Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week in Review Sept 21st -25th

We had another fantastic week filled with excellent learning and new frontiers. 

We are continuing the great thinking on our Graffiti Wall. This week's focus was an author study of Kevin Henkes. Starting next week we will be participating in the Global Read Aloud program with a new chapter book by Kevin Henkes. With all of our new learning and understanding of his writing style, we will be ready to dive into his new book. 

We also took some time this week to discuss bus expectations and safety procedures. The students were excellent listeners and were very respectful during the presentation. 

We had a few moments this week that proved that our 2nd Graders can have a much better eye than I do. This week, H. V. caught a cool feature on the end pages of Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly. She kindly brought it to our attention. It is always fun to learn and see new information. 

This week, we also ventured out of our room to visit with our new STEM Coach, Mrs. Olsen. Mrs. Olsen splits her time between Blackberry and McDole. I have known and admired Mrs. Olsen for years and we are so lucky to have her in our building. 

Mrs. Olsen recently drove to the Field Museum in Chicago to rent a few prairie specimens for our 4th grade learners as they study prairies. However, our 2nd graders think they are pretty cool too. What a great time to get our wondering minds going!

So, we traveled to her room with our Minis to document our experience for a later project. 

We were able to close our experience by asking Mrs. Olsen a few questions. 

We also started diving into the world of blogging this week. As you know, I am a big fan of the art of blogging. I find it an incredibly useful tool to share information, showcase our amazing experiences and connect with others. 

The kids are starting the process of a creating successful blogs. We start with paper blogging to get us used to the idea. The kids worked so hard on these blogs. 

When our paper blogs were finished, we talked about the very important process of commenting. 
As a class, we decided that our form of commenting will be one or more of the following:

  • A Specific Compliment
  • A Kind Suggestion
  • A Connection
  • A Question

The kids did an amazing job creating appropriate comments!

Once we showed that we understood the process of blogging and commenting, it was time to really start creating our own. 
We used two different tools to help us become more tech fluent and decide which tool we prefer for this particular activity. 

The iPad mini's were much quicker and allowed us to add our own pictures. 

The Chromebooks were a bit easier to log-in with and have a nice keyboards. 

However, the students were very successful with both tools.

Right now, our KidBlogs are just for Room 200 while we become more comfortable with them. When we decide, as a class, that we are ready, we will share them with you.

In Science, we had a special friend from 5th Grade come and help us plant the newest addition to our garden... Marigolds! It was so nice for the kids to be able to work in small groups with a student leader. 

In other garden news, our Daylilies have started sprouting!

The garden is really starting to flourish!

I would venture to guess that all of Room 200 slept very well on Friday following our very exciting Run for Fund! I had the pleasure of running with the kiddos as well. What a blast!

It was fun to run with a great group of kids and some of us made 14 laps (3.8 miles)!

We had an absolutely beautiful day for the run. 

It was great spending time with our friends and family while helping out our amazing PTO. 

While much of our learning week is filled with major projects and activities, we always take time to celebrate the equally important smaller moments. 

M. M. showed amazing fluency, or smooth reading, by reading one of her favorite stories to our class. She did an amazing job!

T. M. has been working extremely hard on a fiction story this week called Sugar Glider and Spider. He shared his story with us and we really like it. He was so proud to share his story with us and the kids gave so many kind compliments and asked so many great questions. 

This coming week will be filled with science, wonder, a new math unit, personal narrative writing and quality reading. 

Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week in Review

This week was another wildly successful week in Room 200 this week. 
As a class, we are really starting to get into a good groove. We are getting very comfortable and productive in our daily reading centers that we call Dailies. We are understanding place value in math and are writing so much our hands hurt! Right, B.B.? 

It was also a fun week of "firsts."

We are knee deep in our first author study and getting to know Kevin Henkes very well. He has been a focus of our graffiti wall. 

Also, we have been sharing what we know about Kevin Henkes using one of our favorite new apps, ScreenChomp.

Check out this amazing example by A.H.

We also got acquainted with the Chromebooks this week. One of our goals this year is to be tech fluent which means that we will be able to use multiple devices easily and decide with is best for the given task. 

We started by working with a site that we will use often,

M.M. will share a bit more:

In addition, we spent some time in our new Observation Station. This week we observed new plants and wrote about them in our Observation Journals. 

We even presented some of our scientific thoughts to the class. 

If you saw our Dot Day video, you know that we also met our first author of the year. Amy Logan was so gracious and energetic. A few of our girls couldn't contain their excitement all week!

Last, but certainly not least, we started exploring our new science tool. Recently, Illinois adopted the NGSS science standards. Because of that, Kaneland was in need of a new tool to help us meet these new standards. 

We spent time discussing our new topic with friends. 

We read about it. 

But most importantly, we experienced it. 

We traveled outside to observe the differences in "like" living things. For example, we were looking for multiple kinds of plants and we will be deciding what makes them different from each other. 

 We discussed our findings in teams. 

We looked closely to help with our notes. 

We even found several types of water birds within our school area. 

Let C.P. tell you a bit more:

*2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats

This week will be another exciting week of firsts! We can't wait to share it with you very soon. 

As always, we love hearing from you too!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

International Dot Day 2015

Today was an absolutely incredible and amazing day! 

Check out our recap:

Thanks for checking in!
We would love to hear from you. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week in Review

September is already flying by and our learning is in high gear. We had a shortened week but packed it with a ton of learning.

*For this week's post, I will be noting and explaining the standards that we have covered. I won't always do this but it is nice to know where our learning and fun activities are taking us. 

Learning in 2nd grade is super hard work so we often take a few minutes, especially on indoor recess days, to get the wiggles out and get our brains moving. We use an amazing educational resource called GoNoodle to help with this. In this photo, we worked on a coordination activity called Fist and Flat. You can sign up for a free home account by going to the

We are nearing the end of our introduction to the writing process. The students have spent a week or so prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and are now publishing. I can't wait until we celebrate these amazing pieces of writing. 
With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Also,  Miss Owen join us as our special guest this week. She showed us an amazing experiment her class is doing. They can make plants move without even touching them! Super cool!

We used weather to start understanding the concepts of descriptive words and temperature ranges. We had discussions on appropriate clothing and activities for each ranges. 

Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.

Our gardeners spent a great deal of time in the garden this week.
We had several plants that were ready to be transferred to soil. 

Some of our young plants just started sprouting roots so we took time to observe them in our Observation Station. 

As we observed and explored these plants, we made sure to jot down our findings in our observation notebook. 

Our little garden is coming along nicely. 

One of our sweet students even brought in 25 sunflower seed and guided us in the process of planting them. Check out our video:

Intro to: 
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

Last but not least, we played one of our favorite games... Awful VS. Awesome. The goal of this game is to learn how to support an argument or opinion. We start by playing 3 verbal rounds to practice our speaking and listening skills. Then we play a final written round to display in the hall.  This week's final round topic was... The Dark!

We created a video of one of our verbal rounds so that you could understand the experience. Enjoy!

Intro to:
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.

It was a fabulous week and we have another big one head of us. 

Thank you for checking in with Room 200.

Speaking and Listening Standards Covered:

        Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and               texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.