Friday, October 19, 2018

2nd Grade Reward Recess

For several years now the 2nd grade team has given their students a monthly reward.  The kids work so hard in school and at home doing their nightly reading!  We think it's great to give the kids a small reward to show them that we appreciate their hard work. was the day!  For this month's reward we invited several high school students over at the end of the day for a reward recess.  Who doesn't love an extra recess?!  And, it was great for our 2nd graders to see the older kids showing Viking Pride on the playground.  It was a win for all!!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Author Skype

On Thursdsay we were fortunate enough be to skype with an author - Amy Sklansky!  Each section of 2nd grade met with her for 45 minutes.  She read to us from several of her books, talked about the process she goes through to write her stories, and answered questions that students had prepared for her.  We learned so much from her!!

Here are some things we learned:
  • She sometimes needs to rewrite a story 10-15 times - WOW!
  • It takes abut 2 years to make a book
  • She is only the author - not the illustrator.  She does not meet her illustrators, nor does she have input on the pictures they create.
  • She has written 11 different books
  • Her most popular book is Daddy and Me.  It has sold approximately 250,000 copies

Monday, October 8, 2018

Pumpkin Carvers Wanted

On Halloween we will carve pumpkins in the classroom!!  I am need of 5-6 parent volunteers to help with this.  A parent or another family member is welcome to volunteer.  Volunteers will do the actual carving - students will help think of the idea and take out all the seeds.   We will carve pumpkins on Wednesday, October 31st from 1:15 - 2:15.  If you are willing to volunteer, please email me or send a note with your child.  I will let you know for sure if I will need your help.  Some years I have had lots of parents wanting to help....other years not so many!

I will also need pumpkins.  Depending on the amount of parent volunteers, I would need either 5 or 6 pumpkins.  If you are willing to donate please let me know.  If not, I will get some bought.  Thanks in advance!!

School Pictures

I hope everyone's pictures made it home safely on Friday!!  :)  If you want your child have their pictures taken again retakes will take place on Tuesday, October 23.  Please make sure and send your child's other pictures to school with them on that day.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Kid Bloggers!!

Last Friday I introduced blogging to the kids - and let me say they were EXCITED!!!!  I have used Kidblog for many years now and what's wonderful about it is that it's very kid friendly and I am able to manage student activity as well as online security. 

I love blogging because the kids are working on their writing skills without even really knowing it!  They're also communicating with others while using technology, which for me is a win since they will continue to use technology as a communication tool as they get older.  I have found that many students really struggle to write their ideas down on paper, but find it much easier to type their thoughts.  Even though they are typing I still expect them to write in complete sentences, use correct capitalization, and punctuation.  I showed them how to push the space bar twice to add a period and they were amazed!!!  I forgot how all of those skills need to be taught :)

As students become more comfortable with blogging I will introduce more components of blogging to them.  For now they are only publishing their posts to their classmates.  I want to make sure they understand that communication with a global audience also means making good online decisions.  We've had discussions about online safety and not disclosing personal information online.  Also, once a blog is published there isn't a way to take it back.  I really want them to think before they post.  Eventually their posts will become public and you will be able to read them.

Additionally, I will model to the kids how to leave comments to their friends' posts.  However, I want them understand that those comments need to be meaningful and appropriate. 

Here are a few pics of the kids reading their classmates blog posts.  Their excitement was infectious - they were so excited to read what their friends wrote!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Mystery Science: Mystery 1

This week we began our study of the incredible world of plants! In our first Mystery, we are exploring the surprising idea that plants can actually move around. The primary way they do this is by dispersing their seeds.

Your child chose one of three seed models to build, and practiced dropping the seeds from a height, in order to avoid the dreaded "zone of darkness" (i.e. the shade!)

Together you and your child can watch some really amazing examples of seeds being spread by wind, water, and animals here:

Some of these are examples we saw in class. But one very exciting category we didn't consider in class were seeds that explode! You can find them by fast-forwarding to the 15:15 mark at the above video (Episode 1: Traveling).

Don't miss it!

Also, below are the pictures of the 3 seeds that students were able to choose from.  They may want to make them at home.



Thursday, September 20, 2018

What is Genius Hour?

Did you see Genius Hour written in your child's planner yesterday and wonder what that meant?!  Genius hour is where I set aside one hour each week and guide students through a process where they are able to learn about something they are passionate about.  I have done genius hour for the past several years and my students have absolutely LOVED it! 

I plan to spend the next 2-3 weeks continuing to introduce genius hour to the class and allow them time to brainstorm topics that interest them.  I will use a brainstorming guide to help guide them through this process.  At the end of those weeks students will have chosen their topics. 

The following is another video that I showed the kids.  Kid President is so great and motivational for students as well as adults!  This video has a great message and the kids were able to find connections between it and genius hour. 

I'm beyond thrilled that my students were excited after the first day of genius hour again this year!  I'm so thankful that they are able to learn about a topic that is truly meaningful to them!!