August 15

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on August 15, 2019

Welcome to your classroom blog! It’s purpose is to keep parents and students informed and engaged with the learning being done at school. It is the main source of information and communication for our class, replacing paper newsletters. Once the year starts, expect updates every Monday. Please be sure to check it weekly! You can receive update alerts by entering your email under the “Subscribe by Email” button at the bottom of the links on the right-hand side. It’s guaranteed spam-free!

Until then, feel free to poke around. Past year’s archives will give you some idea on what to expect, as will exploring the links on the right. Have fun!

Week 38 June 10

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on June 10, 2019

We’ve arrived! I’m so very proud of these second-graders, and the work they have accomplished. When we met in September, I predicted their effort and perseverance would make the difference, and it’s exciting to see how far they’ve come.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for the many ways you support your child’s education, and for your generosity of spirit, donations, and gifts. I wish you all the very best as you continue on the road of lifelong learning!

Week 37 June 3

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on June 3, 2019

Field Day was a blast! Thank you for helping your child prepare at home: it was smooth sailing all day. Thanks also to Darren Berge, Mukta Munjal, Shwetha Adhikari, Ying Chen, and Sam Boardman for volunteering. Our classroom was very well represented!

Instead of a single year-end classroom event, we will be celebrating our classroom community with several Fun Days, starting next Monday. These days are based on the Student Council’s school-wide Spirit Days planned for the last week, with some very special enhancements for our classroom:

  • Monday: Disney and Game Day. Kids can dress up in anything Disney to wear to school. Kids in our class are also welcome to bring a game from home (board game; card game; etc.). We’ll have several times available for them to play their own and others’ too. In addition, we’ll watch the rest of Peter Pan, started during our Friday Homework reward lunches!
  • Tuesday: Hawaiian Day. Any colorful clothing, leis, sun hats, towels, etc., are welcome. Our class learn to hula, hear some island tales, and enjoy the sounds of Hawaiian music!
  • Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday. Kids are invited to dress up however they like (sports uniforms, costumes, mismatched clothing, etc.). In addition, there will be surprise dance party breaks, and a classroom version of Show Off Day in our room.
  • Thursday: All American Red White and Blue and Bring Your Friend to School Day. In addition to wearing the colors of Old Glory, students can bring in a stuffed animal to share the fun all day!
  • Friday: School Spirit Day. Students and staff will be wearing our Floral School gear with pride!

With just 10 days to go, vacation is right around the corner. Over the summer, many students lose some of the gains they made during the school year. You can help avoid this with some easy tips:

a. Our subscription to RAZ Kids continues through the first 1/2 of summer. Keep on reading and take advantage of this on-the-go option! In addition, the Shrewsbury Public Library has a fantastic collection of leveled books your child can borrow. See the report card for your child’s just-right level, then choose books on–and just below–that level.

b. There are some great online math programs for helping kids stay engaged. Scholastic has a short list, all of which are recommended: https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/learning-toolkit-blog/online-summer-math-programs.html 

c. In addition, Greg Tang’s math site is offering a “Summer Challenge!” http://gregtangmath.com/summer . I highly recommend visiting the site often. His vision for building math fluency in kids is spot-on.

With your help, we can avoid the dreaded regression of skills (or as we call it, The Summer Slide)!

The great book return is on! Please be on the lookout for all books belonging to school. This includes:

a. books from our classroom, with my name on them or with a letter written on the back cover

b. books from our bookroom, with a big, round blue sticker on the back cover, or a small white rectangle sticker with the school’s name on either cover

c. Floral Media books, with a bar code on the front cover. Should you find any of the above books after school ends, you can return them to the office or media center once school begins again.

Week 36 May 27

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 27, 2019

There’s just 3 weeks to go! This class has worked very hard all year, and come so far. They can be well proud of their accomplishments!

NOTE: This is the last week of reading, math, and math facts homework! Thank you for your help establishing routines with your child this year. It was extremely helpful!

Field Day is here! This Thursday marks the big event. Students will participate in their choice of a variety of games designed to engage and challenge them physically and mentally. They’ll compete against others to do their personal best, and work with partners and teams to exercise skills of teamwork and sportsmanship. To make the day run smoothly, we need your help:

1. Please send your child in a red shirt OR Hawaiian shirt of any kind that day.

2. Sneakers are a must: no flip-flops or sandals.

3. Sunscreen must be applied at home, not at school.

4. Well-fitting hats (e.g. baseball caps vs. big sun hats) and Hawaiian accessories are welcome.

5. Dress students for comfort: they will be very physically active and hot, and a few games involve water so expect a little wetness.

