PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Gr2 Week of 3/8: Shapes, Book Clubs and Stories!

Dear Families,

We hope you all weathered the storm as easily as possible.  Thank you for getting your children to school despite all of the inconveniences. It may be stormy outside, but we have been hard at work on some exciting projects in here. Here’s what’s happening this week:

In Reading Workshop, we are in the process of creating series book clubs, which will launch throughout the next week. Now that our readers are tackling longer and more complex books, much of our work is focused on understanding characters across the whole arc of a story. When we read series, we can track how our characters act and react in many different situations. This helps us predict how our characters will respond to problems, and also enables us to identify when our characters are acting out of the ordinary. As always, we are working on how we know about our characters. Many kids know why characters act a certain way. A character may be angry and sad because she is being teased. But as readers we need to prove that we know that by looking at a character’s words and actions– she yelled, she kicked her chair. This is especially important when characters respond in different ways than we ourselves would respond. As you read with your children at home, make sure you ask questions that encourage your child to prove their thinking: “How do you know? What words or sentences tell you that?”

In Writing Workshop, we have begun drafting our realistic fiction stories! We reviewed the different ways stories begin by looking at our mentor texts, and tried out one of the ways. As we write, we are focusing on adding details that help make our stories interesting, including dialogue and action, and by showing how characters feel. We are off to a great start!

In Math workshop, we are continuing our study of geometry. This week we are taking a careful look at various 2D and 3D shapes. Students are working on describing and categorizing shapes based on their attributes. Since the students are still developing the precise vocabulary of geometry, they have very different ways of talking about and grouping the shapes. Some students take a very artistic approach: “These are all shapes that look like other things. This triangle looks like a mountain!” Others are grouping shapes according to the number of sides or vertices they have. As the kids develop more vocabulary, their observations about the shapes will become more mathematical. In addition, we also have learned that one large 3D block can be composed of smaller 3D blocks. We discovered this by choosing a 3D block and trying to make the same exact shape using other 3D blocks. Here are some pictures of what the students have found:

In Social Studies, we are continuing our Urban, Suburban, and Rural unit. This week we are beginning to explore what makes each area unique. We will focus on the population density in each community, which will help explain why urban, suburban, and rural areas meet their transportation and housing needs in very different ways. We will connect the idea of population density to different density areas at BSI by exploring which parts of our school building are high density, which are low, and how the rooms are designed to meet the needs of the people using them.


  • Due to scheduling changes, our bridge raising has been postponed. We are in the process of modifying this project, and will keep you informed about our plans.
  • Parent Teacher Conferences are on March 15th. If you cannot attend please let us know and we will make other arrangements for you.
  • 826NYC Trip- 201 March 16th, 202 March 19th. Emails will be going home shortly to parents who were chosen as chaperones.

Have a great week and stay safe!

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Anne