Weekly Update – Marbles and Meters and Reading, Oh My!



First off, what a fabulous reader’s theater performance we had!  Students read with expression, acted with feeling, and used props with vigor!  Thank you so much to all the parents who came to support your children.

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We have had a scientific couple of weeks together.  Even though we had lots of snow days, we still managed to learn all about spinning motion and rolling motion.  Below, students were experimenting with wheel and axle systems.  They thought about different things like how the pitch of the ramp effects the speed of the system, how the system remains stable, and on what kinds of real-world objects they may find a wheel and axe system.  They are even in the process of building their own model car in Design Lab.  Stay tuned for that cool project!

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We also explored rolling motion by looking at how marbles roll on a runway.  Students experimented with different types of runways like loops, spirals, and hills.  They discovered that the marble needs to start higher than the rest of the system in order for it to pick up enough speed to run the entire length of the runway.  We had a lot of fun making a mock roller coaster!

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During our writing time together, we have been working on persuasive writing.  The first project is for students to write a persuasive letter to a real person or organization.  They are learning how to be quite convincing, so watch out, because soon you may be getting one of these letters!

During math, we have been learning about the metric system and the U.S. customary system.  Students practiced working with meters by measuring the hallway near the library.  They are also working with centimeters, inches, and feet.  A big measuring goal for second grade students is for them to be able to pick the right tool for measuring a specific object.

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During reading time, we have been focusing on visualizing.   Students are working on creating an image or even a movie in their minds, while they read.  This is a tough skill and they are improving every day.  If you want to check in on their visualizations, you could ask them to read out loud to you at home, then ask them what kind of a picture they were making in their minds.  You might even have them draw their visualizations into a mini spin-off book!  That could be fun.

I hope you all have a fabulous vacation.  I set a goal for myself to finish Moby Dick, which I have been working on for a while.  I challenged the students to read at least one full book over the break.  Please try to encourage them to do so.

Check out this cool motion game for kids I discovered: