In math, we began a unit on geometry and 2-dimensional shapes. Ms. Cindy introduced the concept of line symmetry. A shape has line symmetry if you can fold it in half and both halves match exactly. The fold line is called the line of symmetry. Some shapes, like a square or a circle, can have several lines of symmetry. Ms. Cindy had the children examine symmetry in nature (like snowflakes). While nature's symmetry isn't perfect, it can be found in the wings of butterflies, in leaves, in a sliced orange, etc. The kids have really taken to noticing symmetry in their surroundings.
As a fun way to practice symmetry and sharpen visual/spatial skills, we introduced the app called Symmetry Shuffle. In this game, students need to flip, turn, or slide shapes to make them align with other shapes nearby. There are different levels of difficulty and it is a fun, engaging game for all! We also used pattern blocks and app called Geoboard to create symmetrical designs. These designs will be shared with you in your child's Evernote portfolio soon.
Ms. Cindy had the children explore symmetry in nature (like snowflakes). While nature's symmetry isn't perfect, it can be found in the wings of butterflies, in leaves, in a sliced orange, etc. The kids have really taken to noticing symmetry in their surroundings.
After learning about symmetry, we explored lines, line segments and endpoints. This will help us transition into a discussion this week of parallel lines, polygons and attributes. Stay tuned...
The children have been meeting in a small reading groups with Ms. Harrison, Ms. Atiya, Ms. Siddique or Ms. Cindy. These groups will be flexible and will change throughout the year based on children's needs and abilities. During reading groups, 4-5 children work on a common skill and/or text. We will focus on different reading strategies, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. We will finish up our books in the next two weeks. Be sure to ask you child what he or she is reading!
As a part of our afternoon literacy block, the children have also been working on their fluency. Each week, the children will use iPads to record themselves reading a just-right text and will set a fluency goal. Fluency is defined the ability to read text with speed, accuracy and proper expression. Fluent readers:
- recognize words automatically
- read aloud effortlessly and with expression
- do not have to concentrate on decoding
- can focus on comprehension
Fluency doesn’t ensure comprehension, but comprehension can be difficult without fluency. If a reader is constantly stopping to decode and figure out unknown words, meaning will most likely be disrupted and the process of reading becomes long and laborious. When students make gains in reading fluency, they are able to put their energies into comprehension and are able to analyze, interpret, draw conclusions, and infer meaning from texts. We will post these recordings on your child's Evernote portfolio soon.
MS. HARRISON'S CONFERENCE
I spent three days at the Illinois Computing Educators Annual Conference in St. Charles, IL. I am always amazed that this state conference, organized by volunteers, can attract such innovative, smart speakers. I learn so much and come back with lots of new ideas. I can't wait to integrate some new ideas into the curriculum.
Tomorrow we will introduce a global project called If You Learned Here. We will collaborate with 76 schools from 20 different countries! Inspired by the book If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche, this project will engage students (K-8th grades) in a global dialogue about their learning communities. Each school will generate pages for an eBook that we will write and publish together. We are so excited about this opportunity. Each week, we will have new assignments and themes to consider.
ALVIN AILEY FIELD TRIP
On Friday, March 13th, the second grade will take its annual trip to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre perform. You were asked to commit to this trip at the beginning of the year and tickets have already been purchased. A list of parent chaperones was included in the email announcing this newsletter and can also be found in the FOR PARENTS sections of this website. Please let us know if your plans have changed. The performance is in the morning and we will return to school by 1:00-1:30 for lunch. More details will be shared as we get closer to the date.
On April 9th, our class will attend a play based on a book we will read in class. The performance is in the morning and we will return in time for lunch (12:30-1:00). We have room for two parent chaperones. Please email Ms. Harrison if you'd like to join us.