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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

Class News

It’s been a busy two weeks since returning from break! We’ve launched several new units and our new study, Birds: A Study of Animal Adaptation. Start scanning the skies and neighborhood parks for New York City birds. Share what you know about birds with your second grader at home.

  • Sign up for parent teacher conferences if you haven’t already
  • Half day 3/15 (for those parent teacher conferences)
  • Library books returned by Thursday, March 21
  • School closed for Spring Break, March 30-April 6

In reading and writing, we have concluded our unit on fiction writing/study of Kevin Henkes and are beginning to learn about poetry. We’re reading tons of poems and thinking about what similarities they share and how they differ from prose. Students have noticed that poems can rhyme, be funny, or have repeating words. They noticed that poems often have “beautiful language” and that, “It can be anything you want it to be.” Kids have started thinking about what inspires poets and finding their own inspiration to write poems on a variety of topics ranging from the stars to Mexican food. They’ve had a chance to share poems with peers and give feedback.

In math, we’ve been working on place value and unitizing through the Peck Slip t-shirt context. In this context, the PTA has a storage closet full of piles of Peck Slip School t-shirts and students are helping them organize the shirts (as well as new orders that come in) into boxes (100 shirts), rolls (10 shirts), and loose ones (single shirts). Kids have noticed that the same number of shirts can be organized in multiple ways. For example, 137 shirts could be organized in 1 box, 3 rolls, and 7 loose ones OR in 13 rolls and 7 loose ones. All this work is helping children think more deeply about how place determines value in numerals and how to use that information to add and subtract.

Enjoy the weekend!

Class News

Hello Parents! What a productive couple of weeks. Thanks to all who joined us for our Subway Celebration and for those who weren’t able to, enjoy the pictures!

  • No school 2/16-2/25 (see you all on Monday 2/26)
  • Sign up for parent teacher conferences if you haven’t already
  • Half day 3/15 (for those parent teacher conferences)
  • Don’t forget to fill in your school surveys!

This week we celebrated subways. Students spent time over the last few months learning how to research, interview experts and write about the subway system. They constructed models and wrote nonfiction books to demonstrate their learning. All 3 second grade classes came together to create our own Peck Slip subway, platform, and station agent booth.

Your writers have been thinking deeply about Kevin Henkes and using the crafts that he does to write their own stories and develop their writer’s voice. Writers practiced using dialogue, choosing characters with strong traits, realistic problems with realistic solutions, and “wow words.”

To augment our written work, readers have been continuing to explore Kevin Henkes books to locate specific crafts he uses to make his writing interesting or, as the kids put it, “to make you want to keep reading and reading.”

Second grade mathematicians have spent their time split between organizing data, reading line plots and bar graphs, and thinking about numerals up to 1,000. They have thought about numbers as being composed of hundreds, tens, and ones and practiced reading and writing them.

Have a great break and we will see you on 2/26!

Thea and Gretchen

Class News

Second graders have been busy finalizing small-group subway projects and nonfiction writing in preparation for our celebration which is scheduled for Thursday, February 15, 8:45 AM. The kids are excited to show off all they’ve learned!

A few reminders…

  • Subway Celebration, Thursday, February 15, 8:45 AM
  • Library visit. Thursday, February 15 (send books back to school before then)
  • No school, Friday, February 16-Monday, February 26

We’ve launched an author study in reading and writing. Kids have been excited to read books by and think about crafts used by Kevin Henkes. In reading, they’re identifying crafts Henkes uses to make his work more exciting and interesting. In writing, their planning and starting to write fictional stories inspired by Henkes’s books. Their stories are about kids who have real problems, strong character traits, and always end happily…just like Kevin Henkes!

In math, we concluded our subtraction unit and are delving into a study of data, graphing, and attributes. Kids have learned a new game – Guess My Rule with Emoji – that requires them to sort and identify images by multiple attributes. We’ve gathered data through class surveys and are practicing organizing, representing, and interpreting data sets. Kids are learning to use bar graphs, line plots, and tallies to represent.

In morning math mini lessons, we’ve thought more about the open number line and how to use landmarks to help place non-landmark numbers within 1,000. Kids had interesting discussions about how they decided where to place numbers. For example, students decided that 373 should go in between 300 and 400, but closer to 400 since 350 is the middle and 375 is in between 350 and 400. Here, “money landmarks” like 25, 50, and 75 helped kids think more deeply three-digit numbers in relation to one another.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thea and Gretchen

Class News

Happy New Year! It’s been another busy week in 2-312. Many thanks for all the donations of cardboard boxes and poster board. We’re all set for now! Subway projects are underway and kids have been super excited about their creations.

A few reminders…

  • No school Monday, January 15, MLK Day
  • Library is Thursday, January 18, please return books to school before then
  • Field trip to ride an elevated train (J from Fulton to Marcy Avenue) is on Thursday, January 18

This week, we spent some time learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. We read two books – Martin’s Big Words and Happy Birthday Martin Luther King – and used them to start conversations about what we know about him, what we wonder, and why he was so important. Children talked about how he wanted love, not hate, and about his dream for a better world. On Friday, kids had a chance to do some thinking and writing about their own hopes and dreams for the future.

In math, second graders are learning about subtraction. They are playing games to further their understanding of part/whole relationships (a key big idea for subtraction), such as Close to 100 and Unroll a Square. They have explored story problems that can be solved using subtraction and are using the bead string as a model to think about subtraction as either adding up or removing (ex: 100-75=? is the same as 75+?=100). Keep practicing those subtraction fact cards at home!

In reading, each child started their own “personal library.” You’ve probably seen this come home in your child’s blue reading folder. Each week, the kids shop for new books on Monday. This week, they started setting reading goals by recording their chosen books. Once a book is finished, they can color it in and watch the library grow over time. Discussions this week about reading process have touched on the importance of reading one longer book at a time, giving a book a real go before deciding you don’t like it (the class decided reading half was fair), and how to use personal libraries to keep track, motivate, and inform future book shopping decisions.

In writing, we’re continuing to work on non-fiction. This time, writers are focusing on subways. They began by gathering all the facts they know about subways and sorting them into groups with headings and guiding questions (ex: Jobs: Who works on the subway? or Fare: How do you pay?). This week, they’ve expanded their notes into longer form writing and learned how to write introductory sentences at the beginning of each section (ex: “New York City is lucky to have the subway,” and, “Do you want to know what New York was like back then? I will tell you!”). They also continued to use but, because, and so to elaborate on facts.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thea and Gretchen

Homework Choice Boards are here!

Second Grade Homework Choice Board

15 minutes of Dreambox15 minutes of a board game (SET, Yahtzee, Scrabble Jr., Boggle, Monopoly, Bananagrams, Zeus on the Loose)15 minutes of a card game with chips (Poker or Black Jack)Write a thank you note, wish list, shopping list, or list of favoritesPractice tying your shoes and zipping your winter coat
Write a letter to a family member or friendMake dessert for your family following a recipeRead a book to a family member or friendMemorize a poem you loveRoll coins of loose change
Play charadesSet the table in a fancy way with place cards and menusMemorize your phone number, address, and parents’ full namesPlan how much money you need to take a trip to the grocery storePlan a walking trip or subway trip in the neighborhood
While reading, talk to your parent about what you know and what you wonder about your bookWrite a blurb or review for a book you’ve readRead a review (restaurant, book, movie, activity) to make a plan for  the weekendWrite a review for a movie, TV show, or restaurantWhat coins are in my pocket? Choose an amount and figure out what coins you could have.