It was the perfect day for our Pool Party!  Ms. Barina and I had a blast playing water polo and cheering on the players.  
 I have a feeling we have quite a few future water polo players in class!  

Summer Read Aloud Suggestion 
Our current read aloud is  Starry River of the Sky.  This is a fabulous book written by Grace Lin, the author of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  We are only about halfway through Starry River of the Sky, and won't finish it by the end of the year.  Both Grace Lin's books would be great to read with your child this summer.  By reading out loud to your child you are helping them  build a better vocabulary, become a better reader and writer and it is just a  great way to spend some quiet time together!  

Check these books out from the library or visit the bookstore and add them to your bookshelf.  
I can't believe the end of the year is already here...  I just wanted to take a moment to thank  you for your continued support, because of this support It has been a year of amazing growth.  I have enjoyed having your child in class and I will miss each and every one of them.  This year's class is an exceptional group of kind, inquisitive, happy and hardworking children.  Today we said good bye to Zach and Will who are both starting their summer vacations early.  As we went around our community circle and appreciated both of them I was so proud of the way students genuinely articulated the special talents that Zach and Will contributed to our classroom.  Next week, each student will have the opportunity to be appreciated for all of the things that make them special and unique!  As the year comes to a close I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of your child's life.  It has been a year of discovery and learning for all of us!  I look forward to our last few days of second grade. 

Here is the  Spirit Week Schedule for next week 
 my I Will Always Remember Poem written for the Tigers.

   Spirit Week Schedule
Monday-  Twin Day (Dress Like A Friend)  & Marble Jar Party, Students voted on a Pool Party so please pack a swimming suit so that we can have fun in the pool!  
Tuesday-  Pajama Day,  Wear pajamas all day!  And Scrub Day- We will clean our desks and pack up our supplies, please bring a bag to school.  
Wednesday- Beach Attire for Splash Into Summer  
Talent Show and Family Picnic, You are invited to have lunch with your child while we watch LJA's Talent Show  11-12 in front of the Wang Auditorium 

I Will Always Remember

Allison’s excitement for inquiry, perfectly polished
work and stories about her busy weekends,

 Amber’s long and detailed stories, love for crochet
and ability to think in unique and different ways,

 Catie’s detailed and colorful illustrations,
her perseverance and the way she keeps herself balanced by doing triathlons,

 Elena’s ability to remain focused, her confidence when
she was a risk taker during our Mystery Skype sessions, and how she gets along
with everyone,

 Ellie’s happy smile when everything is going okay, her
love for her family and her improvement in her spelling, 

Frey’s performance in our Tide Pool Condo Play and his
love for the Secrets of Droon books, 

Isabella’s never ending energy, love of nature, and
entertaining blogposts, 

Jack’s huge improvement in his reading, his lesson on
slideshows and his many interesting blog entries,

 Jordan’s love of Skylanders, basketball and his
perfectly polished work,

 Kailyn’s passion for fashion, the beautiful
illustrations that accompany her stories, and her sense of humor,

 Kaine’s mathematical ability, speedy math facts, and
happy smile, 

Keaton’s cool dance moves, love of all things Harry
Potter and pet stories, 

Liam’s passion for golf, his stupendous ability to
solve math problems and the word choice in his number story, 

Merrick’s love and knowledge about surfing, eagerness
for a math challenge and reading fluency improvement,

 Noah’s love for the game of soccer, his caring
attitude towards his sister, and his mental math skills,

 Will’s ability to quickly make new friends, and his
awesome reading and writing skills,

 AND Zach’s love for all things having to do with
technology, his creative and animated iMovie math presentation and the
improvement in his reading. 
It has been a tigerific year!  Have a great summer
and good luck in third grade.  
I will miss you!  
Love, Mrs. Thomas & Benny  
May 2013 

Student Blog Update

I am so happy that we were risk takers this year and piloted student blogging in the Lower School.  I am amazed at what students can do when given the opportunity, tools and time to create!  
Please check your child's blog so you can see their Summative Assessment Math or Chaos iMovie Presentation. Students collaborated to create their own iMovies!   Surprise them with a comment! (If your child doesn't have their iMovie on their blog check back next week, there are a few students whose movies aren't showing up on their blogs...)  
Celebrate your child's growth by looking back at your child's very first blog entry.  They have all truly grown as writers and are on their way to becoming responsible digital citizens!  
Encourage your child to keep up their blog this summer.  Blogging is a terrific way to practice writing skills, communicate with friends by leaving comments on other blogs, and practice responsible digital citizenship.  I will check in occasionally to see what they are up to!  

