Sailing Into the 2015-2016 School Year!

Our theme this school year is based on the acronym SAIL and stands for Students and Staff Active in Learning. I can’t wait to set sail with my new class of 2nd graders this year. Pier 201 is almost ready to begin our voyage and I hope to meet each of you on Friday, August 7th at Meet & Greet!

Another thing that I am extra excited about is our class website. The following link will serve as our major source of communication throughout the year. This site, in addition to this blog, will keep us all informed as we SAIL through 2nd grade together!

http://debbieschroeder2.wix.com/sailing

 

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Cool Cat Poetry Cafe

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We have been spending the last month writing and reading poetry. The students have LOVED reading poems, especially by Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. The poetry anthologies I have from those poets have become well-worn and often fought over during reading time!!!

In addition, the kiddos have spent the last month in a Poetry Race to help build reading fluency. Parents have contacted me with how much Grandparents & relatives from across the country have enjoyed the nightly phone calls to hear the kiddos reading them a poem in the quest to receive the most signatures that week!

To wrap up our Poetry unit of study, we held a Poetry Cafe in our classroom. We dimmed the lights, donned our finest black clothes and snapped our fingers after listening to all the original poems (as well as some from our favorite poets) being read “open-mic” style. Parents and grandparents sipped coffee and enjoyed some sweet treats as we celebrated our classroom full of published poets! We even had some brave parents and staff members willing to get up and share their favorite poems.

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Character Bag Discussion Tables

Ms. McFate, our fabulous intern, had an observation by her UNF professor today and the students benefited from another amazing lesson. Over the past several weeks, our read-alouds have focused around strong and interesting characters. Students have been learning about how characters drive the stories we read, how characters change throughout stories, and how to analyze character traits based on their actions thoughts and feelings.

For today’s lesson, Ms. McFate chose 5 of our classroom favorite books that we have read recently. If you have a chance to read these books with your children, I highly recommend each of them! They are filled with funny, silly, sad and very unique characters and plots. The book titles are: The Great Fuzz Frenzy, Memoirs of a Goldfish, Officer Buckle and Gloria, Hooway for Wodney Wat, and Hurty Feelings.

The Great Fuzz Frenzy

The Great Fuzz Frenzy

Hurty Feelins

Hurty Feelings

Memoirs of a Goldfish

Memoirs of a Goldfish

Officer Buckle and Gloria

Officer Buckle and Gloria

Hooway for Wodney Wat

Hooway for Wodney Wat

Students were given 3 objects from each story to serve as reminders of important parts of the story. Then, they had to answer questions about the characters on chart paper. After 3 minutes, students rotated to a different table and kept rotating until they had visited each story table. They answered questions thoughtfully and had a blast discussing each story again.

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Living Museum…Where History Comes to Life

As a final activity for our unit on America, where we learned all about the symbols, government and people that help make our country so great, students brought history to life in our annual Living Museum. Each student chose a Famous American and spent weeks writing and researching about that person.

Today, students came dressed as their Famous American and stood as statues in our Living Museum…just waiting for someone to press their buttons so they could come to life. They prepared and practiced short speeches to teach our museum visitors all about who they were and why they are famous.

I am so proud of how well our Living Museum went today and how poised and excited our Famous Americans were as the many visitors walked through to see us! All who visited had wonderful words to say about each and every one of our Famous Americans!

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln

Clara Barton

Clara Barton

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley

Juliet Gordon Low

Juliet Gordon Low

Walt Disney

Walt Disney

Sally Ride

Sally Ride

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

George Washington

George Washington

Paul Revere

Paul Revere

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini

Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

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We Love America!!!

Our class has been studying all things America over the past month.

U.S. Symbols: Part of our learning has focused on symbols that are important parts of our country’s history. Partners worked to research these symbols and created posters to share their learning with others.

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Timelines and Biographies: Once students chose a Famous American to research, they just couldn’t get enough. I can’t believe all the books they have read, websites they have visited, and research they have done in the hunt to learn EVERYTHING about what made the person they studied so important to American history and to the world. As part of their research, students learned the craft of writing biographies. Students also created individual timelines and then we worked hard to put our Famous Americans into a historical timeline.

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American Characters: During reading, we have been learning about how important characters are. One thing we have focused on is being able to infer a character’s traits by their actions, thoughts and feelings.

Students were able to infer the character traits of their Famous Americans after reading biographies. The silhouettes they created are surrounded by words that describe their Famous American. We noticed that so many could be described as brave, pioneers, curious, innovative, honest, and smart.

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IMAX Field Trip

 What a way to start the week! We had a terrific time to the IMAX movie theater. We watched two movies that taught us all about 2 very distinct and very different habitats. This was a great culminating activity for our habitats and life cycles unit. Students were able to be immersed into the ocean and the Arctic with the help of some wonderful 3-D glasses!!!

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Super Science: Food Chains

Here in Room 306, we are having a blast immersing in our Life Science unit on habitats. We have been learning about where plants and animals live, how they survive, and how they depend on each other within the habitat.

As part of our classroom lessons, we have been learning about the food chain and adaptations animals have that help them survive within their habitats.

Today, we braved the chilly weather to act out the food chain. Students were given different size Ziploc baggies to represent mice, snakes, or hawks. Food (cereal) was spread out on the ground and the mice were given some time to “eat” and gather the food in their baggies. After a minute or so, the snakes were sent in and could “eat” a mouse by tagging  them. If they were able to tag a mouse, the mouse had to give up their bag of food and the snake put it inside their own. The snakes were only safe for a minute or two before we sent the hawks in to eat.

At the end of our activity, we returned to the warmth of the classroom to discuss what we noticed and learned about the food chain. Students did a great job discussing how they noticed some “survival” techniques as the prey tried to escape the predator. photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

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