WEEK 8 - end of first quarter!Posted by Nancy Wollum on 10/31/2020
Welcome to the Second Quarter- the time when our 'brilliant' students light up the darkest time of the year!
Our 'Five Little Pumpkins' video is the perfect conclusion to the first quarter of our little community working together to produce something VERY special! Special thanks to Ms. Abby for her technology talents. (click below...)
I am looking forward to conferences this week. We have begun new guided reading groups that include Ms. Bashaw and Ms. Foley for super-power support! AND... our WIN (What I Need) time has been rescheduled so some of us can spend more time with Ms. Bashaw and Ms. Foley: we are really working on building those reading skills at school. HOW CAN YOU HELP? Prioritize reading practice at home!
Maestra Koretz has shared a Day of the Dead Spanish/English book to help you and your child experience this very important cultural holiday in many parts of the world (Nov.2)
REMINDER #1: days are becoming colder but that does NOT stop us from being outside (keeps us healthier!) Please be sure your child comes to school with clothing that will help him/her be comfortable outdoors.
REMINDER #1: MATH BOXES (and ALL the parts) should now be at school. I do not have extra parts to share (health guidelines) so your child misses important hands on learning if his/ her tools are not in school.
Week 7 - End of Oct. already!Posted by Nancy Wollum on 10/24/2020
So very hard to believe we will be reaching the end of our first quarter. I asked your students if they felt they were already 1/4 done with 2nd grade, (and after a short visual description of what 1/4 looks like), they were shocked. We talked about how much growth I have seen in just the short time we have been in school and, with personal effort and active participation, that it is only going to grow more...and by leaps and bounds. In math, Unit two begins with counting and grouping in place values, using an open number line to add double digit numbers. Perhaps your students have shown you their own discoveries of arrays and the connection to multiplication! We have started our weekly prompt response writing. Each Monday a new prompt will be introduced, and students will select the level of writing activity they believe they are ready for; there will be a week of writing with a due date on Friday. Our first write this week came home if it was incomplete on Thursday. Starting this week, it will not come home; it is simply due on Friday in whatever degree of completion it is. Working toward a due date will be part of the learning in this activity. We are starting our new IB unit: WHERE WE ARE IN PLACE AND TIME. Students will be exploring why anyone lives where they do, why we are where we are, and how and where our planet supports human beings. Migration and earth's resources are important basic topics in this unit. Covid cannot dampen a child's energy and excitement around Halloween! We are preparing a Halloween poem performance that will be filmed (THANK YOU, Ms. Abby!) and shared with Kindergarten students on Friday. Students are encouraged to bring costumes to school on Monday so they can dress up for the filming!
Dee working with "24" array model.
Fun Puppets from Art Class.
Week 6Posted by Nancy Wollum on 10/18/2020
Hello 2nd Grade Families,
SURE IS GRAND HAVING EVERYONE TOGETHER!!!
Week 6 ACTIVITIES: ELA:reviewing vowel sounds, welded sounds, and paired vowel digraphs; read alouds on how we can be more aware of our learner styles and profiles (ask your child about Puppy Mind!). Performance reading is POPULAR and requires lots of practice over the week and weekends. Guided Reading groups began with your student in a leveled group based on specific needs. MATH: Number Corner is very popular; our calendar of leaves offers lots of opportunities for mathematical predictions/justifications. We have been creating arrays of the days and discovering some numbers have more arrays that others; numbers with one array only are special (and a student independentlly recognized what some of these numbers were and why... and then shared with all of us in class. YEAH!) We are also starting to see a multiplication connection to these arrays. WE finished our first maath unit with a final assessment this week. IB: WHO WE ARE: Students finished this unit in many different places. They are learning the value of focused work in the independent work time I am providing at the beginning and end of every day. They have a responsibility to use their time wisely...in some cases there will be homework (I think we had one day of that last week) when productivity is low and things are not getting done. Results on this unit are forthcoming.
Every day we are working on problem solving as a group; often I share the problems I am trying to solve for our class to work smoothly and how I try to solve them...sometimes they have wonderful suggestions to help me! I share a TO DO list of learning goals every day and they are enjoying checking off the activities or seeing what is not getting done (a recent problem we reviewed and are working on several solutions.)
All in all it has been wonderful week; I really love watching them play together...they are so creative, imaginative and inclusive of one another!
Performance reading - we love being on stage!
Week Five: To Full Time classroom...and beyond!Posted by Nancy Wollum on 10/10/2020
We have been quite busy the last five weeks in our small groups; this week alone we have worked on long vowel sounds with paired vowels, we are continuing to test weekly on spelling our sight words, and we are working daily on listening to sounds that end words and using glued sounds to write creative rhymes. Students have been introduced to writing with complete sentences and how to build a paragraph (this practice will go on all year).
