Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Vacation!

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N! Woo-Hoo! I hope you all have something fun and exciting planned for vacation next week! You deserve it! As for me, I plan on getting lots of rest and relaxation so I am ready for the upcoming 6-week stretch through March! I can’t wait to hear all about your wonderful adventures next week! Stay healthy!

Science Fair
The Science Fair is an exciting event in which all second grade students at Elmwood participate. The fair is scheduled for March 16-18 in the Elmwood Cafeteria. Our presentation date is Thursday, March 17 from 8:30-9:30am.  Please refer to the Science Fair Packet to help your child structure and carry out his/her project, as well as plan/create the presentation board. Next week might be a great time to get started!Please let me know if you have any questions!

Persuasive Letters
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to students’ persuasive letters yet, PLEASE visit over vacation! They are WONDERFUL!! Feel free to send the link to friends and family as well!  We will be taking a look at the site in Computer Lab after vacation and I know students would love to see comments from their loved ones!!  Here is the link again: 

If you check the results of the poll, it seems that the children are quite persuasive!!  92% of parents have been convinced!! (Nice job, boys and girls!)  If you haven't completed the poll yet, parents, please do!! 

Thank You
I have to take a moment to thank Mrs. Chabot, Isabelle's grandmother, for creating 24 beautiful covers for our individual white boards - complete with velcro closures.  When Isabelle's mom let it slip that her mother had made similar covers for another second grade classroom last year, I used MY persuasive language to try and convince her to do the same for us!  We are all SO thankful that she was able and willing to make them!!  So, if you are reading this Mrs. Chabot - thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from all of us in Room 13!!

Our Week in Review:
This week was a review week for us in reading. We did not have a new story in our reading anthology, but we did review all of the reading skills and strategies that we have been working on the past 5 weeks. On Wednesday, students applied their knowledge and understanding of these important concepts as they completed the Unit 3 Reading Assessment.

In reviewing these assessments, I discovered that many children still demonstrate difficulty identifying causes and effects within stories. Many children also still have trouble creating summaries. Please continue working with your child to do both of these things! I know that they are difficult skills, and I don’t expect them to be mastered in second grade, but they are important for reading comprehension - and the more practice students can get, the better! If you have any questions about this, please let me know. I would be happy to give suggestions/ideas!

Although the words were new, our spelling list this week was a review of the phonics and spelling rules/patterns we have been studying since the beginning of January. These patterns include:

Long e:
e (she), ea (cheat), ee (seed), y (pretty)

Long u:
u_e (mule), ui (bruise)

ch (chat), sh (shy), th (throw), wh (what)

Other Digraphs:
ph (telephone), tch (watch)

Triple Consonant Clusters:
str (strap), spr (spray), scr (scrap), spl (split)

As always, the review spelling test was a dictation in which students are expected to write an entire dictated sentence – complete with appropriate capital letters and punctuation. How did your child do?

Students continued exploring and learning about different mathematical patterns this week.  On Friday, we combined reading and math with the story about the “Wubbles” – funny little creatures that double every night!  We had fun determining how many Wubbles we would have at the end of 2 days, 3 days, and 1 whole week!  We then learned that Wubbles will “halve” when you give them half a blink (a wink) and students worked to figure out how many winks we would need to get back to one Wubble!  J 

On Tuesday, students participated in an activity in which they pretended to be paleontologists.  Working in teams of 3-4, students listened to a little story/script and gradually “discovered” fossils of an unknown animal.  They worked with their fellow colleagues to try and piece together the bones and determine what kind of animal it could be.  They conferred with other teams and eventually consulted a reference manual.  It was interesting to see what their final conclusions were! 

Later in the week, students played the fossil game, A Twist in Time (which can be played at home, too!).  This game gives students an idea of how difficult it is for animal or plant parts to actually become fossilized!

On Friday, the children learned more about why fossils are important. 
   1. They learned that fossils give us clues about the plants and animals that lived long ago.  People were not around WAY back then, so we do not have any written records describing how things were!  Fossils give us clues - and we use these clues to create theories (predictions)! 
   2. Fossils also give us information about what the Earth was like long ago.  As a class, we talked about Pangea - the "super-continent."  After watching a short video clip and creating a small flip-book, I think students understand the idea/theory that the continents used to all be one giant continent!  Similar rocks and fossils found on opposite sides of the world help to validate this theory!

On Wednesday, students dove into another biography - that of Florence Nightingale.  As students now know, Florence Nightingale was an amazing woman who helped better hospitals and healthcare world wide!  Known as "the lady with the lamp," Nightingale was tireless in her efforts to heal/help injured soldiers and poor people at a time when it was not "proper" or "ladylike" to do so!  Florence Nightingale helped establish the first training school for nurses and because of her, nursing is now a very well-respected profession!

Here are a few links for those children that want to learn/do more:

Our last Mystery Reader before vacation was Mr. McCarron!  Gavin was so excited to have his father here as a reader - I think he was quite surprised!  Mr. McCarron read two of his "favorite books" - One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss and I Spy Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold.  The children thoroughly enjoyed listening to these two funny stories and we all appreciated opportunity to just listen and relax before the end of a long week!  Thank you so much for coming in, Mr. McCarron - you are welcome any time! :)

** Pictures to come!  Apparently, I've run out of space because I've posted so many pictures of the kids!!  I am working on a solution - I appreciate your patience!! :)

No comments: