Week 7

Some updates from Week 7:

ELA: We started reading some books by Doreen Cronin! If your child is enjoying these books, they are available at the library, at most book stores, or on Scholastic!

We will also be reading some nonfiction books about bats and spiders. I find this to be a fun and educational activity to engage in around Halloween. Students have enjoyed this so far! 

We have finished adding words to the word wall for quarter 1. Our quarter one words include the list from our last post: 

  • am, an, and, are, all, ate, be, but, because, can, come, came, do, dear, eat, from, for, go, good, he, here, his, her, I (always capital!), in, is, it, like, love, little, look, me, my, not, no, on, our, play, put, see, so, she, said, say, saw, the, to, then, up, will, with, want, we, went, was, when, you, yes

and also these new words from this week:

  • coming, day, does, doing, friend, family, four, five, going, house, happy, have, having, made, make, making, of, one, school, two, three, this, they, there, use, using, your, what

These words will be on a cumulative spelling test at the end of the quarter. It is a good idea to begin practicing these words now. We also practice these words in class frequently. These quarter 1 words should mostly be considered review.

Math: We completed a practice test this week for Unit 1. I will send this practice test home tomorrow to inform you of what you could practice with your child. I would suggest creating other problems for your child based on the problems on the practice test. Our real math test (which will count toward their final math grade) will be on Monday, October 30th. 

Here is the practice test, completed by me, as an example of what student work might look like. Student work may look different in some cases. If I have marked a question wrong and you are unsure as to why, please contact me. If a student has added something to the math test in blue pen, that was done as a correction after meeting with me and their original answer is still shown in pencil.

Practice Test

  

Social Studies: We didn’t get to start our new unit yet, but we will start The Constitution next week!

Science: We have concluded our focus on the cycles of daytime and nighttime and also the seasonal cycle. I hope your child found the Extended Learning project really solidified their understanding of these topics! Our next topic will continue on with Cycles in Nature and will focus on plant cycles.  

Seminar: We will start Seminar in Q2! Seminar is scheduled for Fridays from 1:30 – 2:15 and is designed to allow time for parents to plan and execute a lesson that supplements what we have already learned in class, or a topic we are currently working on. If you are interested in trying seminar, please email me with two or three dates that would work for you and a brief description of what you are planning. We can be a flexible if you can’t make it on a Friday at 1:30, but that time is easiest. Your lesson can take up to 45 minutes. Please plan to bring any materials you need with you, and know that while I am in the classroom during this time I try to stay as behind the scenes as possible to allow the focus to be on you and your lesson!

November and December topics will be: 

  • Science: seasonal cycle, daytime and night time cycle, plant cycle
  • Social Studies: The Constitution, New England States
  • ELA: letter writing, fractured folktales of The Gingerbread Man, cumulative tales, Porquoi stories
  • Math: logic problems
  • Seasonal: apples, pumpkins, bats, spiders, Thanksgiving, Holidays around the World, OTA words of the month for Sept – Dec: respect, responsibility, self control, self discipline, wonder, charity. 

Reminders: Next week the Extended Learning assignments will return to ELA and Math.

For Q2 we will need some recess volunteers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:45 – 10:05. If you are interested please email me and let me know!

 

Week 6

Some updates from Week 6:

ELA: We have finished our Author Study of Mo Willems. Students loved his books, and hopefully you have enjoyed them too! Next week we will focus on a new author – Doreen Cronin.

We are currently practicing the following spelling words. Spelling words are listed on the word wall for continual reference, and we are practicing these words during the school day, four times a week. We will have a cumulative spelling test at the end of quarter 1. Students are expected to consistently spell these words correctly when writing.

  • am, an, and, are, all, ate, be, but, because, can, come, came, do, dear, eat, from, for, go, good, he, here, his, her, I (always capital!), in, is, it, like, love, little, look, me, my, not, no, on, our, play, put, see, so, she, said, say, saw, the, to, then, up, will, with, want, we, went, was, when, you, yes

We will add to these words throughout the quarter. Quarter 1 is mostly a review of kindergarten and first grade sight words.

Math: This week we reviewed strategies for adding and subtracting. We will continue to review strategies next week. At this point, the optimal strategy to use is decomposing numbers. This builds mental math skills for later on. Currently, the following should be mental math:

  • combinations of ten (THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. If you focus on only one thing, focus on this. 8 + 2 = 10, 10 – 2 = 8, 10 – ____ = 8, etc) 
  • adding a single digit number to ten (10 + 5, 10 + 2)
  • adding or subtracting within 10 (2 + 3, 10 – 4) (students are typically unable to decompose if they are still struggling with combinations of numbers within 10)
  • doubles up to 10 + 10

Social Studies: We will begin a new unit next week – The Constitution.

Science: I will be posting classwork grades tonight for two separate science notebook responses from the beginning of the year. We have spent a lot of classroom time reviewing the cycle of daytime and nighttime and the seasonal cycle. Students should have summarized both, and it should be something like this: 

The Cycle of Daytime and Nighttime – Earth is rotating on it’s axis. The part of Earth that faces the sun experiences daytime. The part of Earth that faces away from the sun experiences nighttime. Sometimes people say “the sun is coming up” but that really means that the Earth is rotating to face the sun. Sometimes people say “the sun is going down” but that really means that Earth is rotating to face away from the sun. It takes 24 hours, or one full day, for Earth to make a full rotation around it’s axis.

The Seasonal Cycle – Earth is revolving around the sun. Earth is also tilted on it’s axis. This creates the seasons! As the Earth revolves around the sun, the tilt causes one hemisphere to point more toward the sun than the other. If the Northern hemisphere points away from the sun, it is winter in the Northern hemisphere. If the Northern hemisphere points towards the sun, it is summer in the Northern hemisphere.  The Southern hemisphere experiences the opposite seasons as the Norther hemisphere, because when the Northern hemisphere points toward the sun, the Southern hemisphere is pointing away. Each hemisphere experiences the season in the same order, but at different times: winter, spring, summer, fall. It takes 365 1/4 days, or one year, for the Earth to revolve around the sun one time. After 4 years, we have a leap year. We add one extra day in February to make up for the 1/4 day that happened 4 times.  

There are a couple of great, short science videos online that show these topics if you just goggle search. 

Next week’s Extended Learning will be a short science project and will take the place of ELA and Math. This will be worth 10 points toward your child’s final science grade. 

Reminders: We will start seminar in the beginning of November! Watch for a list of suggested topics in our next blog post!

 

Week 5

Some updates from Week 5:

ELA: We have continued practicing blends, vowel teams, and “Mean Mr. E” (or “Silent E”). You should have also received a notice with your child’s beginning of the year reading level. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding what to practice with your child. If your child’s reading level was below grade level, you should have already received an email from me.

Math: This week we focused on the relationship between addition and subtraction (if 12 -8 = 4, 8 + 4 = 12) and using the strategy of decomposing numbers to subtract. Next week’s Extended Learning homework will continue to practice the strategy of decomposing numbers to add and subtract.

Social Studies: We continued a short review of neighborhood/city/state/country/continent. The Extended Learning map projects were awesome!! Your child’s grade will be posted on Monday.

Science: We have almost finished learning about the seasonal cycle. Students should be able to describe the seasonal cycle (what causes it), and compare it to the cycle of daytime and nighttime.  In addition to the Core Knowledge lessons, I have supplemented this topic with a read aloud by Gail Gibbons (The Reason for the Seasons) and some videos showing the process of rotation/revolution that I found online. Two of our classwork activities will be graded this week and posted by Friday.

Reminders:

Next week’s Extended Learning homework will return to Math and ELA.