We are reading in many ways: daily read alouds, personal reading choices and focused reading selections for decoding and fluency practice.
In math, students are conquering digital and analogue time to the 5 minute marks. We have built arrays for our calendar days and discovered multiplication in the array model. We are working on moving beyond finger counting to more efficient addition/subtraction strategies. We are learning to make our story problem responses justified and complete.
We are concluding our IB unit WHO WE ARE with reflections on relationships, growth mindset, problem solving, and who-we-are as learners.
We have also completed our battery of baseline assessments for each student and will formulate where and how to support each student's needs.
I hope you have found these 5 weeks productive and I hope you have seen the startling growth in learning and responsiblity that I have seen with all students. I am very proud of the kindness these kids have toward each other and am impressed with the motivation they have to grow.
This week we end our remote learning hybrid schedule to begin our full time/full class schedule. It will be more important than ever to maintain our safety standards (masking, distancing, hand-washing); thus far, the kids have been real heros!
Stay Well, take care of yourselves and each other! NWollum
Week Four- Big changesPosted by Nancy Wollum on 10/4/2020
Happy October Everyone!
I love the beauty of this month and the unpredictable nature of it. Preparing for the changable weather is very important right now...we are outside a LOT and will continue to have class activities outside so having outdoor apparel appropriate for the weather is critical for your child's comfort and continued good health! Also, on some days - depending on time and weather, we may take surprise trips into our wooded classroom; long pants or leggings might be a daily good choice for safety.
Oct. 12 is an important day - WE WILL BE ALL TOGETHER IN THE CLASSROOM FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE MARCH. I am Thrilled! But it does mean we need to take some time to review our classroom expectations and build a whole community of 18 again! Much of the benchmark assessing has been completed and more will be during week 5. We are finishing our first IB Unit: WHO WE ARE and there will be formative assessments from that unit. AND we are about to finish our first math unit and our first two Fundations units, so there will be assessments with that. This is all to say that the next two weeks will mostly be about "finishing up and starting again".
Our next IB Unit: WHERE WE ARE IN PLACE AND TIME will extend the learning we gained about ourselves (from Who We Are) to who we are in the world and why we are in the place we are in at this time. (Be prepared for lots of questions about geneology and family traditions!)
Week 5 will be our last week of hybrid remote learning so things will begin to change again: There will be MUCH less coming home; reading practice will be the absolutely ESSENTIAL priority for your child outside of school. Other work that may come home could be incomplete work from class that required more focused attention IN class to complete it. Hopefully this will continue our practice with independent time management that your kids seem to have made GREAT progress with over the last 4 weeks!
THANK YOU to all of you who have communicated directly with me this week; I learn a lot from everything that you share and it is the only way I know your thoughts, questions, or concerns. Please keep those communications coming!
THIRD WEEK: JOY!Posted by Nancy Wollum on 9/26/2020
Why 'JOY' for THIS week?
I am feeling it...the joy of being in the classroom and experiencing student growth has overtaken the stress that started this year. We have a great rhythm going in class; students are actually thinking about and USING the ESSENTIAL AGREEMENTS we created together for our classroom! AND I am watching the kids ENTHUSIASTICALLY learning and participating in exploring challenging ideas and content. EVERY student is using the REMOTE LEARNING CARD stars to manage their own learning time (a BIG joy for me!) and many parents have shared a noted increase in independence and self pride in their student's work completion. Just a reminder: KEEP STRIVING FOR THOSE 270+ MINUTES!
Some of WEEK THREE's highlights: a visit to our outdoor classroom in the woods, with an introduction to why leaves are turning color and some practice with citizen scientist observations; learning to tell time to the hour, half-hour AND some students are reaching for the 5 minute increments past the hour! TRY THIS AT HOME: randomly ask your student what time it is ON AN ANALOGUE clock (the kind with minute and hour hands). LET ME KNOW HOW THEY DO! Students continue to learn what an independent working and pleasure read are and I am HEARING students use the strategies I have suggested when practicing their 'working reads'. These 'working reads' are really important because we are only in school two days a week, they really have to do the reading WORK themselves. I see so much DESIRE to read in so many kids...they really want this! (MORE on independent reading in the family email this week)
WORDS OF THE WEEK: PERSPECTIVE, EMPATHY and how we USE those two concepts in our daily lives. This coming week is our GROWTH MINDSET week and how we can use perspective to overcome disappointment and increase our resilience!
AND here's a statement we are learning to use to increase our perspective and lessen arguments: When you hear a different opinion, say: 'WHY DO YOU THINK THAT?' This simple statement can disfuse an argument and help us be more open-minded to another's VALID perspective...and that can lead to enlightening conversation!
