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Class News

These final days of school are very busy with projects and fun! Take note of the following end of year reminders…

  • Friday, June 15, no school
  • Thursday, June 21, Bird Study Celebration!, 8:45-9:15 in 312
  • Thursday, June 21, Library, this is the children’s last visit of the year so be sure all books make it back to school
  • Friday, June 22, Summer Birthday Celebration, all morning (kids and teachers only)
  • Tuesday, June 26, last day of school and early dismissal
  • Report cards go home on the last day of school, if you’re child will not be in attendance be sure to provide us with a stamped, self-addressed manila envelope so that it can be mailed to you.

In Bird Study, kids have been busy planning and creating group projects. Each child thought about what they wanted to teach about birds and sketched ideas for their project. They were paired with classmates who had a similar ideas and have been working furiously to put the finishing touches on their work. You’ll see the amazing results at our celebration next week.

In reading, kids have been working in small groups to explore patterns in books and think about how those patterns inform their understanding of the author’s purpose or lesson. We did this work using read aloud as a whole group earlier in the year. Kids are now using recording sheets to keep track of their ideas during independent reading and have a chance to talk through their thinking with peers. In groups, they’re working hard to build off of one another’s ideas and make deeper meaning.

In writing, we’re doing a short unit on paragraph writing. Kids have learned about the important parts of a paragraph (topic sentence, supporting details, and concluding sentence) and understand what role each plays in the construction of a paragraph. They have had a chance to use “quick outlines” to plan paragraphs using topic sentence prompts and later used those outlines to write concise paragraphs. Next week, they’ll use their new-found paragraph writing skills to write informational labels to go along with their Bird Study projects.

In math, we’ve started a unit on problem solving. Each day, kids are tackling a new and challenging problem. As a group, we’re talking about strategies and solutions and developing a list of things mathematicians do when problem solving. The list includes don’t give up and take a risk, guess and revise, use a table or organize, draw or diagram, slow down, and use what you know. When reflecting on their work, many kids have emphasized how important it is for them to use don’t give up and take a risk especially when faced with particularly challenging problems. Take a look at this puzzler the kids worked on earlier this week:

A bat and a ball cost one dollar and ten cents. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Next week will be another busy week of finishing projects and beginning to reflect on the year. See you at our celebration on Thursday!

Thea and Gretchen

Class News

What a fun week. The concert was amazing and it was great to see so many families there. The weather is warmer, bird study is really heating up and the kids are excited for everything. Here are some important dates to keep in mind:

 

June 7, No School, professional development for teachers

June 8, Field Trip to the Battery for Birding

June 11, No School, clerical day for teachers

June 15, No School, Eid-al-Fitr

June 21, Bird Study Celebration, 8:45-9:15

June 22, Summer Birthday Party, kids and teachers only

June 26, Last Day of School, 11:40 dismissal

As our Bird Study celebration draws near, we have been thinking a lot about how birds have adapted to meet the resources in their environment. Some of the adaptations we have considered are color, nests, feathers, beaks and food. Next week your ornithologists will begin to think about how they want to express their learning when parents and families come to visit on 6/21 (Grandparents always welcome as well!)

In math, we have been learning about time. Students are learning how to read an analog clock and to think about time as a 24 hour cycle. They have had fun creating their own timelines and have begun to think about time as a duration. You can follow up at home by reading clock faces (looking for the landmark minutes of 15, 30, and 45) and figuring out a timeline for your day with questions like: “If reading books before bed starts at 7:30 P.M. and goes for half an hour, what time will it end?”

In writing, students had just finished their last narrative nonfiction. They have used storytelling crafts to create interesting and engaging works of nonfiction about topics they are “experts” in. Writer’s have worked in partnerships to give each other suggestions about what to add or change and have revised their own work based on a peer’s ideas. We can’t wait for you to see their Bird Study Narrative Nonfiction books when you come in for our celebration!

In reading, students have continued to work in small groups with a teacher to explore patterns in their reading and to think about what lessons the patterns are trying to teach.

Have a fantastic weekend and we will see you all on Monday!

Class News

It’s hard to believe is already mid May! The end of the year is upon us and it’s a busy time. Take note of these important dates:

May 28, No School, Memorial Day

May 24, Library, send books back to school

May 24, Field Trip to Central Park

May 31, 8:45-9:35, Music Performance

June 7, No School, professional development for teachers

June 8, Field Trip to Central Park

June 11, No School, clerical day for teachers

June 15, No School, Eid-al-Fitr

June 21, Bird Study Celebration, 8:45-9:15

June 22, Summer Birthday Party, kids and teachers only

June 26, Last Day of School, 11:40 dismissal

In reading, kids have been immersed in narrative nonfiction. We’ve read aloud tons of books in the genre and students have had a chance to browse them and record noticings on their own. Together, we’ve charted a list of traits that are often found in narrative nonfiction books. They include true facts, but are often told through a narrative structure or with a storytelling voice. They usually have drawings instead of photographs along with labels and text boxes to teach the reader. Their writers use “wow words”, “fancy fonts”, and “exciting titles” to hook the reader in.

In writing, your second grader is working on writing their own narrative nonfiction pieces about their study birds. Most kids decided to use a narrative structure to teach true facts about their birds. Some stories involve a child and parent going birding and others have a class going on a birding field trip. They have a list of narrative nonfiction traits to review and are trying to incorporate a variety of those ideas into their writing. Kids have enjoyed using speech bubbles (with real facts!) to show how one character is teaching another about birds.

