MCGHEE'S MESSAGES

SEPT 15-19

Important Stuff

Here are a few upcoming events to be mindful of:

9/22 we finally get to have Shine Time

9/26 pe, wear tennis shoes

9/30 Fall picture day in the morning

Beginning of October will be the Book Fair


First,I have to say a HUGE thank you for all the donations. Every single item is and will be used! Thank you, thank you (and my husband thanks you, he says it seems my paychecks always go right back into my classroom).

It was so fun to plant seeds in the garden. We planted snap peas, kale and spinach. We should start harvesting in about 6 weeks. I may be begging for the Kelkar family to share their homemade kale chips! :) We found so many baby frogs. It was truly a fun time out in the dirt.

It seems our WATCH DOG program is off and running here at OSE. i am so excited about having men come and volunteer and be wonderful examples of character here in my classroom. They will be working in a variety of ways through out the school. The amazing thing is that most of them are taking personal days off from work to come and volunteer. I always have an open door here in Room 220 and will put anyone to work!

I got this link off a message from our assistant principal. If you have girls in your life, even if they are not daughters, take a second to read this article about how to praise girls. Our nieces, neighbors and kiddos on our sports team need our encouragement too.

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/04/giving-good-praise-to-girls-what-messages-stick/

It was a great week and the class is just so much fun. I love coming to work everyday!

What We've Been Learning

MATH We are settled into our routine of daily problem solving. The kids are doing a great job using a variety of strategies to solve. They are also getting good at our number of the day where they do everything from place value to tally marks to plain old equations.

Our focus this week has been place value and addition strategies. We played a game called Race to 100 and did some worksheets identifying place value. We also worked on expanded form, written form and standard form. These are all key ingredients in making them successful for more complicated computations. Once I see that base 10 is well learned, I may show them how to do other bases which would include binary numbers. This is kind of above and beyond, but if they see it as a game, it will come easily. I'll let you know! I also added a "logic fun when I'm done" area. If the kids finish their work during math they can get a packet of logic puzzles to solve. This was popular immediately!

SCIENCE We did a fun activity that put to use the scientific process called Save Fred. The kids made a plan, predictions and worked as teams. They then had to rescue a gummy worm (Fred) off the top of a plastic cup (the boat) that had a gummy bear (the life preserver) using only tools (4 paper clips) and no hands. They couldn't stab, injure or drown Fred. It was fun and shows their creativity as well. I also introduced our unit on matter. I have lots of cool science experiments ready in the next few weeks to teach this concept. The science teacher, Mrs. Clark, was blown away with the kids flexible thinking and creative solutions in her class too.

SOCIAL STUDIES We are really looking at citizenship and respect. The 2nd graders watched a short video I created starring Mr. McGhee as Major Monogram and a clip from Phineas and Ferb. This was the inspiration for focusing in on respectful partnerships. The kids will be looking very closely at what makes a partnership respectful and will work in groups to find ways to share those traits with the rest of the school. Our job will be to teach others by example and directly how to have a respectful partnership with others.

LANGUAGE ARTS Our 1st spelling test in small groups was a huge success. Remeber that their spelling words will come home on a colored sheet of paper and will be written in their planners. They always have the 10 words I have chosen, 5 sight words they choose and several bonus words that follow the same pattern as their spelling list.

We worked on 2 strategies this week in reading: 1. Creating mental images. 2. Author's purpose. We made a P.(persuade) I. (inform) E.(entertain) page in our reading journals and read lots of books and identified the authors true purpose for writing the book. This should translate into their own writing, hopefully! We also read lots of poetry and books with great descriptive language to help make little movies in our mind as we read. The text to self, text to text, text to world, authors purpose and mental images are all very powerful comprehension tools you can reinforce at home. Please take the time to talk with your child about what you are reading to them and what they are reading and how these strategies help us make sense of the text.

We wrote stories in our journals after viewing a funny photo prompt of a dog in a refrigerator. The kids switched off reading their stories to each other and giving consturctive criticism to their peers. We also viewed the painting St. George and the Dragon by Raphael and wrote our thoughts on what was happening in the picture. We felt sorry for the princess in the background.

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