Mrs. Hofmann's Second Grade

Mrs. Hofmann's Second Grade

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fifth Grade Buddies

Even though the kids were disappointed that the Jog For Jefferson had to be postponed, they felt much better after they got to meet their fifth grade buddies! For the past several years, Mrs. Harbage and I have partnered our kiddos up at the beginning of the year and established year-long buddy relationships. The second graders absolutely love having an older friend in the building, and the fifth graders seem to enjoy it just as much! We meet at least once per month and try to do a variety of activities throughout the year. It's a lot of fun and the second graders are always sad to see their buddies head off to middle school at the end of the year. Check out the link below to see a video of your child meeting his/her buddy!

Meeting Our Fifth Grade Buddies

Meeting Our Fifth Grade Buddies

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Word Study

On Friday, the children had their very first word study test. I have to say, WOW!!! The kids did a great job recognizing the patterns in their words and spelling/sorting them correctly. Remember, your children will receive a new list of word study words tomorrow. One list is for them to cut out and sort for Monday night's homework, while the other list will be placed in the clear plastic sleeve in their binders to use for studying. Feel free to take the list out of their binders if it helps you remember to study the words with your children. But please remember that we work with the same patterns for two weeks, so don't throw away the list coming home tomorrow until our next test on Friday, Sept. 30.

We spend lots of time in class practicing our word study patterns as well. We do a variety of sorts, both individually and with partners, as well as play an assortment of fun games that help us commit those patterns to memory. Some of the class favorites have included "Follow the Path," (pictured above) where the students work with a partner or small group and try to be the first one to get their game piece to the end of the board. They roll the dice, but can only move their game piece if they are able to spell the word correctly. The students also really enjoyed "Trash or Treasure," where they had to decide if the words on their list had their word study pattern for the week. If the word did have their pattern, it was "treasure," but if it did not it was "trash." We'll be incorporating the Smartboard this week into our word study activities, which is something the kids always enjoy. I'll be introducing "Fridge Magnets," where the children can move the letter magnets to make their words. It's just like using magnetic letters on the fridge at home, except these are on a computer screen!

Remember to get those pledge envelopes in for Jog For Jefferson! Even if your child is not collecting donations, he/she still needs to return a signed envelope so we know they are allowed to participate.

Kate and I had a fun time yesterday at the Columbus Children's Theatre seeing Pinkalicious, based on the popular books for little girls. Pinkalicious may be a little too young for second graders, but the Columbus Children's Theatre has some other great shows coming up this season. Sleepy Hollow is being performed Oct. 20-30 and Junie B Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells is coming Nov. 25-Dec. 21. I know a lot of the kids in class enjoy reading the Junie B. Jones series, so that might be something your kids would enjoy. The prices are pretty reasonable, too!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Getting Fancy!

One of the reading goals I have for all of your children is to expand their vocabularies this year. It can often be boring and monotonous to simply memorize a list of words and their definitions, so I try to make learning new vocabulary words fun and exciting by introducing the children to Fancy Nancy. She visited our classroom last week (my daughter Kate told me I could borrow her doll!), and we read Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words to get us excited about increasing our own vocabularies. Each Monday, I read a Fancy Nancy book to the children while wearing my tiara and boa, which the kids think is hilarious. I then introduce them to our new word of the week, which we add to our huge word collector in the back of the room. We add fancy words to this chart throughout the year. In the upcoming weeks, I will also give your children their own personal word collector to keep in their book boxes. This allows them to also be responsible for finding new and interesting words while reading.

We are almost finished with our first math unit of the year: data analysis. The kids were presented with five learning targets at the beginning of the unit, and have been working hard to master each target. Last week, the students worked in small groups to develop their own survey question that they could ask their classmates. We had lots of creative ideas, from "What is your favorite type of movie?" to "What is your favorite dessert?" After collecting their data, the groups were responsible for organizing their information into a bar graph, picture graph, and line plot. On Friday, they each used the Smartboard to share their results with the class. The group above asked their classmates, "What is your favorite football team?" and are seen presenting their picture graph to the class. The kids always get a little nervous when they have to get up in front of their peers, but I was really proud of all of them!
I hope everyone enjoyed the nice weather we had this weekend! My husband and I took Kate and Aubrey to Lynd's Fruit Farm on Saturday to pick apples, which was lots of fun for them. They had a little train set up that the girls got to ride in and a huge corn maze that we couldn't find our way out of! If you haven't been there yet this season, it's definitely worth the drive!

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Read to Self Time!

Last week we began our first component of the Daily Five called Read to Self. The children have been working very hard on building their reading "stamina." This is how long they are able to read a book and stay focused. Last week we reached 12 minutes, and we'll continue to add more minutes this week, with a goal of 25 minutes by October. While the students are independently reading, I was able to begin individual conferences with them. I enjoy this individual time with your children so much, as it allows me to get to know them better as readers and plan their reading instruction around their individual needs. We also began using our "book nooks," which are all of the fun areas in our classroom to read! We talked about how it's so important to choose a book nook that is comfortable and where we can concentrate on our reading without being distracted. There are many popular book nooks in our classroom, with one of the most well-liked being the dish chair pictured above. :)

We will begin setting our reading goals this upcoming week using our CAFE board. This is where your child and I talk about the four components of reading, including comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary, and decide which area(s) your child is strongest in and which
area(s) he or she would like to work on this year.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We're off to a cookout in a couple of hours, although this cool and cloudy weather is a little strange for Labor Day!