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Grade 2 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 2 below.

This Week: Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble

posted Apr 6, 2020, 2:34 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 6, 2020, 2:35 AM ]

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 continue work on finishing their projects for the upcoming ASLA Expo.

 

This Week: Working in Space

posted Mar 9, 2020, 7:34 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 9, 2020, 7:34 AM ]

This week we are reading Working in Space, a nonfiction book about some of the many jobs astronauts do in space. This reading selection is interesting for the kids and a great way to get back into the mode of reading and analyzing nonfiction after so long reading and focusing on stories. Our focus while reading will be on the text and graphics features of the selection, namely headings and captions. It's a review, but very important review.

Throughout the week we will be practicing our spelling words on the /ow/ sound. We will also practice vocabulary and grammar (possessive nouns). Please refer to the weekly handout sheet below for the spelling and vocabulary words. I have also posted a slideshow of that teaches the vocabulary words. Don't forget to practice and review throughout the week. 

For writing we will begin our focus on persuasive writing. We began practicing this writing model last week. This weeks the kids will begin planning their own persuasive paper on what they think is the most important recent invention. We will continue work on these papers next week.

This Week: Now and Ben and more

posted Feb 19, 2020, 6:11 PM by Jason Brunken

Welcome back! It's been over five weeks since I have last seen the kids in class. I'm so happy to see everyone back and healthy for the first week of classes of the new year. Due to the three weeks that have been cancelled, we are changing up our plan for Grade 2 a bit from what was originally scheduled. A new calendar has been sent home to tell you all about what is coming up.

The first two weeks back, 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). Also this week, students will be watching video responses form their pen pals to the letters we mailed out last semester. The kids will work on making their own videos this week, probably to be recorded next week sometime.



This week: How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

posted Dec 30, 2019, 5:19 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Dec 30, 2019, 5:19 PM ]

Welcome back! Christmas has come and gone  and New Year is days away, so it's time to get back to learning lots and having fun.

This week, Grade 2 will be reading the folk tale How Chipmunk Got His Stripes. This book is a retelling of a Native American folk tale. It, like most folk tales, stars animal characters acting like people. In this case, a braggart bear is outsmarted by a Chipmunk who then gets in trouble when he teases Bear. Children always love this story. I've put a YouTube video of the story being read below if you're interested.

This week students will be exploring characters' personalities by looking at their actions as well as story structure. This practice will later be applied to our culminating lesson this month of writing our own stories.

We will be practicing vocabulary, grammar, and spelling this week as well. A spelling test will be given on Friday. For writing this week, students will be reviewing story structure in preparation for beginning their first stories next week. Please help your child study the spelling and vocabulary words with the slideshow and handout below.


Extension Week: Writing a Research Report

posted Nov 21, 2019, 8:53 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 21, 2019, 8:53 PM ]

This week, the grade 2 classes are learning how to research and write an informational text about a main idea. This will be the culmination of a variety of skills the students have been practicing all semester. The most basic of these is paragraph construction. Using topic sentences and supporting sentences to communicate information about a topic. We practice this skill during our pen pal letter extension, but now students are taking that skill to the next level by writing a research report about an animal. 

An informational text has many paragraphs all about a single main idea, or big topic. Each paragraph gives supporting facts in greater detail about the big topic. Learning to organize and write information in this way is a new skill for our students. For this reason we are spending the rest of this week on this assignment to make sure students have enough time to master the skill.

Next week, students will be taking their research reports through the entire writing process. They are beginning by organizing their topics and researching details about their animals. Below you can see the assignment and prewrite sheets the kids will be using to plan their writing. They will write two drafts and revise their work twice before completing the final draft. I know you all will be very impressed with their work. 


This Week: Jellies

posted Nov 21, 2019, 8:50 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 21, 2019, 8:51 PM ]

This week in Grade 2 we will be doing the usual, practicing grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading, and writing. Our story for this week in Journeys is JelliesJellies is a nonfiction book about some of the many kinds of jellyfish that live in the sea. While reading Jellies, we will again be looking at the importance of main ideas and details getting ready for writing our own multi-paragraph informative compositions. 

At the end of the week students will finally be learning to write research reports and choosing their topics for their research reports that they will be working on next week. Next week will be a hard week of writing for the class.

Below is the weekly handout sheet  and vocabulary slideshow for this week. We will have a spelling test at the end of the week. Please remind your child to study the spelling words and help them review the vocabulary as well. 


This Week: Super Storms

posted Nov 11, 2019, 4:37 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 11, 2019, 4:37 AM ]

This week in Grade 2 we will be doing the usual, practicing grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading, and writing. Our story for this week in Journeys is Super Storms. Super Storms is a nonfiction book about some of the most devastating types of storms on Earth: tornadoes, typhoons, thunderstorms, and blizzards. This week marks the second week of our look at nonfiction. While reading Super Storms, we will again be looking at the importance of main ideas and details getting ready for writing our own multi-paragraph informative compositions.

At the end of the week students be doing some more practice with writing an informative paragraph, this time, using information from a book. The kids will work on the skill of paraphrasing what they read. This is a useful skill when doing research as writing down exactly what you read would be copying. Good practice for your child this week would be to read additional nonfiction selections.

Below is the weekly handout sheet and vocabulary slideshow for this week. We will have a spelling test at the end of the week. Please remind your child to study the spelling words and help them review the vocabulary words as well.



This Week: Animals Building Homes

posted Nov 3, 2019, 2:35 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 3, 2019, 2:35 AM ]

This week the grade 2 classes will be reading Animals Building Homes by Wendy Perkins. This is a nonfiction book about the different places that animals live. It is a perfect opportunity to get into our next writing project: a research report.

This week also marks the beginning of a new unit. This month, we will be looking at informative writing, namely the research report. Little by little this month, the students will learn the basic parts, organization, and strategies for writing a basic research report. This is a writing skill that will serve them them for the rest of their time at Happy Kids. It isn't the funnest writing assignment, but it is one of the most valuable that I teach this year. I hope all of the students try their best to master it.

Below is the weekly handout for this week and a slideshow to review this week's vocabulary words. Please help your child review the spelling and vocabulary words. We will have a spelling test on Friday.

Extension Week: Letters to Our Pen Pals

posted Oct 20, 2019, 7:09 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Oct 20, 2019, 7:09 AM ]

For the past couple of weeks, we have been learning to write a friendly letter. This week, the Grade 2 classes will be spending their time writing multi-paragraph replies to our pen pals in Tanzania. We received letters from our friends in Ms. Suleman's class at United World College-East Africa in Arusha, and it's our turn to write back. We will be applying what we've learned about paragraphs and writing a friendly letter to compose a four paragraph letter to their new friends. We hope to mail the letters out after next week. Below is the assignment sheet given to students to help them write their letters. I know our friends in Africa will be so happy to get these letters.

Remember, Teacher Professional Development Day and Parent-Teacher Conferences are this week, so no class Wednesday through Friday. I look forward to meeting everyone this week.


This Week: Teacher's Pets

posted Oct 6, 2019, 10:12 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Oct 6, 2019, 10:12 PM ]

This week the Grade 2 class will be working out of Journeys reading Teacher's Pets, a funny little story about school and pets by Ann Dodds. While it is a short week due to the National Day this Thursday and Friday, we will still be covering our vocabulary, phonics, grammar, and reading lessons. 

Below is the weekly handout sheet for this week. On it you will find the spelling and vocabulary words. Vocabulary words are also posted below in the practice slideshow to help you practice. A spelling test will be given on Friday this week. The words are getting harder. Please review. Coat of Arms pics are coming soon. I'll post them later this week.


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