Monday, May 7, 2018

May Happenings


IMPORTANT DATES:
  • May 2 - Field Trip to Castlewood Canyon (Meier and Andersen)
  • May 11 - Last Day to Register Online for Field Trip
  • May 15 - Field Trip to Castlewood Canyon (Steinher, Graham, Woolums)
  • May 18 - Aladdin Performance
  • May 23 - Field Day
  • May 24 - End of Year Picnic (Steinher and Woolums)
  • May 25 - Last Day of School
  • May 29 - Progress Reports (EPRs) Released

THE END IS NEAR!
It is so hard for me to believe that this is the last blog  for the school year! I can’t believe how quick this year has gone! It has been a year filled with new friendships, new learning, and now it is time to move on to the third grade. I truly enjoyed getting to work with your child each and every day, and know they will flourish in third grade.

LIBRARY BOOKS
Please make sure all library books are returned to school. This week will be our last visit to the library to check-out books.

CLASS PICTURE
We will be taking a class picture on Friday, May 11th and hope to have our entire class present for this special keepsake. The picture will be taken first thing in the morning.

Castlewood Canyon Field Trip
We are very excited for our field trip to Castlewood Canyon State Park. Please be sure to register your child online by Friday, May 11. Specific field trip details for parent volunteers will be sent out on Friday.


READING
Poetry is now our focus in reading. Students have read been reading poetry thinking about what the poem is about and finding evidence to support their thinking.

WRITING
In writing, we have finished our Informational Writing Unit and moved on to poetry. Students are not only reading poetry but noticing the of poetry. They are exploring the difference between ordinary and “poets’ eyes” to see world and write poetry. As students explore this genre they with be learning:
To choose topics which elicit strong emotion
To make intentional choices with word choice
To write poems that look and sound different than stories
To use whitespace to get the reader to pause between  sections
            To use repetitive language
To use figurative language
To use rhyme
To experiment with line breaks
I am always amazed at how second graders are natural poets and love the creative challenge of writing poems about the things they love!
WORD WORK/SPELLING
It is so exciting to see the progress students have made in spelling. We appreciate your support with weekly spelling homework throughout the school year. Students have made strong progress in their understanding and application of spelling patterns. We have two more weeks of spelling homework and the words have become increasingly more difficult and require extra practice.  Please continue to support your child with the last few weeks of homework.

MATH
Students continue to focus on place value as students decompose, compare, add, and subtract 3 digit numbers. They are also refining their addition and subtraction strategies, including solving story problems, and working towards accurate and efficient strategies that can be generalized to greater numbers.
These are some of our focus points:
  • Identifying the value of each number in a 3 digit number - in 354, the 3=300, 5=50, 4=4 ones
  • Representing 3 digit numbers in expanded form - 354 is written as 300+50+4
  • Comparing 3 digit numbers (>, <, =)
  • Adding 10 or 100 and subtracting 10 or 100 from a given number and noticing the pattern / changes
  • Noticing how the digit in the tens place changes when the addends in the ones place sum to greater than 10
  • Relating single digit combinations (8+2=10) to multiple digit combinations (80+20=100)
  • Solving 1 and 2 step story problems by visualizing and representing the problem
  • Using different coins to find equivalent values
  • Finding combinations of coins that equal $1.00

We will finish the school year with Unit 7 Partners, Teams, and Other Groups, which will lay the foundation for future work with multiplication. Students will investigate the concept of odd and even numbers and work with equal groups. We continue to build on their understanding of time to the quarter hour, money, and fact fluency.

HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH MATH
SCIENCE & SOCIAL STUDIES
We continue to explore how plants and animals use the resources in their habitats to survive.  We will discuss the various adaptations plants and animals possess in each habitat. Students are in the process of selecting a habitat of interest to research and present their information in a culminating project.

Monday, April 2, 2018

April Happenings



IMPORTANT DATES:
  • April 20 - no school

CURRICULUM UPDATE

READING
During Reader’s Workshop we are continuing to strengthen students’ knowledge and application of thinking strategies. We will continue to summarize and synthesize our reading, but will also begin to practice visualizing and inferring. Visualizing is the ability to “make a movie in our mind” while reading and is such an important strategy to deepen understanding.  Inferring is “reading between the lines” - using the information we read from a text and using what we already know (background knowledge) to discover something new about a character or event.

