Happy Summer!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 24, 2019

Hello Families and Friends!

 

It’s funny. Whenever I am going through my son’s clothes that he has grown out of, or sifting through his old toys to give away, I hear the Carpenters singing in the back of my mind…songs of happiness, sadness, loss, memories, and love. This happened to me during the entire last week of school as I prepared to say goodbye to this wonderful little class of very special students. Who knew I was such a big sap?! Despite my melancholy feelings though, we had much joyous fun together during the last couple weeks of school!

This year was successful in part to our wonderful parent volunteers. Thank you to all of the numerous parents who donated their time and/or various items to the class as well as gave their time to drive to field trips. I truly appreciate the lovely Monica Gonzales, Nova Burns, and Angie Martinez, my room parent extraordinaires, who were organized, fun to work with, and so creative all throughout the year! The planning that they did for our end of the year lunch/party at Playformance was amazing. Such a memorable and special day for us all! Thank you 🙂

 

Each year on the last day of school, I hand out special little awards to the kids and they get to make a trip to “Ms. O’Meara’s Last Day of School Store” where they can pick a small gift from me. It was just as much fun writing out the awards as it was giving it to them. Here is the list of the awards:

Jady – Busy Bee

Michael – Read Everything In Sight

Twyla – Ms. Presentation

Max – Everybody’s Friend

Ava – Mathematician

Sami – Big Heart

Tate – Mr. Olympics

Nikolas – Mr. Research

Elia – Guiding Light

Izayah – Right-Hand Man

Joshua – Love For Animals

Sienna – Dancing Diva

Noah – Inventive Creator

Elizabeth – Hug Bug

Ife – Cheerful Cheerleader

Evan – Good Friend

As you can tell, we have a special and diverse group of kids!

And a special congratulations to Elia Lientz! She is our Soar with the Eagles award winner: an award for outstanding citizenship, work ethic, values, and morals!

 

I am excited to announce one more student who is joining the 100 Book Club: congratulations Jady Aspacher! Job well done!

 

Reading, Writing, Language, & Spelling

We had our own “book club” literature study using the book “Freckle Juice” by Judy Blume. We started our book club meetings with some predictions based upon the cover and title. Each day, we would read a chapter together and would independently write answers to comprehension questions which asked who, what, where, when, why, and how. We created character trait charts and also used Venn diagrams to compare and contrast different characters in the story. Ask your child about what was in the recipe for the real freckle juice!

Many of our spelling words on our last test of the year were words pulled from “Freckle Juice,” combined with a few commonly misspelled words that I’ve seen pop up over and over again in class! “Ask your child about what you’re doing this summer when they’re in their room over there…” Can you tell which words in that sentence were most likely the ones to be on the spelling test??

We worked really hard on locating subjects and predicates in sentences. Every sentence, no matter how short or long, tells “who did what.” The “who” part is the subject, and the “did what” part is the predicate.

During our last week of school, we had another reading Tea Party with the cute book “Lottie’s New Beach Towel.” If you will recall from the prior tea party, we are only given copies of the book text which are all out of order. We use our comprehension skills to analyze the story parts and come up with predictions about characters, setting, and plot. Then we match our parts of the stories to copies of the pictures by using our inference skills while revising and updating our story element charts. Last, we finally read the story to see how closely we synthesized all the story information. We did a few cute writing projects based on this book as well.

Tea Party Text Sharing

Mathematics

We finished up our geometry unit by discovering different attributes of polygons. We used our prior knowledge of fractions to partition said polygons into equal parts. We also have been reviewing past concepts quite a bit in class including place value up to the ten thousands, addition and subtraction with regrouping.

Please keep working on your math facts over the summer! 3rd graders at St. Michael’s are expected to complete 100 addition/subtraction facts in 4 minutes! A wonderful website with tons of review, especially some really great math review, is abcya.com in case you’re looking for something tried and true.

