Sunday, September 10, 2006

Weekly Update 9/11/06-9/15/06

Each week I will try to update the blog with news and sites that pertain to what we are learning in class. I will try to provide links to games and nifty information to accompany the topics we are focusing on during the day. :0)

Monday night is the first PTA program of the year. According to the flier, it begins at 6pm. The fifth grade is performing. As the parent of a fifth grader, I'll believe they will be performing patriotic tunes as a tribute to the catastrophe of 9/11. Hope to see you there.

I am also sending home a Scholastic Book Order on Monday. It will be due on Tuesday, Sept. 19th. Please make your checks payable to Scholastic.

Tuesday evening at 6pm is Second Grade Parent Night. Please come to our classroom to see what we do each day. I will be explaining many of the daily procedures and highlighting tips for helping your child succeed in second grade.

Wednesday is an early dismissal day for Staff Development. Students will be released at 12:45. The teachers will remain at school for educational training.

In math we will continue to work on patterns. I have been checking out the web to find some simple activities to provide some additional practice with this skill. The first one is a game called Pattern Mania. It is a simple game that requires students to select which shape should come next in a pattern. The second site provides a video lesson of patterns. The practice sections are decent, but the vocabulary is different than what we use. For instance, the video refers to the pattern unit (as we call it) as the "core of the pattern". Overall, however, it is a good resource. If you stumble across any others, let me know. We will also begin ordering numbers. Basically, we will explore two digit numbers (for now) and put them in order from least to greatest. A good way to practice this skill can be found at In the section entitled Ordering Numbers, students can play a game where they must decide whether one number comes before, between, or after two other numbers. Next week we will begin testing how well the students know their addition facts with sums up to 10. provides practice for this skill as well. You may want to begin refreshing your children's memories by having them visit this site.

In Science we will continue to observe life cycles of living creatures. We presently have tobacco hornworms, ladybugs, and painted lady butterflies in our classroom. We are on the lookout for tadpoles. If you can help us out by bringing some in, let me know. :0) The ants will arrive within the next few weeks.

In Social Studies we are going to begin learning how our families are alike and different. More to come on this later.

In language arts we are learning how to expand our writing using the program established by Lucy Calkins. This year the entire school has a Writers Block where everyone writes. The students love this time of day. We refer to every student as an author and show them what authors do and then provide them with opportunities to put the skills shown during the minilesson to work. This is my first year implementing this program and I am very pleased with the excitement and skill demonstrated by the students so far. Additionally, we are reading a variety of stories and discussing story elements: characters (the who), the setting (where/when), the problem, and the solution. During our read aloud time we have already completed Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion. The students loved hearing about Harry's escapades so much that they selected another book from the series for me to read during our read aloud.

Thanks for all you are doing to help your child adjust to second grade. Remember to check the homework folder daily. Once a book has been assigned as homework, it will come home every night to be read (except for the weekends). Have a super week!

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