November Classroom News from Second Grade Our focus in Devotions this month is thankfulness. Get Excited for Service Learning: Thanksgiving Food Drive-ends NOVEMBER 19th Having a strong service learning program is another essential component of an Episcopal school. Service learning will take an all school approach with the Thanksgiving Food Drive. Sponsored by the Middle School Student Council, we will be gathering food for two local food pantries, The Friendship House and Sunday Breakfast Mission. The drive has begun and will end with chapel on November 20. Thank you in advance for giving generously to help others! I have started our classroom food drive with a contribution of 22 cans to get us started. http://www.stannesde.org/page.cfm?p=627&newsid=423 Check the news on stannesde.org for this information. The children finished reading a nonfiction book about sharks as a whole group to gain knowledge about what all sharks have in common. The children learned general, interesting facts about sharks (ways they eat, characteristics of sharks, where they live, life of baby sharks) and gained practice in book previewing and using the table of contents, glossary and index. The children are also starting to recognize boldface words, captions, diagrams, and subheadings in nonfiction books. Lessons included how an author will often insert information near the boldface word to provide a definition. Some of the words included: countershading, carnivore, plankton, streamlined, pups, bottom and filter feeding, cartilage, tropical, prey, temperate, serrated, and flexible. We have also been using the iPads for a Web Quest to guide our research. Now that the children have selected the sharks, they have begun to delve into research on their specific sharks. Habitat, physical description, diet, size (length and weight) and interesting facts will be included in this research. I will use their findings in my narration for their fashion show. They are practicing note-taking and will move onto drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Fluency has been a major focus. The children work with a designated partner each week for Read to Someone time and fluency phrasing practice. The children practice the most common fluency phrases found in books for a few minutes with their partners every day. I have begun a new vocabulary building activity to help students tune in to interesting words for our current theme. The children have become Word Catchers. These words are listed on a chart in our reading area with their definitions. When the children locate a word in their reading of texts, a tally mark is placed next to the word. Prey was found 20 times this week! Words such as wounded, serrated, tropical, temperate, prey, depth and broad were listed this week. The children have become experts in using and understanding the meanings of these words. We will continue this explicit vocabulary instruction throughout the year. We have worked on the letters Tt, Gg, Rr, Dd, Pp, Nn, and Aa so far this year. The numbers one through four have also been reviewed in our printing program. I am trying to reinforce proper spacing, letter formation and size on the written work, too. Reading book clubs continue to meet three times a week. Understanding the difference between dialogue and narration, as well as using metacognition while reading and journaling about their metacognition, have been our focus of my group’s first book. Mrs. Tolton’s readers have been working on discussion of their characters and are also focusing on metacognition, narration, and dialogue. Our spelling lessons this week center on ee/ea words with the long e sound. This upcoming week we will continue our long vowel words with the letter i. Sorting the spelling patterns, making connections to phonics, connections to reading, and proofreading are part of our weekly lessons. In Math, we are beginning to work on some review of money, measured the lengths of each of their sharks for the Fashion Show, and began to review units of measure (inches, feet, and yards) to discuss which unit of measure would be best to use in a variety of circumstances. Number talks to explain mathematical thinking also continued. Keep reviewing and practicing fact fluency for basic addition and subtraction facts at home. I have noticed that subtraction in particular needs some extra work. Reading Logs are due Monday. Thanks so much! It is great to see so many children reading well beyond the number of required minutes. I also appreciate that you are taking the time to show which books are completed. Finally, thanks for reading aloud to your children to develop vocabulary, a love of reading, and listening comprehension. You are wonderful! Thank you for being such supportive partners in your child’s education. In partnership, Beth Bell November 24th: Special Friends’ Day-invitations went home early this week. Please return these at your earliest convenience. Thanks! No School November 25th-November 30th for Thanksgiving-Students Return on December 1st. December 9th: Shark Fashion Show in our classroom at 8:15 and 2:40-bring your cameras! Look for an invitation next week.