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Just as  spring is in full swing, so is the growth and maturity of our second graders! As the school year’s end is quickly approaching, we are completing the final units of learning.

In Math Unit 9, we continued to build on our knowledge of geometry from Unit 6. Students developed foundational understanding of fractions as equal parts of a whole by partitioning circles and rectangles into equal parts, and describing shapes using the words: halves, thirds, half of, etc. Students learned that equal shares of  identical wholes do not need to be the same shape. Pattern blocks were used to model equal parts and as a tool to solve fraction problems.

In Unit 10, we continued to measure and estimate lengths using standard units. Students had to show and interpret data using picture graphs or bar graphs. An important focus was to see if students could select the correct measurement tool and use it accurately. Students also were expected to reason and explain when estimating length or capacity (how much something holds). Math center activities included comparing measurements of length in inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.

Our Series Book Clubs continued through the month of May.  By the end of the unit, students understood that series have predictable patterns and characters.  Book clubs became experts on the characters of the books they read, and developed necessary skills to carry out a successful book talk. Sharing their opinions about books,  politely disagreeing with a peer, citing evidence in the text, and sustaining the conversation were all demonstrated.

The experiences of book clubs further developed the work we began last month during our Writing Gripping Fiction unit. Students were able to improve their own writing by trying out craft moves from mentor texts. Students also made connections to the characters and problems in the series books they read, and used those inspirations to create stories of their own.  At this point in second grade, students are working to strengthen their stories by revising with the support of a writing partner. They are also checking their writing pieces for capitalization, spelling and punctuation errors.

Our science unit, Nature’s Partners began with a story about a girl in India, named Tarala, who wants to create a hand pollinator to help save the plants on her family’s farm.  The focus for students is to understand  that scientists create and use models to represent, collect evidence,, and make predictions about things that are difficult to observe directly. By studying the fast plants and life cycle of the caterpillar to butterfly, students worked to develop a simple model based on evidence to represent a proposed object or tool (hand pollinator).  The essential questions we focused on were:

• How do organisms change over time?
• How do insects and plants depend on one another?
• How can technology/engineering help solve problems in the natural world?

Students were expected to keep detailed notes and drawings of the fast plants and caterpillar metamorphosis. Students worked collaboratively to create and revise models for hand pollinators before having an opportunity to test them out.  Our spring Big Backyard walk provided us the needed experience to observe and collect data about insects found around Fiske, so we could make adaptations to our hand pollinators. As always, the highlight of this unit is the releasing of the butterflies in our outdoor garden space.  Happy Spring!