Monday, September 30, 2013

Let's Get to the Core

That is the common core of course. This is our 2nd year to be using the Go Math Common Core series. The first year is a lot of learning but now we are starting to really understand and have fun with this new series. This year in Math our class has started "Math Workshop". It is a form of centers but really targets Math skills that 2nd graders need to be learning. The word MATH  stands for the following centers: Math Facts, At Your Seat, Teacher Choice, and Hands On. We rotate every 10 minutes so there is no time to be off task. The students absolutely LOVE this! Take a peak at "Math Workshop" in action.....

Also, speaking of core....we took a few minutes out of our day and enjoyed some "Johnny Appleseed" fun. Thanks to all the parents who sent in apples! We were apple do a taste test as well as graph our favorite color apple. This was a treat for the kids but it was a chance for me to take at peak at a few of their Math skills such as; Tally Marks and Graphing. Check out our class graph below

Last but certainly not least..... Personal Narratives: Published!!! I am so proud of how hard the student's worked through the Writing Procress. This week we are moving further into writing with Narrative Nonfiction.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Yes! We have been super busy writing. This year 2nd grade has a  BIG focus on writing. The new common core standards have really challenged teachers. We  write a good deal in our class but I have failed to always take time to go through each and every step of the writing process. So, this year we have slowed down and take at least a week at a time to complete a writing skill. We are currently working on a "Personal Narrative". The topic is "my favorite memory with my best friend". Personal Narratives are meant to pin point a specific event and give details regarding that event.

First, we read this personal narrative written by Patricia Polacco.

Next, I introduced the topic and shared a personal narrative that I wrote. I wanted to model the correct words to use includes I, Me, and My. I also wanted the students to notice the sequence and details "that Mrs. Busha put in her story." See the example below:

My Best Friend Memory
A Personal Narrative
Be Sure to Include:

1. The name of your Best friend.
2. Why they are your best friend.
3. Topic sentence: Favorite Memory
4. Give details (exactly what happened)
5. Sequence the story: (Use words like: First ,Next ,Then,  Last, Finally)
6. Use the words I, Me, My, We, and Us

My example narrative:
My best friend’s name is Anna Leigh. Anna Leigh is the same age as me. We have been friend for 10 years. She is my best friend because we can talk about anything. She is always there when I need her. My favorite memory with Anna Leigh, is the time we went parasailing.

We went on vacation to the Beach with Anna Leigh’s dad. We saw people “flying” through the sky. It looked so fun but kind of scary, too. First ,we walked down the beach to the “Parasail Hut”. Next, we found out how much money it would cost to go and we both had just enough money. Then, we got permission from our parents, and we were ready to “fly”. Next, we swam in the ocean out to a special boat. We climbed on the boat. Then, the workers helped us put on all of our safety gear. Finally, the started the engine and the boat began to move. Pretty soon we were doing it, we were “flying”!  It was awesome! That is my favorite memory with my best friend Anna Leigh. I am so thankful to have such a great friend.

Then, came "Brainstorming"....we used a web style graphic organizer this time. In the center bubble we wrote "my Best Friend________". Then they though of 4 fun memories that they have with that friend.

 From here, we began the planning phase.....I am currently in the middle of conferencing with each student about their "Plan". So, I will be back to share then finished "Narratives" later in the week!

Our story last week was, A Walk in the Desert. We used this Desert Turtle Book  to help recall information from the story.

I am very excited to see how our class develops and grows as writers this year!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grandparent's are Out of this World!

Monday we had the opportunity and honor to celebrate Grandparent's Day at APS! We have so many loved children! Thank you to all of the Grandparent's and Special Friends that took time out of their busy days to join us. 

Our reading series has two back to back stories about space. So, we have been learning and studying about astronauts, stars, and planets. This Friday we will wrap up our study. Thank you to the parents who sent "Space Snacks" for the children to enjoy.

Yesterday, we read a nonfiction passage about Constellations. We did a shared writing about what a constellations is. Here is what we came up with:
 A constellation is a group of stars. They form a picture or shape. Each one has a name.

Then, each student was able to create their own fictional constellation. I was so proud of how creative they were! 
Check out the two below:

 "Big Spinner"

"Midnight Cafe"

No study would be complete without several fiction as well as nonfiction books.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September Already?

Well, today is September 5, 2013....this year is flying by already! We have been hard at work here at APS. We have completed our first week in our reading series and are half way through Chapter 1 in our Go Math series. Last week, our story was Iris and Walter and we discussed rural/urban communities. We completed a bubble map, writing, and barn as a project relating to "Rural Living".

This week is one of my favorite weeks!!! Our story is called Exploring Space with an Astronaut and the kids love it.....well I LOVE it to! There are so many fun books, video, and activities that relate to the Solar System and Astronauts. Yesterday, we created the anchor chart below and students began their writing titled, "Going to the Moon"! I can't wait to share their finished projects with you all!

Finally, we have been working to add information to our Math Journal. This is my first year to do them by Chapter and so far we are loving them. Check out some of them out below: