Mrs. Hofmann's Second Grade

Mrs. Hofmann's Second Grade

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Star Student (By Jayla)

This week in second grade I am the star student. On Mon. the star student gets to share their star student board. On Tues. they get to read their book. On Wed. they get to have their parents write a letter to the class. On Thurs. their parents come in for lunch & on Fri. their classmates write to them. (:   
By: Jayla

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lots of Learning

During this past week, we spent a lot of time learning about nouns, including how to differentiate between common and proper nouns. One of the games we played this week to help further our understanding of nouns was "Person, Place, or Thing Bingo." The kids each received a gameboard and then pulled a word card out of the bag. They then had to decide if the word they had drawn was a person, place, or thing, and then marked that on their Bingo card. Here's a group of three of our friends trying to fill up their gameboards.

We also spent a lot of time this week working on making change from $1.00. This is often a difficult concept for second graders, so I try to make it as fun and concrete as possible. One of the most popular activities we did was our classroom store. The students had a variety of items they could "buy" and then they took that item over to a "cashier," who gave them their change. It was fun experience for all! Here's a picture of one of our cashiers and one of our buyers.

Mystery Readers

We have been very lucky to have so many fabulous Mystery Readers visit our classroom recently!
Mr. Clay visited our classroom on Nov. 18 and read an assortment of books to the kids.

Mrs. Mullins came to our classroom right before Thanksgiving and read several wonderful Thanksgiving books. We were all wearing our Pilgrim hats in preparation for our virtual Mayflower tour that we took later that morning!

Finn's grandma came all the way from California on Dec. 9 to be a Mystery Reader! She read an Amelia Bedelia book to us.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Playing Games With Our Buddies (By Lukas)

This week in 2nd grade we played a game with our fifth grade buddies called race to a dollar. You need a bag of change & two dice to play this game. You take turns until someone gets to a dollar gets the dollar and wins! Believe it some of the 2nd graders won the game! A lot of them liked the game we played!
By Lukas

Money (By Hannah)

This week in second grade we are talking about money. I know how to count up to a $1.00. We are talking so much that I can count higher than a $1.00. We have really worked hard to count up to a  $1.00. We’ve worked so hard that we could go higher than a $1.00.                          By: Hannah 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fun in Second Grade (By Fox)

This week in second grade we played verb charades. We are having a great time learning fun stuff. In math we played Race to a Quarter. That was very fun. We had a terrific time. 
By Fox                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The Statue of Liberty (By Cameron)

This week in second grade we are learning about symbols like the Statue of Liberty. She welcomes people to America and the seven rays on her crown stand for the seven continents. Her shoe size is 878 and she gave hope when the twin towers fell. She was a gift from France. She has a tablet in her left hand and it says July fourth 1776 America’s birthday.  She  was  opened  in  October  1886.Her  eyes  is  as  big as  a  kid.  You  can only  see  it  on  a   boat  and  you  go  in  its  eye. Her torch stands for freedom.
By Cameron

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My First Yoyo (By Katie)

This week in second grade NED is giving out yoyos. They had all different colors of yoyos. I got a boomerang and it is so cool. In the name NED the N stands for never give up. The E stands for encourage others. The D stands for do your best. I would like him to come back again.
By Katie

Learning About American Symbols (By Norah)

In second grade we are learning about mayor president governor.  The first person to live in the White House was John Adams. The White House burned done by the British. The Statue of Liberty was made in France. The Statue of Liberty was not green at first it was copper.
By Norah

All About the White House (By Devon)

In second  grade we are learning about the White House. We also learned that John Adams was the first president to live in the White House. We also learned that the White House burned down by the British.
By Devon

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We had such a fun morning going back in the past and learning what life was like for the Pilgrims on their journey to America! We learned about their experiences on the ship, the foods they ate, the possessions they brought, and what life was like once they reached Plymouth Plantation. Here are some pictures of your little pilgrims!

We also took some time this afternoon to write about what we are thankful for. I hope you enjoy reading your child's response!

