# HomeWork Page

* May – June  2017
Writing:  Students are finishing up their Non-Fiction Informational Insect Books.  Students have had to apply what they know about certain text features – diagrams, glossary, Table of Contents, etc. – into their own booklet.
Later, students will be immersed again in the rich language of Poems. They will read and record the mood or feeling from the poems that they read in class each day. As good readers, they will then apply what they know as they write their own poems.
Reading:  With their Social Studies unit about Producers and Consumers, students will sometimes be reading economic texts to support their knowledge and understanding of these concepts. Additionally and independently, the students continue to work on achieving their personal reading goals and taking Thinker Notes every day in class.
Social Science:   We have begun the final Social Studies unit of Producers and Consumers, where kids learn basic economic concepts. They will eventually brainstorm a business idea, develop a business plan to make a good or offer a service, make this product or service in the classroom, advertise it, and get a chance to see how this all comes together at “Market Day” in June.
Math:  We will soon begin the final unit, Module 8 – Time, Shapes, and Fractions as Equal Parts of Shapes. In Module 8, the final module of the year, students extend their understanding of part–whole relationships through the lens of geometry. As students compose and decompose shapes, even the face of a clock into 1/2 and 1/4, they begin to develop an understanding of unit fractions as equal parts of a whole.
Grade_2_Module_8_Family_Letter-10l9qcz

Terminology / Vocabulary for Math Module 8
Time, Shapes, Fractions, Geometry

New or Recently Introduced Terms
 a.m./p.m.
 Analog clock
 Angle (e.g., a figure formed by the corner of a polygon)
 Parallel (used to describe opposite sides of a parallelogram, e.g., “These sides are parallel because if they kept on going, they’d never intersect!”)
 Parallelogram (a quadrilateral with both pairs of opposite sides parallel)
 Partition (used in reference to partitioning rectangles, e.g. “Let’s partition this rectangle to make an array” or “Let’s partition this tape to show the money that was spent and the money that was left. Which part will be longer?”)
 Pentagon (a two-dimensional figure enclosed by five straight sides and five angles)
 Polygon (a closed figure with three or more straight sides, e.g., triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon)
 Quadrilateral (a four-sided polygon, e.g., square, rhombus, rectangle, parallelogram, trapezoid)
 Quarter past, quarter to
 Right angle (e.g., a square corner)
 Third of (shapes), thirds (three equal shares)
 Whole (used in reference to fractions, e.g., 2 halves make 1 whole, and 3 thirds make 1 whole)
Familiar Terms and Symbols
 Attributes (the characteristics of an object such as number of sides, angles, or faces)
 Cube (a three-dimensional shape composed of six squares)
 Digital clock
 Face (a two-dimensional side of a three-dimensional shape)
 Fourth of (shapes), fourths (four equal shares)
 Half hour (an interval of time lasting 30 minutes)
 Half of (shapes), halves (two equal shares)
 Half past (an expression for 30 minutes past a given hour)
 Hour (a unit for measuring time, equivalent to 60 minutes or 1/24 of a day)
 Minute (a unit for measuring time, equivalent to 60 seconds or 1/60 of an hour)
 O’clock (used to indicate time to a precise hour with no additional minutes)
 Quarter of (shapes), quarters (four equal shares)
 Tangram (a special set of puzzle pieces with five triangles and two quadrilaterals that compose a square)
 Two-dimensional shapes (familiar prior to Grade 2):
 Circle
 Half-circle
 Hexagon (a two-dimensional figure enclosed by six straight sides and six angles)
 Quarter-circle
 Rectangle (a two-dimensional figure enclosed by four straight sides and four right angles)
 Rhombus (a two-dimensional figure enclosed by four straight sides of the same length)
 Square (a rectangle with four sides of the same length)
 Trapezoid (a two-dimensional figure enclosed by four straight sides with at least one pair of parallel sides)
 Triangle (a two-dimensional figure enclosed by three straight sides and three angles)
* March – April 2017
Writing:  Students have finished writing Letters, and are now crafting more opinion pieces, beginning with opinions of books (Book Reviews). Student Letters were finally mailed around the world and we hope to get some responses.  Students will continue to produce Blog posts  to highlight their learning and application of skills in all subject areas.  Following the opinion writing, students will return to Non-Fiction Informational texts as they learn more about Insects and Plants connected with the upcoming science topic.
Reading:  The last few weeks, students have read various book reviews to help them with their own writing of Book Reviews.  Sometimes Mr. Kurth will direct reading time toward science texts related to plants or animals / insects.  Independently, the students continue to work on achieving their personal reading goals and take Thinker Notes every day in class.
Math:  We have begun Module 7, which extends student understanding of Data, Measurement,and using Coins.  Students will be expected to read, interpret, and produce graphs and charts.  They will also begin using Customary measurement units of inches/feet/yards (earlier math measurements were done only in Metric).  Counting coins and using money will also be a focus to develop computation. skills.Grade_2_Module_7_Family_Letter-1huoramScience:   The next unit is already growing as the mealworms have arrived and are rapidly growing in bins.Students will measure and observe these insects in the worm phase before they progress through their life cycle over Spring Break.   Plants & Insects (Life Cycles) is the next hands-on unit of discovery. After Spring Break, students will plant and watch a seed germinate and sprout.
Ask your child to share what they are learning each week, making sure they use important and specific science vocabulary to explain themselves. Vocabulary terms are attached below.  For some families, discussing the science terms in their home language will help the child better understand the concept that is being used in class.
Plant vocabulary-2dev548
* February  2017Writing:  Since January, students have been taking notes and responding to the read aloud book  Year of the Panda.   This month, students will learn to post their first post on their student blog page.  Eventually, this writing format will allow them to become more proficient Letter Writers, using proper letter format/style.  At the end of February and beginning of March, students will refine their skills of writing book reviews and opinions on various topics – opinion writing. Reading:  On their own reading time, the students continue to work on achieving their personal reading goals and take Thinker Notes every day in class. Much of the first part of our day is absorbed with our read aloud book Year of the Panda.Math:  We have begun Module 6, which develops important concepts for a solid understanding of Multiplication and Division.Grade_2_Module_6_Family_Letter-25hs4d9Science:  At the beginning of February (after finishing the Social Studies Exploring China unit), your young scientists will get to investigate Balance and Motion, developing a basic understanding of how objects balance, describing the position of objects, how objects move, forces acting on objects, sound and vibration, and maybe some magnetism. Ask your child to share what they are learning each week, making sure they use important and specific science vocabulary to explain themselves.

