February 4th

Welcome back 215 Families!  I hope you were able to stay warm and occupied over the long, cold days.  It is the start of second semester which is exciting.  We are doing lots of great learning in Room 215 and making lots of growth.

*I will be attending the CPS Summit on Tuesday (it was canceled last week).  Ms. Newsom will be covering the class.

What is happening this week…

Reading Workshop:  We have returned to fiction reading, focusing on character.  We are learning how to make inferences and thinking about what clues from the text plus our own personal experiences, help us figure out what the author is trying to say.

Writing Workshop:  All kids should have finished their Expert Informational books.  We will be sharing with classmates today.  Later this week we will move on to our next genre- opinion writing!  New word work words will be going home Monday.

Math: We have begun Unit 6!   Kids will be interpreting data and number stories.  They will learn different visual ways to represent subtraction and addition.

Science:  We need to uncover our plaster molds of fossils and learn more about Earth’s crust.  We also need to check on the progress of our herbs!

Social Studies:  We will learn about Chinese New Year on Monday and Tuesday. We will also start our Black History Unit.

January 28th

Hi Room 215 Families-  I hope that you have been able to stay warm in these cold temperatures!  Unfortunately, it seems as though it is going to continue this week.  I will be attending the 3rd CPS Summit on Tuesday the 29th and will not be in class.  Ms. Newsome will be subbing for me.  Students will not

Reading Workshop:  We finished up learning about literary language this past week.  We will continue to look for and study this language throughout the rest of the year.  We discussed that skilled readers identify when an author has used special language and stop and figure out the meaning.

Writing Workshop:  We will continue to work on our Expert Informational books.  Specifically, we will be working on editing our work.  Recognizing when to use punctuation and to use our spelling patterns.  Due to the short week students will not be given word work.

Math:  We will have a math review on Monday for Unit 5.  We will take the unit test on Tuesday.  I expect to start Unit 6 on Wednesday.

Science:  We will take our objects out of our plaster moldings and study how they look like fossils.  We will also study different types of rocks and learn about weathering and erosion.

Social Studies:  We will continue to look at land and water resources.

January 22nd

Welcome back after the long weekend.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Monday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.  January 31st is Raise the Glass. Please join us at the Promontory!  Tickets are on sale on Ray’s website.  Today is PTO Family Game Night.

Reading Workshop:  This week we will be focusing on literary language. Students will be paying attention to ‘special language’, understanding comparisons, noticing when author’s play with words, and reading like a writer- focusing on special language.  

Writing Workshop: Students will continue to work on their expert informational books.  We will focus on our editing checklist this week and reading over our work through different lenses.  

Math: We will be working through lessons 5-9 to 5-11.  We will be making parts-and total number stories, change number stories, and working with adding multi-digit numbers.  Please continue to work on counting money and telling time at home.

Science:  Last week we made a model of Earth’s crust with modeling clay.  This week we are going to analyze our models and create trenches and ridges.

Social Studies:  We will do Second Step this week and discuss emotion management. We will also look at land and water resources and how that affects community.  


Week of January 14th

Hi Room 215 Families! Apologies for the late post. Our blog site changed platform designs and it took a little while to figure it out! In addition we have been out of toner with the copiers so it was a little difficult to communicate last week! Anyways- welcome back to school and Happy 2019! We had a great start to the new year and I am looking forward to some great learning this week.

Reading Workshop:  We wrapped up our informational reading unit last week and will return to a focus on fiction reading- this week specifically focusing on fluency and making sure that all students have enough books to read and are at their specific reading level.

Writing Workshop: All students finished their informational books about Tigers.  They should have started their own “Expert” books this week. Students were asked to think about a topic they know a lot about and enjoy and write about it.  They will be designing the books with the text features like an actual nonfiction book. Students will receive new word work words this week.

Math:  Last week we focused on making change and counting money.  Please continue this at home.  Real world application for money is the best way to learn.  This week we will work with lessons 5.5-5.8.  We will explore arrays and learn strategies to add and subtract larger numbers.

Science:  We have started a new unit!  We will be focusing on Earth Science for the rest of the quarter and into quarter 3.  Last week we used a hard boiled egg as a model for the Earth.  We will continue looking at the different layers of the Earth this week.

Social Studies:  On Monday we will continue to on character education lessons with second step.  Later in the week we will focus on the amazing work and life of Martin Luther King Jr.

December 17th

Good Morning 215 Families!  Please find information about Spirit Week below.  We will also be doing NWEA testing Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  Friday is our winter concert.  Please have your child dress is red, green, blue, or white.  Thank you!

Monday- Ugly/Beautiful Sweater Day, Contest by grade level
Tuesday- Candy Cane Day, Bring to share with classmates and/or dress like one
Wednesday- Best Green and/or Red Outfit
Thursday- Pajama, Stuff Animal, Optional Movie Day in classrooms
Morning -Winter Caroling starting @9am (Same as last year, 1st Floor first)
Afternoon -Sports Day by class or grade level

Week of December 10th

Thank you to Ms. Michals who gave a wonderful presentation for social studies this week!   Thank you also to Mr. Franklin and Ms. Sorkin for volunteering their time to work with small groups.  It will be Family Literacy Night on Tuesday the 11th from 4-5. Hope to see you there!

