Language Arts-During this school year, we will be working on many spelling/phonics patterns...including long and short vowels, consonant blends, digraphs, inflected endings, etc; syllables, rhyming, and more... and will be using these in our reading, writing and class discussions. One focus point will be the difference between fact and fiction. We’ll learn about author’s purpose, the importance of facts and details, characters, setting, plot and theme. We'll enjoy reading many different types of literature, including plays, poetry, expository text, biography, and many narrative stories.
The Reading Street Baseline Assessment, which we took during the first week, gives an idea of where student knowledge is in regard to phonics, high-frequency words, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. We will continue to develop these skills, and acquire new ones, as we work in all our Reading Street Units. In the first unit, with the theme of "Exploration", there are 5 main stories, followed by review in Week 6, and then the Unit Assessment Test. All focus on the question "What can we learn from exploring new places and things?". We visited different communities in "The Twin Club", and then travelled on a space shuttle in "Exploring Space with an Astronaut", followed by a camping trip with Henry & Mudge as we explored nature. The next trip was to the desert in Week 4, and we wound up exploring a number of communities, habitats/settings in the play "The Strongest One". After this, we reviewed and completed our Unit 1 test during the first full week of November. Since then, we've been "Working Together" in Unit 2. We began with "Tara and Tiree"(Week 1), two brave and loving dogs who were able to work together to save their owner, and also learned more about "Abraham Lincoln"(Week 2), who worked with so many others to help our country come together after a very divisive Civil War. We then learned about producers, consumers and goods in "Scarcity"...and how tough decisions can be easier when people work together. We very much enjoyed the drama/fairy tale "Bremen Town Musicians" before our Christmas break, and finished up with "One Good Turn Deserves Another" in the first week of the New Year. This was followed by the Unit 2 Benchmark Test, and then we were able to begin Unit 3-"Creative Ideas" with the story of "Pearl and Wagner", and their science fair project. Next we enjoyed "Dear Juno", as we saw how a boy and his grandmother communicated even though they live far apart and speak different languages.In Week 4, we were working on an Anansi the Spider folk tale, "How to Tie Knots", and looked at other Anansi tales as well. For our final story of Unit 3, we'll learn about the life of George Washington Carver, in "A Weed is a Flower". The previous classes have always found his story fascinating-I'm sure this year's group will share their interest & amazement!
In Social Studies and Science, we will be aligning our lessons with the subjects in our Reading Street stories. Some of our topics are: communities,careers, current events(Soc. Studies), and exploring in space, nature & the desert(Science). We also have daily class discussions about weather/seasons, current events, holidays, and more...these students are curious about many different subject areas! We've been discussing how to find more information about topics that interest them, especially when questions aren't answered in our texts or Scholastic News articles. 2A friends have thoroughly enjoyed learning about new facts about well-known heroes, such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, and also learning about new people, such as Henry "Box" Brown. They also love the articles about animals, some of whom do pretty amazing things; and inventions-and the engineers, scientists, and kids just like them who've shared their creations.
Math-Teacher and students will be exploring and learning together in the Bridges math lessons, work stations, projects and more. We have already been enjoying the work in our “Number Corner” activities, and especially making, and then sorting our Beetle Glyphs in multiple ways. We used these, along with our Number Racks and various other math manipulatives in our daily lessons and work places until we finished Unit 1 in mid-October. Since then we've been working in Unit 2, which has us doing a great deal of measuring, as we travel with Jack and the Giant, along that magical beanstalk. Number Corner activities in November also included measuring, along with time practice-to the hour, half-hour, and quarter hour. December Number Corner patterns involved colors, shapes, odd & even numbers, and symmetry. In January, we focused on data, graphing, and continued work on story problems/equations. One newer strategy for solving addition and subtraction equations is by using the "open number line", so we will spend quite a bit of time working on becoming proficient with this. February has us beginning to work on fractions, and figuring out the missing pieces in those story problems. We continue to work on place value as well. In March, we'll be working more with money, depositing and withdrawing from our bank, while continuing to decipher those word problems, and adding/subtracting with larger numbers.
In Religion, we will practice our daily prayers, and remember the things for which we are grateful to God. In our lessons, we have many discussions about different Bible passages, the life of Jesus and his family & friends, making the right choices, etc. Second graders can be quite philosophical!
When we completed Chapter 1-"Jesus the Son"in our religion text this past fall, Grade 2A especially enjoyed the parables & learning about how Jesus was both human AND divine. We are also going to continue working on being "peacekeepers" in our classroom, school, homes-and everywhere we go! We learned more about Saints as we worked on our contest entries for "Discovering Catholic Schools Week", which was celebrated November 3-9. In November, we also worked on our "Gratitude Journals"-students brought these home to share at Thanksgiving. Our December focus was of course the story of the Nativity, the birth of Jesus Christ-the "reason for the season" of Advent, and all our Christmas celebrations. Now we have begin to learn more about the Seven Sacraments, as we help prepare friends who did receive their First Penance in February, and will receive First Communion in May. We've learned about Baptism and Penance & Reconciliation already, and will soon be learning more about Holy Cimmunion. First though, we'll take a closer look at the Ten Commandments.