Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

Another week has flown by with all the exciting things happening in second grade. This is the time of year when, academically we spend most of our time reviewing and assessing for the end of the year. We took the ELA Touchstone yesterday and also took a math Mini Touchstone earlier in the week. In preparation for Market Day next week, we’ve been talking about allocating goods and services, using our Piggy Bank Primer workbook. We started a camping trip project in math that the kids are enjoying. We’ve also been working on getting our graphic organizers completed for our informational writing on the Titanic.

Tuesday was Field Day for second grade. The weather was perfect and the kids had a great time. We wrapped up that afternoon with the movie, Everyone’s a Hero. It reiterated the good sportsmanship theme of Field Day. Our book reports were due this week and the kids did a great job sharing their projects. They seemed very excited to tell their classmates about the books they had read. Yesterday we had Adventures in Reading. Thanks so much to Mrs. Lala for coming in to share some stories with us. Today we went to the Learning Commons to learn about a new summer reading program we will be using this year. Students will be able to log their books online for the Summer Reading Challenge through a program called Biblionasium. More information about this will come home next week. We also had a birthday this week. Anna Catherine celebrated her birthday on Wednesday. Happy Birthday, Anna Catherine!

The single digit countdown has begun! Only 8 days left. Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

Happy STEM day! What an exciting day we’ve had. We started the morning by individually creating a paper plate marble maze. We then went to the Learning Commons to do a STEM activity with Mrs. Lee and some dry ice bubbles. We then worked in small groups in our classroom to create pompom drops with all the paper towel and toilet paper tubes you sent in. After lunch we went to the blacktop to have our Kona ice treats. We ended the day with the school wide domino cereal box challenge.

Earlier in the week we were busy wrapping up some learning and reviewing skills we’ve learned in math this year. We took a mini Touchstone and took the Reading and Math Inventories. We finished up the majority of our Titanic research this week so that next week we can begin the writing of our books. We finished our unit on life cycles. Our butterflies emerged this week and we set them free in Andy’s Garden yesterday. Our plants are ready to have some real sunshine instead of a grow light so we sent those home today. We got our money cards to start earning money for Market Day. For some students it’s a powerful behavior management system! We also had guidance this week and celebrated a birthday. Evan celebrates his birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Evan! We welcomed a new friend to our classroom this week. Lucas joined us on Tuesday and the kids have all been so excited to meet him and help him get acclimated to our classroom routines.

We are in the home stretch but still have a lot of work to do to wrap up the year. Please remind your student that school is not over and they need to stay focused for a few more weeks.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

What a busy week we’ve had this week. In Daily 5 we’ve been working with nonfiction texts. We’ve been reviewing and using text features, comparing the information in two texts on the same topic, looking for the main idea and details in a text, and deciding on the author’s purpose for writing a nonfiction text. All of our novel study groups met this week as well and we’ve had some great book discussions. In writing we began doing some group research on the Titanic. We will be learning and gathering information over the next week and will use what we’ve learned to do an informational writing piece on the Titanic. The kids have been glued to their seats during our research time. In math this week we’ve continued to work at partitioning circles and rectangles into equal shares, and looking at those shares as fractional pieces. We had fun using what we’ve learned to create fraction cookies this week. In science we’ve learned about the life cycle of an amphibian. We’re also anxiously watching our chrysalides for any sign of butterflies, and our seedlings are growing strong.

We’ve had a few extra activities this week. Yesterday we participated in Careers on Wheels and had lots of great questions for the presenters who came to share their careers with us. Today we enjoyed a magic show that was all about Georgia. We had several birthdays this week. Amalie is celebrating her birthday today, and Kennedy will celebrate her birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Girls! The Sign-Up Genius was sent out for Market Day, which we are so excited about. I also sent out an email asking for a few items to make STEM Day possible next Friday. Keep sending in cereal boxes, paper towel and toilet paper tubes, rolls of scotch tape, and any repositionable tape (Washi, painters, masking) would be great. Thanks so much for all you do to help us make learning fun.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

