Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Ellis Island Day Costumes

On Tuesday January 22nd, your child will bring home a homework assignment that involves putting together a costume for Ellis Island Day. I'm letting you know about his now, just in case you want to get a head start on the costume.

On Ellis Island Day, January 31st, your child will come to school dressed as their immigrant persona that s/he created in class. Costumes should be reflective of the time period -- we will be simulating the immigrant experience of traveling from Liverpool, England to Ellis Island in 1907. Costumes need not be elaborate nor do you need to purchase anything. I encourage you to use what you have or borrow from other Edna families who have participated in Ellis Island Day in past years. You can also do an online search for images of immigrant clothing in 1907. To give you a general idea about costumes, here is a picture of former second graders all dressed up and ready to set sail.

Immigration Unit

We have been learning SO much about immigration over the past week and half. We have read several different picture books based on immigration stories from around the world and discussed the commonalities amongst these stories. Some of these stories are contemporary and others are set in historical time periods. We will continue to read such stories throughout our unit, touching on an even broader representation of countries around the world.

Embedded within this larger study of immigration is our upcoming simulation: Ellis Island Day. In preparation for Ellis Island Day we have studied our class timeline and charted new vocabulary. Additionally we have begun discussing the pushes and the pulls that led people to immigrate from Europe to America around the turn of the century. This time period represents the third and largest wave of immigration to our country. 1907 was the peak year for immigration within this third wave and saw approximately 1.3 million people move to the US.

To participate in Ellis Island Day, each kiddo is creating an immigrant persona that includes a country, traditional first and last name, occupation and much more. The students will also have a special homework assignment to help them prepare for Ellis Island Day.

On Ellis Island Day we will simulate the immigrant experience at Ellis Island in 1907. The students will come to school in costume and spend the morning re-creating the immigrant experience -- starting in Liverpool, England, getting passage in steerage on a ship (SS Edna Maguire) to Ellis Island. At Ellis Island, they will process through various stations until they are welcomed to America and sent on their way to their final destinations via New York or New Jersey.

This year, our study of immigration feels quite different to me because of our current political climate. Of course, this is my adult perspective and not necessarily that of the children. I am sure that some of your children are aware of current events in the news, so they may in fact be drawing connections between these two time periods. Please know that if questions about present day immigration and/or politics arise in the classroom, I will handle them with compassion and sensitivity.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Reading Strategy: Using Text Features

We have been reading a lot of non-fiction books, and using a new reading strategy: using text features. Most non-fiction texts contain common features such as titles, headings, captions, graphic features, table of contents, bold words, glossary, etc. Successful non-fiction readers make use of these features to improve their comprehension. See below for a parent communication about supporting your kiddos' use of this strategy at home. Happy reading!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Scholastic Book Orders

Be on the lookout for this month's Scholastic book order flyers in today's Wednesday folder. This month's orders are due on Friday, January 18th. Scholastic is a great resource for finding some just-right books for your kiddos to read at home. 

Ellis Island Day - Volunteers Needed

2nd Grade Ellis Island Day Volunteer Information

2nd Grade Needs Your Help!

WHAT?   Students in second grade will soon embark on a study of immigration. This will include a simulation of the immigrant experience through Ellis Island in the early 1900's. 

We need volunteers to play a variety of roles to help make the experience as real as possible. Volunteers will be asked to wear a simple costume. Additional instructions will be provided the day of the event, so no experience necessary!  

Set Up Wednesday, Jan. 30th, 2:30- 4:00 pm
Ellis Island Day Thursday, Jan. 31st, 8:30-10:30 am

WHERE?  Volunteers for Ellis Island Day will meet (in costume) at the MPR no later than 8:30am on Jan 31st for a brief meeting before the event.

If you’d like to participate, please email your child’s teacher by Friday, January 18th. Also, please specify if you are interested in volunteering for set up, Ellis Island Day, or both. Our Volunteer Coordinator, Mari Allen, will be contacting you with further information. 

We hope you can join us!

Here’s more information about how Ellis Island Day fits into our larger study of immigration:

This unit will also include
• a field trip to Chinatown to learn about our local immigration history through Angel Island
• a broad discussion of global immigration, past and present
  specific immigration stories from around the world through picture books and local guest speakers
• an introduction to historical events pertaining to American history
• our personal family stories of ancestry

Monday, January 7, 2019

Second Grade Field Trips

Please be on the lookout for this letter regarding this year's field trips. It will come home in today's homework folder.

Dear Families,

Please find the 2nd Grade field trips and in-class presentations listed below. Each of these activities is closely tied to our curriculum and will be a wonderful enhancement to our classroom studies.

·      Chinatown Tour & Lunch: Ancestry Study
·      Curtis: February 6, 2019
·      Foskett: February 8, 2019
·      Sanchez: February 11, 2019
·      Ingle: February 13, 2019
·      Academy of Science: Rainforest Biome (May 17, 2019)
·      Sing A Story: San Francisco Opera Classroom Visit (March)
·      Dixie School House
·      Foskett & Curtis: April 3, 2019
·      Ingle &Sanchez: April 5, 2019

This year the 2nd Grade team has decided to collect a donation for all field trips up front. Please submit your donation of $55.00 (cash only) in the attached envelope, directly to your teacher. Envelopes with cash donations should be clearly marked with your child’s name and should be turned in no later than Wednesday, January 16th. If you would like to donate additional money towards the field trip scholarship fund, please enclose it in your envelope.

Permission slips and driver forms are attached to this letter. Please complete and return ALL forms by Wednesday, January 16th. If you are interested in driving for either field trip, you must also complete the driver information form and provide a copy of the “Declarations Page” of your auto insurance. This must be done once each school year. Please use the permission slip to indicate your interest in being a field trip driver. If we need you as a driver, we will be in touch with you as the dates approach.

Thank you for your support!
Jennifer Foskett, Anna Curtis, Karen Ingle & Adam Sanchez

Happy 2019!

Happy New Year to each of you! I hope that everyone had a fun-filled winter break. It's always nice to step away from our daily routines, and spend some extra time with family and friends. But it also feels great to get back into the swing of things with our regular routines! Your kiddos all seemed thrilled to be back at school today and did a marvelous job of picking up right where we left off.

We are continuing to solve word problems with money, to read various non-fiction selections, and have moved into long vowels during our word study time.

We have some important activities coming up in the next several months that you might like to add to your calendars:
  • January 21st  - No School: MLK Jr. Day
  • January 31st - 2nd Grade Ellis Island Day! All 2nd graders will be dressing up as immigrants and participating in a simulation of the Ellis Island experience. Parent volunteers will be needed between 8:30am and 10:30am. More information will be coming your way soon.
  • February 8th - Field trip to Chinatown
  • February 12th, 11:10am - Interactive Art Show: All parents are welcome and encouraged to attend this fabulous art class as part of our week long art show.
  • February 18th to 22nd - No School: Mid-Winter Break
  • March 8th - No School: Staff Development Day
  • April 3rd - Dixie School House Field Trip
  • April 8th to 12th -  No School: Spring Break