Happy October!

Hello everyone, and welcome back! I hope that you all had a great week off. From the stories that the kids were telling today it sounds like there was a lot of fun being had.

As we are starting a new month, we are coincidentally starting a new Unit of Inquiry. This unit, How We Organize Ourselves, is going to have a big science focus. We will be learning many skills in each subject that will help us become great scientists! The central idea for our unit is: The Scientific Process helps organize investigations.

Students will be learning about how to write up a proper lab report that follows the scientific process, and with that we will be working on procedural writing. We will start looking into skills for reading non-fiction books and learning about the different features that they have compared to fiction books. In math we are going to continue to work on place value for a couple of more weeks but then move into measurement which will help us to collect, analyze, and interpret the data that we gain from the experiments that we will be doing. During our unit of inquiry time we will be doing lots of different hands-on experiments to help us learn more about the states of matter and their properties, it should be lots of fun!

Just a reminder that this week and next week we will continue to have P.E. in the pool so please remember to send students with the required swimming gear on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Thanks as always, and have a great week!

Dan

Happy conference week!

Hello everyone, I hope you all managed to stay safe and dry yesterday!

With the school closure today this week is going to look a bit different, so just to make sure that everyone is aware, there is no school today, regular classes on Tuesday, parent teacher conferences on Wednesday, regular classes on Thursday, and then a professional development day on Friday so there is no school for students that day. Also, next Monday is mid-autumn festival so there will be no school on that day either. As you know, we are supposed to start swimming this week in P.E. but because our P.E. days are Wednesday and Friday (both days off for the kids this week) we will not be in the pool this week. Instead, we will start our swimming lessons next week.

As for this week, since it is now a short week we will be taking a lot of time to focus on our final project for our Unit of Inquiry, where we are asking for your help. We want the kids to create a collection of evidence that shows them contributing to their communities in different ways. We are asking for you to send us a photo or video of your child doing something that helps contribute to their community through Seesaw using the messaging feature. When you send the photo or video, the kids can record their voices before it is sent to explain what it is that they are doing. We will have them write personal narratives about it in class as well, but the main questions we want them to answer are: What are you doing in this picture or video? and How do you think this will make your community better? The more evidence that you can send along, the more your child will be able to show us what great community members they are!

As far as our other subjects, we will continue to work on our personal narrative writing, focusing on editing and revising our work to add more details for the reader. We are also going to set up some guided reading groups this week to make sure that students are growing as readers this year, not just reading for fun (which is still great and totally supported though). We will have a little math quiz to to check in on where everyone is with their addition and subtraction within 20, and their strategies to solve word problems.

That should just about cover it for now. As always if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Have a great day!

Dan

Coming up next week

Hello everyone, and happy Saturday!

We had a pretty great week in 2C, even if we did miss a day due to the rain. We completed the first of three MAP tests, and we have already been able to look at the data to help improve and personalize some math instruction going forward. We have been building our reading stamina and can already read independently for more than 20 minutes at a time! We have been reviewing and practicing math strategies that we remember from first grade, and we have been seeing some great personal narrative stories!

Coming up this week we have another busy one. We have two more MAP tests, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday. These will be the reading and language tests so if you would like to help your child prepare all we ask is that you read some books with them and ask questions to get them to explain the details from the story. Questions such as: “Who are the characters, and can you describe them to me? ” “What is the setting of the story, where and when is it taking place?” “Can you tell me what the problem is in the story and what solution the characters are using to try and solve it?”. Questions like these are likely what the students will see on the test, and they’re great comprehension questions to ask anyway to make sure that the kids are thinking about what they are reading and not just reading for the sake of finishing the story.

We are also going to do our first DRA reading assessments this week to see how much the kids have grown as readers since the end of first grade, and to help us get an idea of where we can help them this year. We will continue to work on addition and subtraction strategies to build our fact fluency, but also to practice using multiple strategies and explain how they can be proven to be true. We will continue working on personal narrative writing, but the focus will start shifting to stories about things that the kids have done in their different communities in order to contribute to those communities. We will continue to learn more about communities, and start looking at all of the different people who make up different communities and what their roles and responsibilities are.

That just about covers it for this week, but as always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to send us an email.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Dan

Reading spaces might look different for everyone, but reading engagement is the same across the whole class!