In math, we concluded our unit on measurement. Kids wrestled with a problem about a “broken ruler” in which only around 3 to 11 inches were left. Teachers asked kids to use this tool to measure various items and come up with ideas about whether or not it could be used to measure accurately. We had a lively discussion about what the correct measure was as some kids got 8 inches, some got 4, and a few got the accurate measure which was 3. We revisited the “broken ruler” the next day and kids became convinced (supported by the ideas of their classmates) that it could be used to measure accurately if paid attention to the space rather than the numbers. Through this task and rich class discussion, the kids furthered their understanding of measurement as distance.

Enjoy the weekend!

 

 

 

 

Class News

It’s been yet another busy (and warm!) week in 2-312! Students have been hard at work finishing writing, exploring new books through read aloud, and learning about measurement.

A few reminders…

  • Thursday, May 10, Library (make sure your child brings their book back to school)
  • Friday, May 18, Field trip to Central Park to go birding (return permission slips next week)
  • Thursday, May 24, Field trip to Central Park to go birding (return permission slips next week)
  • Thursday, May 24, Library (make sure your child brings their book back to school)
  • Monday, May 28, No school, Memorial Day

In reading, we’re using long picture book read alouds to think about patterns in books and how those patterns inform the author’s message. We read each book twice. Once to allow kids time to share what they notice and wonder about the story and once to record patterns they’ve found in the text. Small reading groups are beginning to practice this on their own. Towards the end of this week and next week, we’ll be exploring narrative nonfiction and thinking about how it varies from traditional nonfiction.

In writing, kids are finishing up writing field guide entries on their study birds. Some of your second graders shared this work with you at our Family Morning. While writing, kids worked on finding ways to “hook” the reading in using questions and exciting facts while sharing key information about their bird. Next week, they’ll edit and assemble the finished products in preparation for “publishing” our class field guide.

In math, we finished our unit on fractions and began exploring measurement. Kids used rulers to measure and compare the distance they could jump to a partner’s jump. They wrestled with a problem comparing two jumps (one measured in centimeters and one in inches) and thought about the inverse relationship between the total measurement and the size of the unit used. Next week, we’ll develop a list of measuring rules to help with accuracy and deepen their understanding of measurement as distance.

Enjoy the lovely, warm weather!

Thea and Gretchen

Class News

It’s been a busy two weeks since returning from Spring Break. We started several new units and delved more deeply into our study of birds.

A few reminders…

Tuesday, April 24, field trip to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (pack a lunch for your child unless you ordered school lunch from us)

Thursday, April 26, Library (be sure kids bring their books back to school)

Thursday, May 3, Family Thursday!, 8:45-9:15

Monday, May 28, no school, Memorial Day

In Reading and Writing, kids are learning about bird field guides. In reading, they’ve thought about what information field guides include, how birders use them, and how they are organized. Your young birder has had to time to explore field guides during reading and use them for research during writing. Kids completed researching their study bird and worked on organizing facts into categories. They spent time naming their headings and adding facts to sections that needed more. Next week, they’ll start writing sections and putting together their own field guide pages.

In Bird Study, we’ve been reading and writing about bird beaks. Kids each chose one beak type to write and draw about. During one discussion, they thought about which beak type they would most like if they were a bird and why. In preparation for the study ahead, kids practiced drawing their study birds using life-like detail. They completed three drafts and received feedback from peers on what to add or change to make their picture more realistic. Next week, they’ll outline and color their best work.

For bird fun at home, check out these bird cams! We had a chance to preview them in the classroom and kids were super excited about what they saw.

Peregrine Falcon nest at 55 Water Street

Cornell Lab Bird Cams (various birds, including hawks, owls, and song birds, the “feeder watch” is especially good for seeing lots of species in a short period)

In Math, we finished our unit on early multiplication and began a new unit on fractions. We started off by thinking about halves as two equal parts of one whole. Kids worked on finding halves of shapes and groups of objects. They thought about sets of objects that can be easily split into two equal groups vs. those that can’t and made connections to even/odd numbers. Later in the week, they worked with sets (mostly food) where totals were odd numbers, but could be split evenly using halves (ex: 7 sandwiches split among two friends would be 3 1/2 sandwiches each). Next week, they learn about thirds and quarters.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thea and Gretchen

Class News

What an exciting 2 weeks! We have been busy beginning our new study and spending time talking to families over parent teacher conferences. Some important dates to remember:

  • Spring Break: No school March 30-April 6
  • Field Trip to the American Museum of Natural History April 20 (permission slips to go home April 9)
  • Field Trip to Jamaica Bay Wild Life Refuge April 24
  • Next Library visit (send those books in!) April 12

During reading, second graders have been exploring poetry. They have looked at simile, metaphor, “wow words” (descriptive language), and alliteration/repetition and discussed how it helps the writer express a feeling or mood. Then, students got to use these new ideas to write their own poems testing out figurative language in order to describe something meaningful to them. Poets got a chance to share poems with peers and create an anthology of their favorite poems (both ones they wrote and ones they read). Finally, second grade poets got to perform a poem they penned for their parents and caretakers during our family morning today!

In math, your kids have been exploring the properties of multiplication. As a class we created a list of items that come in groups of more than 1 (ex: eggs-12, eyes-2, octopus legs-8). Together they have learned about skip counting, creating an array or ratio table, reversing the order of the two factors (ex: “Why does 2×6, 2 groups of 6 result in the same answer as 6×2, 6 groups of 2?”), and regrouping (ex: “I can solve 2×11 by knowing 2 groups of 10 is 20 and then adding 2 more.”). Mathematicians have explored multiplication through games, story problems, and the context of a grocery store where fruits and vegetables are displayed in equal groups.

Exciting time during Bird Study too! We have thought a lot about how we want to study birds and taken a look at some different residents and migrants of the city. We have thought about what a habitat must contain for it’s inhabitants and your ornithologists have gotten a chance to select a NYC bird that they would like to research in the coming weeks.

Have a wonderful break and we look forward to seeing everyone after the spring holiday!

Thea and Gretchen