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4/22/19 - Sorry for the delay. I was out picking up schoolground garbage this Earth Day. A note about donating money for backpacks was sent home. Also, about half the class received their unit 7 math tests back. The other students still need to complete their tests. Please return the parental signature page this week. When they receive the test back, students should try to fix their mistakes on the unit 7 assessment. Math homework is to complete math homelink 8.2. Any and all Cookie Dough fundraiser material is due tomorrow. This Thursday we will have our study hall.
After Literacy Lab, students practiced their vocabulary words from the story, the rough Faced Girl. Then, we discussed the story elements from the book. We concluded the day going to gym. In the afternoon I introduced the school improvement assessment. This week we are retesting the students on an article they read in September. After the students have completed their graphic organizer and their essay, we will compare the current work material to the work material done in September. We hope to see strong growth. Students are responding to a prompt question. They are reading the text, taking notes (evidence), and using their notes on the graphic organizer to write an informational essay. We are off to a great start. Before second recess we practiced our phonemic sounds and I went over our Family Tree problem solving problem. We concluded the day discussing characteristics (attributes) of polygons. We looked for similarities and differences within the various shapes. Time is flying by as we try to stay ever so focused.




4/18/19 - Sorry for the delay. I had study hall today. THERE IS NO SCHOOL TOMORROW. WE HAVE A THREE DAY WEEKEND. There is no homework over this brief break. In the red folder students should have taken home an Earth Day activity paper associated with Coolidge. Students can donate a dollar, dress as an animal, and we can clean up our school grounds after Monday's work day.
Literacy Lab went well. After lab, I reviewed some vocabulary words with the students. Then, we viewed for a second time another version of the Cinderella story, The Rough-Face Girl. Students worked on completing the 6 story elements as the story was read. We concluded the morning going to art. In the afternoon students took the unit 7 math test. As students finished the test, they worked on their polygon pictures. About 10 students will finish their assessment on Monday. Look for the tests to go home Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. We also watched an interesting Mystery Doug video on, Why People Yawn. After second recess, I gave the entire class more time to work on their polygon picture. We also grouped figures, shapes, and polygons into different columns to get a picture of their similarities and differences. It was a good, productive day. Time for the students to take a break. Have a nice weekend.




4/17/19 - The Spring Pictures were sent home via the red folder. A math worksheet was passed out to the students and should have gone home as well. About 7 students took home their checked unit 7 review. If you are not going to purchase any of the Spring Pictures, please return the packet tomorrow. Study Hall is tomorrow and the unit 7 math test takes place tomorrow as well. All unit 7 reviews should be brought back to school tomorrow. The reviews can be used on the unit 7 math assessment. We had another busy and productive day. Students did a variety of language arts activities during our Literacy Lab time. A lot of students have shown nice growth according to the i Ready reading growth check. Well Done? After Lab, we practiced our Cinderella vocabulary words with our white boards. Students did a good job filling in the correct vocabulary word when I gave them a sentence. After that, I returned the story element papers the students worked on yesterday. We went over the paper and how I scored it. Students were given time before music to make their corrections. 
In the afternoon we continued to make our story element corrections. Then, I returned yesterday's Venn Diagrams and debriefed the students how I scored those papers as well. Students were given time to make and add changes to the worksheet. We closed language arts by reading another version of Cinderella. Whenever I read, I try to model many good reading strategies. We also had a good discussion about the story after finishing it. We concluded the day doing math. I remodeled how to use personal references on tomorrow's test to estimate lengths to the nearest centimeter and inch. Students received a worksheet to practice, more in depth, their strategies. As students finished, they were able to work on some of the extra credit problems on the back side of the sheet.




4/16/19 - The new unit 8 math homelinks were sent home via the red folders. Math homework is to work again on the unit 7 review. The review may be used on this Thursday's math test. See yesterday's website message for more detailed information. As students complete the review, I will check it and return it to them no later than the next day. Students who turned their review in today do not have any math homework. Study Hall is Thursday. Please return the unit 7 homelinks to school sometime this week. There is no school this Good Friday. SPRING PICTURES COME HOME TOMORROW. Please return the pictures this week if you have no plans on purchasing any package.
Today, during our Literacy Lab time, many of the students took the i Ready growth check. This growth check is kind of a mini reading quiz that gives teachers and students a ballpark estimate regarding how much each student is improving in reading. This growth check has a wide error margin, but I still find it useful. After Lab, we went into detail discussing the word, Mindfulness. Students wrote a brief story in their Growth Mindset books talking about a time when Mindfulness was put into action. When I think of Mindfulness, I think of being aware of a given situation and acting in a selfless way toward it. A citizen who witnesses a car accident and stops to assist demonstrates mindful behavior. This citizen has places to get to, but understands that the victims might need some help. We ended the morning completing a Venn Diagram of the original Cinderella and the Salmonella story. We talked about how simply brainstorming both stories can give us plenty of information for our comparison/contrast diagram. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, we rewatched the fictional story, Enemy Pie. Students wrote down all six of the story elements to the best of their abilities. After doing so, we came to the carpet and went over each story element one by one. Then, we watched a Mystery Doug video about sleeping fish. It was interesting and provided quite a discussion. Before second recess, we began math. Students continued working on yesterday's shape picture. After the final recess, students kept working on their shape picture. Tomorrow, we should complete this assignment in class. I ended the day by putting 9 figures on the whiteboard. At the carpet, students thought best on how to sort each figure into one of three categories. The activity was thought provoking. We will wrap up this discussion tomorrow.




 4/15/19 - Tax Day   Also, this is the day the Titanic sank. Only another unit 7 math review was sent home via the red folders. The unit 7 math test is scheduled for this Thursday. Students are allowed and encouraged to use their review to assist them on the test. For homework all this week, students should work 10-15 minutes on the math review. As students complete the whole review, I will check each review and return the review the next day. Students can also ask me questions that do not make much sense to them. Students who accurately complete the review early will receive some extra credit problems from me to look over for homework. Students may have mentioned a shape paper that we also worked on today. The shape paper is not homework and it should have remained here at school. Please note problem #3 on the math review. For Part 3a the measuring tool we would use to measure the journal would be a ruler. Using a yardstick or a meterstick to measure would be too big.  For Part 3c the unit we would use to measure the journal would be centimeters (cm) or inches. Either one would be appropriate. For Part 3d the answer would be the same as part 3b.... using a yard or meterstick would be too big. Our answer would be less than one whole. On problem 4 students need to make hash marks to show how they estimated in inches and centimeters. I recommend students use different colored tools to make the hash marks for the two different units. There answer to problem 4c is inches because inches are longer than centimeters. This is a challenging problem to think about for second graders. Problems 5 and 6 students should be quite comfortable with. Email me any time for questions you may have on this coming assessment or have your son/daughter see me. 
Today, after Literacy Lab, I read a different version of Cinderella. We reviewed the key elements to a story and I introduced the challenging vocabulary in it. After doing so, we practiced our phonemic sounds until we went to gym.
In the afternoon we completed our phonemic sounds. Then, we discussed in more detail what the central message in a story is. We talked about how to find it and I provided students examples of different central messages. Before second recess, I passed out another unit 7 math review. I put the review on the big screen and briefly went over each part of the review. Around 2:15 we went outside to measure our personal yard references with a 100 foot tape measure. We found the length of our blacktop to be just over 97 yards. After recess, I plotted all the personal reference estimates on our whiteboard. It was amazing how well so many of the students did. We ended the day discussing shapes. Students started to work on their shape assignment. In a nutshell, students need to include at least 6 shapes in a picture or a pattern. The shapes need to be identified on the back side. This assignment is NOT homework and it should be completed in class this week. Because of Good Friday there is no school this Friday. Also, students can begin to turn in their unit 7 math homelinks. A number of links were not assigned and I am well aware of which ones were. Please have the homelinks turned in by the end of this week. STUDY HALL IS THIS THURSDAY.