 

Science

We continued our weather study by doing more weather journaling. We learned about the 4 most common types of clouds: cirrus (the thin whispy ones), stratus (the blanket covering the entire sky ones), cumulous (the giant puffy white ones) and cumulonimbus (the big gray poofy raincloud ones). We created cool “cloud viewers” out of paper and cotton balls used to represent the different clouds. We also learned about how rainbows are formed and the color spectrum that makes them up. We also wrote a fun rainbow color book in the style of the “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” book, except we used the colors of the rainbow in the ROY G BIV order. Very cute!

Making and using our cloud viewers

Social Studies

A couple weeks ago, we started studying the history of St. Michael’s church and school! We read and talked about some very interesting facts regarding the construction of the church and school and the meaning behind some of the architectural elements. We also took our own little tour of the church where we discovered many of the church’s unique and valuable treasures. We enjoyed learning about our very special surroundings!

We were also lucky enough to be given a tour of the library next door. Sure, we visit the library every week, but it’s not every day that we get to go behind the scenes to see the book drop, the check-in room, and all of the different computers which are used for various data collection reasons. It was pretty cool! We also learned about all the different jobs you can have if you work at a public library.

 

Teaching Time

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

Jady – Native American flute, the sky

Michael – water cycle, “Just Add Magic” show

Twyla – book report, her magic spellbook

Max – swallow tail caterpillar, how to make a fluff ball creature with samples for all!

Ava – how to use a mallet for camping, her life

Sami – Girl Scouts, Rubik’s cube history and special guest big bro AJ to solve in record time!

Tate – football, professional basketball teams

Nikolas – Holy Land trip log, Egypt trip log

Elia – difference between crocodiles and alligators, Belgium

Izayah – his dog

Joshua – hockey pucks

Sienna – trees, funny things her grandmother said when they first met

Noah – cactus and desert animals, Alaska trip

Elizabeth – moving to Phoenix

Ife – her baby brother

Evan – how paper is made

 

I would like to close this final blog by saying the following:

Thank you for all of the end of the year gifts, cards, and especially the meaningful sentiments in those cards…enough to make this old gal shed big tears into her oversized American flag coffee cup, but so sweet as to make this old gal feel like I did a lot of things right this year. To know that you, the parents and kids, are happy is truly the best gift of all.

Thank you for your patience and support as I navigated through the tricky spots of work-life while blending families and scrambling with my own child care issues.

Thank you for trusting me with your children. Being a parent now, I know, appreciate, and respect what it feels like and what it means to leave your most valued treasure with someone who is not you.

Most importantly, thank you to my students. Every day I spent with you was magic.

 

Have a wonderful summer and enjoy time spent with family, friends, pets, books, and nature! I will see you soon either to the north or south of 2B Camp Wanna-Learn-A-Lot!

Best,

Annie

 

Playing Wax Museum with our 8th grade buddies before they graduate!

Apostles

Sami’s brother AJ (a former student of mine) mystifying the class with his Rubik’s cube skills 

 

 

That’s a wrap! 🙂

This Teacher Feels Appreciated!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 10, 2019

Hello Families and Friends of 2B!

Here we are, only 10 days left together in 2B. Hard to believe, I know.

Thank you all for making me feel appreciated this week with gifts, cards, and treats! I love my job; I can’t imagine doing anything else and even though I’ve tried, I always land right back in the classroom! It’s a job where I learn, I laugh, I feel joy, and I get to see amazing things happen in little minds and hearts each day. It’s pretty awesome and I am very blessed.

Next week, we will be taking our second round of online standardized tests in math and reading. You will be receiving your child’s results and growth charts over the summer. 

This Wednesday, the seventh and eighth graders took part in a festive Ludi Romani celebration, which included ancient activities, food and craft stalls, and St. Michael’s version of the Olympics, which culminated in an exciting series of chariot races. While the annual tradition mainly involves the upper grades, we in the in younger grades were able to participate in some of the activities, including making old fashioned toys out of clay. So if you saw some older children randomly roaming around in togas, now you know why!

