Saturday, February 28, 2015

Our week in second grade

It's been another busy and productive week in second grade. 
We're focusing on reading for meaning during readers' workshop. Our focus has been on character development and using skills like visualizing, making connections, and predicting as we get to understand the main characters we read about. Our goal is to read beyond what the author has told us and be able to make inferences that will allow us to imagine and even put ourselves in various characters shoes. This work is all focused with a greater sense of comprehension in mind. 
We've also begun literature circles in some guided reading groups. This is super exciting as readers are assigned specific roles they are held accounted for throughout the reading process. Even more exciting is that these roles help to emphasize comprehension as well as develop engaging conversations among one another discussing feelings and thoughts about the book being read. 
We've also explored with our first close read activity this week as a class. Small groups were given short passages to read. This is another activity that drives comprehension through reading the text three different times-each with a direct purpose. Your child was given a guiding question to think about while reading. Guiding questions get your child thinking above and beyond (outside the box if you will). 
First read: reading for general understanding then discuss
Second read: reading again looking for key words that relate to guiding question. 
Third read: reading for meaning. Reading while highlighting supporting details or examples that support their answer to the guiding question. Proving their response. 
In the end, students are independently writing a constructed response answering the guiding question. The conversations are outstanding throughout this process as well as the sense of respect and team work. I am so proud of your second grader! 


Friday, February 27, 2015

Word of the day...FLUENCY

Ask your child what it means to be a fluent reader. 
They'll probably tell you that it's when you read like you speak or when you don't sound like a robot while reading or when you pause at punctuation. 
No matter how they explain it to you, they are working very hard practicing to be fluent readers. We even learned that repetition of "easier" texts can help us and...POETRY! 
The pictures above are pictures taken from our first poetry slam. Ms. Johnsons' class and ours partnered up to share some of our favorite poetry. This was such a fun way to showcase our fluency. We hope to make this a monthly tradition in second grade. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

We are experts!

We were so excited for our Arctic Animal Presentations. We were wondering:
Will there be a lot of people? 
Should I read my informational text or just highlight it?
What will people ask me? 
These were great questions and we were ready. The giggles and even some jumping jacks before were so exciting to see. We were ready to share our hard work with others and teach them what we know. 
Thank you so very much for coming by. The turn out was out of this world. The smiles were contagious and the dialogue was just amazing. This project was filled with rigor and perseverance. It was so nice to share it with so many. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Our second graders will be displaying their dioramas and nonfiction texts in the gym on Thursday, February 12th from 10:30-11:30 for you to see. 
Come ask these experts about their arctic animal and check out the wonderful work they've done. 

Check this out!!

What is a balance point?

How do we know if an object is stable? 

What do we know about counterweights?

All of this we have learned through balancing arches and triangles-balancing with one finger and at times with only a craft stick. 
Lots of smiles when we figured it out. 

Now that we know where to place counterweights-this is easy! 
Ask your child about balance. 

Making the Best of it!

The cold weather has kept us indoors a few days between last week and this week.  We're making the best of it with GoNoodle. GoNoodle is a super fun program that provides us with indoor recess breaks. We get moving and definitely break a sweat before recess is up. 

Thank goodness for opportunities to move. We have so much fun using GoNoodles' indoor recess activities. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Our investigation continues...can we balance an arch or a triangle? How about both together? How do counterweights help us? How can we identify whether an object is stable just by looking at it? 

These are just some of the questions we spent investigating during today's balance unit. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Working with money!

Today we worked with partners to collect $0.50. Teams rolled the die and collected the right coins to match their roll. The challenge is that students were asked to trade coins when appropriate too!