Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

What an interesting week we’ve had! The kids were very excited to tell all of their snow stories on Tuesday. We spent the rest of the week trying to get caught back up to finish the quarter strong. In Daily 5 we’ve continued to discuss apostrophes and where they belong in contractions and possessive nouns. We’ve worked hard to finish up with the drafts of our informational writing. Now we have to decide how we want to publish and share our information. In math we’ve been solving two-step story problems and practicing our addition and subtraction strategies.

We’ve had some extra activities on our schedule as well. We took the Reading and Math Inventories this week. We also took the ELA Touchstone and put our answers into iRespond. We will do the Math Touchstone on Monday. Today we had our holiday party. Thanks so much to our room moms for organizing, and to those of you who sent in supplies. Thanks also to our parent volunteers who came in to help. The kids had a great time. We also had two friends celebrate birthdays on Sunday last weekend. Happy Birthday, Naren and Bella! Because it has been such a crazy week, we did not write in our Take Home Journals today. We will resume that Friday activity when we return in January.

Next week will be a fun week. We are making our gingerbread houses on Monday, and Wednesday is the school wide holiday sing-a-long. Don’t forget that Tuesday and Wednesday are Early Release Days as well.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving vacation. We are on the downhill slide towards our holiday break and the end of the second quarter of the year. We have a lot to accomplish in the next few weeks. In Daily 5 this week we have been working with homographs or multiple meaning words. We have been identifying the meaning of the word based on how it’s used in a sentence or passage. We also looked at how authors supply rhythm to stories by using rhyme and repeated sentence patterns. Our spelling pattern this week in phonics was /oi/ and /oy/. We continued to work on researching and drafting our informational writing pieces and had a mini lesson on good beginnings.

In math this week we started telling time to the nearest five minutes. We’ve used mini clocks and a virtual clock on the Smartboard for practice. Most of us are doing pretty well with this skill but it is a great thing to practice at home. In social studies this week we met Mary Musgrove, who was an interpreter for James Oglethorpe and Tomochichi. Her ability to speak both English and Creek was crucial to the founding of the colony of Georgia. We also began talking about personal finance, goods and services and how those goods and services are allocated. We built a snowman whose parts were allocated to demonstrate how goods and services are allocated.

We only had one extra activity this week. On Monday we got to go to the Learning Commons lab and work on Hour of Code. The kids love being programmers and coding to make something happen within the program.

Next Tuesday we will be attending The Nutcracker Ballet as part of the Cobb County Performing Arts program. We will be having lunch early in our classroom before we leave the building at 10:45. We should return to school about 1:30. Since we are having lunch so early we will have our snack in the afternoon, so don’t forget to send that with your child. We are also asking that students wear their class t-shirts that day since we are leaving the building.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

Wow! We made it to Thanksgiving vacation. It was great to see all of you at the Celebrate Families luncheon on Wednesday. The kids were very excited to have you all here. We had a great week this week. In Daily 5 we have been looking at figurative language in books and trying to use context clues to determine what different words and phrases mean. We also revisited asking and answering questions about a text and story elements in fiction texts. In writing we went to the Learning Commons lab several times to choose a topic for our informational writing and do some research on the topic. We started working on filling in a graphic organizer with the information we found. We met another American Hero this week in social studies. We learned about the life of Tomochichi and how he worked with James Oglethorpe to keep peace in the new colony of Georgia. In math we worked on strategies for addition and subtraction. We also created several line plots for review and got a new group of math centers for Thanksgiving. Today we chose items for a Thanksgiving dinner with only $25 to spend. We had to make good choices based on the items available and our limited funds.

We had some extra activities this week. On Tuesday and Thursday we ate in our classroom and finished watching Charlotte’s Web. Wednesday we had guidance with Mr. Wilson and then enjoyed lunch with our families. Thanks so much to Mrs. Parker for sending in a special Thanksgiving treat for us to share today. We loved the Rice Krispy treats! We have a birthday over the break. Mihai will celebrate his birthday on the 23rd. Happy Birthday, Mihai and thanks for bringing in the extra snacks for the many students who forget theirs every day.

Your student is bringing home a math challenge for the days they are out of school next week. They have a game board with activities to complete on the gregtangmath.com website. This is an optional activity but gives them something fun to do that is also educational and gets them out of your hair for a bit. 😉

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get time to spend with family and friends. Safe travels for those of you leaving town. We are excited to travel to Germany to see or son stationed there with the Air Force! Have a great vacation!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

The kids were only in school four days this week but we’ve been very busy. In Daily 5 we’ve been using books about Thanksgiving to practice several of our standards. We’ve been sequencing events and identifying the beginning, middle, and end of the stories. We used a passage about Veterans Day to find the main idea in a multi-paragraph nonfiction text. We also did a turkey glyph to practice following directions. We attempted to finish our shared writing about bats this week. We compared our writing with the informational checklist for second grade to try and determine if we were meeting the expectations for this genre of writing.

