Spotlight on Specials

2nd Quarter Second Grade

The Exploratory Team

The teachers of these exploratory classes are committed to inspire the creative genius in all students through art, technology, library media, music, counselor and physical education.


During the second quarter, second grade students worked very hard to complete the following art projects:

Nature Sculpture: During this lesson, students learned about an artist named Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy creates sculptures out of natural materials he found outside. Students gathered their own natural objects and created a nature sculpture with a partner outside. In order to document their work, students took pictures of the sculptures they created.

Tree Sculpture: Next, students learned about Roxy Paine, an artist know from making tree sculptures out of metal. After a discussing Paine’s tree sculptures, student created their own tree sculpture out of wire & straws. In order to make our trees resemble Paine’s metal ones, Ms. Robbins spray painted the trees with silver spray paint. If you would like to see Paine’s work in person, take a walk around the outside of the Nelson Atkin’s art museum and you will see his tree!

Shape Painting: During this lesson, students learned about an artist named Sonia Delaunay. Delaunay is a painter known for her non-objective paintings; meaning she only used the elements and principles of art in her work and was not concerned with depicting a subject matter. After examining how this artist used bold shapes and colors, students created their own colorful shape paintings.

Winter Bird Collage: Next, students listened to a story called Snowballs by Lois Ehlert. Ehlert is both the author and illustrator of this book. Students examined how she created a collage of birds and trees in this book. After the story, students’ drew feather on a piece of paper with oil pastels and then painted the paper with water color paints. Next, students cut their painted paper into bird shapes and arranged them on a piece of paper. To create a winter scene, students use white paper and black paint to make birch trees.

Physical Education

The second quarter was filled with fun activities. We focused on aerobic activities in which students participated in activities that required them to be very active. We learned about our heart rate and how to find it; we got to practice that quite a bit! The students are getting really good at being able to find their heart rate when they are asked to. We were able to play games such as gladiators, which involves constant moving around, hula-hoop rescue and capture the flag relay- all very active games. The students did great! We then focused on throwing and catching. Students were taught to remember three key things when throwing: Step with opposite foot, aim at target, and follow through. Students got to practice throwing to targets, partners and even throw in game like situations. Our words for each week were energy, pulse, endurance, nutrition, aerobic, power and accountable. I look forward to the rest of the year!

Big image


In our library classes this quarter we identified characteristics of fiction and nonfiction. Students looked and listened for evidence to determine whether a book was fiction or nonfiction. Students worked in small groups to put call numbers in order, then practiced with a partner or independently, using call numbers to find books in the Everyone (“lots of pictures”) and Fiction (“lots of words”) sections. By the end of second grade, students should be able to easily locate books from these two sections on the shelves and transfer that skill to a public library setting. Students watched a video previewing some of the exciting books that were coming to the Scholastic Book Fair. Students learned about the various awards that are earned by illustrators and authors of children’s books including the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Award, Coretta Scott King Award, William Allen White Children’s Book Award, and Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award. We reviewed alphabetical order and enjoyed a variety of ABC books.


During the second quarter, 2nd Graders have accomplished quite a bit! We spent time discovering the different parts in a song and identifying AB and ABA form through some fun songs about Fall. We also practiced rhythm reading with quarter notes ("beats"), eighth notes ("beat-and"), and rests, and learned about a new note – the half note, which lasts for 2 beats. “Ostinato” (a repeated rhythm pattern) is another a new idea for 2nd graders. Students had several opportunities to perform ostinato accompaniments! Our program for this year will be on February 4th! We have already begun the preparations with auditions for narrators and other character parts. Look for more details about the program coming home in Monday folders in January. To finish off this quarter, we had lots of fun singing Winter Holiday songs to prepare for the school-wide sing-a-long.


In Second Grade students reviewed the states of matter by watching a few You Tube Videos and discussing examples with their groups. We created definitions and began making a foldable to showcase examples of each state. Students learned how to insert and format a text-box, change the orientation and margins, format text and use the format painter tool, look up and pull images off of the web, insert shapes and how to wrap text around and re-size a picture.

Towards the end of the quarter we were able to get a quick introduction in computer coding through a series of interactive tutorials. Students participated in The Hour of Code a program sponsored by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and many other technology innovators to get kids excited about programming.

Big image


The second quarter of school has flown by and we have been busy learning about The Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation is a cognitive behavior approach that teaches students self-regulation. The Zones of Regulation incorporates Social Thinking concepts and visuals to teach students how to identify their feelings and understand how their behavior impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings. We spent several weeks reviewing and learning about feelings and what events produce certain feelings. We learned that there are four zones; Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. The Blue zone describes when one feels sad, tired, sick or bored. The Green zones describes a person feeling happy, focused, and ready to learn. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs. In the Yellow zone a person may be feeling frustration, stress, anxiety, excitement, or even the wiggles. The Red zone describes a person who is experiencing anger and explosive behavior. We learned several tools to help us move and maintain in the green zone. The strategies we learned were lazy eight breathing, six sides of breathing and a calming visual chart. The students were given a copy of these strategies to use if needed throughout the school day. When we return we will be learning how to identify a problem and individual triggers we have that can impact our day.

Big image