Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week of November 7th, 2011

This might have been a short week because of the football game at the Dome, but it was a busy one!  We have really had a good time seeing all our "disguised' turkeys that have arrived back in the classroom.  You will notice that we even have one dressed up as a Murray Mustang football player - wonder if he went to the dome with the boys?  We also had a hula turkey, a turkey disguised as a macaw, and many other fun disguises (stop in and take a look!).

We also had a wonderful Veteran's Day program presented by the high school Honor Society.  Zoe was very proud her dad was a veteran. 

 In social Studies, we have been learning about our neighborhood, state, country, and continent.  After reading Me on the Map, we made our own Me's on the map and made booklets about how we fit in this world. 
In reading, we continue to work with lots of different people on our comprehension and phonics skills so we can become better readers.  In math, we have finished up our review of addition and subtraction, and are working on data and graphing. During the next week, we will be studying the pilgrims and how things "used" to be!  We will finish up with our traditional Thanksgiving feast with the First Graders.  We can't wait!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week of October 10th

The time sure does fly by!  We have been very busy in second grade.  We have been reviewing our mental math strategies in addition and subtraction and now are working on place value.   We are doing a super job knowing our tens and ones!

In reading, we are working on making connections with our text and asking questions to help us understand the story better. We have started skills groups during our reading time where we work on skills we find we need a little extra time with.  We really like them because we often get to play a game to help us practice skills such as long and short vowels.

In science, we finished up studying the moon cycles, and we are now studying the sun.  We really liked demonstrating the cycles of the moon with flashlights and Styrofoam balls.  Did you know that some sunspots on the sun are MUCH bigger than the earth? 

One of the most fun things we did this last week was making our pumpkin heads.  We will be writing stories this week about how our heads turned into pumpkins.  If you would like to see pictures of all of us, go to the second grade website and click on pumpkin heads.  We hope our pumpkins last until conferences as we would like parents to pick them up when they come!

Conferences are fast approaching, and we are excited to show you how we have done so far this year!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week of September 12th and 19th

Wow! The last two weeks have just flown by!  We have had homecoming, BRI testing (our reading test) and our MAP testing (the computerized testing we began last year). Whew!  We are glad that is all done, and now we can get down to the business of looking at those scores and deciding where to go with our instruction.

We are getting into the swing of Daily 5 and doing a great job of it!.  We know that you don't get better are reading and writing unless you read and write --and of course, build our stamina in those areas.  We have also been doing our research for our heritage unit and have looked in books and online.  Our reports should be done and ready to show off at our tasting festival on Friday (at 1:00).  Hope you can come. We can't wait to share what we have learned.  Don't forget to send Mrs. Miller those recipes so we can get them in a cookbook!

In math, we are working on addition and subtraction facts, and math fact families.  We are getting the hang of them, and they will come in handy as we move on in math skills. We also have our classroom bank and store this week. We are learning a lot about checks, credits, debits, and SHOPPING!  It is 21st century skill building at its best!

 Besides homecoming, we did manage to have a little fun. We had a "camp out" in our room Friday, complete with smores and sleeping bags!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week of August 29

Just wanted to wish all my second graders a good day off today! Well, we have completed our second week, and we are getting into our routine of school. We have begun all our academic areas, and we are doing a super job in our daily 5 practice. Our stamina is built up to 10 minutes in read to self, and we will begin practicing word work this week. We should have all our daily five activities up and going in another couple weeks.
We have been reading Kevin Henkes books for our author study. In Chrysanthemum, we discussed how one person can either make a person feel bad and "wilt," or how one person can make someone feel loved and accepted----and how we can be that one person.

We also read The Golden Rule and learned that this rule is followed and practiced all over the world----TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED. What an easy way to make a decision...would I want someone to do that to me?
This is going to be a great year, and I look forward to all the learning that will be going on in second grade!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wow! It is hard to believe summer has flown by already, but here we are, back to school, and ready to begin a new year! We were busy this week learning our classroom routines and doing beginning of the year assessments.

We did take time for a little fun. On Friday, we had a mini Olympics, where we had a straw javelin throw, and tin foil shot put, a paper plate discuss throw, and a paper bag race. We were all winners as we had to work together as we voted for a team name, made a team banner, and worked together and cheered each other on during the competitions.

Next week, we will be getting back into the swing of daily five again. We, second graders, did an excellent job on our first try for the year during read to self. We just can't wait to get started.

Spelling tests will begin this next week. Check out the beginning of the year letter for the spelling routine. As always, call or email if you have any questions about second grade.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Week of May 9th, 2011

We may be getting close to the end of the year, but we certainly have not slowed down on our projects. We planted pumpkin seeds donated by Daniel in cups and decided it was time to get them in the garden. So one morning, we loaded up our gardening tools and planted our garden. As you can see, we had lots of good workers getting our pumpkins planted.

