Friday, March 17, 2017

Field Trip - The Arboretum

The Second Graders spent yesterday morning at the Arboretum learning more about trees. Thank you Mr. Huttner and Mr. LeMay for joining us!

Some of our favorite memories include: 
-We learned how to identify the maple tree by its branches and buds.
-We saw buckets with lids hanging on trees.
-We met another Lucinda!
-We tapped the maple tree.
-We tasted sap.
***​​We tasted maple syrup on waffles!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week at a Glance

Below are some announcements and reminders for the upcoming week.

March 13
Day 2

Music, P.E.
*Math and Spelling Homework
March 14
Day 3

*Math and Spelling  Homework

March 15
Day 4

Chapel, Spanish, Music
*Math and Social Studies Homework
March 16
Day 5

Field Trip to the Landscape Arboretum
Non-uniform Day!
Math and Spelling
March 17
Day 6

 St. Patrick’s Day- non-uniform day, wear green & white!

P.E., Music, Religion
*Enjoy Spring Break! J  

This Week’s Learning Focus:

Reader’s Workshop: We have wrapped up our Countries study and are delving into a new mini unit focusing on Important Americans. As whole class, we have discussed the difference between important vs. famous. The students have been exploring numerous biographies to learn about people from the past as well as a few more recent individuals. We will focus more heavily on this topic when we return from Spring Break.

Writer's Workshop: Students have been working on scientific writing by creating lab reports based on experiments done in class. The lab reports they've written so far showcase their thinking when it comes to a hypothesis, determining the big question, procedure, results and finally a conclusion. While writing these reports, your child also learned about force, motion and friction. They are quite the scientists! They were also tasked with incorporating this knowledge into their own experiments. 

This past week marked an important turning point in the unit. Students started applying all they've learned over the course of the last several weeks to topics of their own choosing, topics about which they know something and can teach others. They are writing information books and although they've done this in prior years, this time they are expected to incorporate scientific thinking: force, motion and friction into their topic of choice. We have experts on camping, football, gymnastics, figure skating, horseback riding, baseball and many more! Ask your child what his/her topic is and how force, motion and friction play a role!

As we prepare to go to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, we will learn about trees. More specifically, the life cycle of a tree, parts of a tree, as well as a discussion about why trees are important and what we get from trees.

Math: In Chapter 10, students are taught the meaning of sum and difference. They have also been working really hard on learning many strategies that will help them with their mental addition and subtraction skills. Mental math is a very important component to our Math in Focus curriculum. Now, students are learning how to round numbers and estimate. They are using number lines and also number line imagery to round to the nearest 10. They are learning when to use rounding to obtain a reasonable answer and when an exact answer is important.

Overall, we are very impressed with how well the students are catching on to mental math. The math bonds were challenging at first, but with practice the children are able to imagine how numbers work together, especially with tens. Rounding and estimating numbers to the next ten has also worked to help with mental imagery. We are also learning to take a risk, have a “go” at sharing math thinking and learning from our mistakes. The classroom discussions about different strategies are helpful. Students are realizing that the same strategy doesn’t work for every problem or every student. It is a good thing to have multiple tools in your tool belt! (We also learned this during our STEAM building last week.) This curriculum is challenging, but students are embracing the challenge and are proud of their ability to work hard. The best part is that they seem to really enjoy math and groan when math class is over…even on a Friday!

Looking Ahead:
*Spring Break, 3/18-4/2
School reconvenes, 4/3
*Community Meeting, 4/6 - non-uniform day, wear C.A.R.E. shirt