Mrs. Kristi Smith's Second Grade

Weekly Update - April 1, 2016

Reading Workshop

*** There has been another strategy sheet added to the "Strategy Resources for Parents" folder under the "Content" section of my Edline page. New this week is a strategy sheet for helping children read nonfiction books.***

Students continued to work in their nonfiction book clubs. We focused on our stopping and jotting this past week. During our read aloud time we are reading books as a class that are part of a book club on plants. We have read two books about seeds and have been stopping and jotting together so that I can model different ideas for students to try in their own book club work. We also have been using a RAN (Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction) chart to collect our ideas. We start our charts by listing the facts we already know about the topic we will be studying. Once we start reading we move any ideas that are proven true in the reading to the "Yes" column and any ideas that might be wrong into the "Oops" column. There are also columns for new learning and wonderings. We completed a RAN chart for our class read aloud and students have their now individual RAN charts for their book club topics too.

Writing Workshop

We are continuing our work on the nonfiction writing pilot unit. This week our focus was on the importance of writing to an audience. We talked about how to keep in our audience in the fore front of our minds so that our book is written with that focus. A book written for children will read very differently than a book written for adults. After determining our audience we then focused on how to keep our reader interested in our books by adding descriptions, using comparisons, hooking readers with great leads not just in the introduction but at the beginning of every chapter...and more!

We ended our week going back to our writing checklist to once again review our own writing. This time each student received a checklist that was cut to look like a flyer with tear off tabs. Students chose one chapter from one of their finished books to read. Then they looked at the goals on the checklist and chose one that they needed to work on in that chapter. They then ripped that "tab" off the "flyer" so they remembered the goal they wanted to focus on. Once they made changes to that first chapter then they checked the rest of the book with that goal in mind. The checklist has grade two goals on one side and grade three goals on the other side. Students were able to move between to the two columns based on what their writing needed and if they wanted to challenge themselves.

A photo of our chart from this week is below. Students helped me annotate the chart with some examples and drawings.

Math Workshop

Measurement, measurement and more measurement! That was the focus of our week in math. There is not much in the classroom that was not measured including children and adults! We also did work collecting data and then representing that data in graphs. We created line plot graphs, bar graphs and picture graphs. We used data from our arm span measurements, our favorite fruits and our standing long jumps. Ask the children what happens to the carpet when Mr. Dutton tries to get in on the standing long jump data!

Social Studies

Due to having early release days for parent conferences we took a break from our Social Studies work. We will return to our work this week.

Interesting Tidbits...

In your child's backpack this past Friday...

  • Class Placement Questionaire
  • PTO Thirty One Fundraiser Packet
  • PTO Flyer for Staff Appreciation

*Please note you only received the PTO flyers in the mail of your oldest child. In an effort to save paper PTO sent home one set per family.

This week we continued our efforts in the Fact Fluency Challenge. The children at Allgrove School will be tracking their math fact computations from March 14th through April 8th. Each classroom will be keeping track of the number of math facts the students in the classroom complete correctly. We will be creating paper chains with each link representing a certain number of facts completed. These will be posted on the bulletin boards outside each classroom. We can't wait to see how many facts we can collectively complete over this time period. It will also present a great opportunity to visually represent very large numbers. Help by studying your facts!

Here is how we have been doing...

  • Week #1 Total = 3,113
  • Week #2 Total = 4,145
  • Week #3 Total = 4,942

Upcoming Events...

Hot Lunch for the week of March 21st...
  • Wednesday - cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza
  • Friday - French Toast and Sausage

Fact Fluency Challenge

  • March 14th through April 8th