We also continue to work hard on our reading skills. Mrs. C has been in our room helping us make good choices for our fluency boxes and listening to us read when we are not in groups. In math, we are doing a good job practicing three digit addition, and this next week, we will be doing three digit subtraction. We are really getting smart for Mrs. Flaherty next year. We have also started our MAP computer testing. So far, we are doing a really good job! We have made a lot of progress this year!

Finally, one of the most fun things we did this week was go to Living History Farms. We loved the animals we saw, and we really enjoyed the tractor ride out to the farms. Most of us decided we would like to live in the log cabin farm. Mrs. Miller thought she might miss electricity and bathrooms, though!

We have less than two weeks of school left, but we have many fun and exciting things to do in those few days, which we will share with you on our last blogs of the year!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week of April 25th

What an exciting week it was in Second Grade! We have been practicing three digit addition, and we are ready to learn regrouping with three digit addition. We have also been reading and writing poetry in honor of poetry month.

An added treat was having Miss Iowa come to our school and read to us. We all decided she was really tall!

Probably the most exciting thing that happened was our poetry cafe. We practiced poems we picked out and worked on our expression and fluency. Each one of us also picked out a poem that we had written. We then created a cafe in our classroom with black table cloths, candles, and special treats. We all had berets to wear, thanks to Chase Werner's grandmothers' sewing talent, and many of us wore our shades to complete the look. We had a great time, and even a few parents were brave enough to share a little poetry during our open mic time. In true fashion of the coffee shops, we snapped our fingers to show our appreciation instead of clapping. It was a wonderful experience, and we had close to forty adults that came to support their children. Thank you so much for taking the time to come and share that special afternoon with us.

Check out the second grade website under poetry cafe at for many more pictures!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April, 2011

Wow! It has been a long time since second grade has blogged and thought it was about time. We have had many exciting things going on in second grade we needed to share. Probably the most exciting thing that happened in our room this month was hatching eggs. We are the proud parents(?) of 7 little chicks! What an exciting time in our room to come in last Monday to find two little chicks running around in our incubator. The rest waited until we were there to share in their birth! They left on Thursday to join other little chicks at a nearby farm. Thank you to the Lecy's for sharing their eggs with us! Check out our website for MANY more pictures ( and click on the second grade link).

We have also set up our greenhouse --BUT it has been SOOOO cold we have not put our plants in it. Hopefully the weather will straighten up and our marigolds we planted will be outside enjoying the warm sunshine. We have also planted a few pumpkin seeds to transfer to our outside garden before school is out These are not just any ordinary pumpkin seeds... they are Big Max pumpkins, so we are hoping for a GREAT BIG PUMPKIN in the fall.

We also experimented with growing carrots from a carrot, not just a seed! Most of them grew cute little green leaves from the top of the carrot.

We continue with our Daily 5 in reading and working on our comprehension and fluency skills. In math, we have finished with measurement and are now moving on to place value and we will soon be adding and subtracting with 3 digit numbers and bigger! We are getting so smart!!!

One last exciting thing we wanted to share is our poetry. This is poetry month, and we have been reading and writing poems. On Friday, we are hosting a coffee shop in our room to share our poetry with family. We can't wait to put on our shades and berets, and share our poems like the "beatniks" in the New York City coffee shops. We are hoping many family members will share during our open mic time.

Thanks for visiting our blog and sharing all our exciting news!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week of March 7th

We have a had a very busy two weeks. We have been busy counting money in math and now we are practicing telling time. In reading groups, we continue to work on our comprehension skills, and we are now doing research on farm animals. We even made "mini hamburgers" and traced them back from their journey on the hamburger to the farm.

Last week, we enjoyed "partying" for Dr. Seuss' birthday with the first graders. We had Cat in the Hat cake and watched Horton Hears a Who.

In science, we have studied plant parts and can now find the embryo in a seed. We know what it takes to grow a plant and can't wait to get our greenhouse out after spring break. We will also start incubating chicken eggs shortly after we return.

One of our highlights this week was a visit from Joel, the Warren County Naturalist. We talked about reptiles, and he brought his snakes for us to see and feel. Snakes are really cool animals, and we all were brave and touched at least one of the snakes.

We finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this week and celebrated by watching the movie (the first one) and, of course, eating chocolate. We really liked finding all the similarities and differences between the movie and the book.

Spring is on the way, and we are excited about what it holds for us in Second Grade!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another full week of school. Yeah! It would be nice to think spring has finally arrived, but this is Iowa, and so we better not hold our breath! In reading, we have been working on asking questions to help us understand our stories better. Wow! Second graders can ask really good questions about what they read!

In math, we have started our unit on counting money and my second graders have amazed me again. They are doing a super job counting money, deciding whether they have enough money, and figuring out change.

