Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Monday!

Field Trip
Don't forget:  Our field trip to Mechanics Hall is this Thursday!  Students should have a nice, hearty breakfast (there won't be time for a snack before lunch) and should wear comfortable, layered clothing.  Also, ALL students must bring a lunch (and drink) from home - no one will be buying lunch on Thursday!

Thank You!
Thank you all so much for your help and donations last week with our science "experiments!"  The children had a blast "digging" for fossils.  Keep reading/scrolling to see pictures of them at work!

Science Fair
As you know, ALL second grade students will be participating in a Science Fair this year. Presentations will take place over three days, and students in Room 13 will be presenting on Thursday, March 17th from 8:30-9:30 in the Elmwood Cafeteria. All parents and families are invited and encouraged to attend!

Each student should submit a proposal by Wednesday (2/16) for approval. Once approved, students should begin planning their projects/experiments, gathering materials, and maybe even starting to collect data. By the 17th, they should be ready to present their projects/boards and explain their results to an audience.

Please refer to the Science Fair packet for guidelines and samples. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask!!

Weekly Update
I didn't have a chance to update the blog last Friday - so this update will recap all the fun from last week, as well as today's Valentine's Day excitement! :)

MOOOOO!!! If you didn’t know, we read Doreen Cronin’s award-winning story, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type last week. If you have never read this story, I recommend that you do! It’s a fantastic story about some very clever farm animals!  Many students really enjoyed this story and started looking into some of the other stories written by Doreen Cronin. Some of these include: Duck for President, Thump, Quack, Moo, Dooby, Dooby, Moo, Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and many more!  You might consider checking some of these books out at the library/book store!! 

Click here for Doreen Cronin's official website (to see other books she's written, learn about the author, and more!)

Using Click, Clack, Moo as our text, students reviewed some important reading skills and strategies. Specifically, they have been working to create good visual images as they read and to identify cause-and-effect incidents. Please encourage your child to practice these skills/strategies while reading at home! 

Last week, students were responsible for five reading centers this week, including:

GamesWith a partner, students played a spelling game by spelling words with triple-letter blends (scr-, spr-, str-, spl-).

Phonics: Using the Word Family Linking Cubes, students created 12 new words, using the triple-consonant blends str, spr, scr. They then wrote two complete sentences using two of these words.

Writing: Students answered comprehension questions about the story using complete sentences!

Poetry: Students used a thesaurus to find 3 synonyms for 5 different words.  They then used 3 of these new words in their own, unique poem!

Graphic Organizer: Using the short story read in small reading groups, students matched cause and effect events and then sequenced them as they occurred in the story.

This week is a review week in reading.  We are working to solidify some of the important reading skills addressed in the last few weeks.  Students will be assessed on Wednesday.

Last week was another week of triple-letter consonant blends: str spr scr spl.  Check your child's spelling notebook to see how s/he did. This week is a review week - and students can expect a dictation on Friday!!

We have been working on writing more sophisticated second grade sentences this week, by combining two simple sentences with words like and, or, and but. This can be a little tricky – and sometimes children take it too far (ending up with LONG run-on sentences)! We will keep working on it!

Ealier last week, students spent a lot of time exploring and experimenting with the concepts of multiplication and division through various manipulatives and situations.  They were given the Unit 6 Math Assessment on Thursday.  Keep an eye out for these in the next day or two.

After the assessment, we began Unit 7, which focuses on patterns and rules. In the past few days, we have been working on:

a) becoming more aware of and confident in finding “easy 10’s” or complements of 10

          10 + 0         0 + 10
           9 + 1          1 + 9
           8 + 2          2 + 8
           7 + 3          3 + 7
           6 + 4          4 + 6
                   5 + 5SCIENCE
(These are SUPER important!!)

b) counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s - starting at ANY number!

c) describing patterns

In math today, students predicted, tested, and graphed the number of candy hearts in a box of Brach's Candy Hearts.  Many of their predictions were pretty close to the actual number of hearts in the box!  (We are getting much better at estimating!) Here are a few pictures:

Last week, students had the opportunity to experience how paleontologists look for and dig out fossils!! On Tuesday, they saw how different layers of sediment may hold different kinds of fossils.  Take a look at students observing different layers of sediment (jello):

On Wednesday, with the help of several fabulous parent bakers, students participated in a “Cookie Excavation!” Each student excavated two cookies, recording and classifying the “fossils” found within each cookie. Stay tuned for pictures!! 

Students have been learning all about how fossils are formed and how they are found! They should now be familiar with the following concepts (important vocabulary words are highlighted):                       (Please review these ideas with your child!)

* Most animals/plants do NOT become fossils. (Most just die and rot and/or are eaten by other animals/insects.)

* Most/many fossils are found where there was once water. In these cases, the plant/animal dies, sinks to the bottom of the ocean/sea and slowly decays (the soft, fleshy parts rot away). The plant/animal is then covered with sand, dirt, mud and other sediment. Over thousands of years, the layers of sediment increase and the pressure of the layers turns the sediment to rock. The skeleton of the plant/animal eventually disintegrates and water/minerals seep into the empty hole/mold. This then hardens, creating a cast fossil of the plant/animal.

* Most fossils are found in rock, but many fossils are also found in ice and amber.

Our Mystery Reader last week was Mrs. Regan. Mrs. Regan read two fabulous stories:  A Mountain of Mittens by Lynn Plourde and The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg.  I think the children really enjoyed these stories - and many of them could relate to missing mittens!!  Thank you so much for coming in and spending some time with us, Mrs. Regan!

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