Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter Blues? Not yet!

Well, we aren't full of winter blues, though I'm sure most of us in Room 332 would love to be out playing in the snow instead of stuck inside for indoor recess!

Winter Break went by really quickly, but I'm happy to see everyone's smiling faces again this week. We've mostly been working on getting back into a consistent routine.
 In reading, we are rebuilding our stamina for each of our Daily 5 stations: read to self, work on writing, listen to reading, and read to someone. 
In writing, we are learning about writing stations (independent writing and partner share) and building our stamina for those. 
And in math, we are using number lines to add and subtract while rebuilding our stamina for our Daily 4 stations: math by myself, math games, and ST Math.

It's been a week of practicing!
In addition, we have been reviewing our expectations for our behavior inside and outside the classroom. The places we have the hardest time with following expectations is in the cafeteria and the restrooms. If you could discuss behavior in these locations with your child, that would be very helpful!
In the cafeteria, students' main job is to eat their lunch. They should be sitting flat on their seats with their legs under their tables, only getting up for a drink or the bathroom after asking a supervisor. Students can talk with others at their tables and should clean their messes when they are done eating.
While using the restroom, students should flush when they are done using the toilet, wash their hands, and return straight to class.

Next week, we will continue building our stamina and start taking our winter reading tests, as well as the STAR tesst on the computer. I will be sending home reading logs again starting next week, too. 
I can't wait to see what the new year will bring us! It should be exciting.

Upcoming Events!

Monday, January 16th, there will be NO SCHOOL! It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Friday, January 20th is Inauguration Day.

The week of January 17th-January 20th, we will have a classroom spelling bee! The top two spellers in our class will be recognized at the Citizen of the Month assembly on January 25th.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Countdown to Christmas Break!

Our week has been antsy, but fun, as we are starting to prepare for Winter Break! 
Our class has made lots of decorations for our classroom from wreaths and reindeer to Christmas lights, stockings, and more. If you can, stop by before the we leave school on Tuesday and check it out. We are feeling quite festive.

This week, we have spent a lot of time reading. We have read several different holiday books. Most of them have been about Christmas and the beliefs behind Christmas, though we did learn a little bit about Hanukkah too. My favorite read aloud for this season, however is How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.

We've spent the whole week re-reading the story about the Grinch and talking about different aspects of the books from the events, characters, setting, and how the Grinch changed, as well as how the story relates back to our 12 Days of Christmas Kindness. We discussed that even when people (like the Grinch) treat us poorly, we can still choose to respond with kindness. We also talked about how when we do respond this way, our kindness usually halts the spread of anger and disrespect. Students came up with lots of great ideas about how they could help make the Grinch grin! 

They made a grinch craft, with a specific way each of them would make the Grinch grin, as well. Those will be hanging up in our classroom very soon!

Our class has also spent some time each day completing our 12 Days of Christmas Kindness. It has been awesome to see how excited the kids are about spreading Christmas cheer to others and generally being kind to others. Since most of our acts of kindness have been to people outside of the classroom, though, the acts of kindness have not greatly affected how we treat other people in class. Here is what we've done this week:

We all really liked being able to read to Kindergartners on Thursday. We read to Mrs. Croom and Mrs. Concannon's Kindergarten classes. Here are the pictures I took:

On Friday, we started our themed days with a Grinch Day. He visited overnight and turned our classroom green. We watched the Grinch in the afternoon and enjoyed green Rice Krispie treats. 

We have more themed days planned for the last two days before break. On Monday, we'll make Gingerbread houses and on Tuesday, we'll have a Polar Express day before our holiday party. The only thing our class still needs is assorted candy and more graham crackers to decorate our Gingerbread houses with!

Lastly, our HOLIDAY PARTY will be on Tuesday, December 20th in room 332! There is a TIME CHANGE! We will start at 2:00 pm and will end at 3:00 pm. There is a Sign Up Genius, if you would like to contribute time or supplies to our party:
Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to donate to our party that is not  on the list! Thank you to everyone who has donated things to our themed days or the party so far. We've had a lot of fun and we're definitely anticipating the fun we'll have on Tuesday. Hope to see you there!

Friday, December 9, 2016

We've got our pants!

