Thursday, September 30, 2010

A "Goldilocks" Planet?

As we begin our journey into our moon unit tomorrow, I am incredibly intrigued about the discovery about a new planet that they are referring to as a "Goldilocks" planet. It is not too hot, not too cold, it is just right. Read all about it here:

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Book Commercials!

We started one of our "new" literacy projects for this year, our book commercials. We were inspired by watching an episode of Reading Rainbow to create our own technologically advanced book presentations. The students began by reading the book "Have I Got A Book For You" by Melanie Watt. We then talked about what kind of information goes into a commercial, and how we are going to present our book. We are going to, at the end of our project, use Flip Cameras and I-Movie to produce our own movie segments. We are so excited to share our completed projects with you!
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Doubles and Near Doubles

Over the last few days, we have been talking about adding with doubles and near doubles. The students have really gotten a quick grasp of these two closely related concepts, and are enjoying working on them during math workshop time. I just wanted to show you a few of the activities that they did today. What hard workers!!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

The Power of Our Writing

Today we read the story "The Pencil" by Allan Ahlberg as a start to our writing workshop. It is a story about a pencil who has the power to design and control his own world, because he is the writer and illustrator of the story. We related this back to how ultimately, we have the power as authors to make our writing the best it can be. We can create a world where we are anything we want to be, and anything can happen. There is so much excitement in writing! If you get a chance, you should really take a look at this book, it really is fantastic!
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Makes Us Great Spellers?

Today we took a "reflective" look at our spelling practices. We talked about everything that we are doing well, and how that ultimately helps us to become better readers and writers. The students lead the discussion on what "good spellers" do. I had explained that they are all good spellers in their own way, because they are all trying new words, implementing strategies, and giving it their best shot.

The things that they came up with were pretty incredible. When we broke out for small group discussion, as I was walking around facilitating, I heard a group talking about "discovering words". WOW! These are all strategies that we all use, and sometimes, it just takes putting them in a public place to have as a reference tool to aid us in our writing.

What a successful day!!!
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Assessment for the Year

Here is the link to the 2nd grade assessment calendar. Note: we will only be taking assessments that are listed for 2nd grade (-:

Conference Schedule

I have created a GoogleDoc to keep up the conference schedule sign-ups. If you have not already signed up for one, please use the link and you will be directed to my sign-up page. Keep in mind that conferences last for 15 minutes. You are welcome to just input your name (please do not erase another name), and I will check the document daily for new additions. Thanks, and I can't wait to meet to discuss your child's progress!!

Trotting for the Tigers!

I just wanted to share some pictures with you from the Tiger Trot on Friday. We had so much fun! We walked on the soccer field, and it was great to be out under the clear blue sky! Four laps around the track was equal to a mile, and there were some of us who did over 8 laps! No wonder we were exhausted. I am so impressed with this class and their willingness to come together and work for a common good. They really do have caring hearts!
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Word Study Challenge!

Today I issued the students a challenge. Not only did it test their knowledge about letters and words, but it also gave me a great deal of information about their background knowledge. The challenge today was to see how many three letter words they could spell with the given letters in the picture. One part of the discussion that we had was how the "A" was going to be in every word (which led to a great mini-lesson on vowels and their roles in words). The students were able to come up with a list of 31 words! I am extremely impressed! We also had to discuss how some words were tricky- gnat is not spelled nat. I really do love the conversations we have. There is so much learning that goes on! It really is magical!
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We Are One World

Pierre lives in Canada,
Marla lives in Spain.
But both like to ride their bikes
Along the shady lane.

Liv lives in Norway,
Ramon is in Peru.
But both laugh with the giraffe
When visiting the zoo.

Anwar is Egyptian,
Kim is Japanese.
But both run beneath the sun
And fly kites in the breeze.

Jack is from the U.S.A.,
Karintha is from Chad.
But both can write a poem at night
Upon a writing pad.

Children live all over,
The world's a giant ball.
But far and near, it's very clear
We're one world after all.

-Meish Goldish

Friday, September 3, 2010

Working With Words

Today we started introducing our word study choices. The students were given the chance to work with two new games, Bananagrams and Scrabble Slam. They had a great time. Our classroom has two games of each (thank you to the parents who donated a few), so we were all able to play during word study time. It was great! It also gave me a great opportunity to see what they knew about letters, sounds, and words. I can't wait to introduce the rest of the activities!
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Personal Narratives

Learning about ourselves and others is an important part of being in a classroom family. During our first writing unit, we will be exploring important small moments that have occurred during our life. We have talked about how our important events (vacations, getting a dog, 1st grade) can be "zoomed into" just one small moment. I used the analogy with the students that if they look at their big topic, it is like a big jar of jelly beans. What we want from our story is to focus in on that one jelly bean that was the most important. For example, if we want to talk about going on vacation, we could pick the one thing that we did that was our favorite. That would be our small moment. We will be working on these for a while, and I hope that the children really enjoy writing about themselves!
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Our Promise For A Great Year!

Because the start of the year is all about building community and relationships, we took a great deal of time to write and refine our class promise. We talked about our expectations to each other, the expectations of myself, and what we wanted our year to look like. Our class promise is the foundation for everything we do, and I think they did a great job with it!
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