2D: Two Dimensional, 3D: Three dimensional

Tools we use to learn about 2D (flat) shapes

2D: Two Dimensional: 2D means two dimensional. Two dimensional shapes are flat shapes. You can measure them in two directions. We’ve been learning all about 2D shapes in math class this week.

Curriculum check!

We have a variety of math tools in our school that you can use to learn about 2D shapes, and today Team 2 used just about all of them!

3D Three Dimensional: (Family Tree Captains):

Braysen, Malina and Dakota are 3D objects They presented 2D family tree research!

This month, after our Captains share their family history, we work together to find their heritage countries on Google Earth.  We noticed today that you can view a country in both 2D and 3D formats.  The following two images are from London, England (Braysen’s country). What differences do you notice?

2D image

3D image

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2020

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2020:   In Grade 2 Social studies, students learn about the many ways children around the world celebrate. Today, January 20, 2020,  is a special day of celebration for children who live in the United States.  It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We do not officially celebrate this  holiday in Canada.  This is because Martin Luther King Jr. was not a Canadian.

He was pretty great though.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader of the civil rights movement.  This means that he hoped that black people and white people would begin to live together peacefully. When children in the United States celebrate today, they remember that everyone, in their own way, can make a difference – however small. Here is a book I shared with Team 2 about this important man: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Family Tree Captain time:

Marcus and Bill presented their family history research today.  We used Google Earth to find and compare the countries they selected from their personal histories.  Belize and Scotland are certainly very different!

Our Personal Goals This Week:

Our New Spelling List:

Sample Team 2 student WH Pic Collage

More Fairy Tales:  We have 10 fairy tales on our list so far.  Today’s story was special because after I read the original, I shared a short script for The Elves and The Shoemaker. We worked in small groups to practice changing our voices to match how the character was feeling.

Check Out Time! What Are The Best Things We Did All Week?

Check Out: Weekly checkout time is one of Team 2’s favourite writing activities. Everyone has a chance to explain what they liked learning or doing in our classroom this week, and what they wish to learn or do in our classroom someday.

What Else? Everyone mentioned in checkout today did more symmetry lessons, finished their Wildcat Jobs, learned to use a google calculator, located Scotland and Korea on Google Earth, and even practiced typing on Chromebooks. Emily and Korbin were our family tree Captains:

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  Here are those Captains one more time:

Emily using a MIRA to reflect her own design

Korbin (and Bill) making symmetrical pattern block designs


What is Symmetry?

January Captain time began today. Ella and Riley are personal history experts. They both have people in their family who are named after each other!

What is Symmetry? This odd word appeared in our morning math yesterday (on Wednesdays we always do a geometry review).  Symmetry is one of my favourite Grade 2 math words.

We spent  most of our morning discovering symmetry. We cut symmetrical shapes:

We talked about how symmetry can be found in nature and we found lines of symmetry in a video:.

I showed the class how to use a MIRA to reflect an image along a line of symmetry:

And we even experimented with mirror images of photos from the blog!Symmetry is even fun to say. It’s a great word!

How Do You Know What To Teach Us, Miss Versteeg?

Morning Reading!

How Do You Know What To Teach Us, Miss Versteeg? Yesterday a student asked me where I get all of my ideas for Team 2 lessons. The answer is pretty simple. I have 6  white books that tell me.  These books are called the Ontario curriculum. Each book has a different coloured spine and is for a different subject. Language is yellow. Math is blue. Dark Green is Social Studies. Light Green is Science. Orange is for Music (the Arts) and Burgandy is for Health (and Phys.Ed.). Each book has a chapter just for Grade 2.  The Grade 2 chapters are the ones that are most important to me. I read these books every day, and then I find a great way to teach what it says Grade 2 needs to know!

In this post you will see pictures from a few of the pages I was reading last night and you will see what we did in a few of today’s lessons, all because of what I read.


Grade 2 Science Curriculum – Investigate evaporation

Today’s Science Lesson – Compare hand print evaporation speeds using water and hand sanitizer


Grade 2 Math Curriculum- Compare Days, Weeks, Months and Years

Today’s Math Lesson: Calendar information – we counted 81 days, 18 weeks 4.5 months of Grade 2


Grade 2 Music Curriculum: Share personal responses to music.

Today’s Music Lesson: Organize your responses to every noise ever  by drawing simple emoticons after listening


Grade Language Curriculum#1: Read fairy tales

Grade Language Curriculum #2: Write Fairy Tales

Grade Language Curriculum#3: Word Play Wednesday

Social Studies: Our first January Captain presentations begin tomorrow!  Riley and Ella will use their family tree research to tell us interesting things about their personal history.  They will tell us countries that are important to their family history so that we can find them on our class map, globe and Google earth.  Here is where I got those ideas:

Grade 2 Social Studies Curriculum#1: Construct a 3 generation family tree

Grade 2 Social Studies Curriculum#2: Use globe, map, Google Earth to find countries

In summary, I know what to teach Team 2 because I know the Ontario Curriculum. And now you do too!


24 Hour Timeline Charts with Google Docs

Key Science Words Today: Evaporation, Condensation and Precipitation. Do ask a Team 2 student to explain/act out these terms!

