PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 2 Week of December 12, 2016

Hi Families,

Here is a look into our busy week. This week each class will be visiting The Old Stone House and having a Holiday Celebration on Friday in addition to all of the work we are creating in class.

In Writer’s Workshop our writers are feverishly drafting their nonfiction ‘All About Books’. During our mini-lessons we are focusing on grammar and spelling. So far we learned when to capitalize letters and all about how to use proper punctuation. We have also looked at multiple nonfiction books and talked about how authors decide to set up their writing in their books. We have worked together to decide how we want our publishing paper to look so that we can add beautiful illustrations and images to our writing. Please be sure to ask your student about what grammar skills they have learned so far!


In Reader’s Workshop, we are trying to navigate our way through New Amsterdam in “The Magic Tunnel”. We are working on noticing cause and effects in our reading and problems and solutions. John and Sarah will face many problems in “The Magic Tunnel”. Our kids are beginning to think about how the story will play out by placing themselves in the characters’ ‘clogs’. Be sure to ask your kids for a summary of what we have read so far!

In Math Workshop, we are starting to connect our measurement unit with an investigation of data. Students began by measuring each other and recording the data on a class chart.  As the kids attempt to interpret the data, they will quickly realize that we need a more efficient way to organize our information. We will then learn about line plots as an organizational tool, and will try them out with our own data.

Beginning this week, your child is invited to participate in a monthly home extension in math. Read below to learn about this month’s activity:


Home Explorations

Every month we will be highlighting a math exploration that you can do at home with your child. These explorations are meant to be fun activities that you can engage in as a family. This gives an opportunity to extend learning beyond the classroom and for you to interact with your child in meaningful, mathematically-minded ways!

December Home Exploration

This month’s Home Exploration is connected to our current unit on measurement and data. Have fun trying this at home!

Can you predict….

Which has the greater value- a stack of pennies one inch tall or a row of pennies one foot long?

Try this and other problems just like this- just click on the link below!

This week in Social Studies, we will be learning about Peter Stuyvesant, a very influential man in New York City’s history. Stuyvesant is credited with turning the small, failing outpost of New Amsterdam into a thriving colony. Students will reflect on what New Amsterdam was like before Stuyvesant came to town, and what it was like after. Our trip to The Old Stone House supports our study of New Amsterdam by showing kids what life was like in the 1600s. Kids did hands-on activities, including games and weaving. Next week, we will learn more about life in New Amsterdam.  

Finally, our gecko Sandy needs a home for the holidays! She is a very easy and adorable guest. Please email Anne at if you are able to take care of Sandy over the December vacation.

Just a few reminders,  we will be having a Holiday Celebration on Friday, December 16th. Please send your child in with a plastic bag so that they can carry their craft home. We will also be having a snack at that time, and if you would like to send anything in please do. Also, we will be working on ‘Friendship’ and what it means to be a good friend. Be on the lookout for an email showing what each class has come up with.

Thanks and have a wonderful week!

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Anne