Mrs. Kristi Smith's Second Grade

Weekly Update - May 6, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

I want to wish all of the moms a happy and wonderful Mother's Day. I hope you get some extra special attention for all you do everyday. The children have a little surprise for you that I hope you enjoy! The background of flowers for this week's update is for all of you.

Reading Workshop

This week we got right to work on 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. Our mini lessons have focused on determining who the star character is, what problem they are facing, how they react to problems and what patterns do we notice across books within the series.

This first week we relied on our clubmates to find similarities across books in the series because everyone has only read one book, but we ended the week with everyone moving on to their second book. Next week we will move deeper into analyzing our characters across series. Students started bringing their series books home in the middle of this past week and you will see that continue to happen next week. It will be very important for students to be reading their series book as part of their homework so they will be able to read more books within the series. They are also bringing home their sticky notes so they can stop and jot while reading.

Writing Workshop

During writing workshop this week we started a new type of writing. We have delved into writing opinion pieces. We started with our favorite characters and used this is a starter for our first opinion letter. We are using letters to express our opinions on a character and then using evidence from the book to support our opinion. For example, we wrote a letter together as a class about Mercy Watson - one of our favorite characters this year! Our letter began by asking the reader "Do you like to read stories with characters who are funny? Then you will love reading Mercy Watson books!" We then went on to tell the reader some of the evidence we had for Mercy being a funny character. We also tried writing letters using our favorite parts of stories to support our opinion. Next week we will continue our opinion writing and working to use evidence to persuade others to see our opinion.

Math Workshop

During math this week we focused on building arrays to solve story problems. We are working on understanding the foundation of multiplication. Students know that the multiplication symbol of an "x" stands for the words "groups of". So the problem 2x3 really means 2 groups of 3. We also continued our work with shapes and portioning shapes into equal parts. Our big focus was on equal - our shapes were divided into equal parts and arrays always have to have equal rows and columns. We played array concentration and used ConnectEd on our Chromebooks to practice partitioning shapes with geoboards.

Social Studies and Science

This week we continued our work on our "I Live in East Granby" or "I Live in Hartford" books. We modeled our books after our read aloud "I Live in Brooklyn". Students had to think about their home, their town, their school and their activities outside of school to create their own books. Next week we will start creating a timeline of the history of East Granby.

***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 will also be doing some science work next week in preparation for our field trip to the Connecticut Science Center. The last piece our science curriculum that we will cover is plants. We will be studying seeds and then completing an experiment based on what we learned about the components of soil. When we visit the CT Science Center we will participate in a plant laboratory program.

Interesting Tidbits...

Thank you to everyone who returned the Second Grade Parent Survey that we sent home. Your feedback is very important in helping us to know what works best and how we can improve in the future.

I also want to thank everyone who made a donation for Allgrove Bloom's Readers! Mrs. Thompson has graciously volunteered to shop for materials and help us build our planter for the raffle which will be held during the Art Show.

I ended up having more chaperone volunteers than I am able to take on our field trip on Thursday. Thank you to everyone who offered their time - it is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, the Science Center limits our numbers of adults because we participate in the lab program and they will only allow so many people in to the lab. I sent home confirmation slips to everyone who volunteered on Friday with the students letting you know if you were selected in the lottery or not.

Upcoming Events...

Hot Lunch for the week of April 18th...
  • Wednesday - cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza
  • Friday - Pasta with mini meatballs

Upcoming Field Trips:

  • May 12th - visit to the Connecticut Science Center
  • 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!