We become more and more ready for Christmas Break every day. This week, we've decorated our own stockings for the classroom. Along with snowflakes and our class tree, we've made stockings to hang. We've also completed fact family "presents" with two-digit addition and a "hot chocolate" regrouping craft. More pictures for those activities coming soon!

We've started our 12 Days of Christmas Kindness. So far, we have been able to write thank you cards to our wonderful lunch staff, give hot chocolate to our recess and lunch supervisors, give compliments to other second graders, bring in cans of food for the food pantry, and write "get well" messages to kids that are at the Children's Hospital. Thank you to each parent who has been able to help out with the Kindness tasks that require a little bit of "homework" on the students' part! Our stack of canned goods for the food pantry has grown since I've taken this picture.

You may have also seen, in your child's Friday folder or reading bag, the different incentives that we are using for reading homework this year in Second Grade. 

One incentive is the Pizza Hut reading program. Each month, students will have a different reading goal to meet. For November, students were asked to read at least 2 nights per week. I made that goal lower than the Beulah Ralph homework requirement in order to motivate all students in our class to read at home and return their reading logs to school. Each student that met that goal received a ticket for one free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut! Our goal for December will be to read at least 3 nights per week.

Another incentive that we are using this year is the Six Flags Read to Succeed Program. Students that read 6 hours or more by the end of February will receive a free ticket to Six Flags at the end of the school year. To keep track of these hours, I will be using your child's monthly reading logs. Just make sure that you are logging your child's time spent reading (to you, with you, or just listening to you) and that the log is being returned to school. I save those logs to keep that data.

To conclude, I am not trying to put anything extra on your plate. I use your child's reading log for each incentive. The only things that you and your child are asked to do fall in line with Beulah Ralph's homework policy. Please read with your child for at least 20 minutes per night. As long as this is happening and the reading logs are being returned to school, your child will receive both incentives! Thanks for all of your help!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas in the Air

With only 12 more school days until Christmas Break, I would say that room 332 has a lot of Christmas spirit! We are ready for Christmas and having fun celebrating it at school, too.

Writing: We are almost ready to publish our first information writing pieces! We have been doing so well with assigned partner sharing during other times during our day that we are working on getting feedback from partners on our writing. We'll use our information writing criteria checklists over the course of a few days during our partner share before we start publishing.

Reading: Since we are working on information stories in writing, we'll be reading mostly nonfiction texts in reading and remembering important facts from those texts.

Math: We have started adding two two-digit numbers, using the tens and ones in each number to help us add. It has been pretty easy for us to understand this concept, so the next strategy we will most likely use for adding with be the stacking concept.

Science: This week, we are finishing our unit about human organs. Next, we will be starting a civics unit.

Community Building
Everyone in our class celebrates Christmas, so we have started decorating our classroom. We have a paper Christmas tree next to our door with all of our names on it and snowflakes will be hanging in our room very soon!

Santa sent our class a letter last week that told us that he needed help spreading Christmas spirit! Everyone agreed to apply to be one of Santa's elves in order to help him spread Christmas cheer. Each student has been selected to be his kindness elves and over the next 12 school days, we will have different acts of kindness to complete to bring Christmas cheer to the people in our school!

Happy 8th Birthday to Kris! Thanks for bringing in cupcakes so that we could celebrate.

Our school's Timberwolf is named Flash! We got to meet him at our morning meeting this morning.

Upcoming Events
Friday, December 9th is our class's brown bag lunch! We will eat at 11:50 am in our classroom, Room 332. Please meet us there and we will finish at 12:15 pm. 

Tuesday, December 20th is the day of our Winter Party! Right now, it is scheduled from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm in our classroom.

Wednesday, December 21st to Monday, January 2nd is Winter Break. Enjoy more time with your child!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving Thoughts

Again, thank you to all of the parents that met with me for parent/teacher conferences. It is important to me to be able to share with you your child's progress. I am happy to say that I was able to meet with almost every family!

The week after conferences, we celebrated Veteran's and Grandparents Day together. We had an assembly where we got to see mini Mizzou and the Golden Girls perform. Beulah Ralph's choir performed for the first time. And, we had a student from each second grade class speak about what America means to them. I was extremely proud of Kris, from our class. He spoke very clearly and had great things to say about America!