# January  2017

Writing:   Students are learning basic skills for taking notes / Note-taking.  They are practicing the method of:   Read / Cover / Remember / Retell.   Ask them to demonstrate this technique to you using some text at home.  Students are using information about Inventions of China to read and take notes.
Reading:  Students are reading with the intention of taking notes and recording short summaries of the important details.  Many of the books are related to China topics, specifically Inventions from China.
Math:  In Module 5, students are  continuing to use their knowledge of place value to solve larger addition and subtraction problems, sometimes three digit numbers or with multiple addends.
Grade_2_Module_5_Family_Letter-wvbn8f
Social Studies: young geographers are finishing their study of China. After learning to use timelines, they are now reading about various Inventions from China. There will be a final assessment of their learning the week before CNY.
December  2016
Writing:   The last two weeks before the winter holiday school break, students are immersed in the rich, and often fun, language of Poetry.  Together we are reading various poems, analyzing devices used (rhyme, repetition, rhythm, form, and more), and writing our own.  Ask your young poet to share some of their poems or knowledge about this creative writing form.
Reading:  We are still reading lots of poetry books to fill our minds with the possibilities of this text form.
Math:  In Module 4, students are  now using their knowledge of place value to solve larger addition and subtraction problems, sometimes three digit numbers.
eureka_math_grade_2_module_4_parent_tip_sheet
Social Studies: young geographers are studying aspect about China in the unit  “Exploring China.” Students will use map skills, look at landforms and human landmarks, study time-lines, and explore some important inventions from China.

## LANDFORMS

1. Mt. Everest

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/earth/mounteverest.html

http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-mount-everest/

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/videos/earth/mounteverest.html

mount-everest

2. Tibetan Plateau

http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=66103

http://nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/plateau/

http://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/pa1022

3. Yellow River & Yangtze River

3. Yangtze keyword search: Yangtze

Gobi Desert keyword search: Gobi

Manchuria Keyword search: Manchuria

yangtze-river

http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/geography_of_ancient_china.php

http://www.chinahighlights.com/yangtzeriver/facts.htm

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/about_freshwater/rivers/yellow_river/

http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat15/sub103/item448.html

http://www.rivervalleycivilizations.com/yellow.html

4. Continents/Oceans

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/earth/continents/

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/earth/oceans-and-seas/

5. Gobi Desert

http://www.desertusa.com/du_gobi.html

http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/geography/gobidesert.htm

http://www.factmonster.com/encyclopedia/world/gobi.html

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/earth/deserts/cold-deserts/

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=79746

## INVENTIONS & INTERESTING FACTS

30 Cool Facts about China: http://www.ngkids.co.uk/places/30-cool-facts-about-china

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/countries/china/#China-Country-Map-UPDT.jpg

1. silk

http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/legend_of_silk.php

2. abacus

http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-52860/In-this-type-of-abacus-beads-above-the-dividing-bar

3. compass

http://nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/compass/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/song-dynasty.html

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/gallery/history/more-chinese-inventions/

4. fireworks

http://www.learnchinesehistory.com/history-chinese-fireworks/

http://idahoptv.org/dialogue4kids/season6/fireworks/facts.cfm

5. semiscope

http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/137Kaleidoscope958.html

http://quatr.us/china/science/seismograph.htm

6. paper

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-paper-making/

http://totallyhistory.com/the-invention-of-paper/

http://quatr.us/literature/paper.htm

http://www.silk-road.com/artl/papermaking.shtml

http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/136Kaleidoscope3.html

7. Forbidden City

http://www.timeforkids.com/destination/china/sightseeing

school.ebonline.com

search keyword: Beijing

search keyword: Forbidden City

places of interest section

10. Terra Cotta Warriors

http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/terracotta_army.php

11. Great Wall of China

great_wall_of_china

http://www.kidcyber.com.au/wonders-of-the-modern-world

http://www.history.com/topics/great-wall-of-china

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/great-wall-china/

http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-makes-the-great-wall-of-china-so-extraordinary-megan-campisi-and-pen-pen-chen

12. Pandas

http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-giant-pandas/

login: shekou    password: school    keyword search: panda

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/giant-panda/#giant-panda-eating.jpg

13. The Silk Road

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-trade/

14. Chinese Pottery

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-pottery/

15. Chinese Medicine

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-medicine/

16. Chinese Junk Ship

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-junk/http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-junk/