In math this week we created some line plot graphs and we also worked on the common core strategies for adding and subtracting larger numbers. Many of us are feeling confident with addition but we still need work on subtraction. In science we talked about force and pushes and pulls. We made a sheep and had to try to move it along a curved path using puffs of air blown through a straw. We talked about what strategies we used to make the sheep change directions and how much force was needed to make it move without blowing it off the path.

With the week being short, we only had one extra activity. Mr. Wilson came in to do a guidance lesson on Monday. Thanks so much to those of you who donated items for our gift basket service project this week and to Mrs. Williams for coordinating the efforts.

It’s hard to believe we only have a week left before we are out for Thanksgiving break. Students were given spelling words today but those words are for the week after Thanksgiving. There will be no spelling test next Friday. Don’t forget about our Celebrate Families luncheon next Wednesday. Our lunch time is at 11:52 that day. We will be eating in our classroom on Tuesday and Thursday to accommodate the other grade levels’ luncheon dates.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

We survived Halloween and are quickly headed towards Thanksgiving! We have had a lot going on this week. We used a number of Halloween books to practice reading standards this week. In one book we identified the sequence of events, in another we used the illustrations to gain additional meaning, and in several others we were able to recognize how the author supplied rhythm by using either rhyme, repetition, or alliteration to make the text more meaningful. In phonics we continued to look at additional bossy /r/ spelling patterns. During writing workshop we created graphic organizers from our shared research on bats and began using those organizers to start drafting an informational writing piece.

We had lots of fun in math this week with Halloween activities. We’ve done some measuring, some problem solving, we solved a logic puzzle together, and we learned how to plot data on a line plot. In social studies we finished the books we were reading about James Oglethorpe and completed a biography page on him for our journals. Then we started a new science unit on pushes and pulls. There are some fun activities planned for next week for this science unit.

We had quite a few extra activities this week. Monday we had Super Specials. Thanks so much to Mrs. Williams for sending in a special Halloween treat for us to share on Tuesday. We started our day off Wednesday with High Touch High Tech, thanks to the Timber Ridge Foundation. They introduced us to energy and force to get our new science unit rolling. Thanks so much to Mrs. Zebley for coming in on Thursday to do Adventures in Reading. The kids enjoyed a story and then created creatures out of some sweet treats. We also got to see the fourth grade performance on Thursday afternoon. They did a great job and I hope many of you were able to enjoy their performance at the PTA meeting last night.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

It’s been a great week in second grade! In our Daily 5 reading lessons this week we have talked about recognizing cause and effect relationships to help us with comprehension while reading. We also did some sequencing of events and steps in a procedure and talked about how those events or steps are connected. We revisited the main idea of a nonfiction text and looked for the details the author includes to support that main idea. In phonics we practiced words with the /or/ spelling pattern. We also learned how to correctly form a contraction by placing the apostrophe where we took a letter or letters out, before squeezing the two little words together. In writing we began a modeled and guided informational writing project about bats. Once we finish this short piece, students will choose a topic to research and will complete a more independent writing project. In social studies we met a new American Hero. We learned about James Oglethorpe and his vision for the colony of Georgia and the settlement of Savannah. We are continuing to measure in math this week. Yesterday we began creating centimeter haunted houses. Some of the kids really let their creative side show!

We had a few extra activities this week. Monday we participated in a presentation by a visiting author. Robin Hood Black shared the books she’s written and then helped us create a fictional animal and write a short story about it. The kids loved watching her illustrate the animal they came up with. We had a couple of birthdays this week. Miss Siter and I truly appreciate all of the sweet birthday wishes, cards, flowers, and gifts. Thanks so much to Mrs. Trotti for bringing us lunch yesterday. Lunch from outside the building is such a treat since we can never leave!!

We are all getting ready for Halloween and know that next week will be an exciting week. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

What a busy week it has been. It is not easy to get everything accomplished that we need to on early release days but we managed to make it happen. During Daily 5 we introduced some new standards in reading for both fiction and non-fiction texts. We discussed story elements and looked at how rhyme and rhythm in books helps add to our comprehension. Our phonics focus this week was on the /ar/ sound we hear in words. In math we started a measurement unit. We will be learning how to measure in inches, feet, yards, centimeters, and meters. We will practice estimating measurements for common objects and will decide which measuring tool is most appropriate to use when measuring various objects. The kids loved using some of these measuring tools to measure objects in our classroom. Due to a shortened instructional day we only had one extra activity this week. Mr. Wilson came to see us for guidance on Wednesday morning. We do have one birthday this week. Ian will celebrate his birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Ian!

