The concept of community appears in almost every aspect of the world. It refers to neighborhoods and cities created by people. In this unit, we look at many human communities to identify differences and similarities. We compare communities from thousands of years ago to those we know today.
Our BIG IDEA is that a community is a group of living and non-living things sharing a common purpose or space.
Our Enduring Understandings are: Community Systems change over time. All people have the same basic needs. Sometimes people move locations to meet basic needs. The United States of America is a country made up of many cultures.
Our Essential Questions are: What makes a community sustainable? How do you meet your needs? What are some basic human rights? Is freedom for all? Who helps protect freedom? Does where you live affect how you live? One of our ongoing projects has been creating individual timeline pieces in the form of a “Community Systems” book. Inside, we compare NOW and THEN and explore how communities change over time. As a group, we create a visual timeline with watercolor paintings and written captions. We also look at our “place in space” and create a group concentric visual that ranges from our Riverview Charter School community all of the way to Our Solar System.
In writing, we began focusing on Informational Text. We read the book, Make Mine Ice Cream!, and learned the steps to making ice cream. Then, we tried writing our first informational piece on our own. We wrote the steps to brushing our teeth! The children thought this was funny and they enjoyed thinking about the steps to this everyday task. We used the terms "first", "then", "next" and "finally", just like our read aloud. Then, we made corn husk dolls- it was so much fun! After we made our dolls, we wrote the steps that we took to make them. They turned out great! We continued to focus on different genres in literature. We learned about "historical fiction" this week and began reading Thanksgiving on Thursday, a book from The Magic Treehouse series. This series of books is perfect to pair with a lesson on historical fiction genres. The book tells the story of the first Thanksgiving with characters that are real and fiction. The children are enjoying it and are excited that they can add some knowledge of this special story.
In mathematics, place value has been on the scene. In second grade, students should understand what the position of digits signifies in numbers. In 783, 7 is worth 7 hundreds, 8 is worth 8 tens and 3 is worth 3 ones. By using rods and units, we were able to see how much each number is visually.
Now, we are moving away from the concrete (actually having a stick with 10 to show 10 and a one unit cube to show one) to tiles that have the number 10 or the number 1. We are moving from “concrete” to “representational” to “abstract”. The purpose of teaching through a concrete-to-representational-to-abstract sequence of instruction is to ensure students truly have a thorough understanding of the math concepts/skills they are learning.
We had so much fun showing our families our work on Portfolio Night! The children were so proud of their work and enjoyed showing it to their families. In order to get ready for Portfolio Night/Empty Bowls, the whole school participated in the making of the harvest soup that was served that night. Second grade helped peel and cut potatoes and we helped put all the ingredients in the pot to cook the soup. Rise Against Hunger is always a special day at Riverview! The children get hands on experience with helping others in need. Thank you to all our parents/volunteers who helped make it a great day!