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Sukkot Trip, Social Learning


In Writing Workshop we studied authors who have written meaningful small moment stories. We read the story Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, and noticed how she described this one night of owling and stretched it over so many pages! We got to writing our small moment narratives, using ideas from our decorated writing folders, and studying Jane Yolen’s writing to help us stretch our stories. With our writing buddies we talked about our ideas, brainstormed ways authors decide on their small moments, and shared our writing. We can’t wait to read The Leaving Morning by Angela Johnson next week to see how another author describes their small moment. We are working on planning out our stories by writing down our ideas, drawing sketches, taking notes, and then of course writing!

Ask your child what they are writing about, and help them narrow down their ideas to one small moment.

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We are focusing on reading literature that gives us examples of ways that we can be positive classmates and ideas on how to build a strong classroom community. We read a book by Julia Cooke called My Mouth is a Volcano, which teaches children how to manage their thoughts and words without interrupting. We talked about how our choices can affect the classroom community, and how we need to think about how our actions can affect other people. Another book we read really makes you wonder: do you know the difference between tattling and reporting? To learn the difference between tattling and reporting we read the book A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook and discussed situations we encounter in school and how we can try and solve them. The second graders became tattling experts, and learned tips on how to decide when a situation is one where a teacher needs to be involved, and ones we can solve on our own. For example a tattle could be “He isn’t doing his work” because it does not involve you and no one is in danger, while “He’s throwing rocks at us” would be reporting because someone could get hurt. Second graders received a page of scenarios and had to categorize them by situations that would be reporting to a teacher and situations that would be tattling.


In Math this week we continued learning about place values in the hundreds, tens and ones. We began comparing numbers using math symbols (< and >) for greater than and less than. We began to use our new math notebooks, and made folding tabs to write numbers in three different forms- standard form, word form, and expanded form. Then, we learned how to write problems in our math notebooks, which is a first for second graders, and practiced writing the symbols. To remember the symbols, we turned them into hungry alligators who always want to “eat” the greater number. We also practiced these skills in our workbook, through a game, and ipads during math stations.

Have your child think of a number in the hundreds and try to guess it by having them tell you if your guess is greater than or less than their number.

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Social Skills Learning

The second graders delved into their very first social skills group. We discuss how sometimes we each have strong feelings and it can be hard to understand those feelings and make good choices. Our social skills group will help us learn how to understand our feelings, and tools to help us make good decisions even when we have strong feelings. We talked about how this does not only mean when we are sad or angry, but sometimes when we are very excited or happy we can make decisions that can affect those around us. We want to improve the skills we have, but also learn new ways to understand our feelings. As we began our first “Sharing Circle”, where students have the chance to each respond to a question, we set up some rules so that we each can feel respected and heard. Second graders came up with rules like: “help each other”, “look at the speaker”, “wait for your turn”, and “be quiet and listen”. Then, each child had the opportunity to hold the “speaker power object” which signifies that it is their turn to speak, and pass it to a classmate afterwards. Evan shared that after holding the speaker power object he felt “respected”, and Sascha shared that he felt “great to have everybody listen”. We look forward to continuing to build these skills that second graders can use inside and outside the classroom!

Try having a sharing circle at home! Find a speaker power object, make a set of rules, and ask questions to practice only speaking when the speaker power object is in the speaker’s hand.

Second grade began with students excitedly sharing their science know-how, and varied interests in the subject. After the conversation, each child created science folder covers incorporating their ideas. Our introductory science lessons have focused on thinking about what makes someone a scientist, and how scientists use their five senses. Each pair of science partners applied these categories by discussing and writing observations of a different colored apple: how does it look? smell? sound? feel? They shared their findings and compared responses. Later in the day, at the end of our tashlich outing they ate their apples, comparing tastes. In the next science session, partners received a mystery object which they had to describe in as much detail as possible without naming what it was. Afterward, the objects were collected and displayed. Each pair of students shared their observations while classmates guessed which object was theirs.
Soon we will be beginning our first experiment as we delve into our unit for the first half of the year, CHANGES, with regard to the three states of matter – solids, liquids, and gases. Stay tuned!
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Yahadut: Sukkah Trip

We visited two sukkot on Thursday in addition to the school sukkah which we ate in for lunch! Students observed and compared the materials and characteristics of each sukkah. We did tfillah in Rephael’s sukkah, and hear a story about  sukkot in Dalia’s sukkah. Each child who wanted to had the chance to shake the lulav and etrog in the sukkah after reciting the blessing.

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Simkhat Torah

We celebrated Simkhat Torah with our buddies and the rest of the school. We also took a closer look at our school sefer Torah, observing all the details of the cover and and the inside of the Torah. We are beginning to ask the question- what makes a Torah a “real” Torah?


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Kabbalat Shabbat in the Sukkah!