Reflecting on Our Second Unit

Today marks the end of our second unit of second grade.  We finished up our final drafts of our lab reports and concluded our science experiments.  Did you know that you can stand on eggs?  Or that a McDonalds hamburger doesn’t change if you leave it sitting out for a week?  We also learned about watering plants… They don’t live if you water them with soap.

We enjoyed an excellent assembly done by 2D. We also celebrated our ESLR award winners this month; Rex, Ariel and Harshil.  Fantastic job being independent learners.

This unit the students also became much more familiar with some of the key concepts.  Function and Form and Reflection became daily words in our lives.  We have learned how to use them and how we see them in our daily lives.  We are getting ready for our new unit that starts next week.

This week we also celebrated Kindness day hosted by STUCO.  Thank you Romain for reminding us how important being kind is. 

Next week we will be celebrating international week.  If you have not volunteered and you would still like to please let me know. We are also looking for treats for Friday for our Potluck.

REMINDER: Today your child brought home a permission slip for our field trip next Thursday.  Please see it for more details.



Picture Day

Today is our annual picture day but also a Friday to finish up another busy week in 2B.  This week we used questions to test three part hypothesis.  We focused on writing a good hypothesis and conclusion to our lab reports.

In math we talked about a new word estimate or estimation.  We concluded that this is like a hypothesis in math which is a good guess using our schema. A big question that we estimated was about how many inches are in 5k.  We solved this problem using repeated addition.  Our estimate was 180,000 inches.  We did alright with that.  We learned more about measurement of length using rulers and and meter/yard sticks.

This week we introduced a new activity.  We started using Plickers.  These are QR codes to answer multiple choice questions.  This has been a fun activity for us all to practice and see what we know in all subjects.

We found that we put a lot of math on our seesaw so we are trying to balance that out with other subjects. One way is that students will each have a day to read to their seesaw. We have also started posting our lab reports that tell us what we are doing in science and in writing.

This week we also added a new math center.  This center teaches us how to code computer games.  The students explored using the platform and Angry Bird characters.  This has been quite a hit in 2B.

Our Second Unit Well Underway

Good Morning 2B parents!

I hope you are all enjoying the day with your child or they are out having fun!  It is great weather to be out exploring the world around us and testing our hypotheses!

This unit we are inquiring into the central idea “The Scientific Process helps organize investigations.”  We have done some exciting experiments in class.  Students have been working on writing lab reports.  We have also looked at the states of matter.

We have also gotten an Alexa for our classroom.  She is helping us to stay on time, playing fun holiday music, answering our questions and telling us jokes.  Thank you to the wonderful parent that donated this to us!

Week of September 10th

Good Afternoon Families,

I hope that you all made it through yesterday’s storm safe and dry.  Today the city is working on being good citizens who contribute to their community by cleaning up Shenzhen from the mess caused by #Mangkhut.  I have received pictures from the Ian one of our citizens out contributing to his community where he was outside picking up sticks that fell down!  Great Job Ian!  I can not wait to see what everyone else is doing for their summative assessment task this week!

What did we do last week?  If you check your child’s Seesaw account they brainstormed a list as a class and uploaded it to their seesaw.  We worked on developing a better understanding of what people in our community do.  Do we really need metro drivers?  Do they help our community? How do they help our community?  What would happen if we didn’t have them?  We did this with many different professions.

We also discussed how our friend Romain will be contributing to both our class and school community with his new role as STUCO class representative for 2B. Congratulations Romain on this exciting new role!  We are excited to have you represent us!

We worked on math centers and started focusing on uploading more work to our Seesaw portfolios! Thank you to all of the parens who have taken time to comment on your child’s work.  Some of you are leaving fantastic feedback that will help your students grow as learners this year!  The small group math strategy we worked on this week was making 10 by decomposing the smaller number.  If you want a more detailed explanation check Seesaw.

We focused in on adding more details to create a better picture with our writing and read some good examples of small moment stories.  This week we read The Man Who Walked Between the Towers in honor of September 11th. We also read The Shortcut to see some examples of small moment writing.  

In reading we focused in on using Jots to mark our reading with posit notes to help us to better share and remember parts of the story that we want to share.


This week is a short week with Wednesday being conferences, and Friday starting Moon Festival. (Typhoon Clean up day Monday) There will only be school Tuesday and Thursday.

Next week NO SCHOOL on Monday.

Our class has finished swimming, next week students will be doing other activities in PE.

Congratulations to Romain for becoming a STUCO representative.

Congratulations to Jack and Gregory for winning ESLR awards for this month.

Today is a Great Day – To Check Your Child’s Seesaw!

Good Saturday Morning,

Today would be a great day for you to check in with your child and look at their Seesaw account together!


Check out some of the things we did this week!  Students will benefit from talking to you about their work and you can be more involved in our classroom community!   Please post your feedback to your child’s work as well as discussing it!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Weekly Wrap-up Week of September 3rd

How did you contribute to your community?

