Well, here in Parkland County we are just back from Spring Break. It didn’t feel very “springish” though, we had chilly winds and snow more than once over the week. Today it is 5C which means the snow is melting but we still need to wear a warm sweater or light jacket. Our back field is like a shallow lake still mostly frozen and the playground is also underwater.
Over Spring Break I tidied my classroom and did some spring cleaning at home. I got an oil change on my vehicle and took my 14 year old son for a hair cut and new shoes. My 15 year old daughter’s soccer team is gearing up for an elite showcase tournament in Vancouver sponsored by the Whitecaps. We had fondue one night and an early Easter turkey on the weekend. I went for a couple nice relaxing walks and read a couple of books. It was a great week!
What did you do?
The best part was …
Thanks to Mr. Wise, I am challenging my grade 2′s to make their stories 100 words long. Here is an example:
One cold rainy day, I was walking on the beach. Suddenly I saw a shape out in the water! Luckily I had a pair of binoculars in my back pack. I put down the bag and reached in to get them, I felt in around my lunch and finally felt the hard, cold plastic. Once I focused the two lenses I looked far out into the ocean. The dark, square shape bounced on the waves far out on the horizon. It was hard to distinguish how large it was because it was so far away. It almost looked like the odd shape had windows along the top. Hmmmm…. I wonder what it could be?
This week on Wednesday and Thursday evening, our school is hosting Student Led Conferences. During this time, parents are encouraged to bring their children to school and celebrate all the things they have learned and the experiences that they have on a daily basis. In Grade 2, the students will show their parents how they do “Daily 5″ activities every morning. The student portfolios will be available for parents to look at recent assessments and examples of student work. There will be a math game to play and some science temperature graphs to look at! There might even be cookies to snack on while the students share a story with their parents!
Today in grade 2 we had a special guest come to our school to lead us in creating a very cool clay project. Svetlana was very patient with us and gave us step by step directions and suggestions for added creativity. Please check out our student blogs and have a look at pictures of our projects and us working on them along with our explanation of each project.
After the update to EduBlogs, I had to re-learn how to post videos to our blogs. Now that I have that figured out, I have loaded the students’ boat project videos onto their blogs. What a variety of approaches students took to completing the challenge of building a small watercraft.
I encourage you to visit some of the student blogs and learn something about building small watercrafts as well as some scientific terms. Most of the students had the terms correct. See if you notice which ones!
- Ballast: heavy material, such as gravel, sand, iron, or lead, placed low in a vessel to improve its stability.
- Positive Buoyancy: is when something is less dense that the water around it. This will make the object float.
- List: is to lean to one side, typically because of a leak or unbalanced cargo.
- Capsize: is to overturn in the water.
Today the grade 2 class celebrated Valentines Day by getting out the colored ring cereal and creating graphs with the colors. After we discussed and compared our graphs we created beautiful and delicious necklaces with the cereal pieces. Later in the day, we had healthy fruit kabobs, chocolate sandwich cookies, loose cut fruit, cheese and crackers and we exchanged cards. After we tidied up we had just a few minutes for center time.
Our class celebrated 100 days in school yesterday. Each student brought in 100 items. There were some very creative responses to the request. We sorted them into rows of 10 and counted by 10′s to 100. We had a 100 Days in School poster to color and complete as well as a booklet with stories and activities to complete. It was not just a regular day and we had plenty of learning and fun.
*I encourage you to visit the student blogs over the next week and see the pictures we have posted of our collections.
Monday morning sausage and pancakes breakfast in the gym with the whole school. Watching the opening ceremonies on the big screen.
We are so excited in grade 2!
Chrome Book Image off Google
Last year we sent off a letter to TransAlta asking for a donation to purchase Chrome Books. In the fall we received not just one but 2 checks, equaling enough money to purchase 6 Chrome Books for our school. They finally arrived from the Centre for Learning where they were being formatted. Mrs. Schram-White’s grade 4s will use 3 and our classroom will have 3. We have already begun to use them this week in grade 2! I am looking forward to finding new and exciting ways to utilize them. Right now 3 students each day are using them for language arts activities. They spend 20 minutes reading on Raz-Kids; 20 minutes working to publishing stories on their blogs and 20 minutes with their words on Spelling City. We have also had a few chances for “tech-time” this week. During “tech-time” students may use a chrome book, my IPad or their own device to explore an approved, educational game or activity. So far this has been a big hit!
In Language Arts we are continuing to work in our writer’s workshop books and will soon be choosing stories that we would like to publish on our blogs. Many of the students in grade 2 enjoy learning about animals so perhaps some of us will write an animal report to share our learning. Silent, buddy and home reading continue and I have recently purchased a mini IPad so the students are taking turns in small groups listening to stories on it. The story we are working through right now is Peter Pan, a favourite classic of mine. We are beginning to practice our “Survival Spelling” words for the Spellathon in April. Each week we will include 6 words on the spelling list. We will be making flash cards in class to further support our practice. The complete list can be found in the front of the orange home-reading duotang.
The first six words are: about, always, around, because, been, before
In Math we have begun a quick review of place value, using base ten blocks. We have also been working on single and double digit addition and subtraction without regrouping (carrying and borrowing) since before Christmas. Once our review of these 2 topics have been completed, we will move on to adding and subtracting with regrouping (carrying and borrowing).
In Science we are wrapping up or study of Buoyancy and Boats. We will be sharing our boat projects next week. Look for pictures of our projects to be posted on our blogs. There will be a short test on floating and sinking, the week after we are done the boat projects.
Some important terms: buoyant, negative buoyancy (sinking), positive buoyancy (floating), and of course neutral buoyancy (in the middle, neither sinking or floating on top); also ballast, list and capsize.
We are nearly finished our first text, Looking at Places in Social Studies. It has taken us quite some time to get through that first book but we have enjoyed learning about a prairie community, an Acadian community and an Inuit community. We will spend some time reviewing key ideas next week and we will have a short test. We will then be moving along to the next text, Looking at People.