Grade 2 News

Newsletter #1: Sharing the Planet

UOI 2: Sharing the Planet

Transdisciplinary Theme

Sharing the planet

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Central Idea

Our actions towards the environment affect the survival of animals and plants

Lines of Inquiry

  • Habitats in the Environment (Reflection)
  • How animals become endangered (Causation)
  • Everyday actions that help the environment (Responsibility)

Field Trip to Chesapeake Bay!

As a PROVOCATION into what we are learning about students visited the Chesapeake Bay this week through the Bay restoration Visitors center. We participated in two workshops in which students were able to dissect an owl pellet, observe birds that were being cared for and could not be released back into the wild, as well as talked about the creatures in the water (both ocean water and Brackish water) and the difference in both habitats. Students caught animals from the Brackish water and presenters helped students to compare hands on between the two living things that lived in the different habitats. Presenters also explained how the habitats were ideal for certain fish and animals and why. It was a great introduction into what we will be learning about.

What Are We Learning This Unit?


Our math instruction in grade two follows our reading instruction and is broken into 3 tasks: Math with a teacher, Math with a partner, and Math By myself. This classroom setup allows students a bit more of an engagement with math as well as targets their instruction and their practice of different skills. Students must complete certain tasks or assignments in the rotations listed and will have a chance to work in various areas on a variety of goals. We will still be reinforcing money during this time for those who need it and also be working on current content standards for the whole class. This method helps all students to be at their maximum level of engagement AND engaged in relevant content to their learning needs.

As a Class: In math this unit, students will engage in activities designed to deepen their conceptual understanding of measurement and relate their previously explored addition and subtraction strategies to length an measurement. They will work exclusively with metric units in order to support place value concepts. Customary units will be introduced later in the year. Students will also expand their understanding of units by bundling ones, tens, and hundreds up to a thousand with straws. Comparing the length of 10 centimeters to these bundles as sets. One unit can be grabbed and counted just like a banana―1 hundred, 2 hundred, 3 hundred. A number in Grade 1 generally consisted of two different units, tens and ones. Now, in Grade 2, a number generally consists of three units: hundreds, tens, and ones. The bundled units are organized by separating them largest to smallest, ordered from left to right. Over the course of this unit, instruction moves from physical bundles that show the proportionality of the units to non-proportional place value disks and to numerals on the place value chart.

In small groups: Along with the classroom curriculum, students are learning through small group and individualized goals that are based on students levels and performance. Students will be targeted for their instruction in areas so when you talk to your students about their day, they may share that they are working on something specific in their math groups- encourage them to share with you their goals or the lessons that they have when they work on "Math with a Teacher"

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

  • Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
  • Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.
  • Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
  • Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.
  • Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve word problems involving lengths that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as drawings of rulers) and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
  • Represent whole numbers as lengths from 0 on a number line diagram with equally spaced points corresponding to the numbers 0, 1, 2, ..., and represent whole-number sums and differences within 100 on a number line diagram.

English Language Arts

As a school we have implemented Daily Five- this is a format for teaching that targets students and their areas of need through five stations. Each station must be taught and practiced before it is added to the students choices for any given session. Students in grade 2 have started working in rotations for Read to Self, Work on Writing, and Word Work and will be working up to Read to a Friend and Listen to Reading in the next unit. Students are focusing on their individual goals in each of these stations and are required to complete all three stations before repeating with new and varied tasks as needed. During this time students are working on achieving their independent goals in various areas including handwriting, spelling, reading, and writing while rotating through these stations.

As a class In ELA students will work with speaking goals to speak clearly. Students will be making a public service announcement that will promote actions that protect the earth. Students will explore rhyme, rhythm, and words that have shades in meaning all in an effort to understand the nuances of communication and being sure that they get their accurate meaning across. Students will also work on writing producing and publishing a their commercial going through the full writing process for the first time this year. Students will explore the importance of going through each step in the writing process and how this helps us become better writers.

As a School: Students will be participating in the school wide spelling bee and so in grade 2 students will putting their mastery word lists on the back burner for now. Students will get their new spelling bee words and should practice these words each night so they can participate in the spelling bee. Spelling wont stop there though! Students will ALSO be exploring spelling conventions in class and spelling rules that can help them understand the way words are spelled so that they can be more successful in this competition.

The Standards we will cover this unit are:

  • Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.
  • Identify words with inconsistent but common spelling-sound correspondences.
  • Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.
  • Know spelling-sound correspondences for additional common vowel teams.
  • Decode regularly spelled two-syllable words with long vowels.
  • Create audio recordings appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., myself, ourselves).
  • Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
  • With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
  • With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Science & Social Studies


In Science students will be exploring animals and living things this unit (Life Science). Students will explore the best place for plants and animals to live and learn about how the natural habitat must meet the needs of the living things that are there.

The science goals for this unit is:

  • Students can Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
  • Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Students will be working on the science skills of:

  1. Observe carefully in order to gather data.
  2. Identify or generate a question or problem to be explored.

Social Studies:

In Social Studies students will:

  • Recognize and describe how making choices affects others
  • Analyze how different points of view in school situations may result in compromise or conflict.
  • Describe how and why people protect or fail to protect the environment
  • Identify, pose questions, and find solutions to a problem facing our planet
  • Explore, Describe and Classify different types of regions around the world (desert, rain forest, woodlands,)

Special Assembly presentation

Provocation for our Unit on how an ECOSYSTEM must be balanced
Students learned that in order for all of the animals and living things in a habitat to be healthy and happy they have to have shelter, water, food, space, air and if just one of these is missing then that habitat can not sustain life.

