November 20, 2020

While the students continue their six-week art block with Mrs. Lerner, we are incorporating many science topics into our morning and afternoon meetings. The students watched the SpaceX Dragon launch and dock with the International Space Station. The class discussed their big dreams- things that they would like to do even though they aren’t sure how to achieve their goal yet. They shared ideas like going to Mars, playing in the NFL or MLB, riding horses, and being a mom! We talked about how math and reading are an important part of these dreams! During morning and afternoon meetings this week the students also “visited” the National Zoo to learn about the new baby panda. They voted on the names Xiao Qi Ji (pronounced Shiau Chi Ji) which is Mandarin for Little Miracle and Zai Zai (Tzai-tzai) which is a Mandarin nickname for a little boy. The students learned many interesting facts about pandas. Did you know they can eat 70 pounds of bamboo in a day?


This week, the students studied how to use context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. They have been looking for new or challenging words in their independent reading books and in books they are reading with their book clubs! The students have learned to look in the sentences around the unknown word and think about what is happening in the story at that moment to help them figure out the word’s meaning. Some of the unknown words they have solved are dietician, vandalize, wailed, and khakis!

We have studied many different phonics patterns this year and the students are working hard to apply them when they read. Ask your child if they can teach you about “bossy e” or “two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” In second grade, we talk about how English is a tricky language, but we can learn the tricks to make it easier!


This week the students studied words containing the “th” and “ch” sounds. After Thanksgiving, the students will study words containing the consonant blends “bl” and “fr” like in the words bleacher and frame.


Now that we have finished our first two vocabulary units, it is time for some review! As the students review the 20 words they’ve learned so far, they will also learned about synonyms, antonyms, and how to classify words. The students will learn how to add suffixes to their vocabulary words, so that bench becomes benches and dash becomes dashed.


The students have been working hard on their new stories. They are focusing on two writing goals: creating stories that move in a logical sequence and choosing interesting verbs and adjectives that make their writing lively! Many of the students have begun using our vocabulary words in their writing as well. This week the students worked on classifying nouns as proper (a name) or common. They have also learned more punctuation rules, like putting the comma between a city and a state.


The class has started their fourth math unit. This unit focuses on estimation, temperature, addition and subtraction strategies, and number stories where the students work with money. The students have many chances in this unit to practice their shopping skills (just in time for Hanukkah!) They will solve problems like if I have a dollar, can I buy a lemon for $0.10, a yogurt for $0.65, and a banana for $0.24? (The answer is yes if you don’t have to worry about tax!) 😊