Today we had a special visitor, Mr. Berube who taught us about Antarctica. He is a Dracut resident who traveled as a Naval Seabee to Antarctica when he was 24 years old. Mr. Berube was stationed for four months at McMurdo Station. He showed the class photos from his time there in the 1960’s. Mr. Berube told about his experiences there and answered all the children (and adults) questions. He also shared a National Science Foundation DVD about Antarctica with us.
The children were attentive and seemed to enjoy learning about live on this faraway continent. Sal was so excited he kept saying “I am so going there!”
He brought in some of the clothing that he used when he was stationed in Antarctica. Avery is holding the hood from his parka and the children got to feel the wolverine fur.Here the children are passing around the warm gloves he needed when he was there.
Mr. Berube brought in some rubber boots like the ones he wore in Antarctica. Mr. Berube explaining that these are the actual boots he wore in the Navy because he had to return those.
One of the favorite parts of the visit was when Mr. Berube pulled out two rocks from Antarctica and he let all the children touch them. How many people can say they have touched a rock from Antarctica?
Thank you Mr. Berube for spending time with us and sharing your knowledge and experiences with our second grade class!
We have another Xtramath Superstar! Gavin L. has mastered the addition level. Congratulations Gavin! On to subtraction!
The children asked if I would extend the deadline for the Scholastic Book club order until tomorrow. Please have all orders sent in to me or online by tomorrow!
Congratulations to Katie L. for completing the addition level of Xtramath! She completed it last week and received her certificate today. Xtramath is a valuable tool for increasing the students’ fluency with math facts which means knowing them instantly without having to stop to think about it or use a strategy (like counting on fingers) to get the answer. When the students know their math facts this well, it makes learning more challenging math concepts easier to learn.
I try to let every student have the opportunity to do Xtramath every day but that is not always possible for reasons such as the Internet access being unavailable or my needing the students to all be with me for certain lessons or tests. Some days we don’t get everyone finished or if the Internet was down, no one gets it done at school. But that didn’t stop Katie who would go on Xtramath at home instead…..even on the weekends! As you can see, all her hard work certainly paid off! On to subtraction for you Katie!!
But that’s not all….Gavin L. just completed the addition level in class today! Hooray Gavin! He’ll get his certificate tomorrow. I wonder who will be next!
Finally, a quick reminder before I end this post that the December Scholastic book orders are due on WEDNESDAY. You can order in with cash or check sent to school or online with a credit card.
I forgot to take a photo but this image looks like what they ate. I cheated a bit and fried crispy crowns to save time but they got the idea.
Today we made “latkes” and ate latkes and applesauce to help us learn about some Hanukkah traditions as part of our Traditions and Customs unit. The children all loved them and our classroom smelled wonderful for the rest of the day! Then the children wrote a paragraph about latkes as part of their writer’s workshop. Later, the class brainstormed on a venn diagram things they knew (or thought they knew) about Hanukkah and Christmas. At first they thought the two holidays didn’t share much in common. But after we did a read-aloud of “Light the Lights : A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas”, they revised their venn diagram and realized that there are many things common to the two holidays.
Our Scholastic book order came in today and I distributed the books to the students who ordered books. A new order form went home with the children today and is due Wednesday, December 11th. Keep in mind that the books from this order will probably not be in before Christmas break. Our parent volunteer today thought it might be helpful to remind everyone that purchasing books through the classroom is not only a great deal for you, it has the added benefit of providing the classroom with bonus points which can be used to get “good stuff” for our classroom. I also want to point out something new this year with Scholastic. Each month they choose one book and if 5 students order that book, the classroom receives a free copy of that book. This month’s chosen book is about Polar Bears.
Celebrating two of our Xtramath Superstars!
Today we celebrated two of our second graders who earned their Xtramath certificates for addition for demonstrating mastery of the addition table by answering all basic math addition facts in under 3 seconds per fact. Tierra accomplished this on October 25th and Danielle completed hers this week on November 12th. They are now working on mastery of subtraction facts. It is important to note that we have another Xtramath superstar, Salvatore who completed both addition and subtraction while still in first grade and is currently working on mastering his multiplication facts!
Our second graders received their first report cards of the year today. Please review the grades with your child and return the signed card as soon as you can. The oral reading grade is graded on a S+, S, S- or U and is based on their Fountas and Pinnell testing and the reading level (1, 2 or 3) indicates if your child’s reading above, on or below grade level. The reading skills grade is based on the written reading assessments/tests. Science and Social Studies is also graded with S or U. I will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have on these or any grades at the Parent-Teacher conferences on Monday, November 18th.
We are currently working on a combined ELA and Social Studies unit on Traditions and Customs. We will be talking about the students’ heritage/family history and the first project is the suitcase assignment which is due tomorrow. The students have to put themselves in the place of immigrants and pack a suitcase or backpack with the objects they would bring if they were immigrating to a new country. I have not assigned math homework tonight to enable the children to have extra time to finish this suitcase assignment. The children will be sharing what they packed tomorrow in class.
A second optional assignment on the Statue of Liberty was sent home today. It involves using the internet and since not all families have access to the Internet, this is not mandatory. The students who choose to do this will get extra credit (and a treat!) Speaking of treats, I sent home “homework passes” today with the eight children who had parents who commented on our class blog/website so far this year. Anyone who comments for the first time is still eligible to receive a homework pass for their child.
Another reminder that the Scholastic Book Club orders are due tomorrow (November 15th) if you plan to order any books by sending paper order forms and paying with cash or checks. If you want to order online, I can keep the online ordering open through Saturday as I probably won’t get around to placing the order until Sunday. Thank you to Hailey, Fatima, Tierra and Katie for their orders!
Hope everyone had a nice long Columbus Day weekend and is ready for the slightly shortened school week. We still have spelling words to study and a test on Friday. Please tutor each night with your child and tutor one extra time (for Monday) before Friday morning. You may choose the day/night that best fits your schedule. We will continue to tutor the science vocabulary. This time I gave the children another copy of the tutor sheet.
Tomorrow is the due date for our October Scholastic Book Club orders and as of now I only have one order. (Thank you to Katie and her family for their online order!) Please don’t feel pressured to purchase anything. I just want to make these inexpensive books available to my students if you are interested. Each month there is one book that is only $1.00 so it doesn’t have to cost much to build your child’s library. If you want to place an order, you can either send in payment in cash or check…made payable to Scholastic OR you can order online. Our online code is DZMMM.
The second grade is looking for CORIed volunteers to help prepare the grid on the asphalt so that the students can create a life-size outline of a dinosaur. Volunteers would need to be at school at 10am on this Friday, October 18th. It would be really helpful if we could have at least one volunteer from the C8 families. I’m sorry to be asking so late but I am new to the second grade team and their yearly projects.
A great many papers went home today with the children. In addition to the “Thursday Packet” materials from the office, I sent home the Scholastic Book Club order forms. I sent home both the 2nd and 1st grade forms because there are some great books on each form and many of the books on the first grade form are actually second grade reading level and of interest to second graders. I have a cover sheet detailing exactly what you need to do to order books either through me or online if you choose to participate this month. Please note that each form has one book that is only $1.00! I will need all orders place by Thursday, Sept. 26th.
Today is International Pirate Day! We read a pirate story, answered questions about it, and the children even tried writing their own pirate adventure. Ask your child about it!!