A big welcome back to school to all of our families! I look forward to seeing you on August 15.
Wow! We were so lucky to be able to experience the partial solar eclipse! We had the opportunity to view the eclipse with safety glasses this morning. We also observed the shadows of the trees--did you know that everywhere there was a little space for light to shine through you could see an image of the eclipse on the ground?
Paper Bag Speech
Today I sent home information on the Paper Bag Speech that students will present in class on Wednesday. Please be sure to read the instructions and help your child practice.
Remember, Picture Day is Friday, August 25.
In language arts, we are working on establishing classroom routines so that students will learn what the expectations are for independent work, group work, and so forth. We are learning about how to be a good listener, how to handle classroom books and materials, choose a good spot for reading, read with someone else, read to oneself, do word work, choose a "good fit" book, and listen to reading.
Listening skills seem to be a particular area where this year's class needs extra practice. An important second grade standard involves listening skills: students must be able to listen to a story or passage and be able to answer questions about what they heard. They must be able to follow oral directions. You will find that I give students very clear and specific directions. A few of the students are really struggling with this.
The most important thing you can do to ensure your child's academic success is to read to them, with them, and listen to them read every single day. Reduce that electronic device time and increase the one-on-one and family time.
In math, we are still doing a bit of review of first grade math skills. Students should be able to work with math mountains find unknown addends and totals. They should be able to write eight (8) different addition/subtraction equations for every math mountain.
Can you believe how fast the year is going? We have only six weeks left together. Your second graders will soon be finishing up their year and moving on to third grade!
Congratulations to those students who have already made their AR goals for the third trimester: Zoe, Gerry, Sebastian, Sidney, Zachary, Jayden, Sonia, Douglas, Jason, Cierra, Najeeull, Bridget, Benson, Grace, and Darin.
We will be having our test on Unit 6 on Wednesday, May 4. Be sure to use the practice test to study!
Second Grade Play
We had our first dress rehearsal today and performed for the kindergartners, first graders, and third graders. It was SO much fun! What a fantastic job everyone did!!
On Wednesday we will have our second dress rehearsal at 11:20. We invited the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades to attend. Our final performance for friends and family will be on Friday, May 6 at 11:00. We are looking forward to seeing you there!
If you are planning on taking your student off campus or home after the play, please be sure to sign them out. We will have sign out sheets available in the multi-purpose room.
Everyone is looking forward to raising our critters. Thank you so much for your donations so that we can enjoy observing the behaviors and life cycles of these animals. This year, we are hatching chicken eggs! I do not have an incubator, so our class's eggs are in an incubator in Mrs. LaCross's room. When they hatch, they will come over to our room to observe and enjoy for a week or so. We will be watching caterpillars, silk worms, ants, and more.
You should be well along with the progress of your Science Fair project. On Wednesday, I will send home the project boards for any students who have not received theirs yet.
Open House will be on Thursday, May 26 this year. Hope you can make it!
Parents, we have been using a structure during our language arts block called The Daily 5. The Daily 5 was created by two wonderful teachers, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, and is practiced in many classrooms across the country. It is based on research on the most effective ways we can improve reading comprehension, fluency, and writing.
During our language arts block, we have focus lessons on specific skills the children need interspersed with rounds of independent work in these areas:
• Read to Self
• Read to Someone
• Listen to Reading
• Word Work
• Work on Writing
While students are doing their independent work, I confer with students and work with small groups.
Each week in this space, I plan to give you more information about each of these components, along with additional Daily 5 information. Please feel free to discuss these with your student.
Your students have received their new goals for our third trimester. (Third trimester! Already?) You may find that their point goal is actually less than it was in the second trimester. This is because the second trimester has more reading weeks than the third. Please let me know if you have questions.
Second Grade Play
Welcome to our third annual performance of The Emperor's New Clothes! Over the next few weeks we will be practicing our hearts out. All students will be participating in this musical interpretation of the classic story. Students will have an opportunity to audition for additional speaking/singing roles right after Spring Break. These roles include the emperor, a baker, crooks, a carpenter, a furnace repairman, various townspeople, courtiers, and so forth.
This week, I will be sending home a packet that includes the lyrics to many of the songs. Please KEEP the packet at home until the play. If your child would like to audition for a special part, be sure to help them practice the songs.
Congratulations to those students who made their Accelerated Reader goals for the second trimester: Zoe, Brian, Sidney, Zachary, Holly, Jayden, Sonia, Douglas, Jason, Kyle, Najeeull, Bridget, Benson, Carissa, Grace, and Darin.
Your students will be receiving their new goals for our last trimester next week.
Thank you to those parents I have already met with. Please see the following schedule for a reminder of your conference time:
The Book Fair will be going on all week in the library. Check it out for great reading, posters, and more!