6. Please be sure your child’s name is on hisorher water bottle. There will be over 100 of them out there!

Our latest blog posts show what students have learned about data and graphing. After designing a survey to be answered by classmates, kids collected data and created picture graphs and bar graphs to represent the information. Then they interpreted the graphs in writing on their blogs, and challenged their readers with a question about the information–wow! As always, students may view blogs from home but should not change or post anything on there.

Floral Goes Green was a blast! Students all over the school displayed projects that reflected their learning about plastic’s impact on the planet, and spent the day learning from each other. Students in our class were on-hand near the games they created to explain and share with kids from all grades. Then we visited other rooms to learn about repurposing t-shirts, what to about bee decline, and much more. Kudos to them on the great job they did!

Week 35 May 20

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 20, 2019

Students have been working hard on their projects for Floral Goes Green! After learning about the value of repurposing plastic, they’re working with teams of students from our class to design, build, test, troubleshoot, and customize games using all plastic parts. My favorite part of this process? The projects are 100% student work. I merely asked guiding questions related to engineering and design, and stood ready with a hot glue gun! These games will be set up in the gym on Thursday for all the school to try, with our students on hand to lead them. Can’t wait!

On Thursday, we will also engage in peer-assisted learning by visiting other classrooms. The Ridder classroom will be teaching us to repurpose t-shirts into bags! To do this, each student will need a t-shirt sent in from home that will be cut and tied. All sizes are welcome: the bigger the shirt, the bigger the bag! Please send them in by Wednesday this week. Extras for students without are always welcome.

Students are making great strides with Informative Writing. The big idea is to develop a topic with enough detail so the reader understands. Here are some great examples from: 1. Alivia, on Butterflies; 2. Ronav, on Cricket; 3. Aislinn, on Stars; and 4. Ekansh, on the Solar System: 1) For one thing, they hatch from an egg, then they turn into a caterpillar. Then they go into a chrysalis and turn into an adult butterfly. 2) Another important thing about Cricket is you can get extra runs to win the game. For example, if you hit the ball and it bounces and goes out, you get 4 runs. 3) Another important thing about stars is the sun. The sun is a star, too. It’s a big fireball of gas like other stars. 4) There’s comets and asteroids. Asteroids are made of hard rock and gas, while comets are made of ice and gas.  Super!

This week in math students will be learning to identify 2D and 3D shapes by their properties; to recognize them in figures and models; and to create designs and structures with the shapes of properties in mind. PBS Kids has game apps that let students take advantage of mobile technology to apply math and literacy concepts. In general, the skills taught in grades 2 and 3 match the shows for these grades, such as Cyberchase, Arthur, and Word Girl. If you’re looking for fun ways to keep the learning going this summer, give them a try!

Week 34 May 14

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 15, 2019

 

With just 5 weeks to go, it’s time to think about the end of the year! Please read this message from our Media Center:

“Dear Floral Families:

It’s hard to believe that the end of the school year is just 5 weeks away!

It is a big undertaking trying to get the Media Center back in order by the end of the school year, so we wanted to let you know that the last day students will be able to check books out will be Friday, May 17th. All books will be due the following Friday, May 24th.

If there are any books you are unable to find, please let one of us know and we will send you a bill for the replacement cost.  Your child can bring in a check made out to the Shrewsbury Public Schools.  Please do not buy another book. Paying the replacement cost allows us to purchase a library bound hard cover book that will withstand years use.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Shelley Crowell scrowell@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us and Karen Geddes kgeddes@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us

Floral Media Center”

Thanks for the great response to our request for Field Day volunteers! This year will be even more special with the addition of a Hawaiian theme. Students are welcome to wear costume extras to get in the spirit–though keep in mind they’ll be very active. Classrooms have been assigned colored shirts for easier identification. Ours is red, but students can either wear a red shirt or a Hawaiian style shirt of any colors on Field Day, May 30.