We finished up Friday by reading Scrambled Eggs Super by Dr. Seuss. We made scrambled eggs, and even the kids that didn't think they liked scrambled eggs tried them! Way to try new things, Second Graders!

Next week will be a busy one. We will be celebrating Dr Seuss' birthday on Wednesday, and we are making pillows on Tuesday for kids in our hospitals. If you have sewing skills, we could sure your help. Even if you don't, we could use parents to help cut, tie, and generally supervise kids. Our project begins at 1:00, so come and join the fun!

Lastly, conferences are happening soon. We will be sending notes home, but we generally keep the times and days the same as your fall time, unless you let us know differently. Please give us a call, or send a note if you need any changes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week of February 7, 2011

Well, we finally had a full week of school, and we are getting back in the swing. We have been learning how to talk to our book with sticky notes in reading. We have done an excellent job writing questions, making predictions and writing about what we think.

In Math we are getting ready to finish up regrouping with addition and subtraction, and we will be moving on to money and time. Parents, whenever you can, have your child count the change in your pocket or bill fold. It is great practice.

One of our highlights this week, was the trip to the Civic Center in Des Moines. We saw puppeteers preform three book from the author Leo Lionni. We really enjoy seeing the performances there and want to especially thank the generous gifts we received to be able to do this.

Kids, don't forget your Valentine's boxes tomorrow - it's party time!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Week of January 24th and 31st

Well, another snowy week is keeping us off track in our learning. We have missed over two days this week because of the snow. But, we are doing a very good job in our math with regrouping when we subtract. Hopefully, if we can keep the snowstorms away, we will be finishing up this unit very soon.

In reading, we have done very well in our MAP computer testing. We continue to work on comprehension and reading skills.

We did have time for some fun last week. It was our 100th day of school. We went around in small groups to several centers. We built with 100 Lego's, we played 100 bingo, had a hundreds race on the overhead, and many other activities. Our celebration would not be complete without our annual 100 balloon stomp. Second grade was the winner among first and third grade in stomping our balloons in the shortest amount of time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week of January 17, 2011

We had a very busy and exciting week in second grade even with another snow day. We continue working on reading strategies, and we are regrouping in subtraction (which we are doing very well at).
We finished our magnet projects and presented our plays with magnet puppets.
After reading Smelly Socks by Robert Munsch, we had a science inquiry where we had to build our own boats that would cross our "river" and carry "cargo" (pennies). Not one of the boats were even close to the same. All but one would float, and I think that one would have, but we ran out of time to make adjustments.

Another exciting thing in our room is the easiteach projector in our room. Here we are sharing Daniel's power point that his Flat Stanley emailed to us. What it does is make our white markerboard act like a touch screen computer. We have a lot to learn about them, but we hope to be using them more and more as the year progresses.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11, 2011

Snow day today. This is for all my second graders! Enjoy your day off!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Week of January 3, 2011

We were so busy getting back in the swing of things from vacation, we forgot to take some pictures to share with you. In reading, we are working on comprehension skills and what you do to help you understand a story. In math, we are getting ready to regroup in subtraction. The students did a wonderful job regrouping!

We have started our new author study of Robert Munsch. He is so funny. We made "fake" clay cookies (we also decorated some real ones), just like in Mmmm, Cookies. We had a great time fooling the staff around the elementary. Don't worry, we didn't let anyone take a bite of our clay cookies.
We are looking forward to our field trip on Friday to the Civic Center in Des Moines. We are going to see Strega Nona, a musical based on the book by Tomie DePaola.
We did want to take a minute to show you some of the back packs the kids helped to purchase in Uganda for the kids there. We were so glad we were able to share with them.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Vacation

Our vacation time is almost over, and things will be back to the "old grind" soon in second grade. Teachers will begin with professional development on Monday, with students beginning again on Tuesday. In math, we will begin regrouping with subtraction. Many of us have mastered our addition facts and are now practicing our subtraction facts. Keep practicing those at home!
Even though we had a short week the week before Christmas, we did have great fun with a science inquiry lesson. After reading the book Sheep in a Jeep, students were given a jeep, a sheep, and books to create a way to make their jeep go the furthest without loosing their sheep- and without using the force of their arms and hands! We had some wonderful ideas and experiments, and the students did a wonderful job making adjustments after their trial run. They learned a lot about force, gravity and friction during our inquiry. We will be doing another one very soon. We will be making boats that will carry pennies across a "lake." We need "junk" for this - anything that the kids could make a boat from that will hold a "cargo" of pennies. We also are in need of cereal boxes for another science project. We need one box for every student.

We wanted to take a moment to thank all the donations we have had so far this year; of time, materials for our projects, parties, and our store. We could not do these things without you! We look forward to starting the new year and a wonderful second half of second grade.