Tuesday was an exciting day in Second Grade! Children returned to school after the long Memorial Day weekend full of stories and ready to celebrate our final Writing Workshop unit of the year: Poetry. Parents and special friends gathered in classrooms to watch presentations given by Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Noble, and Ms. Sarma which explained each stage of the writing process that children engaged in leading up to the celebration. Offering insight into the process behind the published poems helps to underscore the important learning that children have done in developing skills in planning, drafting, revising, and editing, in addition to practicing for the “big day” by reading poems in partnerships, small groups, and in front of the class. Following the presentation, children in each class took turns reading one of their published poems before an audience of classmates, parents, and special friends. Speaking before a large group takes a lot of courage, and we are proud of the bravery each and every Second Grader displayed in working through nervousness to present his or her poem. Following the group readings, each child had the opportunity to share a second published poem with his or her special guest. After so much work, eating, relaxing, playing, and spending time with family and friends was in order! Children, parents, and special friends continued the celebration with a picnic outside, and the afternoon closed on an exciting note with a special visit from the ice cream truck! We would like to thank all parents and special friends for your support of the hard work that the children have done all year and for taking the time to celebrate their efforts and achievements.
Second grade writers are excited about our upcoming Writing Celebration on Tuesday, May 26. For our final celebration of the year, the children will share their proudly published poems with their guests.
Earlier in our Poetry unit, children began viewing the world with a poet's eye, re-imagining ordinary objects in new ways. They began to list possible topics for poems and wrote poems collaboratively as a class as well as individually. As students' confidence grew, they tried incorporating a variety of poetry techniques, including alliteration, onomatopoeia (sound words), words incorporating the five senses, repetition, patterns, comparing language like similes and metaphors, and poems in the shape of objects. They practiced incorporating line breaks and choosing vivid words as they revised and edited two of their favorite poems to share with you. This week, children have recopied their poems and practiced reading them aloud fluently.
At our writing celebration next Tuesday, teachers will share an overview of the Poetry unit. Children will read one poem of their choosing aloud to the whole group. They will then share one poem individually with their own families. After a celebration of their work in the classroom, all of the second graders and their guests will gather on the back field to enjoy a pizza picnic and visit from the ice cream truck. We look forward to celebrating your child's risk-taking and growth as a writer next week!
Classrooms were buzzing this week as students put all they had learned during a 6 week study of Towns into action. After taking a closer look into the local history of Montclair, and using the observation data gathered from field trips around Montclair, students began to note some common elements. Students came together to share their findings from their walking field trips and noted that Montclair, and even their home towns, included certain essentials like housing; transportation; places to work and places to gather or have fun. Students were then challenged to design towns of their own in a medium of their choosing. Students were asked to consider the idea of needs vs. wants, before getting too far along in their town planning. Some students even considered sustainable features such as electric vehicles and bike paths for transportation options, recycling receptacles, and green spaces that young and old citizens could use. To share their work students used technology tools to document their town designs and share which elements they included and why those things were important to a town.
In Reading Workshop, Second Graders have enthusiastically jumped into our final unit of the year, which focuses on becoming “experts” in book series that we love. Our unit on Book Series is a perfect opportunity to practice many of the higher-level comprehension skills that we will be using more and more when we become third graders. We started our unit by thinking about what a book series is, brainstorming lists of some of our favorite series, and sharing what we love about them. Second Graders have learned that readers join together to follow and talk about our favorite series. In partnerships and small groups, we can make predictions based on how the series “usually goes,” and we can grow big ideas by probing for more information from our partners and small group members. We can also develop our skills in making and talking about comparisons among the books in a series by noticing patterns that occur among the different books. The practice that we are gaining will help us in developing our retells and reflections on the books that we read. In the final weeks of school, we will focus on getting to know both the primary and secondary characters in our series even better.