Awesome April

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Second graders are having an awesome April at AJA!!!  The class went on a fun field trip to Crowe’s Nest Farm, wrote some amazing books to share with you, and more!!!

Upcoming Events:

-Portfolio Day- May 5th

– Last Day of School- May 26th

Mystery guest Martin Berson conducted a fun                                                                        activity about how to negotiate.

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 have 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. This skill transferred over to science, as the class began a project researching an animal of their choosing. 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 reviewed how to make inferences and create their own inferential questions.

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, proper comma usage was emphasized. Second graders learned how to use commas in a series, after transition words, etc.  Students learned plurals including rules like changing the -y to a -i and adding –es, irregular plurals such as mice or children, and more. 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 reviewed 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  are in the process of creating games that can be played to review various math concepts. Students will have the opportunity to try out their game as well as the games of other groups.

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! 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 will soon create a habitat model that includes everything it would need. In art, they are making a painting displaying the life cycle of that animal. They will continue 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. As a fun experiment, students compared animal protection methods such as feathers, blubber, and burrowing in the dirt. Thermometers were used to determine the effectiveness of each. 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!