This is getting long...I could go on and on (I guess I have!) about how WONDERFUL this week was and how your kids inspire, thrill, and empower me just with their enthusiasm for learning.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
second week -WOW!Posted by Nancy Wollum on 9/19/2020
What an amazing job these second graders did with their remote learning the first week; I have been bragging about their work habits all over the district! That first week's assignments were review skills that were meant to expose students to the structure of the Remote Learning experience (hence, the 10- minute blocks, the timer and the stars!). I think preparing your student (reading directions if necessary) should be all a caregiver needs to do and these 2nd graders should be able to be independent (or practice being independent) with the 10 minute bocks/270minute-over-3-days work expectation. They really need to get the feel of working on their own and staying focused for a minimum of ten minutes. AND they need to feel their part in the responsibility of the 270 minutes over 3 days.
This week we started Number Corner Calendar - students will continue with their own calendars; PLEASE RETURN THE CHART OF COMPUTATIONS FOR THEIR 5 DAYS OF REMOTE LEARNING. We worked on understanding the number rack for supporting automaticity with computations from 1-20. Literacy has been differentiated now (a bit); students that are still working on early decoding should be practicing daily with the HIGH FREQUENCY WORDS and the PHONEMIC SOUNDS chart - both tools that went home in plastic wrapping the first week of school.
In WHO WE ARE, we are deeply into exploring relationships, how to make them - and our lives- better by making good choices.
We shared our Peace Places and will continue to explore these special spots through our senses. NOTE: some children chose indoor spots. Although the directions asked for outdoor locations, I let this go last week because it was their choice. HOWEVER, it would be good for each child to select an outdoor PEACE PLACE where he/she could develop a stronger 'relationship' with nature as we go forward.
Outdoors are working on skip counting and practicing KARIOKE step (have your student demonstrate!). We have also learned what a SERPENTINE shape is!
Important vocabulary words added this week include GRATITUDE, EMPATHY, RELATIONSHIP.
FIRST WEEK: Thrilling!!Posted by Nancy Wollum on 9/13/2020 7:00:00 AM
Hello Families of 2nd Graders,
It was a beautiful, busy, thrilling first week of school:
*beautiful: weather was terrific so we could be outside a lot
*beautiful: the wonderful smiling faces of REAL LIVE kids in the classroom
*busy: learning classroom and safety routines...and the emphasis is on the word ROUTINES...we will be practicing for weeks to come. Routines will be important to develop in Remote Learning At Home too as that will help your child become more independent, develop some time management and personal responsibility skills toward learning, and PRIDE in having more control over his/her own life.
*thrilling: it is just so, so good to get started and have REAL LIVE kids in the classroom again (oops, already said that!) Now that we are together and experimenting with two day in class-three day remote learning, we can see together what works and what needs tweaking. THANK YOU to all for communicating your concerns and compliments. It really helps me design day-to-day learning.
REMINDER: Your 2nd grader should be engaged in a little over FIVE HOURS of learning in the THREE DAYS of remote learning time. Spread out over 3 days, that is ABOUT 1 1/2 hours of foocused learning time each day. I have designed the Remote Learning Home Activity Chart so your child can participate in the success of their learning time: they color in a star for each 10 minute focused learning activity time. You and your chlid get to CHOOSE the best time to get those "stars colored in": Maybe independent reading seems like a 'three star in one sitting' activity for your child. AND maybe your child needs breaks every ten minutes. YOU can decide together what is most productive for your child. Please remember the goal is NOT necessarily to complete ALL learning activities I have sent home. The goal is to develop a routine of 300 (or so) minutes of focused learning time over the 3 days of remote learning time.
PLEASE NOTE: If you child is motivated for more than 300 minutes, TERRIFIC!!! (5+ hours is the requirement for 2nd graders delivered from the State of Vermont.) PRACTICE IS HOW WE IMPROVE AND BECOME PROFICIENT...AND EXPERT...IN ANYTHING!
I am hopeful everyone is finding the Remote Learning Activity Card and directions in ALL the activities clear and "do-able". Your practiced each of them in class before bringing them home.
Please always communicate with me via email with any questions. I can only try to fix a problem if I know there is one!
We begin a new year...Posted by Nancy Wollum on 9/4/2020 9:00:00 AM
Welcome to a very unique upcoming school year, for me, for families, and for second graders. Although things feel very different and may look different in many ways, so much will be the same: +The most important part of that is WE ALL BELONG at Shoreham school! +We will be exploring, investigating, learning new things and learning about each other and ourselves - as learners - TOGETHER! +And finally, communication, as always, will be essential in creating our feelings of success and limiting our frustrataions. At least initially, I will be using GOOGLE CLASSROOM - your child has been invited. WE will be moving to the Toddle Platform soon. I will let you know in your child's Remote Learning Home Activity Card if there is a link posted to Google Classroom for an electronic assignment. Most assignments will be paper and pencil, at least to start.
As always, please communicate regularly with any concerns you are having: I can only try to fix what I know needs fixing!