I am so proud of the progress students made this year in reading.  Studies show that students who continue to read during the summer continue to make gains in their reading comprehension.  Students who do not read lose gains made during the school year and take time during the fall to catch up with their reading peers.
Make reading fun this summer and nurture a love for reading! 
Summer Reading Tips-
*Encourage reading every day
*Start a Book Club with your child/Read a book together and talk about the book 
*Reinforce and practice decoding  strategies like- flip the sound, read around the word and go back to it using context clues, chunk the word, etc...  
*Practice comprehension strategies by having your child stop periodically and tell you what has happened in the story- Ask them Who? What? Why? 
*Listen to audio books to reinforce story plot and themes in stories, it is also great for modeling fluency
*Model reading at home, talk about what you are reading
*Create a Family Reading Challenge/How many books can your family read this summer?  
*Visit Wonderopolis (On our Sqworl Page)  
There is a lot to Read and Wonder about on this amazing resource plus they just added an audio component!
*Find a great book and read out loud to your child 
Celebrate Reading This Summer!

We are enjoying our last few weeks of second grade.  Thank you so much for sending in goodies for our Garden Party!  The salad was delicious and it was great to see  students enjoying such a healthy snack.    
Curriculum News-
Unit of Inquiry- We are continuing to work on our summative assessments for our Math or Chaos unit.  Students are enjoying this creative technology project.  Look for the completed assessments on your child's blog at the end of this week.    
Math- We are continuing to practice strategies for adding and subtracting large numbers and we are finishing up our last unit on measurement.  
Writing Workshop-Students rolled the dice, came up with 3 numbers and incorporated these numbers into creative stories.  We will be publishing our stories this week.  
Word Study- Focus on high frequency words.  Students will practice words at school and have a final assessment the last week.   
Reading- I am so proud of the progress the students have made as readers.    Their fluency and comprehension skills have greatly improved.  Please continue to have your child read during the summer, studies show that students who continue reading during summer time continue to grow in reading skills while students that take the summer off lose some of the gains they have made during the school year and must spend time catching up in the fall.   A brochure with book suggestions will be sent home soon.  
 Homework for the rest of the school year is to read and log minutes on The Reading Challenge worksheet.  We will see who can read the most minutes and  how many minutes we can accumulate as a class.  Please initial one of the books on your child's Reading Challenge worksheet for every 20 minutes they read.  
Students also need to continue to study their math facts 15 minutes a day.   
Students who have unfinished school work will bring their work home to complete as homework.  
Enjoy the last few weeks of the school year!  
No school next Monday.  
Enjoy the 3 day weekend!
Yesterday was a day of math discovery in Kailua.  We visited Coldstone, Foodland, Pali Lanes and First Hawaiian Bank.  Students had their iPads and snapped photographs of how math organized the place they visited.  Next, we will use these photographs to create a presentation featuring math in our community. We will be working on this fun summative assessment in the media center.   Ask your child about the math they spotted around Kailua!  
What a beautiful May Day!  It was a fabulous program and the students were  excited  to share their message of aloha.  
I am so proud of the way they performed with such confidence and joy , thank you for your support at home.  I am sure you can sing the Molokai Slide right along with them...  Thank you also for the beautiful lei, the smell of fragrant flowers filled our classroom all day and my home this evening...    
Starting Wednesday, May 1st we are back in the pool.  Please have your child bring a swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen.  We will swim after our May Day Performance.  See you on May Day!  
How We Organize Ourselves 
Math or Chaos
Central Idea:  Math is a system that organizes our world by providing order. 

