Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dec. 10th News

As the snow has started to fall, you'll sure feel the December excitement buzzing around SMS! Just ten school days left before our holiday break!
2H and 2D were ready for snowy activities even before the snow arrived!
What we've been up to:
*Science: We had a BLAST launching our new science unit this week. After listening to the story, Bartholomew and the Oobleck (by Dr. Seuss!), we set out to determine whether the mysterious substance of Oobleck was a solid or a liquid.
 After LOTS of experimentation, our scientists determined that Oobleck has properties of both! To make your own Oobleck mixture at home, mix 1 part water with 2 parts cornstarch (the food coloring is optional!).
The next day, in a science talk, we explored the science term property. After deciding upon a working definition, we played a fun game called "What's my property?" Working with a collection of items, one person thinks of a property (blue, magnetic, circle, etc.) and pulls out all objects that have that property. Other players have the task of trying to figure out what the mystery property is! Try playing at home---you'll be super impressed with all of the different properties they can come up with!
 After playing several rounds of our game, we ended our science talk with a challenge: to sort our shoes by property!
Laces vs. No Laces (vs. "In-Between Laces"!)
Further breaking down the Laces group (first by lace color, then by brand!)
As if we hadn't had enough fun in science this week, the Owls were put to a final test using all that they had learned about properties. After testing the properties of various materials (paper towel, paper bag, paper plate, and aluminum foil), students had to then design a hat that would keep sun off their head. We had a TON of fun testing, designing, and creating!
*Scholastic Book Orders: On Friday, December flyers from Scholastic were sent home. While the SMS Book Fair is just in our rear view, the book flyers are there if you need a last minute gift! If you'd like to place an order, please do so by tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 11th, in order to guarantee delivery before our holiday break. If your order does contain a gift, just let me know!
*Writer's Workshop: Students have been doing an amazing job demonstrating their ability to write just like our mentor author, Kevin Henkes! Each student has finishing drafting their own interesting, realistic problem and solution! Bravo, writers! Many tried using some of his signature writing "moves", such as using a repeating line, or adding "silver-dollar" words to their own writing. With the writing part complete, we will study illustrations for the upcoming week and put the final touches on these great stories!
Painting the covers for our latest books!
*Holiday Reminders: *At 2:00, on Thursday, 12/21, we will enjoy the second grade tradition of decorating gingerbread houses. If you’re available, we’d love to have you join us! It’ll be fun decorating (and snacking!) to celebrate with our families and friends. Thank you to all who have already signed up to send in materials for our day. We're still looking for a few more items to be sent in (you can view our signup here if you are able to help out.)Thank you in advance for all of your help! If you have any questions, please let me know!
*Finally, to enjoy the season of giving within our classroom community, on Friday, 12/22, 2H will be participating in a mug exchange! Please send your child to school with one, wrapped “coffee” mug (available in all sorts of varieties, inexpensively at Walmart, the Dollar Store, and Target). It would be great if your child could write their name and the date on the bottom of the mug as well (ex: From, Ashley, 2017). We will enjoy a swap as we read a classic holiday tale. By the end of the story, each student will end up with a new mug! What will go perfectly in their new mug? Hot chocolate, of course! We’ll enjoy sipping on hot cocoa on our Polar Express Journey.
Stay warm! Have a great week!
Questions to promote "School Talk":
-What is Oobleck? Is it a solid or a liquid?
-What is the title of your Kevin Henkes-inspired book?
-How can we use base-10 blocks to solve 57-25? 63-38?
-What materials did you use to make a hat? What properties did you want your hat to have?
-How would you describe the main character in our read aloud, Pippi Longstocking?
-What is an example of a solid? A liquid? A gas?
Important Dates:
-Monday, Dec. 11th: Scholastic Book Orders Due
-Wednesday, Dec. 13th: Early Release
-Thrusday, Dec. 21st, 2:00: Family Gingerbread House Decorating Holiday Party
-Friday, Dec. 22nd: Class Polar Express PJ Party and Mug Exchange 
-Monday, Dec. 25th - Monday, Jan. 1st: No School (Holiday Break)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Dec. 3rd News

Welcome to December! It's hard to believe there's only three weeks left before our holiday break!
Students go outside for recess everyday unless it is raining or dangerously cold. Please be sure your child has appropriate clothing to stay warm (we're hoping our cute little "welcome owls" remind us to wear hats and mittens before going outside!). As always, please make sure all clothing has your child’s name in it so we can help keep things from getting lost.
Highlights from our week:
*Reader's and Writer's Workshop: We had a FABULOUS time during both reader's and writer's workshop this week. Launching into our character unit, students did a great job analyzing the characters in their stories. We talked a lot about how we can describe our characters, using both their physical traits, as well as their personality  traits. 
We read a lot of great stories this week that gave us many opportunities to get to know different characters. This reading work naturally led the way into our writing work. We began looking closely at the author Kevin HenkesWith great books such as Chrysanthemum, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, and Julius: Baby of the World, there's one thing for certain: Kevin Henkes loves using mice characters!  Attempting to write in the style of Kevin Henkes, each student created their own mouse character, brainstormed potential problems and solutions, and is in the drafting stages of writing their gripping story. Ask your child about the draft they created last week.
Find out more about our mentor author at:
*Social Studies: We put the finishing touches on our Knuffle Owl book this week and received it hot off the press from the publisher on Friday afternoon! We'll enjoy reading our finished product tomorrow, but you can enjoy a sneak peak:
Our librarian, Mrs. O'Connor took a sneak peak and gave it her stamp of approval!
While we'll be switching from social studies to our next science unit next week, our work around our community will be ongoing. On Friday, you received a letter outlining a community service project. SMS 2nd Graders are holding a food drive, collecting non-perishable food items to be delivered to local food pantries. Items may be sent in until Tuesday, Dec. 19th. Thanks for your help in supporting a great cause!
*Fifth Grade Buddies: The weather was just so beautiful on Friday, we simply had to go outside with our buddies. While we didn't do our second hike of the year, we did take the time to practice making scientific sketches, remembering to draw detailed, accurate diagrams, so we'll be ready for our next hike (which will take place sometime before the holiday break). Each Owl was impressed by how much their sketches had improved since our last hike. We also had fun comparing the weather and temperature from our previous hike. It's certainly getting colder (although we all agreed, it was rather warm for the first day of December!).
Have a great week!
Questions to promote "School Talk":
-What has been your favorite Kevin Henkes story so far?
-What is the name of the mouse character that you created for your own story? What will be their problem?
-How did our read aloud, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, end?
-How did we make the birds for our bird feeder look like stained glass?
-What did you sketch when we went outside with our fifth grade buddies?
-How do you add large numbers quickly? Show me how to solve 367+259.
Important Dates:
-Wednesday, Dec. 13th: Early Release
-Thrusday, Dec. 21st, 2:00: Family Gingerbread House Decorating Holiday Party (more information to come!)
-Friday, Dec. 22nd: Class Polar Express PJ Party and Mug Exchange (more information to come!)
-Monday, Dec. 25th - Monday, Jan. 1st: No School (Holiday Break)