Pine Class News

January 17th, 2016

Celebrating the life of Martin Luther King

We hope you all enjoy time with family and friends on Monday, remembering and honoring this important life. If you're looking for some family friendly events see below. In doing a lot of searching, most organized volunteer opportunities seem to be for older kids, but ask your child what they think they could do to help the community for an hour or so... Pick up some trash in the park, call a soup kitchen or food pantry to see if they could use some canned goods (Teen Challenge is near our school), write a letter to a local official about a cause you care about, or bring some unneeded stuffed animals to a local police station or fire department to be given to kids in emergencies. Enjoy the day together!

At BAM...

In Prospect Park...

Freedom Songs and Stories with Tammy Hall

2 - 3 pm Lefferts Historic House, Free
Join us at the Lefferts Historic House this Martin Luther King Jr. Day for Freedom Songs and Stories with Tammy Hall. A masterful storyteller, Tammy Hall weaves together diverse tales from around the world to create a rich experience for all.

At the Brooklyn Children's Museum...

Trip to the New Victory Theater

Thursday, Jan. 21st, 9am to Friday, Jan. 22nd, 1pm

209 West 42nd Street

New York, NY

The second grade has a great opportunity to go to the theater! We're heading to the New Victory Theater to see a performance of the old beloved tale, The Velveteen Rabbit.

It would be lovely to have some family members join us! Please let us know if you're interested.

Brooklyn History Interest Groups

Pine and Elm are working in small groups together covering different topics of interest connected to Brooklyn history including Transportation, Prospect Park, Fort Greene, the Dutch, and Bridges.
Working on building circuits, in the process of thinking further about building a draw bridge... Note: Milo appears to be sad in this photo, but he's actually just listening to see if their circuit is making a sound through a tiny speaker. :-)
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We shared quiet time together listening to some instrumental David Bowie.

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On our way to the Museum of the City of New York for a workshop on the Lenape Native Americans.

The sculpture's view of the Pine Class...
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Once in the workshop with our guide, Fielding:

We figured out what the artifacts were used for:

Each small group presented their thoughts to the whole group

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On the walk to the train we saw more of New York in real time...

In reading this week we focused on working with a partner...

When sharing with partners the focus was on several different methods of sharing:

Retell what happened.

Think ahead! What might happen next?

Reread together to see even MORE.

Introduce Characters to each other.

Show Big Feelings.

All of these methods are now in our reading folders so we can always look back and find a strategy!

We used Mercy Jackson to the Rescue to practice some of these strategies together.

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Learning from master writers to make our own writing stronger...

Stretching out tiny moments into a story:

This week we read Owl Moon and discussed how Jane Yolen "stretched out one very small moment into a whole story"... We worked on taking ideas from our Tiny Topic Notebooks and stretching them out.


We also focused on some of the PLANNING aspects of writing:

-brainstorming - in our tiny topics notebooks

-note taking - writing key words in the corner of each page of our booklets

-planning each page - writing the beginning, middle, and end on each page


Once done with the planning stage, students practiced reading their writing aloud, or rehearsing it, to see where more details could be added.

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1/2 group trips make for efficient one-on-one assessment time!

On Friday Paul took the Sparrows (1/2 of the class) to The Brooklyn Museum while the Chickadees (the other 1/2) worked independently at school and Anna, Brooke, and Elizabeth whipped through all of their one-on-one reading assessments. We have found that the reading and math assessments take over a month if teachers have to start and stop, so this is our new plan and it seems to be working great!

This coming Friday the Chickadees will go to the Museum of Natural History and the Sparrows will be at school to crank through the assessments. It is very helpful to have extra adults at school during this time to help with the independent work and on the field trip extra adults are always a plus. So please let us know if you're interested in helping out!

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The Sparrows visit the Brooklyn Museum Trip to see the Coney Island Exhibit...

Back at school the Chickadees did some great work!

-Reading and thinking about characters

-Making a cover for our class's book about Brooklyn that they titled Brooklyn Now

-Working on their "tiny moments" stories

-Practicing problem solving

-Cleaning up the whole block area and dramatic play area

-Creating lots of beautiful sewing projects - including some pants for a cat!

(photos of all of these things are needed...sorry! It was a very productive day!)

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In math we're continuing to work on problem solving...

We use this problem solving routine to work through each story problem. Students are also coming up with our own strategies in the form of drawings, using open number lines, our knowledge of facts, and using blocks, to help solve problems.

Ask your Pine to show you how they would solve a story problem like this:

Paul has baked 36 cookies. He just put 12 more in the oven. How many cookies will he have baked altogether?


Michelle had 65 cents on her desk. She gave 24 cents to a friend. How much money does she have now?

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Extra Clothes Reminder

Please send your child with a ziplock bag of extra clothes. We don't anticipate very many bathroom emergencies in 2nd grade, but we want to be prepared for art projects carrying over onto clothes, water fountain explosions, or the unfortunate sick stomach. Thanks!
Contact Information:

Paul -

Anna -

Feel free to reach out at any time with questions, concerns, comments!

We love hearing from our Pine families!