A Special Visitor and Pirates

The tenth day of second grade was mighty exciting! It started off in the morning with a surprise note from Zero the Hero. Zero is a Math Superhero who came to our classroom before the school day and left notes for me and the children. In the note, he asked me to read the book “Zero the Hero” to the children. He asked the children to draw a picture of what they thought he might look like. We have some very good artists in C8 with good imaginations! He also left a candy pumpkin treat for each child to help them get ready for the start of fall. 

But that wasn’t all the excitement today!  Today was “Talk Like a Pirate Day!” and the second grade teachers and some of the students dressed up like pirates to celebrate.

If ye wants to see these scurvy pirates up close, click on the photo, matey!

 

We read a pirate book and did some pirate themed papers. The children started writing their own adventure story. We also had an school-wide banking assembly.  Combined with yesterday’s fire drill practice and Curriculum Night scheduled for tomorrow night, this is turning out to be a busy week!

Welcome to Second Grade!

Welcome to our new C8 Second Grade families! I can’t believe that we have already been in school for almost two weeks now! The students and I have been getting to know each other and the routines of our C8 classroom. It has been a time of review, assessment, and exploring our new classroom. On Wednesday, we are holding our Curriculum Night which serves as an Orientation to our classroom.  Parents and guardians are invited to come see your child’s classroom. You have the opportunity to meet me and hear about our classroom procedures and expectations as well as the Second Grade curriculum. You will also have a chance to meet the specialists that work with your child and to visit the Book Fair in C10. I look forward to meeting you all on Wednesday night.

This bulletin board is not only greeting our new second graders but previewing our new focus this year district-wide on Writer’s Workshop!

Just a sneak peek at one part of our classroom! Reading is such an important part of my classroom and these are our shelves that highlight seasonal books or books that supplement whatever special topics we are studying.

Welcome to My New C-8 Families!

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I am so excited to have your children as my students this year. Since we are having the curriculum night later this year on Tuesday, September 29th, I thought you might like a sneak preview of our classroom. Here are some photos I took of our classroom prior to school starting.

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This view shows our main teaching area with the smart projector, whiteboard, and our rainbow rug! Many of the students are sitting in a horseshoe around the rug.

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This is the view as we enter the classroom and shows our coat closet, sink, my desk and the large table used for many things like reading groups.

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In this corner, you can see our cozy classroom library and my vast collection of children’s books I’ve collected over 25 years.

This is just a taste of what our room looked like before the children arrived.  But the room really came to life when 23 second graders walked through the door. Here are two photos I managed to shoot on the first day of school during the “Getting to Know You” game.

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I will update the homework page nightly and periodically post blog updates on this page to help keep you informed and let you share the excitement that goes on in second grade.

Thank You and a Request!

Thank you to all the parents who attended last night’s Orientation Night.  It was nice to meet you all and share with you our curriculum and how our classroom operates. Each year I try to remember everything I want to say and I usually end up forgetting something.  If you were in the first session,  I forgot to talk to you about the Highlights forms that I put on each desk.  If enough parents send back the signed form, we can get FREE materials for our classroom. It doesn’t matter if you check yes or no.  I just need the form with your signature. (You don’t even need to fill out the rest!) Last year, our class had enough forms to get a huge container of foam dice to use in math that usually costs over $30.00. So my request is that you fill out the form and return it and help C-8 get some more FREE materials. If you need a replacement form, let me know and I’ll send one home.

If you were unable to attend last night’s Orientation, I am sending home a packet of papers with your child which includes the entire Powerpoint I showed. Please look at these materials and contact me if there is anything you need me to clarify for you.

Thank you to Madison and her family for placing an Scholastic Book Club online order! It’s the only order I have so far.  So I am extending the Scholastic Book Club order to Tuesday,  September 23rd to avoid any confusion with the Book Fair.

Thank you again for attending and if you have any questions that I did not answer last night, feel free to contact me with them!

Welcoming a New Group of Second Grade Friends!