Our first full week is completed!

Hello everyone, and Happy Saturday! 2C had a great first (full) week of school. We have set up our classroom agreements, learned a bit more about what kinds of things we will be learning in second grade, and started exercising our brains in lots of different ways. We had math and spelling assessments so that we can get our spelling groups up and running next week, and see where our strengths and areas of support are in math class this year.

Coming up this week we are going to have a beginning of year writing assessment. It is one of my favourite tasks because at the end of the year the kids get to look at the first personal narrative they wrote and compare it to their writing at the end of second grade. We had a lot of big smiles and shocked faces last year when the kids realized how much they had grown as writers, and I am looking forward to seeing it again this year!

We will also have our first of three MAP tests this week. The other two testing session will happen the following week. If you have questions about the MAP test feel free to send me an email and I will happily explain the benefits from this test. I have given it to my students at previous schools as well and the data that we receive as teachers is very beneficial to targeting areas of growth for each individual student. The test has three parts, one for math, one for reading, and one for language which is like a type of grammar test. It is an adaptive test which means that not every student gets the same questions. Rather, depending on the students’ answers the test will give them more or less challenging questions to help evaluate their knowledge at the right level for them. It is a multiple choice test, so we will spend some time with the kids his week learning what those kinds of tests look like and strategies to figure out what the correct answer could be. As I mentioned on Wednesday, this is nothing to worry about, we just want to get a true picture of where the kids are at the start of the year so we know how to best help them grow in second grade.

Aside from those two assessments we will be launching our reading ad writing workshops this week, learning about how to take small moments from our lives and develop them into detailed personal narratives; and learning more about selecting good fit reading books and how to challenge ourselves to grow as readers. In math we will continue building on some problem solving and communication skills to explain our mathematical thinking as we solve those problems, while also building on our addition skills and learning some new strategies. We started learning about our first Unit of Inquiry last week where we will be focusing on communities, learning about what they are, how they are made up, and most importantly, how we as member of those communities can contribute to them.

That should just about do it for today, but as always, if you have any questions please feel free to send me an email and I’ll be happy to answer them.

 

Have a great weekend!

Dan

Looking at our central idea and making it more understandable is the first step in our Unit of Inquiry.

Looking at our central idea and making it more understandable is the first step in our Unit of Inquiry.

Looking at our central idea and making it more understandable is the first step in our Unit of Inquiry.

Our first Free Writing Friday involved an introduction to Book Creator and how much fun story writing can be with the help of technology!

Welcome back!

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! I will try my best to keep this post brief since we will get a chance to discuss this year’s plans in person this Wednesday at Back to School night.

First of all, we are very excited by what we have seen and heard so far in just our first two days of school with your children. We have a great group of kids in our class this year, and I am anticipating an exciting, fun-filled year of learning!

Coming up this week we are going to start gathering our beginning of year data so that we can track how much progress your children make this year. This week we are going to have a spelling assessment on Monday so that we can set up some targeted intervention groups across the whole grade, and on Tuesday we will have our math assessment. There is no need to do anything extra to prepare for these, they are just meant to help us see where the kids are starting off at the beginning of the year so we can see where we can give some more specific help.

We are starting the year off with our first PYP unit: Who We Are where we will be exploring what a community is, who the members of communities are, what their roles are in those communities, and how we can be productive members of that community. It sounds like a lot. but since we are just starting to build our classroom community it is a great unit to start off with.

Please don’t forget that this Wednesday is Back to School night, but the time has changed slightly. Now we will start at 4:00 and each teacher will make two presentations. The first one will start at 4:00, and the second will start at 4:30. That way, and parents who have more than one classroom to visit will be able to meet at least two teachers. This event is meant to inform the parents of the curriculum expectations for the year, and introduce all of your child’s teachers. Students do not need to attend, but of course are welcome to join if they want (it just might not be all that exciting for them)

That’s it for this week, thank you for all of your support so far! We are looking forward to a great year in 2C!

Final Weekly update (On EduBlogs)

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a relaxing/exciting holiday!

As the title of this post suggests, this will be the final blog post being made here on Edublogs. As the school is making the move towards streamlining sites and apps that we are using it has been decided that we will be using Seesaw blogs now for communication with parents, and showcasing student work.