Dylan--I am thankful for my brother because he is a great brother! He is a great videogame master.
Emilee--I am thankful for my grandma because she always does things for me. And buys me things that I like and want. And she also helps me when I need her help.
Darian--I am thankful for my dog and family and dad and friends and my house.
Katie--I'm thankful for my dad and my mom. I'm feeling bad for my mom because she is sick but it does not bother me because I love her with all my heart. I love my dad with all my heart and they are always there for me and he has a good heart and my mom has a good heart too. I can't wait until I get home.
Zion--I am thankful for God because if he weren't alive none of us would be here and family and friends because I would not have anyone to love and without friendship you feel lonely.
Izaak--I am thankful for Sammy because Sammy plays video games with me!
Fox--I am thankful for my dog. He is terrific. He loves to lick my hand. He is very loving. I can't stand his loving! He is very very nice.
Cameron--I am thankful for my family because they sometimes stand up for me and play with me. I'm also thankful for the army because they helped us win freedom.
Jayla--I'm thankful for my family because they're always there for me.
Norah--I am thankful for my family and friends because my family is nice and loving. My friends are nice too. My friends always like to play with me. I am happy I have a lot of friends.
Rohan--I am thankful for my parents because I wouldn't have a home. Plus I couldn't do all the fun activities in the winter like snowboarding.
Lukas--I am thankful for my family because they are always there for me. They keep me safe. They will never let me go for as long as I live. As much as I've been alive I have got loved!
Finn--I am thankful for my baby brother because he is very cute and when I see him he makes me smile.
Meredith--I'm thankful for food because some people do not have food to eat. I like food because it's juicy and good. Food helps me stay alive and I love food because it is very very very good!
Jack--I am thankful for my dog because she loves to play with me and she really likes to play tag with me. She sometimes likes to watch T.V. with me. I love my dog and she likes me too! I am thankful for my mom because she is the one who gave me life. If she did not I would not be alive and I would not be writing this letter. I love my mom and she loves me more!
Logan--I am thankful for my family because they are always nice to me. My brother Garreth loves me so much and when Garreth can he plays with me. My mom cooks so good and sometimes she even lets me help her cook. My mom also lets me do fun activities and they're always fun! I'm also thankful for my dad because he always lets me just sit and talk and relax. Me and my dad like that. I'm just thankful to have a family!
D'Andre--I am thankful for everything. Without everything we would not be here and that's why I am thankful for everything. Without school we would not know anything.
Abigail--I am thankful for my great teacher. She is really nice. I think she's the greatest second grade teacher in the school. She's the best. She is not even mean to anybody. I love her. She has pretty hair too.
Devon--I am thankful for my sister because she makes me laugh sometimes. She also helps babysit me. When she had won homecoming she let me hold her flowers.
Ellie--I am thankful for my dog Georgia because she is very sweet. She always loves to play fetch when I get home from school. I am also thankful for animal shelters because they keep animals safe and they take care of lost animals.
Avery--I am thankful for my family because they look out for me and love me and read me bedtime stories.
Sean--I am thankful for my family. My mom is really nice. My brother is awesome. My dad always plans fun things to do.
Hannah--I am thankful for my mom because she always has yummy food at Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my dad because he always mows the grass when it is too tall. I am thankful for a book called The Night Before Thanksgiving because the children saved the turkeys.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Trash Can Thesaurus (By Dylan)

This week in second grade we did a trash can thesaurus and it is a packet that we write a word in the packet and get a blank piece of paper. You write the word on the blank piece of paper. You throw the paper away and wright some synonyms.
By Dylan

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Symbols (By Finn)

This week in second grad we learned about symbols and Washington monument and how the first   Whitehouse was brunt and how the liberty bell is a symbol .But how cud I forget the statue of liberty. The man that made the statue of liberty was name Frederic. The statue of liberty was packed in 214 crates. Lets talk about the liberty bell. The liberty bell was made in 1752. In 1776 it was rung to celebrate the declaration of independence. Last time it rang was in 1846.Now lets talk about the white house .The white house address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.                                                  
By Finn

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Our Busy Week!

