Thursday, May 3, 2018

May Update

 
 IMPORTANT DATES:
  • May 15 - Field Trip to Castlewood Canyon (Steinher, Graham, Woolums)
  •  May 18 - Aladdin Performance
  • May 23 - Field Day 12:45-3:15
  • May 24 - End of Year Picnic 
  • 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 for the school year.

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 afternoon.

READING
We are ending our school year focusing on the reading strategies inferring and visualizing. These strategies will be addressed through reading genre of poetry. 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

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April Update



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 Update

 


Upcoming Dates:
  • Conferences: March 8th & 15th
  •  Spring Break: March 19-23rd
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:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

February Update




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
  • 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 Elizabeth Alcocer, Matt Berry, Kelsey Hansen, Whitney Hawkins, Megan Rood, Kristen Rosenbach and Ticia Stahlecker 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 at home and bring to class on Valentine's Day. 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 important in the history of America?
  • What did this American accomplish?
  • How did this accomplishment change the history of America?
  • How is life in AMerican different today because of this person's accomplishments?
  • Childhood facts
  • Adult-life facts
  • Family life 
  • Interesting and fun things from this person's life
  • Character traits that help 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 tens and ones for the same number are equivalent i.e 4 tens and 6 ones, is equivalent to 3 tens and 16 ones
  • identifying and using coin equivalent to compose 2-digit numbers
  • Determining the difference between a number and multiple of 10 up to 100
Please visit Math Words and Ideas tab if you would like more information on stratigies that we are using to teach addition and subtraction. Click on Addition and Place Value

HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH MATH




Friday, January 12, 2018

January Updates

                                   
IMPORTANT DATES:                                                                            
  • January 12th: No School Professional Development for Teachers
  • January 15th:   No School- Martin Luther King Day
  • February 2nd:   PACE Center Field Trip- Little Mermaid Play
  • February 2nd: School Sock Hop 6:00-8:00PM
  • Febryary 2nd: Jump Rope For Heart Money due
  • February 14th: Valentine Party- Time TBD
      
PACE CENTER FIELD TRIP:
Please make sure to register your child for our upcoming field trip to the PACE center through your child’s RevTrack account. (Found on the Gold Rush website.)

VALENTINE PARTY:
We will have our class Valentine party on Wednesday, February 14th. The time is to be determined.  Children are welcomed to create a box to collect Valentines in, and bring one Valentine for each student. A class list will be sent home soon.  Please also be on the lookout for a party SignUp!

SOCK HOP
Please view the Sock Hop flyer in the Barker Blog. This is a free event and all families are encouraged to come out for a fun time!

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 the details helps the reader to deepen their understanding of the text.  it is important to monitor our comprehension by using this strategy 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 wrap up our Narrative Writing Unit during the first two weeks of January, then front load our Informational Writing Unit with a deep study of Famous Americans. 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
Our study of place value, addition and subtraction has continued this month. Students and classrooms are diving into the hands-on practice of building and decomposing numbers through place value, utilizing addition and subtraction stories to combine, separate and compare.
  • 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
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 before Thanksgiving break and 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 started the week of December 4th. Please continue to support your child by making sure that their 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 Earth Science unit on weather. This month we will begin our Social Studies History Unit called Famous Americans.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December Update

 

IMPORTANT DATES:                                                                           
·       December 20th:   Wrapped book for Book Exchange Due  
·       December 21th:    Holiday Party @ 12:15-1:15 p.m.
·       December 22nd:   NO SCHOOL
·       December 23nd:   Progress Reports available for viewing
·       December 22nd-January 5th:  WINTER BREAK!
·       Students return to school on Monday January 8th.  Have a wonderful winter break!      

THANK YOU!
Thank you for your generous contribution to our classroom library through the purchase of a new book at the Scholastic Book Fair.  The books you purchased have added more great books for our students to enjoy! Thank you!

