2nd Grade Home

9 January 2020

Happy New Year, Grade 2 families!

We hope that your Christmas was full of great joy, and that you are ready for an exciting start to 2020! We have a lot going on in 2nd grade as we start the new year. Here’s what you can look forward to:

Math — We will be continuing to practice all our regrouping skills (addition & subtraction) using real world problems to do so. We will also be using Bar Models as graphic organizers to help with the real world problems. Bar models can be tricky for some second graders, so encourage your student to have patience and practice perseverance as we work are way through this unit. Also, continue to practice Quick Recall at home using XtraMath and any other resources that seem to work for your student. And, don’t forget to be using MathWhizz at home to challenge your 2nd grader in their math skills.

Social Studies & Language Arts — In the classroom, we will be exploring South America through informational & literary texts, writing, and art projects. Our focus in the classroom will be mainly learning about the beauty and importance of the Amazon Rainforest. At home, be sure you are working on the South America Research Project. Projects should be completed by the end of January. Presentations will begin in early February. Remember to keep all project materials AT HOME until the day your student does their presentation for the class. Mrs. Hoch will be sending out a SignUp Genius email sign up for presentation dates/times. Our hope is that you will be able to join us in the classroom for your child’s presentation. Note: For several reasons, we ask that you NOT bring siblings from other classes to the presentations. We do not want those students to miss out on their own classroom learning. Instead, encourage siblings/friends to enjoy the presentations when the second graders are practicing at home. Let Mrs. Hoch know if you have questions about the project. We look forward to learning about the South American countries from our peers!

**LIBRARY  CARDS & PINs** We will be accessing the Seattle Public Library website/database for our next Technology unit/project. Many of you sent the Library cards to us in September, but several students do not have one at school yet. Please ask your student if s/he had their library card at school today. If not, please send in a copy of your student’s card and PIN number before next Thursday.

Students wrote paragraphs about their favorite winter activities. They also did a “winter scene” collage that challenged them to use only paper and a glue stick…no scissors or coloring supplies. Be sure to stop by and check out their creativity! 

Science –We continue to work on the Solid and Liquids Investigations Part 2 in science focusing on liquids.  Our main questions was, “What are some observable properties of liquids?” Students investigated seven different liquids in containers.  They tipped, swirled, shook, rolled, and observed these liquids in bottles: plain water, corn syrup, liquid dish soap, liquid hand soap, cooking oil, fabric softener, and water with color. After exploring they described the properties in their own words.  During the discussions we made a list of their observations and some new words were added to their vocabulary such as thick, thin, foamy, bubbly, transparent, has color, viscous, and translucent. In lesson 3 students poured measured volumes of water into different containers noticing the different in height for each container.  They also observed that liquids always have a flat, level surface, and take on the shape of the container they are in. In the final investigation students explored the school yard for puddles, took samples of the water in the puddles, observed the water closely, and described its properties. Next we move back to solids and explore bits and pieces!

Way to go second graders!!!  You are incredible scientist!!!

Yoga –We start each exercise with breathing, which helps us to slow down.  Our favorite breathing exercise is Bear breath. We breathe in through our nose and out through our mouth as we sit cross-legged with hands relaxed in our lap. This breathing exercise can also be done in a standing pose.  Students move into Triangle and Warrior I and II while they continue their breathing. Here they focus on reaching, stretching, strength, and stability. Other days we work on the dragon and twisted dragon pose. We are clever, alert, and powerful as we gently move from position to position. The dragon pose always end with one (1) and only one…. HA! Throughout the day we stop and do our bear breath, mountain, and tree poses.  All these positions help us to relax, clear our minds, calm our bodies, and ready us for our next activity.

Religion — We are planning to have Fr. Kevin in the classroom on a weekly basis through the month of January to help the children become more comfortable with him before celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation. We’re excited! “Fridays with Father Kevin” will be a great addition to our faith journey! Our final preparations for the sacrament will include learning more gospel stories about forgiveness, exploring the sacrament of baptism, learning the difference between sins & mistakes, and role-playing the rite of the sacrament.

For those families participating in the First Sacraments this year, remember that our next weekend preparation gathering will be the Learning Centers on Saturday, January 11. These are self-guided activities that families will complete together in their own time. Plan to spend at least 60-90 minutes at the gym for these activities. The Learning Centers will be open from 10am-1pm (Note: We take down the Centers at 2pm, so plan to begin your time there no later than 1pm). Contact Helen Oesterle if you have questions about the Learning Centers.

Reading — Small groups meet three times a week to work on Foundational Skills. Reading strategies and Common Core skills are practiced within the Social Studies unit. This month the focus will be on South America and the Amazon Rainforest. We are planning to do another round of individualized Teacher’s College (TC) reading assessments next month. We will send a summary of the assessment results to you when they are completed. 

May your family be showered with countless blessings as we enter a new year! We are so happy to be part of your family’s 2nd grade journey!

With joy,

Mrs. Hoch & Ms. Zbaracki