We spent Monday morning looking at how our class communicates with parents, via the blog and Twitter. We responded to some comments on our blog and also discussed why someone might choose to send a letter rather than an email. We continued finishing up our unit of inquiry this week with a trip to the Botanic Garden where students were in groups and worked together using different forms of communication. On Monday, students will complete a summative assessment task where they will to different scenarios and describe how they might communicate in order to build relationships.
In language, we reviewed recounting/retelling and also continued to explore summarizing. We watched a 'short film' and practiced summarizing using a graphic organizer. The key words we have to think about when summarizing are: somebody, wanted, but, so, then. When reading with your child at home, you can ask them to summarize a story using these words! We watched this short story to help us summarize.
Grade 9 students visited us this week and put on a performance of different stories from various countries. We heard stories from Korea, Indonesia and Russia. The high school students had practiced putting on different plays for our specific age group and did a fantastic job. We watched (and even participated) in three short plays. It was fun interacting with the older students and our Grade 2's were eager to help be trees when the characters needed to walk through a forest. They also gave advice to a man and a giant, and helped another character make an honest decision. Ask your child for more information about these plays. This afternoon tied in nicely with our unit about building relationships through communication.
Our math warm ups this week have involved skip counting. Please practice this with your child, starting both on odd and even numbers. Many students are struggling with this, yet it is a concept that should be consolidated. We are starting at different numbers - some students are using two digit numbers and others are using three digit numbers. For example, start on the number 64 and ask your child to count by 2's. Or start at 110 and ask your child to count by 5's. We continued exploring the language used in addition and subtraction problems and many students brought in sticky notes with addition words and subtraction words. We will continue with this next week, as well as doubling.
We worked in the computer lab on student ePortfolios. Students had inserted a picture a few weeks ago, so they finished up writing a little about themselves. We also practiced adding in a GoogleDoc. Students will have an ePortfolio for digital work, including photos and video and some typed work, as well as a hard copy portfolio that will be kept in the classroom. This will include written work, stories, reading, some math activities and UOI written work. Students selected their first UOI piece in hard copy and wrote a reflection about why they were proud of it.
Wednesday was the most exciting day of the week, as we had our Grade 2 field trip. Thanks to all the parent volunteers that were able to come. Unfortunately with the haze, we ended our trip about an hour early, However, students were able to partake in 3 of the 4 planned activities. They worked together using both verbal and non-verbal communication to complete various tasks. Below are some comments from the students when we returned:
"We learned about communicating with somebody and doing games and helping each other." - Joe
"I liked the activity we did with the cup stack, because we couldn't talk but we used gestures and everyone understood what we wanted to say. It was difficult." - Marin
"We learned how to communicate in different ways when working in a team and using pointing and so much of other things." -James
"I learned how to do gestures and sign language and how to communicate and building our imagination." - Odemar
"It was so fun and we walked from the Tanglin gate and on the way we spotted a squirrel. In the water we saw two swans, and then I saw a chipmunk while playing my games." - Advay
"I liked playing the games, because it was so fun. When I was in one group we were running." - Jasmine
"I had fun when we were in Mr. Hugh's group, because we got to work in teams and I like working in teams." - Carmella
"I liked it when we were making the blocks, and I had fun discussing with my group." - Lizzie
Thursday was no school and we weren't at school on Friday due to the haze. Hopefully everyone stayed inside to stay healthy!
See you Monday,
Everyone was excited this week, as Sports Day was Friday! With the haze so unpredictable, we were hoping the weather would be okay, and thankfully it was perfect! It was so fun to watch the Grade 2 students participate in the track and field events, as well as the running races. They worked so hard in the heat and also cheered each other on. Congratulations to everyone for trying their very best! More pictures of Sports Day will be coming on next week's blog post.
Earlier in the week, students spent some time investigating addition and subtraction story problems. We are beginning to look at the language used, in order to help us identify if we will need to add or subtract. Students also are beginning to pick out the important information and identify the question that is being asked. We worked together to solve different problems and spent several days exploring and explaining different strategies - using number lines, hundreds charts, counters, fingers, tally marks, drawing pictures, etc. Students are remembering to show their work and were able to explain their thinking to the class. At the end of the week, students worked to write several different story problems (some simple, and some more complex). Here are just a few of the many that were created:
We have 99 glue sticks and 74 people. Someone buys 6 more glue sticks and 5 more people by 4 glue sticks. How many glue sticks do we have altogether?
Joe has 6 glue and I take 5 away. How many glue sticks does he have now?
Marin had 48 cookies. Marin gave Kento 23 cookies. How many cookies does Marin have left?
I had 15 chips and I gave away 4. How many do I have now?
I had 54 cookies. Then 2 people ate 4 cookies each. How many cookies do I have left?
We have 99 marshmallows and we give 10 to Ms. Sue. How many marshmallows do we have now?
