Friday, September 28, 2007

Lynd's Fruit Farm Field Trip

The 2nd grade will be taking a field trip to Lynd’s Fruit Farm in Pataskala on Wednesday, October 10. This field trip complements our Environment theme. Each student will be picking his/her own small bag of apples.

The students will take a school bus to Lynd’s, and any parent volunteers will need to arrange their own transportation. The bus will leave school promptly at 10:45 and arrive at Lynd’s for our scheduled tour beginning at 11:30. The tour and apple picking will take approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.

Students need to dress appropriately for this trip. The tour and the apple picking are both outdoor activities, so warmth and comfort should guide the choice of dress. Boots may be necessary, depending on the weather.

In addition to dressing down for this trip, we are asking students to pack a lunch that is “earth friendly”. Our theme of Changes in the Natural Environment centered around the ideas of conservation, sustainability, and environmental responsibility. We would like to continue this theme by having each student help in preparing his/her lunch. This lunch should be packed in environmentally responsible packaging. This would include reusable containers and utensils so that the waste generated is minimal. Please help your child plan and prepare this lunch so that they can grow as stewards of the Earth. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. (We know it would be much easier to just pack a Lunchable !) We will eat at school following the trip.

The Second Grade Team

Field Trip Update!

Grades 1-4 will be attending a very special performance of the LaVerne Reed Productions' "Chocolate Nutcracker." It is an exciting musical adaptation of the classic Tchaikovsky ballet which features a journey through the exotic lands of West Africa, Egypt, the Caribbean and Brazil. Many different musical styles will be represented, including jazz, gospel, swing, R&B, and hip hop. In music, Tchaikovsky will be our Composer of the Month for November and December.

This field trip will take place on Friday, November 9th. We will be leaving campus at 9:45 and return at approximately 12:15p (the performance is at 10:30 and will go until 11:45).

We will not need any parent volunteers for this field trip.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Second Grade Team Newsletter - Please read all the way through!

October 2nd Grade Team Newsletter

October Dates to Remember:
*Wednesday, October 4 ~ Santa Maria Field Trip - Wear Dress Code - We will enjoy a pizza lunch in our classroom following the trip!
*Monday, October 8 - NO SCHOOL ~ COLUMBUS DAY
*Wednesday, October 10 ~ Lynd’s Apple Orchard Field Trip - DRESS DOWN and Pack environmentally friendly lunch and drink! Look for details in the upcoming “Lynd’s Fruit Farm” newsletter!
*Wednesday, October 17 ~ Late Start ~ 9:30 am!
*Thursday, October 18 ~ Campfire with Pre-K Buddies - DRESS DOWN!
*Thursday, October 25 and Friday October 26~ Parent/Teacher Conferences
*Friday, October 26 - NO SCHOOL!
*Wednesday, October 31 ~ Halloween Party and Parade

Dear Parents,

As you can tell by a quick glance at the October Dates, second graders will be BUSY this month!!

Looking ahead, we will have dress down days on the campfire day and Lynd’s Fruit Farm field trip day (see above for special dates). The students can wear jeans, sweatshirts, and comfy shoes suitable for outdoor wear. Dress for the weather - we will go outdoors even the weather is damp on these days. On the campfire day we will meet Pre-K Buddies for stories and s’mores by the campfire. Though some grade levels have Outdoor Week in the fall (which includes an entire week of dress down!), second grade Outdoor Week will take place in the spring. Please note that students are expected to wear dress code clothing to the Santa Maria.

On October 31, the halls of Columbus Academy will be filled with imaginative and magical characters as we party then parade through the school in our Halloween garb. The party will begin at 2:00, followed by the parade at 2:30. Each child should bring a costume in a bag, clearly marked with his/her name. Costumes are not to be worn to school!

We are in the midst of our CHANGES in the Environment unit. We are learning about land, air, and water as they relate to the environment. This unit allows for a variety of guest speakers who inform second graders about environmental issues. Walkin’ Jim Stolz sang some songs and shared stories related to the environment, Doris the Recyclasurus will share the benefits of recycling on Monday, and our very own Dr. Joe Cantrell will speak with the students about his efforts to be earth friendly.

We continue our study of the continents, and the October focus is South America. If you have any cultural connections to South America, and would be willing to share your knowledge with the students, we would love to have you. Please e-mail your child’s teacher to set up a time for sharing!

