Second graders wrapped up this week by clearing out much of their work from the year, sorting and organizing classroom materials to get classrooms back in order, and finally, participating in the Moving Up assembly. Students were eager to cross the bridge with their current classmates to visit third grade teachers in their classrooms. There was plenty of reflection on what this year held and lots of anticipation and excitement for what lies ahead. Our year was full of learning, fun explorations in the new outdoor classroom, exceptional game play on the back turf field, trips around our local community, and building relationships that will last for years to come. It is always with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to our current students, but we are sure that these friends are ready to move on to their next adventure. We hope you all enjoy a great summer and thank you for all the support you provided us this year to help make second grade a memorable experience for our students. See you in September!
Second grade students were very excited to share their realistic fiction stories with their guests at our last writing celebration of the year. As guests gathered in classrooms, teachers shared background information about the writing process, including creating realistic fiction characters, brainstorming problems and solutions, planning five parts of a story on a story mountain, and drafting. Teachers also shared three types of goals throughout the unit: content goals, revision and editing goals, and publication goals. Students were proud to use technology tools to share the digital stories they published with their guests. Afterward, what fun it was to enjoy pizza and ice cream treats at our picnic! It has been wonderful to notice the growth our second grader writers have shown over the course of the year.
This week, second graders also learned about the required reading summary assignment that they will complete over the summer in preparation for third grade. To access this assignment, please click the Summer Resources 2017 tab at the top of this page. Happy summer reading!
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 are now diving into their Book Series unit and learning to identify common elements often found in books written as a series. Readers continue to make personal connections to texts and are now also beginning to make connections to characters, settings and themes in series books their classmates recommend or to series they have read at other times. This book series work helps boost comprehension skills and helps all readers, both developing and seasoned, think more critically about their books as they read. It encourages them to ask questions and make predictions based on patterns they are noticing in their series books and get them talking more about their books in general. It is an exciting time as readers round out their reading skills to apply more comprehension strategies during read aloud and independent reading times. Some of the strategies students have been trying in class include: jotting written reading responses, sketching ideas, tracking story elements in their reader's notebooks and partner/small group book talk work. All of these strategies help to support them in noticing and sharing patterns and similarities they come across as they read. Second grade students are more excited than ever to read than these days.
2nd grade's Express Talent Share
Second grade writers have been working hard on their realistic fiction publishing process. For several weeks, students have worked during Writing Workshop to develop their characters and brainstorm realistic problems for their characters to solve. Students also utilized graphic organizers to organize the story elements they wanted to include in their characters' adventures and help them prepare to write their first drafts. Drafting, revision, and editing followed, and now, students have set out to create digital versions of their story using Book Creator on classroom iPads. Students are recording their voices reading their story, including photographs of their illustrations, typing their Dedication and About the Author sections, and lastly, customizing the formatting of their books. Second grade writers can't wait to share their realistic fiction stories with you at their final writing celebration and picnic on May 30.
If you have not already done so, please sign up for a Thursday, May 18th Parent-Teacher Conference below.
2M Conference Sign up
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2M Scholars took the stage this week to perform their play, The Pirate Play. In the story, a group of surly pirates find a ship and sail to uncover a lost treasure. Along the way, they sing their favorite pirate songs, only to be interrupted by a certain pirate's enthusiasm for knitting, a very unlikely pirate hobby. With much resistance from the other pirates aboard the Rusty Heap, Ned, the knitting pirate, saves the day by taming the ocean beast with his knitted blanket. Ned's quick thinking causes the beast to sleep again for another hundred years, never to bother the pirates again. In the end, the pirates have learned that being unique is something to celebrate, and they certainly do appreciate Ned's hobby in the end. The students have worked hard to teach this message uniqueness 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 have 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 Ms. Weaver, Mrs. Smith, Ms. DuRant, Mr. Brown, and Ms. Gonzalez for helping 2M actors prepare. 2M would especially like to thank their parents who helped them rehearse at home and put their costumes together.
Also this week, second graders celebrated the MKA tradition of weaving the Maypole. On Monday morning, parents, teachers, and students gathered on the backfield for the beautiful occasion to celebrate the coming of Spring. The entire community was moved by how effortlessly the students completed the very complicated dance. Thank you again, Ms. Weaver, for your leadership and direction. We celebrate your 20th year teaching the Maypole dance.
Please sign up for a Thursday, May 18th Parent-Teacher Conference below.
2M Conference Sign up
2B Conference Sign up
2N Conference Sign up
2M Conference Sign up
2B Conference Sign up
2N Conference Sign up
Reminder - Monday, May 1st second grade performs the Maypole Dance, rain or shine.
