Money is a powerful tool for teaching students to compute. Children naturally want to know about money, and though money concepts can be difficult for them to understand, once they do, they can easily learn to count and compare money amounts. Patience and practice are essential.
In order for students to understand how to count money amounts they need to develop their skip-counting skills. Counting money involves counting on and skip counting by 5s, 10s and 25s. To count coins, children need to understand how to sort the coins to make counting easiest. They need to sort them by starting with the coin of highest value and then the coin of next-highest value, continuing until all coins have been sorted into groups. Once children have grouped the coins, they then can skip count to find the amounts.
For the last two weeks, we have diligently practiced these skills using many different fun learning activities. Our second graders have become quite proficient at their money counting skills!
Synthesis is a process involving other comprehension strategies. It is one of the most complex readings skills because readers have to be able to take the information that they learned from reading a text and combine it with their background knowledge in order to create a new understanding. In other words, they weave together what they read and their own ideas into new complete thoughts. As we synthesize, we deepen our understanding of topics, concepts, or ideas and expand our personal understanding of our own lives and those of others. Synthesizing allows readers to change their thinking as they read. Students are working to put together all of the comprehension strategies they have learned to form thoughts, opinions and conclusions. Synthesizing can be difficult because it involves so many pieces. As we learned about the skill of synthesizing, we immersed ourselves in quality mentor texts with many wonderful examples. I read the texts out loud and shared my own thinking as we discussed the students’ thinking at the same time. We practiced with one another and participated in numerous learning activities. The more they think about the process as they read, the better they synthesize and the easier it becomes!
As you know, each spring, Summit second graders participate in the Language Arts Department (LAD) Fair, a regional writing contest. In doing so, students are creating and selecting pieces of writing fitting specific categories outlined by the LAD Department. In addition to submitting small group and class anthologies, we will strive to submit at least one piece of writing from each individual student. At the contest, writing samples are read and then judged by other area teachers. Entries are limited to four per category.
Well, the results are in!!!! Our second grade class had an amazing show at the 2019 LAD Fair!!! We had several first, second, third, and honorable mentions in many categories. Their hard work and perseverance paid off. I was so very proud of the results, which is proof in point that all our effort in Writer’s Workshop has been a success. They are truly becoming fantastic writers! The specific winners in each category was emailed to you. Prepare to be impressed!
The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks is a not-for-profit group whose mission is to sustain and improve the water resources of Springfield and Greene County through education and effective management of the region’s watersheds.They offer educational opportunities to give all citizens (young and old) information and experiences which improve their understanding of local water resources and encourage the stewardship of those resources. They rely very much on volunteers to help them accomplish their mission.
We truly made a difference today as we worked to help the Watershed Committee accomplish their mission. As a group, 2nd and 3rd grade students contributed to the creation of a glade on the Watershed grounds. On a cleared space, Students dug holes, removed rocks (Lots!) and planted native plants to recreate a glade that had been taken over by invasive species of plants. Everyone played a part. The fruit of their labor will be seen by generations to come!! It was an amazing experience for all involved!
Each spring, Summit second graders participate in the Language Arts Department (LAD) Fair, a regional writing contest. In doing so, students are creating and selecting pieces of writing fitting specific categories outlined by the LAD Department. In addition to submitting small group and class anthologies, we strive to submit at least one piece of writing from each individual student. At the contest, writing samples are read and then judged by other area teachers. Students have been working on LAD Fair pieces at home and some even worked over spring break.
The class has been working diligently on their writing creations! They are so proud of their writing pieces and so very excited to share. I can’t wait to see the results of the contest. We have over 60 entries! It’s quite rewarding to see how far their writing has come since the beginning of the school year. It’s even more exciting to think about how far they can take this important skill!
Each and every day in our second grade classroom, kindness is a focused skill. We learn it through modeling , shared books, lessons and experiences. Students show kindness in the way they respond to one another, treat each other, and care for each other. It is evident throughout our school. Kindness is not something that just happens, it must be explained, practiced and celebrated. It is truly part of our daily curriculum.
Patty O’Grady, PhD, an expert in neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology, specializes in education. She reports:
Kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it.
According to Patty O”Grady, there is a great number of benefits that have been reported to support teaching kindness in schools, best summed up by the following:
- Happy, Caring Children
- Increased Peer Acceptance
- Greater Sense of Belonging and Improved Self-Esteem
- Improved Health and Less Stress
- Increased Feelings of Gratitude
- Better Concentration
- Reduced Depression
- Less Bullying
The good feelings that we experience when being kind are produced by endorphins. They activate areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. These feelings of joyfulness are proven to be contagious, encouraging more kind behavior by the giver and recipient. Acts of kindness help us form connections with others which are reported to be a strong factor in increasing happiness.
Of course, kindness is a skill taught daily, if not hourly, at home too! To open lines of communication and offer opportunities for more discussion on kindness, I have attached a list of movies with kindness as the theme. Take a look!
8th Grade Hosting Bake Sale: March 6-8
Summit 8th grade students are hosting a bake sale on Wednesday, March 6th through Friday, March 8th. Baked goods will cost between $1-3. All proceeds will help fund the 8th grade class trip to Kansas City. The Bake Sale will be open from 12:30-1:30 p.m.(Back Patio/2nd fl Kitchen area) and 3:30-4:00 p.m. (Outside Lobby).