Thank you in advance to all the wonderful parents for chaperoning this month’s field trips and organizing our Halloween Party. Thank you too for your snack donations. Please remember that we do ask that snack be dropped off on Monday morning, or the morning thereafter. This minimizes classroom disruptions. Thank you for your support in this area. Also, please remember that these snack options can be kept quite simple! Believe it or not, the children are quite happy with saltines, and one box of crackers provides enough snack for 2 or 3 days. Our goal is simply to make sure that the kids have energy to fuel their day, especially with a later lunch this year. We would also like to express our appreciation for your support of nightly homework routines. Together we are laying the foundation of academic habits that will serve the children well throughout life.

Amanda Roehrenbeck & Sue Figlik
Julie Simmons & Cyndi Yakscoe
Shannon O’Connor & Sue Mayer
Donna Saide & Valerie Reckner

Monday, September 24, 2007

Alternate Spelling Activities

Dear Parents,
Each week, the students are given spelling words and spelling homework. I have decided to try something new this year. If your child would rather have alternate spelling homework he/she may try the following activities and turn it in the next day. This will be substituted for the current homework. For example, if I give spelling ABC order as homework, and they would rather do something else from our choice list...then he/she would turn in the homework they decided to do the next day. I will send home a list of alternate activities. If your child would like to create homework, then that is acceptable as well. We are trying to promote choice and creativity within the homework as well as the classroom. Thank you for your support! Below is a list of alternate spelling activities. I will also send home a list of activities to be kept in your child's homework folder for reference.

1. Use all the words to create as few sentences as possible.
2. Create a crossword puzzle on graph paper. Include an answer key.
3. Learn the words in a foreign language. Create sentences with words.
4. Create several categories into which all the words can fit. Regroup them into different categories.
5. Create greeting card messages or rebus pictures. A rebus is a variation on a pun. In a pun, the sound and/or meaning of two words is made into a play on words. In a rebus, the pun is created by using pictures to evoke a sound that is identical or similar to a word or word part.
6. Create an original spelling game.
7. Create riddles with the words as the answers.
8. Write an advertisement using as many of the words as you can.
9. Use all of the words in an original story.
10. Create alliterative sentences using the words.
11. Using a thesaurus, find synonyms and antonyms for the words, and use them in sentences.
12. Change the initial or middle consonants to create other words. Or keep the consonants the same and change the vowels to make other words.
13. Create analogies using the words. (Example: heart is to body what motor is to lawn mower)
14. Come up with your own activity.
15. ABC order
16. 3 Times each
17. Practice spelling test

September/October Newsletter

Hello parents,
We are off to a fabulous start in Second Grade! 2A has been working very hard this month on learning new routines, and getting to know each other. Our classroom community is becoming stronger and stronger each day. I have especially loved hearing "CARES" phrases out of their mouths when trying to work through day to day routines or lessons.


Reading: The students are just beginning to read The Library in their Open Court Reading book. Our focus on this story is rhyming. It would be helpful to ask your children to find rhyming words in the stories they are reading at home. We have also been working on using comprehension strategies while reading. When reading with your child at home, ask him/her questions about the story to check on comprehension. It would also be helpful to discuss the story as you read, so you are modeling good comprehension skills. Vocabulary will also be a main focus this year, so ask your children if they have learned any new words when they come home. Our word of the week last week was eerie. They also learned about the words nimble, strive, adventure, and searched. Thank you for your support in this area.

Math: We are still reviewing a lot of first grade skills in the math book. Students have been counting money, telling time, and learning place value. If the homework seems easy this month, that is a good thing! We are working on reviewing and making sure the second graders are solid with their skills from last year, before progressing into new skills. You will notice the Math Minutes that are sent home for homework will get progressively harder as the year goes on. If there is a problem your child doesn't understand, just circle it and we will go over with him/her when they return to school. Thank you for your support in this area! Also, please make sure your child is studying his/her math facts at least 3-4 times a week. Flash cards are a great tool to help with this.

Spelling: Each week the students have been pretested on the first 6-7 words on the weekly spelling test. If the students are passing with 100% accuracy, they are given a challenge list. If your child misses any of the pretest words he/she is given the original spelling list. If your child misses any pretest words, this would be helpful to focus on studying those words more throughout the week. Spelling tests are given every Friday, unless we don't have school or did not give a spelling list that week. Please refer to the homework log if you are unsure if there is a spelling list.

Social Studies: The students have been studying North America. They have been doing an excellent job of prompting discussion about mapping skills, and where thins are located on the continent. It would be helpful to discuss the U.S.A. at home, and quiz them from time to time about where they live, what state they live in, what country, what continent, etc. Thank you for your support with this!

Important Dates to Remember:
School Pictures: Tuesday, September 25- 8:25 AM

Happy Birthday Esther - September 27

Monday, October 1: 1:45PM Doris the Recycleasaurus comes to visit the Second Grade

Santa Maria- Oct. 4 We ask that parents are here by 9:00 AM. We also have a policy that we do not bring younger siblings on field trips. If you would like to meet us downtown, please be there by 10:00 AM, right in front of the ship! The tour usually lasts around 1 hour or so.