Between our Thanksgiving performance, Turkey Lunch, and Veterans Day assembly, along with all of the learning that goes on in our classroom, it was definitely a busy week in second grade! It was wonderful to see so many of you Tuesday night for the children's performance! I know my own daughters really enjoyed watching "Mommy's kids" sing, as Kate calls my students! It was also great to see so many of you for the Turkey Lunch. It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here!

We were very excited to have another Mystery Reader this past Friday! Norah's mother not only read to the students, but also many of the parents who were waiting in our classroom for the Turkey Lunch! She did a fantastic job!

I'm always trying to find new and fun ways to help the kids learn their word study words. This week we did an activity called "Write on the Floor," which your children loved! Before I had a Smartboard in my classroom, I used to use transparencies on the overhead projector to display things for the entire class to see. I had gotten rid of all of mine, but thankfully Mrs. Hebert, our secretary, had an entire box in our supply closet that she was willing to give me! So I gave each child a transparency and a transparency marker and told them to place it on the floor and write their word study words. It really did look as if they were "writing on the floor!" We were learning and having fun all at the same time! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Star Student (By D'Andre)

This week in second grade we have a new star student her name is Avery. Nice name right and I can’t wait for the new star student I hope it’s going to be me. I will fill papers about my favorite things in the world. I heard it will be a blast becoming STAR STUDENT! On Friday we will choose the new star student.
By D'Andre           

Halloween Party (By Rohan)

Last week in second grade we had a Halloween party! There were a lot of activities which was super good! There was ghost bowling where you bowl with a pumpkin and knock down ghosts which where really toilet paper. That was fun. Anther thing that was fun was skeleton puzzle where they had this paper and bucket and they put all of the parts in two buckets. There was team1 and team2. I was on team1.  Then somebody traced what the real skeleton puzzle would look like if you really did the puzzle on a piece of paper. Then both of the teams lined up in two straight line. Our team won but there no resin to brag about it. That is about it. 

By Rohan  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We Love Our Mystery Readers!

On Halloween, Mr. Kerwin came in and read One Monster After Another.

On November 4, Mr. Schmidt came in and read The Bicycle Man by Allen Say.

If you would like to surprise your child this year by being a Mystery Reader, please e-mail me and we'll find a date that works for you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Doll People (By Ellie)

This week in second grade I’m reading a book called The Doll People. The Doll People is about a doll named Annabelle and she wants to find her auntie Sarah. 47 years ago her auntie Sarah just disappeared one day. One day Norah Kate’s little sister brought her little farm animals into the doll house. She put Annabelle and the rest of her doll family on farm animals. She put Annabelle on a cow with gum hanging from its ear. Chapter six is about where Annabelle goes out of the doll house but before she does Uncle Doll says I’m going with you. Bobby Annabelle’s little brother says me to.  It’s a really fun book to read. Oh… and she finds a spider. She also finds another doll family called the Funcrafts.
By Ellie

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monster Exchange (By Jack)

This week in second grad we are Monster Exchanging. Monster Exchanging is like you right about your Monster that you drew and then you get a partner they try to figure out how to draw what you drew. And then you get to know how close your partner was at drawling your Monster!

Book Clubs (By Emilee)

This week in second grade we are doing book clubs. The first one we are doing is the doll people. All the girls in the class are doing it. We are in to a 5 group and a 6 group because there are 11 girls in the class. We are basally talking about our thick questions. We are trying to figure out where Auntie Sarah went every time we meet with Mrs. Hofmann we do are thick questions.  Every time we also meet with Mrs. Hofmann she gives us a chapter to read. And all of the girls love the book!  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writing to squirrel (By Abigail)

This week in second  grade where writing to a squirrel from the disappearing moon. the squirrel  thot the moon was disappearing. It was little bit funny we had a good time watching. It had a good ending I loved the vido it was a good vido. Evrey buddy lovede the vido it was cool.
By Abigail    

Book Clubs (By Sean)

This week in second grade we started book clubs. There are three different books. The book that some of the boys are doing is called My Father’s Dragon. We are really enjoying it. It is about Elmer Elevator. He goes to wild island to save a baby dragon. He is interested in flying. The other boys are doing Andy shane and the pumpkin trick.
By Sean

The Playground System (By Avery)

This week in second grade our class went outside sat down and Mrs. Hofmann had a sun, moon, and earth with a string tided around each one. Every one in the class got a turn to ether be a sun, moon, and earth. We each got a partner. Mine was Jack. He was the moon and I was the earth. I had to rotate while going in a circle. Jack had to walk around me while I was going in a circle.
By Avery

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our First Mystery Reader!

