Thursday, February 9, 2017

February Feels

We have been working so hard in Room 332!

Even though we finished our winter reading tests in January, we had to take some more tests last week to wrap up some units before the end of the trimester. We took a math test and an information writing test. 

We also took time to celebrate a couple of events last week.
Beulah Ralph's 90th birthday was on January 31st! We made birthday hats and a birthday card to give to her daughter, Monica Naylor. Monica celebrated with us and told us a little more about Beulah Ralph. Thanks to the PTA, we enjoyed some colorful cupcakes afterwards.

January 31st was the 100th day of school. We celebrated being 100 days smarter by adding some "100" themed activities into our Daily 5 reading stations. Students tried to make a necklace with 100 fruit loops, stacked a tower of 100 cups, and made a newspaper article about the 100th day of school. 

My favorite part was when the class wrote a total of 100 things that they love about school on little paper hearts. They really do love everything about school! Their positive attitudes are what makes it such a joy to work at Beulah Ralph! I've displayed them on the bulletin board outside our classroom, so please check it out the next time you visit.

The last two Fridays, our school has celebrated being responsible and being positive. It was so inspiring to see the different passions that each student has for their future careers. It was also fun to see everyone dressed so brightly the following week. Here are our future scientists, artists, veterinarians, teachers, quilters, engineers, baseball players, ballerinas, and construction workers. I know I'm missing some, because we hardly had anyone wanting to be in the same profession!

I dressed as a lawyer, because that's what I was working to be before I started studying education! 

This week has been much calmer. 
In reading, we are continuing to work in small groups. As a class, we have been reading Dr. Seuss books to prepare for his birthday on March 3rd! Mrs. Fitch  has read a few to us during our library checkout and we will continue to read a few more in class. We will be voting on our favorite Dr. Seuss book on February 22nd. 

In math, we are building on our knowledge of money. We are working on adding and subtracting money. Next, we will learn about place value in the thousands. 

For writing, we are spending the next couple of weeks on writing persuasive letters. Once we finish, we will start an opinion writing unit.

During science, we are learning about Earth's surface. Specifically, we have discussed how different elements change the Earth's surface, such as ice, water, rain, wind, and earthquakes.

Upcoming Events

Friday, February 10, we are celebrating being problem solvers. Your child is welcome to bring a puzzle to school to solve with other students.

Monday, February 13th and Thursday, February 16th, we will be having Parent/Teacher Conferences. Please let me or the office know if you cannot make it to your scheduled conference. We will do our best to reschedule so I can meet with you!

Tuesday, February 14th is Valentine's Day. Your child is welcome to make a Valentine's bag or box at home and s/he may bring it to school on the 14th. We will pass out valentines in the morning and will have a spring party from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm in our classroom. If you would like to contribute time or supplies to the party, here's a link to sign up:

Friday, February 17th is a Teacher Work Day. There will be no school.

Monday, February 20th is President's Day. There will be no school.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Back in the Swing

We are officially back into the swing of things! We've taken all of our winter reading tests, have built up our stamina for stations, and reviewed all of our class expectations.

That being said, January is a packed month, and it seems it'll only get busier with February. As a school, we are still reviewing our school-wide expectations. We've discussed how to be respectful, responsible, and kind Beulah Ralph students. We celebrated those expectations with a hat day, matching colors day, and tomorrow we'll have a career day, where students can dress up to represent the career they would like to have when they grow up.

We wore blue to match Mrs. Good's second grade class! (We also match our classroom! :) )

Last week, Beulah Ralph held it's first annual spelling bee for grades 3-5. Second grade was honored to attend. Afterwards, we held our own class spelling bee. Congratulations to the top two spellers in our class: Reed and Brock!

These three students were the top spellers in our school! Laughlin, in the middle, was our champion and will be attending the city-wide spelling bee. Congrats, Laughlin!

In math, we've been learning several different subtraction strategies and will soon be learning how to subtract numbers using the stacking method. We will test our subtraction skills next week.

In science, we have just started a unit about Earth's surfaces. So far, we learned that most of Earth is covered in water and we've named the bodies of water that we know.

In writing, we are revising and publishing our second piece of informational writing. We will be taking an information writing test next week as well.

We have also been making progress on our service learning project! Second graders have decided that they would like to help animals and humans that have been affected by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. We asked meterologist Sharon Ray to take some time with us to talk about weather patterns, so we could understand hurricanes a little bit more. She did some cool experiments!

We were also able to Skype with a man that works in Haiti and knows our assistant principal, Seth Woods. We asked him lots of questions about the best way to help the people of Haiti that were affected and how to get our resources to them.

Upcoming Events

Friday, February 3rd, I will send home your parent/teacher conference time in your child's Friday folder. Parent/teacher conferences will be on Monday, February 13th and Thursday, February 16th.

Friday, February 3rd, your child is welcome to wear neon or bright colors to school in celebration of our school-wide expectation of being positive.

Monday, February 6th, there will be NO SCHOOL! It's a teacher work day.

Wednesday, February 8th, there will be a PTA meeting, held in the Media Center at 6:30. There will be child care provided for free.

Tuesday, February 14th, will be our spring party! More details about the party to come.

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.