Saturday, September 19, 2015

Our Second Grade Open House is scheduled for Monday, September 21st from 6:00-7:00.
I hope you all can join us!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One Great Group of Scientists!

     This week we began our first 2nd Grade Science Unit.  We will spend lots of time exploring the Y.E.S. Garden throughout this first unit, as we learn about biodiversity and species relationships, right in our own backyard!
     We began this unit with a discussion around the two questions, "What is Science?" and "What is a Scientist?".  After reading the book, What is Science?, by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, we concluded that science can be the study of plants, animals, the weather, and chemistry, among many others things, but most of all, science is about being curious and learning from our curiosities.
     We then began to focus on all the different types of scientists there are in the world.  I shared a PowerPoint with the kids to highlight the numerous opportunities that exist within this field.  The kids chose the scientist that interested them most (zoologist, doctor, botanist, marine biologist, etc.) to illustrate and write about in their first Science Notebook entry.  Wow!  Do we have a classroom full of curious scientists!
     This afternoon, the children had an opportunity to become budding botanists, as they observed sunflowers from our garden.  I used this as an opportunity to discuss what it means to be an "Artist-Scientist".  We discussed that "Artist-Scientists" slow down their eyes to be sure to include all the important details in their sketch.  I was thrilled to see the incredible details the kids included in their Science Notebooks, and especially excited to see them "push their thinking" by adding labels and sentences to describe what they observed.  The kids should be extremely proud of their wonderful work!

Friday, September 11, 2015

What books are in your "Shelfie"?

     Our classroom has been abuzz with book conversations this past week, as kids have been highly engaged in sharing their "Shelfie" with peers.  I couldn't help but smile, as the kids excitedly made connections with one another around books...a teacher's dream! 
     During each of our "Shelfie" days, the kids displayed their books on their desks, similar to a book fair, and students browsed through one another's choices.  On the first day, I encouraged the kids to make connections verbally with their peers, using language such as, "I noticed that ___________ likes _____________.  This makes me think_______", "I made a connection with _______________.  She/He likes __________________ and so do I!", and "I learned that ______________.  I wonder _______________.".  
     On our second day, the kids were each given a Post It note to leave on a classmate's "Shelfie", jotting what they noticed using the sentence frames/language from the previous day.  They circulated, Post It note in hand, with one stipulation.  There could only be one Post It note for each "Shelfie".  This guaranteed that each child would receive a note from a classmate.
      I want to thank you all for helping your child select books that were meaningful to them for our classroom "Shelfie" project.  This project would not have been a success without your help.  Thank you!

Hopes and Dreams for Second Grade

     What a wonderful first week!  It has been a pleasure getting to know your children.  Their passion for learning and kindness towards one another is heartwarming.  I thank each of you for sharing your child with me.
     This afternoon we completed our "Hopes and Dreams for Second Grade" project.  Yesterday we began a discussion around the question, "Why do we come to school?".  The kids came up with a variety of ideas, including: "to meet and make new friends", "to build our math muscles", "to learn how to be a good friend", "to read lots of books", and "to learn about science", among many others.  This conversation then evolved into a discussion about our goals, Our Hopes and Dreams, as second graders.  The children recorded their Hopes and Dreams on a speech bubble, using the sentence frame, "I hope to...".  Today, the kids created a paper face using paint, yarn, and markers to display with their speech bubble.  Be sure to ask your child about their own personal hopes and dreams for second grade.  Please feel free to stop by our classroom and take a peek at this great artwork on display.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Important Information

Dear Families,
I wanted to make you all aware that we have a student in our classroom this year with Type 1 Diabetes.  Her name is Lucia Littlefield.  This morning Lucia’s mom, Kristin Littlefield, visited our classroom.  She shared the children’s book, I Have Diabetes, to help the children better understand this disease.  Kristin also discussed the “cool gadgets” that Lucia wears to help monitor her diabetes.  She explained and demonstrated for the children how these “gadgets” will  sometimes make noise.  We discussed with the children that one way we can be a good friend to Lucia is by telling an adult immediately if they hear these noises.  This will help keep our friend Lucia safe and healthy. 
    Curiosity and wonder is a natural part of a child’s development, as I am sure some of you may find yourself answering questions about Type 1 Diabetes in the coming weeks.  Please feel free to contact myself or our school nurse if we can help in any way, as it is important to be sensitive of Lucia’s feelings as questions arise.

                                                                                                                              Melanie Moll
Our "Getting to Know You" activity...


Our First Day

Dear Families,
    We had a wonderful first day in second grade!  I am truly amazed at how quickly the children have fallen back into the routine of school.  We participated in a variety of “getting to know one another” activities today, as we will continue to do throughout this first week.
    A class favorite today was an activity called,  “Getting to Know You”.  In this activity, the kids began by answering and recording a variety of questions about themselves, such as their favorite color, favorite food, how many letters in their first name, as well as many others.  Once we gathered our information, the game began.  The kids were challenged with finding classmates that matched their own choices.  For example, if Reed’s favorite color was blue, he needed to find a classmate who also chose blue as their favorite color.  This classmate would then write their initials next to this question on Reed’s paper.  A classmate could only initial a paper once.  This turned out to be an extremely engaging activity for the kids, as we learned many new things about one another.
     The children should be very proud of themselves, as they worked hard throughout the day and consistently made great choices.  Bravo!  I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

                                                                                                                   Melanie Moll