4/12/19 - A Box Tops paper went home via the red folder. There is no homework over the weekend. Keep on reading. After Literacy Lab, I debriefed with the students the other pretest reading story about why the sea is salty. We discussed how to place the events in proper order and we looked at supporting the central message of the story by using evidence from the passage. Before going to the library we practiced our phonemic sounds in a large group setting. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. I gave students the block of time to peruse the updates on all the computers. Students really enjoyed playing a new variety of academic games and activities. After lab, we spent the rest of the day diving deep into personal measurement references. We talked about how to estimate one yard in various ways. Students tested their "Yard Walk" in the hallway and outside. I am looking forward to scoring the final results of our outdoor walk. Have an enjoyable weekend.




4/11/19 - Sorry for the delay. We had study hall today. No notes went home via the red folder. However, the math worksheet on measuring should have come home. Students should work 10-15 minutes on the paper. Ask your "Little One" about it. We had another good and active day. After Literacy Lab, we went into more Cinderella vocabulary. We practiced using the vocabulary words in sentences. After that, we wrote down the main story elements including title, characters, setting, problem, solution, and theme (central message). We went to art at the end of the morning. In the afternoon we continued our story element discussion. In detail we discussed each element, especially the challenging element on theme. Around 1:30 I went over the results of Tuesday's reading pretest that we are using as data for our Cinderella unit. We reread the first story and picked apart each question. Many of the students had a light bulb moment. We concluded the day with more math measuring. Students used personal body part references to help them estimate the length of centimeters, inches, and feet. Then, we compared these personal body part reference estimates to the actual length of each object. We had a busy day. P.S. I did not make time to check each student's red folder today. I simply forgot to do so. If there was anything important inside, please let me know via an email. Have a great evening.




4/10/19 - Study hall is tomorrow (Thursday). A Skating note was sent home via the red folders. For the math homework, students should pick out three things to measure (length). Before measuring each object, students should make a logical estimate before measuring the actual object's length. Students can measure the object in centimeters, inches, feet, yards, or meters. Today, we discussed how to use parts of our body to help us make a logical estimate. Round each estimate and actual answer to the nearest whole number. Best wishes. This morning started with our traditional Literacy Block. After our Lab time, I introduced the Cinderella unit. We discussed what the story elements are (title, setting, characters, problem, solution, theme), went over the expectations for the unit, and touched on what the central message of a story means. We watched an original version of Cinderella. We found about 7 adult words (words that most second graders would not fully know) from the story most students were not sure about. We briefly discussed those words. In the afternoon we watched the 8 minute Cinderella story one more time. Students looked for word and picture clues to help them identify the meanings of our vocabulary words. I completed a teacher Think Aloud on the big screen to demonstrate how meanings of the words cold be found. Students wrote down the definitions of each word either on their own or using my examples. We finished the language arts block out by practicing our phonemic sounds. Before and after second recess we continued measuring. We reviewed the reasons why measuring could be important and we discussed why estimating may be, at times, useful. We concluded the day measuring a bunch of items with a partner. We checked the length of each item as a whole group before we moved on. another good, busy day




4/9/19 - Study hall is this Thursday. A Summer classes note and the COOKIE DOUGH fundraiser packet were sent homer via the red folders. Math homework includes homelink 7.5 and 7.6 (the PRACTICE sections only). We are in the middle of our math measuring unit. Perhaps you might be able to discuss why measuring certain objects is important. This morning we had our cookie dough fundraiser, a fire drill, and a special guest reader. We also completed our Literacy Lab block. In our Growth Mindset books we discussed in detail the meaning of the word, MINDFUL. We modeled the word through skits and by providing many other examples. Students learned that being mindful means that we are aware of certain situations and respond in a mature way accordingly. When we act in a mindful way, we tend to be more selfless than selfish. See how much your son/daughter retained from today's mindful discussion. We concluded the morning practicing our phonemic sounds in a large group setting. Phonemic sounds represent the part of phonics without the letter/sound relationship. It builds the foundation for pronouncing words correctly and spelling challenging words more accurately. In the afternoon  I went over an optional district reading assessment that our second grade classes chose to give this week. This pre assessment asks the students to locate the central idea of a passage and to support the central idea with evidence from the text. Placing events in chronological order was also a key component. Our unit on Cinderella will focus on both of these skills/strategies. By the end of this 3-4 week unit, the second grade teachers will give the students the post assessment. We hope to see consistent growth. We ended the day with math. We practiced more of our math facts and we had a lengthy discussion on the importance of measuring objects. I mentioned that some of the fish I catch need to be measured. The law requires a certain length for some fish to be kept. In some cases an estimation suffices. Students will be learning more about using estimation as we complete this 7th math unit.




4/8/19 - It is good to be back. There is no homework assigned the first day back. Nothing went home via the red folders. However, the monthly calendar was changed to April. Study hall is once again scheduled for this Thursday. This morning students got back into their Literacy Lab routine. Many of the students maintained their focus the whole period. Well Done! After Lab time, we changed desks, cleaned our desks, and cleaned our lockers. We do this at least once a month. We concluded the morning going to gym. In the afternoon we watched a Mystery Doug piece on the origin of pizza. Very interesting. We practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, I had the students write about what they did over Spring Break. Before second recess, students played a math game. After recess, I had students use their whiteboards. We reviewed a bunch of math concepts to hopefully help get the rust off of our brains. ANY STUDENT WHO GIVES ME A PENNY FIRST THING IN THE MORNING WILL RECEIVE SOME TYPE OF PRIZE. THANK YOU FOR BEING A FAITHFUL READER.




3/29/19 - THERE IS NO SCHOOL NEXT WEEK. SCHOOL RESUMES ON MONDAY, MARCH 8TH. The FALL PICTURES, a Karate note, Library late notices, and a Police sticker were all sent home via the red folder. Just an FYI - After 5:30, I will stop checking my school email until I return from break. There is no math homework. Basically, the majority of the day we celebrated the end of March with an all school READ-IN. The students enjoyed it. Students who did not finish their Snowflake Bentley essays also had the opportunity to complete their pieces today. We had a guest reader, went to the library, and played 7UP as our second grade Box Tops celebration game. Popcorn was passed out for everyone as well. Time is flying by. We come back with roughly two academic months left. Wow! Bless all of you and may everyone stay healthy.




3/28/19 - Just finished study hall about 15 minutes ago. A Playground note and a Day Camp note went home via the red folders. Math homework is homelink 7.7. Skate Night is this evening from 6-8:00. A lot takes place tomorrow. Optional and final Reading Month Ticket #4 is due. We are having an All School READ-In along with a Pajama Day. A smaller stuffed animal, pillow, and blanket can come to school. Second grade won the Box Tops competition. We will celebrate with some afternoon popcorn and activities. TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY BEFORE OUR SPRING BREAK. Wayne County no longer follows the Easter calendar. We had another good day. Students worked well during their Literacy Lab time.  After Lab, students were given another block of time to complete their Snowflake Bentley essays. We reviewed the checklist and students looked at the essay I wrote. We concluded the morning going to Art. In the afternoon I read the final reading book for the month of March. We discussed the book and the students voted on which book they enjoyed the most. After this, I gave the students more Snowflake Bentley work time. We ended the day practicing our addition fluency and working on a Family Tree problem solving problem.




3/27/19 - Study hall is tomorrow. A YMCA note, an acting note, and a Skate Night note went home via the red folders. Math homework is homelink 7.8. We had another good day. Many students worked hard during Literacy Lab. I enjoy seeing so many of my students assess themselves using reading programs such as Read Theory. Ask your son/daughter how they are doing in Read Theory. After Lab, I reviewed the sounds br, tr, fr, and gr make. So frequently, students misspell and mispronounce these connected letters. Before going to music students worked on their Snowflake Bentley essays. We went over the opinion checklist that all the students should be using to self assess their writing. In the afternoon we practiced more phonemic sounds. Then, students completed their Totem Pole passage from yesterday. When students put all the events in order, they were given an additional Lit. Lab time. Before recess students turned in their pictograph prediction homework. Today, the students went around the room surveying the students. I showed some of the student results on the whiteboard. All students will have their papers returned tomorrow. After second recess, I put a line plot on the whiteboard. Line plots are quite similar to pictographs. I showed the students how a simple line plot can give us lots of information. REMEMBER, SPRING BREAK IS NEXT WEEK. Optional Reading Month Ticket #4 is due Friday. Friday is also a Pajama Day/Read In Day.




