Directions from Ms. Bemis
can either go through the Ralston webpage---Library-- Google Apps. Or they can
go to docs.jeffcoschools.us.
are in Docs you will go to the red Create button and choose Document
the top of the new document they will see a box that says "Untitled
Document." If you click there you can rename and title the Document
(rename the the document with their passion project title). I usually have kids
begin with their first name and then add a title.
program does save automatically put just to be sure, save your work. They will
be able to access all their work from home and then at school.
Wow! Spring Break! I can’t believe the year is almost over, only 8 more Friday's. As I reflect back we have accomplished so much this year!
Important dates coming up:
- Monday, April 2~ No School
- Tuesday, April 10th~BEAR Comprehension Assessment. This will take place in class Tuesday morning. Please help your kiddos get a good night sleep the night before and have and protein enriched breakfast.
- April 11th ~ Furlough Day - No School Wednesday
- Friday, April 13th ~ Science Day
- April 23rd~ Early Release 1:00 pm.
- Friday, April 27th and Monday April 30th ~ FLEX Day testing. Please sign up in the front lobby Sign ups are available on the table. Assessments on those days will take about an hour. A-M on Friday and N-Z on Monday, however, if you are unable to commit to your scheduled day, you may sign up on another day, just know that we do have families with siblings and we want to make sure that we are able to schedule them on like days. Thank you!
Reading: We continue to work on reading skills/strategies for accuracy, fluency and comprehension. Thinking while reading and connecting to what the author may be trying to make us feel, see and/or believe. We are Predicting, building our background, thinking about what point of view the story is being told. We have taken a look at some tradition fairy tales and some fairy tales that are written from the perspective and influence of a different culture. We have spent a bit of time building our background knowledge on the new culture to help us understand why the characters perhaps made the certain decisions. One example we looked as were the two Fairy Tales…Little Red Riding Hood ~ Traditional Fairy Tale, and Lon Po Po ~ A Red Riding Hood story from China. Additionally, we have been comparing and contrasting of stories as well as some characters within stories. Lastly, we are working on determining the IMPORTANT events and details in the story, the elements of a story (characters/setting, problem, solution), Theme/moral (lesson learned). and the significance of retelling a story in sequence.
Writing: We have sooo much going on in writing we don’t know which way is up! J Anyway we are publishing two writing pieces currently…How-to’s and our Google Docs presentations on Seasons/Weather. We are also beginning to immerse into our next writing piece…which we will create our own fractured fairy tales. We will again use the writing process to take us through our fairy tale writing piece, we will use mentor texts to help develop our craft and we will really focus on sequence of events and we will work on developing our characters in our stories.
Science/Social Studies: We just finished up our unit on Weather/Seasons. Kiddos looked at seasonal patterns and weather, severe weather, tools for collecting weather data, and the effect weather has on organisms and the environments around them.
After Spring Break we will begin our unit on Geography. We will look at where we live and how it influences our lives, components of physical and human features on a map and in our environment. Additionally, we will look at geographical terms and tools used in Geography.
Math: we just finished up with Fractions the kids did amazing with this. We looked at halves, fourths, three-fourths of wholes and sets. This week we jumped back into addition with odd and even numbers. We will be representing numbers using the place-value model (hundreds, tens, and ones). We will be finding solutions to addition and subtractions computation problems within 100 and extend addition strategies for adding and subtracting with quantities up to 1000. Additionally students will able to apply addition and subtraction strategies to find the unknown in addition and subtraction word problems from all types of situations like: adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart and comparing.
Passion projects: At this time ALL kiddos in the class have an opportunity to learn about something that they are passionate about and/or something they would like to become an expert on. This project encourages and teaches student the love of learning and helps foster life-long learning and promotes independence as they tackle topics at their own pace and learning style. We will be working on passion projects on Friday’s ONLY from 9-10 a.m. In order for the kiddos to be able to work on their projects on Friday’s they will have to be caught up on all core classroom work. All students have decided on a topic. Students may need some additional y help at home for some additional supplies, to help make arrangements for an interview or to visit a particular place to get more information and/or to help access appropriate internet websites to get information, use of technology such as creating video tape. Each project will have two parts: the first part is some sort of Visual component (poster, books, scrapbook, travel brochure, video etc~ ideas are limitless). Along with each visual piece there will also need to be a written piece connected to the project (report, journal, poem etc.).