17. Chinese Printing using blocks of wood

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-printing/

## CULTURE

1. Chinese New Year & Other Festivals

http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/chinese_festivals.php

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/chinese-new-year-traditions

http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/chinese_mythology.php

http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/chinese-new-year

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/more-find-out/festivals-and-holidays/family-traditions-at-chinese-new-year/

2. Chinese Family Life (past)

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-family-life/

3. Calendar/Zodiac

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/chinese-horoscopes/

http://www.factmonster.com/calendar/chinese-zodiac.html

4. language

http://www.ancientscripts.com/chinese.html

5. colors/numbers/symbols

http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/chinese_numbers_colors.php

6. calligraphy

http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/chinese_art.php

http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/callig/callmain.htm

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/ancient-china/chinese-writing/

all_about_china

November  2016
Writing:   After the many weeks studying and writing fiction stories, students are now looking into the writing form of Informational writing, or Non-fiction, or “All About…” books or “How to…” topics. For this unit, we read lots of information books, study the parts, and learn how to use these skills and techniques in our own writing.  Without doing research about a topic, students are choosing topics they already know a lot about, something they feel they are an expert in, something they can teach / inform others about.
Reading:  We are reading many information books to learn about the world around us. These types of books teach us and require good readers to use some different skills while reading– looking for information, putting learning into categories in our mind, comparing information with other topics we know about, etc.
Math:  We continue to strengthen our understanding of place value, adding and subtracting and solving story problems.eureka_math_grade_2_module_3_parent_tip_sheet
Science:  Young geologists are soon finishing the earth science unit of Pebbles/Sand/Silt. Like any good scientist, students should continue to observe and think about rocks, their uses, weathering, fossils, and our essential soil.Social Studies: Coming up soon will be the relevant topic of “Exploring China.”Students will use map skills, look at landforms and human landmarks, study time-lines, and explore some important inventions from China.
* October – November   2016
Writing:   Students are now using Fiction to generate good writing topics for their stories. They are currently reading fiction stories to analyze them for the basic 5 W’s (Who, What, Where, When, Why).  Much of the elementary grades are using the story acronym of  SWBST (Somebody Wanted, But…. So…. Then….) to help students notice and analyze the structure of good stories.
Reading:  Reading fiction stories; analyzing fictions stories for SWBST; listening to and reading various poems to inspire us as readers and writers.  Students should continue reading with a purpose at home with their JRF books (Just Right Fit) and I-PICK.  They can take Thinker Notes or share summaries with parents, either orally or in writing.
Math:  The next math unit will be understanding and mastering place value up to 1000.
eureka_math_grade_2_module_3_parent_tip_sheet
Science:  Pebbles, Sand, and Silt.      Kids will continue to learn the aspects of sorting/filtering rocks into different sizes (Boulder, cobble, pebble, gravel, sand, silt, clay, dust)   Over the next two months, help your child explore the valuable resources of rocks and minerals all around us. See below for more details of the unit goals and concepts.
* September – October   2016
Writing:   The current focus is still Narrative pieces. We use the term “Small Moments” to describe picking a small, meaningful event or moment to write about your life, something they should know about with rich detail and easy recall. Students are using ideas from their lives, choosing meaningful topics to write small moment stories, hopefully beyond just a list of event. Current writing lessons include:  “Stretching out Stories,”  Focussing on strong feelings or thoughts, learning from master authors using mentor texts and books we are already reading.  Students are continuing to being encouraged to skip lines on drafts, to use strategies for when they do not know how to spell a word, and “Show Don’t Tell” (adding descriptions to help the reader experience the moment with good images). Writers are encouraged to revise by adding details, learning to indent for sections or paragraphs, and self editing their work.
Reading:  current lessons focus on observing and noticing what master authors are doing in their stories to help us with our writing. Other topics of lessons this month include: working with reading partners, scanning a book, reading with a purpose, check for understanding, and using Thinker Notes to keep their minds actively trained while reading.
Math:  We have finished “Module 1”  or Unit 1 which focussed on adding and subtracting, understanding place value, and using different strategies as a good mathematician.

Module 2    In this module, we will be exploring the ruler, estimating and measuring lengths using various tools and units, and finally, relating addition and subtraction to length.

Social Studies:   We have finished our unit on Rights and Responsibilities, Community & Citizenship, Rules, Consequences, and IGIs (Individuals, Groups, and Institutions).  Your child will soon bring home their Summative Assessment showing what they know about Leaders and Responsibilities.
Science:  The week of September 26- 30th, we will begin our first Science Unit – Pebbles, Sand, and Silt. Over the next two months, help your child explore the valuable resources of rocks and minerals all around us. Here are the main student learning goals and standards.

### Earth Science  – Geology        “Pebble, Sand, Silt”

Students will know:  Knowledge:•How to compare the physical properties of different kinds of rocks and know that rock is composed of different combinations of minerals.•Smaller rocks come from the breakage and weathering of larger rocks.•Soil is made partly from weathered rock and partly from organic materials•Soils differ in their color, texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of many kinds of plants.•Fossils provide evidence about the plants and animals that lived long ago and that scientists learn about the past history of Earth by studying fossils.•Rock, water, plants, and soil provide many resources including food, fuel, and building materials that humans use.•Some Vocabulary: rocks, soil, earth materials, minerals, weathering, …Students will be able to:   Skills:  • Write or draw descriptions of a sequence of steps, events, and observations • Use magnifiers or microscopes to observe and draw descriptions of small objects or features of objects • Follow oral instructions for scientific investigations

As we continue learning about Pebbles, Sand. and Silt, ask your child to tell you what they are doing and learning each day. They should be able to use more specific scientific terms and vocabulary – sorting, sifting, coarse, the size differences of  (boulder-cobble-pebble-gravel-sand-silt-clay-dust.