3/26/19 - NEXT WEEK STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE SCHOOL. Nothing was sent home via the red folders. Study hall is this Thursday. For homework, students need to create a pictograph question and make a graphed prediction concerning how many students out of 22 would vote for each one. For example, look at yesterday's homework, 7.9. Students might come up with the question....What is your favorite color? This student might give from 4 to 8 choices for the kids to pick from. Then, to complete the homework the students should make a predicted pictograph. For example Blue =  6     Green =  3   Yellow =4
Red = 5   Purple = 4  Tomorrow, the students will bring this paper back to school. Then, they will actually ask each student their question and record the actual results in pictograph form. Each student will then compare their actual results with their predicted ones. Limiting choices to pick from is important so as not to string out the pictograph with a bunch of choices. By making a pictograph, students are demonstrating a higher order of thinking. Right at 9:00 we had another guest reader. Around 9:20 we were able to start Literacy Lab. After Lab, we watched and discussed a Mystery Doug video on, How Batteries are Made. Very interesting. In our growth mindset books we revisited the character trait, Empathy. I showed a brief video on empathy and went into a deep definition of what empathy is. Students wrote about a time they witnessed empathy in action and some students shared their writing. We concluded the morning discussing how to revise and punctuate our Snowflake Bentley essays. Students continued to write and or type their first/second drafts. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, we read an article about totem poles. As with yesterday's articles, the totem pole article had students work on putting events in order as well as locating the main idea. Before second recess students played the dice game, but this time they used three dice to find the sum. After final recess, we reviewed strategies to best add three dice together. I also went over Friday's Truck problem solving problem. We ended the day discussing pictographs. Students had about 5 minutes to work on this evening's homework assignment.  




3/25/19 - KEEP IN MIND THAT NEXT WEEK STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ARE ON SPRING BREAK. LPS no longer follows the Easter calendar for determining spring break. Having said that, students will still have Good Friday off. Jeff Kinney's newest book release notice went home via the red folders. Math homework is homelink 7.9. After Literacy Lab, students worked on completing their first draft of the two Snowflake Bentley character traits. I reviewed what we accomplished last week. Then, I showed students a student example. Around 11:00 we went down for spring pictures. From there we went to gym. In the afternoon I had a guest teacher. The second grade teachers were subbed out in the building to work on a fable unit that will be implemented after the break. With the guest teacher, students read an article about Coretta Scott King. Then, the students placed the events in the story in correct order. Students also listened to the Dr. Seuss story, The Lorax. A Scholastic magazine about the Lorax was passed out. The article gave reasons why the patas monkeys of Kenya may have inspired Dr. Suess' story. The students discussed the article's hypothesis. After that, the timeline about Dr. Seuss' life was completed. Students ended the day with math. They focused on filling in information onto a pictograph. Students also practiced reading the information on the pictograph correctly. In time students should be able to make their own pictographs from scratch. Once again, study hall is scheduled for this Thursday.




3/22/19 - THE REPORT CARDS WERE SENT HOME VIA THE RED FOLDERS. SPRING PICTURE DAY IS THIS MONDAY. There is no math homework on the weekend. Optional Reading Month Ticket #3 was due today. Pizza kits are in the gym today for pick up from 3-6:00. Last announcement for unit 6 parental math test signatures, St. Patrick's math grids, and unit 6 homelinks. After Literacy Lab, we had another guest reader. Students have really been pleased to see so many different faces show up. Before we went to the library students worked on completing their Snowflake Bentley graphic organizer. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. Students continued practicing their cutting and pasting skills as they moved sentences together to form paragraphs. When we returned to class, I used the projector to model how best to cut and paste sentences into paragraphs. We discussed methods that worked better than others. Before second recess, students played the subtraction fact fluency dice game. After recess, we reviewed the four math problem solving steps. Then, students used the steps to try and solve a most challenging problem. We concluded the week discussing report cards and expectations as we enter the final trimester. Have an enjoyable weekend.




3/21/19 - Students have been so enjoying the guest readers this month. Thank You. Monday's spring picture day note went home via the red folders. Math homework is to work on homelink 7.1. Last call - By tomorrow all unit 6 math homelinks should have been turned in. Also, all St. Patrick's math grids are to be turned in by tomorrow. Friday is Crazy Hair Day and the third optional reading ticket is due as well. Families who ordered Little Caeser's fundraiser kits can pick up their orders from 3-6 in the gym (Friday). Report cards go home tomorrow. I am an advocate of second conferences. Contact me any time for more report card details. Parent signatures for the unit 6 math test should be turned in by this Friday. I lost my voice today so it made the day more challenging. Having said that, we made it through the day and most students continued to learn. After Literacy Lab, we worked on our second Snowflake Bentley character trait on our graphic organizers. We concluded the morning going to art. The students had a blast making pianos with Mrs. Stark. In the afternoon students tried to finish up their Snowflake Bentley organizer. We had another guest reader come in at 1:30. Around 1:45 we practiced our phonemic sounds. At 2:00, students played a subtraction dice game in pairs. Before our final recess I reread Buzzy the Bumble Bee as part of our school's reading challenge. After second recess, I read the other challenge book, Ruthie... Actually two different students read the books to the class as I have laryngitis. The two students did a fine job reading the stories. We concluded the day solving a potpourri of whiteboard math problems. Time is flying by. 




3/20/19 - No notes went home via the red folders. For homework, students should work on homelink 7.3. STUDY HALL IS TOMORROW. I enjoyed sharing Literacy Night with you. Spring Picture Day is Monday. A note about spring pictures will be sent home tomorrow. Optional Reading Month ticket #3 is due Friday. Report Cards go home this Friday. Second parent conferences are always welcomed by me. After Literacy Lab, we watched a Mystery Doug video on why we have the different seasons. The piece was relevant as today, around 5:58, we leap into spring. Yes, we will be having more daylight than darkness for the next six months. We continued the morning talking about yesterday's Snowflake Bentley's character traits and listening to a guest reader. At 11:15, we went to music. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, I continued our Snowflake Bentley character traits discussion. I provided a graphic organizer. Working independently and at times as a large group, students began to fill their graphic organizers with information that supported character traits of Snowflake Bentley. Before recess, students reviewed various algorithms to solve addition problems. We ended the day using math manipulatives to add and subtract one, two, and three digit numbers.




3/19/19 - The new unit 7 math homelink should have gone home via the red folder. Tonight's math homework is to work on homelink 7.2. LITERACY NIGHT IS THIS EVENING FROM 5:45 UNTIL 7:30. Stay as long or as short as you like. Hope to see you there. All unit 6 math homelinks and the St. Patrick's Day grid should be turned in by Friday. You may want to ask your son/daughter about these items. We had another good day. Most students continue to build their literacy skills during our lab time. Many of the students are picking up their fluency pace and comprehending more challenging passages. After lab, we discussed Integrity, our Growth Mindset word of the month. I read a story about integrity and students watched a commercial about this important character trait. Then, students wrote and shared how the commercial demonstrated integrity. After that, I reread Snowflake Bentley. Students brainstormed a list of character traits. After we finished the story, students chose a character trait they felt most represented Snowflake Bentley. In their journals they discussed reasons why they felt this person exhibited their chosen trait the most. We closed the morning listening to a guest reader. In the afternoon we continued our Snowflake Bentley discussion. Many students shared what they had written. At 1:30, we went to the author assembly. Mrs. Nelson will be here this evening for Literacy Night as well. After recess, we reviewed different strategies to add three numbers. Pizza delivery is this Friday from 3-6 and optional Reading Month Ticket #3 is due this Friday too.