It is important to monitor our comprehension by using these strategies and all of the strategies we have been exploring this school year.  We will also continue to work on reading fluency, building stamina as a reader, and making sure that we are reading a book that is just right for us.

WRITING
We will continue working on Informational Writing.  In March, we focused on writing lab reports as we engaged in various experiments that helped strengthen our knowledge base on force and motion.  As we move forward, students will explore writing informational texts. The ideas that they choose will also incorporate our science learning about force and motion as they use vocabulary like friction, gravity, pushes, and pulls in their writing.   
Here are some (of many) examples of topics students may choose to teach readers about:
  • Cleaning the house
  • Taking care of a dog
  • Gymnastics
  • Bowling

MATH
Our studies will focus on place value this month as students decompose, compare, add, and subtract 3 digit numbers. Students are also refining their addition and subtraction strategies, including solving story problems, and working towards accurate and efficient strategies that can be generalized to greater numbers.
These are some of our focus points:
  • Identifying the value of each number in a 3 digit number - in 354, the 3=300, 5=50, 4=4 ones
  • Representing 3 digit numbers in expanded form - 354 is written as 300+50+4
  • Comparing 3 digit numbers (>, <, =)
  • Adding 10 or 100 and subtracting 10 or 100 from a given number and noticing the pattern / changes
  • Noticing how the digit in the tens place changes when the addends in the ones place sum to greater than 10
  • Relating single digit combinations (8+2=10) to multiple digit combinations (80+20=100)
  • Solving 1 and 2 step story problems by visualizing and representing the problem
  • Using different coins to find equivalent values
  • Finding combinations of coins that equal $1.00

HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH MATH

WORD WORK/SPELLING
It is so exciting to see the progress students are making in their spelling. Students were given a spelling inventory either right before or after spring break.  As a result, some students moved into different groups based on the results of their assessment, weekly spelling test scores, and spelling quizzes. Spelling groups were formed based on their understanding of spelling patterns. Newly formed groups start the week of April 2. Please continue to support your child by making sure that his/her word sorts are practiced daily along with the 5 “No Excuse Words” and challenge word of the week. Using the sorts throughout the week helps your child develop, concretely, the spelling pattern they are working on for the week.

SCIENCE & SOCIAL STUDIES

In science, we are wrapping up our focus on force and motion and will move into learning about Habitats.  In our studies, we will explore how plants and animals use the resources in their habitats to survive. We will discuss the various adaptations plants and animals possess in each habitat.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March Happenings


Upcoming Dates:
  • Conferences: March 8th and 15th
  • Spring Break: March 19th -23rd
  • Return to school on March 26th

Curriculum Update:

READING:
During Reader’s Workshop we learning to summarize and synthesize.  We are nudging our students to see the bigger picture, pull together their thinking and organize their learning to share it with others.

WRITING & SCIENCE
Students are learning to write like a scientist as we learn about FORCE AND MOTION:
  • Question
  • Hypothesize
  • Experiment (writing procedures and steps to test the hypothesis)
  • Collect data
  • Make conclusions
We also created toys out of recyclable materials.  Toys needed to have one moving part. Look for your child’s to be posted on Seesaw soon.

Thank you for helping your child complete daily practice on spelling words.  This repeated practice helps your child see spelling patterns and commit them to long term memory.  

Math:  
We are wrapping up 2 units of study:  Unit 4 Pockets, Teeth,  and Guess My Rule (data) and Unit 6 How Far Can You Jump? (Linear Measurement).  Both of these are short, intense units of study learning to use measurement and analyze data on line plots, bar graphs and picture graphs.

