Second Grade Rock Stars

Tour News!

The California Museum

Next on tour: Upcoming Events

Coming on Tour Soon:

  • 01/27: Family Movie Night! Watch a fun family movie with other WCS community members at 6:00 pm in the cafeteria
  • 01/31: Lottery Applications Due (Click HERE to download the application)
  • 02/01: Middle School Science Fair (Bring you child to see some amazing science fair projects and learn all about science! Starts at 6:00 pm on the Pebblewood Campus)
  • 02/02: WAVE Board Meeting at 6:30 pm in the Art Room
  • 02/04: My Princess and Me Dance (Click here for more information)
  • 02/09: WAVE Coffee Talk at 7:45 am on the Pebblewood Campus
  • 02/09: WCS Board Meeting at 6:30 pm on the Pebblewood Campus
  • 02/17: Spirit Day: Show Your True Colors - Second Graders wear BLUE
  • 02/17: Talent Show (6:00-8:00 pm at the NP3 Gym)
  • 02/20-02/24: No School: President's Week
  • 03/02: Night Under the Stars (6:00 pm on the grassy field on the Del Paso Campus)
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Our Highlights: What We've Been Rockin' At!

We are jumping into our People Who Made a Difference unit! Students have been looking up people who they might be interested in researching. Students started their search by filling out an interest survey to narrow down their focus, asking questions into google, and exploring and learning about difference makers while in the California Museum. Student voice and choice is a key component of learning in our class as students really need to be interested in their person since we research them so in-depth.

We will begin writing our biographies shortly and learning strategies for adding creativity and voice to our non-fiction writing. We have recently been learning about what makes a biography (and an autobiography), non-fiction text features, how to find the main idea, and how to use all of the features to help us better comprehend a biography. Student's have been reading about Harriet Tubman, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Madam C. J. Walker, and Dr. Suess in small groups.

In Math, we have been reinforcing our understanding of numbers, number relationships, and deepening our grasp on addition, subtraction, and beginning to deepen our learning about multiplication. Ask your child to show you how to use an open number line at home!

So far as a class we have learned about all sorts of difference-makers. This week we learned about the concept of peace, the 6 principals of non-violence, and learned about Gandhi. We have also learned about Martin Luther King Jr, Frida Kahlo, Albert Einstein, William Kamkwamba, Clara Lemlich, Fred Koramatsue, Duke Ellington, and Paul Erdos.

We will soon learn about Sojourner Truth and the abolition of slavery. We will also learn about Sylvia Mendez, Ruby Bridges, Torrence Roberts, and desegregation of schools as well as aspects of change in the civil rights movement: like sit-ins, freedom rides, marches, and boycotts. We will touch base with Nelson Mandala and the civil rights movements in South Africa. We will later learn about the Farmworkers movement and the Delano Grape Strike through learning about Cesar Chavez, Larry Itliong, Delores Huerta, Philip Vera-Cruz and Chris Hartmire. We, of course, can't forget about current difference makers like Malala Yousafzai. That is just a drop in the bucket of the people we have been learning about and are continuing to learn about.

As we continue to learn every day about difference makers, there are some tricky understandings that come up. Discussing and thinking about how people thought that it was okay to treat others as if they were less than them, often times in inhumane ways, is hard to fathom. We discuss deeply how we all unique but deep down all the same. We learn that no matter what skin color, religion or beliefs, age, gender, or where they might have lived before here, we are all unique, all equally valuable, and all important. We also speak greatly about how as Rock Stars we not only stick up for ourselves, but also for others. We learn about how even though bad things happened in the past, people came together to make a positive change and to work for justice and what was right.

People Who Made a Difference Overview

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Rockin' and Rollin' into the Future!

Math: We will be learning about money, identifying coins, adding cents, how to add using decimals, and continuing to strengthen our skills in addition and subtraction.

Reading: We will be learning about non-fiction text features, reading biographies in our guided reading groups, and reading for information while we research our difference maker.

Writing: Students will be working on writing non-fiction components of their biography book about their Difference Maker.

Social Studies: People Who Made a Difference Unit. Students research Difference Makers and how they made a positive difference in the world.

Spelling: Click for the Spelling Word List and Challenge Word List

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Questions to ask your child...

  • What does non-violence mean?
  • Who is someone you have learned about that used
  • Who was the most interesting person that you learned about at the California Museum? What made them interesting?
  • What was your favorite thing in the California Museum?
  • What is special about difference makers?
  • What do you think makes a hero?
  • Who was Gandhi and what do you think made him special?
  • Who are you most interested in researching and portraying?
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Resources and Readings:

  • Old Math Standards vs. New Math Standards (check out the difference between the old state mathematical standards and the common core mathematical standards)
  • Discovery Education Parent Resource Page (a comprehensive website that contains resources and tools to help children with science, math, and even motivation)
  • Short & Curly (a podcast for kids that takes on ethical questions, like "Is it okay to fight a bully?" and even silly questions like "Should pugs exist?" (short answer: of course pugs should exist). It has sparked the curious minds and also sparks great conversations as a family. Get the app on your phone for easily listening in the car.)
  • Scholastic for Parents (this website has all sorts of fantastic resources for reading - including a diversity book finder and suggested books. Check out their Guide to 2nd Grade while you are there.)
  • Sac4Kids (A family's guide to the Sacramento area. Search by categories and find all the learning and fun experiences that Sacramento has to offer)
  • Have 8 minutes? Check out this TED Talk by 12-year-old Andora Svitak about what adults can learn from children!

Can you or someone you know share an experience? Fill out the form below!

Need Volunteer Hours?

Are you interested in earning your family’s volunteer hours in an easy way while welcoming explorers to school with a smile? You can by volunteering during our Del Paso Campus Drop off and/or Pickup. Come join us for dinner and information on Thursday, February 16th as we discuss how family volunteers at pickup and drop off can help to make it move faster and safer for our students. Click Here to RSVP for this event. Dinner will be provided, please RSVP by Friday, February 10th.
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Contact the Band Manager!

Jen Martin

Second Grade Teacher

Westlake Charter School

Twitter: @MrsMartinsRoom

Remind 101:

Messages that pertain to our class: text @4rockstar to the number: 81010