Loving our classes

We’re getting closer to finding the groove in both classes. Thank you for your support.

Passport Club Oct Check In

Hi everyone,

Sorry for any confusion with those blank maps. New maps go home tomorrow as part of homework.

Places to learn:

Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.)

Next check in is Oct. 22.

Key words:

Please use these words to spark the conversation at home…

1) Analog clock – hour hand and minute hand – we are learning how to tell time.

2) Thinking About The Witches – each day we check for understanding by writing one sentence about the story. This has been great but takes a big chunk of time. However, I think with us working as a class through one book, students will be more equipped to go solo and respond to their own books.

3) Passport Club – how did it go?

4) What’s happening in Art, Music, PE?

5) What book are you reading at your desk?

6) Race to 50, An Hour or Bust, More or Less – what are the games we have been playing in math.

7) Expectations – hallway norms/lining up after lunch – we spent a good chunk of time refining our classroom culture.

8) Fun Puzzles – this also was fun, but was a big chunk of our week.

Passport Club!

Happy October! It’s still summer!

Thanks everyone for preparing kids for our first Passport Club Check In. The vibes were good and very exciting for the children. What I like about geography is that it opens us up to talking about history, geology, culture, climate…pretty much everything. One of my goals is keep kids curious and foster curiosity. Curiosity drives innovation. Where would be be if Newton didn’t ask the question, “What does the moon not fall?” Also, students are highly interested in maps and places, so it’s just a big win for learning!

Today’s check in was for September. That means that next week we will send home our October Passport work. I think it’s best to give the students only one week to study. All year, second graders are only responsible for LEVEL ONE, but can challenge themselves to more. You will see that LEVEL ONE changes each month. In October they will be learning a few countries.

I also has some extra maps that I sent home today. They may or may not be useful.

For emerging readers, preaching to the choir

With the endless amounts of educational resources out there, I never like to assume anything. If you know your child is still emerging as a reader, please check out:


Feel free to count these reading activities as part of your homework.

Nonfiction, The Witches, and Guest Teachers


With the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) there is a big push for non-fiction. I actually really love this approach. In my class we have many, many small and large National Geographic books. I also love National Geographic. There are many levels and HIGH INTEREST subjects like Robbots and Sharks. These will give lots of background knowledge to students for our small ants unit, frog life cycle story, and animal reports. We will be asking students to support their ideas with evidence. We all have opinions, but can you support your ideas with facts. I want students to also think about author’s intent. What are we suppose to take away from a text?

Each year I try to add to our collection. The more non-fiction you read at home, the better.

Despite this, fiction is NOT going way. We are currently reading The Witches. Starting today, kids will journal either before or after read aloud. I’m providing them with sentence stems to get their thoughts started.

We also had a nice note from our Guest Teacher yesterday. EVERYONE, please say thank you to the students for being kind to our guest teacher on Monday. “Hey, Mr D. said the class rocked on Monday with the guest teacher. That’s great news!” Please make this a big deal, so that we can change the culture of what students expect when a guest teacher is in the classroom.

See ya tomorrow,

More from Bridges Math


Many days students spend 50% of their time working on paper/pencil math and then spend the other 50% playing games, building, conceptualizing. This is a rotation process.

This allows me to in a way manage two small(er) groups, rather than one large group. I’m able to meet with more students for quick check ins.

PLEASE fill out a form in the office if you would NOT like your child to be photographed for this blog. I try to blur faces or shoot from over the shoulder as much as possible. At the end of the year I will remove any photos with clearly identifiable faces. This is the first year I have used photos on the blog.

Hands On Engagement


A lot of work that goes home is not a clear reflection of ALL that happens in class. Here is a photo from students working with numbers, playing a simple game conceptualizing values in various visual motifs.

More pics on the way…

Curriculum Guide


Hi folks — the link above should bring you to the CCSS (common core state standards). I’m sure you’re following this big shift, but I follow the CCSS when planning. Some parents want to know more about how to work with their child after school. I’d follow this as a road map as it is the most up to date in influencing how we plan. The CCSS is all about students EXPLAINING THEIR THINKING. This is a good thing. It requires higher level thinking. Students are asked to present evidence in how they respond in both reading and math. More on this throughout the year.

Happy Friday,

Passport Club


We’ll have some info coming home with NEXT week’s homework. However, you can check out this website as we will be using Passport Club as an assignment once a month. This is going to be great fun for the kids.

LINK NOT WORKING — you will have to type or copy and paste link. I don’t what is going on with wordpress!!!


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