Making Timelines using Google Docs:I added language and computers to math class today. Team 2 was challenged to try to write activities that would really happen on a normal day, for every single hour on a full 24 hour timeline.  To do this, they used the chart feature of google docs. I created a shared doc to get them started and then modeled how to copy and personalize a blank timeline to show what an absent student, Braysen, might have done if he was here with us today. Students then created their own copy of the assignment on a Chromebook, added activities  o personalize their 24 hour school day, and then submitted their work to me using the share feature.*all underlined text in my blog posts links to the item mentioned.

Science: I’m hoping to finish our Air and Water unit by the end of January and we only have a few things left to discuss.  Today was a big lesson.  We learned the water cycle!  We had a great discussion about how the changes in the air and water affect us in real life.  Many of the families in our class had a flooded yard or a frozen vehicle to deal with on the weekend. In the summer time, our lawns turn brown because there is so little water.  We’ve seen snow, hail, rainbows, slush, icicles, clouds, and fog. And it’s all because of the water cycle.

Jumanji! What time is it?

This photo of Owen links to Jumanji!

Jumanji!: I had a conversation with Owen this morning about a movie he was watching on Netflix before school called Jumanji.  Owen didn’t know that the movie is based on a wonderful picture book that was written before I was born.  It’s such a great story that I decided to share it with everyone in music class.  I found a version of Jumanji read by Robin Williams that has been enhanced with musical sound effects.  We listened carefully while I turned the pages of the real book, and then we talked about how the changes in volume, instrument, and speed of music matched the changes in the text.  The music made the listening experience feel magical.

What time is it?

Blank Analog Clock

Technology makes it fun to teach students how to tell time on analog clocks.  Last week, I shared the image above with Team 2 so we could use the photo markup feature to add hour and minute hands.  The digital time that is always displayed on the device is an instant math challenge: draw the time. What I love about the clock face shown above is that it has all minutes labelled, with multiples of 5 in bold.

I shared another image with Team 2 to create a more open ended challenge today.  Our weekly schedule is now a time-telling adventure!

Our class schedule

On Monday, it is time for 3 routine activities:

1) It is time to make goals for the week:2) It is time to learn a new spelling list:3)It is time to go book shopping:Social Studies and Family  Trees:At the end of our day we had social studies. I reminded the class that the first family trees are not due until Captain presentations begin on Thursday of this week. As you can see above, many have been submitted early.  I  also reminded the class to try to find out a country other than Canada that is important to their family so we can find it on our class map.

A Day Of Projects

The langauge project was a collaborative one!

Today was project day!  We did math projects, health projects, and a fairy tale project.  Several students were absent, so I was able to spend more time helping students one-on-one.

Our Math Project: We used sentence strips to represent a 24 hour day and then labelled at least 5 times and events:

Task, class sample and teaching poster

Our Health Project: We created posters to display at least 5 healthy habits:

Our Language Project: We brainstormed fairy tale words together and made class posters.  These posters will be used to help us write our own fairy tale stories:

Tuesday’s Trees, Times, and Teeth!

Our 3 generation Family Tree for “Student” (Korbin). Each “person” is pointing at their “parents”. The people who are not pointing at any one are “Student’s great-grandparents”

Family Trees: This month our class is learning about family history. A family tree is a diagram used to record the names of people in our family history.  Students will make diagrams to show the names of the 3 generations before them:  parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.  I hope everyone is able to fill this in by talking to their parents and other family members.  It’s okay to have a few blanks. If families cannot find some information, we will just write “great grandpa” like we did for “Student”(Korbin), pictured above.

I showed the class my personal sample today,  Students who created a chart of their own over the holidays do not need to fill  in the blank copy I sent home today. Our school is closed to students tomorrow and those who have not started their family research yet can use the time to work on this project.

It looks like this when it’s done! But only if you’re me.

Telling Time#1:

The blue arrow shows how much of today was over before school even started!

I posted a timeline in our classroom that shows the name of each hour in a day using a.m and p.m. times, starting at 12:00 am.  We went through these times, talking about what Team 2 students  do at each time shown.   We made some interesting observations:

  • Almost all of us started our day by sleeping for over six hours
  • The amount of time you are awake for before school is shorter than the amount of time you are awake for after school.
  • The time  you are at school is over six hours
  • Everyone wakes up and goes to bed at different times, but everyone sleeps for more time than they do any other activity.

Telling Time #2: We made our own practice clocks today!  We will use these for several days to follow the times shown on our real clock and learn to tell time to the quarter hour.

Telling Time #3: This week our feeling check times are o’clock times. Our recording sheets look something like this:

Healthy Teeth Links: We did a lot of reading in health class today. We read a fiction story to learn about children who have healthy dental habits. We also read a tooth eruption chart to learn about how many teeth humans have, when they come in, and when they fall out. What healthy dental habits do you have?

What Nickname Did The Dentist Give X-rays? Tooth-pics (tooth pictures/toothpicks!)

Goal Check: Our goals are something we try to do everyday. Everyone has different goals because everyone need to work on different things.