Fractions were in full swing this week as 2nd grade continued their study of fractions. Students explored fractions as parts of a whole or one and also explored finding fractional parts of collections. Fraction burgers, fraction bars, Versatile problem solving activities and fraction apps on classroom iPads provided individual as well as partner activities to practice fraction concepts introduced during Math Workshop. These activities offered students opportunities to make math connections regarding the relation between numerators and denominators represented in fractions. Equivalent fraction games and Fraction Top-It gave students opportunities to explore these concepts through game play. Fraction work continue into next week.
2B actors and actresses shined on the Brookside stage this Friday as they performed their class play, Don't Yuck My Yum. With a message about taking risks and trying new foods, 2B's play celebrated trying new things and respecting our individual tastes. The play was based on the picture book Yoko by Rosemary Wells.
Students collaborated throughout every phase of the play process, from imagining the characters and foods who would be in the play, to brainstorming ideas for what they'd like their play to include (such as a guest appearance by Mr. Pyke and a dance party ending), to imagining what problems might arise in the plot, to designing the scenery, posters, and programs. Throughout the past month, 2B students were very busy learning lines, cues, song lyrics, and movements to bring their play to life, as well as learning acting skills that helped them convey their message to the audience. 2B students also strengthened their bravery muscles by trying new foods outside of school and sharing photos of their experiences. The stars of the 2B play encouraged us all to try new foods and take risks, and we are so proud of them.
2B would like to thank their families and all of the faculty and staff who helped them to make their play process a successful and joyful learning experience. Special thanks go to Mr. Ely, who worked with students creatively on building their acting skills, projection, and blocking, Mrs. Arcilla and Mrs. Robertson, who provided special creative expertise with costumes, Mr. Pyke, who made a guest appearance, Mr. Odell, who loaned costumes, Mr. Brown, for setting up the chairs, Ms. DuRant, for her help with the backdrop and posters, Mrs. Smith, for all of her expertise and help with songs and music, and Mrs. Weaver, for blocking and choreography.
In Social Studies this spring, second graders are studying towns. To learn about the town of Montclair in the past, this week each class visited the Montclair Historical Society in the Israel Crane House right up the street from Brookside campus. We learned what life was like in the town over 200 years ago when the Crane family lived there and helped to grow the town of Montclair. After getting an understanding of how life was different by building a timeline with our bodies, we entered the museum to see inside the house. We saw furniture in bedrooms, the living room, and the dining room. Without electricity and plumbing, life in the house was very different from what we know now! We learned about the hard work people had to do in the kitchen to feed the family too. They churned butter and cream, dried herbs, and over an open fire, they cooked vegetables from the garden. It was not easy to run the house. Finally, we visited the General Store and the schoolhouse where certain children learned. Our docent, Ms. Angelica, acted as our teacher and taught us the way students learned 200 years ago. It certainly made us miss our classrooms and iPads! A visit to the chicken coop topped off our trip. What an amazing opportunity to step back in time and learn about what life was like in Montclair long ago!
This morning, 2N culminated their class play process with their final performance of The Royal Pandas Help a Friend. 2N worked through the play process to share a fictional story about a community of pandas who try to help a discouraged panda friend find his special talent. Students worked to help draft a script that sent the message that friends help each other and others. 2N friends worked to add dialogue, movements and artwork that would help them share the story about a group of friendly pandas. Actors also worked to meet the goals of the play performance and convince the audience that they were actually the characters they were portraying on stage. 2N demonstrated strong teamwork and confidence in learning new songs, dances, and many stage movements through scene transitions. To culminate the play process students reflected on what they enjoyed most in preparing for a stage performance. Many thanks to all the teachers and parents who helped us prepare for this special day...Ms. Weaver, Mrs. Smith, Ms. DuRant, Mr. Brown, Ms. Jones and Ms. Gonzales for helping 2N actors prepare for their performance. The biggest thank you goes to all the 2N actors, who rose to the challenge to work together and produce a terrific class play about friendship and helping others!
Also this week, 2N and 2B braved unpredictable weather to visit areas in Montclair to collect data. 2M needed to postpone their walking trip due to rain. Armed with clipboards, data collection sheets and a few iPads, second graders 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. 2N visited Upper Montclair area and 2B visited Watchung Plaza. 2M will visit Montclair Center/Church Street area in the coming weeks to round out the students' data exchange. Students were excited to notice various buildings, ways to get around, open spaces, people, animals, and “street furniture” (like parking meters and recycling bins). The information they gathered will be shared in a variety of formats in the coming weeks. All the data will be a useful reference as they progress through our Town unit in social studies. Thanks to Mr. Pyke for accompanying us on our data gathering field trips!