We started our new unit this week by brainstorming what we know and like about math.  Here are some initial inquiries about math-
Where did numbers come from? 
Who thought of math first?
What was the first number?  
Why did they think of math?  

We watched The Story of One, an informative video about the history of math.  Ask your child to tell you about the evolution of the number one.  How did it start?  Why did they need numbers? Which culture  has a number for one and everything else is just considered many?  Where does our number system come from?  
This week we look at the strands of math and go on a school scavenger hunt to discover where math is used to organize our day.  

For the summative assessment we will visit Kailua and identify places where math is used in the community to organize and provide order.  Students will photograph the math they see and then use these photographs to put together an informative video.  

  Cassie Barina, an LJA middle schooler and bassoon enthusiast visited our class and shared with us the importance of math in music.  Watch the video to hear Cassie skillfully play this unique instrument!  
Our Skype sessions continue!  This week we skyped a school from Mexico City. Their English skills were impressive however we could hear their accent and this became one of our clues.  We  worked hard to discover where their school is located.  We used maps of the world, time zone maps, and our iPads.  We will have another Skype session with them this week to ask questions and confirm our research.  
We are looking forward to May Day this Wednesday.  The performance begins at 8:30.  Please have your child wear green clothing and a fresh lei.  We will also be watching the performance so have your child bring a hat, sunscreen and a water bottle.  It is going to be a great day!  
Last week was a busy and very productive week!   
We are polishing our performance for May Day.   See if your child can show you the dance moves to the Molokai Slide.  We also celebrated  Poetry Month and Earth Day by learning about Haiku poetry.  Poems are on display in the classroom, many students are publishing their haiku poem on their blog.  
The students also worked very hard on their summative assessments for our Commotion in the Ocean Unit.  Students took their research and synthesized it to create a colorful and informative magazine in the style of Time for Kids.  I am so proud of the time and effort that they have put into their magazines!  We will finish up tomorrow  and students will be bringing these home at the end of the week.  

Exciting Skype Sessions

We have had two very exciting Skype sessions.  We skyped Bryan Chick, author of The Secret Zoo.  He was so generous with his time, spending 30 minutes answering all of our questions.  You can read about this skype session on our Skype Bulletin Board in the classroom. 

On Friday we had another exciting Mystery Skype Session. 
When we connected with our Mystery School we discovered that it was their lunch time and it was just 8:15 here in Hawaii, this was our first clue! 
Here are the rest of their clues-
1.  We are in Canada.
2.  We live in a province. 
3.  We see grizzly bears.
4.  We like to ski and hike.
5.  We live in the very first national park in Canada.  
We were very excited that this school was located in Canada.  It is our first school that is outside of the U.S. and Jack is moving to Canada this summer.  We looked at maps and books about Canada and figured out the province and the town where this school is located.  
We also learned a lot about Canada.  
Did you know that Canada is the second largest country in the world?  
There are 10 provinces in Canada.  A province is like a state in the U.S. 
They speak English and French in Canada.   
We have another skype session with this school to confirm our research.
Do you know where this mystery school is located?  
Go to our Mystery Skype Schools page at the top of the class blog to find out.   
Jack inspired us all this week when he taught us how to put a  slideshow into our blog posts.   Thanks for teaching us something new! 
Check out the slideshow below and see highlights of our week.   
Be sure to check out your child's blog to see their slideshow on the octopus
Our May Day celebration is scheduled for May 1st.  We are performing a dance to the Molokai Slide.   The color of Molokai is green so please have your child wear green aloha wear.  Boys may wear an aloha shirt that is primarily green or a plain green shirt (logo free, can be turned inside out).  Girls may wear an aloha dress that is primarily green or a dress or shirt that is green.  Check out the clip below for a sneak peek of the performance!
We had a fabulous trip to the tide pools. Thank you so much to all of our chaperones.  Check out pictures from the field trip on the picture page. 

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