lunch at school. Please wear red shirts and khaki bottoms. There is a very strict rule about the number of cars we can take into the area. This will be tricky as we will be going with Ms. Allen’s class. We can only have a total of 7 cars! So, if you have a car that seats 5 or more, this would be ideal to have you drive us there. Please let me know if you are available to drive. Thank you!

Did you hear about our leprechaun hunt last week? Daniel O’Murphy left clues all over the school for us to find which led us to a special treasure! We also had our 2nd homework party of the year complete with a fun game of Musical Shamrocks (like musical chairs but with Irish jigs). In the final stretch of the year, for each homework assignment we all bring in on each day, the students are receiving 1 minute of “something fun” (we will be voting on what that “something” will be!). So far, the students have earned 19 minutes! Keep up the good work and remember, the responsibility chart on the spelling packet is part of the homework assignment and if it is not filled in, that assignment is considered incomplete and therefore will not be counted in for that day’s minute tally.

Reading

I am beyond excited to announce our first three students in our class to reach 100 books and beyond for the 100 Book Club: Cecilia, Victoria, and Miles! Yay!

“How do living things depend on each other?” That is the big question we are exploring in our new reading unit. To answer it, we are reading, writing, and talking about the partnerships some plants and animals form in order to survive. “Go to Sleep, Gecko!” by Margaret Read MacDonald is a cute folk tale where a gecko learns how much his survival depends on other animals in the forest. “Enric Sala: Marine Ecologist” by Kristin Cozort is an article where the author describes the work of Explorer Enric Sala, who studies coral reefs and the many creatures that depend on them. Ask your child about each of those books! Some new vocabulary words we have been reading, using in our writing, and looking up in the dictionary are: accept, connect, necessary, relate, roles, and vegetation.

Spelling/Language

We have been studying the short O sound spelled oo, ea, au, and aw. I am pleased to see that more and more students are remembering these odd spellings that we study week-to-week in our spelling packets. That’s the whole point! Not to mention that the students are also becoming more aware of these spellings when they view them while reading. We have also been working hard on using the rules of hyphenation. We are continuing to talk about subjects and predicates as well as present tense and past tense verbs. In addition, we studied the prefixes un, re, and mis along with the suffixes -y, -ly, and -ful.

Writing

We had a couple of big weeks full of Irish writing. First, we wrote some fabulous leprechaun adventure stories. From start to finish of the writing process, these have taken the students a longer time than normal because their stories are becoming more and more detailed – and I’m way ok with that!! We also learned how to write limericks. From the rhymes to the beats in each line, the students were very successful. They are such fun and simple poems to write. We have had a really fun time sharing both our stories and limericks with each other.

Mathematics

This week, our class started the fractions chapter. We have been learning to identify, read, and write unit fractions and equivalent fractions. Also, we have been using models to compare fractions. Here are some vocabulary words that the students will be using during our math lessons over the next week or so: fraction (part of a whole or a set), numerator (the top number in a fraction), denominator (the bottom number of a fraction representing all pieces), equivalent fractions (fractions with the same value).

Social Studies

We have been reading about how people use and misuse the natural resources in various environments. We also discovered some of negative effects of pollution caused by misuse of the environment. We have been brainstorming how to solve the world’s trash problem by understanding the adage: “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

We had a wonderful time learning about our Sonoran Desert region through our field trip to the Desert Museum. Each student was able to present facts about his or her animal that they researched and then found in their exhibits. Such excitement occurred all day during the field trip, especially when Jay and Joel’s mom treated us to her famous homemade chocolate chip cookies – thank you Michelle Slavin!

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 talks about reducing usage of different resources.

Science

A new science unit has commenced: air and weather! So far, we have discussed the interactions of air, water, and energy which we call “weather.” Weather is more than windstorms, but weather is always directly or indirectly something going on with, or in, the air. We will practice being meteorologists by observing the day’s weather and notating it in our weather journals! We will also be discussing all of the different types of cloud formations. If you have any books to share with us on this topic, please feel free to bring them in!

