This week second graders worked with a partner to decide which writing piece they would like to publish. The partners read their stories to one another. Then, the listener would tell the author more details he/she wanted to know. They finally discussed what they would add to their stories and went off to work on adding to and finishing their stories.
We were fortunate to have CLIMB Theater visit our classroom yesterday. The actors did a wonderful and engaging job of teaching about using self-control.
This week we focused on adding dialogue to our fiction stories. We also discussed words we can use other than "said" to show how a character is feeling when the character is speaking.
We worked to determine if it would take more yard sticks or foot long rulers to measure 18 feet. We started by having a student walk the tape line (without knowing the distance), so we could estimate how many feet it would be. Then, the second graders each put down one 12 inch ruler. We discovered the distance was 18 feet. We then compared our rulers to yardsticks and had a discussion about which tool would be easier to measure with, and which tool we would need more of. We only had one yardstick, so we had to use our rulers to create portable strings to lay down to measure how many yards the distance was.
During our Number Corner time, students worked on fractions and recognizing less than half, more than half, and exactly half of different shapes.
We spent some time studying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week. We began by discussing what we already knew about MLK. Then we read the story Martin's Big Words. The book is a beautiful, simple biography about Dr. King and the power of his words. We reread the story and the students picked any words that stood out to them as beautiful and powerful. The second graders then created their own artifact to show those important words. Some students chose to use paper and marker, others used apps on the iPad such as PicCollage or Vidra. All artifacts were uploaded to Seesaw. Second graders also wrote about how they could make the world a better place. They then used ChatterKid to read their writing and uploaded to Seesaw.
This past week in math the second graders have been exploring measurement. It has been a fun progression with lots of hands on discovery. We began on Tuesday. We started with a basic discussion on measurement to see what we, as a group, already knew. We discussed how feet had been a long time unit of measurement, so it was decided we would have a few volunteers measure the length of the classroom with their feet. We made estimates and found actual numbers. Through this, the second graders made the discovery that using all different feet didn't work very well. We talked about a foot as a standard unit of measure. Each second grader got a "teacher foot" that was 12 inches long to use as a standard unit of measure to estimate and discover the lengths of various items in the classroom.
On Wednesday we read the story Jim and the Beanstalk, a variation of Jack and the Beanstalk, with a the focus being on measurement. This led to a discussion on measuring longer and larger items. The second graders were then given the task to create a giant foot to use as a standard unit of measure. They worked together to cut a foot out of a 3 foot long piece of paper (which was the same length as a yard!). Then they worked in teams to estimate and measure items in the classroom.
On Thursday we discussed the need to have a tool of measurement that was more flexible. Students used string to measure the circumference of their heads. They then used tiles to estimate and measure their strings. Then the students used their strings to help estimate the length of longer objects in the classroom. Then they used tiles to find the actual length in tiles.
On Friday the second graders created their own “inchworm” ruler. They had to measure various items in the classroom that were less than a foot, exactly a foot, and more than a foot in length.
The Science Museum of Minnesota paid a visit to Kennedy on Tuesday! The engaging presentations was on dinosaurs and the scientific method. Students were presented with different dinosaur artifacts and had to use adjectives to describe the artifacts to a partner. Then they asked questions to determine what the artifact was and what it told us about the dinosaur (plant eater vs. meat eater, size, etc).