Newsletter 1: How the World Works Welcome to Ms. Natalie’s Class! The beginning of a new school year is always an exciting time. The following newsletter will give you an overview of what is happening in our class during the first 6 weeks of school. Please check our class blog at msnataliesclassgrade2.blogspot.com for more information. Unit of Inquiry Our unit of inquiry for the first six weeks of school is “How the World Works: Weather.” The central idea of this unit is “Science and technology help us understand the weather in our world.” Lines of Inquiry:
The water cycle
Types, changes, and patterns in weather
Recording and investigating the weather
Concepts: Causation and Change Learner Profile Attribute focus: Thinker Students will be conducting their inquiry through a variety of activities. We will not only be focusing on finding out new information but HOW we are learning. We have already created and observed miniature water cycles and made weather stations where students can record the weather everyday independently. In addition, we have watched videos and looked at books. Students will also be using other weather tools such as CNN.com, and with the help of Ms. Margot, learn how to download images from a weather satellite. Students will also be completing an at-home project about a weather word of their choice and creating their own weather forecasts.
Language Arts This first part of the year, we will be concentrating on setting the daily routines for the reading and writing workshop. In reading workshop, we have discussed why people read, the habits of strong readers, how to choose a good place for reading (a book nook), and how to choose a book that is “just-right.” As we settle in, we will begin to focus on making meaningful connections when we read. As part of our unit of inquiry, we will also be reading books in small groups with a weather theme. In writing workshop, we are focusing on the trait of IDEAS and during these first weeks of school are coming up with small moment memories to write about. In connection with our unit of inquiry, students will choose a “weather memory” to publish as their first piece for their writing portfolio. For word study, we will be using the “Words Their Way” program as well as study the first 200 high frequency words and unit vocabulary. Students will also be choosing vocabulary words from their reading that they find interesting to study. Math For math this year, we will be using the Bridges program. Our first unit focuses on sorting and patterning. Students work a great deal with manipulatives and are often required to explain their thinking and understanding. In addition, we will be using IXL for homework and extra computational practice. Student will also be working on the skills of reading thermometers, measuring using centimeters, and graphing during our unit of inquiry.