News from Room 5
Our first week of school was met with smiles from your children, happiness to see their friends and make new ones, bucket filling, and enthusiasm to learn! We have jumped into our first week of school with a variety of activities to build community, teamwork and friendships. Learning occurs when students feel safe in their classroom environment to share ideas and even make mistakes. As teachers prepare for the Common Core and teach using the new standards, we are learning to make some new paradigm shifts in how we approach teaching math and language arts. Although the Common Core will not be officially tested until year 2014-2015, teachers are preparing children using the Common Core standards as a framework of skills instead of the former CA State Standards. Students will be taken to a more in-depth form of learning which involves reasoning and using appropriate tools to strategically solve problems or comprehend. In additition students would need to construct arguments to prove their answer is correct by citing evidence, demonstrating with numbers, words and pictures. This in-depth form of learning will be modeled and taught throughout the year. I will continue to educate parents about the Common Core and how to support your children at home. I will be sending home literature as well as post some insightful video links to keep you informed and I will share new information as teachers continue to get trained withing our district.
First I would like to begin with an article about Common Core State Standards. It discusses its development and provides an explanation of Common Core. The article provides key features of the standards in language arts and math. I will have to send this out as an attachment via email. Next, the first thing I'm going to emphasize when we begin math is that mistakes are expected and loved. Mistakes are the road to learning. Our brain grows (develops new synapses) and makes new connections when we try new ideas and attempt to solve problems. We cannot grow if things are easy for us and we are cheated by simple questions in any subject. I have really enjoy learning from a mathematics education professor at Stanford University, Jo Boaler. Her ideas are research based and her suggestions are relevant to how teachers and parents can approach teaching our children. There are several video clips I would like to share with you, but I'll start out with one first. My hope is you will be able to view the video and read the Common Core article before back to school night.
Find the video you tube link below.
Focus Areas for this Month
•Language Arts: We are beginning Unit 1 of our Treasures Program with the theme, "Friends and Family". Here is the student link to access the activities for each story of the week. http://treasures.macmillanmh.com/california/students/grade2/book1
We are beginning with Week 1, Sept. 3rd "David's New Friend".
•Math: This month our "Big Idea" is to build number sense. The standard of learning for this month is " representing and solving problems involving addition & subtraction". This involves using addition and subtraction within 100 to solve 1 and 2 step word problems (adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing with unknowns in all positions). Students will use drawings, numbers and words in their answers. Mental strategies will be learned to add & subtract fluently.
•Writing Development: During this first trimester, our focus is on the personal narrative. This is a true story about something you are familiar with that you can relate in an interesting or entertaining manner. We have started with an "All About Me" writing and will begin our Summer writing.
•Social Studies: We are building community with discussions about the 3 personal standards and "Bucket Filling". This means saying or doing something kind to make another feel happy. This means using respect, helping/sharing, sincere compliments and heartfelt smiles. We continue to build on this by applying our classroom's "Three Personal Standards": 1. Be respectful 2. Solve problems 3. Make good choices
•Cooking/Gardening: Students will begin cooking and gardening during our "Exploration Station" time every Thursday. This will begin September 19th. Currently Mrs. A is working on organizing our garden for volunteers. Mrs. Merson will be our Green Thumb garden volunteer and Mr. Katz is our Master Chef.
Speeches, Up-coming Dates, Wish List
· Week of October 7: Draw a picture of your family tree. Tell us about your family. Who are they, what are their names, and give us some interesting facts about your family tree.
• Week of October 14: Talk to our parents about their life as a child. What are things that are similar about your childhood and how was their childhood different?
• Week of October 24: We are studying ancestors. Tell your classmates where your ancestors are from. When did they come to America? Where did they arrive in America?
How did they travel to America?
•Week of October 28: No speeches this week; it is conference week and it's minimum days.
•Week of November 4: This is red ribbon week. Tell us about how you stay healthy. What are some of your favorite healthy foods? How do you keep active? Give us details and examples.
Pyramid of Success Character Trait for September: Hard Work
This year we will not be recognizing students for each character trait during the Friday Assembly. We will continue to highlight each character trait monthly in class. In conjunction with this our class will implement the new "Second Step" program. This program provides fun, interactive ways to teach skills that promote social and academic success. I will include more on this at a later time.
Special Dates (Also refer to the class website calendar)
September 2: Labor Day (no school)
September 9: Wheel Day Begins
September 11: Back-to-School night for 2nd grade 5:30 p.m.
September 20: Fitness Friday (wear tennis shoes)
September 27: Friday Assembly 2:20 p.m.
Wish List for the Classroom
1. Little prizes for our Treasure Chest
2. Avery Labels #48860
Avery Labels # 18160
3. I purchase a lot of items from Teachers pay Teachers. There are so many creative and well-written lessons and products for teachers. All these lessons benefit your child. They offer gift certificates!
3. Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener