Parents, please be sure to remind your child to show you their planner every night.  This is where we are having them write down their homework. This is a good habit to develop!

Language Arts 

For our Friendship / amistad unit this week we read a great story about a little boy who has no one his own age to play with in his neighborhood. Gloria, quien podría ser mi mejor amiga. (Gloria Who Might Be My Best Friend. By Ann Cameron)  A new little girl moves to the neighborhood and they work their way through getting to know each other and becoming friends.

During this story we worked on using context clues to help identify new vocabulary. One particular word

Volteretas = Cartwheels

Volteretas = Cartwheels

was volteretas. We jumped at the chance to get our blood pumping (and to connect with the story). We quickly ran outside and tried our own volteretas for 2 minutes.  Just like in the story this was the first time some of our students had ever attempted a cartwheel.

We took the opportunity to write about the first time a new friend was made.  I will plan to hang these in the hall for easy viewing.

The students did a wonderful job with their dictation. They are great Spanish spellers! Each student was given a word and asked to illustrate it.  We combined these to make an illustrated list for the class. Students have a small amount of spelling homework this first week. (This is written in their planners.) Here is a list of this week’s spelling words:

Spelling/ ortografia (words with /s/)

generoso         amistoso

división           diversión

bondadosa      graciosa

optimismo       visión

ilusión               prisión

mismo              deseo

confuso            permiso




Representing larger numbers means working together.

Representing larger numbers means working together.

Our first math unit is quite important because it cements student understanding of place value.  Our lessons have moved into large numbers quickly. Students are expected to read, write, show and compare numbers up to 10,000. This unit is critical for developing a deep understanding of this foundational topic.

Each week we will have small math groups.  During this time one group will work on the computers for their online ALEKS program.  Students should be working on ALEKS throughout the week for math homework.  This week and next week I’ve asked the students to work in the Place Value section.  Please note, there is a Spanish/English language button at the top right on each ALEKS page.  I would LOVE to see them choosing the Spanish button (they can switch back and forth to check their understanding.) I have told them they will need to function within the Spanish section during school computer time.

Problem solving: Representing large numbers takes a group!

Problem solving: Representing large numbers takes a group!

(I’ve loved receiving their emails through ALEKS. This is a fun way for them to connect with me when they are working on their ALEKS pies at home.)

Social Studies  

20150911_102842_resizedWe are continuing our geography lessons this week, focusing on the concepts of location, distance, and directions.  The students are doing a terrific job of using the compass rose, grid, and symbols to locate places on maps and globes.  We are continuing to assemble  our “Living” map.  The continent partner groups had to work together to figure out where there continent would go on the map in relation to the other continents. We had to do some problem solving  when we discovered the scale of some of our traced continents were not in ratio with others (Asia was far too small due to overhead technical difficulties).  This week we made hemisphere cirles, used an empty soda can to help us better understand the location of the North and South poles, Equator and the Prime Meridian, and we did a lesson using our rulers and string to determine scale and distance on maps.


This week we are learning more about animal classification.  Students are working on a chart to better understand different animal groups and the characteristics that these animals share.  As a class we put together a web map about animals we are observing in our readings and added word pairs (an adjective and a noun) to describe the animal.  We read two poems this week Eletelephony by Laura Richards  and Crocodile by Lewis Carrol.   The class made predictions before reading the poems as to which characteristics of each animal (elephant and crocodile)would be included.  After reading the poems the class then brainstormed ideas for their own mixed up animal poem and began to write the first draft in their journals.  We also began reading about cold and warm blooded animal characteristics.

English Spelling/Writing

We got to celebrate Lucy and Evan’s birthdays in class this week.  We shared a special treat from each of them and the class made b-day cards and a Birthday t-shirt for both.  Happy Birthday to our Sept. 6th kiddos!

The class began their first sorts this week.  I met with all three spelling groups and went over how we would be doing our sorting this year and the activities they can do with their sorts, both in class and at home.  Their goal is to have a range of 18 -20 points each week in spelling work.  They all received a sort list to keep in class and one to take home, as well as a list of spelling activities.  I highly recommend keeping these in their Take Home folder so that they always know where to find them when doing their homework.  Students are responsible for learning all of their spelling words; however, there will only be 10 words on the test from their sort list.  I am hoping by doing this it will save us some time in class that we spend on taking the test.  Our first spelling test will not be until the following Friday, Sept. 18.  This way we can fine tune our practice and procedures for our sorting activities.  I know they will do a great job!


We learned about cave painting this week in art. We looked at photos from a recent National Geographic magazine about the first artists, which were Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) people. We also looked at “Running Horses from the Lascaux Cave.” The students used basic shapes to draw a deer or horse, using charcoal on brown paper (crumpled grocery bags to suggest cave walls). Next week the students will use a stick instead of a paintbrush, to add color to their wonderful “Cave Art.”

PE & Health

2nd / 3rd Graders have Health class with Ms. LeAnn on Mondays and PE with Mr. Jesse on Wednesdays. Many of our health lessons are active so we are asking your child to wear proper clothing (pants or shorts) and athletic shoes (sneakers) on Mondays and Wednesdays. Did your child tell you about our school challenge?  We are ‘walking’ to Buenos Aires!