PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Gr2 Blog 10/18

Hello Families! 

Here is a look into what has been going on in 2nd Grade:

In Math Workshop, we have been looking deeper into what the problem is actually asking us to do. This past week we have broken down problems and are 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. 

You also may be interested in reading this blog post from an educator in Utah.   

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. 

Here is a chart that the class put together on their own showing their Addition Strategies:


 In Writer’s Workshop, we are beginning to put the finishing touches on our Personal Narrative Stories. This week we began  by revising and editing and by the end of the week we are finishing our publishing. You will be able to get a sneak peak of them on the bulletin board during Family Friday.  

In Social Studies, we have been discussing what it means to be a citizen and how we can create positive change in our school, community and even country. Our students came up with ideas such as: 

  • Putting an end to Bullying
  • Creating homes so there are no homeless people
  • Helping animals survive
  • Putting an end to pollution 
  • Creating laws to end fighting 


Important Information: 

  • Salt Marsh Trip: Monday, October 21st
  • Birthday Celebration: Thursday, October 24th 1005-1055
  • Family Friday: Friday, October 25th 920-10 (After the PTO meeting!) We will be painting and decorating a fall craft. We will also be having some harvest snacks. If you cannot make it we will be sure to email pictures! 
  • Please be aware of the changing weather, if your child comes to school wearing a jacket they must wear it outside to recess. 
  • Dismissal is at 2:45 in the school yard. Please try your best to be on time. 
  • Reminder students are NOT permitted to wear Halloween costumes on October 31st

We hope you enjoy the beautiful weather and have a great weekend!

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Mila