Last Friday we had our very first Mystery Reader! The kids were so excited and listened intently as I read the five clues so they could guess who the reader might be. Once I read the final clue that said, "I'm a 5th grader in Mrs. Cain's class," the kids began squealing, "It's somebody's sister!" Our 5th grader did an amazing job! I think her younger brother was especially surprised! If you're interested in being a Mystery Reader this year we would love to have you! Mystery Readers typically join us on Fridays, but if another day works better for your schedule, just send me an e-mail and we'll figure out a date/time that works for you!

Our 5th grade buddies also visited us this past week! We have been working hard to learn our basic addition combinations, so they stopped by to challenge us with a few rounds of "Addition War." I think several of our 5th graders were a little surprised by how well the 2nd graders knew their addition combinations! Rohan's buddy actually said to me, "I can't stop for even a second or he'll totally beat me!" Committing these facts to memory really helps your child as we begin to work on more advanced math concepts. Buying a set of flashcards and going over a handful each evening is a great way to support your child in learning his/her facts.

Right before our long weekend, we had our first Bingo party! The chart above shows what our classroom Bingo chart looks like. The kids work as a class to earn Bingo numbers for a variety of things, including everyone turning in homework, great behavior at specials, everyone being on "Ready to Learn" or higher for the day, etc. It encourages positive behavior and the kids have a terrific time working together to earn numbers. We took a vote and the majority of our class voted to have a sundae party for our first Bingo celebration. We're currently working hard to earn numbers for our next Bingo party!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cool Science with Mr. Clay!

Mr. Clay and his little scientist!

Wow! What a fun Friday our class had! Mr. Clay, Meredith's dad, came to our class and did some amazing science experiments with the kids. Mr. Clay discussed the states of matter with the children, the components of air, and then created carbon dioxide bubbles and "clouds!" The kids loved his experiments, and his "cool science" was definitely the topic of conversation for the rest of the day! He promised to visit us again this school year, so we're all looking forward to that!

We also had our Jog For Jefferson assembly and found out that our class raised the third largest amount of money in the entire school! Because of this, the PTO is providing us with a pizza lunch! The kids were thrilled! Thanks to all of you who supported our school by donating to the Jog or helping your children collect pledges. I'll let you know the date of our pizza lunch soon. Aside from our class prize, some of our kids were lucky enough to have their names drawn for individual prizes. Devon won four passes to Fort Rapids Waterpark, Avery won a gift card to Justice, and Fox's younger brother won four passes to Coco Key Waterpark. (I told Fox we're counting this prize, too, since he'll get to go along with his brother!) :)

I hope everyone has enjoyed this beautiful fall weather and warm temperatures! My husband and I took Kate and Aubrey to Circle S Farms on Saturday to go pumpkin picking. It's a great place with a petting zoo, a sunflower maze, and a hayloft with two different slides. We had a hard time getting our girls off the slides to go do anything else!

Check out the posts below with links to last week's "Sound Parade" and a few more September writing pieces.

Sensational Sound Instruments Video!

Sensational Sound Instruments!

More September Writing

Last summer I went to Indiana with Olivia, my dad, and my stepmom. And we went to a waterpark at a hotel. The waterpark was so fun! It was really fun. There was a tipping bucket that splashed water and a lazy river and water slides. We only stayed for two days. In the end after two days we packed up and left to Ohio and finally we were at our house. It only took us about two hours to get home. It was so fun at Indiana. I really loved Indiana!

