Team Ramsey Highlights and Playbook
August 29, 2016
We are easing into the components of Reading Workshop. One of the MAIN conditions within this sacred part of the day is that students keep our room silent during independent and guided reading...because READING IS THINKING! I am VERY STRICT about this because We do our best thinking about the text when we aren't disturbed with others moving around the classroom unnecessarily, whispering to others, playing in desks, etc. I understand that they must develop reading stamina in order to stay focused on their task at hand during our workshop time so we will graph how long we all stayed on task (as a class) and set daily goals for increasing this time. I will be conducting guided reading groups in the near future, but this week I will focus on individual conferences with students as they read to me...noting their strengths and areas to "grow". Researchers have shared that second grade is THE year when students can "grow" their reading abilities by LEAPS AND BOUNDS IF they are diligent in their reading efforts and consistent with "on-task" behaviors during our reading block.
We will begin using a reading log THIS WEEK. Your child will read in class and at home...being sure to document his/her reading. These reading logs will be used as a component of grading in English/Language Arts. As long as he/she is actively reading in class/home AND recording his/her reading neatly and accurately, everything will be SPLENDID! The reading log is on blue paper and will be placed in the green folder. It should remain on the "Bring Right Back" side at all times.
As writers, we completed a beginning of year writing to reflect where we are as writers as the new year begins. I will use these to help inform instruction and compare them to your child's end of year writing to reflect upon their growth as writers. We are learning that writers just take the "ordinary" small moments in our lives that hold special meaning to "grow" our writing. The mentor texts we use in class also help reinforce this idea as this week we will share a text in which a young girl goes "owling" with her father one snowy night and another text in which a young boy wakes up on "moving day" and prepares to leave his neighborhood. We will analyze these texts for author's craft and how authors move their stories along without veering off topic. We know the BEST writing comes from our heart...so the students have a special assignment. You will receive information regarding an assignment with our writer's notebooks- a growing anthology of moments we hold near and dear to our hearts! Don't stress! IT WILL BE FUN! We plan to personalize them as they will use them to better connect their personal lives to the purpose of their notebook. Stay tuned....
Today's math revolves around mental math and how teaching students to have a solid foundation of number sense is critical to their success with mental math and accurate computation. As mathematicians, a KEY standard for second graders is to become fluent with addition/subtraction facts through 20. We will explore a variety of strategies to promote this fluency so please review your child's math notebook and textbook nightly to discuss what we're learning. My goal as the classroom teacher is to not rule the room as the "sage on the stage". Rather, I serve as a "guide on the side"...scaffolding children's thinking to help them DISCOVER AND APPLY new learning. This is a timely process-but so empowering and rewarding for the students. We will focus this week on counting on with Touch Points and number lines, using doubles and "near doubles", and applying the "make a ten" strategy to promote our fluency with addition. We will also practice speaking the language of mathematicians as we work with some of the vocabulary words at the front of your child's math notebook. The words he/she needs to study are add, addend, count on, doubles, near doubles, and sum. The remaining flashcards will be used in the week or two ahead.
Also, we have a beekeeper visiting us on Friday. Hopefully, we will have learned so much that we can discuss honeybees with her with a wealth of background knowledge and new learning!
In addition to this "on the side" inquiry, we will begin exploring the world of matter. You will receive a parent note today regarding your child's science homework assignment on Monday night.
This week's words are: bite, tape, made, hope, note, slide, hide, tube, ripe, and huge.
Handwriting is a challenge for MANY of us in the classroom. I understand that kindergarten is a year in which they BEGIN to learn to write their letters. Some even master writing them before the end of their kindergarten year. First grade is a year in which they should be reinforcing correct strokes and beginning to apply proportion. There are several things I would like to work on and need your help. Please encourage your child NOT to write capital letters in the middle of words. A and P are the main culprits. Handwriting IS a second grade standard- both print and cursive- that we will work on throughout the year. However, I would appreciate your assistance at home as it is much easier to monitor one child vs. twenty-two within a limited amount of time. PLEASE insist on neatness with homework--and correct letter formation. Several students are writing lowercase a--but the "stick" is not touching the circle so it ends up looking like two different letters---an o and an i without the dot above it. Also, some students are writing lowercase l the same size as lowercase i. I know this is a work in progress, and I KNOW they will grow by leaps and bounds in this area. We will practice with handwriting paper, but since students use the composition books with the blue lines (and expected to write on loose-leaf paper accurately next year), we will be learning how to take what we know about forming these letters and applying them between the two blue lines in our composition books. I will be PATIENT! :) I just need to see PROGRESS as we move ahead.
Thank you so much for your continued support as we work together to make this our best school year EVER!