Teaching Time

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

Zoe – Anna’s hummingbird and 3D printing

Austin – Mule deer and how to make a squishy

Parneet – River Otter and tree frogs

Ava – Bobcats and how to pull a prank on your parents

Cecilia – Mexican wolf and Black-footed cat

Miles – Gambel’s quail and making an origami Samurai hat

Harper – Black-tailed prairie dog and a bubble rock experiment

Paul – Western diamondback rattle snake and making an origami chair and table

Wheeler – Bighorn sheep and Lockheed P-38

Alice – Cactus wren and mountain lions

Jay – Black bear and his future tonsillectomy

Joel – Coyote and making an origami fox and hat

Elias – Bark scorpion and making an origami bird

Victoria – Great horned owl and llamas

Naomi – Desert tortoise and white rhino

Wylder – Ocelot and his ski trip

 

Have a lovely weekend!

Annie

 

Happy birthday, Paul!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Erin go bragh!

Post leprechaun hunt cookies left behind by Daniel O’Murphy

Intricate leprechaun trap

Desert Museum

Weather journal/meteorologist time!

March is here!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 9, 2018

Hello Families and Friends!

Good day to you all! I hope you have had a great start of March – we sure have here in 2B! Well, actually, this has been the “month of sickness” so far. We have had 2 confirmed cases of the flu and various other germs. Even I took a whole day off due to the worst sinus infection I’ve had to date! I’m doing everything just short of lysoling the kids when they walk through the door 😉

Our next field trip will be in one week – we’re heading to the Desert Museum on March 19th! This goes along with our study of our immediate environment. Red tops, khaki bottoms, sun protection, and a sack lunch are needed for that day. Does everyone understand the expectations for next week’s teaching times? Each child was given an animal from the Desert Museum’s exhibits. They are to write an informational paragraph on their animal to present at their teaching time next week. Then on the field trip, the students are expected to share more information after they have located their animal in its exhibit. It will be fun!

This was Love of Reading week. We kicked it off with a special visit from Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat! We were also visited by some local authors and illustrators from the Tucson-based company Learning A-Z. We visited the book fair and enjoyed a lovely afternoon of reading in our pjs with cookies and juice. Firefighter Andy came to read to us since reading is such an important part of his job! What a great week!

The “Biography in a Can” book reports were outstanding and so very creative! Come and see all of the hard work that the students put into these projects!

Also, thank you to Paul’s mom, Kate Mammana, for planning our Art Auction item. It is going to be awesome and I can’t wait for you all to see the finished product!

Spelling/Language

We have been working on contractions. The students know that contractions are used mostly when speaking, however they can be used for more informal types of writing. We have also been working on locating pronouns. For a refresher, pronouns take the place of a noun…I, you, he, she, it, and they are examples of pronouns. Finding and using possessive nouns and plural possessive nouns were also a focus of ours this week (example: dog’s or fairies’).


Our spelling patterns included “r-controlled vowels” spelled ir, er, ur, air, are, ear, eer, and ear.

Reading

We have been coming across some heavy-duty words in our reading, so we have started to brush-up on our dictionary skills so we can look up these hard words and learn their meanings, as opposed to just skipping over them! Once the lightbulb clicked as to how to use a dictionary, the kids were so excited! They even ask to read the dictionary to hunt for random words during their own free time!

Speaking of reading, let me remind you that it is just as important for your child to read aloud to you as it is for you to read aloud to him or her! By hearing adults read, the children will be exposed to more elevated vocabulary, they will hear your voice inflections, and also it can’t hurt their listening skills!

We finished our current reading unit with a few cool stories. “In a Mountain Community,” by S. Michele McFadden, focused on how an explorer named Losang Rabgey witnessed how a community came together to build a school that ensures a good future for its children. “Mi Barrio” by George Ancona was a photo-essay which showed how a boy helped his community by painting beautiful murals that reminded people of their heritage. Some of the vocabulary words (which we also looked up in a dictionary) were: education, opportunity, organize, project, result, and success.

