In the mornings, when the students come in, they work on a Morning Work Packet. In the packet, the students have a half sheet of grammar/language arts work and a half page of math. The grammar/language arts practice may seem like busy work, but I have noticed that many students are not coming away with knowing what makes a sentence a sentence and they do not know much about proper grammar. I am hoping with daily practice in the morning, we will see improvements in our writing. Many of the math problems are review of first grade and will continue to get harder as the year goes on.
Reading: We have been practicing our "Daily 5" this week. We are up to being able to be independent readers for 51 minutes!!! We started off being able to do about 16. The students have really been able to prove that they can work on their own or in partners while I teach reading groups or test students. Please continue to read with your child at home every night!
Science: We started our study of insects this week and began looking at the bee. In the picture above, you will notice our classroom "pet", Buzzy. I was only using the bee as a model to show the students but they have really grown to love him. They came up with the name, Buzzy! We have had LOTS of new vocabulary introduced to us: exoskeleton, head, thorax, abdomen, antenna, compound eyes, nectar, proboscis, and pollen pockets. Ask your child to tell you what all these things are. We even learned a new song to help us remember the parts of an insect. Have your child sing it to you! (Though I know some of them will protest! :P)
Math: We have been reviewing a lot of our skills from first grade. This week, we focused on money and also the 100 number grid. Please continue to have your child work on money and count loose change. Some are really struggling with the skill.
Writing: We are working on the routines of Writers Workshop. Many of the students have been writing different types of stories about their summer or different things they have learned about. Some are also writing fiction stories about monsters and princesses! We have been talking about revising our stories by going back to see whether they make sense. We are also checking for capitals and periods in our stories. They are beginning to "publish" their first stories in second grade!!
Spelling: We started our Spelling Tests this week. If your child is ready, please encourage them to sign up to take the spelling test. We have parent volunteers coming in Tuesday and Thursday mornings to help give the tests. I will send back the tests after your child has taken them so that you know whether they have passed or not. If you are not receiving any tests in their Homework Folder, that means they have not signed up to take a test. I have heard comments that some of the spelling homework seems a bit weird (particularly the forwards and backwards one). Mainly, I want to make sure the students are practicing their spelling words every night. I will most likely change that one out this week with a different practice activity. Please be on the look out.
Math Facts: We took our first Math Facts test today. All the students took the +0 test. As I was making copies of the tests, I forgot to put the list or fact number on top of the tests. I will try to hand write this in for the next test. If your student passed the timed test today (20 problems in 1 minute, with 20 correct), I will be putting in the next set of math facts into their mailbox. Please have them cut it out at home and put it with the +0 facts. They will need to continue to practice their facts so that they do not forget the ones they have already learned.
** Please note: I will be out Monday (8/6) and Tuesday (8/.7) for a Conference. The homework sheet, etc. might not come back the usual way. I am a bit nervous since the students are just getting used to our classroom routine, but please reinforce with them at home that they should act the same way with the sub as they do with me. I will be back at school on Wednesday. **
Important Upcoming Dates:
- Tuesday, August 7: Family Fishing Night - Kaufmann Lake on Springfield (6:30pm)
- Tuesday, August 7: El Toro Bravo Fundraiser - all day
- Thursday, August 9: OPEN HOUSE (6:00pm)