 

We earned our 2nd homework party of the year complete with a fun game of Musical Chairs and treats! Nice job!!

 

We had 2 more birthdays in our class: happy birthday to Evan and Josh!

Happy Pokemon Birthday, Evan!

Happy birthday to Josh, the Tie Guy with a Black Eye 😉

 

Our end of the year party is quickly approaching. We reserved Playformance on Tuesday May 21st 9:30-11:30. The kids will play for 90 min., and then we can use the last 30 min. to have a pizza lunch on the patio at Playformance.  The students will be allowed to have free dress that day. I have posted a driver’s sign up outside our door! Thank you to all of the lovely room parents in both 2B and 2A who made this party possible!

We wish you all a very special Mother’s Day and hope you love the gifts we made for you!

 

Reading
I can’t believe it, but we have officially finished our reading and language arts series! We finished up with a few great selections about what makes our country GREAT! “America Is. . .” by Louise Borden discusses the customs, symbols, celebrations, and landmarks that make up the national identity of the United States. “This Land Is Your Land,” words and music by Woody Guthrie, were accompanied by explorer Sam Abell’s photos of the United States which, combined with these song lyrics, express this man’s love of the unique American landscape. Some of the words we have been using in sentences, reading about, and looking up in the dictionary are: freedom, immigrant, landform, monument, seek, state, symbol, and united.

Next week, we will do a fun book club activity during our language arts time. And the following week, we will have another reading Tea Party. Get ready for some fun reading activities!

 

Spelling and Language

We ended our spelling pattern work with the -ent and -ant endings as in the words ‘talent’ and ‘recent.’ We also discussed how to tell where to divide these types of words into syllables. Next week, our spelling list will consist of words from our book club text, as well as a few commonly misspelled words (at least in our class) thrown in for good measure.

We have been practicing dissecting sentences for the following things: subject, predicate, adjectives, and prepositional phrases. The kids now know exactly what I mean when I say “write a complete sentence!” No excuses any more 🙂

 

Writing

The students were eager to share the nature myths that they wrote with each other. I am very excited for you to see the entire collection of books your children have written over their 2nd grade year. I will part with them next week and I trust you will enjoy reading them as much as we have throughout the year.

Since we have been reading and writing about our great nation, we decided it would be fun to write about a place we know well: Arizona! We came up with our own lists of things unique to our state. This list was easy for the students to create as so much of our social studies and science this year revolved around our unique desert environment. Then we wrote our own Arizona state anthems using these ideas. We finished off our good drafts by coloring an Arizona flag on the back (personally we think our state has the coolest flag out of all the states!).

 

Mathematics

This week, we started a chapter on Geometry. We have been learning how to identify polygons by the number of their sides and angles. We have also been exploring triangles and quadrilaterals and will learn how to partition polygons into parts with equal areas. The students are having a fun time so far with all of the different polygons, and in particular, the students showed a lot of interest in the Latin roots which most of the polygon names contain (tri, oct, hex, etc.).

 

Social Studies

The students finished and presented their inventions that they worked so hard on for over a week. Here’s the rundown of the companies and their invented products:

 

Team: Michael and Tate

Company: Crazy Machines

Product: The Ultimate Computer which has a party button which creates an instant party, can give you an unlimited amount of money, has a time machine, and homework doer in cursive

Price: $3000.00

 

Team: Sami and Sienna

Company: The Dinner Palace

Product: The Dinner Spreader which automatically makes food and drinks and and serves it right to you on a conveyor belt

Price: $50.15

 

Team: Twyla and Josh

Company: Super Twy Twy

Product: The Rominator robot that combs, cuts, and dyes your hair, paints your nails

Price: $208.90

 

Team: Jady and Elizabeth

Company: The Metal Tent Store

Product: A tent which, when unfolded, metal walls appear on the outside for safety from bears and includes a keypad with a safety lock code

Price: $100.00

 

Team: Nikolas and Ife

Company: Magic Books

Product: A Magic Book that is magical and is for kids which lets you enter physically into the story itself