HOLIDAY PARTY
We will have our class holiday party on Thursday,  December 21st from 1:15-2:15 p.m. I have planned a simple celebration for our class, which will include a book exchange, cookies and juice. I am asking that each child bring in their favorite gently used or new book (please keep cost under $5) that they would like to share with a classmate. In order to keep the book a mystery, please have your child wrap their book for the exchange. Every child will go home with a new book recommendation by another classmate! I can't wait to see all of the great books that will be shared during our exchange. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything that I can do to help with a book selection. Since this is such a busy time of year for families, our holiday party will be a small quiet celebration. Families will be included in future parties.
I am looking for a few parent volunteers to donate cookies and juice boxes for our book exchange. Please email me if you are interested.

ELEMENTARY PROGRESS REPORTS-FIRST SEMESTER
Progress reports are available for parent viewing on Saturday,  December 23rd. Log on to your parent portal to view your child’s progress report.  You will also find a first semester wrap up of your child’s academic learning in second grade.  Please take the time to read all the learning, growth and success we have had thus far in second
grade. The following rating system is used to determine your child's level of performance:

Exceeds
Indicates a high level of achievement.  It indicates a student has a strong understanding of the content/concepts/skills taught and it implies a student can demonstrate understanding independently and with very few errors.

Meets
Indicates that a student demonstrates an understanding of content/concepts/skills most of the time and with limited support.  Students who are meeting standards make few major errors or omissions when demonstrating a concepts or skill.

Approaching
Indicates that a student requires moderate support to demonstrate an understanding of concepts/skills.  Students' ability to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or skill is inconsistent or infrequent, which indicates a partial understanding of the content, concept or skill.  Students demonstrate more frequent errors or omissions.

Does Not Meet
Students who do not meet standards seldom demonstrate an understanding of concepts and skills taught.  The student requires considerable support to demonstrate learning and makes frequent major errors when demonstrating his/her understanding.

CURRICULUM UPDATE

READING
During Reader’s Workshop we have moved on to a new reading comprehension strategy, Questioning and Wondering. Asking questions while we read, helps the reader to deepen their understanding of the text. We will be examining the types of questions we ask and identifying what type of questions gain the greatest understanding of our text. As we explore this strategy, students’ will learn about the conventions of nonfiction text (captions, headings, labels, photographs, table of contents, index, glossary, and types of print), and how these conventions help us to increase our understanding of the text we read. 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
We will continue our Narrative Writing Unit until winter break. The following bullets are topic/mini lessons that will be the focus during this unit.
·       Discovering small moments that matter-generating ideas
·       Tiny Topics- using a notebook to remember topics for writing
·       Stretching out small moments- learning to plan a story by touching each page and saying what they will write
·       Writing a good beginning, middle and end
·       Writing with detail: Magnifying a small moment
·       Bringing characters to life by using talk, feel or actions
·       Setting goals and making plans for writing time
·       Using checklist to self assess and plan for next parts
·       Close Reading: Looking closely at how mentor authors write and trying it
·       Collaborate a partner to help make a story better (revise by listening)
·       Word choice
·       Revising and editing rough drafts
The narrative stories students are writing have been absolutely delightful to hear their special memories!

MATH
Our study of attributes of shapes and fractions is coming to a close and we will be moving into Unit 3: How Many Stickers? How Many Cents? before winter break.
During the first session of this unit, students will focus on the following:
·       Introduced to Sticker Station, a store that sells stickers singly, in strips of 10, and in sheet of 100. The Sticker Station provides a model for representing and making sense of 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

HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH MATH
·       Helping your child with math: Click Here
·       Math Words and Ideas: Click Here
·       Investigations Game Center: Math Games

WORD WORK/SPELLING
It is so exciting to see the progress students are making in their spelling. Students were given a spelling inventory before Thanksgiving break and 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 will start the week of December 4th. Please continue to support your child by making sure that their 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
In science, we continue our focus on Air and Weather:
·       Conducting weather experiments
·       Observing changes in weather over time
·       Becoming familiar with instruments meteorologists use to monitor weather conditions
·       Exploring the various types of clouds and the the weather they bring
·       Gaining an understanding of the water cycle
·       Gaining an understanding of how weather and changing seasons impact people, animals, and plants
·       Gathering and analyzing data on the weather in different locations and in different seasons
·       Analyzing the ways severe weather contributes to catastrophic events (floods, wildfires, etc.)