Saturday, September 22, 2018

A Visit to our Y.E.S. Garden

   During science, we are learning that an ecosystem is a community of both living and nonliving things that work together.  We discussed a variety of ecosystems that exist in the world, including forest, ocean, desert, and rainforest ecosystems.  I used this discussion as an opportunity to introduce the ecosystem that exists in our own backyard, the Y.E.S. Garden.  The kids discovered that our garden community consists of many living things, such as ants, butterflies, caterpillars, and plants, as well as many nonliving things, such as soil, water, a fence, and rocks.
     Our observations in the garden led to a wonderful discussion about symbiosis.  Symbiosis is the relationship between two different living things.  These AMAZING second grade scientists discovered that symbiosis exists in our Y.E.S. Garden...both the good and the bad!  They observed several small insects feasting on their favorite leaves.   The kids determined that this was an example of a bad symbiotic relationship (parasitism).  They also were able to observe an example of a positive symbiotic relationship (mutualism), as they watched a bee pollinating a sunflower.        
     I was truly impressed with the kids' focus and enthusiasm in our first garden observation, and am thrilled with the detailed sketches and scientific thinking they included in their Science Notebooks.







A few class pictures from the garden: 

Smiling Second Graders...




Silly Second Graders...








Surprised Second Graders...














Friday, September 7, 2018

A Fabulous First Week

    We've had a wonderful first week in second grade!  I am absolutely amazed with how quickly the children have fallen back into the routine of school.  I am having such a wonderful time learning about my new second grade friends!
     One of our favorite class activities this week was 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 Read's favorite sport was soccer, he needed to find a classmate who also chose soccer as their favorite sport.  This classmate would then write their initials next to this question on Read'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.
     Our classroom has also been abuzz with book conversations this 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...definitely 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 two Post It notes 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 two Post It notes for each "Shelfie".  This guaranteed that each child would receive two notes from classmates.  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! Thank you!
   Please enjoy the pictures below from our first week.  Have a terrific weekend!