After the assembly, we went back to our classroom with our visitors and interviewed them about their life when they were younger. Overall, the school had about 500 visitors. I know that in our classroom, we had just about as many visitors as students! Thank you so much to everyone that came! We enjoyed having you there.

Reminders and Upcoming Events!

Remember that your child's reading log is taken home every Monday and DUE every Friday! It is an expectation in our class that they turn it in and take it home, on their own. Students are aware of this, but sometimes they need a reminder.

Thanksgiving Break starts on Wednesday, November 23rd. School resumes on Monday, November 28th.

Our class's BROWN BAG LUNCH is set for Friday, December 9th! You are invited to come eat with your child in our classroom, room 332, at 11:55 am on that day. We will get our lunches from the cafeteria, unless you would like to provide lunch for your child. Lunch will end at 12:15 pm.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Parent Teacher Conferences

Thank you to all of the parents that have come to meet with me for parent teacher conferences so far or rescheduled for a time that is more convenient for you! I definitely want to keep you all updated on your child's progress at school and work together for the success of your child. I look forward to seeing more parents on Thursday night! 

Remember, there will be no school on Tuesday, November 8th for voting purposes or on Friday, November 11th because of conferences.

Also because of conferences, there will be a Scholastic book fair in the Media Center this week. It is open after school on Monday, November 7th and Thursday, November 10th, during parent/teacher conferences. It will also be open during the day on Monday, November 14th.

Monday, November 14th is Beulah Ralph's Veteran's and Grandparents Day celebration. Grandparents, or other important friends, are welcome to join your child for our celebration. We will have an assembly in the gym from 9:00-9:30 am, followed by an activity in our classroom from 9:30-10:00 am. Please let me know if someone will be coming to school to visit your child on this day.

In preparation for Veteran's and Grandparents Day, we've been learning all about our country. We've learned a little bit about our culture and more about the symbols of our country. We have discussed the purpose that Veterans have for the United States, too.

We have one more full week of school after this one and then Thanksgiving Break begins on Wednesday, November 23rd! School resumes again on Monday, November 28th.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween Madness

The week before Halloween Weekend was full of both learning and fun for us in Room 332! 
We edited Ms. Considine's writing and started publishing our last small moment stories for the year. We also took our small moment writing test. We've done so much learning this trimester! Next, we'll be working on informational writing.

Last week, we finished our math unit about ordering numbers up to 100. I made a "boo" mix with candy corn, cinnamon toast crunch, chocolate chips, and marshmallows. The students got a cup full and had to analyze the data in their cup of mix.

Currently in math, we have started discussing money: what each coin is worth and how to count it. Your child will be bringing home a kit of math manipulatives to use at home. It includes play money, so feel free to discuss and practice using money further with your child. 

We completed a STEM project this week, using candy corns and toothpicks to build a stable structure. We figured out pretty quickly that it was very difficult! The candy corn kept breaking apart as we stuck the toothpicks in them. Our largest stable structure was a cube (as seen in the third picture).

Our party day was a blast! We started the morning with Halloween stations. Each second grade teacher had a second grade class for about 30 minutes and each second grade class completed a community building activity in each classroom. In my classroom, students completed a roll a jack o' lantern activity. Each student had a die. Each number on the die represented a piece of the jack o' lantern and they had to add a certain piece when they rolled a certain number. So we had some pretty silly-looking jack o' lanterns.

After our stations and lunch and recess, we watched Hotel Transylvania and enjoyed our class parties. I can't believe how easily our party ran! Thank you to all of the parents that came to enjoy the party, help manage stations, take pictures, and provide supplies for our party! The kids really enjoyed it, and so did I. :)

We had a great variety and PLENTY of treats!

The ring toss was classic and did not get old.

I love that we had a "souvenir"to remember our party by. The hand print spiders turned out so well.

Upcoming Events

Our class worked on Lego creations last week, which are being displayed in the front hallway of the school this week. Come check them out!

Progress Reports will be coming home in your child's Friday folder this week! Please look over them and we can discuss any questions you have about them at conferences.

Parent/Teacher conferences are coming up on November 7th and November 10th! I have scheduled all conferences and you should have gotten a date and time from me in your child's Friday folder. I will send another reminder home this Friday. If you cannot make your conference, let me or the office know and we can reschedule.