* September  2016
Writing:   The current focus of writing is Narrative pieces. We use the term “Small Moments” to describe picking a small, meaningful event or moment to write about your life. This is a Non-Fiction topic, not Fiction, not make-believe.  Students are using ideas from their lives, choosing meaningful topics to write small moment stories, hopefully beyond just a list of event.Students are being taught to skip lines on drafts, to use strategies for when they do not know how to spell a word, and “Show Don’t Tell” (adding descriptions to help the reader experience the moment with good images). Writers are encouraged to revise by adding details, learning to indent for sections or paragraphs, and self editing their work.
Reading:  topics of lessons this month are working with reading partners, scanning a book, reading with a purpose, check for understanding, and using Thinker Notes to keep their minds actively trained while reading.Math:  We have almost finished the first “Module.”      Module 1 sets the foundation for students to master sums and differences to 20. Students subsequently apply these skills to fluently add one-digit to two-digit numbers at least through 100 using place value understanding, properties of operations, showing “Bonds,” and the relationship between addition and subtraction.Social Studies:   We have almost finished our unit on Rights and Responsibilities, Community & Citizenship, Rules, Consequences, and IGIs (Individuals, Groups, and Institutions).  Ask your child about their recent sharing of pamphlets from their interview of a school leader. Our class interview Mr. Johnson, Assistant Principal.Science:  Soon, we will begin our first Science Unit – Pebbles, Sand, and Silt. Over the next two months, help your child explore the valuable resources of rocks and minerals all around us.As we continue learning about Pebbles, Sand. and Silt, ask your child to tell you what they are doing and learning each day. They should be able to use more specific scientific terms and vocabulary – sorting, sifting, coarse, the size differences of  (boulder-cobble-pebble-gravel-sand-silt-clay-dust.
* August  2016
Reading:  Everyday for Readers Workshop, students will begin working to establish good reading habits to become independent and to build independent reading stamina. Every night, they should also have one or two “Just Right Fit” books to read for 20 minutes at home.  Please have them read aloud to you for 5 minutes at least once each week (I usually designate Wednesday on the HomeWork slip to be “Read Aloud” day).  Communicate with me if you notice them not having at least one “Just Right Fit” book (a JRF book should not be too easy, nor too hard).  They may borrow books from our classroom library, our school library, or any book they may have at home.
Writing:   In Writers Workshop, students are working on establishing good Writing Habits (very similar to good Reading Habits):* get started quickly* write (or read) the entire time* write (read) on my own* write (read) quietly* stay focussed (have a purpose or goal in mind)Math:  The initial weeks will be focussed on establishing effective Math Workshop routines.  The math unit of Operations & Algebraic Thinking will allow students to work with problems of addition and subtraction as well as solve equations for unknown numbers and values. This is also a time of review of earlier concepts and practicing being effective in small group work.Social Studies:   We will be understanding the concepts related to Rights and Responsibilities, Community, the need for Rules, being a Citizen, and IGIs (Individuals, Groups, and Institutions).Science units will alternate with the Social Studies unit, so after the first Social Studies unit of Communities, we will explore the science topic of earth changes related to Pebbles, Sand, and Silt (September – October).

# Your child is starting a business !

Our last, exciting project of our Social Studies Unit “Producers & Consumers” involves having students create a small business that will offer either a good or a service.  All this week students are developing a business plan, applying for a bank loan, and organizing the details of their business.  This week and next week, students will have “factory time” in the classroom for preparing their business good or service.  They should bring in all the supplies needed from home, unless it is food items that will spoil before the first Market Day on Friday, June 3rd, 8:15-8:50 am.  The second, and final, Market Day is Thursday, June 9 for grade 5 students and other SIS staff who can attend. All goods and services are to be made/prepared at school, not made at home. Ask your child to help explain this project.

* June 3rd  8:15 – 8:50    Market Day for Parents !  Mark your calendar to attend  this Grade 2  “Market Day,” where second graders will practice their business idea for real, sort of, at least involving real customers / consumers like yourselves.  Please try to attend. You will be asked to donate money for our charity (Syrian Refugees) in exchange for play money  to shop among the businesses for a good or service.

*  March – April  2016

Writing:  As the students examine Non-Fiction texts (Informational texts), they will begin the process themselves of becoming an expert on a topic to write about. During this term, writers will follow some basic research steps, note-taking, and assembly of their own informational booklet about an insect.

Reading:  Students are starting to look again at Informational books or Non-Fiction texts.  Students examine the parts, the style of language used, the use of diagrams, Table of Contents, Glossary, and more.

Math:  Students will be finishing Unit 9 (Measurement) and move into Unit 10, practicing counting coins, making change, and furthering a sense of purchasing/consumerism before our final Social Studies unit – Producers & Consumers.

Science:  From this Life Cycle unit, students should learn that living organisms have basic needs – food, water, air, light, and space to live. Students will also learn from observing these two different but similar worms that organisms have inherited characteristics, and go through stages of life that may be similar.

Insect Vocabulary:    Insects vocab small version- all  (.pdf  format)

*  March  2016

Reading:  Students are now immersed in the rich language of Poems. They read and record the mood or feeling from the poems they read in class each day. Later, students will tackle more Informational texts of Non-Fiction.