Picture day is Tuesday – don’t forget to send in your order form!

Week 4

Some updates from Week 4:

ELA: I have been working to finish beginning of the year reading tests and will be sending home the results next week. Please watch your child’s folder for a note with their beginning of the year reading level and what can be done at home to help your child grow as a reader!

We have continued practicing blends and vowel teams during phonics time and morning work. Your child should read blends as a chunk of a word. For example, if they are reading the word flower, they should start with the sound “fl,” not “f” and then “l.”

Students should recognize vowel teams in a word – two vowels next to each other. The rhyme we talked about for vowel teams is: “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” In a vowel team, the first vowel says it’s name and the second vowel says nothing. You could practice with words like: sail, goat, hair, peak, etc. When practicing vowel teams, it’s important to throw in some words that do not have a vowel team, to make sure students are actually deciphering the vowel sounds and not just getting into a habit of always making the long vowel sound.

We also began talking about “Mean Mr. E” (or “Silent E”) and how E can change the sound of a vowel. Examples would be: not vs. note, mat vs mate, rack vs. rake, etc. We will continue to practice this next week.

If your child is at or below grade level in reading please spend time reviewing blends, vowel teams, and silent E at home. These are great activities to practice for minutes on your reading log (word work). 

Math: This week we focused on using number lines and fact families as strategies to add or subtract. We will continue to practice using different strategies for adding and subtracting next week.

Social Studies: We have been working with the book “Me on the Map” to create an understanding of our city, state, country, continent. Students should be able to identify each of these words and relate the words to San Diego, California, United States of America, and North America.

Science: We have begun to talk about the seasonal cycle. Students should understand the difference between rotation (Earth rotates around it’s axis) and revolution (Earth revolves around the sun).

Reminders: I will be submitting Scholastic orders tomorrow morning. If you have not ordered yet and would like to, the class code is GPKJN. After tomorrow, our next order will be October 31. 

On Monday you will see grades for Extended Learning Week 1 and 2 under ELA and Math. Next week’s Extended Learning will be a Social Studies assignment related to Me on the Map and will take the place of ELA and Math. 

We could still use materials from our wish list – It’s so important that everyone contributes what they can to support our classroom learning community. The link is below. Thank you SO MUCH to the families who have already contributed gift cards and wish list items!! 

The listening center is a big hit so far – I added some more audio books to the list!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3815JTB6HJW2W/ref=cm_sw_em_r_d_g__wb

 

 

Week 3

Starting to get more into the swing of things in Week 3! Here are some updates:

ELA: We have been reading more Mo Willems books. Today we watched an interview of Mo Willems from his website, mowillems.com. It’s a fun website to check out at home!
Students are also working on a literacy activity modeled after the Pigeon books. Students chose what pigeon wants to do, and showed pigeon trying to convince the reader he should do/get this thing. We are not quite done, but here are some examples:

We have also been practicing blends and vowel teams during phonics time and morning work. You should have seen some phonics activities coming home this week. If your child is at or below grade level in reading please spend time reviewing blends and vowel teams at home. These are great activities to practice for minutes on your reading log (word work). Here is a blend chart that I use in the classroom to practice blends. Your child should read blends as a chunk of a word. For example, if they are reading the word flower, they should start with the sound “fl,” not “f” and then “l.”

 

Math: This week we focused on Make 10 Strategy. This strategy focuses on making a ten to add or subtract. Combinations of 10 should be mental math. If your child does not know the combinations of ten fluently (automatically answers questions that use combinations of ten, such as 10 – 5 = ___ or 4 + ____ = 10) please practice combinations of ten at home.

There are two ways to use the Make 10 strategy. The first is using ten frames. This is a more basic strategy for students who are still developing fluency with making 10. Here is an example of the strategy:

The second strategy is more efficient and is not required but is encouraged. In this strategy, students decompose numbers to make 10 without ten frames. Here is an example of this strategy: 

Make 10 is an important strategy because it explicitly shows students what they should eventually be thinking in their head to add or subtract across a 10, and to work within 20 fluently. 

Social Studies: Students finished their family trees, and you should see them at home! Please review the term “generation.”

Science: We will begin talking about our next “cycle in nature” next week: seasons. 

Reminders:

We could still use materials from our wish list – It’s so important that everyone contributes what they can to support our classroom learning community. The link is below. Thank you SO MUCH to the families who have already contributed gift cards and wish list items!! We were able to open our listening center today with our new pillows and audio books!!!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3815JTB6HJW2W/ref=cm_sw_em_r_d_g__wb

We have started Extended Learning and your child’s grade for the Week 1 assignments will be entered by Monday. I will also send the new assignments on Monday. Here is another copy of the directions incase you misplaced them:

Week 2

It was great to see so many of you at Back to School Night! If you missed it (I know the traffic was crazy) please check your child’s folder for the agenda and your PowerSchool log in information. Please email me with any questions.  

Here are some updates from Week 2:

ELA: We have been reading more Mo Willems books. Students started a fun activity today based on the Pigeon series – ask them to explain it to you!

Math: This week we focused on balancing equations using boxes, circles, and tally marks. Here is an example of this strategy:

Boxes/Circles/TallyMarks

This helps students see two sides of an equation with the equal sign which refers to “the same as.” It basically helps them understand which chunk of numbers needs to be THE SAME AS which other chunk of numbers. I always say: this side needs to be THE SAME AS this side, when teaching balancing equations. The tally marks are a good way to help students count on/back without using their fingers. 

We also focused on the doubles/near-doubles strategy. Here is an example of what this strategy looks like:

Doubles/NearDoubles

Students should work on memorizing doubles with totals up to 20. If students are having a hard time understanding this strategy, it is helpful to support their understanding with manipulatives. We have been using double sided counters when practicing doubles. 

Social Studies: We began our first unit – Me and My Community. We have already done a couple of “About Me” activities from the first week of school. Today we read “Me and My Family Tree.” Students have begun making their own family tree.  

Science: We continued talking about the cycle of daytime and nighttime. Your child should be able to describe this cycle. I asked students to explain this cycle in their science notebooks. Here is an example of outstanding student work: 

OutstandingStudentWork

Reminders: Please send the following two items to school by Monday, September 18th

  • headphones/earbuds that fit in a zipped sandwich bag, clearly labeled with your child’s name (keep in mind, these are to live in our classroom and only go home in June)
  • a 3 ring binder with clear plastic view cover, inside cover “pockets,” and tabs for students to easily open and close rings. Any color is fine, recycled binders are also encouraged!

We could still use materials from our wish list – I’ve edited the priority to show items that I am hoping to use this month or next as “highest.” It’s so important that everyone contributes what they can to support our classroom learning community. The link is below. Thank you SO MUCH to the families who have already contributed gift cards and wish list items!!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3815JTB6HJW2W/ref=cm_sw_em_r_d_g__wb

Remember that Monday we will start Extended Learning assignments for Quarter 1. Your child will take home the assignment and directions in their folder. Extended Learning is optional and counts as ten percent of your child’s final grade in all subjects. 

Week 1

I hope everyone is enjoying second grade so far! Here are some updates about what we have been doing this week.

ELA: We have been reading Mo Willems books – this will be our focus author of the month. His books are usually silly! You are likely to find plenty of his books at your local library. An especially popular series by Mo Willems is the “Elephant and Piggie” series. Many books in this series are available on Scholastic and are great for emerging readers – simple text and students love them!

Math: We began a review of math concepts this week. Students should be able to explain the following vocabulary words: sum, difference, doubles, near doubles, equation, addends. These words will be going home in a packet of student work tomorrow (Friday). Students should also understand that the equal sign means “the same as” and that equations could be written 8 + 7 = 15 OR 15 = 8 + 7.

