## Thursday, August 28, 2014

### Our First Week in 2R!!

We had a wonderful first week of second grade in 2R. We've done a lot of activities to help us foster new friendships, build our classroom community, and to get our brains moving after a long and lovely summer!

Our giraffe is no longer spotless, as each of us decorated a spot on our first day to make the giraffe unique to 2R. Just as all giraffes have different spot patterns on their bodies, each spot was unique to the friend who made it. We've been doing a lot of activities and games this week to help us get to know one another :)

WOAH! That unifix cube connection is LONG!

We were able to do some exploring with math manipulatives on our first day of school. After building, counting, adding, and exploring with unifix cubes, base ten blocks, dominoes, 3-D shapes, and calculators, we made a list of all the ways we could use these items to support us in math:

Unifix Cubes can help us measure objects, make patterns, and count

Base Ten Blocks can help us with figuring out numbers/equations that are greater than, less than or equal to other numbers/equations as well as help us learn about place value

Calculators can help us solve addition and subtraction problems

3D Shapes can help us build models of buildings and other structures

Dominoes can help us with our adding and subtracting by using the numbers printed on the dominoes (and they were REALLY fun to set up in a line and knock down!)

During Reader's Workshop, we've been working on choosing "Just Right" books and building on our reading stamina. We've been silently reading for 5-10 minutes each day, and reading lots of books together as a class throughout our day.We just began reading Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (which is actually a book Ms. Riley remembers reading with her second grade class!). Everyone seems to love the silly stories from Wayside School. Next week, we will continue to learn more about the students and teachers of the 30th floor, and we will also get to do a bit of our own book shopping from our classroom library!

During Writer's Workshop, we've been working hard to write stories from our summer vacation. After talking about these stories in great detail with friends and as a class, we are starting to add in lots of details to the stories we've already written down.

At the end of our first day together, we read the story What Do You Do With an Idea? By Kobi Yamada and we talked about how it is OK to have your own ideas and we should all open our hearts and minds to make our ideas come true. No idea is too big, too odd, or too difficult, and it just might change the world :) After talking about the stories, we each painted our own "ideas" from the story and we put them all together for our classroom bulletin board!

Today, we did a bit of exploring with Word Work Centers!

We played Pop for Word Families, Word Wall Jenga, Roll a Sight Word, and Roll a Sentence. The sentences we ended up with in Roll a Sentence were super silly, and Jenga definitely kept all of us on edge (but it was always fun to rebuild the tower when it finally toppled!)

Finally, we've begun to do a bit of exploring with sunflowers to prepare for Sunflower Day in a few weeks. We watched a really neat video that showed us how sunflowers move during the day as the sun moves through the sky to catch all of the sunlight they need to grow:

Here are a few other facts we've learned:
• Sunflowers are annuals, which means they need to be planted every year
• Sunflowers can hold between 800 and 2,000 seeds that you can plant or eat. That means one sunflower could produce enough seeds for everyone at SMS!
• The center of the sunflower holds all of the seeds, which grow in a spiral pattern
• Many types of sunflower are very tall-- they grow up to 10-12 feet! The world's tallest sunflower was 28 ft. 8.49 inches tall and it was grown in Germany. That is 8 ft. taller than the world's tallest giraffe!
• Bumblebees help to pollinate flowers

If you send your sunflower pictures to Ms. Riley, she will add them to our blog and we will take a look at them in class!

All of the 2R Giraffes have worked very hard this week to get back into gear, and a long holiday weekend is well-deserved! We are going to have an absolutely wonderful year together :)