MONDAY OCTOBER 12th
7:30 Maggie Y. 12:45 Marya
8:10 Hunter 1:25 Delaney
8:50 Louis 2:05 Ellie
10:00 Catherine 2:45 Niall
10:40 Deniz 3:20 Dallan
10/14 7:30 Malia
10/15 2:45 Zachary
WALLY THE WHOOPER
Be sure to stop by the classroom to see the life-sized drawing of Wally the Whooper in the hallway. How does your child compare to this 5 foot bird with its 7-8 foot wingspan? Photos will be coming soon! We also learned that despite their size, whooping cranes only weigh 11-13 pounds or about as much as two gallons of milk!
The cranes and the planes have continued to stay on the ground as they wait for windy conditions to improve. We're crossing our fingers for better weather this week!
VIDEO PEN PAL PROJECT
We completed our introductory video for the Global Pen Pal Project. I included it in the email announcing this newsletter because we included children's names with the video. We anxiously await our first video from the 3rd grade class in New Delhi. Stay tuned...
GLOBAL READ ALOUD
We finished our first week of the Global Read Aloud and the first 4 chapters of The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes. Here's a description from http://www.kevinhenkes.com/:
When Billy Miller visits the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he has an unlucky fall and ends up with a small lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his high school teacher mom and work-at-home artist dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white spot art by the author, this is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades. A 2014 Newbery Honor Winner!
For the Global Read Aloud, we have connected with two classes in California (one in San Diego and the other in Irvine). For both classes, we shared clues with one another about the location of our school. Ms. Schroeder's class in San Diego participated in a "Mystery Skype" with us. With our iPad atlases handy, we took turns sharing clues with her second grade class as we watched each other live on the screen. We are hoping to connect with a few other classes - an even one in the Southern Hemisphere! More details to come...
GOOD FIT OR JUST RIGHT BOOKS
Did you know that choosing a book is like shopping for new shoes? We recently used this analogy to help the children recognize that it’s important to read books that are a good fit. I came to school with a bag of shoes: my husband’s very large dress shoe, a soft-soled baby shoe, and a girl's pink soccer cleat. None of these shoes were a good fit for me. We also talked about how we choose certain shoes not only because they fit well, but also because they have a purpose. Soccer cleats are different from bowling shoes. We wouldn’t wear our flip-flops to go sledding. The same is for books. You may choose a book to learn about a certain topic or just to read for fun. Books, like shoes, also reflect our interests. Finally, it's not all about being able to read the words. Good fit books are also ones we can read fluently and understand. Second graders often become focused on the number of pages in a book instead of thinking about whether they are really understanding they story.
It's important for parents to make sure the books their children are choosing are also content appropriate. Many books may be geared toward older children and the content may be beyond the life experience of a second grader. Just because a child can read all the words does not mean the book is a good fit. It may helpful for you to read these books to or with your child so if there is confusion you are there to discuss it. Our Librarians are also a wonderful resource if you have questions about appropriate second grade books. I also encourage you to read book reviews on Common Sense Media. A great site to find books that interest boys is called GuysRead.com.
When helping children choose good fit books, we focus on the IPICK method (see below). We spend more of our time helping children find good fit books than simply choosing books at their appropriate reading level that may not be of interest. IPICK gives children a tool for choosing books independently whether they are at school or in a bookstore or library. We will check in often with each child and help guide them toward good fit books that match both their interest and reading ability. Below is the "5 Finger Rule" strategy to help your child choose a good fit book. We have also include some other tips for you to use with your child at home (click here to download). Be sure to ask you favorite second grader about the Goldilocks Rule.
We are working with the children to explain their strategies for adding one digit numbers. Second grade is the year when we help children build automaticity with their single-digit addition facts and subtraction facts up to 20. We call this "fact power!" Once these facts are memorized and can be solved quickly, computation of harder, multi-digit problems becomes easier. For many children, these facts are already automatic or their fact fluency is developing so we find other ways to appropriately challenge them. The strategies we have reviewed include:
counting on: This is usually the first mental math strategy that children are taught in kindergarten or first grade and it's the easiest. In the problem 8+ 6, we tell the child to "hold" 8 in their hand and count on 6 more using their fingers. They say the number 8 then count on six more: 9,10,11,12,13,14. 8 + 6 =14
renaming: When renaming a math problem, children use the idea of making friendly numbers. A friendly number is simply a number that is easy to work with. This normally refers to multiples of 10.
For example 6 + 7 becomes (6 + 4) + 3. The seven was renamed 4 +3 so we can easily make 10 and add accurately and quickly.
We are planning a special classroom activity that we will introduce on Halloween. Each child needs his/her own flashlight to keep at school for the remainder of the year. The flashlights need to be easy to operate and small enough for your child to be able to hold while reading and keep in his/her book box. Clip on book lights are also ok. We would also appreciate some spare batteries to keep on hand. Please send in flashlights (labeled with name) by Monday, October 26th. Thank you!
As we prepare for Halloween in a few weeks, we would like to have one or two large pumpkins to decorate the room. We will carve one just before Halloween. We would also still love some gourds to add to the science table and our fall collection. Thanks!
Thank you for your support of the German Exchange Program and Pretzel Day! Pretzels are delivered each Thursday and cost $1.25. Sometimes the pretzels are not delivered before snack time so please make sure your child has something else to eat.
Happy Birthdays to Zoey, Capri and Luc!
Enjoy the week!