PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Gr2 Blog week of Oct 22, 2018

Dear Families,

Here is a look into what has been happening in our classes.

In Math Workshop, we have been learning how to sort and solve different types of story problems involving subtraction. We named the different types as Removal, Missing Part, and Comparison. Please see the chart below for examples.


We are also looking deeper into what the problem is actually asking us to do. This week we will be breaking down problems and will be able to identify the story part of the problem, and the question part of the problem.

Alongside our story problem work, we are focusing on addition and subtraction strategies. We know that the way kids do math today looks different than the way we learned growing up, and that parents need support in order to align math work at home with what we are doing in school. The standard for second grade is that students develop a repertoire of strategies for addition and subtraction that are “based on place value”. The standard algorithm (or the way we were all taught) is only one strategy! Our goal is for students to develop what we call a “toolkit” or a “toolbox” of strategies. We encourage students to choose strategies based on the numbers in the problem: For example, we do not need an algorithm to solve 300-298! An algorithm makes this problem quite messy! Instead, we can “count up” from 298 to 300, in order to understand that the difference is 2. We are sending home some documents to help you understand the types of strategies we use in the classroom and how students might represent these strategies on paper. Please look for these sheets in your child’s home to school connections folder.




You also may be interested in reading this blog post from an educator in Utah as food for thought.

Strategies for Addition and Subtraction

Our second graders are each on their own developmental path. Your child may be starting to try out one or more of these strategies, or your child may be fluent in each. In class, we meet the children where they are and target instruction to meet their needs.

In Writer’s Workshop, we are beginning to put the finishing touches on our Personal Narrative Stories. This week we will begin by revising and editing and by the end of the week we will be publishing our first writing piece for you to see on Family Friday!

The second grade has begun a study on “Friendship”. Friendship and social emotional health is something that is near and dear to us here at BSI. We have discovered that building a friendship is also like baking a cake, we need ingredients. Our students came together and created a list of what qualities make a good friend. Here they are:


We even looked into different scenarios in which someone was not being a good friend and we worked in groups on ways to fix it. This is something that we will be working on throughout the year through various activities, read alouds and more!


Important Information!

  • Wednesday, October 24th is Wear  ORANGE- Unity Day!

BSI  will stand together against bullying and UNITED for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. We will come together in one giant ORANGE message of hope and support, We will WEAR AND SHARE ORANGE to color our school community visibly showing that we believe that no child should ever experience bullying.

  • Friday, October 26th is Family Friday from 9:18-10:05. We will be having a gallery style share of our Personal Narrative Stories. Families will have an opportunity to share a positive piece of feedback for their student.
  • Now that the weather has changed please make sure that you send your child with the proper outerwear as they do go outside everyday.
  • Reminder students are NOT permitted to wear Halloween costumes on Wednesday, October 31st.

Have a great week,

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Anne