Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Season of Giving

Hello Room 200 Families,

For the last several years, my students and I have participated in a Holiday giving project instead of exchanging teacher/student gifts.  Though I truly appreciate the gifts from my students, I think it is more powerful to give to others in need.
This year, I won't be purchasing gifts for the kids and would ask that you not purchase them for me.




Instead, I would love for our class to purchase items for the Hesed House in Aurora. I propose that we share our holiday spirit with the Hesed House by supplying them with the following items:
Paper Towels
Toilet Paper
White T-Shirts (adult and child)
White Socks (adult and child)
Soap
Toothpaste
Mouthwash
Shampoo - Travel Size
Twin Size Sheets
Band-aids
washcloths
hats
gloves
scarves
Anything else you think is important.

Feel free to start sending items in immediately. We can watch our donations grow.



Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Week in Review: The Goals Edition

October is here and learning is in full swing in Room 200!

Now that we successfully have our routines in place, it is time to work on achieving our short term goals. 

Reading Goals:
Our reading block is comprised of many areas. These include whole group read aloud, small guided reading groups, shared reading fluency passages, strategy lessons, and independent reading time just to name a few. 

Our reading goals will begin to focus on 4 areas of CAFE reading:
Comprehension - I understand what I read and can talk about it.
Accuracy - I can read most of the words in a "just right" book and problem solve my ways through the new ones.
Fluency - I can read the words smoothly and with expression to help deliver that author's message. 
Expanding my Knowledge - I am able to find information, organize it and use it to share my learning with others.  

Your child will be working in groups with other students that are working towards the same goal. These groups will be fluent and change often. 

Here are some examples of students working towards their goals:

K.G. and A. P. are sharing books with the class to showcase their fluency practice. Well done!


This group has been using multiple sources to gather information and is now organizing the information. They will be presenting their information to the class in a digital format. 


G.P. is practicing several skills during her "read to self" time. She is working on comprehending a story she loves while focusing on accuracy and fluency to make it exciting and enjoyable. 


Along with our Reading Goals, our goal of focusing on the 4 C's will dominate the tone of our year. 
The 4 C's include:

Collaboration - I can work well and productively with a team. 
Communication - I can deliver my idea clearly. I can listen to and understand the ideas of others. 
Critical Thinking - I can decide which information is most needed and what is not as important.
Creativity - I can present and share my information in a way that is exciting and engaging for my audience. 

We have been building to this point for the last 7 weeks. We have worked independently, as pairs and as teams. We have modeled ways to resolve conflict and share ideas. We have practiced combining ideas and knowing when someone else's idea is better than our own. 


On Friday, the class talked about what they expected from a good teammate and what good team work looked like, in preparation for their first major project. They then selected their own teams based on what they thought would be best. 


Once in their teams, they were tasked with creating "team norms". These norms are the rules and expectations that their team has agreed to follow for this project. It was really impressive to see all of the groups work so well together. 


This week, the students will complete their first team challenge and you will hear about it directly from them.


Have a great week and thank you for checking in!

Please leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week in Review

We had such a fun Spirit Week! All of the themed days really made our days more exciting!

The homecoming assembly was a blast. We sang the Blackberry Song and Kaneland's fight song. We also heard from the band and each of the different sports teams. 



In addition to Spirit Week, we had a great week filled with new activities and more challenging activities. 

We are continuing our digital citizenship conversations and we have practiced making comments on the work of our friends. 

We started by leaving nice comments as a class using our class Twitter account.


Mrs. Reilly replied to our comment and even came and read a hilarious story to our class!


Then we practice leaving written comments on our class work in the hall. 



This week we will try commenting on our digital work. 


Room 200 has started our first writing unit of the year, Personal Narratives. You may also hear these referred to as a "small moment". These pieces of writing with be stories about our own lives and stories about things that have happened to us. Our goal is to write it so that it makes a movie in our reader's mind.  

L.W. using his Personal Word Wall to make sure he is going to spell his sight words correctly.
We also received new writing buddies this week. These friends are important when helping us generate ideas and hearing our rough drafts. 



Listen to this example of an excellent Personal Narrative by G.P.:


If the students are looking for an excellent moment to write about, they can try writing about our bus evacuation practice where we learned our bus safety rules.



Finally, We ended this week with a STEM challenge. The students were given 6 pipe cleaners, 3ft of tape, and 1 piece of paper. They were tasked to build a tower that could stand on its own. They worked in collaborative teams of 2 or 3 and did an amazing job! We will be expanding on this idea this week. 




Exploratory Highlight:
We learned the art of pumpkin drawing with Mrs. Berth in art class.

Room 200 by the Numbers:

Reading Stamina:

We crushed our reading stamina goal of 20 minutes by making it to 23 minutes! 