Writing:  Students have finished writing opinions (Book Reviews) and are now back into the creative flow of Poetry.  They are experimenting with using various devices to enhance their purpose – specific word choice, using line breaks, rhyme, repetition, and more.  Students continue to produce frequent Blog posts  to highlight their learning and application of skills in all subject areas.  The next writing unit will return to Non-Fiction Informational texts as they learn more about Insects and Plants connected with the upcoming science topic. Student Letters were finally sent around the world and we hope to have more reasons to write with a possible Pen Pal class in the USA.  Mr. Kurth is still working out the details of this correspondence.

Math:   Unit 9  Will have students using and developing more measurement awareness – linear measurement, estimating lengths, choosing measuring devices, rounding to the nearest 1/2 inches or cm.

Science:  March 7-11 is a special week of designing a toy / game / or instrument that shows some connection to the recent unit of Balance and Motion in the new space upstairs at Level 5. Getting a chance to build, create, and re-design is an important skill. The designs should show student understanding of how objects balance, or how objects move, of forces acting on objects, or sound and vibration, or magnetism. The next unit is already growing as the mealworms and silkworms have arrived and are rapidly growing in bins. Insects and Plants (Life Cycles) is the next hands-on unit of discovery.

Social Studies:  After the Insect and Plant science unit, students will be Producers and Consumers.

*  January – February  2016

Writing:  Since January, students have been taking notes about their book groups. Toward the end of the Social Studies China unit, they worked for a couple of weeks on a Historical Fiction piece involving at least one Chinese invention.  Toward the end of January, students will focus on their student Blogs and Commenting.  They are becoming use to reading and responding to comments on their student blog sites. Eventually, this writing format will allow them to become more proficient Letter Writers, using proper letter format/style.  At the end of February and beginning of March, students will refine their skills of writing book reviews and opinions on various topics – opinion writing.

Reading:  Students have been involved in book groups since the new year. First, they read non-fiction booklets together in a group, learning about an animal and how to conduct themselves as a learner in a book discussion group.  Later, students move into Book Series Groups  (books by the same author).  This format allows the young readers to begin analyzing books for generalizations about characters, styles, and the craft of an author.

Math:  Students are exploring more aspects of multiplication with arrays, grids, and groups of…   Unit 6 (Whole number operations and number stories).   Unit 7   Students will look into more patterns, addition & subtraction, measuring, and graphing data.  To study for unit tests, students should review their learning from the earlier lessons, math journal pages, and their HomeLinks sheets/lessons. It is a good idea to keep all the HomeLinks and the Math Journal for end of the term review and end of the year cumulative review.  Unit 8  will be a look into the concept of fractions.  Unit 9  Will have students using and developing more measurement awareness.

Science:  At the beginning of February (after finishing the Social Studies China unit), your young scientists will get to investigate Balance and Motion, developing a basic understanding of how objects balance, how objects move, forces acting on objects, sound and vibration, and some magnetism.

Social Studies:  At the end of January, we will conclude the topic of “Exploring China.” Students have used map skills, looked at landforms and human landmarks, studied time-lines, and explored some important inventions from China.  The next unit after science will be Producers and Consumers.

*  November – December  2015

Writing:   After the couple of weeks studying and writing poetry, students are now looking into the writing form of Informational writing, or Non-fiction, or “All About…” books. For this unit, we read lots of information books, study the parts, and learn how to use these skills and techniques in our own writing.  Without doing much research about a topic, students are choosing topics they already know a lot about, something they feel they are an expert in.

Reading:  Reading many information books to learn about the world around us. These types of books teach us and require good readers to use some different skills while they read – looking for information, putting learning into categories in their mind, comparing information with other topics they know about, etc.

Math:  Finishing Unit 4 (reading thermometers, measuring, solving number stories, and estimating).  Another unit test will be on Friday, November 20.  Students should review their learning from the earlier lessons, math journal pages, and HomeLinks sheets/lessons. Unit 5 covers the topics of: 2-D and 3-D shapes, using classification skills, and working with line segments.

Science:  Young geologists are finishing the earth science unit of Pebbles/Sand/Silt. Like any good scientist, students should continue to observe and think about rocks, their uses, weathering, fossils, and our essential soil.

Social Studies: Coming up will be the relevant topic of “Exploring China.” Students will use map skills, look at landforms and human landmarks, study time-lines, and explore some important inventions from China.

*  November  2015

Writing:   Students are now using Fiction to generate good writing topics for their stories. They are currently reading fiction stories to analyze them for the basic 5 W’s (Who, What, Where, When, Why).  Much of the elementary grades are using the story acronym of  SWBST (Somebody Wanted, But…. So…. Then….) to help students notice and analyze the structure of good stories.

Students will be immersing themselves in poetry at the beginning of the month. Some creative poems will be revised for a “published” poem at the end of the poetry unit.  Ask your child to share what they are doing “through a poet’s eyes.”

Reading:  Reading fiction stories; analyzing fictions stories for SWBST; listening to and reading various poems to inspire us as readers and writers.  Students should continue reading with a purpose at home with their JRF books (Just Right Fit).  They can take Thinker Notes or share summaries either orally or in writing.

Math:  In Unit 4, we will practice reading thermometers, measuring, solving number stories, and estimating.  Another unit test will be on Friday, so learn the lessons in class and practice with your HomeLinks every night.

Science:  We will soon finish the interesting earth science unit of Pebbles/Sand/Silt. The final topics are:  Uses of Rocks & Minerals, What is Soil ?, and What are Fossils?  Students will end the unit with an understanding of what fossils are, how they are formed, and why they are important to us scientifically.

* Our first Field Trip is to the Geo-Park on Thursday, November 5.