Price: $20.00

 

Team: Max and Evan

Company: Magic Shoes

Product: Ultimate Shoes which are regular shoes with technology involving discos, flippers, hover capabilities, and are lava-proof 

Price: $5,000.99

 

Team: Ava and Izayah

Company: Avzay

Product: Brisk which is a bike which turns into a skateboard and back again. Comes with stickers 

Price: $99.99

 

Team: Noah and Elia

Company: Flying Car Company

Product: A normal car which transforms into a flying car which can take you places faster

Price: $35,000.00

 

As you can tell, we have quite an inventive class! And what’s more important, these kids understand how effective and efficient they can be when they work together by using productive communication. Awesome!

We also worked on maps using keys and symbols.

 

Science

To solidify the concept of air and how it moves weather in and out, we experimented with large syringes and plastic tubing. We observed how putting pressure on the plunger part of the syringe puts pressure on the air inside. If you compress the air while two syringes are attached to each other by plastic tubing, the air creates pressure which forces the other plunger out of its barrel. It pretty much becomes a canon!

We also learned about the water cycle. Did you know that there’s exactly the same amount of water on earth now as there was millions of years ago? The water keeps following the cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation over and over again! Has your child sung you the water cycle song yet? If not, ask him or her to do so; it is sure to be a household hit!

 

Teaching Time

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

Jady – sloths vs. foxes, Dog’s Purpose book

Michael – fairies, different pets to own

Twyla – pet frog, porch pirates

Max – pottery, science experiment

Ava – big words, dog attacks

Sami – book report, history of Dr. Seuss

Tate – basketball playoffs, famous basketball players

Nikolas – megatooth shark

Elia – America, how to make a rubber band bracelet

Izayah – how to make glass, his mom

Joshua – football pads, his birthday

Sienna – cat facts, American Girl Dolls

Noah – ponies, ocean creatures

Elizabeth – Golden Rule examples, Arizona

Ife – elephants, flower facts

Evan – finger weaving, how to play Pokemon

 

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!

Annie

Marching Ahead!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 26, 2019

Hello Families and Friends of 2B!

April is coming to an end and I am sad to say that this school year too, is quickly coming to an end. We only have about 20 days left together. I’m not sure how that happened, but it did. We have had a lot of fun over the past couple of weeks and are gearing up for a strong and enjoyable finish of 2nd grade!

We have another 100 Book Club member: congratulations to Twyla Burns! Well done 🙂

We had three class birthdays so far this month: a BIG happy birthday to Elizabeth, Twyla, and Sami!

Thank you to all of our wonderful room parents for planning a much anticipated end-of-the-year party for the entire 2nd grade! More details to follow; however, the definite date is May 21st at Playformance. Also, thank you to Monica, Nova, and Angie for planning a super cute Easter party for the kids! What a fun day!

The students worked hard at preparing for their performances on Fine Arts Night! It was a great show and everybody did a wonderful job! Ms. Allen sure got those kids to perform at amazing levels. What a lovely evening!

The kindergarteners, first, and second graders were lucky enough to jump on buses and go on a fun field trip this morning to see the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. They introduced us to different orchestral instruments and played some really great familiar pieces that the students loved! This concert reignited my lifelong desire to be part of an orchestra…not as a piano soloist, but as an orchestra member! So I have decided to take up either the violin or the clarinet. Let’s see what kind of a music student I will be as an adult – haha!

 

 

Spelling/Language

We studied a few tricky spellings this week…the ones you pretty much need to memorize because they completely lack phonetic sense: the -le, -sion, and -cian endings (as in cable, tension, and musician). We brainstormed lists of words with these endings as well as read fun poems and short stories which contained words with these spellings.

We have also been working hard on identifying how prefixes and suffixes change the root word’s meaning. Knowing these word parts helps us to determine word’s definitions! The specific prefixes we studied recently are: dis, pre, in, and im.

