Second graders took time during the last week of school to reflect on the hopes and dreams they had established at the beginning of the year. Back in September, the children set goals for their learning with ideas such as, "I hope to get better at writing," "I want to get better at reading and make new friends," and "I want to solve more math challenges." The children's hopes and dreams have been displayed in our classrooms all year as ongoing goals. This week, children thought about all they can do now that was challenging for them in the beginning of the year. Students looked back at their own hopes and dreams and thought about the steps they took to reach them, the obstacles they encountered, and how they overcame those. With big smiles, they noted, "I have more ideas for stories when I write." "I can read for longer now!" "I was new at Brookside but now I have a lot of friends." "I try the optional challenges in my PSI notebook." With pride in all they have accomplished for the year, students are ready to launch into summertime. The second grade teachers wish all of our students a happy, safe, and restful summer!
2N students took to the Primary School stage this Friday to perform a story that came straight from their imaginations. Students started this play process by brainstorming human or animal characters they would feel comfortable bringing to life on stage. They then worked together in class to come up with a setting, a problem and a solution for their characters to solve. They crafted the dialogue for the show and even came up with the lyrics and pop-up movements for the Animals Rock song! These actors displayed great teamwork and poise while having a lots of fun throughout the play process. Bravo 2N!
To culminate our study of towns, 2nd grade students took their understanding of topics we explored in class and began to design towns of their own. Students spent the weeks prior to this project brainstorming the elements towns possess that help them thrive over time. Throughout the process students were eager to exchange ideas and share reasons why things should be included in their respective towns. Some of the basics included places to live, places to work, modes of transportation, and places of interest to visit. Classes considered a towns needs versus wants to carefully plan which services to include in their town. Students worked collaboratively utilizing tools like Lego bricks, blocks or poster paper and markers. Students were really proud of their planning and project work and will be documenting their group project work using screen casting technology tools.
What makes reading even more fun? Finding a series that you love and discussing it with your friends! Second graders are deepening their reading comprehension by joining together with others and talking about their series books. Students are noticing what books have in common, such as characters, settings, and patterns that occur across books in a series. Readers are learning how to grow "big ideas" together in their reading discussions and make predictions based on how the series tends to go. Did you know that the majority of adults who love to read for pleasure had a series that they enjoyed reading as children? With their series book discussions, second graders are well on their way to becoming lifelong readers.
This week, all three 2nd Grade classes have been excited to welcome our Upper School Interns to our classrooms! We welcome Alexis Yost (2B), Nicole Layne (2N), and Alex Stern (2S) to the Primary School. For the rest of the month, our three Upper School Interns will be working with 2nd grade teachers and students in the classrooms as part of their Senior Project. Our interns have been getting to know all of us and about what we do at the Primary School. Students have been helping our interns get to know what it is like to be part of the Primary School community. Interns have been learning about our daily schedules, our classes, and all of the ways in which we learn at the Primary School. 2nd graders have also been enjoying learning more about our interns and what it is like to be a student at the Upper School! This month, our interns will be stepping into the role of "teaching assistants" by working with students in small groups and helping to model the MKA Character Standards.
On Thursday of this week, 2nd grade students treated family, friends and the entire Primary School community to a performance of the Maypole dance. The students' dance was a wonderful display of teamwork! On Friday, the students enjoyed a live performance of Click, Clack, Moo! performed by the TheatreWorks Company at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. The show provided a great opportunity for students to note the confidence, public speaking skills and acting techniques people utilize when they perform and speak in front of an audience.
**The 2nd grade team would like to remind parents to sign up for a May 22nd, Conference time through the link to Signup Genius that was provided via email to you on Thursday afternoon.
"What did people eat?" "Did they have to do a lot of work?" "How did people get around?" These were some of the questions that children asked before our "trip back in time" to the Montclair Historical Society's Israel Crane House this week. Children learned about how life in Montclair 200 years ago was different than life today. Students enjoyed constructing a living timeline, learning about tools in the kitchen, seeing a general store, and participating in activities in the schoolroom. We even enjoyed seeing the outdoor garden, complete with chickens. Our trip provided the foundation for our study of the town of Montclair in coming weeks.
This week students have been busy exploring fractions. Mathematicians used their fraction cards, fraction bars, fraction themed technology tools and games to compare and find fraction equivalents. Student enjoyed using fraction manipulatives like the fraction burger and pizza to complete fraction work in their math workbooks. Math activities using fraction-based manipulatives gave students opportunities to practice identifying and naming fractional parts of a whole. Students also extended their practice time with fraction concepts as they worked with partners or within the structure of small groups to find fractional parts of given collections.
2nd grade launched their study of poetry this week and have been learning how poets use their five senses to help them capture ideas for writing poetry. Students are taking advantage of the spring weather and using the Primary School garden to sit and listen to sounds, or walk around and use their sense of touch and sight to gather ideas in their writer's notebooks. They are also learning new ways to describe ordinary, everyday objects and places they see with poets language. While visiting the garden observing and touching tulips leaves one student shared, "They're like green slides for raindrops!"
2nd graders are sharpening their skills as researchers! 2nd graders have each chosen a special person from history to research using a library database and books. They participated in the MKA research cycle by asking questions, searching for and evaluating information, and taking notes. Researchers then decided how to display their information on nonfiction posters. They applied their understanding of nonfiction features, such as headings, pictures, captions, fun facts, and source citations, as they created unique posters that teach others about the person they researched. Lastly, students reflected on their nonfiction research work using technology tools. Ask your 2nd grader to tell you about their nonfiction research and the special person they have chosen to learn about.