Carmella had 26 fish. Then Advay ate 5. How many fish are left?
During Daily 5 and 'Work on Writing', we looked at the form and function of letter writing. Why do we write letters? How do we write letters? What needs to be included? Why might we send a letter instead of an email? After looking at different picture books, students identified the five main parts of a letter:
* greeting (Dear _______,)
* body (all the stuff we want to say)
* closing (from, love, sincerely)
* signature (name)
Students then wrote a letter to Dr. Chris, thanking her for taking the time to Skype with us and teach us about sign language. We will be mailing these letters in a few weeks.
Our first unit of inquiry is coming to a close, and we spent some time looking into cross cultural communication. Several moms were able to come in from the other classes and share with all of grade 2 about their culture and how they communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. It was a fascinating afternoon and the students were eager to share what they had learned after visiting the different classrooms. If you are still interested in sharing this with our class, please let me know and we can find a time for you to visit.
Next week is a somewhat short week. We will be going on our field trip on Wednesday. Please remember to send a packed lunch with your child, as we will be eating at the Botanic Gardens. We will be leaving about 8:30 and returning around 1:30. There is also no school on Thursday!
Lunch menus for October will be going home on Monday. They need to be returned Tuesday. I'm sorry I couldn't get them out earlier, as it was a short day on Friday and students were picked up from the field.
There will not be new 'Words Their Way' words next week, as we will spend the time reviewing our past words and spelling patterns.
More pictures will be uploaded next week.
Have a fantastic weekend,
This week, we went further into our investigation about communication building relationships. Grade 2 got together for a Skype chat with Dr. Chris who works at a deaf university in Maryland, USA. We first examined the map to see where she was and just how far that is from Singapore! Then we talked about the time difference, because it was our Wednesday morning, but Dr. Chris' Tuesday evening! Dr. Chris is not deaf but her husband is deaf. We met him as well, and they both answered some very interesting questions the students had prepared. They even showed us how they communicate using sign language. We came back to the classroom to reflect on that wonderful learning experience and then practiced the alphabet using sign language. Next week we will be writing letters to Dr. Chris and her husband to say a big THANK YOU!
Before our Skype call with Dr. Chris, we had watched and discussed some video clips about Helen Keller and Koko the gorilla. They both used non-verbal communication to build different types of relationships. Students reflected on these ideas using a See-Think-Wonder routine.
Work on Writing was introduced in Daily 5 and students began independently working on their own writing. We made 'Heart Maps', full of words and pictures we love, to help give us ideas when we don't know what to write about. Students also began writing their own recount, either of an experience they had or a retelling of The Gruffalo story. We have been working so hard on using capitals, full stops and sequencing/time order words. This was just another practice and a chance to put all the pieces together on their own. Next week, we will identify parts of our writing that were fantastic, as well as some areas we need to work on.
Students continue to increase their stamina during Read to Self, and they are becoming very independent readers who are striving to read for longer amounts of time. This allows me the opportunity to read with individual students or groups of students each day. We will continue introducing different reading strategies to help with comprehension, accuracy, fluency and to expand our vocabulary! Thanks to those students who brought in their homework from last week. We are adding many new and interesting words to our wall!
In math, we were consolidating our understanding of place value, writing and reading number words, even and odd and writing numbers in expanded form. Students participated in a 'write the room' activity which got them up, moving and on the hunt for different numbers. Next week, we will begin to focus on various addition and subtraction strategies.
We had two sessions in the tech lab this week! Mr. Gallagher introduced online portfolios to Grade 2 and helped the students get started, adding their picture and a little bit in the 'About Me' section. We also had time to practice logging into Mathletics and choosing different activities. I will continue to monitor and adjust student levels throughout the year.
Elections for our Grade 2.1 student council representatives will take place next Thursday on the 17th. Any student who is interested has been asked to prepare a small 'speech' to explain why he or she should be elected. Some of the expectations include:
- model and promote the Learner Profile
- model and promote the 4 Be's
- meet during lunch/recess every other week
- come to meetings prepared
We will be going on a field trip on 23 September to the Botanic Gardens. A letter with more information was emailed home on Thursday, and a copy is placed on this blog under 'Parent Info'.
Please remember to help your child log onto the classroom blog in order to access homework each week. Student take home folders have been working well, as this is our first week with our new system. It's helpful to keep everything in one place. I look through them each day, so I am able to collect any papers, lunch orders, book orders or money brought back to school.
However, I have noticed many students did not take out or cut up their words this week. As a reminder, students will have one copy of words that stay at school each week. They have a second copy that goes home on a Monday, and these words are for home. They can stay at home and be cut up, sorted and practiced throughout the week.
One last reminder: Scholastic book orders have gone home. Some are still in the student take home folders, so make sure to check. They need to be returned by Tuesday the 15th of September.
Thanks for your support and have a relaxing long weekend.