We encourage you to use the links below to continue math development at home:


Investigations Game Center: Math Games

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February Happenings



Upcoming Dates:
  • Wednesday, February 14th- Classroom Valentine’s Day Parties
  • Friday, February 16th- No School (Professional Development for Teachers)
  • Friday, February 16th- Conference Sign Up Opens
    • Conferences will be held on Thursday, March 8th & Thursday, March 15th
  • Monday, February 19th- No School Presidents Day
  • 1st/2nd Grade Specials Program:
    • Thursday, February 22nd   6:15-6:45-
      • Mrs. Martino's 1st Grade & Mrs. Anderson's 2nd Grade
    • Thursday, February 22nd   7:15-7:45
      • Ms. Wilson's 1st Grade & Mrs. Woolums' 2nd Grade
    • Tuesday, February 27th   6:15-6:45
      • Mrs. Roon's 1st Grade,  Mrs. Steinher & Mrs. Graham's 2nd Grades
  • Tuesday, February 27th    7:15-7:45
    • Ms. Robart's 1st Grade and Mrs. Meier's 2nd Grade
THANK YOU
A big huge Thank You to (parent volunteers) for chaperoning our field trip to the PACE center. Our students did a great job and we were really proud of them for how well they represented Gold Rush!

VALENTINE PARTY:
We will have our class Valentine party on Wednesday,  February 14th. Children are welcomed to create a Valentine’s Day Box to collect Valentines in. Please make sure that the opening on the box will fit a card with candy attached  (if families chose to do that). If your child chooses to make a valentine for students in our class, please make sure that you bring one Valentine for every student in the class. A class list will be sent home. Please also be on the lookout for a party SignUp

1st and 2nd Grade Specials Program:

Our Earth Matters

The arts serve an essential role in helping to develop the whole child.  Our 1st and 2nd Grade Specials Showcase is a way to highlight some of that important learning.  At Gold Rush Elementary each year the first and second grade students explore a theme during their Art, PE, and Music classes and then have the opportunity to share their learning with parents and invited guests.

This year, students will present "Our Earth Matters" showcase - with a focus on Ecology and Civic Responsibility highlighting Arts, Music, Dance and Games .  Students are asked to wear a solid color shirt if possible in Green, Blue or Brown.

Each performance will last about 30 minutes and will highlight work learned through the students specials classes.  For the music portion, students will perform through singing, moving and playing instruments.

Please look for your child's class above and save the date and time.  Since there will be two different performances on each night, parents and students are asked to arrive only 15 minutes prior to the performance.

Curriculum Update:

READING:
During Reader’s Workshop we have moved  on to a new reading comprehension strategy, Determining Importance. Identifying the most  important parts and details helps the reader to deepen their understanding of the text. Although this is the comprehension strategy that we are shining the light on at this time, it is important to monitor our comprehension by using all of the strategies we have been exposed to thus far. Also, we will continue to work on reading fluency, building stamina as a reader and making sure that we are working with a book that is just right for us.

WRITING & SOCIAL STUDIES:
In writing we are beginning an Informational Writing Unit on Famous Americans. Each student selected a Famous American that they would be interested in learning more about. The following bullets are questions/thinking points that will be the focus during this unit:
  • Why was this American considered important in the history of America?
  • What did this American accomplish?
  • How did this accomplishment change the history of American?
  • How is life in America different today because of this person’s accomplishment?
  • Childhood facts.
  • Adult-life facts.
  • Family life.
  • Interesting and fun things from this person’s life.
  • Character traits that helped or hurt this person in their accomplishments.

Math:  
We are wrapping up unit, Unit 3, How Many Tens? How Many Ones?. The focus of this unit is to continue to work on whole number operations, addition and subtraction up to 100, and place value.
  • Using a place value model to represent a 2-digit number as tens and ones
  • Finding as many combinations of a 2-digit number as possible, using only tens and ones
  • Recognizing that different combinations of tens and ones for the same number are equivalent ie. 4 tens and 6 ones, are equivalent to 3 tens and 16 ones
  • Identifying and using coin equivalencies to compose 2- digit numbers
  • Determining the difference between a number and multiple of 10 up to 100

Please visit the Math Words and Ideas tab if you would like more information on strategies that we are using to teach addition and subtraction. Click on Addition & Place Value.

HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH MATH
Investigations Game Center: Math Games