Mrs. Kristi Smith's Second Grade

Weekly Update - May 13, 2016

Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop

This week we continued reading in our series book clubs! We have five different clubs going on with students reading books in the Commander Toad, Rainbow Fairies, Zack Files, Katie Kazoo and The Littles series. Everyone is loving their books and having some great book club conversations. Many students are on to their third or fourth book. Our mini lessons this week focused on paying attention to what our characters and do and say to learn more about them.

In writing workshop we are continuing our work with writing opinion letters. We are using our favorite characters, favorite parts of stories and illustrations. We have learned that by paying close attention to the illustrations we can learn even more about our characters and messages the author may send that are not directly written in the text. We can use this information to support our opinion.

Next week we will be continuing our work in our series book clubs and writing opinion letters. I will be meeting with students beginning next week to begin end of year reading assessments. We will also be taking our year end MAP tests for both reading and math next week. Our class will be testing on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Math Workshop

This week we began working on fractions. This is a build on to the work we did with partitioning shapes into equal parts. Students used paper squares to find multiple ways of showing fractions. We focused on halves, thirds, and fourths. Students learned how to name one shaded portion of a fraction. We used vocabulary such as one half, one quarter, one third, one of four equal parts, etc... We will continue this work next week.

Social Studies and Science

This week we continued our study of life long ago. We created a time line on our bulletin board and we will be filling it in as we continue to study about East Granby. We learned that the land that is currently East Granby originally fell under the name of Simsbury, then it became the Granby's and then finally became the town East Granby. East Granby was the 159th town named in the state of Connecticut. Next week we will be studying maps and beginning our work to get ready for our wax museum project.

***Save the date...please mark Monday, June 13th on your calendar for the First Annual Second Grade Wax Museum. More details to follow, but as of now our class will be presenting at 9:00 AM.***

We had a fantastic trip to the Connecticut Science Center this past week! Before we went the student participated in a seed dissection experiment and we planted seeds in baggies with paper towels so we can watch would normally happen under the soil. While on our field trip we participated in a plant laboratory program. In our lab program we studied plants, dissected celery that had soaked in food colored water, and inspected large collard green leaves. The celery soaked in purple water over night so that students could see how the veins carried the water all the way up to the leaves at the top. They used flashlights to look at the collard green leaves so that they could see that the veins were different sizes in different parts of the leaf. We learned the parts plants and the roles they play in plant survival. Students were able to visit all the other exhibits in the center when they were not in plant laboratory. We also were able to eat outside and enjoy the beautiful weather - some of us also had the extra treat of meeting the Wolfpack mascot! He just happened to be attending an event going on nearby and came over to see all of the children eating outside. High fives and fist pumps abounded! Please check out the link below to view the Animoto slide show of the trip.

Interesting Tidbits...

While at the class I attended at Teacher's College I learned about a tool called Padlet. The students were very excited about learning how to use and they have quickly become experts! I have created a Padlet account where I can create new padlets for different classroom activities. At the top of the padlet I add a title and then type in a thought or questions or the students to respond to. I send the students an email with the link to the padlet. By sending the link via email I can keep the padlet private so only the students can view it - the padlet is not open to the public. Once the students have the padlet open they double click to add a "sticky note". They then type their name and then write about the topic for that day's padlet. We have been using padlet to answer our morning message question, and I have also set up a padlet for each book club that we have going on. The students can add in thoughts they have about their books and then other students in the club can see everyone's post and respond to it. I also add to the book club conversations and ask questions or wonderings to continue conversations.

I can also send padlets with video clips or other online articles or photos and then have students respond to questions. I have several padlets ready to go to add to our study of plants.

We had a great time using it on Wednesday morning when I went to my meeting in Woodbridge. I told the students I would log on right around 8:30 as they all were hopping on to answer the question of the day. As they added their sticky notes I would add one to say good morning and they would see it pop up! They thought it was very cool that I could communicate with them so quickly without being there with them.

Upcoming Events...

Hot Lunch for the week of May 20th
  • Wednesday - Cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza
  • Friday - French toast sticks with sausage

Upcoming Events:

  • MAP testing week of May 16th (Tuesday and Thursday)
  • Panoramic Photo - Tuesday, May 17th
  • Allgrove Blooms Readers Raffle Fundraiser @the Art Show May 26th
  • Early June - visit to Seymour School
  • Save the Date - Monday, June 13th - Second Grade Wax Museum - more details to follow!