3/18/19 - A Credit Union note, a Baseball note, a Unit 7 math review, and the Unit 6 math test should all have gone home via the red folder. For math homework the students should attempt to correct and understand their errors on the unit 6 test. Students who did well on the assessment should work on the extra credit portion of the test. The unit 7 review is not this evening's official homework. Having said that, students should work on one or two problems each week to prepare for the test in April. I am in the process of collecting the unit 6 homelinks. Please make sure to send this link back to school this week if you have not already. Tomorrow is Literacy Night. I hope to see many families attend. We had another good day. After Literacy Lab, students worked on organizing sentences into paragraphs. I modeled how to put the sentences together and rearrange them into paragraphs that read smoothly. Before gym class we had another guest reader. In the afternoon we checked the paragraphs and I remodeled the strategies that work well. We practiced our phonemic sounds and I reviewed with the students how to make sense of large words. We played a subtraction fact fluency game before recess. At the end of the day, students practiced writing more math sentences from the story problems I orally gave them. We closed the day discussing the unit 6 math tests. Please return the parental signature page this week.




3/15/19 - No notes went home today. There is no homework on the weekend. However, students are encouraged to keep on reading. Optional Reading Month ticket #3 is due next Friday. Many of the students dressed up as a character. They looked awesome. Little Caeser's fundraiser forms were due today. Would you like to be a guest reader for our March reading month? Email me any time.
We had another great day. After Literacy Lab, I had a prereading discussion on an article that talked about recycling gum. After that, students worked on a St. Patrick's math grid. We ended the morning going to the library. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. The students worked on more cutting and pasting of paragraphs. Their GRIT was tested. When we came back from the lab, I gave the students a GRIT talk. Most are doing well developing this challenging characteristic. Before recess we began the unit 6 math test. I graded all reviews and practice extra credit papers that were turned into me, including today. Students were allowed to use the review on the assessment. After recess, students continued taking the test. As students finished it, they worked on the St. Patrick math grid. This grid is NOT homework, but some students chose to take it home. The grid should be brought back to school on Monday. Several students will finish their math tests on Monday. HAVE A HAPPY WEEKEND AND ST. PATRICK'S DAY.




3/14/19 - The unit 6 math test is tomorrow. I am beginning my note now as I have study hall after school. I will complete this note by 6:00. A storytelling note and a unit 6 math extra credit paper were sent home via the red folders. Math homework is to finish going over the math review. Students who know the math review well should try and tackle the extra credit page sent home today. The extra credit page and the unit 6 math review can be used on tomorrow's math test. Reading Month ticket #2 is due to be turned in tomorrow. Friday's Spirit Day is to dress as a character. The Little Caeser's fundraiser form is due tomorrow as well. I will finish this note later. I AM BACK.
After Literacy Lab, we finished writing our written responses about the good and the bad sides of plastic. Some students shared their responses. We ended the morning going to art class. In the afternoon I read another Reading Month book titled... Ruthie.... I went over some prereading strategies and we discussed the theme, or main message of the story, at the end of the text. Students voted for this book to represent the K-2 students on our reading book bracket. After this, we practiced our phonemic sounds. At 1:45, Mrs. Fava from the credit union visited us. She read a story about the importance of saving money. Then, she gave the students an activity to complete. The activity focused on the importance of saving money. After recess, I went over the unit 6 math review. THE UNIT 6 MATH TEST IS TOMORROW. I also discussed some of the extra credit type of problems the students would see on Friday's assessment. If everything goes according to plan, tomorrow we will complete our first full week of school since mid January.




3/13/19 - It is SO GOOD to be back at school. Yesterday was truly an adventure. Perhaps I should use other words to describe it. I am THRILLED to be back. Today and/or tomorrow I plan to contact all of the people who emailed me regarding reading in the classroom. Now that Jury Duty is out of the way, I know what I will be doing. The monthly Box Tops note went home via the red folders. For math homework, students should work on completing the unit 6 math review. Students who have the review completed should go over the review with their parents. The math test is this Friday and students may use the review on the assessment. STUDY HALL IS TOMORROW. The second reading ticket is due this Friday. We had another good and active day. After Literacy Lab, I reviewed with the students how the day went with the two guest teachers. We discussed behavior and academics. We talked about the word INTEGRITY and I showed a video about it. I also read a story related to integrity. My definition of integrity is doing what one should do when nobody is looking and you realize nobody would ever find out. Integrity means one has a good moral compass. We concluded the morning going to music. In the afternoon I discussed the reading book of the week, Stand Tall... We went over the main message of the story and we orally compared the book with the two others we read last week. Then, students voted for their favorite book. After that, we talked about plastic and how this material benefits and harms us. I showed for a second time the Mystery Doug plastic video and students proceeded to write two paragraphs about the good and the bad of plastic. At 2:00, Mr. Hillard, our math/science consultant, came into the room and presented another math thinking game. After recess, students used their whiteboards to practice ballpark estimating and writing math sentences that include question marks. It was a good day.




3/11/19 - Another copy of the unit 6 math review was sent home today. Students who do not need another copy can return it to school. As the unit 6 math test approaches (Thursday), I want to make sure that all students have a copy to use on the assessment. Math homework is for the students to work on coin problems with the assistance of an adult. Here is an example problem... Can you make 25 cents using 7 coins? Step #1...Students simply should make the given amount. Step #2 ... As needed, students trade for more or less coins. I HAVE JURY DUTY TOMORROW. Hopefully, just for the day. I petitioned the court to let me serve jury duty over the summer, but I was denied.     not pleased about that       This morning we began the day with Literacy Lab. Then, we discussed phases of matter. I talked about the solid, plastic. We watched a Mystery Doug video on plastic as well as a MSU commercial that discussed how students are trying to find methods to break down plastic. We had our first guest reader and the students thoroughly enjoyed listening to her read the story. We ended the morning going to gym. In the afternoon I discussed why we spring forward in Michigan. Personally, it is so nice to have so much more daylight after school. What a waste it would be in June to have the sun rise before 5:00 in the morning. We practiced our phonemic sounds and I had a little discussion about prefixes, suffixes, and base words. We proceeded to the computer lab to begin and complete an I Ready reading program growth check. As students finished the growth check, they read from a selected reading program. After recess, we worked on math. In pairs students worked on their addition fact fluency. We ended the day practicing making the right amount of change and trading coins for specific amounts. It was a good day. One more note.... I think author book orders are due tomorrow.




3/8/19 - HALF DAY TODAY. DISMISSAL IS AT 12:10. No notes went home via the red folder. There is no math homework. I collected the first optional reading month ticket. Yearbook orders are due today. Today is the official end of the second of our three school trimesters. Time is flying by. This morning we had our regular Literacy Lab time. Students continued to read, write, and work with me during this time period. After Lab, I discussed the importance of GRIT and I emphasized each student using self assessment tools from the chromebooks to help each student measure his/her reading growth. I also gave the students a little history of St. Valentine as I forgot to do so almost a month ago. We ended our classroom session practicing as a large group our phonemic sounds. We concluded the morning going to the library. Have a good weekend. I will be working on report cards. Cards go home two weeks from today on the 22nd.




3/7/19 - TOMORROW IS A HALF DAY. DISMISSAL IS AT 12:10. We will be working on report cards in the afternoon. I am typing this note early as I have study hall today. A math worksheet and a Tech Camp note were sent home via the red folders. Math homework is to work on the first page of the addition worksheet. Students may use their best method to complete each problem. Churchill High School has their Dr. Seuss night this evening. Students have a March reading ticket for this event. This evening Coolidge is also presenting information to prospective Kindergarten parents (6:00). The first optional reading month ticket is due tomorrow. It is the end of the 2nd trimester. How time goes by. Tomorrow's Spirit Day is Wear a Word. I believe Yearbook orders are due tomorrow. Parents who desire to purchase our guest author's children's books are asked to have their orders in by the 12th. There is a lot going on. I will complete the rest of my website minutes by 6:00 this evening. 