Life in second grade has returned to normal after all the testing is complete in the building. We did a pretty good job of staying quiet in our classroom while third grade tested behind us, but we are very glad it’s over. We’ve learned a lot this week. In Daily 5 we have been comparing more than one text on the same topic. We’ve also practiced finding and using non-fiction text features, sequenced events in a story, and started working on a book trailer project that you will hear more about later. In math we started talking about fractions and have been partitioning circles and rectangles to form two, three, or four equal shares. Today we created fraction pizzas. In our life cycle unit for science we have been talking about the life cycle of the butterfly. We have enjoyed watching and recording the changes we’ve observed in our butterfly larva this week. When we returned on Monday, our zinnia seeds had already sprouted so we have begun measuring and recording their growth as well.

We have had a few extra activities this week. Wednesday we had a guidance lesson with Mr. Wilson. Thanks so much to Mrs. Luckie for coming in yesterday to do Adventures in Reading with us. Today we went to the Learning Commons and did an engineering activity with Mrs. Lee. This afternoon we shared an Earth Day treat. Thanks so much to Mrs. Vandenbussche for sending that in for us. We also had a few birthdays this week. Paige celebrated her birthday yesterday and Gino will celebrate his tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Paige and Gino!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

It sounds like everyone enjoyed their spring break! It was great to see the kids back and now we are rolling down the home stretch to the end of year. This week Milestones testing began for third, fourth, and fifth grades. We have worked very hard to stay as quiet as possible so as not to disturb the third grade classes behind us. They have a few more days of testing next week and then things will be back to normal.

This week during Daily 5 we have worked on using context clues to determine the meaning of an unfamiliar word in a text. We’ve also talked about identifying the main idea in a non-fiction passage. We were reviewing language skills this week and focused on compound words and plural nouns. During writing workshop we began a narrative writing piece about a small moment of our spring breaks. In math we have been making arrays and writing repeated addition sentences to match them. This skill helps us understand what it means to multiply two numbers together. We started a new science unit on life cycles this week. We began by looking at the life cycle of a plant. We planted some zinnia seeds so that we can chart their growth over a period of time. We also received butterfly larvae that we will watch and they grow and change next week.

Because of testing we have had no extra activities this week. We did send home the book report project on Monday. The kids seem excited about it, as I am hearing lots of information about their plans for a prize in the cereal box or the books that they are reading.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

We’ve had a very normal week this week with very few extras and lots of new learning. In Daily 5 our mini lessons have centered around asking and answering questions about non-fiction texts to help us have a clearer understanding of what we’re reading. We’ve learned about irregular past tense verbs and how they break the rules. In writing we’ve been finishing up an opinion piece about a favorite book. Math has been fun this week. We have taken a break from all the adding and subtracting and started a geometry unit on plane shapes. We’ve learned to recognize and draw them by their attributes. Today we looked at the attributes of the cube and cut and folded paper to make a cube of our own.

In social studies we met our last American hero for the year. We learned that Jimmy Carter, our 39th President, was born and now lives in the state of Georgia. We learned that he was governor of Georgia before running for President. We also discussed his positive character traits, his contributions as President and the struggles he had as well. We also watched a video of him reading the children’s book he wrote, The Little Baby Snooglefleejer. We then discussed the author’s message in the story.

Thank you all so much for the books and book fair gift certificates you donated to our classroom library. The kids are so excited to bring in the new books and can’t wait to start reading them. Speaking of reading, we are plowing through A Wrinkle in Time trying to finish it before we leave for spring break. Despite some very extensive vocabulary and occasional paraphrasing on my part, the kids are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next in the story. The ones who have seen the movie have been sworn to secrecy!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

We finished up the third quarter of the year this week. It’s hard to believe we are only two weeks away from spring break. We did some review and assessing for report cards this week. We practiced ordering synonyms by strength and expanded sentences to make them more interesting. We practiced several reading strategies this week and worked on an opinion writing piece about one of our favorite books. In science we started talking about the phases of the moon. Today we used Oreo cookies to create those phases in a fun and delicious way.