Please watch for an additional email on how to access Google docs from home (kiddos know how to login and how to use Google docs presentation) so if the kids want to work on it at home and they have chosen to do a Power Point (they will need to use Google docs presentation to do that). I appreciate all of your support and encouragement for your kiddo they are all excited about their topics. Special Thanks to Molly Iskalis, Sheila Haggard and Penny Venn for your support and willingness to volunteer and help the kiddos with their projects.!!!
Have a super duper safe and happy spring break!
Science ~ We finished out unit of study in investigating plants and their needs, parts and the functions of each part…then taking a step further and looking at dry and wet habitats…and plants that need particular habitats. We are using a program called Pixie to create, the plant cycle, habitats for particular plants and what's involved, and then we wrote about parts, needs and functions of the plant.
Writing ~ In our writing to learn unit, we used the writing process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. We researched to find information regarding the plant parts, needs, and functions to represent our thinking and learning of plants. We also did activities to convey the author’s purpose and our audience into our writing to learn pieces (classmates, U Tub). We used mentor texts to help enhance the writing and used sequence of events to help structure and organize the plant life cycle. They orally read their writing to learn piece and we recorded it to their published Pixie project. Click on the following link to check out their master pieces.
Thank you Mrs. Garlow for your time and commitment to publishing our 2nd grade Learning to Write pieces.
Reading ~ We have begun our unit of study using text features in non-fiction (table of contents, photographs, bolded words, captions, glossary, index, heading/titles) and using story elements in fiction (characters, setting, problem, solution, theme) to help us comprehend texts. Additionally, we are using our schema, asking questions, making predicting, determining importance and inferring based on evidence to comprehend a text. We have been also identifying main idea of a variety of texts and providing supporting details.
Social Studies ~ We are currently studying History: Connecting our past to our present - Colorado History / Westward Movement as well as our Ralston community. We will have a special guest next week, Carole Lomond, to present to all 2nd graders important community traditions and events that occurred in Genesee and Mt Vernon. We will also get to experience a hands-on field trip designed to enhance our unit of study. This educational program will focus on Pioneer activities, such as making Journey Cake (the cake made before the Pioneers set off for the west) and visiting an 1876 schoolhouse.
Writing ~ We are currently crafting our stories from the writers’ experiences and points of view through our unit of study in Memoir. We will again be using the writing process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing while organizing their information with their audience, author’s purpose, and subject in mind. We studied and are using mentor texts to help enhance their writing by focusing on how author’s hook their readers with an interesting lead and having a satisfying ending. We also did activities to convey are “showing not telling” by using similes, vivid verbs, and describing actions, thoughts and feelings.
Word Work ~ All materials and word lists can be found on the PTA link: www.ralstonpta.org
Use the High Frequency words to fill out the Make/Say/Check/Mix/Write form. Put the Make/Say form in a sheet protector and use a visa via marker so that you can use and reuse. Cut up the alphabet to make each word, then say it, check for correct spelling, then mix up the letters and write it based on memory, then check spelling for every word.
1. Look at the word example: after
2. Use the cut up letters to make the word after.
3. Check the box.
4. Say it check the box.
5. Mix up the letters.
6. Write the word based on memory.
Have a safe and HAPPY HOLIDAY! My “gift” to you is NO HOMEWORK over the winter breakJ See you all next year!!
Thank you for signing up for FALL CONFERENCES I am looking forward to meeting with each of you.
Water bottles~ Please send your kiddos with a water bottle. This limits the trips to the water fountain and is less disruptive to the learning environment.
HELP WANTED: Are you free on Friday's from 11-11:30 a.m.? Would you like to help out with giving word work assessments in the classroom? If you are free and available sign up with the link in the "Volunteer in the Classroom" Box to the left. I can set up a rotating schedule if there are a few willing and able volunteers.
Also, I am looking for the 3 parents to commit to working weekly with kiddos on literacy circles, this would be at the same time and same day every week! Ideally after 10...and would need you for about a half an hour... please email me if interested and I will set up a time to meet with each of you to train... ***Please know that you may not work with a group of kids that your kiddo is involved in.
HOMEWORK - Homework is given every Friday, and is due by the following Friday. Allowing your child the weekend, as well as the following week to complete it. You are welcome to turn in the homework before then.
