Ms. Wertheim's World Changers

News and Resources from Room 203

Week of September 8, 2015

Hi Room 203 families! I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend filled with some fresh air, sunshine, rest, and relaxation. I can't believe we are already in the second week of September. This year is already flying by!

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What we're learning about this week:

  • Reading- We are continuing to build stamina during Daily 5. Daily 5 provides students with choice and independence during our reading block. They can choose from Read to Self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Word Work, Listen to Reading, and the Wonder Center. This week students will have full choice of their Daily 5 stations. I love seeing them make responsible decisions and take ownership of their learning! We are continuing practice with comprehension strategies, including "Check for Understanding: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How" and "Back Up and Reread" and a new one: "Tune In to Interesting Words!" Feel free to ask your child about these strategies. We also have hand motions that go along with each one. These are great strategies to practice with your child during his/her nightly reading homework. We are continuing Beginning of the Year mCLASS benchmark this week. Parents will be notified about results when the benchmark window closes. I will also be scheduling conferences to review data and discuss beginning of the year progress.
  • Writing- We are working on personal narratives. Students are practicing the Writing Process: prewrite, draft, revise, edit, share (publish) and the Six Traits of Writing (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, fluency, conventions). This week we are focusing on ideas and organization. This week students will be using their storyboards to complete their first draft.
  • Math- We are continuing with Place Value within 1,000. Students will be doing a variety of activities to deepen their understanding of numerals, digits, values, and comparing numbers. Here is an excellent online place value game from abaya.com: http://www.abcya.com/base_ten_fun.htm This offers a great visual for what you may hear your child refer to as Base Ten Blocks. These blocks are used as manipulative for practicing place value in the classroom. If your child has access to a tablet or iPad, I recommend downloading a Base Ten Blocks app (for free) which may assist students with homework or additional practice throughout the year. In class we use an app called Number Pieces: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/number-pieces-by-math-learning/id605433778?mt=8
  • FUNdations- We are practicing Closed Syllables. Closed Syllables are syllables with a short vowel, closed in by one or more consonants, such as the words cat and bath. A detailed description of this syllable type and other syllable types is attached to their FUNdations homework packet. For a video tutorial on marking closed syllables, please visit the Fundations page on my blog: http://mswertheim.blogspot.com/p/reading.html We are also learning a new spelling pattern: when the letters f, l, s, and sometimes z are followed by a short vowel, we double the vowel (for example: buzz, cliff, still, and boss). This is called the bonus letter rule. Students will also learn the following glued sounds: all, am, an, ang, ank, ing, ink, ong, onk, ung, unk (glued sounds are a combination of letters that make their own unique sound. They get ONE tap when students are tapping out words) Our trick words this week (words that can't be tapped or sounded out) are: shall, full, and pull.
  • Science- We are continuing our explorations with weather! This is such an exciting unit in second grade. Students have the opportunity to track weather data, explore weather-tracking instruments, and conduct experiments. Students are encouraged to read weather books for homework or visit DiscoveryEducation.com to explore more! I will be sending home a sheet with your child's login from last year. If they remember their login, you are welcome to sign in at any time. We read "What Will the Weather Be?" and tuned in to interesting weather words such as: meteorologist, data, instruments, advisory, front, and pressure.
  • Social Studies- We are learning about geography. We have many more geography lessons planned with Google Earth, in which students will take "virtual field trips" to other countries. Last week we did a virtual field trip with Ms. Henderson's class to Liberia, where Ms. Henderson has traveled. This week we will do a field trip to Vietnam. She will share photos from her trip with our students! I highly recommend the Google Earth app, where students can explore different parts of our planet by zooming in and out.

Learning about Proficiency Scales

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Place value practice: planning the most efficient way to count 1,000 straws!

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Reciting our class pledge and class motto

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Google Earth Field Trip to Liberia with Ms. Henderson's class. We LOVE our passports!

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Reading "Same, Same, but Different," a story about pen pals from the U.S. and India

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We learned that our friends in India like to do yoga, too. Here we are practicing Lion's Breath

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Our 7 Habits Hand Motions

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids

Important Dates and Reminders


  • Tuesday, September 22- International Potluck in CLX Cafeteria 5:30-7
  • Friday, September 25- No School- Parent Teacher Conference Day (please click this link to sign up for a conference with me, either on the conference day or prior to the conference day. Home visits are not conferences; please sign up for a time on this document to schedule a conference.)
  • Monday, September 28- No School- Teacher Work Day

Class Dojo, Behavior Assessments, and Homework

Class Dojo reports can be accessed online. If you need your child's code, please email me. Please remember that Class Dojo tracks positive behavior. Once earned, students' Dojo points are never taken away from them. If a child needs support with his/her behavior, they will fill out a think sheet reflection which is sent home to be signed.


Behavior assessments are filled out each day by your child. I am so proud of their self-reflection skills! They've done an excellent job with their self-assessments so far. Please be sure to discuss their achievements with them and sign the assessment each evening.


Homework this week consists of:

  • Read each night for 20 minutes and fill out reading log/Bingo board
  • Fundations
  • Math packet (due Friday)

We will begin reading responses next week.

As always, thank you so much for all you do. It is an honor to teach your child.