What’s going to happen?

So, starting this week students are going to be learning about blogging and how to choose appropriate work that they want to share. Once the work is on the class blog, it can be seen by anyone who knows the blog address, which is: https://blog.seesaw.me/dfred1  The password for the blog is #SISrocks. For now the blog will stay password protected but in the future we may decide to share it publicly. However, for now while the kids are learning about what is appropriate to post on a blog we will keep it password protected.

What does this mean for you?

From now on, all weekly announcements and updates will be sent through the Seesaw messaging feature (It is similar to WeChat and allows us to answer questions quickly all in one place). Weekly messages about what is happening in class will be sent through Seesaw messages, and the “2C information” student folder will contain things like class calendars, etc.

As this is a new initiative, there may be some bumps along the way, so we appreciate your patience while we roll this out. Not all classes are doing this yet (we are the only second grade class to try it out first) but any feedback that you could provide will be very helpful for us to share with the rest of the teachers when the whole school starts using these features.

As always, thank you for all of your support and patience, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

 

Weekly update, February 26th-March 2nd

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had a great break and are well rested.

First things first, we have a big week ahead of us since our class will be featured in this Friday’s assembly. The kids have been working hard to write up their own scripts to show off what we have been learning in class, and are excited to get up on stage and tell you all about it!  Please make sure that everyone arrives on time Friday morning since we will probably go to the SPAH as soon as the kids come in at 7:50 so we can get ready.

In reading this week we will continue working on fluency, specifically looking at how authors use interesting and creative words to make stories more interesting.

In writing we will continue to work on writing opinion letters. We will also cycle back to comparing and contrasting as we will be starting some small research projects to compare and contrast children’s lives, schools, and transportation from the past and how they are now in the present.

In math we will continue with our data collection and graphing, and also cycle back to some addition and subtraction skill practice.

In our unit of inquiry, students are working on developing their own research questions to learn more about children’s lives, schools, and transportation in the past. Using resources provided in class, they are going to search out their answers, and compare these facts from the past with facts of how things have changed in the present. This will help prepare them for their final assignment in our unit that they will be working on next week.

That should cover things for this week, please don’t forget to mark it down on your calendars to come to the assembly this Friday at 8:15.

 

Thanks as always,

Dan

Weekly update February 5-9th

Hello everyone, I hope you’re keeping warm!  I keep hearing that winter will end soon, but I’m starting to have my doubts.

Quick announcements first of allL I posted a video to each student’s Seesaw account yesterday. It is the latest traveling tale that we helped to write along with students from International schools in Saudi Arabia, Belgium, U.S.A., and Cambodia. Check out the problem that our kiddos created! Please don’t forget that photo retakes are going on this Friday. We will be retaking the whole class photo, as well as any students who were absent the first time that the photographers were here.

On to the academic side of things.

We are continuing to work on our fluency in reading. Students will be starting to bring books home from school everyday again this week so that they will be able to practice reading aloud at home. Things that we are focusing on (aside from reading the words correctly) are things like character voices, noticing punctuation, and speed. Students should be changing their voices depending on the situation in the story.

We continue to work on writing opinion letters during writers workshop. Students are focusing on not just thinking of their opinion on a subject, but also backing up their opinion with at LEAST three reasons to support it. If you would like to help them work on this (and annoy them a bit) keep asking them my favourite question whenever they tell you their opinion: “Why?” If you ask them this at least three times to help them think of reasons to support their opinion, they will really be reinforcing what we are teaching in class.

In our Unit of Inquiry we will be taking what we learned from our field trip last week and going further by looking at cities in the past and the present to think about how, and why they changed. We will also continue to look at Shenzhen as our main focus to help the students notice the changes in their own environment a little more closely.

In math we are going to wrap up our data collection and graphing unit. Students will be working on collecting their own data, and then analyzing and interpreting it to compare and contrast their information. Learning some strategies about how to make sure that the students collect data from everyone has been helpful to make sure that we all end up with the same number of data points. The kids had some great ideas about how to make sure they didn’t miss anyone while collecting their data!

That’s it for this week! As always, any questions or comments you may have are always welcome!