OK, I am back. During Literacy Lab, I met with the second grade team and the learning specialists to discuss the success of meeting the reading needs of our students. Our librarian covered the class while I was absent. After lab time, I made a Venn Diagram to compare the Mr. Popper book family to the Mr. Popper movie family. We discussed the question, "If you had to, which family would you choose to live with at the end of the story?" Provide evidence and examples. After our discussion, students responded to the prompt through their writing. We ended the morning going to art. In the afternoon students shared what choices they made. Not surprisingly, basically every student chose to live with Mr. Popper's movie family. I wrote an opposite piece that I shared explaining why I would prefer living with the book version of Mr. Popper. After this lesson, I discussed and read the second reading challenge book of the week, "Someday is not a Day of the Week." I/We compared and contrasted the book with the author's book I read yesterday. We discussed the message of the story and I played a song related to that message. In math we continued to listen to story problems, write number sentences for each one, and solve for the question mark. We concluded the day talking about the partial sums algorithm, or method of solving a problem. 




3/6/19 - A Swimming note went home via the red folder. Study hall is tomorrow. Churchill's reading night is tomorrow as well. The following is the math homework and we practiced this today in class. Example Problem - Mr. Sill has 25 students in his class. 13 are girls. How many students are boys? 
The student tries to write down the equation such as 25 - ? = 13 or
13 + ? = 25. The question mark should represent the amount we are looking to find. After writing this equation (number sentence), the student should try and solve the problem. 10-15 minutes of this work will suffice for the evening.
We had another good day. After Literacy Lab, I discussed the importance of prereading passages. I reviewed how we prepare to read a passage before doing so. After this lesson, students wrote about which Mr. Popper's Penguins  (movie or book) they preferred. Students wrote for about 30 minutes. They used my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory example as a guide. We ended the morning going to music. In the afternoon I had a couple students share. We also shared many of our movie vs. book responses. We practiced our phonemic sounds and I read the first of two March Reading Challenge books (Buzzy the Bumblebee) to the students. We had a good discussion about the theme of the book. Before second recess students played an addition fact fluency game. After recess, we practiced listening to math story problems and writing the math sentences, with a question mark, related to the story problem. Students went on to try and solve for the unknown answer. Students used their whiteboards at the carpet area as we did this task. One more thing - our gym teacher wanted to remind families that the Little Caeser's fundraiser has begun.




3/5/19 - Nothing was sent home via the red folder. Study hall is this Thursday. We have a PTA meeting tonight at 7:00. The first optional reading ticket is due Friday. Here is the 10-15 minute math homework.... Take out some pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Ask your son/daughter to make a certain amount of money using a certain amount of coins. For example.... Make 37 cents using 6 coins. Step #1.... Students should try to make 37 cents without thinking too much about how many coins they need. Step #2... Students should try to trade for more or less coins to hit the exact number of coins needed. Be aware... not every amount can be made with any number of coins. After Literacy Lab, we reviewed the first part of the Popper movie. We made predictions and proceeded to watch the second half. After the movie, we discussed similarities and differences between the movie and the book. I showed the students a Venn Diagram which is used to compare and contrast different things. Students continued working on their diagrams into the early afternoon. In the PM a couple students did some sharing and I did a little history of Mardi Gras, as FAT TUESDAY is today. We practiced or phonemic sounds and I forgot to mention that we had a practice severe weather drill in the am. We concluded the day using play coins to make a certain amount of money. I remodeled the steps to best help the students solve these problems. 




3/4/19 - The back of the red folder was changed to the month of March. Many students may have taken home their corrected Math Month problems. Math homework is homelink 6.7. Study hall is this Thursday. The first optional March Madness reading ticket is due this Friday. Students are asked to have their parents document 20 minutes of reading just about every night. This is the same expectation we have had since September. Do you know someone who would want to be a guest reader this month? Simply email me for more details. We had another fast day. After Literacy Lab, students changed desks and they cleaned out their desks. In addition I showed the students a brief reading passage and discussed with them how good readers assess what they are reading. Good readers do not necessarily believe everything they read or hear. Students went to gym. In the afternoon I talked about why the Mr. Popper's Penguins movie may have been so different from the book version. Then, we watched the first half of the DVD. Before recess, we practiced our phonemic sounds and using whiteboards, students reinforced their understanding of math arrays. After recess, we played a fact fluency math game and we did more thinking about arrays. Tomorrow is FAT TUESDAY. I plan to pick up a paczki (Polish doughnut) for every student. Have a good evening.




3/1/19 - Welcome, March! I look forward to Michigan springing ahead next week. There is no math homework on the weekend. A free popcorn notice was the only item placed in the red folder. Math Night was a lot of fun. We had well over 200 people attend. Tonight we have Movie Night(6:30), the Pancake Dinner (5-7), and the Scholastic Book Fair open until 9:00. Should be awesome! Hope you can make it. I collected and scored the fourth and final Math Month problem. A lot of my students turned in all four problems. Well Done! Reading Month is now in full swing. The first optional reading ticket should be turned in next Friday. Document that your child is reading five days a week, 20 minutes daily. We had a great day. Most of the day students spent reading. The second grade had a READ-In. I also read to the students and discussed the strong influence Theodore Giesel (Dr. Seuss) had on reading. Students went to the library too. In the computer lab students worked on cutting and pasting similar sentences. Students made paragraphs from those sentences. At the end of the day, we practiced our math fact fluency with a board game played with a partner. The year is flying by.




2/28/19 - Good Bye, February. Yes, we spring ahead next week. I am typing this out now as I will be busy after school. Students should have taken home a Baseball note and the March reading month packet. Math homework is to work once again on the unit 6 math review. We had study hall today. For Spirit Day tomorrow students are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Final optional Math Month problem #4 is due tomorrow. The optional class doubling problem is also due tomorrow. The credit union is here Friday as well. Movie Night/ Book Fair/Pancake dinner is on Friday. We have so much going on. After Literacy Lab, students worked on a second paragraph puzzle. I remodeled how to find similar sentences and we discussed how to put the sentences into proper order within a paragraph. We concluded the morning going to art. At 1:00, we had Masterworks, an art program students participate in once a month. After Masterworks, we finished our paragraph puzzles. Then, we practiced our phonemic sounds. We ended the regular day with math. I reviewed the concept of math arrays and we practiced adding two and three digit numbers using individual algorithms (or ways to solve a problem). I have study hall after school and Math Night preparation afterwards. Hope to see you there. I plan to respond to all parental emails before I leave tonight. 




2/27/19 - There were no notes sent home. Sorry, I forgot to look inside the red folders today. Any notes sent in today, unless directly given to me, should still be in the red folder. Math homework is to work on the unit 6 math review. Study hall is tomorrow. Movie Night/Book Fair/Pancake is Friday. Math Night is tomorrow at 6:00. Hope to see you there. The PTA has a fundraising event at California Pizza Kitchen this evening. This morning we had our Literacy Lab time. After that, we discussed yesterday's paragraphs. I modeled how to take the five sentences and put the sentences into an order that makes sense. Students shared their work. We dismissed to music before departing for the day.