What is happening in class this week…

Reading Workshop:  We are continuing reading nonfiction texts and becoming experts about the topics we read.  We will look at how we can build our knowledge on a certain topic by reading more than one book and also seeing how those books are different and similar.

Writing Workshop:  We have started our informational books about tigers.  On Friday we created an ABC chart with vocabulary that we included in our books to make sure that we had expert vocabulary.  This week we will edit with student checklists, included text features, and hopefully publish!

Social Studies: We will learn about tribes in the southwest region of the country.  We will study how corn is a vital part of their life and living in drier, warmer climates impacts food and ways of life.

Science:  We will read the Dr. Seuss Book Ooblek and study what a non-newtonian fluid is.  We will then make ooblek and make observations as to what state of matter it falls into- or doesn’t fall into.

Math:  We will continue on with Unit 4 studying place value.  Tomorrow we will check over our open response question with partners and write out our steps.

Week of December 3rd

We had a lot of fun studying chocolate last week!  This week we will dig deeper into our study about Native Americans and are excited to have Ms. Michals teach us about the Ojibwe tribe on Tuesday.

Students are observing and recording observations of the Cocoa Tree

Tuesday December 11th from 4-5 will be family Gingerbread Night for grades PreK-2.  We will do gingerbread activities as well as literacy.

Wednesday December 12th from 5-7 is S.T.E.M Family Night!

What is happening in class this week…

Reading Workshop:  We will continue working on main idea and details with our nonfiction books using the box and bullets strategy.  Understanding the main idea and then the smaller details that support it, help us understand our texts better and further help us become “experts” on the topic.

Writing Workshop:  We are writing our own informational books!  Together we are writing one about Tigers using all we know from reading our own informational books.  We will include text features, key vocabulary, and use the strategy of box and bullets to write chapters.  Due to our busy schedule on Thursday, we did not have time to take the spelling test.  We will continue our words into next week.

Math:  We have begun unit 4 and are delving into telling time. Please work with your child at home to read the clock.  If they are proficient at that, discuss lapsed time.

Science:  This week we will continue with physical and chemical changes and begin to discuss non-newtonian liquids.

Social Studies:  We will study Native American folk tales and how tribes created calendars and told time.


Week of November 26th

Welcome back!  I hope all of you ate lots of good food and relaxed.   There is going to be a lot going on this week.  On Thursday we are taking a field trip to the Garfield Park Conservatory. One of the main attractions for this trip is the cocoa tree. We will be studying and making chocolate this week through our Pilot Light lessons. We will also tie this in with our social studies unit about Native Americans.  We will leave from school at 9:30 sharp. If you would like to volunteer please let me know and make sure that you have  been approved through the CPS application process.  I provided a link on my home page.

On Tuesday I will be attending the second CPS Summit as a Lead Teacher Facilitator and will not be at school.  On Friday I will be taking a personal day.  Ms. Newsome will be for both days- 2/3 on Tuesday and full day on Friday.

Students are sharing text features that they found in their information books during partner share


Students are making catapults and measuring the distance that cotton and ping pong balls go in multiple trials

Molecules in solids, liquids, and gases

What else is happening this week in 215!

Reading Workshop:  This week we will work on main idea.  We will use a strategy called “box and bullets” to find the main idea and details in our nonfiction texts.  We will simultaneously continue to look at text features and vocabulary.

Writing Workshop:  We will finish our second lab report this week.  Students made catapults with sporks and a rubber band.  They tested whether a cotton ball or ping pong ball would go farther. We studied force and motion and students are working on writing conclusions that tell their findings, but all include scientific information and questioning.

Math:  This week we will review Unit 3 and have a test on Wednesday.  We will begin Unit 4 on Thursday.

Science:  Last week we studied how molecules are different in solids, liquids, and gases and modeled it with Cheerios.  This week we study chemical and physical changes.

Social Studies: We have begun our unit on Native Americans!  This coming week we will study the Columbian Exchange and learn about cocoa.

Week of November 12th…

This Wednesday is Report Card pick up.  I will send home the schedule tomorrow.  If you have not signed up please do so as soon as possible.  Tomorrow is picture day make up.

What is happening in 215 this week…

Reading Workshop:  We started out nonfiction reading unit last week.  We learned about looking for details, asking questions, and understanding how our books are organized.  This week we will start looking at text features and using

Writing Workshop:  We started informational writing as well!  We are learning how to write lab reports.  We are in the middle of revising a science experiment with match stick cars.

Math:  Last week we practiced and shared different strategies for subtraction.  This week we will look at in/out boxes and function machines.

Science: We will look at the properties that make solids and liquids different and  learn how molecules change the shape of objects.

