A peek at our week…

Phew!  What weird weather we had this weekend; not exactly the load of snow that we were hoping for.  The kids have been eager to take the sleds out.  Clearly, it was way toooo cold to go out today.  Last week, in Wonders, we worked on long /i/ spelling patterns. We also read a lot about the night sky. Each story that we read had us thinking about/reflecting on what we can see in the night sky.  What perfect timing for the beautiful lunar eclipse that occurred this weekend.  We read both expository text, as well as fiction.  Mr. Putter and Tabby was one of our favorites!  Last week, we also worked on contractions.  We practiced combinations with “is”, “are” and “not”.  We will continue to practice more contractions this upcoming week.  I also introduced the children to Spelling/Vocabulary City last week!  They had a blast!  The children should have brought home a letter, detailing how the children login, and their username/password.  We will be using the program regularly in the classroom, but they are also welcome to use it for nightly spelling practice, or for fun to practice the week’s vocab or HFW (high frequency words).  If you have any trouble accessing the program from home, let me know.  The program can be used, either web based, or via an app. We use both versions at school.

Last week we started to practice telling time.  We started to practice to the hour, then half hour, and finally to the 5-minute mark. The children did quite well, but we will continue to practice next week.  Ask your children to help you tell time, anytime you see an analog clock!  We’ve also continued to practice counting coins, for morning work.  I am quite impressed with how well the children have done! The children have done a pretty nice job of returning homework to school.  I have reminded them, that if there is math homework, it should be returned the next day.  Homework should not be a battle, nor should it be a big challenge.  I will only send home math homework when I am confident that the children should be fairly independent with completion.  If your second grader is having difficulty, please send me a note, and I will work with them on it.


We rounded off our week with a second STEM on motion, force, friction and gravity.  This time the children used gravity to create a marble maze. Many used a series of ramps, but others got quite creative with tubes, and other devices to create friction and slow their marbles down.  It is always fun to watch the children think, and create!

Thank you again for all of the wonderful LEGO donations!  Our basket looks great!  The children can buy tickets for a chance to win one of these amazing baskets!  We will be taking a tour in the next couple of days to preview the baskets, and deposit our tickets!  Also, thank you for the donations of tissues and wipes!!!  There is a lot of coughing, and runny noses, so we are doing our best to keep our surfaces clean!


Stay warm, and have a great rest of the week!


Theme Basket!

WOW!!! Our basket looks awesome!  Of course, I am sure someone will do a much better job wrapping it up, but look at all the amazing things we collected!  Thank you for all of your donations, and for supporting the NBCS PTA!

Football Friday!

Wear your favorite sports team gear… (ehem, Patriots!) tomorrow!  We had such a fun time in our Patriot’s gear last Friday, and clearly it brought us some luck!  Have your second grader wear their favorite gear tomorrow, to show their support, and bring some more luck!


A peek at our week…

Well, it was nice to get back into a more regular routine, however, I do miss the crafts and projects that the weeks surrounding winter break brought.  This week, we were back into a regular week with Wonders, and what a great job the children did, studying their spelling words.  There were some tricky long a patterns.  We didn’t quite make it through all of the components we had hoped to, as we were getting back in the swing of things.  Our practice with contractions and compound words will carry over into this upcoming week.


In Wonders this week, we read about force, motion, friction and gravity, both during whole group, and during reading groups.  The children were excited to read about this topic!  So, we had a little bit of fun with it, on Friday.  We used some little train racers, to explore push, pull, gravity, and friction, with a STEM project.  The children learned that even a little bit of friction, created by a piece of paper, or the carpet, will drastically reduce the speed, and distance that a vehicle will travel.  They also realized that by increasing the ramp size that the vehicle will travel down, the speed and distance will increase as well.  Our room was abuzz, and the children had a lot of fun!

If you haven’t asked your second grader about Reading Counts, you should!  Reading Counts is a web-based program, where the children go in and complete comprehension quizzes on books they have read.  We took the first one with our book buddies, and the children never looked back!  We have logged some impressive numbers, and the children are super proud of their progress! (and so am I!)


In math, this week, we finished up with unit 3.  The children have been solidifying some strategies with subtraction, and I was very proud of how well they did on the assessment.  It is nice to see them applying strategies that they have learned! Next week, we will be jumping right in to Unit 4, which will start with practicing telling time!  Please use any opportunities to have the children practice telling time.  We will start by reviewing time to the hour, then progress to the half hour, quarter hour, and finally to the minute.


Thank you, thank you, thank you for the donations to our LEGO basket!  We have about 10-12 donations, thus far!  If you are planning on sending in any other donations, please do so by Thursday, the 17th, at the latest.  We could still use a couple more donations, to fill up our basket! Thank you again for your continued support of the PTA!  They bring some amazing programs, like the Eyes on Owls presentation that our children enjoyed, this year, to our school!  We are lucky to have such an amazing PTA that is so dedicated to our students!