In addition to our continued work with verbs, nouns, and adjectives, we were introduced to prepositions. Ask your child about my own 7th grade English teacher named Mr. Adams and his “famous chair routine” to explain what prepositions were. He was just one of the many special teachers in my life who made such an impact that find myself quoting him (and several others, including my folks) to my very own students year after year 🙂

 

Reading

“What does America mean to you?” That is the big question we are exploring in our new and last language arts unit. To answer that question, we are reading, writing, and talking about the United States’ customs, symbols, celebrations, landmarks, and national identity. The story “Apple Pie 4th of July” by Janet S. Wong tells about a little girl who learns that she can celebrate the 4th of July with Chinese food, as well as with parades, fireworks, and apple pie. “America: A Weaving” by Bobbi Katz is a poem which tells how people in the United States celebrate diversity and embrace common American traditions. Some of the vocabulary words we have been working with are: American, belief, culture, difference, expect, language, tradition, and variety.

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!

 

Writing

The students wrote some pretty cute Easter bunny stories. We even had some holiday mashup stories! Come see their books in our author box! We were also introduced to a new genre a few days ago – nature myths! We have researched different models of myths and fables and then brainstormed on what we could write about! There are some great topics that the students are writing about now on their rough drafts: how the rainbow got its colors, how beavers got strong tales, how capybaras got short ears, and many more!

 

Mathematics

We started Chapter 12 which has introduced us to representing and interpreting data . The different aspects of representing and interpreting data shows definite relationships to the real-world because information is constantly being shown using tables and graphs. Modeling data makes it easier to analyze relationships and draw conclusions. We will continue this next week. The kids are loving this chapter so far!

 

Social Studies

We had such a great time participating in assembly lines a few weeks back that we decided to have another one! This time, the students focused more on quality of the products instead of speed of completion. The communication that happened made me very proud; there sure has been a lot of growth in that area – SO IMPORTANT!

We all know that starting a company is not a solo act. So in pairs, we are in the process of inventing our own companies and products (we learned the difference between goods and services, so there is a mixture of products being “sold”), and are coming up with transportation plans to get these products from the factories to the warehouses and finally out to the stores. The kids are having a great time doing this project. We have realized that as we get older, cooperative collaboration is a necessary and important skill to practice and understand!

 

Science

We are continuing to study weather and the air’s effect on it. We have discussed and witnessed the fact that air can move things, BIG things including weather systems!

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.

 

We completed a fun Easter themed STEM challenge last week. The students were given jelly beans, toothpicks, and a plastic Easter egg. In pairs, the students had to create a structure that was at least 6 inches tall, could stand by itself, and hold a plastic egg. Through positive communication, each team was successful and had FUN!

 

Teaching Time

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

Jady – rocks/minerals, snakes

Michael -St. George’s Island, Oklahoma, weather

Twyla – dinosaurs, self defense moves

Max – world records, Notre Dame Cathedral fire, magic milk experiment

Ava – mini books she wrote, her dog Ichiban, her new house

Sami – tooth fairy, ranch she visited, her birthday

Tate – optical illusions , the 50 states

Nikolas – Holy Week, international currency, his oral surgery

Elia – balancing things, WWII, San Francisco 

Izayah – Mindcraft tips, bees

Joshua – optical illusions, Easter

Sienna – how to make a heart, Bermuda

Noah – dinosaurs, how to repair a bike tire

Elizabeth – parts of a human body

Ife – electricity 

Evan – tractors 

 

That’s all, folks! Happy weekend!

Annie

Awesome April!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 5, 2019

Hello Families and Friends of 2B!

We have been having an especially interesting 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 those of you who supported our school at the big Gala! It was a grand night with lots of fun, laughs, and music!

We have a fourth special friend who is now part of the 100 Book Club: congratulations to Elia Lientz! Who will be next??

Way to go, Elia!