Writing

We have been practicing writing directions for various activities in list order such as writing a recipe, retelling our daily schedule, etc. Another skill we have been learning about in writing is how to use examples from stories without plagiarizing. This is a tough concept, but we are getting better at restating ideas. We also had fun writing some cause and effect books based upon the story pattern that is used in the book If You Give a Pig a Pancake. They are proudly displayed in our class library author box – come see!

Mathematics

We started chapter 9 of our math series. This chapter concentrates on the operations and algebraic thinking domain. The students have already been exposed to the associative and distributive properties as well as how to find the product of three factors. We will be learning about how to write mathematical expressions using the four different operations: combining problems with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. We also learned that variables aren’t so scary – they are kind of like figuring out a “secret code.” Exciting stuff!

Science

Question: you have plain water and water with salt mixed in. Which one will evaporate first and why? We completed this very experiment! Annnnnndddddd….the fresh water evaporated more quickly! The salt crystals create more of an obstacle for the water molecules to pass through during the evaporation process. We finished up our matter unit by making something that is not really a solid, but not really a liquid – it’s called a suspension (which in a molecule sense is too tough to explain in this small paragraph – ask your child). We made “oobleck” out of corn starch and water to experiment with this type of matter. Next science unit – weather!

Social Studies

Since we study community in 2nd grade, what better place to visit than the AZ Sonora Desert Museum?! We are very excited to see the special inhabitants of our community next week. The students are all excited to research and write about the Sonoran animals that they will see! It will be meaningful for them to locate those animals at the museum! We have also been discussing what types of products we use for basic living and where those products come from. We have been studying about pollution and its effects on our environment and lives. Our finished physical maps turned out great – come see! We also had some “social” study time with our 8th grade buddies during a buddy play-date. Also, we made paper airplanes and had flying competitions with our 4th grade buddies. Interacting with the older peers in our immediate community is impactful, helps to build relationships, and fun for the kids on both ends!

Teaching Time

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

Zoe – how to teach a class of stuffed animals and elephant seal facts

Austin – the olympics

Parneet – orca whale, beaver, and animal sound facts

Ava – cat facts and Panamanian adventures

Cecilia – how to draw a capybara and how to make a paper snake

Miles – how to draw a hummingbird and a toucan

Harper – poems and coloring books

Paul – magic tricks and how to do a square knot

Wheeler – bomber planes

Alice – mangrove tree and Kenya information

Jay – erosion and saguaro facts

Joel – Disneyland facts

Elias – fingerboard tricks, how to make a paper box

Victoria – buffalo and seahorse facts

Naomi – how earrings work and fox facts

Wylder – how a hex flyer and GoPro work

Have a nice weekend!

Annie

 

8th grade buddy playdate!

Teachers getting their hair colored

Wilma and Wilbur!

Firefighter Andy reads to us 😉

Biographies in Cans

PJ Day craziness!

 

Happy Rodeo Break!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 24, 2018

Hello Families and Friends!

We made it to Rodeo Break (and now that I’m finally sending this blog out, break is almost over :/ 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! 🙂

We have had two very busy and fun weeks here in 2B. 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. Our class did very well in the “edible car race” this past Monday: Team Paul, Austin, Naomi, and Cecilia took home 1st place in distance; Team Victoria , Ava, Zoe, and Alice took home 2nd place for speed; and Team Miles and Wylder took 2nd place for distance! We also celebrated Mardi Gras with a pancake lunch, a steel drum band, and our own class King Cake (thank you Slavin family for the cake donation!). We had our Valentine’s Day party where we created some super cute Valentine creature mailboxes, exchanged Valentines, and enjoyed yummy cupcakes made by Ava and her mom. We also enjoyed wearing our western gear to school this past Friday. I took this opportunity to reach back to the days of yore to teach your children the “Cotton Eyed Joe” square-dance…and for that, you are welcome 😉

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-placed molecules than 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! We also participated in a 100th day STEM activity where in pairs, we had to use teamwork and communication to figure out how to make 100 pennies float in water using only one small piece of tin foil. 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 Gravity Falls 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. Next chapter up: properties and equations using multiplication and division (hint: do you remember PEMDAS???)