Our next unit will be the second Social Studies topic of “Exploring China.”

* Most students and families are effectively using the homework sheet in the HomeWork Diary. This is really helping students learn to manage their time and schedules.  They are learning to  ” Be Successful ! “ (our class motto).

* October 2015

Writing:   The focus is writing Narrative pieces. We use the term “Small Moments” to describe picking a small, meaningful event or moment to write about.  Students are using ideas from this recent holiday or summer events (the ones they wrote notes to on the homework sheets).

Students are being taught to skip lines on drafts, to use strategies for when they do not know how to spell a word, and Show Don’t Tell (adding descriptions to help the reader experience the moment with good images. Writers are encouraged to revise by adding details, indenting for sections or paragraphs, and self editing their work.

Reading:  topics of lessons this month are working with reading partners, scanning a book, reading with a purpose, and how to use some of the reading programs and apps that we have in our classroom, and using Thinker Notes to keep our minds actively trained while we read.

Math:  We have finished Unit 2.  Students should continue to use their triangle Facts cards and the online program XtraMath to strengthen their skills.

In Unit 3, we will practice reading and making graphs, using coins to make change, and using the “add up” strategy.   They will also get to use money and addition with some problems involving rocks (Rock Math worksheet).

Social Studies:   We have finished our unit on Rights and Responsibilities, Community & Citizenship, Rules, Consequences, and IGIs (Individuals, Groups, and Institutions).  Ask your child about their assessment. One graded, they will bring it home to share and to get a parent signature. They should always share their assessments and work, get parent signatures, and return the assessment to class so that I know you parents have seen their work.

Science:  Next week we will begin our first Science Unit – Pebbles, Sand, and Silt. Over the next month, help your child explore the valuable resources of rocks and minerals all around us.

As we continue learning about Pebbles, Sand. and Silt, ask your child to tell you what they are doing and learning each day. They should be able to use more specific scientific terms and vocabulary – sorting, sifting, coarse, the size differences of  (boulder-cobble-pebble-gravel-sand-silt-clay-dust.)

* August – September 2015

Reading:  Everyday for Readers Workshop, students are working to establish good reading habits to become independent and to build stamina. Every night, they should also have a “Just Right Fit” book or two to read for 20 minutes.  Please have them read aloud to you for 5 minutes at least once each week.  Communicate with me if you notice them not having at least one “Just Right Fit” book (a JRF book should not be too easy, nor too hard).  They may borrow books from our classroom library, our school library, or any book they may have at home.

Writing:   In Writers Workshop, students are also working on establishing good Writing Habits (very similar to good Reading Habits):

* get started quickly

* write (or read) the entire time

* write (read) on my own

* write (read) quietly

* stay focussed (have a purpose or goal in mind)

Math:  The first unit is a review of earlier concepts and practice being effective in small group work.

We will begin Unit 2.  A Family Letter will be sent electronically to you by email so that you can look ahead at Unit 2.  This Family Letter has some good ideas to work with your child at home, reinforcing the important math concepts, skills, and vocabulary.

Next week, students will begin to have a “HomeLinks” sheet each night as homework.

Social Studies:   We are continuing to understand concepts related to Rights and Responsibilities, Community, the need for Rules, being a Citizen, and IGIs (Individuals, Groups, and Institutions).  Students will finish up this unit over the next couple of weeks. Then we will begin our first Science Unit – Pebbles, Sand, and Silt.

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* May – June  2015

Reading:  Students are reading poetry  to learn and appreciate the “Craft” or tools of writing that poets use to enhance their poetic message.  Poets us tools such as rhyme, repetition, rhythm and meter, structure and form such as stanzas, and word choice.

They are also reading economic texts to support knowledge and understanding of  the Social Studies unit about Producers and Consumers.

Writing:  Our writing time has been devoted to composing poems that use some of the same language”craft” that published poets use – rhyme, repetition, rhythm and meter, structure and form, line breaks, stanzas, and strong word choice.

Math: After Unit 11, students are beginning to learn their basic facts in Multiplication.  They have been given triangular flash cards in a bag to help them memorize these facts. Encourage them. Make it fun. Quiz them.

Our last chapter Unit 12 will review some concepts of time, time lines, data, and multiplication facts.

Social Studies:  We have begun the final Social Studies unit of Producers and Consumers, where kids learn basic economic concepts and will eventually brainstorm a business idea, develop a business plan to make a good or offer a service, make this product in the classroom, advertise it, and get a chance to see how this all comes together at “Market Day.”

* April  2015

Reading:  Students have been studying about non-fiction or informative texts, learning how to look for information and features (Table of Contents, diagrams, captions, Glossary, Index), somewhat different than reading fiction texts.

Writing:  The focus of this term is Non-Fiction, Informative pieces. Initially, we produced a non-fiction booklet about our Darkling Beetles. We included sections such as an Introduction, Life Cycle, Habitat, Diet, and Interesting Facts or I Wonder page. Currently, students are researching their own insect of choice. They are practicing Taking Notes and will generate an informative booklet over the next few weeks (end of April).

Math: Ask your child to share what they are learning about the present topics of Unit 10 about money, currency, making change, estimating amounts, and decimal notation. The Home Links are a great, consistent review of the main concepts of this unit.

Science:  Our interest is easily captured by the amazing life cycle of insects. Changes happen so quickly with some of our class insects as they emerge from their pupa stage into the adult stage. Students will also plant seeds and study parts of plants.

Social Studies: Soon, we will begin the Social Studies unit of Producers and Consumers, where kids learn basic economic concepts.

