Week Ahead in Second Grade

September 11 - 15, 2017


Thank you, parents, for joining us at Back to School Night. We hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our classroom environment. Please reach out if you have further questions, concerns, or thoughts.

The Superstars are falling into daily rhythms, such as class jobs, morning routines, academic expectations, and homework responsibilities. We are looking forward to adding a new program to our weekly schedule, Flip it Fridays. Each Friday afternoon, both Second Grades will combine for an integrated learning experience. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer at the Portola Library Garden, venture to McLaren Park for Forest Friday outdoor learning experiences, as well as to join one of the Second Grade teachers for an integrated learning project based on a common theme. Our first activities will spotlight constellations.



We are deepening our practices of making observations, recording like scientists, asking questions, and carrying out investigations. The students had a fun time “playing” with gravity and air resistance as we explored why celestial bodies in space stay in orbit with one another. This week, we will be using kinesthetic models to understand how our planet, moon, and star (Sun) move in relation to each other. These practices will help to deepen our understanding of day, moon/month, and year cycles. We will also begin to more closely look at the phases of the Moon. We are ready for even more fun “waxing” our knowledge of this subject!


After two short weeks, we are looking forward to a full week of math-filled fun. Students will be introduced to an engaging game called “Pico, Fermi, Bagel.” Through this activity, students manipulate numbers in order to guess their partner’s secret number. It is a great way for students to become more comfortable with place value. Our beginning focus will be on the ones, tens, and hundreds digits. This week, students will also be introduced to math centers. These will consist of two teacher-led centers, one center that has a "Math With Someone" activity (working with a partner or small group), and one center that has a "Math By Myself" activity (independent work). Similar to the Five for Three literacy program, students will soon be able to independently choose activities that they would like to complete. Our main focus this week will be place value, further building number sense, and reviewing addition and subtraction strategies.

(Try out Pico, Fermi, Bagel at home!-)



The Five for Three literacy program allows students to independently choose activities that strengthen reading, writing and spelling skills. The teacher's’ role in Five for Three is to work with small groups through guided book clubs, word study (spelling patterns/ phonics) practice, and writing workshops. This week students will try on different “caps”- focusing on where to use capitalizations in a sentence and why. This will serve as the foundation for building up a more solid understanding of syntax mechanics, and it will set the stage for second grade writing expectations.



In the age of Google Maps, Siri, and Sat. Nav., it was refreshing to see the students get lost among maps, globes, and atlases and engage in conversations about the functions of maps. This week we will focus on titles, compasses/direction - following and legends. All of this practice will lead to the design of a unique island retreat, where students can display their map knowledge and also express their creativity and imagination. If you so choose, test your mapping skills here


The second grade has done a great job showing stamina through their hour long music classes. Second grade A class missed music this past week due to Labor day, but we’ll catch up this week with playing in a large group with rhythmic and listening practice. In the coming week, we’ll also work on "Sally Goes Round the Sun" and "Interplanet Janet," adding complexities as we go.



This week, students will learn that the universal language of nature is math! We will explore the Fibonacci sequence as it relates to the form and function of most plants. Students will search for the patterns Nature commonly uses to design Life, and get to taste a delicious romanesco fractal.



Students will learn useful words and phrases that will be used in the classroom on a daily basis. Students will continue to work on the booklet. The independence in most of the countries in Latin America is celebrated this week so we will be talking about how these countries celebrate their independence. Second grade will make flags to decorate the Spanish classroom.

Repetition is key, so feel free to practice the vocabulary with your child(ren).  

Last week:  

Hola                                  Hello

Adiós                                 Bye

Buenos días                      Good morning

Buenas tardes                  Good afternoon

Buenas noches                 Good night

Cómo estás?                    How are you?

Muy bien / bien                Very well / well

Y tú? And you?

Cómo te llamas?             What is your name?

Yo me llamo…                 My name is…


This week:

Puedo ir al baño?        Can I go to the bathroom?

Puedo tomar agua?      Can I go drink water?

Cómo se dice?                How do you say…..?

Por favor                          please

Thank you                        gracias

Con permiso                    excuse me

Puede repetir?                Can you repeat that please?

Mesas                                  tables

Sillas                                    chairs

La alfombra                     the rug

La pizarra                        the board

Las carpetas                     the folder

Bonnie Tynes

Sarah Jashington

Glenn Heuser

Amy VanBuskirk


Roll and Write to practice your spelling words for the week. Play this game throughout the week for added practice!

Challenge: Take on the role of Caps Detective. Look around your home and start a log of which words you notice that start with a capital letter. Bring in your log for discussion.



Teach an adult at home how to play KenKen and return at least one completed grid. Challenge: Create your own 3x3 KenKen board



Observing the evening sky (sunset at 7:19 pm): Record your observations of the evening sky at your house. (Will reschedule if not a clear night.)

  • What do you notice in the sky?

  • Can you see which direction the sun is setting? Can you predict the direction of sunrise?

  • Is the moon in the sky? Stars?

  • Use all your senses to make more observations about what you notice during this time.

  • Share your findings with someone at home.



Create a “sales pitch” for your island. Who do you want to visit? Why would someone want to visit? What can they do on your island? Make it convincing! Write 3-5 sentences, and practice reading your pitch in your best actor voice.

Second Grade Values
  • We will respect the AVS community spaces. 

  • We will love, enjoy, and be safe in the reading loft. 

  • Support each other and our ideas.

  • Be kind to one another.

  • Be inventive, and make mistakes.

  • Build stamina so that your brain can grow.