December 11, 2020

Happy Hanukkah! We hope you have a wonderful celebration with your families.


This was a big week in math! The students had the opportunity to measure the length of everything in our classroom including the desks, doors, and Mrs. Felter (turns out I am still 5’3”.) This was the first measurement activity in our curriculum, and it focuses on using tools to measure in inches and centimeters. There will be many opportunities later this school year to play with different types of measurement like capacity and weight.

Unit four of our Everyday Math curriculum focuses on estimation and adding two-digit numbers. The students have practiced making “ballpark estimates” where they look for a close but easier to use number. For example, to estimate the total of 38 + 72, the students can use 40 + 70. This way when they solve the problem for real, they know they should have an answer near 110.

The students are also working on an addition strategy called the partial sums algorithm. This fancy name simply means you add the tens, then you add the ones, then you add it all together. For example, 38 +72 becomes:

30 + 70 = 100

8 + 2 = 10

100 + 10 = 110

The students will also be introduced to other double-digit addition strategies like the standard algorithm (“carry the one”) and they can use any strategy with which they feel the most confident.


In second grade, many of the students begin to notice that if they stick with a chapter book, it usually starts to get really good around 10 to 15 pages in, but you have to stick with it to get to the good parts! I am encouraging the students to stick with the chapter books they pick out and see if they can read them cover to cover.

Recently, we have worked on two reading skills: finding the cause and effect of story events and comparing and contrasting characters and details. The students have been working on these skills in their independent reading and book club books!


This week the students are practicing words that end with a ‘k” or “ck”. The students have learned that when the vowel is all by itself, like in luck or clock, the word will end in “ck” but when the vowel is paired with another vowel or with a consonant it will end with a “k”, like in the words park, milk, and bunk. Next week, there will be no spelling words, Happy Hanukkah! When the students come back from winter break, they will begin learning the many rules for making words plural, like when to add “s”, “es” or “ies.”

Writing and Daily Language Instruction (D.L.I.)

Many of the students have drafted, edited, and published another story! The students are focusing on writing stories with a strong beginning, middle, and end and choosing interesting words. The students also studied quotation marks this week and how to use “talking tags” to explain which character is speaking.