Math Fact Fluency:

Total problems correct for the Class: 249
Number of Perfect Scores and All Time Bests: 14

Random 5 Word Wall Words:
(sorry, no picture)


Total words correct for the Class: 106 (same as last week)

Number of Perfect Scores and All Time Bests: 16


Thanks for checking in on us. Please leave us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

2 Weeks in Review!

We have had a WONDERFUL few weeks as Room 200. We have almost all of our 2nd grade routines in place and are ready to start getting busy with the exciting parts of the year. 

We have successfully completed our reading stamina goal of 15 minutes and are working towards a bonus goal of 20 minutes. The students were even able to fight my crazy distractions!


We also enjoyed National Read a Book day with Mrs. Reilley's 5th grade class. It was nice to share our books with them and to hear the books they brought to read to us. Bonus: We were able to enjoy this time in KBK's cozy reading lounge. 

In science, Room 200 began making scientific observations about things around us. We started with plants in our classroom garden. We drew scientific sketches, used descriptive words and made noticings. These notes were held in our Observation Notebooks. 




Staying safe is the name of the game in Room 200. We talk about our classroom rules and expectations but we also talk about our internet and device rules. 

The students could show me using our "stoplight" cards how they felt about certain scenarios they were given. 
Green = Good to go! Super Safe!
Yellow = I'm not super sure. I'd better ask.
Red = Not ok! I need to tell an adult. 

They did a great job! 
Photo Credit: C. P.

Photo Credit: C.P.

We practiced these new skills on the San Diego Zoo website.


In addition, we used our new device expectation knowledge to practice a new app, PicCollage. The collaborative teams worked hard to complete as many items on the classroom scavenger hunt as they could. 


Here is an example:

This past week, we also got a bit more settled into our Daily Reading centers that we call "The Dailies". 

We are working on fluency work while reading to a partner.


Also, comprehension skills while enjoying a story in our listening center.

In writing, we have been talking about interesting and descriptive words (or Buttery Words) to help make our writing more exciting. We read a wonderful story called Max's Words. It is filled with exciting words for us to use!
To help gather some of these words for future use, we collected them on a special Today's Meet page. You can see it here.

Dot Day!
Room 200 had a very successful Dot Day! I can't wait to hear all about it tomorrow. Here are some photos from the amazing, Mrs. Brown. 




Last but not least, here is a bit about some data you will be hearing from us weekly:

Room 200 in the Numbers

Each week, the students take 2 very quick quizzes to measure growth in math fact fluency and spelling the words on our current list of word wall words. Each week we have 2 goals for each assessment:
1. Collect as many correct answers we can as a class.
2. Score an "All Time Best" for ourselves!

Please notice that I didn't say "perfect score". This is all about personal and team growth. Knowing where we starts is powerful to help us find where we need to go. 


This week we made huge jumps in our Random 5 Word Wall assessment! We were practicing really hard all week!
We went down slightly in our Math Fluency team chart but we had two students absent to we felt that it was still very successful! 

Our Numbers:

Random 5 Word Wall:
Total words correct for the Class: 106
Number of Perfect Scores and All Time Bests: 22!

Math Fact Fluency:
Total problems correct for the Class: 187
Number of Perfect Scores and All Time Bests: 10



Thank you for checking in with us! Please leave us a comment below. We are excited to hear from you!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week in Review

We now have our first full week behind us and boy was it busy!  

One of our fun challenges this week was our daily Word Talk. During our Word Talk, we take a challenging word and dissect it. We discuss the meaning or multiple meanings, other relationships and what we see in the letters. Want to try it at home? Show your child this picture and try the word, September.



In Writer's Workshop, we focused on our jobs. We created a chart to help us know what all of us should be doing during our writing time. Our Writer's Workshop is comprised of a 10 minute mini-lesson, 30 minutes of writing time, and 10 minutes of share time. We had several friends sit on the "share chair" and share their stories. 


In Math, we talked about many different ways to show numbers. We are working on building our number sense and math vocabulary. We will continue to work on this in the coming week. Watch for this on our math homework this week. 



We continue to work on our Declaration of Awesome. The students worked in collaborative groups to decide how our classroom would run and our collective values. It is not quite finished yet but we will show you as soon as it is done. 



We also competed in an individual challenge where the students were given 1 piece of aluminum foil and 3 pipe cleaners. The students worked to "create something". They did a great job of being creative and having fun. We also scientifically wrote about our creation. I can't wait for the next challenge. 



We have also been talking a lot about characters, actions and feelings. We used a fabulous book called Each Kindness.

This book is about a new student who joins the class and her classmates are not kind and welcoming. 


The author talks about how our actions ripple out into the world like ripples in the water. The teacher in the story asked the students to share a kindness they had done and toss their pebble into the water. The main character was unable to share a kindness because of how she acted towards her new classmate. 


As a class, we talked about the kindness that we can send out into the world. We each shared a kindness and placed our pebbles in the water. 



Family Challenge Time!!!

In Room 200, we record all of our read aloud experiences. We participated in 20 read aloud experiences in our few days of August alone! Can your family guess how many read aloud experiences that we will have during our time together this year? Click here to record your guess!