Language Arts 

 We had a very fun, busy week in 2nd/3rd grade! Students worked in pairs to complete a graphic IMG_5520organizer for our story Niña ángel, Niña dragón. Reading is fun but reading with a purpose, to identity 4 key points in the story and main message, provides us with a different motivation and focus. I loved hearing the students using their Spanish with each other during this activity, which we chose to do outside.

Cause and Effect was another grammar point we focused on this week.  This was fun to discuss, give examples, put in our word study notebooks, and illustrate.

We talked about the writing process and began the first step in writing our autobiographies.  Students made a list of, what they felt, were the most important (or most interesting) things to happen in their life.


Through our literature we learned about Pronombres / Pronouns, when, where, and why we use them. Students were already familiar with the basic:

yo- I                                nosotros – We


élhe                               ellos – they

ella-she                          ellas – they

usted– you (formal)     ustedes – you (plural)


They also learned about other pronouns, to replace names of objects and places.

el….. – lo    Write your name. (Escribe tu nombre.) Becomes: Write it. (Escribelo.)




Spelling/ ortografia(words with a soft c) Our test will be Tuesday.

hacia                                          especial

reverencia                                 lección

espacio                                       silencio

respiración                                narices

abracé                                         tracé

empecé                                       cejas

pececillos                                   golpecito




This week we began our Mental Math and Estimation Unit. The focus of this unit is to enable students to

Mental Math Game

Mental Math Game

become more flexible and fluent with their thinking. The rich content of this chapter is presented early in the year so that it can be reinforced all throughout the year. It was fun to dig in with our base ten materials to enable more students to solve problems mentally.

We also played a game in pairs. Ask your child to tell you what their mental steps are.  Being able to describe our mental math now will help us later when math problems become more complex.  (When adding or subtracting in your head do you start with the ones or tens first?  Do you borrow, form a solid ten, etc.  There is no right or wrong way to do it.)

example: 63 – 45.  Someone might say: First, I look at the ones and know that 3-5 doesn’t work so I make it 13-5 and I know that equals 8.  Then, I know I borrowed a 10 so it’s now 50-40, which equals 10.  10+8=18. My answer is 18.  This seems cumbersome when you write it out or say it, but in reality your brain is doing these calculations very quickly.  Being able to describe your thought processes now will come in handy later.

Social Studies  

We have begun our unit on ancient Rome this week. We reviewed what is qualified as a civilization and how ancient Rome fits this qualification.  Everyone is very excited to learn about this great civilization.  We located Rome on the map as well as other areas that were effected by the Roman empire.  We also talked about how today Rome is the capitol of Italy and how many of the contributions of ancient Rome have influenced present day.  We discussed the meaning behind BC/BCE and AD/CE, and began putting a timeline together to capture the chronology of events during the Roman empire’s influence over Europe and Asia, and related this to the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece.  We read about the legend of Romulus and Remus, and added the Tiber river to our class’s  “Living Map”.  I have already had request for a “Roman Day” as one of our culminating activities at the end of this unit.  More on this to come later.  I am thrilled with the enthusiasm that everyone brings to our studies and I’m sure that this will continue to be a very exciting unit.


This week we continue our animal classification domain in Science.  We focused on amphibians and worked on web graphic organizer to identify characteristics of this vertebrate group.  As a way to review20150925_100201 what we have learned so far in this domain, we played a game together called “Who Am I”, where students picked an image card of an animal and then had to either act out the animal or  give the class clues as to it’s characteristics ( “I am an aquatic creature that has gills”).  Our class loves any opportunity to act things out!  Students also worked together in collaborative groups to create a drawing of a new creature that fits into different classifications of the animal groups they have learned about.  Each group then got to name their animal and share with the rest of the class.  This was a fun and creative way for them to review key concepts that we have learned so far.  On Friday we had the opportunity to work with the 1st grade class to help them make dioramas of animal habitats.  The 2/3 graders did a fabulous job sharing their knowledge about animal characteristics and using their creative skills to help out with this activity.

English Spelling/Writing

The class had their first spelling test last week and over all did great!  I think our new spelling activity homework is going to be a nice addition to what we are doing in class with our sorts this year and will really help the students learn their words. Please make sure that your child does keep track of how many points they need to do (both in class and at home) so that they are able to meet their goal each week.  This is an added responsibility on their part, but I believe they are very much up to the task.  Spelling activities are due on Friday.  For writing this week the class wrote in their journals the story of Remus and Romulus and their interpretation of why this legend is important to Romans.  The class has also been working on writing their animal shape poems.


The Second and Third graders started their “Fence Portrait” project this week in art. They were able to look at most of the 4th and 5th grade fence portraits for inspiration. The students sketched the face and then transferred the drawing to the wood fence pieces. Next week they will paint their fence people with acrylic paint. They look great so far! A SPECIAL THANKS to Mr. Martinez for sanding all the fence posts!



Sr. Kit brought his harp for the first time this year, and the students listened to several pieces with their eyes closed, then described what they saw “on the back side of their eyelids.” We also tried moving in response to different styles of music, ranging from celtic to several Latin American traditions and more modern compositions.