Life Cycle of a Pumpkin/project
In second grade, geometry is all about exploration, play, and making discoveries.
Last Shape Wins
How Can You Build It (extremely differentiated)
Faces, Edges, Corners
Caterpillar Fill and Add
Math is split 50/50. Students spend half their time working games/activities/hands-on stuff at the carpet and then spend the other half practicing concepts with “deskwork.” This allows me to both monitor the carpet and check as much work as I can and mini conference with students. I found that this works much better than having all 28 students up and around at the same time working on Bridges Workplaces. It also gives them a little more pencil paper practice. In a sense, I’m working with two small classes at the same time.
Library reorganization – “no one ever washed a rented car.” Students worked extremely hard on a rebuild of our class library. It is now cleaner and easier to access. Students helped design it so that should help in understanding of where things go.
Speaking of libraries, I picked up my recent order of poetry books from the Multnomah County Library. We have a massive new collection of books for reading in March. I like to do poetry in March because a) students have a lot of time to write their best poem to present to the school in April and b) I can get all the books from the library before other teachers snag them!
Read Aloud – Pizza, Pigs and Poetry. I have never heard a class laugh this hard in all my teaching! I started using this book last year. Humor is one of a professional educators best tools. I also teach poetry with a book by Kenneth Koch. Koch was adult poet who visited schools in NYC schools in the late 60s and 70s. His book makes writing poetry so easy and fun for children. For our students who “don’t like writing,” they will love writing poems. I was fortunate to just happen upon this book while student teaching in PPS. Years later I discovered my wife had a Koch book from college. Poetry is probably the most misunderstood/under-represented art form in America yet very usable for teaching reading and writing to young children. FYI, we do not focus on form in second grade. We focus on ideas, simile, and metaphor. One big rule is: you don’t have to “get” a poem” to enjoy a poem. Most that we read a very funny and represent a child’s perspective.