2/26/19 - A Math Night note and a Nutrition note went home via the red folder. Math homework is link 6.10. TOMORROW IS A HALF DAY. DISMISSAL IS AT 12:10. The teaching staff has a school improvement afternoon. Study hall is this Thursday. Optional Math Month problem #4 is due Friday. This Thursday is Math Night and this Friday is the Book Fair, Pancake Dinner, and Movie Night. Hope to see you at both events.        I will finish this by 5:30. OK, I am back. After Literacy Lab, we opened up our Growth Mindset books. We took one of our Reflective ideas from last week and wrote a short story about it. In the class we have gone into detail discussing what a reflective person does. Some brave students shared their short pieces. After that, we worked on vocabulary. Students received a writing passage that contained the word, REMOTE. We highlighted words from the text that helped us find the meaning of the word. Students shared a number of interesting ideas. After vocabulary, we worked on organizing sentences into paragraphs. We discussed how each paragraph has its own topic. Tomorrow, we will take the sentences we grouped together and try to put them in order. We began the afternoon completing the paragraph puzzle. Then, we practiced our phonemic sounds. We concluded the day with math. We practiced how to add numbers the "adult" traditional method. I emphasized lining up our place value and adding right to left. After recess, we discussed the word, ARRAY. An array is simply a group of objects placed together in the same amount of rows and columns. For example, I could put 24 desks in six rows of four or three rows of 8. Arrays always form squares or rectangles. Arrays are a precursor to understanding multiplication. I just received news that the Book Fair is open until 1:00 tomorrow and it is open both recesses on Thursday and Friday. Have a good evening. Sounds like I will be shoveling snow again.




2/25/19 - The Little Ceaser's fundraiser note went home today. Homelink 6.8 is this evening's math homework. The final optional Math Month problem is due this Friday. Students have a half day on Wednesday. Dismissal will be at 12:10. Last call for unit 5 math test parental signature half pages being turned in. Students may attend the Book Fair all week during first and second recess. I request that students have approved money as a prerequisite to going down. Math Night is this Thursday. Hope I see a number of our class families attend. After Literacy Lab, we continued our work on the Mr. Popper timeline. I provided more examples and reviewed the examples from Friday. We concluded the morning going to gym. At 1:00, students continued working on the timelines. Later, we practiced our phonemic sounds. In addition we watched a Mystery Doug topic on the planet Pluto. We had a good discussion. We finished the day reviewing ballpark estimates, practicing our mental math, and trading play money coins.




2/22/19 - No notes were placed in the red folders. However, a number of students should have taken home items purchased from the Book Fair. The Book Fair is open until 6:00 this evening and it is open all next week. There is no homework on the weekend. Having said that, the unit 6 math review should be available to peruse. If you have not already done so, please return the math test parental signature sheet early next week. Thank You. We had another busy, good day. After Literacy Lab, we discussed how to write a final Mr. Popper timeline that included only the five most important events. I modeled how I would go about it. I also gave the students two events that I would include in my timeline. We concluded the morning going to the Book Fair. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. Students worked on putting similar adjectives, nouns, and verbs together to form coherent sentences. As I checked students' work, they were given academic choice time. Upon returning to class, students went to Mrs. Winkler's class. All four second grades practiced their math fact fluency with a different teacher. After recess, we worked on problem solving. Students were asked to make a certain amount of money using a certain amount of coins. I slowly modeled how to go about each step for students to be successful. Have a nice weekend. It is great to have more daylight. Although we lose an hour in a couple weeks, I am so looking forward to springing ahead. 




2/21/19 - Sorry for the late message. I had study hall today. Math homework is to work 10 minutes on homelink 6.6. In the red folders students should have taken home the unit 6 math review. I gave students time to work on it. All remaining unit 6 math tests should also have gone home in the red folders. Please turn in the parent signature page by early next week. Optional Math Month problem #3 is due tomorrow. Tomorrow, the Book Fair opens up and we will go there in the morning. Students can bring in money. Students will also have the opportunity to go to the Book Fair all next week. Box Tops are due tomorrow. Tomorrow is a Spirit Day. Students are encouraged to dress up 80's style. This morning after Literacy Lab, more students shared their written pieces about what life would be like in 100 years. I spent some time talking more about GRIT and what it looks like in the classroom. We had a practice lock down drill. Then, we went to art. In the afternoon we discussed yesterday's Mr. Popper's Penguins second timeline. I modeled my timeline and showed the students how I went about making necessary revisions. After that, we discussed more about solids, liquids, and gases. We are learning that each phase of matter has certain characteristics. At the carpet, we practiced our phonemic sounds as a whole group. We concluded the day working on the unit 6 math reviews. I taught the students what a Ballpark Estimate is. Students applied this learning to solve problems related to estimation in their unit 6 reviews. A lot is taking place and many students are making fine progress.




2/20/19 - The Book Fair note and a Pom Pom note were sent home. Math homework is homelink 6.2. STUDY HALL IS TOMORROW, THURSDAY. I will complete this message after my meeting (by 5:30).  OK, it is 5:18 and I am back. Optional Math Month problem #3 is due this Friday. The Book Fair opens up for our class this Friday. Students will have the opportunity to shop for books during their scheduled library time. After Literacy Lab, I talked about this day being our 100th school day. Then, I asked the students what life might be like in 100 years. Students wrote down their responses and we shared some. In science I had a mystery bag. A student came up and using only her hand, tried to identify the object. We are learning that we use characteristics of objects to identify them. We concluded the morning going to music. In the afternoon some more students shared their written 100 year responses. After that, I talked about yesterday's Popper Penguin timeline. We are learning what an event is and we are learning how to organize our events in order. Students came up with 10 more events from Popper's Penguins to organize. We ended the day with math. I taught the students how to measure an object, even when a ruler is broken (does not start at zero). Then, I demonstrated one specific way (algorithm) to add up two numbers. We practiced this method until the end of the day.




2/19/19 - Only the new unit 6 math homelink should have gone home via the red folders. As with all of the homelinks, this link can stay home until the end of the unit. Math homework is homelink 6.1. On the assignment it says, "pockets." Change it to, "Pets and Siblings". Very few people would have over four pockets. STUDY HALL IS THIS THURSDAY. Optional Math Month problem # 3 is due this Friday. After Literacy Lab, students worked out of their Growth Mindset booklets. I showed a brief video on our word of the month, REFLECTION. Students listened to the book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. We discussed how the story of the book may apply to a person reflecting about his/her life. Then, students completed their definitions of Reflection and they provided four examples of times when they reflected in their lives. From there we proceeded to work on context clues. Students read a story I created about VANDALISM. We talked about the story and came up with a set of words we should highlight to help us find the meaning of the word. Then, we discussed the actual definition. We closed the morning going over verbs with "ed" endings. Frequently, students end ed words with a t or they omit the e and simply finish a word with the d. In the afternoon I had a brief chat about Friday's optional math winter graph. We saw a video on timelines. Then, we brainstormed 10 events from Popper's Penguins. Students went back to their seats and tried to put the events in chronological order. After that, we practiced our phonemic sounds. We concluded the day with math. I placed the problem 50 - 26 on the whiteboard and asked the students to try and mentally solve this problem. We found about five ways, or algorithms, that could be used to find the correct answer. We closed the day working in our math journals, Volume 2. Students practiced recording data and using that data to make a pictograph and a bar graph. another fast, busy, active day




2/15/19 - Coming to Math Night? I plan to be there. A BOOK FAIR/MOVIE/PANCAKE note, a Football/Cheerleading note, and a Karate note should all have gone home via the red folders. THERE IS NO SCHOOL THIS MONDAY DUE TO MID WINTER BREAK. Last call for all unit 5 math homelinks. If you have any link still at home, please send it back to school. Most of the time there is no homework assigned on weekends. However, with all the days off, I am asking students who have not completed their heart picture from yesterday to turn in this assignment by Tuesday. We had another good day. After Literacy Lab, students wrote their predictions for the ending of Mr. Popper's Penguins. We shared our predictions and I shared mine. Then, I finished reading the last chapter. The students enjoyed the book and understood why the book was not quite true realistic fiction. We concluded the morning going to the library and having the opportunity to check out more books. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. Students worked on organizing nine nouns, adjectives, and verbs into sentences. As I checked students' work, they moved onto academic choice. At 2:00, each class switched classes as part of Math Month. Each second grade teacher provided a fact fluency activity for the students to participate in. After recess, students worked on another challenging and unusual graph assignment. This assignment does not need to be turned in. As students worked on this assignment, I passed out the ice cream that we did not get to yesterday. Have a wonderful weekend.




