I attended the Illinois Computing Educators Conference on Wednesday and Thursday. It was a wonderful chance to learn about all the ways innovative teachers and schools are using the latest technology with their students. I can't wait to share some new ideas with the class!
MAPLE SUGAR FIELD TRIP
This Thursday, we will be going on the annual second grade field trip to learn how maple sap is collected and made into syrup. Please see the attached note for all the details. We still have room on the bus for a few more parent chaperones. You are also welcome to drive yourself. Please let me know if you are interested in joining us!
Important Maple Sugar Field Trip Details (click to download)
SIGN UP GENIUS
Do you want to double check when you are scheduled to be a Mystery Reader or make sure you are signed up to go on the Alvin Ailey Field Trip? Please see the CLASS DIRECTORIES, SCHEDULE AND SIGN UPS page on the website. You need a password to access this page which was included in the email announcing the posting of this newsletter.
HARRIET TUBMAN PROJECT
We are wrapping up our Harriet Tubman project and will be sharing what we've learned using something called Voice Thread. We hope to have it finished and will share this digital project with you by week's end. Stay tuned...
FAMILY MESSAGE LETTERS
A new family letter was sent home in your child's green folder on Friday. Please respond (at the bottom of your child's letter or on the paper provided) and return the letters next week. The children begin this activity each week by generating a list of ideas. We don't want the children to write about everything on their lists. Instead, we encourage them to choose three or four ideas that they can elaborate on. We also encourage the children to anticipate and explain the things you might not understand or that you might like to know more about. You can help with this part by asking your child questions in your reply. Please let us know if you have any questions about this process. We'd also love to know how it's going. We have put the previous letters into a binder for each child and we are looking forward to watching their growth as writers. This form of writing is different than the kind the children do in their science journals where the topic is generated by the teacher. With these letters, the children choose what to share with you.
SUPPORT FROM ACADEMIC SPECIALISTS
Ms. Siddique and Ms. Olander are the two academic specialists assigned to work with our class. Ms. Olander focuses on math while Ms. Siddique helps with reading, spelling and writing. Both Ms. Olander and Ms. Siddique work with children in different ways. Sometimes, they meet with children in small groups or work one-on-one. Other times, they may help us teach whole group lessons or simply move around the room to support children with their independent work. Most of their support happens within the classroom.
I wanted to describe this support to you in case your child mentions working with Ms. Olander or Ms. Siddique. Right now, Ms. Siddique is reviewing certain spelling/reading patterns. Most recently, she worked with children on words ending in silent e (such as cake, tube, lime, etc.). Please let us know if you have any questions. The group work is flexible and changes regularly based on the needs of the students. This allows us to collaborate and work as a team to meet the learning needs of all of our students, whether they need a little more practice or more challenge. We are so fortunate to have the support of Ms. Olander and Ms. Siddique!
In math the children have focused on developing algorithms for multi-digit addition. Last week, Ms. Olander introduced the partial sums method, which is a good place to start for many young learners. In this method the tens are added, the ones are added, and then the tens and ones are added together. If the numbers are three-digits, you start with the hundreds. Children whose grasp of place value is more advanced don’t need to break the problem into steps. When the class solves problems together, several children are called on and asked how they got the answer. We often get a different approach from each child and it has been emphasized that there is no single way to add numbers. Base-10 blocks have also been used to help the children visualize what is happening when the numbers are combined, or added together. You might ask your child to add two or three-digit numbers, and to explain his or her thinking. Here is an example of what the pencil and paper strategy looks for partial sums: