Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Long Overdue Update

Greetings Room 200 Families,

Here is a long overdue update on the amazing happenings in Room 200:

We have been working on some super cool, collaborative STEM projects. One of the coolest ones was building our waterproof bridges! All of our bridges earned at least 2 out of 3 points!

We have also been working on our research topic, Bald Eagles. In 2nd Grade, we are learning how important it is to find information from multiple sources. We have read books and articles, online resources like, wildlife documentaries from National Geographic, and we had the amazing experience of visiting with our resident raptor expert, Mr. Berger. He is a KPASS teacher from McDole and has a wealth of knowledge to share. 

Last but not least, we have begun Genius Hour. 

Here are the two videos we watched to introduce the topic:

These are our updates from Hours 1 and 2:

Hour 1: We watched the videos and discussed the concept of Genius Hour. Then we created a "Wonder Board". This board is filled with topics that we are wondering about or topics that really get our minds going!


We also created this video:

Hour 2: During this hour, we started to narrow down our interests to just one topic. Our expectations for the topic are a topic that we don't know alot about already, something that will keep us interested for many weeks, something that gets our gears turning and something we can create a driving question about. 

Stay tuned for more updates on Genius Hour!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holiday Cheer

Winter Break is just two days away and our Hesed House collection is still growing! Friday will be the last day to donate items.

We have worked really hard during our first part of the year but we have also had some fun!

Untitled from LBright on Vimeo.

Maybe too much fun...

Untitled from LBright on Vimeo.

Happy Holidays and have a Wonderful Winter Break!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Season of Giving

Hello Room 200 Families,

For the last several years, my students and I have participated in a Holiday giving project instead of exchanging teacher/student gifts.  Though I truly appreciate the gifts from my students, I think it is more powerful to give to others in need.
This year, I won't be purchasing gifts for the kids and would ask that you not purchase them for me.

Instead, I would love for our class to purchase items for the Hesed House in Aurora. I propose that we share our holiday spirit with the Hesed House by supplying them with the following items:
Paper Towels
Toilet Paper
White T-Shirts (adult and child)
White Socks (adult and child)
Shampoo - Travel Size
Twin Size Sheets
Anything else you think is important.

Feel free to start sending items in immediately. We can watch our donations grow.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Week in Review: The Goals Edition

October is here and learning is in full swing in Room 200!

Now that we successfully have our routines in place, it is time to work on achieving our short term goals. 

Reading Goals:
Our reading block is comprised of many areas. These include whole group read aloud, small guided reading groups, shared reading fluency passages, strategy lessons, and independent reading time just to name a few. 

Our reading goals will begin to focus on 4 areas of CAFE reading:
Comprehension - I understand what I read and can talk about it.
Accuracy - I can read most of the words in a "just right" book and problem solve my ways through the new ones.
Fluency - I can read the words smoothly and with expression to help deliver that author's message. 
Expanding my Knowledge - I am able to find information, organize it and use it to share my learning with others.  

Your child will be working in groups with other students that are working towards the same goal. These groups will be fluent and change often. 

Here are some examples of students working towards their goals:

K.G. and A. P. are sharing books with the class to showcase their fluency practice. Well done!

This group has been using multiple sources to gather information and is now organizing the information. They will be presenting their information to the class in a digital format. 

G.P. is practicing several skills during her "read to self" time. She is working on comprehending a story she loves while focusing on accuracy and fluency to make it exciting and enjoyable. 

Along with our Reading Goals, our goal of focusing on the 4 C's will dominate the tone of our year. 
The 4 C's include:

Collaboration - I can work well and productively with a team. 
Communication - I can deliver my idea clearly. I can listen to and understand the ideas of others. 
Critical Thinking - I can decide which information is most needed and what is not as important.
Creativity - I can present and share my information in a way that is exciting and engaging for my audience. 

We have been building to this point for the last 7 weeks. We have worked independently, as pairs and as teams. We have modeled ways to resolve conflict and share ideas. We have practiced combining ideas and knowing when someone else's idea is better than our own. 

On Friday, the class talked about what they expected from a good teammate and what good team work looked like, in preparation for their first major project. They then selected their own teams based on what they thought would be best. 

Once in their teams, they were tasked with creating "team norms". These norms are the rules and expectations that their team has agreed to follow for this project. It was really impressive to see all of the groups work so well together. 

This week, the students will complete their first team challenge and you will hear about it directly from them.

Have a great week and thank you for checking in!

Please leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week in Review

We had such a fun Spirit Week! All of the themed days really made our days more exciting!

The homecoming assembly was a blast. We sang the Blackberry Song and Kaneland's fight song. We also heard from the band and each of the different sports teams. 

In addition to Spirit Week, we had a great week filled with new activities and more challenging activities. 

We are continuing our digital citizenship conversations and we have practiced making comments on the work of our friends. 

We started by leaving nice comments as a class using our class Twitter account.

Mrs. Reilly replied to our comment and even came and read a hilarious story to our class!

Then we practice leaving written comments on our class work in the hall. 

This week we will try commenting on our digital work. 

Room 200 has started our first writing unit of the year, Personal Narratives. You may also hear these referred to as a "small moment". These pieces of writing with be stories about our own lives and stories about things that have happened to us. Our goal is to write it so that it makes a movie in our reader's mind.  

L.W. using his Personal Word Wall to make sure he is going to spell his sight words correctly.
We also received new writing buddies this week. These friends are important when helping us generate ideas and hearing our rough drafts. 

Listen to this example of an excellent Personal Narrative by G.P.:

If the students are looking for an excellent moment to write about, they can try writing about our bus evacuation practice where we learned our bus safety rules.

Finally, We ended this week with a STEM challenge. The students were given 6 pipe cleaners, 3ft of tape, and 1 piece of paper. They were tasked to build a tower that could stand on its own. They worked in collaborative teams of 2 or 3 and did an amazing job! We will be expanding on this idea this week. 

Exploratory Highlight:
We learned the art of pumpkin drawing with Mrs. Berth in art class.

Room 200 by the Numbers:

Reading Stamina:

We crushed our reading stamina goal of 20 minutes by making it to 23 minutes! 

Math Fact Fluency:

Total problems correct for the Class: 249
Number of Perfect Scores and All Time Bests: 14

Random 5 Word Wall Words:
(sorry, no picture)

Total words correct for the Class: 106 (same as last week)

Number of Perfect Scores and All Time Bests: 16

Thanks for checking in on us. Please leave us a comment! We would love to hear from you!