Social Studies: We will begin our unit of Native Americans. We will study folktales from different tribes and understand the regions that they lived and their way of life.

Week of November 5th…

Last week we had a lot of fun eating pan de muerte, making paper picado, and creating calaveras… This week we welcome Quarter 2!  We will be doing some mock elections to understand what is happening on Tuesday and how government affects the communities we live in.  Expect to get a conference sign up sheet for Report Card pickup November 14th.  I will try my best to accommodate everyone.

What else is happening this week…

Reading Workshop:  We will begin our nonfiction unit!  We will start by orienting ourselves to nonfiction texts and “revving up” before we read.

Writing Workshop:  We will also begin our information writing unit.  We will begin by learning about scientific writing and will conduct experiments and write about them using the scientific method.

Math:  We began Unit 3 last week and we there will be a much larger emphasis on subtraction in this unit.  Please continue practicing counting money, telling time, and addition facts!

Social studies:  We will start transitioning into learning about Native Americans.  At the end of November we will study the cocoa plant and how that relates to Native Americans and food.  This week we will also do a project with a “Mystery Box” picture.  I am a member of the TAP program at the Art Institute this year and am excited to implement this program into the classroom.

Science:  We will continue studying chemical and physical changes in different states of matter.

Week of October 29th..

We had a lot of fun picking pumpkins, eating apple cider donuts, and going to the animal farm on Friday!  This week we will continue fall fun by studying why leaves changes color, writing poems about Fall, and doing art activities about Dia de Los Muertos. On Wednesday we will participate in some Halloween like activities, but students are not allowed to wear costumes that day.  Friday will be a Teacher Institute Day and students and there will be no school for students that day.  The last day of the quarter will be Thursday.

What is happening this week.. 

Reading Workshop:  We will wrap up our unit on Fiction texts. On Thursday we will have an assessment on what we have covered this quarter thus far- folk tales, predictions, cause and effect, story lesson, author’s purpose.  We will begin a unit on nonfiction starting next Fall.  Reading logs need to be turned in by Thursday of this week.

Writing Workshop:  We will finish up our personal narratives this week and celebrate with a publishing party on Thursday. If some students have not completed their narratives in class, they will need to finish them at home.  Spelling words will be given Monday and students will be assessed Friday.  Students will also be expected to find the pattern, sort, and write 10 sentences in their notebooks.

Math:  We moved the Unit 2 math test to this week due to the field trip.  We will review tomorrow and take the test on Tuesday.  Please continue to practice math facts, count money, and tell time at home!

Science:  Last week we concluded that liquids stand apart from solids because they take the shape of the container that holds them.  This week we will begin to discuss the difference between chemical and physical changes and the differences between solid, liquid, and gases.

Social Studies: We will study the scientific process of how leaves change color and write poems about it and do lots of fun activities for Dia de Los Muertos.  Last week we found the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village on the map and watched a video about Day of the Dead in Mexico. We will eat pan de muertos (from a bakery in Little Village) and make sugar skulls.

Week of October 22nd

We had such a fun week with NOODLES!  We first discussed their origin and then looked at where other types of noodles come from in the world.  Then we looked at where Greektown, Italian Village, Uptown, and Chinatown were on a map from Chicago. The next day we made orrichette pasta from scratch.  We let our pasta dry out and then sent home with some positive results.  The next day we did a taste test of four different types of noodles (orzo, rice noodles, spaghetti, and couscous) and ranked which ones were our favorite.  We bookended our week with the read aloud Everyone Brings Noodles. Below are some pictures of us cooking and from writing workshop doing partner feedback with our narratives.  There is also a flyer for the upcoming dance for middle school and the bottom of the page.

What is happing in class this week! 

Reading Workshop:  We are doing a shared reading of Mercy Watson and working to create strong predictions with evidence.  We created a student friendly rubric where students are able to evaluate their own work and strive to reach 4 stars by including reasons and evidence.  This week we will continue to practice making predictions, looking for lessons in stories, and thinking about author’s purpose, and then will also learn about cause and effect.   Reading Logs are collected and graded on Friday!

Writing Workshop:  We did great work last week adding action and imagery into our narratives. We also discussed what makes a strong lead by reading other 2nd graders work.  Students are doing an awesome job giving feedback to their writing parters and being able to express writing craft moves and describing how you can “show and not tell.”  We will begin to narrow down what writing pieces we want to publish and use our student checklist to see that we have incorporated all of the strategies we have learned.  We will also be given our spelling words on Monday and tested on Friday.  Students are expected to have their words written into categories and 10 sentences in their notebooks by Friday.

Math:  We will have our Unit 2 test this week.  We will continue to work on addition strategies and number sense and do a big day of review before we take the test.

Social Studies: Every Monday we do a Second Step lesson which fits into our social emotional curriculum.  This week we will talk about empathy.  We will continue our conversation around Chicago and community as well.

Science:  We will investigate how liquids move in containers and take shape of what they are in and then move on to solids!