With full weeks of school underway, we opened our classroom community up to visitors who had stories to read and information to share. Regina, the class’s kindergarten teacher, joined second grade to read them books that she remembered they loved when they were in kindergarten. She talked about how it is different now that she is a teacher for younger children, and shared memories of the students as kindergartners. Following this, Leo’s grandparents came in to read a book about the creation of the thesaurus. Second graders had prepared questions for Leo’s grandparents about their life in South Africa as well as their life where they currently live, Los Angeles. We loved learning from others, and got to practice being respectful listeners. Lastly, Shelley joined the class to read a story about the consequences of gossiping, or speaking about others in a way that can be not truthful, and taught the class a song where students get to each take a special part in singing it.
If you would like to read a story or teach a song to the class, email Jessica and she’d be happy to set it up!
Last week we spent time with our sixth grade buddies creating our own memory card games!
The past few weeks we have focused on addition with regrouping, now we are focusing on subtraction with regrouping. Whereas in addition we had to trade our extra ones in for a ten and carry the ten to the tens column, in subtraction we have to ‘borrow’ a tens from the tens column and add it to the ones column. Second graders practiced this skill through a rhyme: More on top, no need to stop! More on the floor (bottom of the problem) go next door and get 10 more! Number is the same, zero’s the game! We each got a subtraction with regrouping bookmark, so that we can follow each step in the right order.
Give your child some mental math practice by asking them to subtract 2 or 3 digit numbers.
In writing workshop we mixed science with writing. We were each given a shell and a magnifying glass and were asked to describe the shell. Many of us used colors, shapes, and textures to describe our shells. This is how we want to write or small moments- by zooming in on our small details and using dialogue, our senses, and sound effects to stretch and describe that moment. We all worked on adding more detail to our writing, and some of us have even begun our third or fourth stories! We used checklists to help guide our writing, and to support us in adding details to different parts of our stories. We are so excited to be publishing our first stories in second grade!
Ask your child which story they picked to publish and why.
We began our reading groups, as we delved into different stories in small groups with a teacher. We practiced reading words that would be repeated in the story several times, and making predictions based on the first part of the story. We completed comprehension activities, and talked about what surprised us in the book and what we liked and did not like. Other topics such as cause and effect, tricky word strategies, character motives, story elements, and plot twists will be discussed in the near future! We are thrilled to continue developing our reading skills, as well as foster a love of reading in second grade.
Ask your child what book they read in their reading group.
We had our first full Israel class! Ofir and Eran brought a giant map for us to begin exploring our main theme this year- Israel’s Geography. We also got Israeli passports where we will track our explorations.
Chumash: Tohu Va’vohu!
We finally began studying Chumash! We read the first two verse of the Torah which describe Tohu Va’vuhu, the chaos before God begin to create. In small groups we made contrasting chaos and order sculptures from classroom materials, and then we made individual torn paper collages on the same theme (hanging in our hallway). The torn paper collages consist of three colors- blue, red, and black, which represent three words from the text. Ask your child if they remember what these colors represent.
Sharing Hebrew work
We completed our second Hebrew letter page and shared our work in stations. Each child read their work out loud to a classmate and the listening peer had to respond with a comment, compliment or question. Then reader and listener switch. When finished, one child rotates to the next station to do the same process with a new classmate. This is a fun way to practice reading our work and see others’ work as well.
Art with Iviva:
Our art projects this year have been cumulative, meaning we build on concepts from one week to the next, adding complexity and techniques. For instance, last month, we learned about still life paintings, and used oil pastels to make our own still life drawings, recreating objects Iviva brought into the classroom, including leaves and shells. We transitioned from still life drawings of leaves and shells to landscape monoprints. Since it’s fall and leaves are changing color, creating a robust palette of red, orange, yellow, brown, purple, magenta and other colors, Iviva showed us photographs of landscapes from different seasons. We also looked at a color wheel. We then had a challenging task: we were each assigned to a table with a color formula. For instance, some of us sat at a table where we each had a palette of yellow and red paint. We had to mix these into orange. But instead of painting on paper, we painted on plexiglass, then quickly placed paper on top and used a roller to transfer the paint from the plexi onto the paper. Most of us got to rotate to all three tables, which means we also mixed green and violet. It was exciting watching colors develop and seeing prints appear on paper. We made tons of beautiful prints.
This week, we transformed our prints into something more: we used one as a background, and cut parts of other prints and decorative papers, adding them on top to make a collage of a landscape. We hadn’t done collage in a while, so it was good to practice scissor skills. Below are some of our works-in-progress and a few finished pieces.