Web Update:April 24, 2017
First of all, thanks for all the gifts and kind thoughts you shared during Teacher Appreciation Week. The flowers, fruit, hugs, candy, and supplies are much appreciated.
Can you believe May is right around the corner! The past few weeks I’ve been looking over what we’ve accomplished so far this year and I am so pleased with the level of second-grade readiness that I see. Our journals generally reflect second grade writing (the beginning of second grade writing). Even for those who aren’t quite there yet, I see progress in their approach to and level of confidence in independent writing. Many kids who started the year as low readers are now reading confidently and on grade level. I will be very curious to see what our DIBELs scores for this final term can tell us (the final DIBELs test will begin this week). In terms of math facts, our class continues to make great progress (as I will tell more about later). I’m looking around and seeing kids do their work independently like a team of pros and I’m reminded that this means they’re about to leave me. The level of transformation from incoming first-graders to the end of the year is truly remarkable, and yes, I’m feeling sentimental about it.
We are truly down to the last leg of the year. Below is an academic update to let you know what we will be focusing as we head into the last month of school.
First, thank you to all who were able to help their scholar at home with the writing project. About 2/3 of the class has completed theirs and we will spend the next couple weeks, finishing up with the last third. We will continue to work on journals and partner reading as these seem to be some of the most effective things we can do. Once our writing project is fully behind us, we will turn any extra time into an overview of second grade grammar and punctuation skills.
We have been working on a data and graphing unit in Core Math. We've talked about the different ways we represent data (pictographs, tally marks, bar graphs) and how we can use observation, addition, and subtraction to answer questions related to that graphed data. We are continuing to work on number of the day from time to time and it is really exciting to see the creative equation writing skills these kids have developed. We will continue to hit math drills hard until the very end of the year.
As you may recall, scholars are required to pass off addition drills, then they move on to subtraction, and finally we end the year on multiplication (if they can get that far). At the moment we have 4 kids who have passed off all their addition and subtraction and are working on multiplication and we have 3 kids close behind them who are regularly passing off subtraction drills. Even for those who are still working on addition, for the most part I see steady movement toward higher and higher levels and that is definitely worth celebrating. These drills aren't just a matter of being able to answer the facts it is a matter of being able to recall them instantly from memory with no hesitation. This explains why a kid who is technically capable of doing multiplication facts might still be working on addition drills in homeroom.
As far as new concepts go, we have one more big focus in math: measurement of length. Once we get through that unit, we’ll spend whatever time is left just working on review of areas that could be covered more before we send them off to second grade.
In Science and Social Studies:
Our social studies units are covered for the year and we’re just down to life science in science. This just looks like exposing the kids to information about habitats and life cycles. This will be covered more formally in second and third grade.