October 2, 2107
Happy October! It was great to feel some fall-like weather over the weekend. Don’t be fooled though, long sleeves and heavier clothes are way too much in our classroom on sunny days! We had many uncomfortable kids both Friday and today! Remember….layers, layers, LAYERS!
On Friday our monarch caterpillars hatched from their chrysalises! Surprise, five days early! It was exciting as some of us were able to watch it happen right before our eyes! All the children got close up looks at the newly emerged butterflies. We saw their swollen abdomens and watched as they pumped the fluid from their abdomens into their wings! Once they were strong enough, we released them in the school garden so they can begin their southerly migration.
In this week’s homework packet please check out the October spelling grid. It has a few changes. “Must Do” has replaced the “free space” in the center of the board. “Must Do” is exactly what it states….a homework activity that MUST be completed and signed off. Also new are “tic-tac-spell” and “orange and yellow.” The kids were excited to have two new choices to practice spelling words. Both are favorites with many pervious second grade graduates!
This will be our last week of whole-group spelling. Beginning next week I will be sending home differentiated lists of spelling words. It is my goal for your child’s spelling words to be at a ‘just right’ level for him/her. From time to time throughout the school year, this level may be adjusted due to your child’s spelling progress. I’ll let you know if I think an adjustment is in order. So you know:
Our Wonders topic for this week is how people take care of animals. This is a popular topic, and the class has a lot of background knowledge to share! Our reader this week is a non-fiction text about people helping whales. Many kids were disappointed that we didn’t read the entire text today, they didn’t want to put it down! Our task this week is to extract facts from the text and/or pictures. As it is a non-fiction text, we are noticing text features such as captions and side bars. We are also discussing where to read next when encountering such things.
Last week we completed our first writings using ‘top-down’ webs. The kids were impressed with their pieces, especially their length! Many had never written that much on a single topic before. Today we began the process all over again, beginning with webbing out a new idea. It is A LOT of work to write, but the web is helping to keep our writing organized and on-topic!
This week we will focus our handwriting on lowercase a formation. A clock outline is helping us to be able to make lowercase a all in one fluid motion. For some this is tricky because they want to take the pencil off of the page mid-letter. Once we master a, we will use that ‘foundation’ as a way to begin quite a few other letters. Here is the language we are using: “Start at the 1, go up and over the 12. Go down around to the 5. Take a shortcut up to 1, slide back down, and release!”
In math we are finishing up our first unit, focusing on number sense. We will have an assessment on Thursday and finish up with it on Friday, if needed. We have been working LOTS with number lines, number grids, skip counting, and ordering numbers so we should be in great shape. Just in case, we’ll review on Wednesday to make sure nothing has been forgotten and the formats are familiar.