Social Studies: We have been talking about classroom rules and routines! Students should be able to tell you our three classroom rules and give examples of how they can follow each one (be safe, be respectful, try your best). 

Science: We began our first unit – Cycles in Nature. So far, we have talked about the cycle of daytime and nighttime. Your child should be able to describe this cycle (key words: axis, rotation, sun, 24 hours). 

Announcements:

These blog posts will be taking the place of our email list ([email protected] is no longer!) You are still able/encouraged to email me personally, but any group announcements will come through the blog. Please update your email address if needed!

Please send the following two items to school by Monday, September 18th

  • headphones/earbuds that fit in a zipped sandwich bag, clearly labeled with your child’s name (keep in mind, these are to live in our classroom and only go home in June)
  • a 3 ring binder with clear plastic view cover, inside cover “pockets,” and tabs for students to easily open and close rings. Any color is fine, recycled binders are also encouraged!

We could still use materials from our wish list – I’ve edited the priority to show items that I am hoping to use this month or next as “highest.” It’s so important that everyone contributes what they can to support our classroom learning community. Thank you SO MUCH to the families who have already contributed gift cards and wish list items!!

We could also use some parent volunteers for morning recess. We need one or two parents on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:45 – 10:05 for Quarter 1. We are ALSO looking for a room parent. Duties include monthly Parent Foundation meetings, and planning the second grade events (school Halloween celebration and one Teacher Appreciation lunch which I think is in May). If you are interested in either volunteer opportunity, please email me.

Reminders: Back to school night is September 14th!

Thanks for a great first week!!

Welcome to Second Grade!

Hello everyone and WELCOME TO SECOND GRADE! 

Our email lists are still being updated, so for now I am posting this welcome email on our blog. 

I hope everyone has been enjoying summer vacation and is getting excited to head back to school! I wanted to let you know I will be at OTA most of next week. If anyone would like to stop by the classroom with any questions or just to say hello I am very flexible with timing and would love to meet you! Please email me if you are interested in coming by. I will have the most flexibility on Tuesday or Thursday.  

My email is: [email protected]

I know there are most likely lots of questions about school supplies. We will be using community supplies, so there is nothing specific your child will need to bring to school on the first day. That being said, we could definitely use some Staples or Target gift cards for assorted notebooks, folders and consumables. If you would like to contribute a gift card that would be greatly appreciated!
 
I have also included a link to our classroom Amazon Wish List. I will continue to update this list next week – so far it is mainly math materials and classroom library books. Feel free to search for a used copy of any of the books listed! They always arrive in great condition.
 
 
Enjoy the rest of your summer! I look forward to meeting you all. 
 
Lisa Pendleton 
Second Grade 
Old Town Academy 

Quarter 4, Week 7

Quarter 4, Week 7

Math: We finished Geometry this week, along with a short introduction to fractions as equal parts. There will not be a math test for Geometry or Data/Graphs, but there will be questions of this type on the end of year assessment.

We are also still focusing on building mental math fluency within 20 – fluency within 20 is an end of year expectation for second grade. Fluency is considered automatically knowing the answer to an equation within 20 – not taking any time to figure it out.

If your child is still counting on to solve equations within 20 – they should spend time practicing decomposing numbers as a strategy. This significantly builds mental math fluency. The thought process would sound like this:

9 + 6 =

“I know 9 + 1 = 10, and 5 more would be 15.”

12 – 4 =

“I know 12 – 2 would be 10, and taking away 2 more would be 8.”

Students could also continue to write out decomposing numbers as the strategy we practiced early on in the year. I would strongly recommend continued practice of these mental math facts throughout the summer!

Science: With all our work on our project this week, we did not get to start our last science unit this week. We will begin Cycles in Nature next week. This will talk about the water cycle, plant life cycles (we have already talked briefly about this in the beginning of the year when we learned about apples and pumpkins) and also the seasons.

Social Studies: We began a review of the 50 states, and spent time this week learning more about the Statue of Liberty. Students should be able to tell you where it is located, some features of the statue, and the ideas that the statue represents.

ELA: We continued with Greek Myths this week. We read the story of Oedipus and the Sphinx, as well as Atalanta and the Golden Apples. Today we will read about Prometheus and Pandora. We will wrap up Greek Myths next week. Students should understand that a myth is any folktale that involves a god/goddess.

Reminders: MAPS testing will continue next week – please let me know if you plan to pick your child up early!

Our bake sale project is going great so far! Please remember that we are focusing responsibility on STUDENTS for any information you need. If you have any questions, or something is unclear, your child should be able to answer to your question for you by asking their group, the class, or me, and then providing that information to you!

Happy weekend!

Quarter 4, Week 6

Quarter 4, Week 6

Math: This week we reviewed Data and Graphs and also began talking about Geometry. We will not have an assessment focused on these topics, but there will be questions of this type on the end of year assessment, so you may want to review the work your child took home this week.

We are also still focusing on building mental math fluency within 20 – fluency within 20 is an end of year expectation for second grade. Fluency is considered automatically knowing the answer to an equation within 20 – not taking any time to figure it out.

Science: We will begin our last science unit next week – Cycles in Nature. This will talk about the water cycle, plant life cycles (we have already talked briefly about this in the beginning of the year when we learned about apples and pumpkins) and also the seasons.

Social Studies: We discussed Ancient Greece this week – your child should be able to list some features of ancient Greek society that we still experience/see today such democracy, the Olympic Games, art, architecture, and olive products. Students should be able to compare Athens and Sparta as two very different Greek city-states. Students should also know at least 5 different Greek gods and the power they are believed to possess.

We learned also learned about Alaska and Hawaii/the Pacific Region of the US. Next week we will be reviewing the states and regions, and also reading more about famous landmarks or National Parks.

ELA: We are continuing with folktales around the world and have been reading different Greek Myths. We have so far heard about the 12 Olympic Gods, the story of Hercules, and the story of Arachne.

Reminders: Monday, May 29th, is Memorial Day and there will be NO SCHOOL.

MAPS testing will also continue next week – we should be done by Friday.

Happy weekend!

Quarter 4, Week 5

Quarter 4, Week 5

Math: This week we finished our focus of working within 1,000. Students should be able to add and subtract within 1,000 using the standard algorithm/standard form. They should also be able to explain standard form by showing the process drawing place value blocks. They should also continue familiarity with a number line.

We are also still focusing on building mental math fluency within 20 – fluency within 20 is an end of year expectation for second grade. Fluency is considered automatically knowing the answer to an equation within 20 – not taking any time to figure it out.

Science: We completed our “Human Bodies” unit this week. Students should be able to tell you the difference between the digestive and excretory systems and also explain some components of a healthy, balanced diet.

Social Studies: We learned about Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa this week, completing our focus on the Midwest.

ELA: THANK YOU to Elizabeth Schmelzenbach for her seminar on Korean folktales last week (sorry for the late post!) Students loved learning about Korean culture.

We are continuing with folktales around the world and have also been studying tall tales – students should know that a tall tale is a type of folktale that is based on truth but contains significant exaggeration. Students should be able to tell you a little bit about some tall tales we read, including Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyon, and Pescos Bill.

Reminders: Monday, May 29th, is Memorial Day and there will be NO SCHOOL.

Happy weekend!