 

The students are really looking forward to performing for you at our Fine Arts Night next Friday, April 12th. The students should be dropped off in Ms. Hart’s classroom at 6:30pm (it’s my son’s Spring concert that same night, so I will be arriving to our concert a bit late). The show starts at 7:00 in the gym and the students will be dismissed at the end of the show from our classroom. The students should all come wearing the shirts that Ms. Allen provides to them plus solid black bottoms. It is a super cute show and I can’t wait to see it in its entirety! If you haven’t emailed me or Ms. Allen with a picture of your child with his or her pet or a special stuffy, please do so immediately.

My crazy pups, Zoe and Axe

 

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 the dictionary. We are practicing using both resources to find what I like to call $100 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).

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.

The students 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.

We also participated in a literature study where we learned the difference between first and third person points of view by examining the original Three Little Pigs (told by a narrator) versus The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (told by the wolf). We then assumed the role of one of the little pigs and in the first person voice, we told our sides of the story. What a fun activity!

We had another fun author come to visit us: Jennifer Ward who has written many books based on the Sonoran Desert. She talked to us about the whole writing and publishing process and also gave us some native seeds to plant in our own desert backyards.

Jennifer Ward

Mathematics

Last 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).

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!

Observing the weather

Baby chicks in science class!

 

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.

 

Assembly line teams:

Finished products:

 

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:

Jady – optical illusions, amethysts

Michael -how the brain and eyes work together, a book he wrote

Twyla – trip to Zion, slumber parties

Max – the Thuderbirds, platypus

Ava – the dump, Havasupai Falls

Sami – cats, water fountains

Tate – air flow science experiment, Patagonia

Nikolas – Laetare Sunday, Palm Sunday

Elia – her family, history of gum

Izayah – how to make slime

Joshua – hockey, how to tie a necktie

Sienna – optical illusions, stories she wrote

Noah – paper airplanes, Paw Patrol Live

Elizabeth – how to make a website, dogs

Ife – bluebirds, trees

Evan – Stan Lee, rubber bands

 

That’s a wrap! Have a great weekend!

Annie

7th graders asking us how they can be good buddies next year

Apostles

Simple but effective language games

Josh adulting and teaching how to tie a half-windsor

Happy Spring!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 22, 2019

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!

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 🙂

March 29th 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.

I am beyond excited to announce our third friend to become a member of the 100 Book Club: Michael Boreale! Great job!

 

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!

 

Last week was Love of Reading week. We kicked it off with a special visit from Wilma Wildcat! We were also visited by some local authors and illustrators from Tucson, including cookbook author Jackie Alpers who presented her process of writing and also helped us decorate our own cookies. We visited the book fair and enjoyed a lovely afternoon of reading with cookies and juice. One of my best friends, realtor Kristen Bennett, came to read to us since reading is such an important part of her job! What a great week!

Wilma!Our door for the contest

Kristen Bennett, expert realtor (520)820-1000

Jackie Alpers and cookie decorating

 

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.

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!

The hunt ended in the office!

Daniel O’Murphy’s brother, Max O’Cook

Notre Dame buddies after the leprechaun hunt

 

Reading

“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. 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 have been working on peer editing. This has made students much more careful in their draft writing. Also, every student has the opportunity to offer productive feedback, accept constructive criticism, and master revision.

 

Mathematics

By now, the students know that telling time is an essential skill in their lives. Telling time allows them to relate the duration of an event in their daily routines to reading a clock. These applications provide a purpose for telling time and keeping track of the duration of an event. With the short hand, we tell the hour and approximate how close we are to the next one by where it is pointing. With the long hand, we focus on the distance traveled to tell the duration in minutes since the last hour, and how long until the next hour. We also practiced using the terms “half past” and “quarter past/til.” If the kiddos don’t have an analog watch or clock, I’m putting it on their Christmas lists! (hint, hint) 😉

 

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.

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!

We also had some “social” time with our 8th grade buddies during a buddy play-date. Interacting with the older peers in our immediate community is impactful, helps to build relationships, and is fun for the kids on both ends!

 

Science

A new science unit is about to commence: 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!

