Second Grade Room 214

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Archive for April, 2018

April 30th

Hi 214 Families!  Hopefully this week actually starts to feel like spring- especially because we have planted our vegetables in the garden containers on the front playground.  We will also be planting zinnias and chives for our butterflies that we released last week.  We hope that they will come back and visit us in our butterfly garden that we will begin to grow.

Wednesday May 2nd is International Night from 5:30-8:00 in the gym.  Travel around the world, try new foods and have fun!

What else is happening this week…

Reading Workshop:  we are still working in our series/author book clubs. We are focusing on word work and using context clues.  We are also studying story structure and patterns in how our characters behave when facing obstacles.   We are on the 3rd book of My Father’s Dragon series and will be finishing up this week.

Writing Workshop: Last week we studied repetition and patterns in poetry. This week we will continue to do so but will also bring in more literary language and study couplets and stanzas.  Students will receive new words on Monday for word work, but also will take the test from last week.  We ran out of time in the afternoon because we had two (wonderful) presentations for our passport series.

Math:  We will continue to work on fractions this week.  We will work on 9.2-9.5. Please continue to practice adding, subtracting and counting money at home.

Social Studies: We will continue to have great lessons about countries in our passport series.  Thank you to Ms. Gruber, Brendan’s mom, who came and talked to us about Russia!  We will also try to get some chess and map skills practice in too!

Science:  We will begin to study silkworms this week, in addition to watching our mealworms go from the larva to pupa stage!  Insect Research Projects are due at the end of the week!

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April 23rd

Happy Earth Day Week!  This week the kids will participate in a school wide Earth Day activity.  We will also be discussing how our actions help or harm the environment and what we can do to improve it.

If you have lived or visited a country outside the U.S. and would like to come in and talk about it with the kids for our passport series please let us know!

Walk-a-Thon incentive:  win a $500 mattress
Any student or Ray staff member who is registered at and has begun fundraising by midnight on Friday April 27th will be entered in a raffle to win a Simmons queen mattress set worth $500.  The winning student or staff member can come to our mattress sale on May 6th to try out the mattress set and have it delivered for free to their home! While exercise is important for health, a good night’s sleep is also important – make sure you’re getting quality sleep with a new mattress thanks to Just Get Sleep, our mattress sale fundraising partner!  Register your student(s) for the Walk-a-Thon today.

In class this week we will..

Reading Workshop:  We will be continuing our series book clubs!  We are learning how to discuss and build on each others ideas in book club discussion. Using prompts we are asking questions, sharing opinions, elaborating, and clarifying.   We are also studying our characters- looking how they respond to problems, their relationships to other characters, and noting what is the same across the series.

Writing Workshop:  We will be working on using precise language in our poems.  We will also discuss repetition, mood comparisons (metaphor, simile) and personification.

Math:  We will have our unit 8 math test on Tuesday.  We will review Monday to prepare.  On Wednesday we will begin Unit 9 and start our work with fractions!

Social Studies:  This week will continue studying the globe by learning about Thailand and Russia in our passport series.  We will also keep practicing our map skills and chess!

Science:  Two of our butterflies came out of their cocoons!  We used magnifying glasses to study and write about them on Friday.  We will be observing our meal worms entering the pupa stage this week and begin learning about plants.  Hopefully we will be able to start planting in our garden by Tuesday!

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April 16th

Hi 214 Families!  I hope everyone is having a nice April- DESPITE the weather.  On Monday a new handout for conference times will go home with your chosen time (or time close to).  If you have not had a chance to fill out the form or the time slot you have been given does not work, please let me know.

The book fair will be April 17th-20th.  Please stop by during report card pick up or send money with your student to shop at the book fair.

May 18th will be the Walk-a-Thon-  Register your student for the walk-a-thon at and begin fundraising to be entered into weekly drawings for cool stuff- museum memberships, gift cards, sports tickets and more!  Every student who raises at least $50 gets a chance to sink a teacher in the dunk tank on the last day of school.

On May 6th we will have a Just Get Sleep Fundraiser- you will have an opportunity to buy a new mattress in the Ray lunchroom at up to 50% of retail, with 20% of every sale donated back to Ray.

This week we will be….

Math:  We will be working on lessons 8.8-8.11 and will review and have our Unit 8 test the following Tuesday.  This week we will be focusing on arrays and geometry!

Reading Workshop:  We have started our realistic book clubs! We are focusing in on character traits and evidence and story elements.  We are also spending time looking at vocabulary and words and determining their meaning through context clues.  As a read aloud we are reading My Father’s Dragon series and talking a lot about our main character and how they respond to problems!

Writing Workshop:  We will start our unit on Poetry!  Kids have already been getting deep into identifying literary language and we will apply this to our poems.  All published writing should be turned in by Tuesday.

Science:  We are studying our insects (meal worms and caterpillars) and began digging in the dirt in our garden plot.  We will work with a professional gardener next week to plant seeds in our garden plot.   Students will also be expected to do a research project about an insect to be completed at home and due May 3rd.

Social Studies: This past week we had the first presentation for our passport series about Japan.  If you would like to speak about a country that you are from, studied, or spent a lot of time in please let me know!  We would love to have you come in and speak with the kids.  On Tuesday we will be learning about Belgium.  We have also started our First Move Chess Curriculum.  So far we have oriented ourselves to the board and learned all about the pawn.  Kids who know how to play are helping me teach the other kids which is very helpful 😉

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April 9th

Good morning 214 Families- this week a sign up will go home for parent teacher conferences which will be next week Wednesday April 18th.  I will try my best to accommodate everyone’s availability.  Tomorrow we will have a volunteer with us for the morning from Kenwood High School and in the afternoon working with a team of middle school students to film positive hallway procedures to support school-wide PBIS.

Reading Workshop:  We will begin series book clubs!  This will enable to students to dig deeper into characters to identify character traits, make predictions and connections, and understand the author’s writing style and purpose.  We will also be focusing on context clues and prefixes and suffixes.

Writing Workshop:  We are publishing our opinion writing this week (some may go home for extra help) and then starting our unit on poetry.

Science:  We started our unit on plants and insects.  We launched the unit by observing meal worms and creating a habitat with food for our caterpillars.  This week we will work with Big Green Chicago to prep garden beds for planting.

Social Studies:  We will begin our next unit on map skills and geography and also our passport series!

Math:  We have been learning about geometry- thank you for bringing geometrical objects from home!  This week we will dig deep into quadrilaterals and 3 dimensional shapes.   Continued practice with addition and subtraction at home (borrowing and regrouping) is helpful.  We learned several different strategies in class and children were able to use whatever method was best for them.  Students were also given a login for Khan Academy.  If you would like that information for further practice at home, please let me know.

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