Our Classroom Library Ribbon Cutting!

It’s official! We have opened our classroom library today. Each year, I wait a few days to get other classroom routines down before I allow the children to use our classroom library. I explained this to the children and Elizabeth, one of our students, asked if we would be having a ribbon cutting to open the library. I thought, “Why not?” So today, our captain, Maria did the honors and cut the ribbon to open our library! The children were very excited! They are taking turns filling their classroom book bags with wonderful books to read that are “just right” for their learning. Hopefully we will be finished shopping for books by tomorrow!

Thank you to all the parents who came to Curriculum Night (Orientation) last night. I was nice to meet so many of the families and to talk about learning in second grade in C8. If you were unable to attend last night, I sent written information home to you with your child today. The QR code needs a QR reader which is a free app you can download. It’s a quick way to get to our classroomwebsite/blog. I also sent home a blue sheet for signups for Parent-Teacher conferences in November.

I would like to briefly mention two things I spoke about last night but didn’t put in the handout. To cut down on the amount of homework, I do not want the children to do the remembering side of the math homework paper at home. They will do that side of the paper in class.  Also, please don’t write notes to me in your child’s assignment book (homework notebook). I would appreciate it if you have any notes or messages that you want to get to me, you can either email me at mriordan@dracutps.org or send in a note with your child on a piece of paper. We have a very short time before we go to special in the morning and I don’t have time to check 24 notebooks each morning. I’d hate to miss something important that you wrote in the notebook that your child didn’t show to me.

What A Busy Week! A recap and some important info about next week!

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What a busy week it was in C8! We had a visit from the Principal to give out first marking period award certificates, Parent-Teacher conferences, and our Grandparent Visit!  I am very proud of my students and was able to share that pride with their parents, grandparents and Principal this week.

openhs2I want to take this opportunity to thank all the parents who took the time to attend Parent-Teacher Conferences. It was nice to have the chance to talk to you about your child’s (or children’s) progress so far.  If you were unable to attend the conferences, please know that you can set up an appointment any typical school day from 9:15 – 9:45 to come in to discuss any concerns you may have. I can also discuss your concerns with a phone conference at that time as well.  Let’s all keep the lines of communication open so we can work together to support your second graders.

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Congratulations to all our students who got a special academic award certificate from our Principal, Ms. Smith. Your success has made us all proud of you. Keep up the good work!

Front row from left to right: Brooklynn, Kamran, Shiwaum, Emily and Gaige 

Back row from left to right: Britney, Brian, Mia, Ms. Smith, Mary , Hannah and Elizabeth                  

Missing from photo but also earning a certificate: Nicholas

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The students welcomed their grandparents and other special guests for their visit with a song called “Family Tree” by Tom Chapin. It is a song that reminds us that while we may have different cultures and traditions, we are all part of the same human family.  They did a nice job performing the song complete with sign language motions for the chorus.  After that, they made an “I am thankful” craft with their grandparents and invited them to share a snack time with them. Finally, the second graders showed off their classroom to the grandparents and posed for photos with them. I hope the grandparents and special guests enjoyed their visit as much as the students and I did!

Next week, we are having a shortened week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  Our Fundations packet is due on Tuesday and the unit assessment will be given on that day.

Also, I sent home a blank page a while ago for the students to share a recipe as part of their Traditions and Customs Unit in Balanced Literacy and Social Studies.  I realized that I forgot to put the due date on the directions. Please have the printed recipe to school on Tuesday, November 25th. If you need a new copy, please let me know on Monday!

On the half day of school on Wednesday, November 26th, we are having a “Tasting Day” where families can send in samples of the recipe for the students to share with their classmates. We will be doing Tasting Day in the morning in the cafeteria with the other two second grade classes. The students are only allowed to taste food that comes from their own class due to peanut allergies in another classroom. While no one is mandated to send in food, the more food our class has to taste, the richer the experience for them. I hope as many families as possible will choose to participate.

Let me take this opportunity now wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Mrs. Riordan

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Where In the World Are We?, Dinosaurs and Fossils, Doubles Game, and One Awesome Mathematician!