2/14/19 - Sorry for the delay. I had study hall today after school. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! A strep throat note and a free Sweet Treat coupon were sent home with the red folders. Math homework is to work on the Valentine bar graph for at least 10 minutes. Please return the homework paper (Valentine bar graph) by next Tuesday. Some students will need to utilize the three day break in order to complete this picture. Tomorrow's Spirit Day is Junk Food snack and if not turned in already, the optional second Math Month problem is due. In addition please turn in the unit 5 math homelink if you have not already done so. The unit 5 tests should all be sent home on Tuesday. Students who attended study hall received theirs back today. Well, the students were fired up today, especially in the afternoon. After the morning Literacy Lab, I reviewed, read, and then discussed two more chapters from Popper's Penguins. Tomorrow, we will read the final chapter. Before doing so, the students will make and write about their prediction focusing on where the Popper Penguins will end up. We concluded the morning going to art. Mrs. Stark incorporated place value with the art lesson she presented. In the afternoon students worked on Valentine math up until second recess. I demonstrated for the students how to fill in a particular graph, much like playing the game Battleship. Students did a nice job overall. Many still need about 30 minutes to finish this assignment (due on Tuesday). Some students did finish the graph and they were given another more standard bar graph to complete. I passed out Valentine hearts. The students separated the hearts into various colors and then they bar graphed how many of each colored heart they had. This second bar graph is NOT homework and it will not become homework. We ended the day passing out and reading our Valentine's Cards. It was a good day. I will treat the students to  ice cream at the end of the day tomorrow as we simply were having too much fun doing Valentine activities. It will be appreciated more tomorrow as students had some of the candy I had passed out today.




2/13/19 - A Math Night reminder note went home with the red folders. There is no math homework this evening. Students spent over an hour working on the unit 5 math test with extra credit. STUDY HALL IS TOMORROW (THURSDAY). Optional Valentine Cards/candy should be brought to school tomorrow. Please reread my earlier note I sent home with the students. We have a student out with strep throat. The days are going by very fast. After this morning's Literacy Lab, students went to a Dental assembly. In their backpacks should be some trinkets related to the assembly. We concluded the morning going to music. In the afternoon students took the unit 5 math test. With all the extra credit problems, some students worked until recess time on this assessment. As students completed the test, they were given another Literacy Lab session. After recess, we finished the day with Mr. Popper's Penguins. I showed the students my response to the question, "How do we know that Mr. Popper's Penguins is a ficticious book?" I focused on how students could write with more detail. Then, I read another chapter. I showed the students the chapter titles for the last three chapters in the book. Using those titles as clues we discussed what would probably happen as the book concluded.




2/11/19 - A Baseball note was sent home inside the red folder. STUDY HALL IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS THURSDAY. Math homework is to look over the unit 5 review. The unit 5 test should take place tomorrow. Students should have the review at school tomorrow as they can use it on the test. Please send all unit 5 homelinks back to school this week. I am in the process of collecting the homelinks to assess how many assigned assignments each student worked on. Lego league is tomorrow. MATH MONTH PROBLEM #2 IS DUE FRIDAY. Students who turn the problem in early can have it checked by me. Today, after Literacy Lab, I read and we discussed Mr. Popper's Penguins. We have spent time predicting, drawing conclusions, and discussing why this book is ficticious. Students finished the morning going to gym. In the afternoon I read another chapter from Popper's Penguins. Then, students responded to the question, " What events in the story make Mr. Popper's Penguins a book of fiction." Students shared some of their answers. In science we watched Mystery Doug. Today, he explained why airplanes are not able to fly into space. We had a good discussion about gas as matter. I also introduced the idea that space contains almost no matter. It is simply empty space. We finished the day with math. I went over a couple of the review problems that some of the students struggled on. I emphasized using manipulatives to help solve problems. We also did some mental math activities to solve larger addition and subtraction problems. By using certain algorithms, or math strategies, students can find the answers to a lot of problems that appear, on the surface, very challenging.




2/8/19 - A Valentine note and a Skating note went home by way of the red folders. There is no math homework on the weekends. Having said that, I would encourage students to complete the unit 5 math review and turn it in to have it checked by me. I will also begin collecting the unit 5 homelinks. Please begin to send the links back with the red folders. Several pages, for various reasons,  were left unassigned. The review can be used on Tuesday's unit 5 assessment. Today, Math Month problem #1 was due. All students who turned in the problem earned full credit. About 17 students turned in the crayon problem. Well Done! Problem #2 is due next Friday, but can be turned in earlier. When problems are turned in earlier, I have more time to assess the work. Students, if needed, will have time to correct any significant errors on their papers. We had a lot of fun today doing a variety of activities. After Literacy Lab, I reviewed with the students nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Then, I went over the Mr. Popper Penguin question that the students wrote about yesterday. I provided my example as a model to demonstrate how much more students could write when they have GRIT. Then, I read another chapter from Mr. Popper.... We ended the morning going to the library. In the afternoon students went to the computer lab. Students applied their morning knowledge of nouns, verbs, and adjectives to write three coherent sentences. Students went to my Outbox and opened up an assignment that contained nine words. Students had to figure out which three words fit into a sentence. Then, they wrote the sentence and had it checked by me. As students finished, and some did not, they were given academic choice time. Around 1:45 Mrs. Fava, our credit union representative, came to our class. She read a book related to business. Students, using two worksheets, created a personal fictitious business. After recess, all the second grade students switched classes. As part of Math Month each class was able to see a different teacher. Each teacher, in their own way, produced an activity for students to work on their math fluency facts. It was a good day.




2/7/19 - Sorry for the late notice. I had study hall today. Math homework is homelink 5.9. The unit 5 math test is rescheduled for Tuesday. Students may use their review on the test. Tomorrow, the first of four optional Math Month problems are due. Tomorrow is also a Spirit Day. Students are encouraged to wear a number. A Box Tops note, a Pancake Breakfast note, and a Bowling note were all sent home via the red folders. Today, after Literacy Lab, we read and discussed the book, Mr. Popper's Penguins. Then, we went to art. In the afternoon I continued reading Mr. Popper... Students responded in writing to the question, "Why does the thought of springtime bother Mr. Popper?" From there, as a whole group we practiced our phonemic sounds. Before second recess we talked more about how to use context clues to find the meaning of unknown words. I read a passage to the students and we tried to locate words from the passage that may help the reader understand the meaning of the unknown word. After second recess, students worked in small math groups discussing how to use coins to make specific amounts. We finished the day learning about the PART, PART, TOTAL diagram to help students solve addition story problems.




2/5/19 - Study hall will be tomorrow if we have school. If we do not have school, study hall will take place on Thursday. A specific parent permission note is required for students to attend. Please indicate the day. An email will suffice and is the best way to communicate this information. In the red folders most students took home another unit 5 math review. This review can be used on Friday's scheduled math test. Students should take advantage of this opportunity. For homework, students should finish working on the review. For students who have already completed the review, I would encourage their parents to give their son/daughter a few extra practice problems in the areas needing the most reinforcement. Today, Literacy Lab went well. I spent a chunk of time reinforcing the idea that the computer program, Read Theory, is a great way for students to self monitor their reading growth. After Lab, I read from Mr. Popper's Penguins. We had an extensive discussion about chapters read and I reinforced certain reading strategies. In science we reviewed the characteristics/properties of matter. Every student proceeded to take four different crackers and identify each from their properties. In the afternoon I read more from Popper's Penguins and the students responded in writing to the question... "What do you think will happen when the two penguins get together?" After that, we practiced our phonemic sounds. We watched "Mystery Doug" on the whiteboard. He talked about why oceans may be so salty. I tied this in with our matter unit. Before math we practiced using context clues to find the meaning of words unknown to students. In math we continued adding and subtracting coins using a variety of strategies. Most of the class should be well prepared for the coming assessment. Again, if you have any questions about the I Ready Mid Year reading and math results, feel free to email me.




