Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dear Families,

The kids have been working hard both here in the classroom and in our computer lab to develop fluency when solving addition and subtraction math facts.  I have listed some resources below that will help with this skill at home.

Addimals:  a free app for iPads
Xtra Math
Big Brains:  for more information go to our school website (; click on the "Students" Tab; then "Educational Resources"; next click on 2nd Grade; then "Math". 
Fact Dash: see our school website
Addition Machine:  see our school website
Subtraction Machine:  see our school website
Sum Sense:  see our school website

You will also find activities that support each unit of study in Everyday Mathematics on the YES website.  This is a wonderful resource!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

     Happy New Year!  It has been great to get back into our regular school schedule here at Y.E.S.!  The kids have arrived in our classroom rested and ready to learn! I truly enjoy this time of year, between December and February vacations.  It is always exciting to watch the academic progress children make during this time!
     During Reader's Workshop, children filled their book boxes with fiction books and we began our next reading journey, which will focus on the characters we meet in our books.  In this reading unit titled, "Characters Face Bigger Challenges and So Do Readers", the children will learn how to be a “character detective”.  This week, the kids learned that they can get to know the characters in their book well by looking at the title and the blurb on the back of the book and asking themselves, "What kind of problem will this character face?" and "What does this character want?".  The kids jotted their thinking on posts and will use their answers to these questions to help guide their observations as they read.  
     We also took some time this week to learn more about our characters by identifying attributes that describe our characters on the outside...things we can "see".  The kids sketched and jotted the things they noticed as they read the first chapter of their character book.  It is important to delineate between these types of observations and character traits, a topic we will study in depth in the coming weeks.
     I am absolutely thrilled with the enthusiasm the children have for books and reading!  Be sure to ask your child about their current favorite character.  
     In Writer’s Workshop, we are wrapping up our unit on Nonfiction Writing.  During this unit, the kids have learned how to write an entire book about a single topic using both pictures and words, write a table of contents, compose an introduction and a conclusion to their piece, and create a glossary.  As with all units, we also continue to work on consistently using the word wall to spell high frequency words correctly, beginning sentences with uppercase letters and using punctuation.  We look forward to sharing these with you during our upcoming student led conferences.
     We have begun unit 6 during math.  This week, we solved number stories to review subtraction and addition.  The kids solved both comparison number stories, word problems that involve the difference between two quantities, and two step addition/subtraction stories.  Next week we will begin to explore multiplication with arrays.

** Our next parent/teacher conferences are quickly approaching.  I am planning to schedule these conferences for the week of January 26th.  Students are asked to attend, as this will be a student-led conference.  The first half of the conference will be a time for your child to share his/her learning with you.  During the second half of the conference, we will meet all together to discuss your child's progress in second grade.  You will receive a reporting document (report card) at this conference.  I will be sending more information regarding conferences soon.