Many of you were able to stop by the book fair at some point this week. I hope you were able to find some great new books to read. Thanks so much to those of you who purchased books to donate to our classroom. We have enjoyed reading some of them already this week.

It was great to see all of you during your child’s conference. Thank you so much for giving me the time to share some of your child’s successes so far this year. Your support in their educational process is so important. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

We’ve had a great week this week. In Daily 5 we’ve continued to work on finding the main idea in non-fiction texts. We reviewed capitalization and punctuation and where commas should be placed in a letter. We also took the reading Touchstone this week.

The math Touchstone happened on Tuesday this week. We spent the rest of our math time working on counting money and solving story problems. There are a few of the kids who still don’t recognize the coins or remember their values consistently. This is an easy skill to practice at home. Empty your pocket or your wallet and have your child sort and count the coins. You might offer a reward when they are correct or let your child have the coins for a piggy bank. Saving for some small item that they might want to buy gives them ownership of their money knowledge when they can count to make sure they have saved enough. You will quickly recognize if your child needs additional practice with this skill.

There were a few extra activities that happened this week. We celebrated Max’s birthday on Monday. Happy Birthday, Max! Wednesday we participated in a statewide fire drill. Thursday was a busy Early Release day. We also got to go to the book fair to do a preview. There are lots of good books down there this time. I hope you get a chance to visit this week. I am encouraging the kids to choose things other than just graphic novels. That seems to be all many of them want to read right now.

It looks like a beautiful fall weekend! I hope you get the chance to get out and enjoy it.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

It sounds like everyone enjoyed their fall break. Now we are back to the business of learning as we wrap up our last week of the first quarter. In Daily 5 this week we have been reading non-fiction texts and working to determine the main idea. We have sorted words with long and short vowels and looked at vowel teams that spell long vowel sounds. We continued to review and work on capitalizing proper nouns. We also revisited irregular plural nouns.

We learned some strategies for adding and subtracting two digit numbers this week. We practiced using an open number line to count on by tens and ones, we used place value to add the tens and then the ones before combining them. We also rewrote numbers in expanded form to help us with adding tens and ones. Some of the kids have already been taught the traditional algorithm way of adding and subtracting but we will continue to work on the Common Core strategies taught in second grade as well. We started counting money and solving word problems involving money and practiced writing amounts of money correctly using the dollar and cent sign.

In science we have been learning about matter. We did some fun experiments to see if we could change matter. On Wednesday we did a STEM activity where we had to use only the ingredients provided to make environmentally friendly glue. The kids really enjoyed experimenting to see if they could come up with a gluey concoction to hold beans on an index card.

We had a few extra activities this week. Monday was our Super Specials day. On Wednesday we had guidance with Mr. Wilson. At the end of the day we had some candid photos taken for the yearbook. Yesterday we had our first Adventures in Reading. Thanks so much to Mrs. Parker for coming in to share some fun fall books with us and then helping us make a craft for one of our fall holidays. We also celebrated some birthdays this week. Monday was Hannah’s birthday and Tuesday was Matty’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Girls!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin

Friday Letter

Dear Parents,

We’ve had quite a busy week. We reviewed several of our reading standards from the quarter during Daily 5 this week. We also reviewed capitalization of proper nouns and the rules for making nouns plural. In math we have been working to solve simple word problems by writing an equation that matches the story, and then using some sort of strategy to solve. In social studies we talked about rules and laws and why they are important as well as what might happen if you break them. We started our matter unit in science this week. We learned about the three states of matter and how we can describe them using properties. When we return after fall break we will be doing some experiments with matter and also a STEM activity.

We had a few extra activities this week. Tuesday we had Super Specials and got to go to PE and Music. We also had several special treats this week. Thanks so much to Kennedy’s mom for the apple cider doughnuts she sent in after a visit to one of the North Georgia apple orchards. Today, in celebration of the first day of fall tomorrow, Mihai’s mom sent in a special applesauce treat. Thanks so much to both of you. We also celebrated a birthday this week. Richard celebrated his birthday on Monday with doughnut holes. Happy Birthday, Richard!

It’s hard to believe we are almost to the end of the quarter. I hope you all have a wonderful fall break and I look forward to seeing the kids all back in October.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Houghlin