There were several extra activities on our calendar this week. Tuesday we had super specials and went to art and PE. Wednesday was a very busy day since it was an early release day. We started the day with a guidance lesson. Then Miss Siter taught a lesson for her KSU supervisor. Because of the Art Show, we also ate lunch in our classroom. Thursday we went to preview the book fair which opens next week. We found lots of awesome books that we added to wish lists. Thanks so much to Mrs. Twadell for coming in Thursday afternoon for Adventures in Reading. The kids loved hearing a St. Patrick’s Day story and creating a craft. Today was Lounge Day. We loved wearing pajamas and working in the floor all day with pillows, blankets, and clipboards.

Please remember to check your child’s planner nightly. There are often important reminders as well as the spelling words for the week written in there.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow. Hoping the leprechauns that visit are well behaved! Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

What a great week we’ve had in second grade this week. We’ve done a lot of reviewing and assessing this week. In addition, during Daily 5 we took simple sentences and expanded them to include adjectives and adverbs and any additional information to make the sentence more interesting. In math we started writing to explain how our place value addition and subtraction strategies work. In science we have been talking about the sun and how the tilt of the earth and its movement around the sun causes us to have seasons. We also looked at the position of the sun at various times of the day to determine how it affects our shadows. We learned that although the sun appears to move across the sky throughout the day, it does not move. The earth is moving instead.

We had lots of extra activities this week. Tuesday was a very busy day. We started out by having our spring pictures made. Then we headed to the fire safety village. We had a good time and learned a lot about safety in lots of situations in spite of the rainy weather that day. Thanks so much to Mrs. Necula for going with us as our chaperone. Yesterday was our PTA performance. We enjoyed performing for the other grade levels during school and the kids loved coming back to school to perform for our parents last night.

We did not write in our Take Home Journals today so that we could spend our time doing a science experiment. We will return to them next Friday.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

It’s been a very busy week after being out for winter break last week. We jumped right back in on Monday with a lot of learning. In Daily 5 we’ve been talking about point of view, adjectives and adverbs, shades of meaning with regard to adjectives and verbs, and main idea and supporting details in a paragraph. In writing we began reading Mercy Watson and writing letters to classmates to share our opinions about some of our favorite book characters. In math we’ve worked very hard to master using our addition and subtraction strategies to correctly solve problems. We continued to read about stars and discuss how their brightness is affected by their size and temperature, and their distance from the earth. We also talked about how stars make patterns in the sky called constellations. We got creative and made constellations of our own. Then we wrote stories about how our constellations got in the sky. They turned out very cute!

We of course had some extra activities this week. Monday we had a surprise Code Red Drill. The children followed directions much better when they weren’t expecting it than they did when it was announced. Tuesday we had our Fire Safety preview lesson with the Cobb County Fire Department. Your child was given some homework to return by Tuesday when we go on our field trip. On Wednesday we had a guidance lesson with Mr. Wilson. We also had our last extra practice for our performance next week. Yesterday we began practicing on the risers in the PE room with the entire second grade during our specials time. I hope you’ll all be able to join us for the performance.

Don’t forget about our field trip and picture day next Tuesday. We will have class and requested individual pictures taken first thing before we leave for the fire safety trip. Please pack any lunches from home in disposable containers and send a snack that we will have right before we leave.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

We made it through the week and are excited to start our winter break. We’ve been very busy this week assessing in all subject areas and trying to finish up some things that have been lingering for a while. We’ve been working very hard on 3-digit addition and subtraction. When we return, you will receive a sheet with the strategies we’ve been using to solve, so that you can help your child practice at home if they are still having trouble. Some of them still need to spend some time practicing addition and subtraction facts for fluency.

We had a great Valentine’s Day on Wednesday. Thanks so much to Mrs. Zonis for bringing in a yummy cookie cake to help us celebrate. Thank you all so much for the Valentine treats that Miss Siter and I received from the kids.

Today was a sad day because we had to send Matty off to her new school in New York. This was her last day at Timber Ridge and we will miss her and her family very much. We are looking forward to hearing about her new school and what her new class is like once she’s settled in.

I hope you all have a wonderful winter break. Hopefully the weather will feel more like spring while we are off next week!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin