Second grade writers are finishing up our first writing unit on small moment stories writing this week. Writers have reviewed and reread all the stories they have drafted since early September, and are working to turn their attention to final revisions and edits before beginning the final draft stage. Working with writing partners allows for friendly and thoughtful conversations about writing including compliments, questions, and suggestions about where to add details to work. Details might include how people are feeling and moving or what they are saying and thinking in their stories. Once student writers complete the revision stage, they head into the editing stage. The editing stage gives writers an opportunity to reread their work with attention to fixing the spelling of frequently used snap words and adding basic punctuation marks (periods, question marks, exclamation points). Once the student's revision and editing stages are complete, the challenging process of writing a final draft to include all of their revisions and edits begins. We all look forward to celebrating their hard work together next week!
The second grade has begun to consider how we can act as kind citizens while working and playing at school and how we can show caring and kindness within the greater Montclair community. Today, 2A went from our campus to Toni’s Kitchen, a community gathering place that serves neighbors who are in need. 2Mc visited Toni’s Kitchen last Friday, and 2S will be taking the trip next week. Children each carried a food item to donate to Toni's Kitchen. Second graders toured the kitchen area, where meals are prepared by dedicated volunteers; the food pantry, where donated foods are stored; and saw a giant salad bowl that serves 50 people or more! Students then helped pack backpacks with non-perishable food supplies for children in Montclair. Students started to realize how important a role Toni’s Kitchen plays in their local community. We were proud to help and appreciate Toni’s Kitchen commitment to making Montclair a more inclusive and caring place for all of our neighbors.
2nd graders are benefiting from the new phonics curriculum. It is drawing on all of the skills that were taught in first grade, making for a seamless transition. Students are utilizing their "My Snap Words Books" during phonics, reading and writing to master spelling high frequency words. We have reviewed silent E words, blends, digraphs, trigraphs, vowel teams and R-controlled words. We are having a great time playing games such as "Find the Phonics" "Guess My Rule" and "I Spy". In the coming weeks we will focus on becoming more careful spellers, using capitalization in our writing and we will be exploring homophones.
The second grade boarded the bus and headed to the Upper School for The Gathering. The Annual All-School Gathering epitomizes everything that makes MKA special, a community that is as diverse as it is united, and one certainly filled with school spirit and thousands of proud cougars! Student talent was on exhibit with exemplary performances from the Primary School Bellringers playing "America the Beautiful," Middle School Chamber Singers, Middle and Upper School Jazz Ensembles, Middle School Dance Ensemble, and the Cheerleaders and Step Team. The fun continued back at Brookside as the children had a pizza lunch on the back field followed by games and of course the ice cream truck. This special morning and afternoon alike made it a truly perfect ending to a great week.
Second grade readers have been busy applying strategies to help them grow as readers. Students are reminded to utilize strategies such as taking picture walks and using the sneak peek blurb available on back covers to help them gather information about books, as well as applying the “5 Finger Rule” to help them find books that are Just Right for them to read independently and practice new strategies. Students are also working to find smart reading spots that are comfortable and quiet, and boosting their stamina by reading more and more during reading workshop times. Most recently, second grade readers began to practice stopping, thinking and retelling what we read. It is also fun to jot down thoughts post-its just like grown up readers! Teachers are continuing to read with students, helping to gather more information about student reading habits and skills. As we head into our second month of school, lots is happening in our reading lives and second grade readers are certainly growing like beanstalks!