Two years ago I went to Atlanta, Georgia! I went to the aquarium. It was awesome. Then we went to the Coca Cola factory and got a fresh bottle of it in a glass bottle. I got to see how they make it and my dad and Abby and I got to taste different pop. They were really good. When I got home I was happy as a clam!

After I went to Disney World last year I went to the aquarium and it was so cool. I went with mom and dad and there were animals more than just fish. You can pet sharks. When you pet them you have to pet them on the back so you won't get injuries. But the crabs don't pinch and also my shirt got wet. We saw crabs with legs and bodies so big and we saw clown fish. I was glad my parents took me.

Last summer my basketball team made it to the championship. We started good then everybody started playing bad. We were losing but we were the first runner up. We still had fun. Too bad we lost.

Once upon a time there was a girl named Norah. She had a mom named Tamara. There is something called the reading wheel. Well this didn't happen yet. If I read some books I get to pick what prize I want to do. There are sleepovers, bowling, playdate, Redbox, and that's all. I will pick sleepover because they are fun. The reading wheel is a big circle. It has lots of lines on it. They are diagonal lines. I have one in my room and it is bigger. It is a dry erase board that sticks on your wall. Mine has flowers on it. It is so pretty. I got it from Giant Eagle in the clearance spot. My mom was going to get colored duct tape. My favorite thing about the reading wheel is the prizes because they are fun prizes.

The first time my life would change was when I had a baby brother. I remember the first time I held Duncan. I remember Duncan's first sponge bath and his first bath. I can't wait until his first word. He is smiling when you touch his cheek. Duncan eats a lot. Duncan poops a lot. He doesn't smile a lot. Duncan makes a lot of noise. He cries a lot. When Duncan was born Nana and Popa were around. They took us to Dairy Queen! I had about ten or six blizzards! Nana left to California. Papa stayed for a while but when you read this he'll be in California. Nana held Duncan before she left. I was sad to see them leave.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jog For Jefferson Video

Click the link below to see a video of our fun day!
Jog For Jefferson!

September Writing Favorites

The kids are very excited to have their writing posted on our blog! They got to choose their favorite piece for me to type. If you don't see your child's writing in this post, check back on Monday when I'll be adding the rest!
**Spelling and punctuation kindly edited by Mrs. Hofmann. :)**

I have a very big house. That's why we call it the big house. When me and my parents and my brother moved there was a lot of trouble. My brother broke almost everything. But soon it was good. Then some good things happened. Number one my brother didn't break anything. That was very very very very very good!!! And second of all we had a very nice view. The reason why we had a very nice view was because we were right next to the woods.

Yesterday we went to a carnival. They had animals and tons of games! There was a stunt person that was on a dirt bike! And the cutest two animals were the bunnies and two really cute goats. Oh and the kangaroos because when we gave them a carrot they held it in their hands and then they ate it and it was funny too! I had a great time at the carnival.

Yesterday I went to my dad's work. It's called Mojo Sportsgear. I get $5 an hour. I got $25 for making tags for two hours. I was tired when I got home. I wanted to go to sleep but my dad said I have to do my homework. After I did my homework I got to go to sleep.

One Sunday me and my family came to my house to celebrate my sister's birthday party and my cousins and Gigi came and my grandparents. My sister got princess dress up stuff and one stuffed animal cat and dog and it came with a lot of little doors and it's a critter clinic. I got her a stuffed bear and she got some Dora blocks to build a tower and it came with stickers. Me and my cousin we were playing with my LPS and it was fun. After we had Papa John's and we had velvet birthday cake ice cream and my grandpa tried to take my cake and ice cream so I had to stick my fork in his cake and lick it too. On Monday we got to play dress up and I fit in the Belle stuff and it was fun. Finally everybody had to go home and I was so so so sad to see everybody leave. Then it was time for bed especially me and I was so sleepy I almost fell asleep in the shower.

Yesterday I got an I-phone from my dad. There is a game called Sky Burger. You stack stuff on the bun. You can put one hundred stuff on it. And a game called Turbo Granny. She rides a motorcycle. My sister is bad. I was so surprised that my dad gave me an I-phone.

