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Grade 2 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 2 below.

Final Extension: Collaborative Poetry Project

posted May 19, 2019, 7:37 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated May 19, 2019, 7:37 PM ]

It's that sad time of year where the school year is coming to an end. It has been a great one, and I have had a lot of fun the kids this year. For the final 6 classes of the year, we will be working on poetry. The kids have been reading and learning about poetry for the last couple of weeks, and this week they will get the chance to write their own. As a bonus, the kids will be partnering with their pen pals for a final time to write a rhymed poem and to provide some feedback on the poems they write. In the end, I hope the kids all get to go home with a short book of poems to share with their family over the summer. Please see the assignment packet below to get a better understanding of this project and what is expected of the kids this week.

This Week: Now and Ben

posted May 12, 2019, 8:37 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated May 12, 2019, 8:37 AM ]

This week Grade 2 is reading 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 write a short poem about Ben Franklin too.

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 Mysterious Tadpole

posted May 5, 2019, 6:25 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated May 5, 2019, 6:25 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.

This Week: Fantasy Stories

posted Apr 21, 2019, 6:45 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 21, 2019, 6:45 AM ]

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 14, 2019, 5:28 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 14, 2019, 5:28 PM ]

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. 

Extension: Writing a Realistic Fiction Story

posted Mar 19, 2019, 6:38 PM by Jason Brunken

It is Parent-Teacher Conferences week, and our class has begun writing our second stories of the year, realistic fiction. We are circling back for the next couple of months to review story writing and give the kids a chance to practice writing narratives. Storytelling is a very important part of writing and learning a language. Storytelling often inspires kids to be expressive explore new words, and experiment with new ways to tell or describe an event. 

This week, Grade 2 students are writing their second stories of the year, a realistic fiction story. Realistic fiction is any story that has characters, settings, and evens that did not really happen, but could happen. This is in contrast to fantasy stories that are set in places that can't be real and have characters and problems that could never exist in our world. Examples of realistic fiction are the Henry and Mudge books, Nate the Great, and Horrible Harry. The students have already reviewed story writing and have begun prewriting and drafting Monday. I am excited to see their finished stories. Below is the prewrite sheet we will use to plan our stories.

This Week: Luke Goes to Bat

posted Mar 4, 2019, 5:59 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 4, 2019, 6:00 AM ]

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 continuing work on their Market Day Project that they are collaborating on with their pen pals in Tanzania. Little by little it is coming together. we hope you like what we have done in April at the Expo!

Collaboration Project: To Market!

posted Feb 15, 2019, 12:39 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Feb 15, 2019, 12:39 AM ]

Starting this coming week, our students (both Grade 2 ASLA classes) and our pen pals in Ms. Suleman's class at the International School Moshi in Arusha, Tanzania will be working together on a project. The mission is to help the kids discover and learn about goods, services, and how they are exchanged in markets. During this project students will visit some local markets and write about what makes them. our pen pals will do the same for markets in Tanzania, and we will compare and contrast the markets in our countries, the goods they carry, and the distances those goods travel to get to us. As final task, your students will learn about ethics and what the etiquette is for different markets when you go there.

We hope to involve parents a little in this project as well. The first part of this involvement starts this weekend. The students took home a list of goods that can be found around the house. We hope the kids can find as many as possible and write in where the good was made and where they bought it. Both of our classes and our pen pals are taking this sheet home. We will use this data to calculate how far our goods have traveled to get to us and then compare and contrast that information with our pen pals'. I know the kids will be excited to learn how connected our planet is, even though we hardly notice it at times. Your help is much appreciated in getting this sheet completed. If you did not see this sheet. you can find it here, and print another copy.

The next task your child will need your help with will be in understanding the etiquette of our markets. Later this month, your child will bring questions home to ask you. Help them understand some of the rules and norms of our markets. We hope our students can learn how those rules often change from place to place and market to market.

This project will take some time to finish. When the kids are done, they will have collaborated with our friends in Tanzania to write a small book about markets in Tanzania and Taiwan, the goods they carry, and accepted etiquette for each. They will also have compared and contrasted markets and goods found in each country. Finally, they will have prepared a presentation to share this information with you, the parents, at the Annual ASLA Expo in April. If you have any questions about the project until then, please contact me.

This Week: Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble

posted Jan 13, 2019, 6:25 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jan 13, 2019, 6:26 PM ]

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. Students will also be reviewing story structure this week and begin planning their own short story.


This Week: Officer Buckle and Gloria

posted Jan 8, 2019, 4:15 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jan 8, 2019, 4:15 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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