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 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 students 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. We hope all of our second grade families enjoy a fun-filled summer full of family adventures.
Second graders practiced how to collaborate, communicate, 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. 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 collaborated this week to organize and display the data we collected on our Montclair town walking trips. Each class traveled to different parts of the town to gather observations, therefore it is important that all the data is in one place for students to access knowledge on all that is part of Montclair. We have organized our data into four categories; places to work, places to live, open spaces, and types of transportation. Students worked in teams to examine what their classmates recorded on the trip and to represent the information truthfully. Students drew on their math skills to find medians of the number of automobiles observed, they drew examples of homes we saw, labeled photographs of open space, and listed different businesses where citizens could work. We will use this information next week when considering details students choose to include in their own town design. We hope people have an opportunity to stop by the 2S and 2A hallway to see how we have presented our data.
Second grade mathematicians just began a new unit in math focused on fractions. We began with creating and naming equal parts. The students were taught that a fraction is part of a whole. They learned that the top number in a fraction is called the numerator and tells how many equal pieces there are. The bottom number is called the denominator and tells how many pieces make up the whole thing. They can remember that the denominator is the bottom number because it is downstairs. The students shared different ways of folding paper into equal shares and will participate in many fun fraction activities. It is easy to use food as examples when discussing how to share equally. For example, what are the ways we could divide a pizza in half so that there are two equal pieces? What happens when there are four friends sharing the pie? Second grade friends are thrilled to begin working with this sophisticated math concept.
This week, 2M and 2A visited areas in Montclair to collect data to help inform their Town study. These second graders 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 and 2A visited Upper Montclair. 2S will visit the Watchung Plaza area next week. Students were excited to notice various buildings, ways to get around, open spaces, people, pets, and “street furniture” (like public benches, 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. The students had a wonderful time gathering data on these trips.
It was a big week in second grade as we celebrated the MKA tradition of weaving the Maypole followed by our writing celebration where the genre was poetry. On Wednesday morning, parents, teachers, and students gathered on the backfield for the beautiful day to celebrate the coming of Spring in the tradition that has been around since the Kimberley School. 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 22nd year teaching our students the Maypole Dance. Following the beautiful and deeply rooted tradition of the Maypole Dance, parents joined their students in the classroom to hear the beautiful poems the children worked so hard to publish. The celebration of the finished poetry books was a culmination of a month long study of how poets think, using their five sense and their imagination. Poems ranged in topic from sports, to family members to gummy bears! Thank you to everyone who shared in this morning of celebration with our second graders.
Second grade scholars have loved exploring Poetry in Writing Workshop! We began the unit by reading a variety of poems: finding inspiration in the humor, beautiful language, and sometimes confusing messages. To begin the unit, we thought like poets do. We thought about words, what inspires or interests us, and what surrounds us every day. the students even received special glasses so that they could read and write poetry using poet's eyes. When we began to write, we learned about the different tools that poets use to enhance their poems and tried incorporating them into our own writing. In our poetry, we have utilized and experimented with tools such as line breaks, sound words, comparisons, patterns, and alliteration. Next week we will be choosing two poems to publish. We can’t wait to share some of our work with you on May 1st.
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!
All three second grade classes visited the Israel Crane House in Montclair to help them further their understanding of what Montclair was like long ago. Students enjoyed touring this lovely historic home which is just .5 miles from Brookside. They were able to see the one room school house, visit the chickens out back, and spend time in the old fashioned kitchen learning how meals were prepared prior to stoves. These visits go hand in hand with our second grade local walking trips to collect data which will take place in May. Students in 2S will gather data in Watchung Plaza and 2M will be working near Church Street, and 2A will visit Upper Montclair. All classes will exchange and share their findings on a collaborative bulletin board in the coming weeks.
Meters, yards, inches, centimeters and arm spans were all being used this week to calculate distances, the length objects around home and at school. Students worked in class to collect measurements for surfaces they see everyday. Students were also assigned class activities and asked questions that had them comparing units of measure. These activities helped to challenged their critical thinking and their abilities to work in partner and small group collaborations. Each class created line plots with data collected from their arm span measurements. The students particularly enjoyed working with a partners to measure how far they could jump. They recorded their measurements in inches and created another class line plot.