The Week Ahead
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2-B Katie Rizzo
a progressive learning environment
February 27, 2017
Although it was a short week, it was a full week of learning for the Innovators. Our theme was “building bridges” last week in both the physical and metaphorical sense, and students were asked to think about all the meanings of bridges. We started off the week by reading “Iggy Peck, Architect” by Andrea Beaty and looked at different types of physical bridges and their structures. Students were then given a design thinking challenge to build a bridge using popsicle sticks and a limited amount of tape that would hold three pounds of weight in groups. Building on that topic we spiraled back to practicing accurate measurement in both the metric and us customary system, working on rounding to the nearest 1/2 unit and conversions within the system. We then re-read the story of “Old Joe and the Carpenter”, a tale about building bridges to connect people that focuses on how to build empathy and understanding towards others. The Innovators were then asked to create a story about two unlikely characters that meet and form a friendship, with their story put into comic strip form. On Friday we took a neighborhood walk to observe the Portola neighborhood with two different lenses: one as a humanitarian noticing the people and cultures, and the other as a mathematician noticing the different shapes and angles that make up our neighborhood.
Science: As we start thinking about ideas for the upcoming science fair (4/7), second grade scientists will be focusing on building on their observation skills this week. We will be conducting activities to reinforce how to be a critical and scientific thinker. Students will work on various skills such as distinguishing the difference between an observation and opinion, how to collect and record detailed observations, following and giving multi-step oral directions, and what to do when discrepancies exist between descriptions of the same objects. We will discuss the importance of observation as a scientist and reinforce skills thought various group games and hands on observation activities, targeting one skill at a time. The idea of a testable and untestable questions will be introduced to get students to start thinking critically and scientifically. Through a variety of activities, students will learn to differentiate between what types of questions can be tested scientifically and which can not.
Literacy: Last week students went on a neighborhood walk and observed their surroundings with two separate analytical lenses – as mathematicians (looking for physical attributes including building shapes/measurements) and as humanitarians (considering who lives/learns/works in the neighborhood, what is important to them and how do we know this?). On our journey, teachers took students to the abandoned greenhouses right around AVS' corner. With the students, we considered this empty space, and what opportunities it held. This week, students will be asked to brainstorm ideas and options for how the Portola neighborhood could use that space. Students will then begin the process of writing persuasive essays about a positive and meaningful way to use that space for our community. The process of persuasive writing is a formative one in second grade, and as teachers, we draw from multiple resources, including Lucy Calkins, Ralph Fletcher and 826 Valencia. In reading, we will continue to work in our small guided reading groups, working specifically to expand students' vocabulary, further our understanding of figurative language and practice our skills making inferences while reading.
Math: Students will begin the week by sorting examples and non-examples of polygons, creating a class definition for the term polygon. The students will participate in discussions and activities revolving around plane geometric shapes (triangle-decagon) and discover new vocabulary words such as side, edge, vertex, and angle. Students will also construct tangrams and use them to create various shapes and designs. Games played and lessons learned this week build a foundation for students to further study plane and solid geometric shapes. We will continue to reinforce addition and subtraction skills through centers, Daily 3 activities, and number talks. We look forward to a fantastic week!
Tech: What is the definition of an algorithm? How do algorithms help humans? How do they help computers? This week, students will receive their login information for the code.org program. With many “unplugged” lessons, students will have a chance to practice designing and implementing algorithms, before beginning coding work on the computer.
Monday: Word Study Focus Sheet
Tuesday: Polygon hunt- How many different polygons can you find outside of school? Write and illustrate at least 7 examples.
Wednesday: Neighborhood walk (due next Monday)
Thursday: Dinner discussion: 1) Discuss with an adult at home why being a detailed observer helps you to be a good scientist. 2) Share in your own words the difference between a testable and untestable question. 3) Write down three ideas or topics that you are interested in exploring for the Science Fair.
an emphasis on science, math and technology
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