Awesome April

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Second graders are having an awesome April at AJA!!! Some of the highlights from the past month are: the class went on a fun field trip to Crowe’s Nest Farm, they (almost) are finished with the books they are writing, and we are starting a fun nutrition next week!

Upcoming Events:

-Passover Break- April 22nd– May 2nd

-Portfolio Day- May 13th

– Memorial Day (no school)- May 30th

Below is a summary of what the class learned in April:

Reading

In April, we wrapped up our unit on the fairy tale genre. Students were exposed to a wide variety of fairy tales and were able to identify various aspects of the genre. They also came up with various ways that a story could be modified in order to create their own. These will become real books which parents will receive on Portfolio Day!  The class also worked on reading for information in nonfiction texts. The main focus was on animal nonfiction books, however, many types of nonfiction texts were also read. Students practiced skills like going back and rereading to find an answer, looking for headings, reading captions, and locating vocabulary in bold or italics. Answering comprehension questions in complete sentences is an important skill that will continue to be emphasized. Students learned about how to make inferences and create their own inferential questions. Making inferences is when a reader uses experience and clues from the text to make a guess. Students read a chapter book as a partner and created a quiz for their partner. This quiz included regular comprehension questions as well as inferential questions. We will continue to work on the concept of making inferences in May. Below you will see photos from our fairy tale plays. In small groups, students practiced and then performed fairy tale plays for kindergarten.

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Writing/Language Arts

Reading and writing were closely integrated as students read and wrote fairy tales. Students harnessed all of the writing skills they have learned so far to write their book. I am impressed with the amount of effort that they put into their books. Every student was able to stick to the genre, incorporate aspects of the original story, and modify it to reflect their own creative personality. I cannot wait for everyone to see them on Portfolio Day! In language arts, students learned about adding –ing and –ed to base words. Students practiced a variety of these words, as well as had a spelling list with some of them. The concept of homophones has also been continually practiced and reinforced. Homophones are important to know, as they are such a huge part of the English language. Pointing them out when reading is an excellent way to make your child more aware of their prominence in our world. Students also learned to use quotation marks properly, which was applied to their writing of a fairy tale.

Math

In math, students were introduced to the basic concept of division. While students are not expected to have all division facts memorized in second grade, they should understand the basic concept. The class did this by relating division to multiplication as the inverse operation and thinking of it as distributing out items. For example, if I have 8 cupcakes to hand out to 4 kids, how many will each child get? This is something that you could practice at home any time you are distributing items! Second graders also reviewed measuring in inches, centimeters, yards, feet, etc. They then took their skills to the next level by measuring more accurately, such as to the nearest quarter inch. A lot of emphasis was placed on the ability to estimate the measurement and on the ability to determine which tool would be best for measuring a given object. We will continue to review these concepts until Passover Break. As a small group project, students created games that can be played to review various math concepts. Students then had the opportunity to try out their game as well as the games of other groups. This was a lot of fun and even I got to enjoy playing some of the games!

Science/Social Studies

Second grade is wrapping up their science unit on life cycles. The class learned the life cycles of several animals and focused a lot on frogs and butterflies. They learned about complete metamorphosis, labeled the parts of the body, and more! In the classroom we watched butterfly eggs go through the entire process. It was a lot of fun to release them! The class also had ladybugs which we watched go through their life cycle. Ask your child if they remember the ladybugs crawling all over me as I tried to release them, it was pretty funny! After learning about basic life cycles, habitats, predator vs. prey, etc. each student chose an animal. For that animal, each child researched its habitat and then created a habitat model that included everything it would need. After that, they made poster displaying the life cycle of that animal (these are on display in the hallway). Then they continued their research after learning some new research strategies in order to find facts about their animal. These facts will be made into a fact book to share information with others. The trip to Crowe’s Nest Farm was amazing! The class was able to view several different types of animals, learn about the cow milking process, toured the reptile room, and even went on a hayride to see ostriches and bison!

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Below: Middle school students visited second grade to teach about composting. After learning about and exploring with worms, the class received their worm composting bin which is in our room!

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