Welcome, second grade families, to Project GATE!
Our week is off to an absolutely fantastic start. I don't think I could be more excited for the new program and new groups of students. Please attend curriculum night next Wednesday evening to learn about Project GATE and get all your GATE-related questions answered. I will present to second grade GATE parents (reading and math) at 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday evening, September 3. The children have a few surprises planned for you, so please make every effort to attend. I so look forward to seeing you then!
Project GATE Math
We began the week with a "d-ice" breaker, which allowed us to build community and hear about summer break. It sounds like everyone had a marvelous summer, and second grade is off to a terrific start!
Students took their first pretest of the year, which covered material in unit one. Unit one is a review of skills and procedures from first grade, so I was pleased that everyone demonstrated mastery of content. As a result, we enjoyed enrichment assignments that allowed students to deepen mathematical thinking -- Coin Clues, Number Junctions, and place value challenge. (Did anyone research what comes after the trillions place?) Most importantly, students enjoyed a thinking game called 24. It required the strategic and quick-thinking application of addition and subtraction facts.
(We did cover a few important skills from unit one -- writing numbers above 1,000 and creating a monthly calendar.)
I will introduce logic next week. I have some fun activities planned for the children that coincide with gifted and mathematical thinking. Then it will be on to unit two!
Project GATE Reading
We began the week by creating "iAm _________" iPads, complete with apps! Students designed apps that describe themselves and who they want to be. These are on display for you to view on curriculum night.
We are in the process of taking spelling tests to identify phonics/spelling levels. I will use the results to form spelling groups. We will not spend significant amounts of time on phonics and spelling in GATE -- mostly because students do not need the explicit instruction. However, there will be brief times when students will study spelling patterns to help them become better readers. Look for more information in the coming weeks.
We began our first Junior Great Books study of the year. The first theme is friendship with the focus question: What makes someone a good friend? We will explore various forms of friendship, including the friendship between a lion and zookeeper in the first story, The Happy Lion. We had some wonderful discussion and debate about themes and events in the story.
Common Core State Standards covered this week in Project GATE:
- Common nouns
- Characters respond to events
- Use pictures to understand plot
Have a great (long) weekend!