Our next two math chapters for study involve geometry. This week, students will learn that figures are made up of lines and curves. They will identify the same, and create figures of their own. In addition, they will learn about surfaces of solid objects and identify them as curved or flat. Finally, they will learn properties of solid objects, in particular which objects can stack, slide, and roll. All of this is a precursor to the geometry of plane shapes and solids which we will take on in the 2 weeks following. If you’re accessing the student e-book at home, this is Book B, chapter 18 & 19. It’s a great resource, especially if your child has questions on homework!

states of matterIn science, students were introduced to the properties of solid objects, including scientific vocabulary of classification (rigid; flexible; pointed; opaque; translucent; etc.). They applied these ideas as they worked to design hats using a variety of materials and based on their properties (absorbent, soft, etc.)!

Week 33 May 5

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 6, 2019

Field Day is coming! The kids absolutely LOVE this day, when grade level peers play solo and group games outside. We need your help to run games that day! All that’s needed is to give your time–everything else is provided for you. Our Field Day is Thursday, May 30, 12:30-2:45. Please sign up using this link, and thank you: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050f44aeaa2aa13-fsshawaiian

Our end of year ELA focus is on identifying and recognizing parts of speech. We’ll learn about the purpose of pronouns, verbs, and adverbs in sentences, and how to identify them in text. A fun part of our instruction will be singing along to Schoolhouse Rock (remember those old tunes? Turns out they were right on!). Peruse them at home, and ask your child to identify the learning going on!

In writing news, students have been busy practicing their informative writing skills. They are learning to write with details that expand the main idea. Here are two excerpts from pieces on recycling from 1) Sahithi, and 2) Charlie1) The first thing you should know about recycling is food scraps can be recycled. For one thing, food waste turns into compost. Plus, compost gives soil nutrients. 2) Another important thing about it is you can recycle plastic. They melt plastic into beads. Then the beads are turned into new plastic materials.  Super!

This week we wrap up our learning on data and graphing by examining line plots and bar graphs. What’s important for kids to know at the end is that information can be shown visually in a variety of ways; that a “key” holds important information for interpreting graphs; and that there is a difference between reading a graph (just saying what you literally see) and interpreting them (telling what the tallies, bars, numbers, and words mean);  and that graphs can be used to solve real world problems. This page from the student book illustrates these points well:

Week 32 April 29

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 29, 2019

What’s in a rainforest? Students found out this week when the Rainforest Reptiles show came to our school! This engaging presentation involved up close viewings of live animals with demonstrations, and provided a perfect kick off to our environmental studies. Thank you to our PTO for providing this exciting enrichment opportunity!

As a reminder, we’re planning on re-using plastics to create games to share for Floral Goes Green. Please send in: Clean plastic bottles, any size; plastic bags; old/broken tubs, lids, mats, trays, plastic balls; pvc piping/caps; etc. We’re happy to take extras for any students without.

Spring cold and allergy season has begun! Help us fight the good fight, and send in a few boxes of kleenex when you can to get us to the end of the year. Thank you!

This week, students will learn to comprehend nonfiction text by paying close attention to titles, subtitles, and headings when reading informative articles. These nonfiction text features are used by author’s to guide our thinking, and they lead us to understand the most important things worth remembering. You can try it out at home with articles from NationalGeographicKids.com, such as this one on Denali National Park. Notice how the headings cleverly point us in the direction of what’s important.

Our final writing focus in on the Informative Genre. Students will engage in readings centered around  the environment such as the rainforest and recycling. They’ll  use their knowledge to become the experts who share that information with others in pieces that use an introduction, facts and details, and a conclusion. Smart!

Our next area of study in math is graphing. As outlined in the Common Core, students should understand how to collect and organize data. They should be able to  analyze, interpret, and create a variety of graphs including picture graphs, line plots, and bar graphs. As usual, MIF challenges students to go beyond the literal. New for kids is the concept of “key” in graphing. Take a look at this picture from the student book.

graphing1

Notice how the key provides necessary understanding to interpret the graph correctly. Please check your child’s homework to be sure they are reading the key when answering questions. You can find lots of great information with very helpful picture support at the Think Central site! (Link to it via the Parent Resources section of this blog.) This unit is Chapter 17, found in eBook B of the student book.

 

Week 31 April 22

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 22, 2019

 

Floral Goes Green is coming! This renowned annual event focuses student work on the environment, locally and globally, culminating in a day of exposition on Thursday, May 23. This year’s theme is “Our World, Our Stuff, Our Solution.” In preparation, we will read, analyze, and write pieces on both the value and the environmental impact of plastics. We will then put our knowledge of the properties of solids to use, engineering games that will repurpose plastics brought in from home. The students’ work and games will be placed in the gym as an interactive display for schoolmates to explore on the 23rd.

