Special Visitors

We had some very special visitors in first/second grade on Friday.  The students were thrilled to see them and welcomed them with open arms.  Ask your child for more details.

Posted in Life in Second Grade

Our seeds have sprouted!

Photo on 5-18-18 at 11.42 AM #2The radish seeds we placed in our root viewers on Monday have already sprouted!  We noticed something quite mysterious, however.  The sprouts are “L” shaped instead of “l” shaped.  Ask your child why that might be…

Posted in Science

Do plants eat dirt?

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 11.58.07 AM.pngFirst/second grade students have been busy this week in science learning even more about plant adaptations.  On Monday, students worked together to answer the question, “Do plants eat dirt?”  They learned about the importance of water (which is taken in by the roots) for plants, and what it is about dirt that plants really need.  They also built root viewers to see up close how roots behave.  The students are observing and taking notes in their science notebooks each day to report on their seeds’ root progress.

On Wednesday, students explored the question, “Why do trees grow so tall?”  In this mystery, students learned the importance of sunlight to plants, which is collected by their leaves.  After learning more about how plants respond to sunlight, they built creative grass heads. Each student choose how to place their grass head in the window, based on which way they hope their grass head’s hair grows… Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 11.58.35 AM.png


Posted in Science

We Reorganized Our Classroom Library!

IMG_3537We are very fortunate that we have lots and lots of great books in our first/second grade classroom library.  For most of the school year, about half of our fiction books have been organized by category (Funny Books, Holiday Books…) and half been organized by guided reading level.  Now that students in our classroom have become experts at self-selecting “just right” books, we decided as a class that we were ready for a big change.  Students took EVERY fiction book off our classroom shelves and divided them into categories that they came up with.  Now our entire fiction library is organized by Funny, or Fairy Tales, or Magical or Kids Like Us

Feel free to stop by our classroom anytime to admire our newly-categorized, newly-organized classroom library!

Posted in English Language Arts, Life in Second Grade

From Problem, to Plan, to Prototype

IMG_3500First/second graders just completed an exciting, hands-on science unit about animal biodiversity!  In their final animal biodiversity science mystery, the students investigated which kinds of birds are most likely to visit a bird feeder, based on what they eat.  In the activity, students designed and created prototypes of their own bird feeders.  Before they begin working on their prototype, each student had to complete the following problem statement: I want (kind of bird) to come to my yard.  I need a bird feeder with (kind of food) and (place to stand).  I will make my bird feeder safe from cats by ________________.  You can check you child’s SeeSaw account to learn more about their individual plans and bird feeder prototypes.  Click here to see photos of the students with their prototype feeders.

Posted in Science

Seeing the World Through Poet Glasses

IMG_3463Students in first/second grade are practicing putting on their poet glasses and viewing everyday objects and moments in their worlds through the eyes of a poet.  So far students have read poems about a pencil sharpener described as a hive of buzzing bees and written poems about scissors as crocodiles and sharks.  As a class we’ve discussed some of the ways to read and write like a poet.  We’ve made a chart that says…

  • As I read this writing can I make a picture in my mind?
  • Does this writing help me look at something in the world in new ways?
  • Does this writing give me a certain feeling or make me think or question?
  • Does this poetry have “music?”
Posted in English Language Arts

Animal Biodiversity

4280973677_07888f244e_oFirst/second grade students have begun an exciting new science mini-unit!  This unit helps students develop a sense of wonder for biodiversity: the sheer range and variety of animals found on earth.  In their first science Mystery, students thought deeper about the question “How many different kinds of animals are there?”  With a partner, the students discovered how scientists simplify the vastness of biodiversity by organizing animals into groups based on their shared characteristics. In the activity, students sorted animal cards into four groups, then honed their classification skills with three challenge animals.

In the second animal biodiversity Mystery, students worked with a team to answer the question, “Why do frogs say ribbit?”  In this Mystery, which was a case study in biodiversity using the frogs of North America, students learned to identify frogs by their unique calls and investigate which of two locations had a greater variety of frogs.  Later this week during our final Mystery, students will work with partners to engineer a prototype of a superior bird feeder by investigating which kinds of birds are most likely to visit a bird feeder based on what they eat.

Posted in Science