  • Ask your child to start thinking about the actions that they are taking in their communities.

We have discussed many of the communities that they belong to, the also probably belong to more communities than those that we thought of.  As we get closer to October break we are getting closer to the end of this unit which involves a lot of student action.  Asking them this question will help them to start this thinking.

We spent a lot of time this week working on our MAP testing. Students completed tests in the areas of math, language, and reading.  We also worked towards finishing our first round of DRA tests for this year. Students have been working so well I am proud of their focus and stamina during this busy week.

We continued to look at nouns students went around the classroom trying to find different people, places and things.  As this activity is finished they are uploading it to Seesaw for you to see.

Our math lessons focused on solving word problems using the draw a picture strategy.  We also spent a lot of time working on place value.  Students learned that each digit has it’s own value in the number.  We are also working towards building more math fluency, being able to answer basic math facts quickly with fast recall.

 We also had Mrs. K come to read to us!

We also had Mrs. K come to read to us!

Weekly Wrap-up August 27

This week students had a shortened week with a a quick rain day on Thursday.  I hope that everyone stayed dry and had a nice day!

At school this week we were very busy, we completed our baseline assessment with a small moment story.  We got jot journals and went on an idea walk around school to jot down ideas of small moments in our lives to write about during this writing unit. This Friday we introduced Free Write Friday!  Where students can choose what and how they want to write!  This was exciting because it was time for them to write fiction stories if they wanted to!  This week we also started looking at grammar, we focused on capital letters, ending punctuation and nouns.

We learned some songs to help us remember what a noun is.  A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea.  Some of the songs we listened to you can here again on youtube by following these links.  School House Rock, Jack Hartman Nouns

Math lessons this week we built our toolbox to include a Bar Diagram.  We worked on restating someone else’s thinking and magic numbers 9, 10, and 14 where students had to think of as many ways that they could to make these numbers.  We learned about how to use math manipulatives correctly, and used them to help us develop place-value understanding. We are going to learn this song next week to help us to continue to develop this understanding (Place Value- Number Rock).

Our UOI lessons lead us towards our first student question “What does the principal do?”  We are not quite there yet, however we are getting closer.  We looked at pictures of different communities and discovered that people (help others) contribute to their communities.  We looked at the connections between different community helpers and started to brainstorm “Who contributes (helps) in our classroom community?” “Who contributes in our Second Grade community?” “Who contributes in our PYP community?”  This gives us good direction next week for students to follow their interests.


Monday, Wednesday, Friday – 2 B MAP testing.  Please make sure your student eats a nice breakfast and comes to school ready to rock that test!

Monday, Wednesday – Swimming- many students have been forgetting their swim clothes please help them to remember.

Make sure you have signed up for ASAs.


Rainy Day

Are you looking for something to do today?  I have some ideas I will post today.  If you or your child is looking for something to do.

  1. Talk about your community.  Your family community, and any communities that your child belongs to.
  2. Good News!  I have been registered for RAZ kids.  I have imported our class from previous years, so they should have the same password as before.  Please let me know if you have forgotten your password.  Our Class code is jnelsen4 

  1. Math students are registered on Class code nelses – They will use their first and last names to log in.
    1. Please click on Math and Math practice and work through the pre-tests.

NOTE  FROM Freckle

Once they have logged in, it is important that this practice is done independently​, without any help at home. If they are having difficulty with a concept, and the video tutorials on the site do not help, your child may either stop or go on to another section.

Freckle is designed to give students a tailored experience based upon their current knowledge.  If you help your child then they will get problems that are too difficult for them to do on their own. As they go through the year (and the pre-test) they will get more difficult problems.

Week of August 20th

Welcome to the weekend!   I hope you are all enjoying your Saturday morning.

This week was our first full week in 2B.  Students started getting back into their normal learning routines.  We started readers and writers workshop, reviewing different ways to read a book and building our reading stamina.  We have set our initial goal to be able to read for 20 minutes with out breaking our stamina as a class.  Students wrote their favorite memory from summer and started exploring the idea of tiny moments using the mentor text Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning.

We also started to explore and unpack our central idea : Citizens understand who they are and what they do to contribute to their communities.

Students broke down what these words mean using dictionaries and translation apps on iPads.  They then wrote it in kid language and illustrated it to help them better understand what we will be learning over the next few weeks.  We also did skits about the learner profiles and created learner profile posters for our classroom (principled, caring, communicator, risk-taker, inquirer, balanced, knowledgeable, thinker, reflective, open minded).

Math we took time to review some of the things that we learned last year and took a baseline assessment to see what types of math students know coming into second grade. We found that we need to work on drawing a picture to solve a problem and identifying US coins.

*** If you have any extra US coins around your house that you would be willing to share with us we would greatly appreciate it if we could have them to help build our concrete understanding of these coins.

Next week we are going to continue to work on building our stamina in all subjects.  We are going to start looking at building spelling skills.  We will go deeper into problem solving and showing that we really understand how to find solutions to math problems.