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May News "Spring Has Sprung"

Dear Families,
        I hope the weekly document sent home,  Our Week At A Glance, is keeping  you informed with what we are learning and what homework is due. The following is a brief overview of where we are and where we are going in the learning continuum.   In Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, Math, and Science, students continue to demonstrate a thorough understanding of how our classroom community operates.  They are becoming more independent  learners as the end of second grade is fast approaching.

In Reading Workshop, students are setting reading goals during conferencing, and interacting  well with a partner, or within a group. Please review my weekly comments on your child's reading log.  During weekly conferences,  I meet with your child to discuss the strategies I observe them using,  model a strategy I would like them to practice, and set weekly reading goals.   My instruction and suggestions are intended for them to become stronger readers. They are doing very well in applying set goals!
Over the next month , our class will be reading multiple texts on insects. Students will learn how to read closely various articles, and books on different kinds of insects.  They will annotate the important details by coding the text with a star, or underlining an important phrase or word.  These  skills will deepen their understanding of what they are reading. A research project will also be completed on an insect at the end of the year. 

During Writing Workshop, students will continue to learn how various authors gather their ideas, and how they can share and reflect on their own writing with a partner, or within a group.  Last month, our  focus was on "Letter Writing" and understanding the five parts of a friendly letter (heading, greeting, body, closing, signature) .   Ask your child to sing the song we have learned in class that outlines these five components.  Over the next two weeks, Ike, our class pet will be sent home with a journal for your child to record and illustrate Ike's Adventures.  Each night a lucky student will bring him home.  Follow the directions inside the oversized plastic bag, and refer to the first entry in the journal.     Our class is very excited about sharing this writing project with their families. At the end of this project, We hope to make copies of the journal for our families to enjoy!  Over the next month,  we will be focusing on opinion writing.

In science, we will  continue  to explore the "hand on experiences" provided in our Gems Net Science Kits, Insects & Plants.  Students are encouraged to "think  like a scientist" as they investigate  the behaviors, structures, and life cycles of  the brassica plant, and various insects. Students will be learning how to observe, collect data, compare various insects, and write about their findings.

In Math, we have explored  the  relationship between addition and subtraction using various tools and strategies. We have learned how to use Place Value to add and subtract tens and ones in two digit numbers,and  three digit numbers.   Please review with your child the expectations of how to solve a word problem.  Encourage them to show the following:  A number sentence,  and boxing in important numbers and words. A strategy such as a number line or bridging to 10 is also expected.  Over the next few weeks, students will be introduced to multiplication.  Students will be representing multiplication using concrete materials, pictures, and equations.   Our class will also continue to develop an understanding of the relationship between addition and subtraction "Beyond the Facts."  Continue to practice telling time by the hour, half hour, and within 5 min. intervals ,  with your child. Daily practice within the natural context of the day is the most beneficial way for young children to learn about telling time. Also,  review money with your child using concrete examples such as real money or play money.
Over the next 6 weeks, our class will be exploring Geometry and Fractions.  Students are expected to be able to identfy and describe the features of polygons and quadrilaterals.  They will learn these concepts through songs, and hands on experiences.  Fractions will also be explored.  Students are expected to understand that fractions are parts of a whole within a collection.  Halves, thirds, and fourths will be our focus.  Please ask your child to demonstrate their understanding through sharing activities at home.

I have heard how our class enjoys being chosen to  be the "Teacher's Assistant." Students have learned that the   avenue to being chosen is showing how a leader follows the 3 B's. In the upcoming weeks, please review the 3 B's with your child (Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe). smileyLook for postcards in your child's binder from me.  I am choosing 2 students every week who are doing well following the 3 B's. This is a new incentive program at our school that recognizes students who are demonstrating leadership qualities and making good choices. 

Thank you for your support,
Mrs. Dunkel