My family went to Washington D.C. two summers ago. I saw the monument and we went up to it but it was closed and we couldn't go in. We had a hot tub. We had a pool table. My dad is clever at pool. My dad forced me not to play pool. I begged my dad to play pool but my dad said no. And we had cookies at 8:00 or 8:30. Finally my dad or mom said after about five days it is time to go. I didn't want to go but I had to.

This year for my birthday I went to Skate Zone. It is a rollerskate and rollerblade place. Norah and Jayla came and other kids too! We rollerskated. They even had music playing! My stepsister and brother came too. We rollerskated for at least an hour. We got to listen to all different kinds of music. I fell and hit my head on a wall. It was the kind that was carpet and wood. They had a thing where kids came up for their birthday parties. They could choose what music they wanted. When it was my turn I chose Taylor Swift's "Story of Us." Then we played a game like four corners. My sister was out. There were at least seven corners there. Then we rollerskated some more and some more. Then it was time for cake. I got an icee for a drink. The kind was raspberry. Everyone else got Sierra Mist and pink lemonade and water. Nick was clever to get chocolate and vanilla with pink frosting. After everyone finished their piece of cake it was time for presents. I got a Barbi, an ice cream maker, Scrabble, a LPS doll for online, a rollerskate, t-shirt, and a you make your own perfume thing. Then I spun a wheel thing for extra prizes. These were a bubble ball animal thing and Chinese handcuffs which were awesome! Then finally it was time for games and time to go. I had a good birthday. 

Today after school I am going to play with my friend Ashlyn. She lives right down the street from me. She has an older brother named Jake. He bothers us. They almost all the time fight. He is nice sometimes. Most of the time he is mean. I can't wait to see her. We have a friend across the street. Her name is Savannah. She has a dog named Mallory. She is so cute. I hope she is allowed to play.

Last week I went to the launching farm. I went to go launch some corn. My brother was getting apples. What we were launching out of was a cannon. It was a very old cannon. I had a very fun time. Then we got to eat some corn. We had a blast!

During summer vacation every Thursday my Aunt Margaret came to watch me for the day. One of our days together we made bread. We mixed and waited an hour and another hour. We even played jacks for the whole time we were waiting. My aunt always had beat me but that was one of the only times I had ever played. Finally the bread was done and we had to let it cool down before we could eat it. Then we cut the bread and made delicious sandwiches for lunch and that was the last time we were being together for the summer. But I can't wait to see what she comes up with next year!

Two weeks ago me and my brother and my dad went to the zoo. My hair was sticking up in the air so I wore my dad's hat. When we got to the zoo my dad bought a pink hat for me. It said, "Columbus Zoo" on it and above that was a picture of a polar bear. I liked it a lot. It fit me just perfect! After that we went to see the polar bears. We had a lot of fun! We had coupons so we didn't have to pay. Me and my brother were glad we went to the zoo, but then my dad said, "Let's go to putt-putt!" And then my dad started to laugh. Then me and my brother started laughing! But we knew he was kidding. There was a long line so we had to wait a long time but we still had a lot of fun!

Last year I was playing soccer. It was 5 to 5 and I was defense. We had seven minutes left in the game. One of the coaches yelled BIG KICK! And I got hit in the face as hard as could be! I fell to the ground. I got back up but I felt like crying. It burned so much. But I kept playing but I had a little bit of a swollen eye. Then I went home. But the bright side was that we won.

When I was a little baby a high school friend of my mom and dad gave my sister a lamb like blanket except it had a face and ears and it had feet. But she didn't like it so they tried it with me and it worked! I went to sleep with it and I played with it and most of all I hugged him. He was the sweetest thing ever! Well that's what I think. After many years he started to get dirty but I didn't care and I would not leave him so my dad had to sneak him in the washer but I could tell that he washed him because I could smell him. I always asked did you wash him? Did you? Did you? He sometimes said yes and sometimes he said no. And that's the story of Bego!

If I could have another Webkinz and log it on Webkinz World I'd rather have either the Cherry Soda Pup, the Lioness Bengal Tiger, or the Tie Dye Puppy. And if I could pick just one I'd have to pick the lioness. Because that is my school mascot and I love lions!

