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Grade 2 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 2 below.

Extension Week: Poetry Book

posted May 20, 2018, 7:14 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated May 20, 2018, 7:15 AM ]

This week Grade 2 will be focusing our final efforts of the school year on poetry. We've been talking about poetry and figurative language all month and even practiced them a bit. Now it is time for the kids to really give poetry a try. 

Their task this week is to prepare a short book of 5-6 illustrated poems to take home at the end of the week. I hope these poems can be a keepsake and testament to their time in Grade 2 this year. The kids will learn how to write four kinds of poems: rhymed, acrostic, diamante, and shape. They will write at least one of each in their books. Below you can find assignment sheet for poetry book.

Remember, this is the last full week of class. Make sure library books are sent home before Wednesday next week. Books that are not returned will be considered lost and you will be liable for a replacement fee.

This week: Now and Ben

posted May 20, 2018, 7:12 AM by Jason Brunken

Sorry for the late post. Last week, Grade 2 read about Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin (Ben) Franklin is a very important figure in American History. He is considered one of the Founders of America for his role in gaining independence from Great Britain and helping to write the Constitution. He was much more than that though. He was a man of science, an inventor, a writer, a publisher, and a philanthropist. He, in fact, invented or improved some things we see everyday, like public hospitals, flippers (for swimming), and vitamins. This week we will be reading a fun little book called Now and Ben which looks at how Ben Franklin has affected our lives today. I know the kids will enjoy learning from this little story. When we finish, the kids will think of their own inventions and make a poster for them.

The practice materials for spelling, grammar, and vocabulary can be found below (weekly handout and vocabulary slideshow). It's too late to practice, but you can review in case you feel you missed something. We did a little preparation work for this week's Poetry Writing project as well.

This Week: The Dog That Dug for Dinosaurs

posted May 8, 2018, 6:30 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated May 8, 2018, 6:31 PM ]

This week in Grade 2 we are reading a very cool narrative nonfiction story about a woman named Mary Annig who had a very special dog named Tray. Tray had a nose for something special: fossils. Walking on the beach in England, Tray would find fossil after fossil leading to many discoveries that are now in the Natural History Museum in London. While reading, we will continue our review of nonfiction elements. This week we are focusing on facts and opinions. 

Also this week we will be doing phonics, spelling, a grammar lesson on adverbs, and vocabulary practice. You can use the handout below and the vocabulary slideshow to help your child review. Our writing focus for the week will be working with using figurative language to describe. Students will also be learning the basics of writing poetry this week in preparation for a final poetry assignment later this month.

This Week: The Mysterious Tadpole

posted Apr 30, 2018, 1:09 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 30, 2018, 1:10 AM ]

This week Grade 2 is reading a wonderfully fun book by Steven Kellogg called The Mysterious Tadpole. This is the wacky tale of a boy who gets a tadpole from his Scottish grandpa. In the end, the tadpole turns out to be much more. You can watch a short animated version of the book here. This book is a fun fantasy story assignment which will help us review story structure as students continue to work on their fantasy stories.

Also this week, students will be practicing their vocabulary, grammar, and phonics. A spelling test will be given on Friday. Please help your students review using the sheet and vocabulary slideshow below.

Extension Week: Fantasy Stories!

posted Apr 22, 2018, 7:42 PM 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. 

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