PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

2nd Grade Week of Jan. 30, 17

Dear Families,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our New Amsterdam Day celebration last week! Thank you for all of your donations and support throughout the day. You truly helped make the day a huge success.

This week in math, we are continuing our work with the T-Shirt Factory. The kids will be introduced to the concept of storage boxes that hold 100 t-shirts (10 rolls), which pushes their place value understanding into the hundreds. The storage boxes also help bring up the concept of unitizing: 100 loose t-shirts is the same as 10 rolls of 10 shirts, and also the same as 1 box of 100. This can be a confusing concept for children, which is why the context is so vital. In addition, this week the kids will begin to take inventory of all the different sized t-shirts that are in the warehouse. They will need to calculate how many total t-shirts we have, as well as how many total boxes, rolls, and loose t-shirts are in the warehouse.

In response to feedback from the Parent Meeting, we will begin to send home student work periodically in order to give you a better understanding of what we have been working on in class. Later this week we will send home one piece of math work from the T-Shirt factory unit. Please talk with your child about his or her work, as this will provide additional information that will help you understand how your child is processing the mathematics in the unit.

In Social Studies, we are discovering how homes and buildings have changed in New York City by studying primary source documents. Students will be looking closely at images of homes in New York City over the past 400 years, and noticing similarities and differences across the time periods. Then our historians will examine the changing skyline of the city, and imagine what New York City’s skyline may look like in the future!

In Writer’s workshop, we have launched our Realistic Fiction unit. Our students learned what realistic fiction is and how to spot a realistic fiction book. We are working step by step to see ‘How books work”. We are doing this by looking at each feature carefully and noticing what helps us as readers and writers. We have started off by noticing that realistic fiction books have real people and real settings in them. We then began to look at the covers of some realistic fiction texts. We will be deconstructing books one feature at a time to see how these features play into the story and help us comprehend what is going on. We will then be crafting our very own realistic fiction books!

In Reader’s workshop, we are continuing to read Jake Drake. We are focusing on how to keep a conversation going in a reading partnership. The students are working on ways to listen to their partners and digest what they are saying and asking meaningful questions in return. This is also helping with dealing with friendship problems that the students encounter throughout the day. They are learning through Jake Drake, how to put themselves into other people’s shoes. They are thinking deeply about the text and relating it to their own lives.

Finally, while we have been threading Tribes throughout our community building all year long, the midway point of the year is always a good time to refocus our energies on the community. This week we are spending time in both classes reviewing our school-wide Tribes Agreements and connecting them to our actions and interactions throughout the day. Our Tribes Agreements are: Attentive Listening (listening with our eyes, ears, and heart), Appreciations/No Put-Downs, Mutual Respect, Right to Pass, Safety with Body and Heart, and Personal Best. Ask your children about the Agreements at home this week, as this will spark some great conversation.

Have a great week!

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Anne