* March  2015

Reading:  Students should have a Just the Right Fit book each night to read for 20+ minutes.  I ask that they record two or more Thinker Notes while they read to help them practice using good reading strategies and engagement.

Writing:  We are continuing Persuasive writing pieces, where students are stating an opinion and supporting this with examples.  They have written reviews for books, games, movies, restaurants, and vacations. Before CNY, we wrote letters to friends and family and sent them in the mail. We also wrote letters to our PenPal class in Portland, Oregon, USA. These will be sent soon.

Math:  Unit 8  Fraction concepts.  Ask your child to share what they are learning about Fractions. Grade 2 teachers chose to do some different math before the Chinese New Year outside of the EveryDay Math program, so this is why they have not had their usual HomeLinks pages every night. We worked on number stories and some different materials from the website Learn Zillion.

Science:  We are coming to the end of the Balance and Motion unit which has been a lot of fun exploration of movement, sound, and magnets.  Soon, we will begin the Social Studies unit of Producers and Consumers, and also start our final science unit of Insects and Plants.

* Weeks of January 19-30

Reading:  Practicing important routines of Reader’s Workshop. I am helping students continue to practice the important basic routines this part of our day, including really finding “Just Right Fit” books, establishing reading stamina to stay focussed with mind and body, and using Reading Strategies while they read.  Ask them about how important it is for them to master these basic skills.  Mrs. Callahan has added more “Reading Strategy” videos on her site. They are very helpful and nice to watch. Have your child watch one or two each week.  Reading Videos

Writing:   Letter writing is our current topic of interest.  The goal is to have students eventually write a letter, address and envelope, and send it in the mail.  It would be great if they also receive a reply.  Share letters of all sorts with your child, even if they are digital.

Math:  Unit 7   Ask your child to share their learning about these concepts – counting, halving, doubling, estimating measurements, comparing data (medians). Be sure to keep the HomeLinks pages to help review and study for each unit test.

Science:  We have finished the Social Studies “Exploring China” unit. We have a field trip planned for Friday, Feb. 13 to Splendid China.  Science now explores Balance and Motion.  See the “Letter to Parents” about this fun unit.  Visit Mrs. Callahan’s EAL site for other Quizlet activities to practice learning important science vocabulary.                     Mrs. C’s Quizlet

Family Letter about the Balance & Motion unit:

* Week of December 8-12

Writing:   Students are continuing to analyze good fiction for story elements. Mini lessons touch on learning about fictional characters in both reading and writing. Your child is repeatedly using the SWBST to understand more details in their reading and writing.  Remember, SWBST stands for:  “Somebody (main character), Wanted (what did the main character want?), But (something got in the way of the main character getting what they wanted), So (how did the main character try and fix their problem/challenge), and finally Then (was the problem/challenge fixed and how?)

Ask your child about what they remember or the SWBST from stories we have read in class:   The Emperor’s Painting, Year of the Panda, Ruby’s Secret, The Empty Pot, and I Need My Monster.

Reading: We continue to analyze stories for SWBST elements to improve active reading, engagement, and comprehension.  “Characters Go on a Journey” is the general theme for this fiction unit study.  Mini-lessons will help students look for characters, setting, and problem/solution while they read.

Math:  Unit 6 covers Whole Number Operations and Number Stories.  Ask your child to share their learning about these concepts.  Be sure to keep the HomeLinks pages to help review and study for each unit test. Ask your child about the data and graph for the important Food Groups.  Arrays / Grids are an important concept for multiplication.

Social Studies:  We continue our Social Studies topic of “Exploring China.”  We are learning map skills, about time lines, and inventions of China. Visit Mrs. Callahan’s EAL site for support with reading and new Quizlet activities to help with map & land vocabulary for social studies.   The link is: http://quizlet.com/_yzls0

* Remember Friday, Dec. 12 is a half day; dismissal for students is at 11:30 am.  No lunch at school. …. and no school until January 5.

Have a great holiday.  Have the kids rested and ready to return to school in January with good health, vigor, and rigor!

* Week of November 24-28

Writing:   Students are now using Fiction to generate good writing ideas. We are currently reading a good realistic fiction story,  Year of the Panda, by Miriam Schlein. Much of the elementary is using the story acronym of  SWBST (Somebody Wanted, But…. So…. Then….) to help them structure good stories.

Reading:  “Characters Go on a Journey” is the general theme for this fiction unit study.  Mini-lessons will help students look for characters, setting, and problem/solution while they read.

Math:  Unit 5 has Geometry as the focus, looking at shapes, attributes of shapes, and using geo-boards to learn more about line, parallel, point, and more.  Ask your child to share their learning about these concepts.  Be sure to keep the HomeLinks pages to help review and study for each unit test.

Social Studies:  We have finished Science and are now rotating into our next Social Studies topic of “Exploring China.”  Mrs. Callahan just created a new Quizlet activity with map & land vocabulary for social studies.   The link is: http://quizlet.com/_yzls0

* This week events and highlights:  Heifer International “Read to Feed”  fundraiser.  Students will bring home packets for pledges to fundraise while reading; what a great, fun idea.

* Book Week !   We celebrate the myriad of doorways that books provide.  Reading with our 5th Grade Buddies and having a guest reader on Thursday will be something to look forward to.

* Remember Friday, Nov. 28 is a half day; dismissal for students is at 11:30 am.  No lunch at school.

