As part of Identity Unit, we spent time discussing the importance of a name. We learned that many names (first, middle , last) come from family members and tell a great deal about ones culture and identity.
Second graders are geared up for our newest challenge - studying cursive! We began this study by moving our bodies in flowing ways, drawing curved lines in the air as we moved around the classroom. Because we have been focused on what careful and detailed work looks like, students then took time to review what working bodies look like: sitting straight, feet forward, proper pencil grip, hands holding paper still. Next, we examined cursive writing with our eyes, paying close attention to the detail of the size of letters and what lines each letter touches. The letters we learn over the next few months will begin with a certain type of beginning stroke: uphill, over-hill, or sidestroke. Students are interested in this “grown up” writing challenge and excited to take on something completely new. Beginning this challenge reminds us that just as our ideas in writing are like a work of art, now making these letters feels like an artistic process as well. It is very exciting!
Today, 2A performed their class play, "My Father's Dragon," to an enthusiastic audience at Brookside. As a class, they first read the classic book by Ruth Stiles Gannett and loved hearing about Elmer's adventures on Wild Island. The 2A students worked very hard to memorize their lines and performed on stage like professional actors. They did an excellent job singing "Bare Necessities," "Spark the Flying Dragon," "I Feel Pretty," "Lollipop," and "A Whole New World." The scenery was also terrific and their costumes were out of this world - thank you, parents! We would also like to thank Mrs. Smith and Ms. Weaver for all of their help with the show. As the students in 2A took their final bows, you could feel their great sense of pride and accomplishment. Way to go, 2A!
Although it seems like we may have just begun, this week we celebrated 100 days of fun at the Primary School this year! Second grade class celebrations included planning and creating structures using 100 blocks, Legos, and dominoes. We also were invited to the Pre-K snack buffet where we counted out 100 treats and ate only a portion of them.
It was a busy short week as classes focused on our favorite Brookside motto: We care. We are kind. We are The Cougars! To celebrate the 100th day, students brainstormed 100 acts of kindness and each class committed themselves to kind acts for members of our community. 2S students secretly practiced paying people compliments before they went into the community to make peoples' days better. It was exciting to pay attention to how we treat each others as well as being recipients of kind acts ourselves. The second grade is considering continuing kindness week into the rest of the year - who else is in?
It may have been a wet and rainy week outside, but inside, second grade readers are blooming like flowers! As the books we read are getting longer, we are learning to use more specific and more mature reading habits. Specifically, we are using bookmarks and Post-Its to keep track of the book, page after page, and pick up the story where we left off last reading session. With these habits, it becomes easier for students to follow characters, the setting, and the problem as it changes and grows in the book. We are also practicing talking about our books and summarizing what we have read each day as well in order to understand the difference between the most important information and what is just a small detail. With practice, such understanding will become easier. We know that characters and relationships change throughout books, just as second graders grow and change each day.
The week, the second grade classes were introduced one of our grade level core works, Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts. In the story, the main character, Jeremy, really wants a pair of popular sneakers. With winter coming and new boots needing to be purchased, his grandmother reminds Jeremy that in their household, "There is no room for want, only need." When he purchases a pair of "those shoes" from a thrift shop with his own money, he has to squeeze his toes into the too-small shoes. However, even with his disappointment that the shoes do not fit and cannot be worn, he notices a friend in school needing a pair and he makes the decision to give him his pair. Moved by the kindness of the character, students engaged in meaningful conversations about that which we need and that which we want. Classes considered what is important in life and questioned certain items that may seem quite important, but in reality, are a bonus to our basic needs. They wrote letters to a character or the author which were sent to you as an artifact through Seesaw. The students engaged in further discussions to enhance their social and emotional intelligence as well as respond to questions in writing to develop their reading comprehension skills.
The 2Mc Players took to the stage today to perform their play, Those Darn Squirrels. In the story, the Fookwire Family loves only one thing: to paint birds that visit their bird feeders. Frustration ensues when the local squirrels get to the feeders to feast upon the seeds and berries that the Fookwires have left to attract the birds. To rid the feeders of “those darn squirrels,” the Fookwires set a trap to keep them away. As winter approaches, the birds fly south, leaving the family lonely and without the one activity that brings them joy. To make amends with the family, however, the squirrels join together in kindness to disguise themselves as birds for the Fookwires to paint.
2Mc students have worked hard to teach this message of kindness to each other and, finally, to their audience. They collaborated together as a team: painting the set, learning the script and music, and remembering where and how to move on stage. Although nervous for the performance, the students supported each other throughout the entire process and were excited to stand together on stage. They have much to be proud of and will always have the memory of their second grade play. A special thank-you to Mr. Paulson, Mrs. Fine, Ms. Weaver, Mr. Edwin, Ms. Gonzalez, and Mrs. Bates for helping 2Mc actors prepare. 2Mc would especially like to thank their parents who helped them rehearse at home and put their costumes together.
Second grade mathematicians returned from winter break eager to reunite with classmates and demonstrated that they were ready to get back to work. In math, students are working on activities and learning games that help them apply place value concepts and measuring skills. We read the book, How Big is a Foot? which kicked off whole class discussions and activities regarding "standard" and "non-standard" units of measure. In this story, a king wants to give the queen the best birthday present ever - a bed. However, beds had yet to be invented. Her bed needed to be designed and built. How can they figure out what size the bed should be? Students learned about the need for a standard measurement tool. We used rulers to explore objects around the classroom and at home as second graders practiced measuring in feet, inches, and centimeters.
2nd grade mathematicians returned from winter break eager to reunite with classmates and also demonstrated they were ready to get back to work. In math, students are working on activities and learning games that help them apply place value concepts and measuring skills. New math vocabulary words were introduced such as digit, standard form, expanded form, and place value. Base-10 blocks were used to help the students understand place value. Students learned the importance of when numbers are separated into individual places and the value that each place represents (ie. ones, tens, hundreds). New games such as Place Value Top it and Target were introduced and reinforced concepts learned throughout the week.