Tuesday, December 22, 2015

See you in 2016!

It was great to see your children's faces as I told them during our morning meeting that it would be next year when we had our next morning meeting. They couldn't believe it! Like a whole year will pass in this next week and a half! It was great and developed into a wonderful lesson. 

We've spent the last couple of weeks working on a special creative writing piece for you all. I hope that you enjoy your child's creativity, penmanship, organization, and in many, exploration with paragraphs, quotation marks, and great voice. The growth we have made in our writing is astounding in such a short time. Enjoy! 

In math we've begun collecting and organizing data. We are playing, "what's my rule" in order to think about common attributes as well as differences to help us eliminate possible rule choices. 

If instances provide themselves over this next week, please try to provide your child with opportunities to tell time, count money, and solve random addition and subtraction facts. They love to make a game of this one like a relay or being timed! 

We're also digging deep into text features to assist us with becoming part of the story as we read. We are practicing to stop and reflect on what we've read every few pages asking questions like, "Do I  know where the setting is?" "Who is the main character?" "What do I like most about said character?" "Is there a problem?" "Are the characters working on a solution?" "Can I retell the beginning, middle, and end?"

I will miss all of your sweet children this next week but hope that you all have time to enjoy one another and get some good laughs in on maybe at least one "lazy" day as my girls and I like to call it. 

Happy Holidays! I can't tell you enough how honored I am to be working with you and your child. I am truly blessed! 

Some critical thinking and team work before we indulged in afternoon gingerbread cookie creativity. 

Beware! Here come the gingerbread "men"! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Snapshots from today

Using base 10 blocks to help us work with numbers while problem solving

Our calendar helper this week. 

Having fun in the Author's Chair! We love listening to one another's stories. 

More authors!

Practicing how to construct stories with the assistance of an iPad (and Mrs. West) 

Giggling at our own fun with iPads. 

Check this out! 

Team work! 

Deep in learning and practice! 

Counting objects by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's. 

Wait! Here comes Mrs. Ortiz so let's stop our work for a moment to pose! 

Peer editing. Making our writing better. 

We even used iPads this afternoon during Readers' workshop to publish today's writing piece

And to practice this weeks spelling words! 

Another great day in second grade! 
Just a reminder that tomorrow-Wednesday, December 9th is a half day of school. Dismissal is 12:30. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015


In the upcoming weeks, we will be engaged in a Gingerbread Literacy Unit where we look closely at different versions of The Gingerbread Man. We will be looking closely at different literary elements while enjoying fantastic versions of the popular tale. 

In the end, I'd like to have some fun by having all of us have the chance to decorate two of their very own gingerbread cookies. Thanks to Mr. Kaback, he will be providing us with the 45 gingerbread cookies. These will be about 5-6 inches tall to make them a blast to decorate. 

However, I am reaching out to ask if any one of you would be willing to donate: 

White frosting(4-5 containers)
String licorice- red and black if possible
Mini chocolate chips
Mini m & m's
Cinnamon candies
Or anything else that would be fun to use to decorate. 

Your help would be so appreciated. Please be sure to let myself or Russ (our room parent) know of any way you can help. He can be reached at rk@russellkaback.com

We plan on having our gingerbread fun the afternoon of Tuesday, December 22nd. 

Thank you!!

Beat the Calculator

Beat the Calculator is a game that we've been playing to show the importance of knowing math facts. The goal is for our brain to beat the calculator. 

Close to 20 is another game we practice that again helps us think about number sense and math facts. The goal is to get as close as 20 as you can. We only have five cards at one time to work with and we must think about which cards are most likely to take us the closest to 20. 

Everyday we are working toward number sense. As you've heard me say before, math fact practice -both addition and subtraction are very important. 

Currently, we are differentiating even and odd numbers to assist us with grouping, left overs when problem solving, and able to identify patterns for simple recognition of even and odd numbers.  

As we move into this week, our focus will be to apply what we know about numbers and patterns to work with money and using money to solve more story problems. Language is a big part of this practice as your second grader must identify which language tells us to add or subtract. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A new week means a new job

In second grade each week your student has a new responsibility in the classroom. Ask your child what their job is this week. 
Here is a picture of one of our friends leading calendar for us. 

Monday, November 9, 2015


Homework went home this afternoon as well as a new reading log. 
Our focus this week is with nouns: what are they, why are they important, and what are three kinds of nouns we work with? Currently, our focus is on common nouns and proper nouns. 

Thank you so much for the support you give your second grader with homework. I know that reading logs can feel tedious much of the time. However, they are not only a reminder for most of our children to practice their reading a little each night, but also a piece to practicing responsibility. 

With that being said, if there are ever any struggles with weekly reading logs, please just send me a note. Homework responsibilities should never feel stressful and/or cause any frustration. Just let me know. 

Below is a snapshot from today's shared writing experience. We have begun our first fantasy story. Our classroom is filled with VERY creative second graders. This was a lot of fun and brought many giggles too. Ask your child about Planet Zot. The only planet made of stale burger so we are able to walk on it. Oh I almost forgot the Saturn like ring around it made of Cheerios. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Community is important.

Each and every day we are turning to one another for support, participation, and guidance. It takes each and every one of us to be successful. 

In writing, we have spent time modeling and practicing peer editing using our latest writing piece-writing about a fun time outdoors. It has been great seeing and hearing your second graders provide support, suggestions, and positive feedback to one another throughout the writing process 

Each week your second grader is introduced to a new set of words that become their spelling words. This is when they do the most of their word detective work. Each new group of words comes with a specific rule to assist them with the spelling of various words. We are continuously practicing to carry over these various rules to spelling in our everyday writing. 


We have just completed Unit 2 in math. We focused on making rectangles, building rectangular arrays, using specific vocabulary to describe various shapes, and the beginning steps to finding the area of a rectangle. 
Ask your child how many represents: 

One more challenge-Can you define a rectangle? How about a quadrilateral? Talk to your second grader about this and see if you're right. 

We are practicing our fluency and comprehension each day. Through reading in small groups, with a buddy, and to our self at times, we are practicing to read for meaning. Our focus currently has been on the five W's as we get ready to move into summarizing. We're also having fun "getting to know" characters as we read. 

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend! We have been so lucky to have such beautiful November weather.