Our Week Together

Miss Blackwell's Class

Dutch Fork Elementary School

The Academy of Environmental Sciences

Title I

Class Notes

* This Thursday, February 4, is an early release day for students - 11:40

* We have started our school-wide fundraiser to grow our classroom libraries. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated! (Please see the yellow paper in your child's green Take Home Folder)

* Please continue to send in Boxtops! Thank you to all of our families who continue to collect and donate Boxtops - 2nd Grade won last month - which means a tasty treat is coming our way! Also, a huge thank you to one of our own classroom moms, Mrs. Christena Hill, for organizing the Boxtop collections for ALL of us!!!!

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day will be celebrated with our "For the Love of Reading" event on Friday, February 12th from 12:00 -12:30 (Please see the invitation emailed earlier today for all of the details!)

If your child would like to bring in Valentine's Day cards for the class, that would be lovely! We simply ask that if your child chooses to hand out Valentines, that they give one to every student in the class and that they do not bring any candy (Per our district's healthy eating initiative)

Our Valentines:

Zaria, Sofia, King, Eva Grace, Azaria, Cedric, Alex, Emmanuel, Heath, Abigail, Sheldon, Gabby, Makenzie, Zack, Micah, Christian, Jackson, Tyler, Mario

As Mathematicians...

Our mathematicians are currently exploring money! We have enjoyed several read alouds helping us to learn the value associated with the different coins and dollar bills. We have also been spending a lot of time working with the money manipulatives to familiarize ourselves with the different appearance attributes of all the types of payment! This has also been a nice way for us to revisit our skip counting (By 5s and 10s) learned earlier in the year as we total the value of different coins to find the sum.

As Scientists...

We recently welcomed new tall teachers into our classroom - Undergraduate students from USC! Our science pals meet with us every Wednesday afternoon and are helping us explore thermometers, data collection, and graphing! Our science pals have challenged us to collect temperature data twice a day to help us notice any patterns in the weather. If you would like to join us with our challenge, please do so! We collect the data everyday at 8am and 12pm - simply meet us in our classroom before we head out to the garden with our thermometers!

As Writers...

Our writers have completed their first author celebration of the year! After winter break, our authors officially presented their personal narratives on weather. I am extremely proud of the effort made by our students as they moved through the authoring cycle, continuing to grow their pieces the entire way! Next up, informational text! Please see the "Social Scientists" section below for more information...

We have also begun our word study! You may have noticed weekly slips stapled into your child's agenda that say " If I can spell ___, I can spell ___, ___, etc. We have taken a route with our spelling that helps us to notice patterns versus memorization. Our hope is to explore word families like we do fact families in math. For example: If I know 3+4 = 7, then I also know 4+3=7, 7-3=4, and 7-4=3. We are now taking this strategy and applying it to words. On Mondays, we choose a family (currently the ____est family) and we brainstorm a list of words together that incorporate the ____est (Ex. Best, Rest, West, Invest, Suggest, Etc.) Students are asked to choose any 5 words that they would like off of our big list to complete the slip stapled into agendas. Throughout the week we work together investigating the makeup of the words on our list and are then tested on Friday.

As Readers...

We have been doing a lot of work reflecting on our book choices and committing ourselves to finding books that are just right for US. We love the fact that we have 19 primary sources for book reviews in our classroom! But we have been talking a lot about the fact that it is OK if the book that our friend is reading is a "Someday" book for us. We want reading to be fun and easy for our students - so fun and easy that they want to keep reading all the time on their own!

We have also been sharing out a lot of different strategies we can try as readers when we come to a word that we do not know. Now we are asking you! Please send me a quick email or comment in the section below with your answer to the following question: When you are reading and come to a word that you do not know, what do you do?

As Social Scientists...

As social scientists, we strive to look at the world critically, to examine whose voices are heard and whose are left out, and to constantly seek opportunities to change the world for better. Our 2nd grade social scientists are doing just that as we inquire into "Normalcy and World Cultures" We began our inquiry with simple class discussions around the questions: "What does normal mean?" and "What is normal?" Next, we broke into various groups and worked on murals illustrating what we believed to be a "Normal Second Grade Student". This helped us to explore our own notions of normalcy in our classroom, school, community, etc. We have also been avid readers as we explore books with a theme of "People Being Othered"...or as our class now calls it - "Normalizing". These stories include: Chrysanthemum, Cheyenne Again, One Green Apple, Children of the World, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, and William's Doll. It was been truly amazing listening to our students as they connect to, reflect, and grow from these stories. I invite you to ask your children about these books and how they are helping us learn about: bullying, stereotypes, and our world!

Next up, we will work together as a class to complete an Expert Project on China. Afterwards, we will have students self-select cultures of interest for individual study.

We will be digging deep into informational text to help us through this unit, but we would LOVE the opportunity to learn from primary sources! If you or any family members self-identify with a culture or group and would like to come talk as a classroom guest, please send me an email!