Wow, what a busy week! In literacy, we have been practicing different comprehension strategies to help us remember stories. Students finished retelling 'The Little Red Hen' on paper and have added transition/time order words to help tell the story in order. We spent several days investigating the form of recounts. What is a recount? Why do we use time order words? After identifying different time order words in their books and several reading passages, students came to the conclusion that time order words help "put a story in order", "make it interesting", "add more detail" and "tell when things happen". We will continue to focus on recounts next week, as we are paying particular attention to word choice - identifying (and using) interesting words as well as transition/time order words. Next week we will also introduce our third piece of Daily 5: Work on writing.
Students are now bringing home a separate copy of their words for Words Their Way. We found that words were falling out of baggies or not being brought back to school each day when taken home. To avoid this confusion, students will cut up their new set of words on Monday and keep these at school. A second sheet of words will go home (in their new Take Home Folders) and these can be cut up and sorted at home for the week. These words do not need to come back to school.
Take home folders will go home Monday for the first time. I ask that the students bring the folder to school each day, as this is a great place to keep their Home Reading log book, and I can check this easily. One side of the folder is for things that need to stay at home, and the other side will be for things that need to come back to school (such as the Home Reading log book or book orders, etc.). This is a new routine so please help your child remember to put their Take Home folder back in their bag each day to bring to school.
In math, we started the week investigating patterns. Students found that there were 11 ways to make 10 using only two numbers, and 21 ways to make 20 using only two numbers. They started discussing the patterns they noticed and predicted that there would be 31 ways to make 30 using only two numbers. I've encouraged the students to try to prove this at home. Does the pattern continue? We also spent some time exploring the concept of odd and even numbers, as many students could tell which were odd and even, but they didn't understand why or couldn't explain their thinking. After using some manipulatives and 10's frames, we came to understand that even numbers can always be broken into groups of the same number - there is never anything left over. Odd numbers always have something left over. Ask your child if zero is an even or odd number. This might spark an interesting discussion.
From there, we moved onto ordering two and three digit numbers. Some students continued to focus on the 'ones place', as we had when looking at even/odd numbers. We checked our numbers and realized we need to look at the whole number, starting either in the hundreds or the tens place. Some students found different methods to help, such as covering up the hundreds place and focusing on the tens place, if the hundreds were the same in two numbers. Sometimes it can be tricky to distinguish which is larger - 376 or 354. Ask your child about ordering larger numbers at home, as this can always be good practice. At the end of the week, we dove deeper into place value and will continue to work on place value, standard and expanded form next week, as this understanding is foundational for concepts later in the year. It's important to understand what each digit represents in a number. For example, the 3 in 354 represents 3 hundreds. The 5 represents 5 groups of 10 and the 4 represents 4 units/ones.
We used the computers again this week in the lab, and Mr. Gallagher helped students learn how to create a Google document. We practiced adding a title and making it centered. We also changed the font, size and some students practiced adding a table. We then started typing about different types of communication - both non-verbal and verbal.
During our unit of inquiry, students brainstormed various relationships and realised we have more relationships than just family and friends. They decided we have relationships with pets, with school friends, teachers, teammates, and other people in the community and world, such as shop owners and waiters at restaurants. Students collaged pictures from magazines in the various categories. We also continued our discussions about the different types of communication but made connections to various relationships. Students began working on a piece where they needed to think about all of the different relationships they have and how they communicate with these people. It was interesting to see that one student might communicate with his dad differently than another student, depending on where Dad is living. Skype and email might be the form of communication every day, rather than speaking face to face.
Next week, we will continue exploring different types of communication, particularly non-verbal. We will also begin discussing communication in relation to culture. In the next two weeks, if any parents would like to come share a story or discuss verbal/non-verbal communication in relation to their culture, this would be a great opportunity for students. Please send me an email!
I have been and will continue to complete individual assessments with students in both math and reading over the next few weeks. I have placed all students on their RazKids level from the end of last year if they are returning students. As I read with students, I will be able to gain a better understanding of their reading level and will adjust RazKids accordingly. Please be patient, as I only assess a few students each day.
Log-in cards have gone home. They have been stapled inside of students' Home Reading log. Feel free to keep it stapled or take it out and keep it somewhere safe at home. Students have an additional card at school in their cubby. The log-in card has information for gmail, RazKids and Mathletics. Just like RazKids, I will adjust the various levels on Mathletics as the year progresses. Sometimes students will have homework and specific tasks that pop up when they log into Mathletics. These must be completed first, before being able to do Live Mathletics or something of their choice.
Please help your child log into the blog each week for the homework. From our discussions in class, it seems as though not everyone is doing this yet. Homework is posted each week under 'Home Learning'.
We are 7 and 8 year old students who live in Singapore. Our teacher, Ms. Luttrell, will be helping us write blog posts throughout the year!
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