READING – Although we will continue to work daily on strategies and skills for comprehension, accuracy, fluency and vocabulary, we have started our new unit call “Unmasking Characters”. We will be focusing on the development of characters and looking at how the author is making us feel, see and believe to help us understand characters…while at the same time looking at the events in the story and how the characters affect what’s happening in the story and how they respond to problems, challenges and/or major events…and looking at the point of view. Understanding the protagonist as well as the antagonist and understanding their role in texts. FUN! FUN! FUN!
Due to popular demand (actually I had two kids ask for these saying they NEEDED the structure for home, I love it!), I've attached a monthly reading log last email. Please keep track of your child's minutes, books read and strategies used over the entire month of October. I will sent out a new one each month. The October Reading Log is due on Friday, October 28th. I explain the strategies down below. I have provided a paper copy THIS MONTH ONLY. NEXT MONTH YOU WILL NEED TO PRINT OUT.
We have discussed the importance of 3 ways to read when picking up a text to read. Complete these 3 ways with EVERY book your child reads. The 1st way you should have your child read is by reading the pictures. Have them flip through the text and tell the story by looking at the pictures. Pictures are vital to helping readers figure out unknown words, they help us predict what could happen next, they give insight to what might happen in the text, pictures activate our schema (our background knowledge), and help the reader comprehend what is going on in the text. Before they read the 2nd way, which is to read the words, have your child make predictions about what will happen next and ask why do they predict that (was it a particular picture? The title? A chapter title?). Lastly, once they are done reading the words then the 3rd way to read is to retell what was just read ( important events (Characters, setting, problem, solution, main idea ( what the story is mostly about) theme (lesson learned) and/or are there any connections. They could write or orally retell the text. They can stop and write down (collect) interesting words as you read different text to use in their oral language as well as in their writing. While their reading, ask about any connections they are having with the characters, feelings, or events going on in the text (Text-To-Self or Text-To-Text: this reminds them of themselves or another text helps with the comprehension of the text.)
While your child is reading the words of a text, ask your child to focus on 2 or 3 strategies to help them with their reading. When reading with them you too can help them by suggesting a strategy. You can be a coach just as they are for when they are reading to someone. For example: if your child gets stuck on an unfamiliar word you could say to them "what strategy could you use to figure out the word?" - flip the sound, chunk the word, back up and reread look at the pictures. You can have your child write a main idea sentence with 2-3 supporting details about their text along with giving a retell. Make sure to record the strategies your child uses on the monthly log.
I have attached the document which I sent home in last week’s Friday folder (cafe-I underlined the strategies that have been taught) that tells about the strategies I've mentioned above and students are using in the classroom in order to improve their Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expand vocabulary (CAFE).
Writing - We are working revising, editing and publishing our “Slice of Life” paragraphs, we have some great stories, it is fun to work with the kids in writing and for them to get that “ah hah” moment….it gives me chills! It’s why I love my job! Then gradually we will move into our new unit called “Learning to write about writing to learn,” we will focus on responding to a non-fiction questions and use factual details from text to support the main focus. We will be connecting our writing unit with our science unit on Plants.
Science - We are participating in some labs which we are investigating plants and their needs, parts and the functions of each part…then taking a step further and looking at dry and wet habitats…and plants that need particular habitats. We have also had some PTA volunteers (grant from Ralston eats) that came in to talk about planting and we also planted radishes…in addition to the bean plants and kids are actively caring for their plants. We are using a program called Pixie to create, the plant cycle, habitats for particular plants and what's involved, then we will be (writing) about the habitats, plants and their functions and needs. Which they will then orally read and attach their writing to their final published Pixie piece we will eventually post on Google docs…. But Wow what a process! We are working hard and it takes some time!
MATH - We will be finishing up our unit on story problems and using multiple strategies to show your work. Your child will be receiving more and more story problem homework. Mrs. Somers and I ask students to make sure their answers are accurate and in order to help them be more precise, we ask them to solve story problems in 2 different ways. Please do the same on any story problems homework from now on. Please also make sure that your child is using at least 1 strategy (reference the attached strategies that are posted on the PTA website) we are learning in the classroom. Continue to practice math fact combinations of 10, doubles, and near doubles for fluency, time and work with money and different combinations.
Coming up next is Geometry…2D and 3D shapes.