Teaching Time

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

Zoe – slippers she made and how to make a homemade doll

Austin – facts about rare minerals and square roots

Parneet – facts about rocks from the gem show and arthropods

Ava – bear facts and how to make a homemade bird feeder

Cecilia – making plantable paper and making an origami swan

Miles – gem show facts and how to make an origami cat

Harper – facts about her dog and how to crochet

Paul – Potoo bird facts and beautiful glass frog art

Wheeler – Red Baron and pirate ship facts

Alice – American girl doll history and how to make soap

Jay – different swimming strokes and news about his cat

Joel – how to make a Lego fidget spinner and how to make a twisty paper airplane

Elias – how to draw a bird and eye dilation facts

Victoria – whale and porcupine facts

Naomi – history of conversation hearts and husky facts

Wylder – how to make a paper airplane and news about his dog

See you all soon!

Miss O’Meara

 

100th Day STEM

Will 100 pennies float in a tin foil boat?

Number 100 art

Mapping geographic features in pairs

Keep mixing that oil and water!

Edible car race!

2nd place for speed!

First place for distance!

2nd place for distance (Miles was out sick)

Magic potions

The Slavin king cake!

Valentine box decorating

Valentine’s Day madness!

Look at that haul!

Rainy day recess shenanigans 🙂

 

February Fun!

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

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.

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!

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 in one week. The square 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 32 Valentines.

This upcoming Monday is the 100th day of school for us! If you haven’t brought in a baggie of 100 pennies yet, please do so because we will be doing some cool STEM activities Monday afternoon involving the 100 pennies. Thank you!

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 are: 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 that we paired up with partners and put these mini-plays on for our classmates. It was fun! Especially when some kids randomly decided to use either country Western or French accents. 🙂

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 are almost finished with our unit on multiplying and dividing numbers and learning our facts. The two areas where everyone could use extra work is on word problems and basic facts. Right now, the 2nd graders are expected to be able to complete 100 addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts in 5 minutes or less. In 3rd grade, they have the same number of problems, however only 4 minutes in which to complete them! I have one word for you: FLASHCARDS!

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

We had a great time reviewing multiplication facts with a fun card and dice game. The students played in pairs and multiplied the number on the face-up card times the number rolled on the die. They had to make sure to check their partners’ answers in order to move on to their next turn. I bet they’d love to play this with you at home!

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 😉

Teaching Time

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

Zoe – how a kaleidoscope and a loom work

Austin – chameleon and blue topaz facts

Parneet – how her camera works and facts about the Golden Temple in India

Ava – showed us a magic trick and taught us how to make a Central Park model out of candy

Cecilia – the life cycle of a star and facts about refraction

Miles – how to make an origami cat and facts about Bill Gates

Harper – different seashells collected from the Mexico region and highlights about her grandfather’s life

Paul – facts about caecilians and secretary birds

Wheeler – different deadly animals and facts about Nikola Tesla

Alice – famous attractions in Brazil and how to make a paper dog face

Jay – how fruit is freeze-dried and ant facts

Joel – history of jelly beans and how walkie talkies work

Elias – how to make a cool paper airplane and origami dinosaur

Victoria – how her book club works and bat facts

Naomi – how popcorn pops and about her bunny fairy pen pal named Lucy

Wylder – how his Buddha board and his remote control car works

 

 

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

Miss O’Meara

Reading clues after the snowball fight

NSEW game

Solid creations

Happy Birthday, Austin!

Happy half Birthday, Jay and Joel!

Math fact card/dice game

 

Happy New Year!

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

Hello Families and Friends!

