This week second graders joined students across the nation in participating in an Hour of Code. This is "a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics." (code.org) Building on last week’s learning, students were ready to jump into several hands-on experiences. Working collaboratively, second graders built block mazes with specific numbers of turns, then used words/commands that provide specific directions and instructions to guide a moving object in navigating the maze successfully. Trying to make our mazes navigable for Hexbugs required lots of critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. It also required students to test and revise their maze and programming language. Students then used iPad apps to further explore the basics of computer programming. Second graders understand now that coding is a language, much like the languages they speak. Our Hour of Code experience was engaging and exciting for all!
Second graders ended the year by jamming the same fun we had all year into one week! We began with a awesome field day, continued by cleaning out much of our work from the year, organizing the classrooms for next year's second grade, and finally, moving up to visit the third grade teachers. There was plenty of reflection on what this year held and excitement for what lies ahead. We all agree that this year was very special, and lived each day in second grade to its fullest. Our year was full of learning, fun play on the back field, trips around our community and beyond, and building relationships that will last forever. It is aways emotional to say goodbye, but the second grade teachers are sure that these exceptional students are ready to move on to their next journey. Have a great summer, scholars! We will see you in September!
Second graders were treated to a guest speaker, Lisa the Librarian, from the Montclair Public Library on Monday. Ms. Lisa read students a story to help kick off the Montclair Public Library's Ready, Set, Read! summer reading program. She encouraged students to visit the library this summer as their would be lots of activities and prizes for readers of all ages who can set and meet reading goals during the summer months. In class students were introduced to the 2nd grade Summer Reading assignment to help build excitement for for the reading they will do over the summer months. In class students are spending time read independently, with partners, or in small groups and continue to work to provide reading responses for the reading they do during reading workshop times. They have been working to provide responses to reading prompts sharing evidence from their books and build their overall comprehension skills. Read Aloud times also provide a time for students to apply reading skills such as predicting, inferring and noting patterns authors sometimes embed in stories. Second grade Summer Reading assignments were backpacked home on Thursday so students will have it handy when they are ready to jump into summer reading. Mrs. D'Urso put together a wonderful list of book recommendations to help second graders who might need suggestions for books to read over the summer months. Click on the Resources for Students and Parents tab above to access Mrs. D'Urso book recommendation list and more summer resources for your soon to be third grader!
As the year begins to draw to a close, second grade students are taking time to celebrate our love of literature. Throughout the year we have learned to read as grown ups do; by choosing books that interest us, practicing reading with fluency, and by thinking deeply about what we read. Our last unit of reading series books began classmates to recommend books to each other, and we are excited to be sharing our opinions with friends. It seems that second grade students are more excited to read than ever these days, and we have loved the opportunity to kick back and dive deep into a variety of titles. In preparation for next year, and for the sake of practicing all of the skills we have acquired throughout the year, second graders are responding in writing to our books in a variety of ways. Whether thinking about the problem and solution of a story, comparing ourselves to characters in a book, or expressing specific reasons why we might recommend a book to a friend, we are excited about our new and enriched reading lives. Its been fun to kick off our shoes and read with a partner or simply hide under our teachers' desk with a book. Whatever the reading treat may be, we are loving our reading time together.
Second graders built skills of collaboration, communication, and compromise this week as they worked in small groups on a culminating social studies project. To conclude our unit on towns, second graders worked together to design and build towns using many different materials. Students considered the four elements of a town and used information from our town field trips several weeks ago to help them plan and build. The social/emotional skills developed as children worked in a small group were equally important as the final products. Students pushed themselves to listen to others and to work as helpful team members. After constructing their towns, students used technology tools to take a photo of their work. Next week, they will use the photo as part of a screencast to reflect on their contributions, and they will share a screencast of their thinking with their teachers. They will also self-assess their work on a rubric that contained both social studies content and group work skills. As we look toward third grade, children are building the important life skills of how to convey their thinking to others, how to solve problems fairly, and how to make sure everyone’s voices are heard.
Second graders spent this week planning ways to organize and share our data from last week’s town walking trips. The observations we made are important information for building unique towns in our classrooms, but to utilize the data, we needed to share our findings with each other. Scholars first presented information on places to live, places to work, open spaces, and types of transportation to our classmates, but because we know that each class visited a different part of our town, it was important to present what we saw for all second graders to see. With choices of graphing, listing, drawing and labeling photographs, our data is now displayed in a way to help us all include true details into our model towns in the coming weeks. It is always fun to collaborate as an entire grade on a project and compare the information we all collected. We hope everyone has an opportunity to stop by the 2N and 2B hallway to see how we have presented our data.
Spring Conference Sign Ups
2B May Conference sign up link
Access code: spring2b
2M May Conference sign up link
Access code: spring2m
2N May Conference sign up link
Access code: spring2n
Armed with clipboards, iPads, and data collection sheets, each second grade class took a field trip within the town of Montclair this week. Students were on a mission to find examples of the four major elements of a town: places to live, places to work, transportation, and open spaces. Each class visited a different section of Montclair for their exploration and data collection. 2M visited the Montclair Center/Church Street area, 2N visited the Valley Road area of Upper Montclair, and 2B visited Watchung Plaza. Students were excited to notice various buildings, ways to get around, open spaces, people, animals, and “street furniture” (like parking meters and recycling bins). Students also made a science connection by noticing when robotic elements (such as ATMs or automatic doors) can help a town to function more smoothly and be accessible to all. Second graders returned to school ready to share the data they gathered with classmates. The information they gathered will be shared in a variety of formats next week. It will be a useful reference in the coming weeks when second graders engage in a hands-on project to construct their own towns using a choice of materials. Thanks to Ms. Jones for accompanying us on our data-gathering field trips!
2nd graders spent time this week reviewing word study concepts in whole and small groups to better their understanding of suffixes, vowel teams and short vowel sounds in words. White boards and dry erase markers helped students practice rules for adding suffixes. Students applied rules to words that end in silent -e, using the drop the -e before adding ed/ing rule. They looked at words that ended in a -vc (vowel/consonant) pattern and practiced doubling the final consonant before adding ed/ing suffixes. Lastly students zoomed in on words that end in -y, and practiced changing the -y to a -i before adding suffixes -ed or -es. Students also continue to note the role that vowels play within words. Hands-on activities allowed students to change short vowel words to long vowel words by adding a second vowel (pin to pine, cub to cube). Vowel teams -ai, -ay, ee, -ea, -oa, also represent long vowel sounds in words and students enjoyed adding words to these vowel team rosters during a cooperative game of Vowel Team Challenge.
Looking ahead, 2nd graders and teachers will be venturing into Montclair to collect data for their Town unit of study field trips. Please send your child to school in their white, MKA shirt on the following dates: 2B - Tuesday, April 19th; 2N - Wednesday, April 20th; 2M - Thursday, April 21st. Thank you!