The 2nd graders were treated to “Rocket Day” thanks to our beloved St. Michael’s parents, Merle and Deidre Crutchfield, and their Raytheon counterparts and fellow rocketeers, Steve Lubliner and Jerry King. We built our very own model rockets, learned the physics behind rocket propulsion, and then launched them! How exciting to be part of this process! Mr. Sullivan joined us for his very first Rocket Day, too! Thank you, Deidre, Merle, Steve, and Jerry, for volunteering your time and expertise yet again!

Mr. Sullivan rescuing a rocket from a tree!

 

Teaching Time

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

Jady – different types of birds, great horned owl

Michael -hydrokinetics, river otter

Twyla – her trip to Phoenix, tarantulas

Max – how to Moonwalk, mountain lions

Ava – her cat, Peregrine falcon

Sami – RDO company, cactus wren

Tate – bears, Mexican gray wolf

Nikolas – t-rex, black-tailed prairie dog

Elia – dogs, western diamondback rattlesnake

Izayah – morning glories, Gambel’s quail

Joshua – yo-yo, desert tortoise

Sienna – rock climbing, Anna’s hummingbird

Noah – hot wheels, coyote

Elizabeth – deer, beavers

Ife – hummingbirds, black bears

Evan – wildfires, bobcat

 

Have a lovely weekend!

Annie

 

 

March is Here!

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Posted by annieomeara | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 8, 2019

 

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 for our class and school in general. We have had several confirmed cases of the flu and various other germs. The first grade had 12 students absent in one single day due to a high fever and stomach troubles. That sickness has jumped the courtyard over to our side into one of the 3rd grade classrooms. Just be careful! I’m doing everything just short of lysoling the kids when they walk through the door 😉

Our next field trip will be in two weeks – we’re heading to the Desert Museum on March 22nd! 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 the teaching times during the week of March 18-22? 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 that 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!

We celebrated Mardi Gras with a pancake lunch, a steel drum band, and our own class King Cake (thank you to Nikolas’ family for the homemade cake donation!). This has always been my favorite tradition here at St. Michael’s!

Speaking of Nikolas, he is now the second member of the 100 Book Club! Way to go, Nikolas!

 

For Fine Arts Night (April 12), Ms. Allen is asking each student to send a photo of themselves with the family dog (or pet). If the students do not have a pet, they could take a photo with a favorite stuffed animal. Please email these photos to Ms. Allen at Kallen@stmichael.net.

The “Biography in a Can” book reports are due on March 18th! Please have your child send in his or her rough draft if they need help proofreading them.

Also, thank you to Vonn’s mom Robin, for planning our second grade Art Auction items. They are going to be awesome and I can’t wait for you all to see the finished products!

 

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! 

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!

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 math chapter on money and time. We are testing out a new math series and that’s why the homework looks a bit different. So far, the students have been very successful with the following concepts covered in the past couple of weeks: counting by 1, 5, 10, and 25 in terms of coin value, understanding that money amounts can be represented in various ways, using the decimal point to express money amounts, relating money amounts to place value, and solving problems dealing with coins including making change. We will review time telling next.

 

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!

 

Teaching Time

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

Jady – gems, amphibians

Michael – spirograph, jewels

Twyla – trip to Boise

Max – trip to Austrailia

Ava – bearded dragons, history of Teddy bears

Sami – koalas, Monster Jam

Tate – how flashlights work, differences between coyotes and wolves

Nikolas – refugees and asylum, Mardi Gras history

Elia – United Arab Emirates, Guinness Book of World Records

Izayah – lavender, Mindcraft tips

Joshua – his ranch, football gear

Sienna – how to make a nature stick, the beach and seashells

Noah – oceans, tractors

Elizabeth – Eiffel Tower, money

Ife – Monarch butterflies, played a piano piece

Evan – volleyball

 

Have a nice weekend!

Annie

 

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Standardized testing on iPads!

Working on money

Planning the Art Expo project

Peer editing

King Cake!Steel drum band  and Mardi Gras shenanigans 

 

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

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