Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lots of Things Going On In Second Grade

We have had a very busy beginning tothe school year. Students have been great making the transition into second grade. In reading we have covered many of our decoding strategies as well as our first two expanding strategies - visualizing and using our schema. We have used these strategies in our shared reading with Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Monkey House, Magic Treehouse Dinosaurs before Dawn, and Ready Freddy Apple Orchard Race. Guided reading groups are running well. We will soon start our reading response journals (responding to our reading by writing).
We have completed our first units in writing - expository writing - with our "How to . . " and our "All About . . . " books. We are very excited to use our writing to inform, teach,and instruct our readers using this kind of writing. We will be doing Small Moments (personal narratives) next. Some students have jotted down some great ideas already!!
We all love math time!! We finished unit one (addition, subtraction, and the number system 1)and will be finishing up unit two (Geometry) this week. It has been lots of fun to watch students construct 2-d and 3-d structures with symmetry. Next we move into addition, subtraction, and the number system 2.
We all said good bye to our student teacher on Tuesday - Miss Abbott. She leaves for Ghana, Africa on Thursday to student teach there! She promised to come back and visit us when she returns in 8 weeks! We can't wait to hear how it went!
Halloween party on Friday, the 29th. Please send in a labeled costume in a labeled bag with your child. (Please don't put make up on in the morning.) We will be going to the Friendly Home in the afternoon to bring the residents a little holiday cheer! Mr. Wikiera

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I have been very lax in keeping up with my blog. My apologies. Maybe my New Year's resolution should be to keep up with my writing!!
Well, anyway, in reading we have been very busy practicing our new strategy of inferring. Its known as "reading between the lines"! We make predictions and draw conclusions. We are reading a chapter book called Crazy Eddie and the Science Project of Doom. Some students are practicing their fluency in their reading groups using some reader's theater scripts. The students love this!!
In writing we are finishing up our persuasive articles. I am so proud of their hard work in coming up with some logical reasons to persuade others who read their work.
We are all excited about our math unit in data and analysis. Students are currently representing their own data from a survey they conducted. Our next survey will be one taken of the whole school!! This is a lot of fun.
Students have their scripts for the second grade play. They do not have to memorize their lines. We will have a music stand on the stage so that they can read them.
Thanks to the many who volunteered to help!!! We really appreciate it so much!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It seems it was just the beginning of October and the weather was warm and sunny the other day and now its already November! This is the 9th week of school!
I want to thank all the parents who helped out for our Halloween party last week. It was a very fun parade!
We have started reading a historical fiction book called Samuel Eaton. Its about a pilgrim boy who lived in Plimonth in 1627. We are using our new strategy called Determining Important Ideas. Its a very useful strategy especially for nonfiction writing. We will also be reading about a pilgrim girl and a Wampanoag boy during this same time period.
We have started our expository writing pieces called "How to . .". The students have selected an idea about how to tell others how to do something or make something. We have a very interesting list of crafts, activities, and even some gymnastic moves!
In word study we are learning that some words have short or long vowel sounds and how to tell when that occurs in a word.
Geometry is loads of fun. We are listing the attributes of rectangles and talking and writing about them. We have also introduced the idea of symmetry - these ideas are all done with lots of exploratory activities and projects.
In social studies we have covered map keys, and the equator - northern and southern hemispheres.
If you have time this weekend check out the Children's Book Fair on Saturday at MCC. Lots of local children's authors will be there including Newbery winner Linda Sue Park. Its from 10 to 4. I try to attend every year to see whats happening in children's literature. Its a great event!!
Its mitten weather. Be sure to label all clothing. Remember, mini hand sanitizers and water bottles are allowed in the classroom. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hello Autumn!!

It seems like I just woke up this morning and all the trees put on their colorful coats for autumn! How beautiful it is outside at this time of year.
Our personal narratives (small moments) are just about finished and I am so proud of all the writing the students have completed! They are full of confidence and see themselves as writers who have important ideas to share with others. It is wonderful to see. We move to writing expository pieces - writing that tells or explains how to do something. It is quite fun to help students put down on paper their ideas about how to make or build something. I show them student pieces from years past to give them an idea of how to write this kind of piece.
In reading we are using our strategy called visualizing. Students can articulate this strategy very well. We have been reading several non-fiction pieces about snakes and spiders. The students are fascinated by these topics. (Thomas found his own spider during recess and we are trying to find out what kind it is!!)
In Word Study we are learning about how some words have two vowels and they usually make the long vowel sound of the first vowel.
In science we have completed an experiment on interactions of different properties. In social studies we have been using maps and talking about parts of maps.
Math continues to be lots of fun. Geometry is a terrific topic!! We have covered quadrilaterals, rectangles, and right angles. It is fascinating to see students using these shapes to solve problems.
We had a terrific visit to the George Eastman House and the Brighton Fire Station. Thank you to all the parents who helped us plan and participate in these two trips.
If you would like to send in a small bottle of hand sanitizer for your child to use at lunch or in the classroom that would be fine. We have larger bottles for classroom use, as well. Also, please send in your pillowcase if you haven't done so already. We use these for holding all our books!
We will have a student teacher on Monday. Mr. Steven Pace will be joining us from Nazareth College. He will be with us for 7 weeks.
Enjoy the beautiful fall colors! Mr. Wikiera

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It is hard to believe that we are already into October and its the fifth week of school already!
We have been very busy with our first reading strategy called Visualizing. We will be practicing this strategy for the next few week. We create a mental image in our brains when we read and this helps us with comprehending what we have read. Students say things like" "I pictured . . . "
Our personal narratives are really coming together. The student pieces are ideas that they have taken and "stretched"' into small moment stories. Students are beginning to understand what revising means and demonstrated this many times.
In math, story problems have been introduced and students are great at giving complete answers - pictures, equations, labels, and sentences.
For word study we reviewed vowels (short sounds) and have created our first word study list.
We would like to welcome Owen back to Allen Creek.
We have a field trip to the Brighton Fire Station on the 15th.
We have a field trip to the George Eastman House on the 16th.
Picture Day will be on the 15th as well.
Don't forget to send in a pillowcase if you haven't already done so.
Columbus Day on the 12th - no school.

Friday, September 25, 2009

All of you would be so proud of the hard work that happened all week! The students are really getting the idea of using strategies to help their reading. We talked some more about what real reading looks like when we do it. We read several stories to practice these strategies this week.
I have seen some amazing beginnings for our personal narratives (small moments). Small moments include true stories that take a small moment in time of an ordinary experience and "stretch it out" to make an interesting story. We have read several books that are from this genre and it is helping us get started. I am very pleased with this first big writing project.
In math we looked at writing number sentences to solve a math problem. Our responses showed a picture, number sentence, labels, and sentences.
We met our 4th grade buddies today and did a social studies activity with them this afternoon. It worked out very well.
Don't forget your pillowcase if you haven't sent it in yet.
Have a terrific week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What a great week we have had so far. We are seeing our first writing projects near completion and we have finished two learning units in math! Students have started putting important information in their Reader's Notebooks. We talked today about how text plus thinking equals real reading!!
Could you send in an old pillowcase? We will have them sewed and we will put them on the back of our chairs as a book pocket.
Thank you for all the donations of hand sanitizer, tissues, wipes, and paper towels. It really helps.