Before we get to the photos, I would like to first try to clear up some confusion about the Fundations packet that still exists. Last week, the students should have just completed Tuesday’s 4 dictated words, Wednesday’s 5 dictated words and Thursday’s sentence on the Week 1 writing grid that is in the back of the packet. If your child did not do them last week, please catch up on them this week. The Week 1 words and sentence are located on the back of the parent letter page on the front of the packet. This week, the children will be doing the Week 2 words and sentence on Tuesday through Thursday. The children should write them on the Week 2 writing grid.

The students were told not to do the remaining worksheets last week because they had not had the in-class lessons they needed to properly understand and complete these worksheets yet. They have now learned about marking the digraphs and open and closed syllables. Tonight’s homework is to complete page 8. Tomorrow, they will be asked to complete page 9 in addition to the 4 dictated words. Wednesday, they will complete page 10 in addition to the 5 dictated words. If your child started these worksheets last week, please have your child go over them and fix any mistakes. The entire completed packet should be ready to pass in on Friday morning.

I hope our C-8 families have a better understanding about the expectations for the at-home packet. Now for some fun photos!

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Where in the world are we? Sharing our flipbooks!

The C-8 students completed a Social Studies unit about communities recently.  After reading the book, Me on the Map, we created flipbooks that started with our school, Brookside, and went from its street to Dracut, to Massachusetts, to the United States of America, to North America and finally to our planet Earth. Hopefully this hands-on activity helped the children to have a better concept of their place in the world.

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Here’s a closeup of one of our flipbooks.

After finishing our Social Studies unit, we moved into our Science unit on . . . DINOSAURS and FOSSILS!

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Our friendly dinosaur!!

 

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We are enjoying learning so much about these interesting extinct creatures by reading these fiction books and non-fiction books.

Check out our new doubles math game!

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We are learning our doubles math facts with this doubles math game. The students pair up and chant the doubles while holding up fingers representing the partners.

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When they reach 5+5, they “high five” and when they finish with 10 +10, they do a “high ten!” Lots of smiles and giggles disguised the fact that they were learning their facts!

Speaking of math facts, I am proud to announce that we have our first student to complete the Addition level of  Xtramath. This means that he was able to complete each of his 100 addition facts in under 3 seconds! He also managed to do this in just 14 days of practice. I think this is a new record! Congratulations Nicholas! I hope he is the first of many C-8 students this year!

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Nicholas, Addition Mathematician Extraordinaire!!

P.S. In case you didn’t know, clicking on the photo makes it larger! Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Report Cards, Certificates and Reminders!

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Celebrating two of our Xtramath Superstars!

Today we celebrated two of our second graders who earned their Xtramath certificates for addition for demonstrating mastery of the addition table by answering all basic math addition facts in under 3 seconds per fact.  Tierra accomplished this on October 25th and Danielle completed hers this week on November 12th. They are now working on mastery of subtraction facts. It is important to note that we have another Xtramath superstar, Salvatore who completed both addition and subtraction while still in first grade and is currently working on mastering his multiplication facts!

Our second graders received their first report cards of the year today. Please review the grades with your child and return the signed card as soon as you can. The oral reading grade is graded on a S+, S, S- or U and is based on their Fountas and Pinnell testing and the reading level (1, 2 or 3) indicates if your child’s reading above, on or below grade level. The reading skills grade is based on the written reading assessments/tests. Science and Social Studies is also graded with S or U. I will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have on these or any grades at the Parent-Teacher conferences on Monday, November 18th.

We are currently working on a combined ELA and Social Studies unit on Traditions and Customs. We will be talking about the students’ heritage/family history and the first project is the suitcase assignment which is due tomorrow. The students have to put themselves in the place of immigrants and pack a suitcase or backpack with the objects they would bring if they were immigrating to a new country. I have not assigned math homework tonight to enable the children to have extra time to finish this suitcase assignment. The children will be sharing what they packed tomorrow in class.

A second optional assignment on the Statue of Liberty was sent home today. It involves using the internet and since not all families have access to the Internet, this is not mandatory. The students who choose to do this will get extra credit (and a treat!) Speaking of treats, I sent home “homework passes” today with the eight children who had parents who commented on our class blog/website so far this year. Anyone who comments for the first time is still eligible to receive a homework pass for their child.

Another reminder that the Scholastic Book Club orders are due tomorrow (November 15th) if you plan to order any books by sending paper order forms and paying with cash or checks. If you want to order online, I can keep the online ordering open through Saturday as I probably won’t get around to placing the order until Sunday. Thank you to Hailey, Fatima, Tierra and Katie for their orders!