* Week of November 10-14

Writing:   Students are immersing themselves in poetry. Some creative poems will be revised for a “published” poem at the end of the week.  Ask your child to share what they are doing “through a poet’s eyes.”

Reading:  listening to and reading various poems to inspire us as readers and writers.

Math:  In Unit 4, we will practice reading thermometers, measuring, solving number stories, and estimating.  Another unit test will be on Friday, so learn the lessons in class and practice with your HomeLinks every night.

Science:  We will finish the interesting earth science unit this week, ending with an understanding of what fossils are, how they are formed, and why they are important to us scientifically.

* See the homework sheet pasted into student HomeWork Diaries every Monday. Help your child manage their time at home, check their Diaries, and organize their work and materials.

* Elementary Music Recital is Thursday.  We have a couple of students from our class performing. Come listen and support them at 5;30 pm.

* Week of October 20-24

Writing:   Students are being taught to skip lines on drafts, strategies for when they do not know how to spell a word, and Show Don’t Tell. They are encouraged to revise by adding details, indent paragraphs, and self editing.

Reading:  topics of lessons this week are working with reading partners, scanning a book, reading with a purpose, and how to use some of the reading programs and apps that we have in our classroom.

Math:  In Unit 3, we will practice graphs and using data and using coins to make change using the “add up” strategy.   They will also get to use money and addition with some problems involving rocks (Rock Math worksheet).

Science:  As we continue learning about Pebbles, Silt, and Sand, ask your child to tell you what they are doing and learning each day. They should be able to use more specific scientific terms and vocabulary (sorting, sifting, coarse, the size difference of boulder-cobble-pebble-gravel-sand-silt-clay-dust.)

* See the homework sheet below for this week. This sheet is also pasted into their HomeWork Diaries.

* Week of September 22 – 26

Writing:   Students are finishing a final copy of Typhoon Tuesday. They are encouraged to add details, indent paragraphs, and self edit.

Math:  We are finishing Unit 2, with students showing what they know on their test Thursday.  They can review their HomeLinks and practice their fact power with the cut-out triangles.

A Family Letter regarding Unit 3 was sent electronically to you by email so that you can look ahead at Unit 3.  This Family Letter has some good ideas to work with your child at home if they need extra practice learning concepts.  Please let me or Linda Li (my assistant) know if you did not receive the Family Letter electronically, or let us know if you would like paper versions of this letter.

Science:  As we continue learning about Pebbles, Silt, and Sand, ask your child to tell you what they are doing and learning each day. They should be able to begin using more scientific terms and vocabulary.

* See the homework sheet below for this week. This sheet is also pasted into their HomeWork Diaries.

* Week of September 22 – 26

Writing:   Students are working on another “small moment” piece about Typhoon Tuesday.  Ask them about their details.

Reading:  Everyday, students should be practicing good reading habits. Every night, they should continue to have a book or two to read for 20 minutes.  Please have them read aloud to you for 5 minutes at least once each week.  Please continue to communicate with me if you notice them not having at least one “Just Right” book (not too easy, not too hard). I have seen some parent notes in their child’s HomeWork Diary.  Thank you.

I will communicate with you at the conferences what I discover about your child’s DRA and various reading strategies specific for your child.

Math:  The Unit 2 is developing more basic addition and subtraction fact power. Have your child practice their facts using the triangle facts they cut out. These should be in their Homework folders/bags.

A Family Letter regarding Unit 2 was sent electronically to you by email so that you can look ahead at Unit 2.  This Family Letter has some good ideas to work with your child at home if they need extra practice learning concepts.  Please let me or Linda Li (my assistant) know if you did not receive the Unit 2 Family Letter electronically, or let us know if you would like paper versions of this letter.

Students will have a HomeLinks sheet each night as homework.

Social Studies:   We have finished our unit on Rights and Responsibilities, Community, Rules, Consequences, and IGIs (Individuals, Groups, and Institutions).  Ask your child about their assessment. They can share their about their video.

Science:  We just began our first Science Unit – Pebbles, Silt, and Sand. Over the next month, help your child explore the valuable resources of rocks and minerals all around us.

* See the homework sheet below for this week. This sheet is also pasted into their HomeWork Diaries.

* Week of September 10 – 12

Writing:   Students are working on their Moon Legend to have a final copy by this Friday so that they can share with other second graders for our Celebrations.

Reading:  Everyday, students should be working to establish good reading habits. Every night, they should have a book or two to read for 20 minutes.  Please have them read aloud to you for 5 minutes at least once each week.  Communicate with me if you notice them not having at least one “Just Right” book (not too easy, not too hard).  I will be conducting DRAs over the next two weeks to determine your child’s appropriate instructional and independent reading levels.  DRA stands for Developmental Reading Assessment.  It is a great assessment and teaching tool for reading.

Math:  The Unit 1 test will be returned to students so they can make corrections, show you parents their progress, get a parent signature on the test, and return the test back to school.  With parent signatures, I will know that your child has shared their test with you.

We will begin Unit 2.  A Family Letter was sent electronically to you by email so that you can look ahead at Unit 2.  This Family Letter has some good ideas to work with your child at home if they need extra practice learning concepts.  Please let me or Linda Li (my assistant) know if you did not receive the Unit 2 Family Letter electronically, or let us know if you would like paper versions of this letter.

Students will have a HomeLinks sheet each night as homework.

Social Studies:   We are continuing to understand concepts related to Rights and Responsibilities, Community, Rules, Consequences, and IGIs (Individuals, Groups, and Institutions).  Students will finish up this unit over the next two weeks so we can begin our first Science Unit – Pebbles and Sand.