Friday, December 21, 2012

The Holiday is Finally Here!!

What a crazy week!  We were very busy preparing for the upcoming holiday.  The students created special gifts for their families.  They also made special cards with some help with some "elves."

Mrs. Miller came in this week and set up a store for the students to shop.  The students had been earning money over the past several weeks for good behavior.  With the money they earned, they were able to purchase gifts for family members.  They had to count out their money and several students got to be practice being cashiers.  Thank you, Mrs. Miller!!

We read the book, The Polar Express, this week and were rewarded for our compliments (and a little help from our classroom elf) with a Polar Express party.  We watched the movie and had chocolate milk.

Our elf left us a special note today to say goodbye.  He had fun in our classroom but must go back to the North Pole.

Speaking of goodbye, today we said goodbye to our leader, Mr. D.  We had a special assembly to say goodbye.  It was pretty emotional for many of us as he has made a great impact on our school.  When we return from break we will welcome with open arms our new leader, Mrs. Gansert.

I would like to take this time to wish all of you a very special holiday.  I hope you all enjoy some fun, family time during our break.  I am looking forward to continued success from the second graders.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Countdown is On!!

It was nice to see many of you at the winter concert.  We had a great time practicing our songs and our hip-hop movements.  Thanks...Mr. Banas.

Our classroom elf is still up to some mischief.  This week he was found sleeping in our classroom mailbox, sitting in our foam letters and hanging on our writing balloon.  He also added some marbles into our compliment jar.  This may mean that we may have to have a reward for receiving so many marbles!!

This week the students were taught the parts of speech.  We learned about nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.  We practiced using them in sentences and naming them as well.

In math, we learned about parallel lines and line segments.   We talked about what makes a shape a polygon.  We also discussed quadrangles (quadrilaterals).  Ask your child...what must a quadrangle have?  (The answer is...four side, four angles and four vertices.)  We will have a unit test next week before the break.

We learned a lot of facts in reading this week about the sun all the while discussing how to determine what information in a book is important and what information is interesting but unimportant.  The students were given another Theme Test which they performed well on once again.  These will come home next week to be signed.

Our science unit, balance and motion has been completed.  The students had a great time doing all of the experiments and hopefully have gained valuable knowledge from this unit.  Our next unit, Solids, Liquids & Gases, will start after the holiday break.

Have a great weekend....

Friday, December 7, 2012


Our class elf, Gingerbread, was rather sneaky this week.  He appeared to us on Monday morning and has been keeping a close eye on our class to report back to the North Pole.  This week we have discovered him on the fan in the room, hugging on of our class monkeys and this is what we found this morning.  I wonder what he will do next.

The classroom and hallway are looking very festive now with all of our fun decorations.  This week we filled out applications to be elves and created elf glyphs.

We also wrote stories about what would happen if Santa got stuck in the chimney.  Believe it or not, all of the students decided it would be best to help him that he could continue to bring them their presents.

We also learned how to write a friendly letter.  After reading the book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, we wrote friendly letters to the Grinch telling him why he should not have stolen from the Who's and why he should like Christmas.

We have started a kindness campaign related to the Grinch as well.  We have a Grinch in the hallway who needs some hearts cause we all know that "the Grinch has a heart two sizes too small."  So, therefore, whenever someone in 2nd grade does an act of kindness, he or she can pin a heart on the Grinch.  As you can see we already have a few on there.  Good job second graders.  Keep up the kindness.

This was a tough week in math.  The students are learning how to add 2 and 3 digit numbers together.  Please keep in mind that this is a new skill.  Some second graders will pick it up easily and some will need a little more practice.  As you have probably seen from the homework, the students were taught two different ways to add.  The first way is to add by place value, adding the highest place value first like so:  53 + 35 = ?  Add 50 + 30 first, then add 3 + 5.  80 + 8= 88.  The other method is the "old" way that we learned.  This seems to be the way that most of the students were drawn to do.  There is still some confusion about where to place the "1" they need to carry.  Again, this is a beginning skill and we will continue to practice throughout the year.

Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012


The holiday season is upon us.  We have begun to prepare in second grade while continuing with our learning.

As a fun addition to our classroom, we elicited our classroom helper (and artist), Mrs. Moran to help us out in creating our classroom door.

This week we focused a lot on our writing skills.  The students were shown some writing samples of some graders and then we analyzed them to see what the good qualities were and the bad qualities were.  Then the students were given some prompts to try on their own.
In math, we have been practicing adding bigger numbers mentally.  We have done this by shopping and playing games.  This is a difficult skill for second graders, so any time you can practice this home would be a big help.  Next week, we will be learning how to add 2 and 3 digit numbers. 

We had some fun this week in science experimenting once again with motion.  The students were given a marble and some "runways".  They had to work together to complete given challenges.

Keep in mind that next Friday, December 7 is a half day.  Have a nice weekend!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I would like to start by wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you take the time to enjoy your family and give thanks.

Of the many things I am thankful for, one of the most important are my students and their families.  It was a pleasure to meet with all of you at conferences.  We have a great community with supportive parents!!

This week in celebration of the holiday we read a couple of books, like The Pilgrims First Thanksgiving and A Turkey for Thanksgiving.  We then did a fun writing activity about how to help a turkey escape a Thanksgiving dinner.

