# The Marvel Star

## Writing

We had a Writing Celebration in January. Students decided how they wanted to share their personal narratives (Author's Tea, Class Share, Special Guests), and they overwhelmingly voted for inviting our senior friends from Galloway Ridge back to campus. Ms. Mary Lou, Ms. Barrow, and Mr. and Ms. Ewen were thrilled to return and listen to such beautifully written personal narratives. Each child shared his/her piece and received feedback from the seniors. The event ended with snacks and a ginger ale toast. Now we are writing opinion pieces about the books we read in class. We are practicing stating our opinions and finding evidence in the text to support our thinking. We have already written several opinion drafts. Later we'll choose one to revise and edit and publish.

## Math

Students have been hard at work on Place Value. I am so impressed with the way the Marvels think through word problems and apply place value strategies. We have intentionally saved using the algorithm for addition and subtraction until later. Research shows that moving straight to the algorithm undermines building number sense. I know it is tempting to jump straight to the algorithm at home, but the students have been using drawings, expanded form, and partial sums to figure out sums. After a great deal of hard work, I recently revealed the algorithm. Because students have manipulated place value blocks, drawn out pictures, and truly experimented with numbers, students understand why we have to sometimes regroup numbers (carry to the next column). There have been many light bulb moments over the last week :)

We completed mCLASS data collection, and printouts of progress went home with report cards. Now that mCLASS is complete (for middle of the year scores), we can return to regular reading workshop. We are learning how to summarize what we read. Second graders have a lot to say about what they read, but we are working on trimming it down to key points, events, or lessons. We use a graphic organizer called Somebody Wanted But So Then (SWBST) to help us.

## Social Studies/Science

In January, teachers introduced several famous people, and we discussed their legacies. 2nd graders then chose a famous person to study. Using books and online resources, students filled out a research grid and are now using those notes to complete a project. Students travel to a station, one of the second grade classrooms, to work with teachers, our librarian, or our technology specialist to complete one self-selected project: BioCube, Popplet, Diorama, or Toontastic. At the conclusion of our project, students will present their final products.

Coming soon: Good Vibrations, A Science Unit About Sound
We'll recruit some parent volunteers to help us conduct experiments about sound. Students will also make their own instruments at school. Marvels will vote on the two best instruments in class, and the "Best in Sound" will demonstrate their instruments to a special guest.