Room 9 News

October 2015

Global Read Aloud

Our class is one of many and part of the 1/2 a million people attendees in the Global Read Aloud., which started Monday, October 5th, and it runs for 6 weeks. It started in 2010 by a teacher. Click here,, to check out the website and learn about it.

We are reading one of the selections this year called The Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes, . I love many books by Kevin Henkes. He has been writing and illustrating books for 30 years and is one of the 5 authors chosen for this year's GRA (Global Read Aloud). Here is his website .

There are about 60 countries involved and about 500,000 people worldwide! What fun to be a part of! The kids just read 3 chapters last week, (only one with me, due to Ava being out all week with a fever (it broke on Friday eve!! Yea!!), so start asking your kids about Billy Miller next week when we really start to dig into the book. So far, we have discussed and took notes on Billy's character traits. Next week, we will do the same, and more emphasis on the setting, and parts of the book. What do we know so far??

We will be reading this book and discussing it, writing about it, responding to literature about it and him, for the next 6 weeks. The planned global reading is for 6 weeks. We also got onto Edmodo on Friday so we can get connected with a classroom/classrooms, who are reading the same book. Fun!! Here is another way we are reading, responding, writing, and creating on our iPads, learning about someone (biography) while finding our 'choice to voice.'

This book is a great diving board and resource for me to teach writing. The blend of good choice of vocabulary, smooth transitions in thinking, and the use of quotation marks and 'what they do' is perfect!!

Happy connecting!

Homework Response Journal

Thank you!! Thank you... for a job well done! The kids are really diving into their reading and responding and I love when they show pride in class as they share their thoughts with their classmates.

Next week, we will be focusing on responding to literature by using different, glued in, graphic organizers. It's just another way to capture what they read... and how to place information gained and show understanding according to the question asked.

Please continue to monitor your darling's writing and have them rewrite it if is too messy or not cared for. I have chatted with a couple who are working on 'thinking' about their penmanship as they write. I know what it's like to write so quickly, it becomes less legible. We also know as parents and teachers, that one of the reasons why we write is to address an audience and for it to be legible to others.

Each week becomes more focused and with greater expectations. Thank you for your support in this area of learning. :)

Coyote Party #2

Our 2nd Coyote Party was a 'sweet one.' The kids voted on a movie and sundaes. Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Russell scooped ice cream and topped off sundaes with sprinkles and goodies. The kids watched Rio 2 and relaxed... a nice relief from our usually busy days. Thank you Ladies, our parents who are supporting our parties this year, and to Mr. Chuck for problem shooting our aging DVD/VCR player. He got it working and we were in movie motion again.... woo hoo!

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Spiders are Helpful Community Members

We have been in a 2 week study of spiders and how they are helpful to us and to our world we live in. Many kids can now bear to look at them and not cringe. Many are writing about them in their writing and concluding their writing with, "Do not harm spiders, they are helpful to us."

It is always my hope as a teacher to break paradigms about creepy crawlies and animals, in general, and reveal to the kids how much we are all working together, not against one another.

The kids are reading a ton (which is always the impetus behind such rigorous standards), summarizing in their own words what they truly understand from what they read, and writing down all of their cool facts. These lessons are purposeful and the breed kindness to others.

They started working with a partner on an iPad project, that I coined, "Your choice to voice." The kids take their facts and package up the most relevant and interesting into an App of their choice, alongside a partner to learn from and teach to. Oh, such a joy to watch collaboration and creativity at it's finest. You will be able to view their projects once they upload them to Google Drive in the next week or so.

Math- Measurement with Addition and Subtraction

We are starting our Module 2, Measurement with addition and subtraction, in math. I am going to send home what is here on this link I like this component of our program because it connects you with a 'seed' of what we are learning in class. You can practice any kind of measurement at home with your child. Have them look at recipes, cook with you, measure with you around the house, look at the weight of things at the grocery store, talk about inches, feet, centimeters and meters. The more they hear it from different sources, will be the moment they start to understand that 'math' is all around them.

For example, I used to talk to Ava about halves (halves of paper, sandwiches, movie, a Caillou segment, etc.) Now, that she is using the word 'half' more in her world, I am starting with 'quarters.' As we had our bagel this morning at Sun Flour Bagel in Carlsbad... love that place, and try it sometime if you are ever in the area, the kind owner asked if she wanted it cut again so she could eat it easier. As we sat back down at the table, I talked with her about quarters and that a quarter represents one of four parts, holding up 4 fingers, then proceeding to talk about football quarters, quarters of a dollar, of a bagel, etc. Now, I will be looking at things in quarters and embedding that into our days.

I love math and I want your kids, and mine, too, as well!! Enjoy teaching your child!

Language- "Goin' Back to the Text"

A big focus of 2nd grade is to refer to literature and retrieve the answer... and to cite it. One way that we are starting in class, is to use some sentence starters such as, "The author stated..." and "I read on page _____, that the character....". This is one way to show that the kids are not only understanding what they read, but how to use the book as a resource. I LOVE this about 2nd grade... and they do even more of it in grades beyond.

So, after reading with your child, ask them about their favorite part and character traits, the setting and how it changed throughout the story- if it did, as you would typically. Then, have them 'go back to the text' to show you and back up their answer with support from the text. It's a great cycle of reading that I am just starting a bit on with Ava. There is so much joy in reading together, or alone, and so many ways to see if the kids understand what they are reading.

If you ask questions and they are saying, I don't know, give them the choice of how many 'text related' questions they are willing to take on for that segment of time with you. Grant them their wish; be it one or five, just enjoy this connection with your child. This is one of my favorite times of the day spend with Ava... reading, relaxing, and enjoying our time spent on reading as a memory and a teaching point of access into their sweet 2nd grade mind of thinking. :)

Your kids are SOOOO sweet and cute! I get to know them more in reading groups. They are finally more tuned in according to needs, and they will be experiencing different groups and focus skills during our group time.

Math Assessments- Thank you for returning them!

The kids brought their Math Module 1 Pre and Post Assessment home on Thursday. Thank you for looking at it, sharing your pride, boosting their confidence in this area of math, and making sure it came back to me on Friday. I shared many with peers and I am so proud of their effort they are taking in starting to "Show and Tell" about their work. Even if your child got half correct. It's not all about the answer as we build a safe community to learn and grow.

This 'thinking' will be added to their portfolio to show their mathematical reasoning and thinking throughout their year as a 7 and 8 year old. It will be shared with more assessments and observations during our November Parent Teacher Conferences.

Then, it will be added to our Memory Books. Conference week is November 16-20. Know that this the week prior to our Thanksgiving week break.

Author Visit, Tuesday, October 20th!

Second grade is having an author visit our school next Tuesday, October 20! He is a local author, illustrator, musician, and artist who works with at-risk kids in underprivileged areas and helps anyone who needs support and love. Here is his website and book he will be sharing with us, Anytime we can have an author visit and share their love of books, learning, and the process of writing a book is memorable and a great experience to remember and inspire us when we are writing.

Please look for information coming home to you on Monday.