We're watching a video series about how students can develop a growth mindset! Click here to watch it, and ask your child these questions about Episode 1:
1. What was the biggest challenge you faced today? (Ask your child, and then have them ask the question back!)
2. How can you and I think about these challenges in a new way?
3. What can we do differently tomorrow if we face similar challenges?
Wow! The class really enjoyed our field trip to Descanso Gardens. Thank you, parents, for volunteering your time as chaperones. They always do a wonderful job at the gardens. It is wonderful to be able to split up into small groups and head off in different directions for a more personal experience in nature. Many flowers were blooming early due to the unseasonably warm weather--it was just beautiful!
Happy Leap Day, everyone!
Read Across America
In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, we have many events planned this week.
Tuesday is Career Clothes Day. Wear clothing representing the career you would like to have.
Wednesday is the official Read Across America day. It is Mismatched Clothes Day. Wear clothing that is mismatched (paisley with stripes? polka dots with paisley? whatever!) This is a day to celebrate reading. We will have some guest readers coming to class today. In the afternoon, we will have a Relax and Read time. Students can bring their favorite books from home to share with a friend.
Thursday is our field trip. See below for details.
Friday is Stuffed Animal Day. Students may bring ONE stuffed animal to school.
Our field trip to Descanso Gardens is on Thursday--it is one of the highlights of the year. It is part of our science unit on ecosystems.
If you did not sign up for a cafeteria sack lunch, remember to bring your own lunch!!
If you have Fair Oaks Ranch School spirit wear, please wear it for the field trip. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as we will be walking all over the Gardens.
Thank you for volunteering to chaperone our exciting field trip to Descanso Gardens!
Please be at school BEFORE the bell. Come to the classroom so I can give you your group information. We will be walking out to the bus as soon as I have taken roll. You should wear comfortable shoes, pack a lunch, and bring a water bottle.
We will be dividing the students into four groups. Each group will be accompanied by at least one parent chaperone and a docent from the Gardens. The docent's job is to show the students around and teach them about the natural environment and plants that we will be seeing. Your job is to be sure the students in your group stay together and behave in a safe and polite manner. (No running around, no shouting, etc.) You MUST stay with your group the entire time.
The talent show was SO much fun! The students loved doing their folklórico dance in front of the crowd. Mrs. Fernandez, I can't thank you enough for teaching the dance, making all those cute tutus, and providing the hair clips and bandanas. Your countless hours mean a lot to Mrs. Quitt's Cool Kids!
Friday, March 4 is the LAST day to take AR quizzes for this current trimester. Congratulations to all those who have worked so hard and made both their accuracy and point goals already: Sidney, Benson, Sonia, Bridget, Darin, Carissa, Grace, Zachary, Holly, and Douglas. Super close to making their goals: Kyle, Jayden, and Zoe.
On February 11, we will be having a Valentine's Exchange. This is an optional activity for the students. If you choose to participate, please be sure to have enough valentines to include all students in the class. We have 25 students. You may send them in with or without names on them. Earlier in the week, I sent home a list of student names to help with this.
Scholastic Book Orders
Please place your orders by February 11. Our class code is GLNHN.
Click here to get straight to the Scholastic Reading Club site.
Presidents' Day Holidays
Please remember that there is no school on Friday, February 12 and on Monday, February 15 in honor of Presidents' Day.
The class is practicing like crazy to learn our dance for the talent show. Girls: you will be wearing a cute skirt made from tulle by our very talented room mom. Boys: you should wear jeans and a button down shirt. Instead of cowboy hats, the boys will be wearing a bandana. Everyone: if you have shoes with a hard sole, it would be best for dancing. Cowboy style boots would be great, or any shoe with a hard sole.
In class, we practice correct ways to answer questions about a passage. We practice every day. The methods we teach will help your student perform better on any assessment AND help with their reading comprehension. Here are my expectations for every single time students complete an assessment:
We teach an acronym, RACE. When answering a question, you must:
Q: Who are the main characters in the passage?
A: The main characters in the story are Tom and Bill.
Q: What is the focus of the first paragraph?
A: The most important part of the first paragraph is to tell readers about which sports are in the Winter Games.
Students must show me evidence (proof) of where they found the answer. That means that they need to circle or color-code the sentence or phrase in the passage that contains the answer. If you have read this far, please send in a slip of paper with your student's name and their favorite restaurant.
Students must follow simple grade-level appropriate language conventions. That is, they must start each sentence with a capital letter and end each sentence with a period, question mark, or exclamation point. Proper nouns must be capitalized.
This month, we are asking the students to memorize a poem to recite. I sent the poems home yesterday. If you have not done so yet, please review with your student and send back the signed acknowledgment page. Help your child choose an appropriate poem. Students must bring some sort of prop (poster or other homemade item) to hold while they recite the poem.
Congratulations to Sidney, Luke, Benson, Sonia, Bridget, Brian, Carissa, Grace, and Darin for making their AR accuracy goal (85% or better) and personalized point goal!
Come on, everyone, I know you can do it!! The last day this trimester to take AR quizzes is March 4, so you still have time!
The class is working and practicing for our talent show folklórico dance! For the talent show, boys should wear jeans, and, if possible, a cowboy-style hat. For the girls, we will be making the cutest tutu-style skirts. If you can help with this, please send me a message.