Quarter 4, Week 3

Quarter 4, Week 3

Math: Our math test will be posted on Powerschool this afternoon. We began our new unit this week – Adding and Subtracting within 1,000. This has been a very easy transition from working within 100 so far for most students. The most important understanding is that similar to 10 tens making 1 hundred, 10 hundreds make 1 thousand. Students should understand the value of a digit within a number – for example, in 654 the value of 5 is 50, the value of 6 is 600, the value of 4 is 4. Student should understand that 654 = 600 + 50 + 4 OR 654 = 500 + 150 + 4 OR 654 = 600 + 40 + 14, etc. This unit applies many strategies we have already mastered when working within 100, so it will be moving at a pretty fast pace. Please watch for math worksheets in your child’s folder and review what we have done in class, as well as any optional practice they have taken home.

We are also still focusing on building mental math fluency within 20 – fluency within 20 is an end of year expectation for second grade. Fluency is considered automatically knowing the answer to an equation within 20 – not taking any time to figure it out.

Science: We continued our “Human Bodies” unit this week. Students should be able to tell you a little bit about the digestive track and the purpose of the small and large intestine.

Social Studies: We learned about North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas as we began focusing on the Midwest.

We also finished our focus on Early Asian civilizations. Students should be able to tell you about the significance of rivers to the creation of civilizations of India and China, describe the flooding of the rivers, and also describe/compare Hinduism and Buddhism. Students should also tell you about Confucius and Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) as well as some Chinese inventions.

ELA: Students should be able to summarize “The Empty Pot” – part of our Folktales Around the World focus. This is a tale from China with a moral that honesty is important.

THANK YOU to Cristina Padilla for her seminar this week! Students loved the Mexican folktales!

Students took home their long vowel i spelling charts, as well as double L spelling charts for practice. This week we began focusing on long o spelling patterns.

Reminders: Please return your yearbook order form as soon as possible if you are interested. Also, if you would like an optional summer work packet for your child please email me to let me know (if you have not already).

Happy weekend!

Q4, Week 2

Quarter 4, Week 2

Math: This week we finished our money and time unit. Our math test will be on Wednesday of next week. Students should be able to identify coins and their value, add multiple coins together, show multiple ways to make a certain amount of money (for example, 50 cents is 2 quarters, or 5 dimes, or 4 nickels and 30 pennies, etc), show multiple ways to show a certain amount of money by following specific “rules” (for example: I have 6 coins that make 50 cents. What are they? or, I have 9 coins that total 45 cents. What are they?)Students should also be able to read a clock (to 5 minutes), figure out how much time has passed when given a starting and ending time (Lisa started reading at 8:10 and finished reading at 8:40, how long was she reading for?), and figure out what time it is if given a starting time and how much time has passed (Lisa started reading at 8:10 and read for 30 minutes, what time is it now?).

We are also still focusing on building mental math fluency within 20 – fluency within 20 is an end of year expectation for second grade. Fluency is considered automatically knowing the answer to an equation within 20 – not taking any time to figure it out.

Science: We began our “Human Bodies” unit this week. Students should be able to tell you about Anton von Leeuwenhoek (he discovered bacteria), and the four types of body tissue (connective tissue which supports the body and binds connect tissue together, muscle tissue helps your body move, nervous tissue sends and receives messages from the brain, and epithelial tissue which covers and protects your body).

Social Studies: We learned about Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada which finished up our focus on the Western Region.

We also began learning about Early Asian civilizations. Students should be able to tell you a little about Ancient India and Hinduism.

ELA: Students should be able to summarize “The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal” – part of our Folktales Around the World focus. This is a tale from Ancient Asia.

We finished our focus on long vowel sound i, and students will be taking home their spelling lists next week.

Reminders: Thank you so much to everyone who came for Grandparents/Special Guest Day! Also, if you are interested in an optional summer work packet please email me to let me know (if you have not already).

Happy weekend!

Q4, Week 1

Quarter 4, Week 1

Math: This week we continued focusing on money and time. Students should be able to identify coins and their value, add multiple coins together, show multiple ways to make a certain amount of money (for example, 50 cents is 2 quarters, or 5 dimes, or 4 nickels and 30 pennies, etc), show multiple ways to show a certain amount of money by following specific “rules” (for example: I have 6 coins that make 50 cents. What are they? or, I have 9 coins that total 45 cents. What are they?)

Students should also be able to read a clock (to 5 minutes), figure out how much time has passed when given a starting and ending time (Lisa started reading at 8:10 and finished reading at 8:40, how long was she reading for?), and figure out what time it is if given a starting time and how much time has passed (Lisa started reading at 8:10 and read for 30 minutes, what time is it now?).

We are also still focusing on building mental math fluency within 20 – fluency within 20 is an end of year expectation for second grade. Fluency is considered automatically knowing the answer to an equation within 20 – not taking any time to figure it out.

Also, thank you SO MUCH to Topher McDougal, who did a seminar this week focusing on logic problems. Students loved the challenging questions and many students even tried an extra logic problem at their house!

Science: Next week we will be focusing on the second grade “Human Bodies” unit.

Social Studies: We began learning about the Western Region of the United States this week. So far students have learned about California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

ELA: We read different versions of Cinderella this week, focusing on cultural differences in the different tales. All fairytales contain certain elements that were present throughout: a kind/mistreated character, evil characters, royalty, magic, a happy ending. Students should be able to summarize the versions we read for you, identifying how these elements present in each version, and identifying some cultural elements that were also present. Students should also be able to explain the moral/lesson learned from Cinderella (Your outward appearance doesn’t matter, the type of person you are on the inside is what is important. Students might use words from the versions we read, such as cold-hearted/hard-hearted/warm-hearted/kind-hearted)  We read: Cinderella (from France), The Rough-Faced Girl (Native American folktale from North America), The Korean Cinderella (from Korea), and Yeh-Shen (from China), Adelita (from Mexico).

For Quarter 4, we will not be continuing with weekly spelling tests. We will still have a cumulative test at the end of the quarter. Throughout the quarter we will be focusing on words with long vowel sounds i/o/u as well as words with double L endings, words with TCH vs CH, and words with NG/NK. As we complete each group of words students will take a word list home to practice. We have so far begun spelling patterns for the long i sound, and also words with double L endings. We will finish this focus next week. The thought process behind this type of spelling practice is that I rarely see a correlation between weekly spelling tests and student writing. Many students are able to memorize spelling words for a weekly test, but are still not consistently spelling these words correctly in their writing (which is much more important, and has been the focus this year).

Reminders: I hope to see everyone at the Gala tomorrow! Also, next week is Grandparent’s Day. Please let me know if your child’s grandparent, or a family friend, plans to attend.

Happy weekend!

Q3, Week 10

Quarter 3 Week 10

Math: We began our new unit focusing on money and time. Students should be able to identify coins and their value, add multiple coins together, and show multiple ways to make a certain amount of money (for example, 50 cents is 2 quarters, or 5 dimes, or 4 nickels and 30 pennies, etc). We are also focusing on building mental math fluency within 20 – fluency within 20 is an end of year expectation for second grade.

Science: We studied chickens this week, with the main take away being the difference between fertilized chicken eggs that will hatch into a chick, and unfertilized chicken eggs that would not become a chick. Some chicken vocabulary includes: incubate, hen, rooster,  pullet, cockerel, down, free-range, gizzard, clutch.

Social Studies: We finished studying the civil war. Student should be able to explain why the civil war happened (the South thought each state should be able to decide their stance on slavery and did not like that Abraham Lincoln thought the government should decide, Abraham Lincoln declared no slavery in the new western territories, the South succeeded from the US and formed the Confederacy, Abraham Lincoln/the Union army fought to preserve the country) and how the civil war ended (the South surrendered to the North after 4 years of fighting). Students should be familiar with the Emancipation Proclamation (Lincoln declared an end to slavery in the states that were fighting for the Confederacy, which also allowed these newly freed men to fight for the Union army) and also some key figures including Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Clara Barton. Students should understand that the South was significantly more damaged than the North and had to be rebuilt (Reconstruction).

