Newsletter #3: October 6, 2023

Newsletter #3 October 6th | 2nd Grade

Newsletter #2: September 22, 2023

Greetings, Second-grade Caregivers!

It's been another wonderful two weeks in 2nd grade! We continued talking about teamwork and also finished our first chapter book read aloud of the school year. This week Scholars honored International Day of Peace. In our Quakerism discussions on Peace, we reflected on how peace makes a difference in people's lives. 

"Peace helps us grow kindness and friendliness." ~ Ian

"Peace helps end our country's wars." ~Daniela and Rose

"In our community, we can show peace by making equal rights." ~Amelia

"In our world we can show peace by helping the environment and not throwing trash into storm drains." ~Kieran

"We can help spread the word of Peace!" ~Olivia

"No voice is too small." ~Addie

We have a class filled with powerful changemakers!

Lastly, here is the link again to the video the 2nd graders made highlighting their "typical" day in in 2nd grade. 

In their backpacks this afternoon: Friday Journal: 

This week's reflections: What was your favorite part of the week and how did you show teamwork?

Tr. Harmony Joy and I are looking forward to seeing all of you at OtterFest today! 

Reading | Growth Spurt! 

Diving into our first Reading Unit, we had a very moving conversation about all of the things that change when you get older. From the, "groaaan" more responsibilities, ("I have to clean my room more") to, "ooooh" our tastebuds are shifting ("now I LOVE corn on the cob") to the "awww" ("my sibling and I don't play as many imaginary games together anymore" relationship changes. Our Scholars also had the "ah-hah" moment that the way they read is also changing. We had lots of excited and eager hands in the air to discover, "WHAAAAAT?!? HOW?" What fun they had realizing that they get to choose HOW they read and practice reading their books using different voices, moods, and tones. Afterwards, they discussed with their partners about how the way they chose to read also affected how they understood the story. Wow! Our comprehension skills are already starting to soar!

Writing | Discovering Small Moments! 

Scholars are owning the title of being "Master Writers!" They have started generating small moment story ideas and when stuck, referring back to their photography-filled-incredible writing notebooks for inspiration. They have started brainstorming ideas to write about based on a significant moment they've had, something that stood out to them, or something that has mattered to them enormously. 2nd graders have also started experimenting with writing powerful opening lines modeled after "Owl Moon" by Jane Yolen or "Night Job" by Karen Hesse. So far we have stories growing about finds in Ithaca, an unfortunate lip biting accident, an outing to see the Barbie movie, a cousin adventure in Delaware, and even a car accident. We are excited to see how these meaningful stories grow! 

PBL | Insects!

This week our Scholars started investigating insect specimens and insect x-rays. At first there was lots of "eeeks!" and "ewwwws" but our week ended with requests for more scorpion x-rays and using magnifying glasses to examine the underside of their target insect. After identifying the 3 main body sections of an insect, 2nd graders started documenting their wonderings and predictions about what keeps their insect safe, what type of mouth part their insect has and what the mouth part tells us about what types of food they eat.

Math | Numbers to 1,000

2nd graders have been counting and comparing numbers up to 1,000. Scholars have been examining number patterns to also help them order 4-digit numbers. They also created their own Place-Value Robots to show a 4-digit number in standard form, word form, expanded form, and in base ten form! 

Question to ask (and make your own variation of) at home: Which number is the same as 3 hundred and 14 tens? 314, 330, 413, or 440?

Spanish | By Tr. Daniela 

2nd graders are off to a fun start showing off their Spanish skills with games such as Simón dice. They have also been working on getting familiar with the way Spanish sounds and how the letters make a different sound than English. We have briefly covered greetings and name introductions. The students have shown interest and some have been excitedly sharing the different words they know in Spanish. 

Newsletter #1: September 8, 2023

Greetings, Second-grade Caregivers!

What a great, great start to the new school year we've had the last three days! Thank you for all you did to prepare them for a successful first few days! Today, we had a beautiful school assembly welcoming our new community members and celebrating our September birthdays! Together we sang, "Try Everything" by Shakira and "What I am" by Will I Am. The positive energy in the room was noticeable by all and it was incredible to be altogether in one space to celebrate an amazing first week!

If you have not completed our Caregiver Survey-please do so by Monday, September 11th to help Tr. Harmony Joy and myself get to know your 2nd grader and your family better. Lastly, if interested, there are still a few spots available for "Meet & Chats with Tr. Gabby." Here is the link again to sign up!

Students also went home with a notebook to decorate over the weekend. This will become their writing notebook. The goal is for them to fill the front and back cover with images to inspire their writing ideas. You can print out pictures of friends, families, places you've visited, favorite activities, etc. Using images from a magazine is also a great tool! Having it ready for Monday is wonderful, but please send the notebook back decorated no later than next Friday, September 15th!

Meanwhile, we are looking forward to seeing all of you at Back-to-School Night next Thursday, September 14th!

Community Building 

Our Scholars have been getting to know our classroom routines and procedures. They even came up with their own BEliefs of what they want in our classroom, from their teachers, and from their fellow classmates. Here are the expectations we want in our Class Family: 

BE Responsible

BE Safe!

BE Kind! 

BE Kind! (so important to us, we did it twice) 

2nd graders are also strengthening and forming new bonds and friendships. We started our year off by discovering new information about our classmates which left students feeling both proud in how they were unique and valued in the pieces they shared with others. This week we also honored our first birthday of the school year and heard some excerpts from Summer Journals. Through these experiences, we've been establishing community and having ah-hah moments about how uniqueness makes our class family special and strong. Next week, we will continue discussing our names and their origins in order to establish respect for all and celebrate diversity. 

Getting to know each other!

To start learning about each member of our class family students created artistic self-expression pieces. This got our Scholars thinking and talking about what's important to them, what they love, and what their goals are for the school year. Over the first few days, we explored the artistic works of Kandinsky, De Cooning, and Klee to use as inspiration for our abstract self-expressions using lines, shapes, and colors. This week's project was an awesome first glimpse at each of our unique, talented, and kind Scholars. Each of their pieces will be on display for Back to School Night!


This week, the Scholars started examining and writing about their "math lives." What are numbers prevalent to their life? How can we relate these numbers in our lives like our birthday or the amount of our family members to a hundreds chart? 2nd graders are also looking back on their math experiences and beginning to write their math autobiographies.  It's been fun hearing them share not only how they feel about math but also hearing about the people in their lives they know who they think are great mathematicians.

Next Up: Numbers to 1,000!


Specials: P.E., Art, & Music

During the last three days, students were able to experience Art with Tr. Lily, P.E. with Tr. Mark and Music with Tr. Sandra. Wow! In Art, our 2nd graders designed their "Mini Me's" using vibrant collage scraps and combining different shapes. In P.E. they played a super fun game I like to call "Musical Circles" which everyone gave a thumbs up to. Then in Music, Tr. Sandra came for a visit to our classroom and helped us prepare for our very first School Assembly for the school year.  ​​Make sure to ask your 2nd grader what instrument they get the responsibility to play this school year!