Other important reminders

Scholastic Book Fairs: I will be submitting October flyers on October 31 so please make sure that you make your orders online or send them back to me before then. If you have lost the flyers- NO WORRIES! November flyers will be going home soon with the November reading logs!

Wish lists: I will keep updating my wish list based on the needs of the class room so I have posted this on BAND for parents to have quick access to it. If there is a time or a special occasion that you would like to purchase something for the classroom please feel free to check out the wishlist.

Student independence: I have noticed both in the classroom but ESPECIALLY on our field trip that many students need to be more independent in self care routines specifically getting their shoes on and off independently as well as tieing shoes correctly. This is a skill that needs to be reinforced at home. Here is an article that can help you when deciding what is appropriate expectations for a second grader:

Water bottles: Please pack a WATER bottle for students- they are required to have a water bottle at each break and throughout the day if they have their water this limits their trips to the fountain which distracts from the instructional time. I have noticed that many students are not bringing water bottles and instead are packing juice/ or other drinks (which they can only have at meal times- so they are quite thirsty). Please also be aware that if you fill their reusable water bottle up with something other than water they will only be allowed to use it at meal times as we want to promote hydration and energy drinks and juice is not as beneficial for hydration as water.

Healthy lunches: Students have been encouraged to bring in balanced meals with something from each of the food groups (dairy, protein, grain, fruit, vegetable) and we do not encourage sweets like cakes, cookies, and such. We have a competition regularly in our lunch room to see which tables bring in the most healthy items. Our school policy states "Please ensure that all food is healthy and nutritious (no junk food or candy)" (Parent Handbook 2017-2018). The candy especially has become an issue and I will start confiscating it to send home with your students if they bring it. Many times students will eat their candy before their meal and then they don't want to eat their food and also the sugar makes it hard for them to settle back into class once they have had it. Thank you for helping make your child's day more successful by adhering to the school policies!

Homework Expectations

  • Handwriting- I will be sending home handwriting packets for you to work on at home with your child- these packets will focus on forming letters the correct way and improving handwriting. Look for this and instructions to come out in November! This will be due every three weeks so students will not have to finish it in one night- this will also count as their grade in writing.

  • Reading Logs: Students will continue with their reading logs as they have been doing. If a log is complete and students have read to meet their goal then they will receive a free personal pizza coupon from Pizza Hut!
  • Math Logs: On the back of the reading logs students will be given their math logs to keep track of the zearn homework and when it is due. Students should fill in the nights that they work on zearn and follow the zearn assignments given on their log that shows which lesson and which module they are working on and when it is due.
  • Spelling Words mastery and Spelling Bee updates:We will be switching to spelling bee lists this unit in celebration and support of our young spellers. In an effort to help them become more successful spellers we will have a spelling focus in class and our spelling words for grade 2 will be put aside until we finish the spelling bee. Students will still be expected to study their spelling bee words both in class and at home so that they can participate with enthusiasm and try their hardest. This will also give students an opportunity to explore spelling foundations and rules in the English language so please encourage them to practice these words at home in place of their spelling mastery words.

Arabic and Quran

In second grade AQI class, it feels like little beautiful zoo. As we are learning the names of the animals and their habitat. Through this line of inquiry we are working on how to express your feeling like and dislike in Arabic which increase their vocabulary intake every day.

Where do I live? What animals are in my area? Where do they live? How to describe the animals.

أنا أعيش في البيت- الأسد يعيش في الغابة- الأسد يعيش في الغابة

The ordinal numbers is part of our activities too.

Here it comes to our favorite time in the class which is memorization& understanding of Surat Al-Ghashiya – Number 88 (reflect on the creations of Allah).

  • Learn and explore the animals in the Qur’an.

  • Tajweed: Practice on Shaddah (الشدة).

Islamic Studies

For Islamic studies part:

Students will learn

  • Hadith about taking care of animals (The women with the cat and the man with the dog).

  • The person who mistreating the cat, and what is his punishment.

  • The person who helped a dog.

• Miracles of prophets (prophet Muhammed with the camel).

• Hadith about responsibility to animals and plants

(إذا قامت الساعة وفي يد أحدكم فسيلة فليغرسها ).

• Seerah: The year of the elephant (Birth of prophet Muhammad).


Art experiences

  • Stylised simple drawing.

  • creating a storyboard and intro to whiteboard animation.

  • Expressing opinions and conveying messages using Art.

Targeted MSDE Standards

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to organize knowledge and ideas for expression in the production of art.
  • Investigate a variety of ways that artists develop ideas and organize the elements of art in response to what they see, know, and feel
  • Identify sources for ideas and procedures used to create artworks
  • Identify color, line, shape, texture, form, space, and selected principles of design, such as pattern, repetition, and contrast in artworks that convey what they see, know, and feel

Upcoming Events

Here are some things to look forward to:

October 31st:

Inquirer Passports are due

Book logs are due

Scholastic orders are due

No School for Students on November 13, 22,23, 24 for PD and Holiday

Neighborhood Gift Basket Project- Collection going until 11-20-2017

Feeding the Homeless in Baltimore

Sunday, Nov. 19th, 1pm

Location: St. Vince de Paul Church 120 N. Front St. Baltimore, MD 21202

Join us as we work together to give back to our local community. This is always such a fulfilling experience for all. We set up our food station in front of the St. Vince de Paul Church in Baltimore and students get to work passing out food and beverages to the less fortunate. Anyone interested can sign up on the spreadsheet below.