ELA: We focused on writing responses this week, connected to our civil war topics. At this point in the year students should be answering questions in complete sentences, using words from the question in their answer, using correct punctuation and capitalization, and spelling word wall words (spelling words) correctly. Students should be able to use contractions correctly in their writing, and correctly write words in the past tense.

Reminders: GREAT JOB to our talent show participants – Caden, Chace, Jonah, and Maya! If you’d like to see them perform, there is a showing tonight at 6:00.

Happy weekend!

Q3, Week 9

Quarter 3 Week 9

Math: We have been reviewing story problems for addition and subtraction within 100, with a focus on multi step problems. Next week will be our math test. We will also begin our new unit – time and money.

Science: We studied frogs this week and will finish up on Monday. Students should be able to tell you about the following vocabulary words: frog spawn, embryo, amphibians. Students should also be able to describe how tadpoles eat and breathe vs. how grown frogs eat and breathe, as well as how to distinguish a frog from a toad.

Social Studies: We began studying the civil war – so far talking about a definition for slavery, the life of slaves, the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, abolitionists, and the controversy between the North and the South. Student should be able to describe some ways that the North and South differed, besides only slavery (plantations vs. factories, large farms vs. small farms, cotton/tabacco/sugar vs vegetables/livestock).

ELA: We began reading some versions of the Little Red Hen. Students should be able to explain why the Little Red Hen is considered a fable, and also describe differing opinions for the ending. Some students said the LRH was justified in not sharing the bread at the end, while others thought she should have shared. Regardless of student opinion, they should understand/explain each viewpoint.

Reminders: Next Friday is a minimum day for the end of Quarter 3. Also, don’t forget to purchase your Gala tickets!

Q3, Week 8

Quarter 3 Week 8

Math: We have been reviewing addition and subtraction within 100. Our next unit will be time and money, and will begin after vacation.

Science: Our field trip to the NAT was a great success – thank you SO MUCH to all of our parent chaperones. The NAT class Amazing Arthropods reiterated what we have been learning about insects and how they fit into the group “arthropods.” Hopefully your child had a lot to talk about after school on Tuesday!

Social Studies: Students learned about New Mexico and Arizona as we finished studying the Southwest Region of the US.

We also finished studying Westward Expansion this week – students should be able to describe what Westward Expansion is, different developments or inventions that impacted Westward Expansion (steamboat, canals, Pony Express, transcontinental railroad), and the impact Westward Expansion had on Native Americans (Trail of Tears, forced relocation, taking land in the West, killing bison).

Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH to Katie Turner who led seminar this week – a Women’s History Month activity highlighting girls in our class and their dreams for the future.

ELA: This week students took home a list of the spelling words from quarter 3 – our cumulative spelling test will be the Friday after vacation for anyone who wants to get a start on studying!

Reminders: HAPPY VACATION! 🙂

Q3, Week 7

Quarter 3 Week 7

Math: This week’s math strategies focused on the standard algorithm for subtraction, as well as a review for the test today!

Science: We reviewed anthropods for our upcoming field trip! Students should understand that insects, crustaceans, and arachnids are all arthropods (invertebrates with exoskeletons and joint appendages).

Also, THANK YOU to Kate Swanson for presenting Seminar this week – a comprehensive lesson on climate change and global warming. Awesome presentation!

Social Studies: Students learned about Texas and Oklahoma as we began studying the Southwest Region of the US.

We also continued studying Westward Expansion this week – students should be able to describe what a canal is and why the development of canals impacted people’s decision to move West (it became easier to transport goods back and forth from the East). Students should recognize Sequoyah as a Cherokee leader who developed a written language for the Cherokee people. Students should also identify and describe the Trail of Tears as the forced relocation of Native American people from the East to the West by the US government in order to take their land. They should be able to give reasons why it is called the Trail of Tears (forced relocation, many many deaths).

ELA: We are finishing up some versions of Jack and the Beanstalk this week – students should be able to give reasons why it is a fairytale (the presence of magic and royalty, no lesson at the end) and also be able argue for wether or not they think Jack is greedy.

We have been practicing our writing goals with short written responses after our Westward Expansion lessons, as well as Monday morning work narratives and independent reading responses. At this point, students are expected to be writing with consistent conventions – capitalization, punctuation, appropriate spacing, grade level spelling and phonics knowledge. If you notice your child is not consistently demonstrating these conventions, it would be a good idea to start practicing writing at home.

Reminders: Tuesday is our Natural History Museum field trip! Please remember to send your child with a packed lunch, as well as a car seat if applicable. THANK YOU in advance to all of our chaperones!!

Have a great weekend!

Q3, Week 6

Quarter 3 Week 5

Math: This week’s math strategies focused on regrouping to subtract. We first modeled this by drawing place value blocks and are now moving toward standard algorithm for subtraction. Watch for an email later today with a more detailed explanation of these strategies.

Science: This week’s insect comparison compared ladybugs, ants, and butterflies using a three way comparison Venn Diagram.

Social Studies: Students learned about Georgia and Florida as our class completed studying the Southeast Region of the US. Next week we will begin to study the Southwest.

We also began studying Westward Expansion this week – students should be able to describe a pioneer’s journey westward (there should be many more details than “it was hard” – they left most of their belongings, they sometimes had to walk next to the wagon, the journey could take about 6 months, the roads were bumpy and wagons frequently broke, they had to cross the rivers on rafts, the weather sometimes prevented them from continuing their journey, many people got sick or died, etc). Students should also be able to describe the invention of the steam boat (who invented it, why was it important).

Lastly, we began talking about Women’s History Month – learning a little about the women’s suffrage movement and Susan B. Anthony. Students should recognize her as a leader of the women’s suffrage movement, and also be able to explain that the goal of the suffrage movement was for women to gain the right to vote. This also links to our discussions of Westward Expansion – students should understand that the lives of pioneer women were much different than the lives of many city women because the hard work on the frontier demanded that women work equally to men/which eventually led to them gaining the right to vote in many western states first.

ELA: Our spelling words this week focused on the spelling patterns of long e words. We are focusing on these spelling patterns in any words – not just those on the spelling test!

At this point every student has a writing goal and should be able to tell you what they are working on in their writing. Many students are working on spelling word wall words correctly consistently or using correct capitalization or punctuation. These goals would be a great topic for continued practice at home!

Reminders: If you haven’t already returned your field trip permission slip and $7, please do so next week!

Have a great weekend!

Q3, Week 5

Quarter 3 Week 5

Math: We have so far talked about the strategies of using a 100 chart, using an open number line, breaking apart numbers, and using compensation to solve subtraction problems within 100. Some of these strategies have been difficult for students to apply to subtraction – particularly breaking apart numbers and compensation. We will continue practicing these strategies next week. Watch for an email later today with a more detailed explanation of these strategies.

Science: Students are wrapping up our insect unit by comparing insects they have learned about, using Venn Diagrams.

Social Studies: Students learned about Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as our class continued studying the Southeast Region of the US. Next week will conclude our study of that region.

Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH JEREMY TURNER for his seminar on Napoleon in connection with the War of 1812!! Students loved his engaging discussion and Powerpoint. Many students were also particularly interested in his use of palindromes!

ELA: Our spelling words this week focused on the spelling patterns of ou/ow words. Students should be familiar with these spelling patterns in any words – not just those on the spelling test!

Students have been working on setting a writing goal in terms of which conventions they need to work on in their writing. Many students are working on spelling word wall words correctly consistently or using correct capitalization or punctuation. If your child has not determined their writing goal yet they will do so next week. These goals would be a great topic for continued practice at home!