Please remind your second graders to wear boots, each day, and to bring a pair of shoes to change in to. There are lots of puddles, and often slush, even on the blacktop, so it’s important that the children have a second pair of shoes/boots to change into.  Otherwise, they are left with cold, and soggy feet for the day.  We try to get the kiddos out, each day, if weather permits, so dressing warmly is important!


Finally, if you happen to have any extra disinfecting wipes hanging around, we would greatly appreciate a couple of containers.  With the increase in viruses going around, we have been trying to wipe surfaces quite regularly.



It has been wonderful to meet with some of you, already, to chat about your second grader’s progress! I look forward to meeting with many more in the upcoming weeks!  I feel so fortunate to have such an amazing group, this year!  Thank you, for all that you do to help your second graders have a successful, and fun, year in second grade!

What a first week back!

What a great first week back to school we had! (Even though it was only 3 days, it felt like a full week!). It’s hard work getting back into the routine of alarm clocks, breakfasts, and real clothes, so I am so proud of these kiddos, for how well they have transitioned back!  Now, to conquer a full week!


This week, we spent tying up some loose ends, and finishing projects that we haven’t had a chance to finish.  First, we spent some time with the computer lab.  We worked on logging into our accounts, and took some much desired reading counts quizzes!  Please, ask your second grader how many words they have read this month!!!  or year!!!!  It is quite impressive how excited the children have been about their reading counts numbers.  Furthermore, it is even more impressive to see how motivated they are to beat their own numbers!  I am so proud of them for their reading progress!


Friday, we finally had a chance to dissect some owl pellets!  The children were unbelievably excited about this project! (and so was I! ). They were so excited to share their findings with all of you, that I didn’t have the heart to tell them that they couldn’t take their “findings” home with them.  Hopefully, they were just as excited sharing their findings with you!

Next week, we will be back in a more regular routine.  Reminder, we appreciate all, and any donations to our theme basket (LEGO – Build it!)

Holiday Fun!

Oh, what fun we had!  From rotating through all second grade classrooms, to STEAM projects, science experiments, recipes, crafting, gift creating, to our Polar Express party, our week before Winter Break was jam packed with fun!

Theme Basket

Theme Basket

LEGOS – Build it!

The theme for our basket this year is LEGOS – Build it! This is a school-wide fundraiser put on by the NBCS PTA.  It is a fun way to give back to an organization that gives so much to our students!

Our basket is in NEED of some help!  ANY and ALL donations would be greatly appreciated!

Any donations can be sent in to school. We will be collecting items for our basket, until January 17th.

Thank you for your continued support of the PTA, and all of the amazing things they do for

our children!

A peek at our week…

My apologies for the delay in this post.  Between report cards, holiday crafts, STEAM projects, Wonders and AIMsweb assessments and writing projects, we have been out straight!  It is hard to believe that this is the week before winter break.  We have been crazy busy, the last two weeks.  We have just about finished up with our Unit 2 Wonders Assessments.  This has been a long process,  and the children have worked incredibly hard!  I am so proud of hem for keeping focused, and working through this assessment.  I can’t wait to share their progress with you!  We still have a couple of pieces to finish up, but will probably wait until after winter break, as we are out straight with activities this week!  We also finished up, today, with the benchmark AIMsweb assessments.  I was very proud of the children’s progress!


Last week, after finishing most of the Wonders assessments, we completed an elf delivery STEAM.  The children were challenged with the task of creating a parachute that would allow the elves to deliver packages safely.  I was quite impressed with the planning, and parachute building that the children did.  We talked about creating a parachute that would resist the air, and snow the decent of the elves, and packages.  This was a lot of fun!  The children assumed this would be an easy task, but quickly realized that they had to revise many of their plans.

Since we have been out straight with assessments, we decided to shift gears this week.  We have some amazing science experiments, STEAM projects, and arts and crafts to do!  This week, in our classroom, we learned about snowflakes, and conducted an experiment with borax, to see if we could form our own crystals, similar to the way that ice crystals are formed.  I’m so excited to see the end results!  We never know how they are going to turn out!  We have also been busy finishing up some “gifts”, that are so cute!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!  In class, we have also been finishing up a writing project, based on the book “Snomen at Night”. The children wrote some pretty creative stories about what happens with their snowmen at night.  Finally, in class, we have been counting down the days before winter break.  Each day, I have a small “treat” for the children.  Monday, 5 days before Winter Break, brought a week without homework!  It was funny to see the mixed reviews at this gift.  I asked the children to try and spread some kindness, instead of homework, or to spend some time with family.  I have loved reading some of the things that they have done, on day one!  Tuesday, 4 days before winter break brought reindeer noses (junior mints).  The children created and solved some math facts, sorted fact from opinions, and a completed few other activities about reindeer noses.  Wednesday will bring a bag of “elf pillows” (peppermint pillows).  We have a bunch of fun activities that we will complete with them, from math problems, to some short writing tasks.  On Thursday, 2 days before winter break, my teacher will give to me a heard of animals (animal crackers).  We are going to do some sorting, graphing and other tasks, with a bag of animal crackers.  This is a fun way to count down the days until break!