October 8: Columbus Day- No School

Lynd's Fruit Farm-Oct. 10 If parents want to attend they can meet us there at 11:30.

FYI for Lynd's: We will leave around 10:45, the tour starts at 11:30 and lasts about 30-40 minutes. We then can pick and lunch in the orchard (weather permitting) meaning we will leave there around 1, returning here about 1:30-2:00.

Also, we have Campfire Stories on October 18 with our PreK buddies, so if one parent would like to come and take pictures and help with handing out snacks...they can meet us out there around 10:00. It will last until 10:45.

October 26: Parent Teacher Conferences- all signups will be conducted online

October 31: Halloween Party 2:00 PM -More details to follow from the room mom.

We will also be attending the Art Museum with Lloyd Cicetti on November 2. He will arrange for parent volunteers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Volley for the Cure

Thank you to all of the families that helped support our event! If you are still interested in a t-shirt, I have a bunch of XL's and L's left, as well as 3 youth shirts. The shirts are $5 and the proceeds go to Susan G. Komen Foundation. Thanks again for your support and for cheering the team on!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Student of the Week

We loved hearing about Emily's many adventures! She really loves to travel, and she also loves hanging out with her family! We hope to see her reach her dreams of becoming a doctor, scientist and zoologist! She will sure be a busy adult someday! We also hope to see her gain her wish of getting a dog! I am sure that will happen soon! Emily is one interesting individual, and she sure did catch the attention of 2A today with her pictures and stories!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pre-K Buddies

2A met their PreK buddies for the first time today! They did a "getting to know you" activity!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


A big thank you to all of the parents for sending in donations for the classroom! We really appreciate your generosity, and we hope the Clorox Wipes will keep the germs away! :) Thanks again for all of your help and support!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Writing Debate

During a writing lesson, the students were able to compare 2 different writing passages. They were then asked to make a choice of which one they thought was better or a more detailed piece of writing. After they made their choices, they debated on teams to try to get the other students to join their side. Needless to say, they all ended up on one side after the teacher gave her side. :) They did an excellent job of cooperating, listening, and speaking in front of their classmates!

Student of the Week Schedule

Emily C. September 17 - 21
Madelyn D. September 24 - 28

Max D. October 1 – 12
Davis F. October 15 – 25
Mason H. October 29 – November 2

Esther L. November 5 – 9
Ryan M. November 12 – 21

Sarabeth M. December 3 – 7
Emily M. December 10 – 20

Michael R. January 7 – 11
Georgia T. January 14 – 25
Michael V. January 28 – February 7

Cole W. February 11 – 22
Savannah W. February 25 – 29

MARCH 2008
T.J. W. March 3 – 7
Alana A. March 10 – 14

APRIL 2008
Mary W. April 1 – 11
Annie Z. April 14 - 25

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

2A September Updates!

This Friday will be "Viking Spirit Day"! We will have dress code from the waist down, and the students can wear Viking garb from the waist up. We will also have a Pep Rally at 2:30pm.

We have sent home the homework logs/achievement records. If you see a checkmark in the column that means they have homework in that area. If there is an X or the column is left blank, that means no homework in that area. The students will be responsible for writing in their homework logs each day. Please remember, any communication to me should be written on the homework log. Also, please be sure to check the homework logs on Thursday night and sign at the bottom. I would recommend checking each day toward the beginning of the year, and then hold your child responsible as start into the winter or late fall. Thanks for your cooperation on this matter.

Next week, we will be beginning our spelling word lists. Please watch for new lists to come home on Monday the 10th. The students will be tested at the end of the week on their spelling words. Please be sure to practice the list at home. It would be helpful to do oral spelling tests, written spelling tests, and word sorts. Word sorting is putting words into columns that have similar characteristics. It helps the children find patterns in the way each word is spelled. The more they see the words and use them, the better they will do on their tests! Also, please make sure you are practicing math facts at least 3 times a week. In September, the homework load is usually a little less so you have extra time to practice those facts. You can click on the math blog to help you find websites to practice at home. It is also helpful to use flash cards. If you don't have any, I suggest having your child make them and color code them based on the answer.

On September 17th, we will begin our Environment Unit. More details to come!

With regard to character, we continue to discuss cooperation in class. The students have also been focusing on using kind words in the class. It would be helpful to follow up with these words at home!

Thank you again for all of your help and support! I thoroughly enjoyed our conferences and getting to know all of you!