We have also been reading some books in the past couple of weeks to celebrate Black History Month. We particularly focused on the lives/accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and Jackie Robinson. If you come by the classroom, check out our MLK display!

Reminders: Saturday is the OTA skate event at Skateworld for anyone looking for a fun community activity! Also, next Friday will be the math retake from last unit.

Have a great weekend!

Q3, Week 4

Quarter 3 Week 4

Math: We are beginning our new unit, “Subtracting Within 100 Using Strategies.” This unit repeats many of the strategies we learned in the last unit. Math test scores will be posted on Powerschool next week.

Science: Students had a great first seminar from Saul Perez!! The seminar focused on crickets and students were able to apply much of the information we learned in our insect unit to new information about crickets. The loved the engaging Powerpoint presentation. THANK YOU SO MUCH SAUL!

Also, our insect themed field trip will be changed to the Natural History Museum, and will be on March 21. Students will take home permission slips in their folders today. Although the zoo was unable to meet our insect needs, we are looking into a visit from the zoo to OTA. More on that later!

Social Studies: Students learned Kentucky, Tennesse, and Arkansas as our class continued studying the Southeast Region of the US.

ELA: Our spelling words this week focused on the spelling patterns for the long vowel sound of a, which we have been reviewing for a while. Next week we will begin a focus of spelling patterns for the long vowel sound of e.

We also began reading some classic versions of Jack and the Beanstalk. We focused our discussion on character traits of Jack, specifically wether or not Jack should be described as greedy or not.

Reminders: Fridays are still reserved for Show and Tell if any student would like to share any kind of experience or knowledge they are interested in! Some examples might be: describing an after school sport they are involved in, presenting about an insect they researched at home, talking about a book they read and really enjoyed, or displaying a craft they made. Remember that this should be student driven/student planned/student executed.

 

Have a great weekend!

Q3, Week 3

Quarter 3 Week 2

Math: Students are moving toward standard form when adding two digit numbers within 100. They are learning to regroup and make a ten, showing a strategy many parents identify as “carrying the 10” in an equation. This is the end of our addition within 100 unit, and our math test will be on Wednesday of next week. Watch for an email with a more detailed description of this last strategy.

Science: Students began to compare some of the insects we have learned about and we will continue this for the rest of February. This is the final topic in our study of insects. To wrap up, we will be taking a trip to the Insect House at the San Diego Zoo. I will send more information about this field trip next week (the date is still TBD). If you are interested in chaperoning and have all your paperwork completed in the office, feel free to let me know.

Social Studies: Students learned about Virginia and West Virginia as our class began studying the Southeast Region of the US.

ELA: We continue to focus on ed endings, and have been reviewing a previous focus on apostrophes – when to use them and when not to! Students should understand contractions and possession versus plurals. We have also been focusing on spelling patterns for words with the long vowel sound of a (made, game, play, wait, rain).

Reminders: Incase you forgot – IT’S A FOUR DAY WEEKEND 🙂 Also, thank you so much to everyone who brought supplies for our Valentine’s Day celebration!

Q3, Week 2

Quarter 3 Week 2

Math:  Students are learning to add two digit numbers within 100 using a variety of strategies. This week focused on breaking numbers apart into groups of tens and ones, as well as using compensation. Students have taken home many workbook pages detailing the steps to these strategies, and I will also send another math packet description by Monday.

Science: Students continued to learn about the life cycle of a butterfly. Some vocabulary terms specific to butterflies that students should be able to describe are: proboscis, prolegs, instar, button. Students should be able to describe a butterflies life cycle in detail, using words like larvae, pupa, milkweed, chrysalis, caterpillar, dissolve, emerge, metamorphosis.

Social Studies: Students enjoyed some books I added to our classroom library highlighting what we have learned about the states in the Northeastern Region. Today we also read a text about the Statue of Liberty and discussed it’s meaning/significance.

ELA: We continue to focus on a our Reading Comprehension Strategies. Students have been using these strategies in their reading responses to different independent reading books. Students should be able to tell you at least one character trait for a character in any book we have read, and some evidence as to why. We are also focusing on -ed endings in writing, as well as all writing conventions (punctuation/capitalization, spelling, appropriate spacing, neatness).

Reminders: If your child would like to bring a valentine box for our class competition, please bring in ON Valentine’s Day. If your child would like to bring valentines for classmates, please make sure they bring one for every student (30 in total). If you signed up to bring materials for our class celebration THANK YOU SO MUCH 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Q3, Week 1

Quarter 3 Week 1

Welcome to Quarter 3! Here is our Week 1 in review:

Math:  Students are learning to add two digit numbers within 100 using a variety of strategies. This week focused on using patterns on a 100 chart, as well as using a number line, and breaking apart two digit numbers into separate groups of tens and ones. Please check your email for the math packet referring to strategies you can use to help your child at home!

Science: Students are beginning to learn about the life cycle of a butterfly, as well as butterfly migration. We are finishing up narrative nonfiction stories about insects. This will be the last of many insects we have studied!

Social Studies: Students have just finished learning about the states in the Northeastern Region of the United States. Your child should be able to tell you some information about any of the following states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland.

ELA: We are focusing on a couple of different Reading Comprehension Strategies. We describe Reading Comprehension as understanding what you are reading (different than just reading words/phonics). Your child should be able to describe what they are visualizing while they read, what kind of connections they are making throughout a story (text to self, text to text, text to world) and some types of personality traits or character traits they are noticing. We are also working on supporting our ideas with evidence from the text!

Reminders: If you haven’t returned your bag of materials for earthquake preparedness please do so asap 🙂 This weekend is the Pokemon Dance for any families who are interested in a fun community event! Also, intent to re-enroll forms are due back February 8th (next Wednesday).

Have a great weekend!

 

 

The Three Little Pikachus

We have finished our version of the Three Little Pigs! I attached a PDF version of it at the end of this post. Students are SO excited to share our book with you!

Here is a description of what we did to create this:

We read SO MANY versions of the Three Little Pigs. We made a poster in our classroom about what we thought we knew about the story before we read any versions (September 6) and we revisited that poster after reading many different versions (September 30) to revise or add new information that we think we know about now. I like to phrase it as “think we know” because our understandings could evolve even further throughout the year!

One important understanding that we developed through our reading was that the setting impacts the story in different versions. The first step to creating our own version was voting on a setting, and deciding how that would impact the rest of our story.

Students were able to suggest settings and characters that would make sense in that setting. I picked 5 of the suggestions for the class to vote on. Pokeland was the winning suggestion.

(I knew when I put this as one of the 5 suggestions that it would most likely win….but please don’t mistake this for my choice. I am NOT into Pokemon. I voted for the savannah habitat myself. But I feel that incorporating something the students are into just makes it more fun for them. ALL of the learning goals from the project were still happening, even with a Pokemon version).

We then began thinking about the rest of the story elements in The Three Little Pigs. We had to decide what our house materials would be, what repetition we would use for our character dialogue, whether our pig characters would survive or not, and what would happen to our wolf character at the end. We decided these things through a process of more suggestions and voting.

We then began writing the story. Students suggested what to say as I typed the story on the computer, hooked up to the projector. We tried to make our story repetitive, like the many versions we had read.

I asked for volunteers to illustrate the story. We had a long list of volunteers and only 13 pages to illustrate, so from the list of volunteers I chose students who are consistently listening, participating, and showing their best work. These 13 illustrators began their rough drafts. We watched a short video as a whole group on the importance of students giving each other feedback on their work, and we practiced this with the illustrations. After the illustrators finished their rough drafts, we gave feedback for them to think about in their second draft. Some illustrators got more feedback and even made a third draft! Each illustration you see has been approved by the group as ready to put in the class book!