The talent show will have two dress rehearsals during the school day on February 26. There is also an evening performance that I hope everyone can come to. It is at 6:00 p.m.
Valentine Grams are for sale during recess this week. Students can buy a Valentine Gram for their friends (or for themselves), which will be delivered to the classrooms next week.
On Friday, February 5, we are celebrating the 100th day of school. Can you believe we have been in second grade that long already? We are NOT requiring a 100th day project in our class, but you are welcome to do one and share it with us on Friday. If you have read this far, send in a slip with your student's name and the answer to 135-76.
On February 11, we will be having a Valentine's Exchange. This is an optional activity for the students. If you choose to participate, please be sure to have enough valentines to include all students in the class. We have 25 students. You may send them in with or without names on them. I will be sending home a list of student names to help with this.
Scholastic Book Orders
February's book order catalogs will be going home Tuesday. Please place your orders by February 11.
Scholastic Book Orders
Last day to order for January is Wednesday, January 27.
Congratulations to Sidney, Luke, and Benson who have already made their AR goals for the second trimester!!
The following students are on track to make their goal by the March 4 deadline: Bridget, Brian, and Sonia.
Many students are below the required 85% correct on the quizzes; others are less than halfway to their point goal. The main reasons you may be having difficulty meeting the accuracy and/or point goal are: 1) you are not reading your books carefully enough and asking yourself questions while you are reading, or 2) perhaps your book level is too high and you are having difficulty following the story, or 3) you have not been taking your books HOME with you to read. To assist students in meeting your AR goals, I have adjusted your reading levels so you will have more success with accuracy and comprehension.
Our new writing genre is Personal Narrative. A personal narrative is a story starring YOU as the main character. The story should be something that happened in your life, and should be written in the first person (using "I" and "me").
Stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. They should include a setting (when and where the story takes place).
We will be learning to make our writing sparkle by
• using sentence variety
• using transition phrases such as first, next, then
• using vivid descriptive language (lots of adjectives)
• using interesting vocabulary. Did you know that there are over 100 ways to say "said?" Click here for a list.
• using quotation marks to show dialog
Students who would like to earn a "4" (advanced) will also:
• use figurative language such as similes (as red as cherries), onomatopoeia ("swish, swish," "plop," "tick-tock"), and alliteration ("She sat by the babbling brook.")
• include higher level vocabulary
• include more complex sentence structure
• include more details and description
• write a lengthier narrative
Our class will be performing a folklórico dance in the talent show on Friday, February 26th! We will be performing during the two school time "dress rehearsals" at 9:15 a.m. and 11:20 a.m., as well as the evening show for families at 6:00 p.m.
I sure hope you will be able to come view one of these shows to watch our talented students!
Also, I hope that all of our students will be able to perform in the evening show. I know that it will not be possible for all of you to join us, but it is SO MUCH FUN.
We will have some kind of accessories or outfit for the class; please stay tuned for more info.
Wow! So much to tell you! First, I hope everyone enjoyed a happy and healthy New Year and winter break.
Our whole class will be participating in the talent show!! Mrs. Fernandez is teaching us a folklórico style dance to perform.
Twin Day is this Friday, January 22. Come to school dressed like your "twin." Do your hair the same as your friend, wear the same color pants and/or shirt, etc.
Please take a few minutes to peruse the latest Scholastic Book catalogs. There is a lot to choose from! Online ordering is the easiest way to go. Click here to go directly to the parent section of the reading club. Orders are due by Wednesday, Jan. 27.
I have noticed several students wearing digital watches. I know it is cool to have a watch and always know the current time, but I'd prefer it if digital watches remain at home.
The reason is that, due to all the digital clocks out there (TVs, cable boxes, iPads, phones, etc.), students are quite proficient reading these "easy" timepieces. However, it is still an important skill to be able to read an analog clock. Analog clocks teach a lot of valuable skills: counting by 5s, clockwise and counterclockwise movement, degrees in a circle, and so forth. Most students struggle with analog clocks. The more practice they get reading an analog clock, the better. So, if they wear a watch to school, it would be best if it is an analog watch with hour and minute hands.
Please take time to review the family letter sent home last week regarding subtraction of 2-digit numbers. Be sure your student can subtract any 2-digit number from 100 (such as, 100-57), using both the "expanded form" method and the "counting up" method. Be sure your student can subtract any 2-digit number from any larger 2-digit number (such as, 82-34), again, using both of these methods. Students must also be able to CHECK THIER ANSWERS using the opposite operation. So, if a student is solving a subtraction problem, he/she must be able to use addition as a way to check their answer. An example would be 45-25=15. Check this by performing 15+25, then comparing the answer with the number they started with in the subtraction problem.
I will be making some videos for you showing these methods, and I'll let you know when they are posted.
8/14 School Starts!!
8/22 Early dismissal (2:15)
8/23 Paper Bag Speech
8/25 Picture Day
9/04 Labor Day Holiday
9/05 APEX Fun Run Kick-Off
9/07 Minimum Day (1:30 dismissal)
9/07 Back to School Night, 6:00 p.m.
9/29 Spirit Assembly