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Grade 2 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 2 below.

Extension Week: Fantasy Stories!

posted by Jason Brunken

Students will close out this month by writing their very own original fairy tales. This is always a favorite of students. It gives them a chance to apply everything they've learned about story writing to complete their best, most creative work yet. I can't wait to show them to take them home and show you.

Students generally struggle with fantasy writing, not because it's too hard to make up a fantasy world or character for their stories, it is usually because they try to do too much. Part of our writing lessons for this unit will be teaching kids to limit the amount of fantasy elements in their stories so they connect better with their audience and don't have to write such a long story.

This week, students will plan their fantasy elements and then their stories before drafting and polishing their work as the week goes on. Take a chance to look through the prewriting packet the kids will be working with below.

This Week: Two of Everything

posted Apr 15, 2018, 6:54 PM by Jason Brunken

This week, we are reading a Korean folktale called Two of Everything. It is a cute little story that teaches students that nothing is ever free. Everything comes with a price. It also asks a good question. What would you do if you had a pot that copied anything you put inside it? Students will get an opportunity to ponder this question after we finish reading. We will also continue our exploration of fantasy stories and folktales.

Also this week students will practice vocabulary, spelling, grammar (possessive pronouns), and story structure. The handout and vocabulary slideshow for this week are posted below to help you practice. A spelling test will be on Friday. Please help your child study. We will also be looking at writing fantasy narratives this week. Our writing lesson will review story structure and best practices when writing fantasy. 

This week: Preparing for the ASLA Expo

posted Mar 24, 2018, 9:30 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 24, 2018, 9:30 PM ]

Sorry for the late post, parents. Last week, this week, and next week we will be using class time to put together a project that we will present at this year's ASLA Expo on April 12. This year's Expo's theme is "Growing", and we wanted to share how are relationship with our pen pals in Kenya has grown this year by introducing you to our friends abroad, where they live and go to school, and the various activities we've done with them this year.

Last week, students began research for the writing part of the project. Starting on Monday this week, they will begin typing up a collaborative report. After we finish typing our report, we will begin working on a display for all of the information we have. It will be hard work, but I know the kids are excited to share it all with you.

There will be no spelling tests thi week, but we will have library. Remember this is the last week of the REading Challenge. We have a close race so keep those kids reading. 

Below is the assignment and prewriting packet the kids are using for this project. I know it looks like a lot of work, but they can do it!

This Week: How Groundhog's Garden Grew

posted Mar 11, 2018, 6:32 AM by Jason Brunken

This week the Grade 2 classes will be reading the cute fantasy tale How Groundhog's Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry. The tale tells of how Groundhog, a vegetable thief, is taught how to plant and grow a garden by his neighbor, Squirrel. During the process, we the reader learn all about how to plant and care for a garden. In the end, Groundhog has a lush garden full of food that he shares with everyone as a way to say thanks for letting him "have" their crops.

Below are the spelling and vocabulary words for this week. Please help your child to study and review the words before our test on Friday. Our grammar focus this week will be irregular verbs. Conjugating irregular verbs is very difficult for English language learners. The weekly handout and vocabulary slideshow are posted below. Please help your child practice. We will review identifying important events fro ma story and putting them in the correct sequence. Later we will apply this knowledge to writing a summary of a story. 

This Week: Dex - The Heart of a Hero

posted Mar 4, 2018, 2:18 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 4, 2018, 2:19 AM ]

This week, the Grade 2 class will be reading a wonderful short story about how if you put your mind to something, you can do it, Dex: The Heart of a Hero. Dex is a common dog, but he wants to be a hero. He's smart enough to know that you can't just become a hero, you have to work at it. Dex immediately exercises, gets stronger, practices some moves, and gains new confidence which, it turns out, is all you need to be a hero. What helps him ultimately succeed though? It's his unwavering confidence in the belief that he CAN be a hero no matter what others tell him. That confidence ultimately inspires others to better themselves, including someone he least suspects. I know the kids will love reading this fun, cute little story.

Below is this week's handout with the spelling and vocabulary words. Please help your child to study and review the words before our test on Friday. I've also posted the vocabulary slideshow to help with practice at home. Our grammar focus this week will be commas in a series. Use the handout below to help your child review and learn more about what we are working on this week.