Here is our version! Enjoy!

the-three-little-pikachus

(There is a tiny typo on page 10/11 that I fixed in the book but not the PDF… soooo if you notice it just ignore that 🙂 )

Engineering Project

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to our engineering materials! I updated the Robotics and Engineering tab with a short description of the project incase you are interested in knowing more. We will do these types of literacy connected engineering projects throughout the year, in addition to robotics. Students will work on them once a week with our classroom aide, Ms. Liberson. 15 students will participate on Tuesdays, and the other 15 on Thursdays.

If you are interested in volunteering for engineering and robotics time, please send me an email with the following infomation:

Are you available on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 10:35 – 11:25?

Are you interested in either day, or only the day that your child is participating in Engineering and Robotics?

Would you like to assist Ms. Liberson with activities we have already planned, during the schedule E&R time, or would you like to plan your own lesson? If you would like to plan your own, it could either be during the allotted time for E&R, or we could schedule a different time. It could include 15 students at a time, or all 30 at once. You and I would go over the logistics of your project at least a week before it was planned to happen. If you would like ideas I am happy to talk to you about what is already planned for the year, so that you could explore a topic we are not already addressing.

Thanks again!

 

Classroom Materials Update

Hi Everyone,

I have been working to update the blog and it is nearly done, but for some reason there are 3 math tabs and I am unable to delete the 2 empty ones (enter frustration emoji face here) so I have contacted the blog administrator to take care of that. Also, if you would like to add an email to receive blog updates, please let me know. I think there is currently only ONE parent email for each student. If you email me with a second parent address you’d like to include, I can forward it to the blog administrator.

Some parents have been asking if the wish list is up to date – it is! I made a new tab for it on the blog so you can access it easier. Please let me know if you purchase anything from the wish list so that I can check to make sure it is removed – if you purchase used books the list doesn’t automatically update itself. Also, if you purchase something from a vendor other than Amazon please let me know.

Occasionally, as was the case with the three little pigs project, I will send an email for specific supplies we need right away – those will never be duplicated on the wish list, and I will say something like I did in the last email detailing when we need the materials by (in this case, Monday September 26th). In a situation like that, I will always save any extra materials to use for future projects, or any extra Target gift cards to put towards future materials. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has already told me they are contributing materials for the three little pigs engineering project!

Also, I didn’t realize there wasn’t an email sent out from the blog with the family photo request – if you haven’t already seen this on the “Social Studies” tab, we are making a class book of families. If you could please send a family photo by Wednesday, September 28th, I would love to include it in the book. You can email me the picture, or send a hard copy. The photo should show the members of your family that your child lives with. If you want to include multiple pictures to show all the people your child lives with, just make a collage first so that it’s the size of one photo (we have limited space) or send two half-sized photos.

It was so nice to see some of you at Movie Night on Friday. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Update: 9/19

Good morning, I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend!

If anyone was unable to attend Back to School Night, please let me know if you have any questions about classroom expectations, second grade curriculum, or Project Based Learning. I am happy to meet with your briefly after school any day.

Some parents have been asking for my after school office hours. I don’t have any hours devoted particularly to parent meetings, but I am extremely flexible with my schedule and I’m in the classroom after school most days. If you email me a time you would like to meet, I can most likely meet at the time you request. Just please let me know beforehand if there is something specific you would like to talk about.

I have updated the Literacy, Math, and Social Studies pages to reflect our current curriculum topics. If you are looking for the spelling words, they are listed under the literacy tab. I am hoping to update the Science tab this week. As I mentioned at Back to School Night, I am still waiting for a couple of materials to come in for our insect unit before we begin with science. I will also add a new tab to reflect Engineering and Robotics with Ms. Liberson once we have started that (hopefully next week). By the end of the week I will post a tab with the classroom schedule and upcoming school events. I am still modifying some of the schedule times, especially on the days that we have PE, art, and music all in the same day!

Our first engineering project will be linked to The Three Little Pigs. Students do not yet know about this project so PLEASE do not share this information with them. Students will construct a house made of materials similar to one of the three little pigs houses, and we will test their construction by placing it in front of a fan (aka the Big Bad Wolf). We need the following materials for this project:

10 packages of clear drinking straws

10 packages of wooden craft sticks

10 “scratch pads” of 4 x 6 inch white paper

If you can contribute any of these materials, or a Target gift card for us to purchase them, please let me know. I will update the blog when we are set on these materials.

If you are someone who indicated interest in volunteering during Engineering and Robotics, I will be in touch with you this week to ask a couple of preference questions. We will start volunteering after the Three Little Pigs engineering project is complete. I would like Ms. Liberson to have some time to establish herself with the students as their Engineering and Robotics teacher before she begins working with volunteers.

If anyone has any questions, or if I forgot to address something please let me know! Have a great week!

Happy First Day!

Hopefully everyone heard some great things about the first day of school today! Thank you SO much to everyone who brought in supplies. We are so lucky to have such generous parents!! If you are still hoping to contribute, the wish list is up to date. It consists mainly of books right now. The clipboard set that is posted on there would also be very helpful (or any set of 30 clipboards from any store).

The first week is very focused on routines and procedures, but I also wanted to update you on the curriculum for the beginning of the year. I am adding some tabs to the site that will show updates in Literacy, Math, Science, and Social Studies. I’ll be updating these this week with our beginning of the year curriculum. You will probably see some connection between the curriculum and the books posted on the wish list.

I just finished registering our classroom for Scholastic Book Orders. If you haven’t used Scholastic before, it’s basically an online bookstore that gives our classroom points with every order you make. We can use the points to make our own orders for our classroom. They give a lot of extra points/classroom dollars/free books/coupons in September so if you do feel like ordering anything for your child now, our classroom will greatly benefit! There are all different ages on the site, so you can browse for siblings as well (the book choices go down to pre-K level). I will be submitting the orders every month, on the last school day of the month. I submit them all at once because that occasionally gets us more class points! If you do order anything now, keep in mind it won’t come in until October. Also, if you are interested in Halloween books, check them out this month! In my experience, there are always great books available. The “Ms. P Recommends” tab in our blog will have Scholastic books that connect to what we are doing in the classroom. I’ll work on that list this week.

Our classroom code is: GPKJN

The Scholastic link is here 🙂

See you all tomorrow!

-Ms. Pendleton

 

New School Year 2016-2017

Hi Parents,

This blog is still somewhat under construction, but I have a couple more pieces of information to share with you before school starts.

I have posted an Amazon Wish List here, which I will update throughout the year with supplies our class needs. Anything that you feel like contributing would be greatly appreciated! You can sort the list by priority to see what our class needs most. Right now it’s prioritized by items we need to start school. I didn’t add the items I already mentioned in the previous email (crayons, markers, colored pencils, Ticonderoga pencils, glue sticks, cleaning supplies) but we do still need those things as well!

You could absolutely also buy any of these items in a local store, or from a different online vendor. Please just make sure to purchase the exact item listed (size/color/brand). I have added some notes about stores that have some of these items available for a better price, or notes on products that are currently on sale. Staples is having a great sale right now on many school supplies! Also, if you are ever considering purchasing a book from the wish list, please feel free (or even encouraged!) to buy it used. I have purchased literally hundreds of used books on Amazon from all different sellers. They always arrive in good condition and they are always MUCH cheaper – sometimes they are 1 cent, plus shipping! The used price is listed under the same product link for all books. Underneath the standard price it will say something like “12 new and used from .01” and if you click on that price it will show you a list of sellers who are offering the same copy of the book.

