PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Gr2 Blog Week of 3/5

Dear Families,

In Reading Workshop, we started our book club unit! All students are now reading series books in small book clubs. Our focus is on characters: What are they like? How do they respond to problems? How do they relate to the other characters? How do they change throughout the book? How are they similar and different across books in the series? As students read, they are jotting down notes to keep track of their thinking, which they will then share with their book club members.

In Writing, we started 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. Kids started their stories with either dialogue, action, a description of the setting, or a description of the main character. 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!

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 Social Studies, we finished up our Geography unit by thinking about New York City’s special geographic features, including islands, rivers, bays, the ocean, and forests. We talked about how the unique geography of New York City makes it such a great place to live. We examined some images from Mannahatta, by Eric W. Sanderson, to see how New York City looked more than 400 years ago, and we thought about all the changes people have made to the landscape of the city. Now we are ready to start our unit “New York City Over Time” by going back to the time when American Indians were the sole people living and working on the island of Mannahatta. We will then follow the path of New York City’s history up to the present day. In order to make the concept of change over time more personal, students will create a timeline of their own lives to show how they themselves have grown and changed. Please look out for a letter about this special project!

Finally, our work with Beam has begun! Last week the students received their section of land and worked in teams to plan their ideal community. Students took into consideration the needs and wants of people living on the land, thought about buildings and technology they wanted to incorporate, and made a plan for how to preserve the wildlife and natural spaces. This week they will begin to build up the landscape and construct buildings.


  • March 14th is a half day. Dismissal is 1130.
  • Please adhere to your scheduled Parent Teacher Conference time. If more time is needed another appointment will be scheduled during Parent Engagement Time.

Have a great week!

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Anne