Therefore, I’m putting the call out now for plastics you can send in with your child. Ideas include (but are not limited to): Clean plastic bottles, any size; old/broken tubs, lids, mats, trays, plastic balls; pvc piping/caps; etc.

Please only send in what your child can carry/fit on the bus. I’m collecting donations until Friday, May 17. Thanks!

Spring cold and allergy season has begun! Help us fight the good fight, and send in a few boxes of kleenex when you can to get us to the end of the year. Thank you!

With just 8 weeks to go, students will learn to use technology to communicate and evidence their thinking through the use of student learning blogs! They will learn to navigate online environments, including posting, commenting, and replying; to create, find, and upload media such as images and audio files; and to collaborate with peers through reading and writing. This week, we will learn what it means to be part of an online community and how safety rules of common sense apply there as well as in real life. Then we will learn what a digital footprint means and how to create a safe one, as well as how to stay safe online. A note on safety and privacy: Student blogs are created via Kidblog.org. They are only open to invited peers and teachers. Once up and running parents will be invited to view them as well with a private password. For more information, please visit their site. Lessons on privacy and more are taken from Common Sense Media.

Our final lessons on telling time will focus on calculating time before or after (elapsed time). Notice the example above. Students have previously learned to tell time to the hour and half-hour, and now they are being stretched to apply that to new situations requiring a deeper understanding of time. In case your child struggles with this during homework, encourage them to try it with a toy clock or this online clock with movable hands (visnos.com):

states of matterIn science, students will be introduced to the properties of solid objects. They will learn what makes a solid (molecules packed in regular arrangements; hold their shape) and scientific vocabulary of classification (rigid; flexible; pointed; opaque; translucent; etc.). They will apply these ideas as they explore and sort a variety of solid objects, then design and create sun hats with the insulating property of solids in mind!

Week 30 April 8

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Posted by kavery508 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 8, 2019

Our School Meeting Friday focused on growth mindset, specifically taking risks. Using the book What Do You Do With a Chance (Yamada, 2018), students shared their everyday challenges and why taking a chance is worth it! You can read the story with your child by watching the video below (source: PV Storytime via Youtube.com).

Our reading comprehension spotlight this week is Understanding Cause and Effect. This is an essential skill for students to own. It helps them analyze storylines and character choices, and so develop a deeper understanding of what is read. As an example, we are reading together Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Dahl). Mr. Wonka shut down his factory then opened it to a lucky few. What events led to his actions, and how did they affect the town in which Charlie lives? How do the choices made by Charlie and the other children affect the outcome of the narrative? For more on Cause and Effect and using it at home, check out Reading Rockets: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/cause-and-effect

spring-10-640x400The kids have done a great job with writing poetry! The goal is to help kids think like a poets, with careful word choice, metaphor, and imagery. Here are some snippets from: 1) Ellie, 2) William, 3) Ekansh, 4) Kian, and 5) Luana1) Tiger//Stalks through the grass//Striped body quiet and controlled//as if a monster. 2) In winter it snows//with the frosty wind that blows,//And when you go out it’s like a wolf is biting you. 3) Dodgeball//As I look for the ball//something catches the glimpse of my eye//something blue//as if it were hunting for prey. 4) The hot sun blazes down to the ground.//The grass turns as brown as wood. The trees bloom as green as a bush. 5) Where I go my dog follows//I can’t pass be her//and when I go to school//I have to dash outside. –Awesome stuff!

Next, we return to Opinion Writing one last time. By year’s end, students achieving the standard should be able to write an introduction, opinion, 2 reasons with details and explanations, and a conclusion. Watch for the Writing Pillar organizer that comes home with your child’s writing. It lays it all out nicely!

This week we begin Chapter 14, which teaches kids to tell time to the 5 minutes on an analog clock; write the time in numbers or words; correctly identify AM and PM; and solve problems involving elapsed time (minutes or hours later/before). Check out the graphic above: students are being taught to identify time using the hour and minute hands; to tell minutes of any hour by counting “5s” around the clock; and to use those skills to calculate time elapsed. Mr. Nussbaum’s site has games kids can use at home (though be advised his sites come with many ads now). Let me know if you find other good ones!

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