HERE IS THE LINK 🙂
Our Class Wish List

I have also gotten a couple of questions about volunteering in the classroom. I will be setting up an online sign up sheet (the same process as last year) and opportunities for volunteering will start in October! If you are interested, keep your eye on the blog for the link to sign up.

Lastly, could you please send a T shirt to school for your child to keep in the classroom as a “smock.” This would be a large size T shirt that covers most of their uniform – at least to the knees. There is absolutely no rush on this. We will be using the T shirts throughout the year when we engage in any type of project (mostly art) that could get messy. I would anticipate needing them by the beginning of October.

Have a great long weekend, and see you next week! Feel free to email me with any questions, or to schedule a meeting time if you haven’t already done so and would like to.

– Ms. Pendleton

Open House & a Quick Note

Dear Parents & Families,

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at Open House tomorrow night from 6:30 to 7:00pm. I will be presenting for that half hour about a number of important topics, and will be available for questions afterward!

Also, two quick notes pertaining to homework.

Spelling homework for Second Graders will consist of a “menu” each week. This allows students to choose which options they like best as they prepare for the Friday spelling test. Choice can be a big motivator!

Several parents have asked about the spelling journals that are mentioned in the directions for this week’s homework. Students will be receiving their spelling journals beginning next week. For this coming week feel free to have your student submit any Menu activities requiring paper on regular, loose leaf notebook paper. Thank you!

With regards to the Reading Log, I would like students to complete at least one hour of quality reading time a week. If they are reading chapter books, you can write the title of the book and record the chapters they read each day. “Quality reading time” is spent in a quiet place, with a book your student can read comfortably and independently.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at any time!

Warmly,

Miss B

Congratulations!

Dear Parents & Families,

Congratulations to all my Second Graders & their families! We made it through our first week, and had a lot of fun along the way.

This past week, Second Graders reviewed telling time to the hour and coin values. We learned about the traits of fairy tales, and how to use a compass rose to tell the four cardinal directions. We also reviewed shapes, patterns, and learned about tessellations.

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Thank you to those parents who have purchased their students’ school supplies. These supplies will sustain us for the rest of the year! If you have not already done so, please review the list in the entry below. Please note where specific brands have been indicated. This is because certain supplies will be shared (such as the white boards), and they must be interchangeable. (This is also because certain brands are likely to last much, much longer!)

A double (triple) thank you to parents who have contributed items from the class Wish List. Your generosity has helped our classroom become a more wonderful and functional place to be! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Just a reminder that Back to School Night for Second Graders is this coming Wednesday, September 16th, from 6:30 – 7:00pm. We will be reviewing classroom procedures, homework policies, volunteering opportunities, and much, much more!

This coming week will be the first week of assigned homework. Students will be sent home with a Reading Log, as well as their weekly Spelling List and a Spelling Menu with several options of activities to complete. All of these are due Friday morning at the beginning of class. Please review the homework with your student before they begin working on it.

This week our class will be reviewing time to the hour, adding single-digit numbers quickly and accurately, making patterns, and comparing numbers. We will also be writing our own fairy tales and begin learning about tall tales. Tuesday will also be our first day of robotics! Students will have to program their robots to follow a path using the four cardinal directions.

One of the funnest additions to our classroom this year is a wonderful Crosley record player. The Second Grade class are big fans! If you have any classical music on 33’s, 45’s, or even 78’s that you would like to give or loan to the class, please e-mail me! Students love hearing waltzes and operas played the “old-fashioned” way.

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Thank you to our wonderful parents and families! As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail me at any time.

Warmly,

Miss B

[email protected]

PBL and Gala

Thank you to everyone who stopped by today to enjoy student writing! I hope you were amazed by the efforts they put into their work 🙂
Anyone who missed the display can come by before or after school next week and your child can share their writing with you. I will leave the display up until Wednesday of next week. 

Also, don’t forget to purchase your Gala tickets for April 21!!!!! It’s coming up so fast!

Don’t forget to get your Gala Tickets!

Do you have your OTA Gala tickets yet? 🙂
Time is running out, as the OTA Gala 2018 is coming up quickly! Please join us on SaturdayApril 21, 2018 at the Broadway Port Pavilionin downtown San Diego. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we need your supportto continue all of the great programs and activities at OTA!
 
EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS so let's support our school and have some fun!
 
To PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS TODAY VISIT: 
Tag photos with #OTAGalaon social media, there will be prizes for the best photos posted.  https://www.facebook.com/OldTownAcademyParentFoundation/
Please be safe and take advantage of transportation services:
Lyft Code: OTAGALA2018
Code Details: Limited quantity available. 20% off 1 ride. Max savings of $3 per ride. Discount applies to fare and Prime Time charges only. Valid between Apr 21, 2018 and Apr 21, 2018 11:59PM.Pickup or drop-off must be Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Cannot be combined with other ride credit or offers. Subject to Lyft's Terms of Use.
 
Uber Code: VIPSTATUS

New Uber users only. Free first ride up to $30 valid all day on April 21st.

Jon Centofranchi

Principal
Old Town Academy K-8 Charter School

next year

Hi everyone,

I wanted to take a minute to let everyone know that I will be moving back to Boston this summer, and I will not be returning to OTA for next school year. I have had SUCH a wonderful experience working here, and have felt so supported by all of you. Thank you so much for making my time here so enjoyable!! I will be thinking of all of you while I am buried underneath my sixth blizzard of the season in April of next year…

Also, please don’t worry about the end of the year – I am still completely committed to student success in the final quarter! 

Please let me know if you have any suggestions of must do trips around California before I head back East. 

Lisa

end of Q3

Hi everyone, 

Just a couple of reminders for next week – the last week of Quarter 3.

Science Extended Learning is due on Friday, April 13th. This is the last Extended Learning assignment of the quarter.

We will have our Quarter 3 spelling test on Wednesday, April 13th. Here are the new words from Quarter 3. There will also be words from Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 on the spelling test. 

again, bought, brought, buy, been, chase, care, could, dinner, during, done, don’t, didn’t, game, heart, I’ll, I’m, laugh, lay, more, much, movie, please, read, right, special, should, stay, same, some, sure, surprise, save, total, thought, too, their, won, would, whole, who

For Quarter 4, we will need recess volunteers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:45 – 10:15. If you have not volunteered for recess yet and you are able to, please email me!! Thank you in advance!!!

Please remember that April 13th, and also April 20th are minimum days!

We will also have a display outside our classroom on Friday, April 13th to show off our writing PBL we have worked on this quarter. If you would like to stop by to see student writing, available times during the school day would be 8:20 – 8:45, 8:50 – 9:15, 9:20 – 9:45, 11:00 – 11:25, 11:30 – 11:55. This is just a casual drop in, so it’s not a problem if you are a couple of minutes late. Your child will greet you when you arrive and explain the project to you, showcased in the hallway. You can expect to spend about 10 – 20 minutes reviewing student work. You are welcome to take your child home with you if you come between 11-12. The work will also stay up on Monday, April 16th for anyone who would like to come by before or after school. Please email me if you plan on coming by and let me know which time slot you plan to attend.

Grandparent/Special Friend Day

We wrote our invitation letters for Grandparent/Special Friend Day today – your child should have one in their folder! We went over a couple of options for delivery (if you are seeing this person over vacation you could give it to them personally, otherwise mail it, or take a picture of it and send it in a text or email to that person).

If your child was not in school today, Grandparent’s Day is on April 20th from 9:00 – 11:00. Please feel free to invite a grandparent, or an adult friend of the family, to come to our classroom for some activities.

HAPPY VACATION!