I lost my tooth last night. My dad was tickling me when it fell out of my mouth. I was happy that it fell out. But I wasn't happy when I had to have saltwater to make it stop bleeding. And then I went to bed. And in the morning there was a gold dollar sitting under my pillow. I was so happy when I got it. I thought I was going to get a dollar from the tooth fairy but I was still happy. And then me and my brother and got on the bus. And my dad and my mom were proud of me since it fell out.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fifth Grade Buddies

Even though the kids were disappointed that the Jog For Jefferson had to be postponed, they felt much better after they got to meet their fifth grade buddies! For the past several years, Mrs. Harbage and I have partnered our kiddos up at the beginning of the year and established year-long buddy relationships. The second graders absolutely love having an older friend in the building, and the fifth graders seem to enjoy it just as much! We meet at least once per month and try to do a variety of activities throughout the year. It's a lot of fun and the second graders are always sad to see their buddies head off to middle school at the end of the year. Check out the link below to see a video of your child meeting his/her buddy!

Meeting Our Fifth Grade Buddies

Meeting Our Fifth Grade Buddies

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Word Study

On Friday, the children had their very first word study test. I have to say, WOW!!! The kids did a great job recognizing the patterns in their words and spelling/sorting them correctly. Remember, your children will receive a new list of word study words tomorrow. One list is for them to cut out and sort for Monday night's homework, while the other list will be placed in the clear plastic sleeve in their binders to use for studying. Feel free to take the list out of their binders if it helps you remember to study the words with your children. But please remember that we work with the same patterns for two weeks, so don't throw away the list coming home tomorrow until our next test on Friday, Sept. 30.

We spend lots of time in class practicing our word study patterns as well. We do a variety of sorts, both individually and with partners, as well as play an assortment of fun games that help us commit those patterns to memory. Some of the class favorites have included "Follow the Path," (pictured above) where the students work with a partner or small group and try to be the first one to get their game piece to the end of the board. They roll the dice, but can only move their game piece if they are able to spell the word correctly. The students also really enjoyed "Trash or Treasure," where they had to decide if the words on their list had their word study pattern for the week. If the word did have their pattern, it was "treasure," but if it did not it was "trash." We'll be incorporating the Smartboard this week into our word study activities, which is something the kids always enjoy. I'll be introducing "Fridge Magnets," where the children can move the letter magnets to make their words. It's just like using magnetic letters on the fridge at home, except these are on a computer screen!

Remember to get those pledge envelopes in for Jog For Jefferson! Even if your child is not collecting donations, he/she still needs to return a signed envelope so we know they are allowed to participate.

Kate and I had a fun time yesterday at the Columbus Children's Theatre seeing Pinkalicious, based on the popular books for little girls. Pinkalicious may be a little too young for second graders, but the Columbus Children's Theatre has some other great shows coming up this season. Sleepy Hollow is being performed Oct. 20-30 and Junie B Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells is coming Nov. 25-Dec. 21. I know a lot of the kids in class enjoy reading the Junie B. Jones series, so that might be something your kids would enjoy. The prices are pretty reasonable, too!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Getting Fancy!

One of the reading goals I have for all of your children is to expand their vocabularies this year. It can often be boring and monotonous to simply memorize a list of words and their definitions, so I try to make learning new vocabulary words fun and exciting by introducing the children to Fancy Nancy. She visited our classroom last week (my daughter Kate told me I could borrow her doll!), and we read Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words to get us excited about increasing our own vocabularies. Each Monday, I read a Fancy Nancy book to the children while wearing my tiara and boa, which the kids think is hilarious. I then introduce them to our new word of the week, which we add to our huge word collector in the back of the room. We add fancy words to this chart throughout the year. In the upcoming weeks, I will also give your children their own personal word collector to keep in their book boxes. This allows them to also be responsible for finding new and interesting words while reading.

