Last week, Ms. Hamilton started a Morning Meeting by celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As she explains,
We read a story called, Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport. The book was about the childhood leading into adulthood for Martin Luther King Jr. and how difficult it was being black and being separated from whites. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in being fair and sharing your opinions in a nonviolent and peaceful way. After the read aloud we played a game together called Four Corners. I read aloud several "about me" questions that separated the whole class according to their answers. For example, "If you have brown hair, go to corner one. If you have blonde hair, go to corner two. If you speak a second language, go to corner three. If you have a spring birthday, go to corner four." Then I went on to say that, "All the children with May birthdays get to go out to lunch with me." That's when the true objective of this game came to terms. The other students complained and became upset because they said it wasn't fair. We had a very heart filled conversation about how it made them feel to be excluded because of things they could not change, like their birthday. That is why Dr. Martin Luther King's dream and how he fought for equality is so important in how we live and interact today.
On Wednesday, we will participate in a Primary School MLK Jr. Assembly with a performance by the Iona Calhoun Ballet School called Alvin Ailey Suite: A Tribute to Freedom. Ms. Calhoun is a Lab Schools alum and parent. Alvin Ailey's dance company was one of the first integrated dance companies and went on to receive international fame. Dr. King's message and courage helped opened the door for an artist like Alvin Ailey. His work then inspired Iona Calhoun who now inspires girls and boys in Chicago. The overarching theme of the assembly will be "sharing our gifts" to influence and inspire the way Dr. King did. Unfortunately, the second grade will not be attending a performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater this year. His dance company will be performing at the Auditorium Theater March 8-13th if you'd like to attend with your family. It's always an amazing show with an important history.
FAMILY MESSAGE JOURNALS
Family Message Journals were sent home on Friday. Please respond to your child's letter and return the journal early this week. Thank you.
Please remember to sign-up for a Parent-Teacher Conference in February. The sign-up link is available here and was also emailed to you. We look forward to talking to you about your child's progress. Progress Reports will be available to you on Monday, February 22nd.
WORLD LANGUAGE MEETING
On January 21st at 6:30 p.m. in UH 207-208 the World Language Department will hold an informational meeting for second grade parents about choosing a World Language. This meeting is an opportunity to meet faculty representing each of the four languages offered: French, German, Mandarin, and Spanish. They will answer questions and provide information to assist your family in making a decision about which language your child will begin to study in third grade. World Language Forms are due February 1st.
In math, we introduced telling time on an analog clock. We reviewed the second hand, minute hand and hour hand. We talked about 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day with the labels of a.m. or p.m. to show morning or afternoon/evening times. We practiced reading analog clocks and writing the time using a colon. Many children still confuse the hour and minute hands and we encourage you to work on this at home. If you’re looking for a way to inspire and interest your child in learning to tell time, there are some great, affordable children’s Timex analog watches that include the minute markers (counting by 5s and 1s). They are fun learning watches, have appealing designs and some even have a glow-light for nighttime viewing! Children can also practice their time-telling skills with the app Jungle Time. This app allows children to adjust the level of difficulty and it great for children just beginning to tell time or for those who need more of a challenge. This is the year to learn how to tell time because it is not taught in third grade.
For children who were already able to read an analog clock, we introduced word problems involving elapsed time. For example, Carrie started building a sand castle at 12:30pm. She finished building at 1:45 in the afternoon. How long did it take? or Rose started cutting her customer’s hair at 11:30 in the morning. She finished at 1:35 in the afternoon. How long did the haircut take?
We encourage you to give your children elapsed time problems (as simple or challenging as they need) to solve about their daily, real world routine, i.e. It's 7:00 a.m. right now. How long until school begins at 8:30 a.m.?
During the morning routine at school, children sign in by writing the time they arrive in the classroom. We have replaced the digital clock with an analog clock to give children daily practice. So far, they have met the challenge!
This quarter we will be studying snow, winter weather and the water cycle. During our study, will learn about the different kinds of snow crystals, make “snow catchers," learn about symmetry and practice reading a thermometer.
Last week, we also shared a biography about Wilson A. Bentley. Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian won the 1999 Caldecott Award for the most distinguished illustrations. Bentley was born in Vermont in 1865 and had a great love for snow crystals and nature in general. He was the first person to photograph snowflakes and we are lucky enough to have several copies of his book in our Lim Family Library. Bentley's book was his "gift to the world" and it's amazing that his photographs were taken over 100 years ago! This week, we will make our own "snow catchers" and wait the for flakes to fly! Hopefully, we will be able to recognize some of the similar ice crystals that Snowflake Bentley photographed.
WHOOPING CRANE UPDATE
The whooping cranes have almost reached their winter home in Florida. After 101 days of migration, the cranes are now in Clayton County, Georgia and are within 150 miles of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge! Once they arrive, we will celebrate with a Whooping Crane Dance Party! Please help your second grader think about what black, white and red clothing he/she may have at home to wear for the celebration. We will invite everyone to dress in the colors of the whooping cranes! This can include hats too. Stay tuned for upcoming details and a date for our celebration.
VALENTINE'S DAY IS COMING
We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, February 10th with a pizza lunch & party! The cost of the pizza will be billed to each family through the FACTS system. As soon as we know the details of this billing, we will let you know. If your child is planning on giving valentines, we ask that he/she have one for each student in our class so that no one feels left out. If you plan to include candy with your child's valentines, please make sure the candy is peanut/tree-nut free. More details and a class list including special area teachers/staff will be sent next week!
Stay warm and enjoy your week!