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January flew by in our classroom.  We've been so busy that I forget to pick up a camera.  I hope that we can start to integrate the Dojo app, as I know everyone is excited to use it and share with you.  Here's what we've been up to:

We have now made the transition to integrating Mrs. Fake's class into our math class.  We are steadily working on Unit 4 Measurement.  Students are working on accuracy, choosing the right tools and units for measurement, and making comparisons between the measurements of 2 objects.  This next group of lessons involves conversions between inches, feet and yards.

If your student is working in Mrs. Fake's room, she is also working on measurement.  In fact, my students prefer to bring their math homework to her!  Everyone should be able to measure things at home.

We are working on opinion writing by answering "Would You Rather" questions.  Students are expected to give their opinion, support it with reasons and then close their writing with a persuasive statement.  I hope you enjoyed the pastel project as well as the green map of their opinion of tipis vs. igloos.

We are looking for them to clearly communicate their ideas with good writing.  Second graders are wonderful to work with because they naturally put voice into their writing.  We are spending our time on foundational skills to support our goal of clear communication.  Your child may be moving from my room once a week to either Mrs. Hanna or Mrs. Fake for writing.  The 2nd grade team is targeting very specific skills in writing for what kids need.

Students practice a group of words every week.  Each week we do flash cards, along with copying, writing sentences, and a couple of games.  Ask about their flash cards.  Even students who have a lot of experience need repetition on the 150 words that we must know by the end of 2nd grade.  I'm trying to keep a pretty quick pace on this, hoping to build familiarity with the words.  If a student misses some words, we'll be circling back again to practice.

We are putting in a strong hour at the end of the day.  Students are on a 15 minute rotation for 4 rounds - meeting with me, lexia, spelling words and read to self.  This week we lost track of our reading group books.  Next week, we'll work on the books all week and then they'll bring them home on Thursday.  Please don't concern yourself with levels.  Each book is chosen for a lot of reasons.

Social Studies:
I hope you enjoyed the classroom maps!  This was a way to help them think about how a map is drawn and what are the parts of a map.  We've worked with a digital compass and tried to orient our maps so that the white board faces south.  Cartographers start with the compass rose, but we drew our maps and then added the compass rose.  Some of us had upside down compass roses, but our maps were accurate.  We then had tons of fun "traveling" on the U.S. map.  Today, we started on world maps, labeling the equator and the prime meridian.

You should know that this class continues to receive compliments for how they work as a group and how they conduct themselves outside of the classroom.  I am proud of their efforts and you should be too!

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Headset Project

Click to Donate to the Headset Project

Please consider a small tax deductible donation to our headset project.  I am excited about going wireless with our ipads.  I like the idea of making a smooth transition to skill building time or more importantly, for them to start their careers as researchers.

If you do choose to donate, then please use the promo code:

Tell donors to double donations up to $50 by adding the promo code LIFTOFF at checkout for the next 6 days.

Our big goal right now is to make posters about different countries as we try to "travel" around the world during the holidays.  This means that we have to gather facts and summarize what we learn!  We also have to keep track of our research materials so that we can refer back to them.  For a first big adventure in research, things are going GREAT.  We'll share the results of our efforts as soon as possible.

Thanks for your great kids!

Our new room!

We have had a great short, but first week back.  We are pleased with the new classroom arrangement, which allows for small group reading as well as more movement and flexible seating during the day. 

Here's our start to the new year:

We continue to build our understanding of language mechanics through the mentor sentence program.  This past week, students worked on sorting winter words that were either nouns or adjectives.  Because students are growing this parts of speech foundation, I can give them very specific feedback on the mechanics of their own writing.  And then, by partnering this work with our "Would You Rather" project, a series of short writing tasks, I hope that students will gain a deeper understanding of what makes great writing.  We tried out our first question this week:  Would you rather only have heat or only have air conditioning?  In this weather, you can imagine that many students chose heat!

We have only had one session of math this week because…