On Friday, shhhhh… this part is a surprise.  We will be having a Polar Express party!  The children will get “homework”, or an invitation to the party on Thursday night.  This will contain a ticket for them to attend the party.  We will invite the children to wear pajamas, and bring a small blanket to watch the movie!  We will have popcorn and hot cocoa (as the movie suggests), as treats!  It will surely be a super fun day!


This week, the children will also be visiting every second grade classroom, in the afternoons.  They will be making potpourri, conducting a STEAM project, and making moon dough.  This will be a wonderful way to spend our afternoons.


Just a reminder:  we are collecting items for our theme basket.  Our theme this year is LEGOS – Build it!  We will be collecting items through January 17th!  Donations can be sent in, at any time!  Thank you in advance for your help with this!


I will be sending out sign-ups for conferences, right after break.  I am very excited to share all the wonderful progress the children have made, with you!

This Week in Wonders…

Wow!  We are down to 8 days before holiday break!!!  Wowzers, December flew by!!!  There are no spelling words this week, because we are assessing this week.  We are at a Unit assessment for Wonders, and doing benchmark screenings for Aimsweb.  I will be sending out sign-ups for conferences.  I wanted to get in these last two check-ins, before meeting with all of you!  I’m excited to share all the amazing progress that this crew has made!


Last week, we all met in Mrs. Howe’s room for book buddies.  Mrs. Howe and I handed out awards, for reading counts.  Reading counts is a way for children to take a short, ten question quiz on each book they read.  The program will then count the total number of words, that the children have read.  This was a pretty amazing experience for many of the kids, and an inspiration for many others.


We also played a game called Salute last week!  This is a game where two players put a card on their forehead, and the dealer finds the sum.  Each player tries to figure out which addend they have on their forehead.  This was fun for all!

On Thursday, we also made some snowmen, to go with our Snowmen at Night stories.  Last week we read the story Snowmen at Night.  I LOVE this story, as it sparks the imagination, and this is surely true of this group!  We started to write our own stories for what snowmen do at night.  (if only we had some decent snow, for snowmen). I am sooooo excited about their stories, and so are the children!  I can’t wait to get these stories finished!


This week, our schedule will be a little off-kilter, as we will be fitting in all of these assessments, and taking some breathers when we can. I have told the children that I won’t be sending home homework this week.  I am hoping to finish up with Unit 3 in math, so that we can get the assessment in, before the holiday break!  I am so proud of this crew, and the progress that they continue to make!


That being said, we will also try to squeeze in some down time, including some following directions activities, crafts and STEM projects, to allow the children to decompress from the crazy busy week!


Next week, we really get to breathe!!!  The children will have enrichment activities every afternoon!  We will be rotating through each second grade classroom for craft, STEAM, science and literacy based activities!  The kids will have so much fun with this!  We will spend the mornings tying up loose ends, and reviewing, before the break.  Friday, we have a special surprise planned for the second graders, but shhhh…. it is a surprise!  Be sure to check their backpacks for a special “homework” Thursday night.

Just a reminder:  we are collecting items for our theme basket.  Our theme this year is LEGOS – Build it!  We will be collecting items through January 17th!  Donations can be sent in, at any time!  Thank you in advance for your help with this!

It has been a chilly week, already!  I have advised the children to wear their snow gear out, some days, regardless of whether or not they are playing in the snow, just to stay warm.  Please make sure the kiddos have gloves/mittens and hats.  Their little fingers get really cold out there!  If you have an extra set, it might be a good idea to keep them in their backpacks.  We’ve been borrowing quite a few pairs from the nurse.


We’ve also been VERY hungry during snack!  I don’t know if it is the cold weather, or the sharks and minnows they’ve been playing, but they are coming in, really hungry!  We’ve gone through A LOT of extra goldfish!  It might be a good idea to pack an extra snack, for snack time, as some of our kiddos have been quite hungry.


We stop and wash hands after each recess, so we are ready for snack, and the afternoon..  I have also encouraged the kids to wash hands before lunch, as there is A LOT of ickiness going around.  We have been wiping all of our surfaces, with disinfectant wipes, and we are grateful that we had so many, from the beginning of the year!  THANK YOU!!!! However, we have LOTS of runny noses, and could use some more soft tissues, if anyone has an extra box hanging around.  The kiddos’ noses appreciate it!

Thanksgiving STEAM!

We had two Thanksgiving STEAM projects that we participated in.  The children worked together, as a team, to save their turkeys from the Thanksgiving table!  It was fun to see the kiddos working together to save their turkeys from the fate of the table…


Next, we had an engineering challenge, where the children had to design a table.  I was hoping to see the children apply some previously learned information, to this new challenge.  It was fun to see the children, not only construct their tables, but also edit and revise their work as they went.