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I can’t believe that our first full week of school is over! We are getting to know each other and are learning how to work together. In addition to seeing our specialists we met last year (Mrs. Turnbow for music, Mrs. Sorbello for computers and Mrs. Costello for library), we’ve met our new art teacher, Ms. Mullins and our new physical education teacher, Mr. Rivers.  We also met other educators (Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Marvin, Mrs. Charette, Mrs. Smolko, Mrs. Wagner, and Ms. Jacobs) who will be working with some of our C-8 students this school year. We did a lot of assessment this week so I can better know the students’ skill levels. We even had a fire drill!  I think my favorite activity was when they played a “Getting to Know You” game to help them learn more about each other! Here are some photos of the students enjoying this activity.

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T.J. and Shiwaum discussing their summer activities.

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Discovering how our friends spent their summers!

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Madison and Elizabeth sharing information.

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Look at all these second graders actively engaged in the task of getting to know each other.

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Mary and Brooklynn make new friends.

I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know my new C-8 parents at our Orientation Night on Tuesday night at 6 – 8 p.m.  Hope to see you then!

Thank You!

Thank you to all the parents who attended last night’s Orientation Night. It was so nice to see all of you. If you were not able to attend, I sent home all the papers you missed. Please review my presentation when you get the chance.

Today we started doing partner houses in math and we learned how to choose “just-right” books for our independent reading bags. We talked about how some behaviors support us reaching our second grade hopes and dreams and some behaviors get in the way of us or our classmates from reaching our hopes and dreams. Then we wrote a “Class Constitution” that we as a class community will use to remind us of what we need to do to be successful in second grade. We will all sign our constitution tomorrow.  We also had a visit from “Zero the Hero” and he brought the class a treat. We read a story about Zero and learned a lot of math concepts along the way.  Oh, we were so busy today that I forgot to stamp the tutor sheets. (Sorry!) I’ll catch up on stamping them tomorrow!

Rainy Days and Mondays in Second Grade!

We had to be flexible today because we had an assembly to introduce the children to the Jeanne D’Arc Banking program that is offered through the school and recess indoors due to the rain. We did reader’s workshop and talked about anchor charts. We read some stories and made an anchor chart about the different types (genres) of books. We did a lot of math with counting coins today and the children brought home the paper coins we used so they can use them if they need them to do their homework. You may keep these coins at home so they have them available for nightly homework.

I passed back last week’s spelling test that was a review test of words they had last year. If your child had a pink sign and return slip, please send it back signed tomorrow. Based on the spelling assessment I used, the children were given a spelling list that meets their specific needs at this time. Your child got either a blue, pink or gold spelling tutor sheet. Please practice these words nightly with your child. All children will take a spelling test based on the words they practiced.

In second grade, the social studies instruction is more formal than last year and they will be having a test on the concepts we are studying. I gave each child a social studies vocabulary word tutor sheet. Please practice this nightly with your child. I suggest starting with giving the definition to the child and having the child identify the vocabulary word. When they get more sure of the words, try giving your child the word and having him/her tell you the definition. Please keep both of these tutor sheets in their homework folder so I can check them each day.

Remember that school picture day is tomorrow. It is also their physical education class. Please wear (or bring) sneakers. Our Orientation is tomorrow night from 6 to 8 pm. At Orientation, you will have the opportunity to sign up for Parent-Teacher conference appointments. You will also have a chance to shop at the Scholastic Book Fair fundraiser in the library. I look forward to seeing everyone then!

Our First Seven Days of Second Grade Together!

What a difference starting the year with second graders! They really are more independent than first graders and I am truly enjoying teaching second grade.  We spent the first seven days setting up routines, getting to know one another better, and lots and lots of assessment! I am trying to get to know each child as a learner so I can better meet their needs this year!

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Giving lots of assessments will help me determine what each learner needs! Now to get correcting!

This is not only a new grade level for all of us but a new method of teaching and learning. We are going to be doing even more with balanced literacy and less with our basal textbook. We will differentiate our spelling and phonics work even more than last year. We will be doing more centers this year. We even survived sweltering heat and our first fire drill (while the students were at art in the art room). I’m really excited about this year and I am looking forward to seeing all the parents at our Orientation Night next Tuesday!!