We are almost finished with our first math unit of the year: data analysis. The kids were presented with five learning targets at the beginning of the unit, and have been working hard to master each target. Last week, the students worked in small groups to develop their own survey question that they could ask their classmates. We had lots of creative ideas, from "What is your favorite type of movie?" to "What is your favorite dessert?" After collecting their data, the groups were responsible for organizing their information into a bar graph, picture graph, and line plot. On Friday, they each used the Smartboard to share their results with the class. The group above asked their classmates, "What is your favorite football team?" and are seen presenting their picture graph to the class. The kids always get a little nervous when they have to get up in front of their peers, but I was really proud of all of them!
I hope everyone enjoyed the nice weather we had this weekend! My husband and I took Kate and Aubrey to Lynd's Fruit Farm on Saturday to pick apples, which was lots of fun for them. They had a little train set up that the girls got to ride in and a huge corn maze that we couldn't find our way out of! If you haven't been there yet this season, it's definitely worth the drive!

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Read to Self Time!

Last week we began our first component of the Daily Five called Read to Self. The children have been working very hard on building their reading "stamina." This is how long they are able to read a book and stay focused. Last week we reached 12 minutes, and we'll continue to add more minutes this week, with a goal of 25 minutes by October. While the students are independently reading, I was able to begin individual conferences with them. I enjoy this individual time with your children so much, as it allows me to get to know them better as readers and plan their reading instruction around their individual needs. We also began using our "book nooks," which are all of the fun areas in our classroom to read! We talked about how it's so important to choose a book nook that is comfortable and where we can concentrate on our reading without being distracted. There are many popular book nooks in our classroom, with one of the most well-liked being the dish chair pictured above. :)

We will begin setting our reading goals this upcoming week using our CAFE board. This is where your child and I talk about the four components of reading, including comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary, and decide which area(s) your child is strongest in and which
area(s) he or she would like to work on this year.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We're off to a cookout in a couple of hours, although this cool and cloudy weather is a little strange for Labor Day!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fantastic First Week!

What a wonderful first week of school we had! We have 23 terrific kiddos in the class--11 girls and 12 boys. We spent our first three days getting to know each other and building our classroom community. One of the activities that the children most enjoyed was our "Getting to Know You" bracelets, as pictured above. Each of the kids received different beads based on who they are. For instance, they got a white bead for each pet they had, and a sports bead to represent their favorite sport. The kids then organized their beads any way they wanted. Some decided to wear them as a bracelet, while others decided to tie them onto their backpacks as a zipper-pull.

We also read a variety of great back to school books. One of the class favorites was The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. It's the story of a little girl named Unhei (Yoon-hi) who has just moved to America from Korea. After being teased about her name, she decides that she will choose a new "American" name, so the children in her class put some suggestions into a "name jar." At the end, Unhei realizes that her name is a part of who she is and decides to keep it. After reading the book, I showed the students a present and told them that inside the package was the first gift they had ever been given. After some guessing, I opened the present to reveal their names. The kids then had the opportunity to go home and interview their families to discover how their parents chose their names. We had a great time listening to everyone's name story the next day, and I plan on compiling their name stories into a class book.

Next week we'll begin establishing our routines for reading, math, and writing, and start delving into our second grade content. Be looking for the weekly newsletter to stay up to date on what your child is learning. I'll e-mail a copy to you Sunday night after my girls are in bed, and also send home a hard copy in the LION binder.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Welcome to Second Grade!

Dear Students and Families,
It's hard to believe that summer is almost over and a new school year is about to begin! I hope that all of you have had a fun and relaxing summer! I have so enjoyed these several weeks at home with my two little girls, Kate and Aubrey. We recently came back from a trip to Washington D.C. to visit our aunt and uncle and to see the sights. Kate, who is almost 4, really enjoyed visiting all the monuments and riding the metro all around the city. Aubrey, who is 16 months, spent most of her time sleeping! I took lots of pictures, and I'm excited to share them with your kiddos in November when we learn about famous landmarks in Social Studies.
Remember that our Parent Information Night is August 22 at 7:00, and our Meet the Teacher for students is August 23 from 2:00-3:00. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you, and I'm sure we're going to have a great year together!