Check here for Curriculum Updates!
Updates are made when new learning units begin, which is usually every month and a half!Writing WorkshopJanuary - FebruaryWe have been writing up a storm in our unit about Opinion Writing Unit (and wow, are we opinionated writers! :) ). We are writing about the many things that we love, and also really don't love! Following the theme of "Making Your Writing Longer, Stronger, and More Convincing", we are supporting our reasons with evidence and examples, thinking about who we are writing our letters to, and activating the reader's knowledge about the book (or series). Our mentor texts have been Mercy Watson to the Rescue and Pinky and Rex and the Bully.November - DecemberWe have been working hard in our Informational (All-About) Books! We first looked through our non-fiction books and learned about non-fiction text features. Then, we created lists about what we are experts on, and "mapped out" the chapters of our books with our table of contents. We are keeping in mind what we can teach our readers all about our topics, and stopping after each chapter to check for spelling, punctuation, and if we can add any more details to stretch our thoughts across the pages (ask your child about "squeezing his/her brain").September - OctoberWe are in our Personal Narrative/Small Moment Unit! You might remember the "watermelon slice" analogy from first grade (the full watermelon slice is the BIG idea, we write small moments based on the seeds within, the "tiny topics"). We have learned to use a writing template to organize our stories, and we use strategies to plan out our thoughts like quick jots or sketches and telling the story across our fingers. We are working on our writing stamina and writing "long and strong". We have began learning how to edit our \writing by looking for punctuation, spelling, and capital letters. As we approach our publishing date, we will have our writing partners give us helpful feedback, and check to make sure our writing makes sense, uses strong action words, has dialogue, and leaves the reader thinking.Reading WorkshopJanuary - mid FebruaryWe have been focusing on how to Amp Up Our Reading Power by trying different techniques to make our reading more fluent (including reading at a "Just Right" pace, having our voice [both in our head and when we read aloud] match the tone of the book, and consider the author's literary language that adds to how we actually read the text with expression.NovemberWe have begun our Non-Fiction Reading Unit! First step was to organize our non-fiction books by our reading levels. We are focusing a lot on partner reading this unit, because there is SO much to learn from our non-fiction books, our partners can help us read and explore our books! We have baggies of books that we are reading with our partners, and framing our thinking with these sentence frames: "I'm thinking...", "I'm noticing...", and "I'm learning..." We are also constantly thinking of the big questions words as we read--- Who, What, Where, Why, When, How...!December - early JanuaryWe have begun our Non-Fiction Reading Unit! First step was to organize our non-fiction books by our reading levels. We are focusing a lot on partner reading this unit, because there is SO much to learn from our non-fiction books, our partners can help us read and explore our books! We have baggies of books that we are reading with our partners, and framing our thinking with these sentence frames: "I'm thinking...", "I'm noticing...", and "I'm learning..." We are also constantly thinking of the big questions words as we read--- Who, What, Where, Why, When, How...!October - NovemberWe launched into a short unit focusing on Characters. Using the mentor text Tooter Pepperday, we are parallel studying the character traits, what problems the character faces, how the character tries to solve the problem or how the problem gets worse, and how the problem is solved. Ask your child about the "unexpected" chapter title, and who Drumsticks is.SeptemberWith the theme of "Readers Grow Like Beanstalks", our class has been focusing on building reading stamina. Each reader has a personal book box and can choose books that are both within their reading level AND of interest. We have been practicing "tricky word strategies" like chunking words, looking at prefixes and suffixes, and thinking about vowel teams. We have started partner reading, as well as Ms. Garcia's famous "Reading Around the Room" where children can find a cozy and slightly unconventional spot in the classroom to read (Under the sink? Sure! Laying on your back on the rug? Why not? Curled up under a desk? Absolutely!). Our goal for second grade is to read non-stop/uninterrupted for 40 minutes.Our next unit is Non-Fiction Reading!
MathJanuary - mid FebruaryWe have launched units building our skills with adding and subtracting two-digit numbers! We focus heavily on adding and subtracting using Place Value. We are practicing the strategy of the Open Number Line. This strategy has us add or subtract to a "landmark number" (Group of 10), then add or subtract the tens, then add or subtract the ones. We have also begun a mathematics software program called Fasttmath. We practice our addition skills in very fun computer games. Once children progress through addition, they will begin their subtraction component. We have also started using a "Guided Station Choice" which allows partners to make a choice of what stations they would like to use to practice new strategies and reinforce learning.We also covered a (short!) unit on Geometry! Ask your child about the 3D shapes they learned about!DecemberWe completed a Context Unit about learning to add and subtract on an Open Number Line! We read a story about an 8 year old boy named Carlos and how he begins to wonder how old his family members were when he was born, and in how many years will he be the age they are right now. We collected data from our own families and built a large Family Timeline where we used Open Number Lines to figure out how old our family members are and will be in a certain number of years. This unit is helping us get a foundation for using Open Number Lines to do more complex addition and subtraction in our next math units!November - early DecemberWe have begun Unit 3! We started our unit with trying to figure out the Coded Hundred Chart. This unit is centered all around Place Value, and adding and subtracting by groups of ten. We will be regrouping and thinking about numbers in Base-10 format (Ask your child about what "Flats", "longs", and "cubes" are equal to!). We are thinking about numbers holistically-- 134 is equal to 100 + 30 + 4. This will come in handy in the next few months when we are adding and subtracting two digit numbers. We also have new technology games on both the macbooks!OctoberOur focus this unit will focus on addition and subtraction facts (including doubles facts, +0 and +1, and adding by 10s). We are still practicing counting coins, addition word problems, and telling time.SeptemberOur Mathematicians have been busy working in our first unit on skills such as: adding and subtracting within 20, telling time to the nearest 5 minutes, solving addition word problems, counting coins, and adding and subtracting within 20! We are thinking about math tools available to us like 100 grids and ten frames. We have played games such as Snap-It, Addition Top-It, Spillover, and Time Match. We are lucky to have laptops available to use for math technology stations!ScienceJanuary - FebrauryWe are in our States of Matter Science Unit! We are centering our learning around the 3 primary states of matter- solids, liquids, and gases. This unit has kid-safe (and school safe!) experiments where we explore these states of matter and how they change. We have explored what happens when you mix solids and liquids with alka seltzer tablets and water, and the fastest way to change a solid into a liquid by trying to melt ice cubes! We will also explore evaporation, how liquids turn into gas, and mixing different solids and liquids.Late October - NovemberWe have just launched our brand new Erosions Unit in science! We will be studying soil and sand, and learning all about erosion and how it affects landforms. We have done wind and water tests on sand and soil "castles", learned what models are (ask your child about "little red riding truck"), and had great discussions on the various tools of grass, trees, retaining wall, and sandbags, and how they relate to erosion. Our final experiment will be to prevent our sand castles from eroding by placing our model tools strategically in our stream tables. It's so fun!Social StudiesNovember - DecemberWe learned all about the fabulous country of Ghana! We will be studying the flag, national symbols, geography, and common goods produced in Ghana. We will learn about a Person of Great Distinction, Emmanuel Yeboah, a differently-abled athlete who helped change unfair laws in Ghana and help others.SeptemberWe are studying Geography and learning all about Mapping! We are learning about topics like why and how do we use maps, how maps inform our lives, Compass Rose, the continents, and different land forms.