As we reach April vacation, we have been finishing up different units in math and Fundations. We have been learning vowel teams in Fundations. This is a tougher concept for the 2nd graders since they now have many spelling options for a sound. So far, we have learned a, a-e, ai, and ay for the long a sound as well as e, e-e, y, ea, ee, ey for the long e sound. When spelling these words, the student have to leave a blank space where the sound is and then test out different options to find the correct spelling. Exposure to many kinds of books has been helpful to some of the students as they have seen these words before. When a word is unfamiliar, they have been using a dictionary as well as a spell checker to locate the correct spelling.
We are also finishing up another module in math. Module 5 focused on different strategies to add and subtract three digit numbers within 1000. These methods include the vertical method, tape diagram, number bond, and the arrow method. They are also learning how to check their subtraction problems by using addition which is a great strategy to have! The class is also getting better when looking at someone's work and helping them on any errors they may have made. Our next module is focusing on the beginning strategies of multiplication which involves looking at multiples of groups such as 5 tables with 4 students at each. This will prepare them for multiplication in 3rd grade. We are also still working on our addition and subtraction math facts to reach our school goal by the end of the year so keep practicing!
In writing, we are creating a Dot book. With this project, the students all chose an animal and had to research a variety of different facts. They had to find a fact for numbers 1 through 10 such as a giraffe has 1 calf, or a giraffe is born to be 6 feet tall. The research was tough for them as they had to find specific facts to fit each number, but as we move forward, they have gained new knowledge of how to use a search engine to find these facts. This book will be available to take home after Author's Night on Monday, May 15th.
The last item I found interesting in reading these articles was that “Steve Jobs was a notoriously known as a low-tech parent and some Silicon Valley tech executives and engineers enroll their kids in no-tech schools.”
I know personally during vacation, I am going to make a conscious effort to turn off my computer, not look at my email as often and to turn off my cellphone. I am going to get out on the golf course, spend time with family, and after dinner read a book instead of turning on the television or logging into Facebook.
Enjoy your April vacation and see you back Monday, May 1st!