This Week: The Signmaker's Assistant

posted Feb 26, 2018, 1:22 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Feb 26, 2018, 1:23 AM ]

This week Grade 2 is reading The Signmaker's Assistant by Tedd Arnold, author of the great Huggly and Fly Guy series. It is a story about a boy who is a signmaker's assistant in a town. Everything works well for the boy until he gets the ideas of making funny signs. Unfortunately his funny signs cause lots of trouble, and he has to fix the problem in the end. We will be making our own silly signs for the classroom like they saw in the book this week.

We have a special writing activity planned for this month. We will be collaborating with our pen pals in Kenya to write something informative about our Pen Pal Project. We will share our work at the ASLA Expo in April. It should be a lot of fun. 

There will be a spelling test on Friday. Please take some time to review the vocabulary and spelling words below with your child. The Weekly Handout and vocabulary slideshow for this week are both posted below. Grammar will cover the use of commas in proper nouns this week. 

This Week: Luke Goes to Bat

posted Jan 28, 2018, 5:04 PM by Jason Brunken

This week, the Grade 2 classes will be reading Luke Goes to Bat. This story is a realistic fiction story set in the US in the 1950s as baseball was being desegregated. Luke, the main character, dreams of being a baseball hero just like Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play in the Major Leagues. He gets off to a bad start, but learns success comes from trying your best. The story has a great message of not giving up in the face of adversity. There aren't many better role models for that than Jackie Robinson. 

As usual, we will be practicing our vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and reading this week. Below are the spelling and vocabulary words for this week. I've also put the vocabulary slideshow below to help the kids practice. Students will also be learning to use dialogue when writing narratives. Punctuation rules for dialogue are difficult so this early introduction will be helpful as the kids write their second stories this month.

Extension Week: Write a True Story

posted Jan 22, 2018, 6:44 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jan 22, 2018, 6:45 AM ]

This week students in Grade 2 will be writing their first stories of the year. We have been focusing this month on how to write a multi-paragraph narrative using a 1-2-3 model. Students have learned the different parts and elements of a story and how they fit into this model.

1-2-3 stands for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd paragraphs. In the first paragraph we have the beginning where our main characters, setting, and important background information are introduced. In the 2nd paragraph, we have the middle or the action part of the story. Here we introduce the problem of the story and tell what happens step by step to solve it. In the third or final paragraph, the problem is solved and an ending, or resolution for the characters is written.

This week, students will begin planning a story using this model and the sheet below. They will then write their own stories that retells an important event from their lives using this model. It will be hard as the kids haven't tried this before, but we will be writing at least 2 more stories this year so by then end of the years I know we will see much improvement.

This Week: Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble

posted Jan 14, 2018, 9:20 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jan 14, 2018, 9:20 PM ]

Welcome back! New Year has come and gone and Winter Break is over. It's time to get back to learning lots and having fun!

We are reading a very interesting and funny story this week called Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble. It is a book about a principal who loves ties but loves his school and students even more. He decides to sell his entire tie collection to raise money for the school to build a new playground. The surprise is how the students and community repay Mr. Tanen in the end. I hope the kids enjoy this book. If they do, there is another book about Mr. Tanen called Mr. Tanen's Ties.

The weekly handout containing spelling and vocabulary words is posted below along with a slideshow of the vocabulary words to practice with. Please take some time to review with your child this week. Spelling test will be on Friday. One fun activity we will be doing this week is making a new tie for Mr. Tanen. The kids will get the chance to design and color their own ties for Mr. Tanen and write about them. I can't wait to see them all.


This Week: Officer Buckle and Gloria

posted Jan 7, 2018, 12:54 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jan 7, 2018, 12:54 AM ]

This week in Grade 2 we are reading an excellent realistic fiction book called Officer Buckle and Gloria. Children love this book because of the charismatic and fun character of Gloria the police dog. It is a story about practicing safety, but more importantly it is about how friends can help us in many ways. There is also the subtle lesson about how jealousy can end friendships if we aren't careful. I know the children will love reading this story this week. We have many copies in the library. If your child enjoys the read, encourage her to check it out again from the library this month.

This week students will begin learning how to write a well-organized story. This lesson will be applied net week as students write their first story of the year in the form of a true story. Please see the 1-2-3 Story Model handout here to learn more about this lesson.

This week we also have vocabulary, grammar, reading, and spelling/phonics practice. Please take some time to review the spelling and vocabulary words with your child using the weekly handout sheet and vocabulary slideshow below. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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