Of course the best part of this week was our assembly celebrating our accomplishment of raising money for JDRF.  What a great time we had watching the Spongebob dance starring Mr. D and teachers, the gangnam dance starring Mr. Banas and teachers and the wobble (or gobble as we interpreted it) featuring yours truly.

There was a sad note this week as we said goodbye to our longtime secretary and friend, Mrs. Ferrell.  The entire school bid her farewell this morning with a red carpet arrival. What a nice tribute to someone very special to our school.

Have a great holiday!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Walk for a Cure

This week the entire school participated in the JDRF walk.  What a great time we had walking and what a great cause.  There is still more fun to come.  Next week, during a special assembly several staff members, including myself, will be performing special dances.  Stay tuned...  For more information about JDRF go to .

This week in Math, we another unit assessment.  You will begin to see that the assessments will be  getting more difficult as the year progresses.  If ever you have a question, feel free to contact me.

In Reading, we have begun to discuss the "Asking Questions" strategy.  This is a skill that can be easily practiced at home and will help the students become better at comprehension.  When reading a story with your child, ask them if they have any questions as they read.

We have completed our map unit in Social Studies and have begun to learn about geography.  In Science, we are still working on motion and have experimented with using different objects such as cups and discs to roll down a ramp.

Of course, this week was the distribution of report cards and the start of conferences.  I have enjoyed seeing many of you and speaking about the students.  Please know that I am available anytime you would like to discuss a concern.  The best way to reach me is through email.  Please note that if you would like to call me, my extension is 204.

Have a great weekend...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy...

What an incredible week this has been.  I am sure that many of you are feeling as lucky as I am to know that our area faired well in the wake of the storm.  My heart goes out to the people that suffered such devastating loss. 

With the short week, we were still able to accomplish a lot in the classroom.  As you are aware, the students were given a reading test this week and once again, they did very well.  Today, in celebration of Halloween, some books were read to the class while the students made connections to these books.  Look for the connection worksheet in their Friday folders.

We are coming to the end of another unit in Math.  This unit has focused on time and money.  Remember, you can always practice these at home with your child.

In writing, the students wrote reports on How to Make a Witches Brew.  There were definitely some interesting ingredients...

Next week our school will be holding a mock election for President.  We discussed the election and the candidates.  Some of the students had definite opinions about who should be our next President. 

This was our last week of Footprints.  Mr. P brought a special guest this week and also a special treat for the class.  The students really enjoyed this program.  Listen for your children using I messages, or talking about coping skills or using a situation stop light...

We had a special assembly this week from the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).  We will again be participating in a school walk-a-thon.  You should have received your envelope with the sneakers to help with donations.  This year many of our staff (myself included) have volunteered to do a special dance if our jars get filled.  There will be jars in the cafeteria that the students can fill with spare change.  I better start practicing!!!

Keep in mind that next week is a short week.  You will soon be receiving your scheduled conference time.  Conferences are 11/15, 11/16, 11/19, and 11/20.  If you have a conflict with your scheduled time, please let me know and I will try to resolve it the best I can.  Report cards will be going home on Wednesday, 11/14. 

Trick or Treat safely!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Concert at School

Today we had a special assembly brought to us by the Woodbury Heights Municipal Alliance.  Jonathon Sprout came to our school and sang songs about famous Americans.  We talked about these Americans earlier in the week and how each of them overcame difficulties and became famous. Ask your child about Wilma Rudolph, John Muir, Elizabeth Blackwell, Thomas Jefferson or Milton Hershey...  The students had a lot of fun in the assembly.  We even had a few dancers!!

Our theme is reading this week has been focused on creating images in your mind using your senses when reading a book.  This is something you can practice at home with your child as you read them a story.

We had another math test this week.  The students performed very well on this test.  New this year in math, is an open response question on the math test.  These questions are designed so that the student needs to explain how to solve the problem.  The reason for this is to prepare the students for the future in which they will need to be able to answer these type of questions.  Up to now, I have not sent these questions home with the math test but will be in the future.  They can be rather difficult and will not count against them if they are not correct.  It is just so that they get used to handling this kind of question.

In social studies, we are still learning about maps and map features.  This week in science, we started the next phase of motion...rolling.   We used ramps and wheels and axles!!

Next week is my favorite week of all HALLOWEEN!!  Let's hope the hurricane doesn't spoil it for us!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our Friend Frankie

This week the class made glyphs of "Our Friend Frankie".  Your child should be able to tell you what each part represents on their monster. 
Thank you to all of the parents that were able to visit our classroom on Wednesday.  I hope you had a nice time and really got an idea of how our classroom works.
 This week we had our first test in reading.  The students did very well on this test.  They will be coming home this weekend for you to sign and return.  You will see their score as well as the criterion score.  All of the scores on this test were better than the criterion!! Great Job, 2-Wells.
In writing, we learned a new way to start our stories using BOLD BEGINNINGS.  We want our stories to "catch the readers eye" and start out strong so that the reader does not get bored.
We are still working on math facts and different ways to add and subtract.  The next math assessment will be on Tuesday on Unit 2.
In social studies, we have begun learning about maps.  We discussed this week how reading a map has become obsolete with new technology.  Most of the students were more familiar with a GPS than a map.  We have finished our unit on spinning in science and will be proceeding to rolling.  We will be using wheels and ramps!!
Have a nice week!!