Greetings and happy 2018! 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! 😉

Thank you all for coming to our parent/teacher conferences! It was wonderful talking to all of you about our daily lives in the classroom together as a little class family. Each student brings a certain specialness and uniqueness to our class. I feel blessed to be able to work with this very exceptional group 🙂

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 Paris, DisneyWorld, etc. Haha!

Mathematics

Prior to Christmas break, we started another multiplication and division chapter. We focused on how to multiply and divide by 0, 1, 3, and 4. We also learned about the Identity and Zero Properties of Multiplication and how to identify extra or missing information in problems (those were 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. Decompose: to break apart a factor into smaller parts 56 = 50 + 6. 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. This is what many of us see whilst working on word problems:

Social Studies

We are continuing to work on making and reading maps. This past week, we focused on a few larger scale items: globe, continents, and oceans. During our Social Studies block, we also discussed how we can do our part in society to make things better. We wrote some New Year’s resolutions and also 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.

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!

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

Miss O’Meara

 

 

Happy Birthday, Harper!

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Zoe!

Discovering and charting properties of solids

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Miles!

Happy Birthday, Parneet!

“With My Own Two Hands…”

Holiday Happiness in 2B!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 22, 2017

Hello Families and Friends!

Season’s Greetings to one and all! We just passed our 80th 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!

Parent/teacher conferences will take place starting the first week back to school in January. Please be on the lookout for an email invitation from me to sign up through SignUpGenius.

Thank you for all of the charitable donations for our Christmas giving campaign. Several 7 year old boys and girls will have a happy Christmas indeed due to your kindness and generosity. Also, thank you to Michelle Slavin for painstakingly wrapping all of the shoeboxes for me 🙂

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 a wonderful Christmas party put on by our room parents, Sherry Downer and Michelle Slavin. From decorating homemade Christmas cookies with homemade frosting, to building marshmallow snowmen, to making pinecone ornaments…an amazing time was had by all! And thank you to Elizabeth Lawrence for supplying us with party snacks. 20 years from now, when I’m wiping down surfaces and sweeping the classroom, I will remember this class and this party very fondly because GLITTER!! GLITTER FOR DAYS!!!! Here’s a basic idea of how your child looked whilst decorating the pinecones:

And this is why I will still be finding gold glitter 20 years from now 🙂

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! We started peer editing our work. Knowing that our fellow students are going to read our rough drafts before I get to them has helped many students step up their writing, spelling, and grammar games!

Mathematics

We started a new chapter where we are exploring different aspects of multiplication and division. We have become aware that number sentences involving multiplication and division are often used to represent real-world situations and solve problems arising in everyday life. We have been practicing decomposing large numbers into smaller, equal numbers in order to multiply and/or divide more easily. After this chapter is completed, the students should be able to successfully multiply and divide greater digits.

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 continuing 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, 4 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, 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 8 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: Parneet researched shark facts, Ava taught us how to make a maraca, Austin told us facts about the basilisk lizard, Zoe spoke about her Girls’ Chorus performance, Miles gave facts about different muscle cars, Cecilia researched the differences between German and American gingerbread (and brought samples!), Alice talked about the planets, Paul taught us how to make a gingerbread house without using a pre-made kit, Harper talked about Maurice Sendak books, Elias gave us the history of candy canes (with treats for all!), Naomi taught us how to make a clove orange, Joel talked about different types of sharks, Jay talked about Rockem Sockem robots, Victoria talked about a cat jewelry walk game, and Wylder taught us some yo-yo tricks. Great job, everyone!

Important dates:

January 8th: first day back at school – happy 2018!

Parent-teacher conferences begin on Jan. 11. Please sign up via my SignUpGenius email invite. Thank you!

January 15th: no school

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

🙂 Miss O’Meara

 

Holiday book reports – AMAZING!!!

Happy half-birthday, Wylder!

STEM Christmas tree buildingFinished STEM trees plus bonus reindeer

 

Let’s party!

Mass apostles

Happy St. Nicholas’ Day!

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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…

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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

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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

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