May Scoop

News from Room 5


We're into May and our class is blooming with a variety of Spring activities. Our class has been preparing for the STAR testing which begins May 6-10. Second Grade has been focusing on our transition to the Common Core which has a somewhat different approach to understanding and learning related to Language Arts and Math. In 2014, the standardized testing will look very different. Students will be required to demonstrate depth of knowledge through drawing models, writing, providing evidence for answers. The Common Core standards are not exactly aligned to the current STAR test. Because of this reason, next year's 2nd grade students will not be given STAR test since the state has decided to suspend 2nd grade testing for year 2013-2014. Should you want to become more informed with the Common Core Standards, follow this CA Dept. of Education link:

Our first Field Trip was a success and a day filled with hands-on science activities. Our fabulous chaperones did a fine job of guiding our students through the explorations and making sure they stayed with our group. Students enjoyed the "Born to Be Wild" IMAX Film. This was such a heartwarming documentary about the life work and dedications of Dr. Galdikas and Daphne Sheldrock. Students were taken to the rainforests of Borneo and the Kenyan savannah to watch animals being rescued, rehabilitated, and brought back to the wild.

Our next field trips include Legoland on May 31st and the San Diego Zoo on June 7th.

I will be sending home a Legoland field trip form this week. The following parents were the first to respond to my letter and will be going with us at the student rate price ($12) entry fee)...Mrs. Waters, Mrs. Wolkon, Mrs. Ramos. For other parents who would like to attend, entry is $22. If you have an annual pass, you will not have to pay. Please send your monies with your child's field trip form and if you write a check, please write it to "Legoland". Mr. and Mrs. Phillips will not need to pay; they were our biggest donors.

Focus Areas for this Month

•Language Arts: We are now into Unit 6 with the theme, "The World Around Us". This theme involves different types of animal habitats, weather and natural resources. Comprehension skills will include author's purpose (persuade, inform or entertain), key ideas & details, comparing & contrasting, analyzing text structure, monitoring comprehension, and identifying the problem and solution. As your child reads at home, they can be practicing those skills. Grammar skills include adjectives, use of articles a/an, synonyms & antonyms, adjectives that compare, and adverbs. We will be practicing these skills in centers and through creative lessons.

•Math: This month we will cover the concepts related to fractions, attributes of solid figures (vertex, edge, side), and 3 digit addition & subtraction. Another emphasis will be on word problems and the variety of approaches for solving these problems.

•Writing Development: Students have been developing their own opinions about specific topics (i.e. Favorite ice cream, Is it a good idea to grow a jellybean?,...) Not only do students have to form an opinion, but it must be validated with at least 3 reasons with examples to support their feeling about something. We will continue to develop this concept as we prepare for the district writing "opinion" writing" prompt.

•Science: Rocks & Minerals

•Cooking/Gardening: This month students will be growing flowers and applying their measurement skills out in the garden. In cooking, we will cook up some metamorphic rocks; they are actually edible and not hard as a rock.

May Showers

Speeches, Up-coming Dates, Thank Yous, Wish List

Speech Topics

Week of May 6: Geometric Figures

Use the scavenger hunt page given to you with your homework packet to help you with this speech. Talk about the various solid figures and provide examples of them from your world.

Week of May 13: Opinion: Focus on an opinion about a particular subject. Make sure you give at least three reasons for your opinion and include an example for each reason.

Week of May 20: Share a favorite poem or write your own.

Week of May 27: No speeches since this is a short week.

*Speeches should have 3 to 5 message points and run about two minutes long. Please come prepared!

Pyramid of Success Character Trait for May:

Last month, Ashley Arner was honored with the Pyramid of Success award for "Skill".

Special Dates

May 3 Dad's Club Pancake Breakfast

May 4 Beach Ball

May 6-10 STAR testing

May 6-May 24 School-wide MAP testing

May 17 School Sing

May 20-24 Teacher Appreciation Week

May 31 Parent Volunteer Tea, Fitness Friday & Legoland Field Trip

June 7 Zoo Field Trip

June 11 Poetry Party End of the Year presentation

Special Thank You's

• A big thank you to all my parent chaperones who visited the Ruben H. Fleet Space Theater (Mr. & Mrs. Phillips, Mr. Svinterud, Mr. Granholm, Mrs. Hatem, Mrs. Lyons, Mrs. Arner)

• Student tummy smiles to those bringing healthy snacks during testing week. (Mrs. Waters, Mrs. Wolkon, Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. Granholm, Mrs. Hatem, & Brown Family)

Wish List for the Classroom

1. Little prizes for our Treasure Chest

2. Board Games: Yatzee, Headbandz. Battleship, Scrabble, Monopoly