A Marvelous March in Second Grade

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Hello everyone! Check out the summary below of our Marvelous March!

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Reading

In reading, we have been identifying and analyzing character traits by coming up with adjectives to describe that character and finding supporting evidence within the book. The second graders have been focusing on character development in order to transition the notion of creating a strong main character into their own writing. Students also spent some time reading various nonfiction texts and practicing reading for information. Students became proficient at going back to the text to find the answers to comprehension questions and supporting their answers with proof from the book.  Within all texts, students also practiced the skill of making inferences. The class has become quite good at inferential thinking! The class also completed another literature circle in which they were given a different role from last time in order to participate in a small group discussion about a selection of literature from within a chapter book. Each student was a discussion leader who came up with questions for the discussion, a connector which demonstrated connections and then led others to make their own, or a summarizer who wrote a succinct recap of the story to share with the group. The students completed their second circle with even more ease and grace than the first time. Their growth was apparent as I observed their in-depth discussions.

Language Arts

In second grade, the class went more in-depth with their study of homophones. After learning that homophones sound the same but do not have the same meanings, students created a “Homophone Wall,” with clever tips and tricks to remember the different spellings. After that, the students learned to spell all of the various words on the wall. Second graders also learned about synonyms. They learned that synonyms are words that sound different, yet have similar meanings. They worked to create on-going lists of synonym pairs and groups.

Writing

For our current writing project, the children studied the fairytale genre. I read them many fairytales and classic tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, The Gingerbread Man, and much more! We even read fairytales that had been modified from their original version such as, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Gingerbread Girl, Lon Po Po, etc. After reading several stories, we analyzed what traits the genre consisted of, such as beginning with “Once upon a time,” talking animals, princesses and princes, teaching a lesson, etc. We also listed ways that the stories could be changed like changing the point of view, changing or adding characters, changing the setting, plot or even the lesson. After all of this, we compared and contrasted two similar stories to conclude what makes a book exciting to the audience. Once the class felt secure in their abilities, they set out to work on their biggest writing project of the year. The class is writing their own “fractured” or modified fairytale which will be published into a real hard-bound book! The students are very excited about this and have even been coming to class asking, “When will we work on our stories again?” It is definitely a process that we will still be working on into next month, but so far, I am impressed with their passion for their stories. There will be more information on this as we start into the month of April.

Math

In math we continued our study of fractions at the beginning of the month. We played a fun game I called “Trash Can Basketball,” where we recorded each student’s trash can basket-making statistics in the form of fractions. Students learned that making 2 out of 4 shots was better than making 2 out of 5. They also practiced finding equivalent fractions. In addition to the word equivalent, students learned to use other math vocabulary such as numerator, denominator, and fraction. Then, students learned to both estimate and measure the area of a given shape. They also learned that to measure the perimeter you must measure all sides and then add them together. We also reviewed estimation, two digit and three digit regrouping for addition and subtraction, and geometric shapes. The class was finally able to share with the first graders the math board games that they created which reviewed basic addition and subtraction facts. Below you will see pictures of second graders showing first grade how to play their games. Each group had to design their game, create rules, and test their game out before demonstrating it to first grade. One group in class designed multiplication board games to help our own class practice their multiplication facts.

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Science

We continued our life cycles unit in March. In addition to learning about life cycles, students learned about animal classification and habitats. The children became familiar with classification terms such as reptile, amphibian, and mammal. Our class butterflies finally emerged! After a few days of careful observation, we named and released our butterflies into the school garden. Then we went on a brief nature hike and spotted them enjoying their new home, along with discovering other types of butterflies. Each small group also finished their projects on the frog, shark, snake, or spider. After building a habitat to suit each animal, the groups made a poster display of their animal’s life cycle as well as a fact book telling interesting facts about their animal. Second graders also went on a field trip to Crowe’s Nest Farm where they got to see first- hand many of the animals we have studied as well as many others. The children took a hayride to see ostriches and bison. They learned about the process of milking a cow. My favorite part is they got to see a gecko in the process of molting its skin…something we had just been learning about! After that we saw snakes, pigs, many types of birds, miniature horses, and much more!

On March 11, AJA held Science Day in which we spent most of our day doing science activities in the new Science and Innovation Center. In the pictures below, you will see second grade along with third grade conducting an experiment on the habitat preferences of “glofish.” Students observed and recorded the fish as they swam to see if they preferred one color over the other and filled out a chart. Mrs. Novy also taught us a fun song about adaptation! Next, second grade teamed up with their middle school buddies to help plant in the garden. They got to dig, plant the plants, and cover the area with mulch. My adventurous and outdoorsy class really loved this activity!

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