2/4/19 - Study hall will take place this WEDNESDAY. Parental permission is needed. In the red folders are the December I Ready math and reading results. Please read my note about these tests and feel free to contact me with any questions. Reading the report can be a challenge to understand. Math homework is homelink 5.5. Another unit 5 math review will be passed out tomorrow. The unit 5 math test is scheduled for Friday. February's PTA meeting is scheduled for 9:30 in the morning (Tuesday) here at Coolidge. This morning students had their Literacy Lab time and they went to gym. In between these two events we read and discussed chapters from Mr. Popper's Penguins. In the afternoon we continued this discussion and we practiced our phonemic sounds. We concluded the day practicing our mental math, playing a coin game, and doing large group work with coins. We had a busy, productive day.




2/1/19 - Welcome, February! The February Math Month packet was sent home with the red folder. I introduced the first problem to the students. Contact me if you have any questions. As of now, I think my study hall day will be Wednesday. It was good to be back. We had some serious reading going on during Literacy Lab. After Lab, students switched desks for the month of February. Students cleaned and organized their February seat. We ended the morning going to the library. When we cleaned out our desks, a few students even found some missing library books. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. Students went to my Outbox and opened up a paragraph containing a number of punctuation errors. As students fixed the errors, they were given academic choice. A few students used the entire Lab time to work on correcting the paragraph.  When we returned from the computer lab, I discussed the proper corrections to the paragraph. Later, I reviewed what was read from Mr. Popper's Penguins and proceeded to read another chapter. We finished the day with math. I talked about the Math packet and we went over the problem solving paper from last Friday. The year is flying by. What a dramatic weather change we are in for. Any student who says, "Fish" privately to me first thing Monday morning will receive a prize. Thank you for reading my Minutes.




1/29/19 - DUE TO THE EXPECTED EXTREME COLD, THERE WILL BE NO SCHOOL THIS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. There will be no study hall this week. As of now, LPS hopes to be open this Friday. Me too. Only a Skate Night note should have gone home via the red folder. With school being cancelled on Thursday, you may want to double check with the roller rink that Skate Night is still taking place. The math homework for this evening is homelink 5.7. After Literacy Lab, we reviewed our earlier discussions about the book, Mr. Popper's Penguins. We talked about our predictions. Then, I proceeded to read the next chapter. After reading, we discussed the chapter. In science I reviewed what the word MATTER refers to. I modeled an experiment. I took two new, deflated playground balls. I filled one of the balls up with air. Students noticed that the ball that was inflated weighed more than the other, basically identical, ball. The experiment demonstrated that gases not only take up space, but have weight as well. We ended the morning checking the first half of our context clue worksheet. Students highlighted key words to try and locate the meaning of an unknown word. After lunch, we read another couple paragraphs about LOCUSTS. Students tried to highlight the clue words and they met in groups to discuss their answers. Then, we checked the reading together. As a whole group, we practiced our phonemic sounds. We concluded the day doing math. Students played a math game where one student writes down a coin amount and the other two students need to come up with the amount. Answers were compared and discussed. We also used the whiteboards to do this activity as a whole group. In addition, I reviewed with the students how to use a number line to add and subtract numbers. Stay warm. In my lifetime I do not think I have encountered such forecasted cold temperatures.




1/25/19 - A Sports note was sent home with the red folders. There is no math homework on the weekend. Having said that, students can work on their unit 5 math review. I am planning on study hall taking place next Wednesday. However, inclement weather is coming in. I have a strong feeling at least one school day next week will be cancelled due to the snow or the cold. Literacy Lab went well. After Lab, I reviewed Chapter 2 of Popper's Penguins and proceeded to read Chapter 3. I asked the students to respond to the question.... "How would Mr. Popper's children feel about having a penguin at their home"? Tell me why. Students worked on this writing assignment before they went to library. Speaking of the library, a number of students received late book notices. Please ask your son/daughter if they have any. Missing library books may hinder students from checking out more books. After lunch, we went to the computer lab. Students navigated to my computer outbox and proceeded to correct the punctuation errors of a paragraph I had written. As I checked student work, finished students were allowed some time in the lab for academic choice.  Then,  in class we finished responding to the Mr. Popper question. I provided an example and several students shared their responses. Before recess we practiced our phonemic sounds. After recess, we went over the four problem solving steps. Students concluded the academic day working on two story problems. Have a good weekend. This coming week will remind me of the classic 1970s and early 80s Michigan winters. BONUS: Any student who privately comes up to me on Monday morning (first thing) and hands me a crayon will receive something from me. Thank you for reading my messages. I enjoy proactive parents.




1/24/19 - Homelink 5.4 is the homework for this evening. Hopefully, you have some coins around. Students who have overdue library books may have received a late notice in their red folders. After Literacy Lab, I reviewed the first chapter of Mr. Popper's Penguins. I proceeded to read Chapter 2. Students responded in their writing journals to a couple of questions I asked. We ended the morning going to art. In the afternoon we shared our written responses to Mr. Popper's Penguins. Then, as a whole group, we practiced our phonemic sounds. I also introduced the skill of using context clues to try and understand unknown words in a text. We concluded the day with math. We focused on coins. We talked about why coins are needed, why we have change, and how to figure out change. Students worked in small and large groups during our math time.




1/22/19 - Welcome Back! STUDY HALL IS THIS THURSDAY. I NEED TO BE CONTACTED BY A PARENT IN ORDER FOR STUDENTS TO ATTEND. No notes went home via the red folders. Math homework is for the students to work on homelink 5.11, problem #1. They can tackle the second problem if they feel confident enough. After Literacy Lab, I introduced and began reading, Mr. Popper's Penguins. Using this narrative text, I plan to teach the students a great deal regarding how to read and understand a fictional story. We are off to a good start. In our Growth Mindset books we reviewed what we completed on the Confident pages. We made a list of things we were confident doing and a list of things we were not confident in. We talked about how "little successes" can improve our confidence slowly, but surely. We concluded the morning finishing up our , "What did you do over break?" essays. We continued working on these essays into the afternoon. We also worked on our phonemic sounds and discussed the word, Matter. We learned that matter has weight, takes up space, and most matter can be seen. We discussed the three phases of matter. Then, I gave examples of words that did and did not represent matter. We concluded the day working with our hands-on materials to try and solve challenging subtraction problems.




1/18/19 - THERE IS NO SCHOOL THIS MONDAY. No notes were placed in the red folder and there is no math homework. Keep on reading. We had an extended Literacy Lab session. I wanted to finish up individually assessing several students' current reading levels. After Lab, we discussed this Sunday's lunar eclipse. The students were very interested in it. We also talked about our "Break" essay before we went to the library. Students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the afternoon students went to the computer lab. They navigated to my teacher Outbox and proceed to correct a paragraph I had typed full off punctuatin misctakes. At 1:45, I further discussed how to reread a final draft using our second grade checklist. In addition I showed the students how to use the Chromebooks to check their spelling. That was enjoyed by all. We concluded the day using hands-on materials to subtract two and three digit numbers. Slowly, students are seeing more and more math patterns. Have a wonderful and white weekend. Stay warm.




1/17/19 - I just finished getting back to my class after our first study session. A Strep Throat note and the unit 5 math review should have gone home via the red folders. Like the unit 5 homelink, the unit 5 math review should remain at home until the end of the unit. Students may use the review on the test and they should work on several of the problems each week. Tonight's math homework is for students to complete homelink 5.4. After Literacy Lab, we discussed how to use the writing checklist to review our Winter Break writing piece. Then, students wrote some more and/or they used the list to check their writing. We concluded the morning going to art. In the afternoon we finished our final session of our school improvement writing piece. Most students worked hard. For the most part, this session took us to second recess. After recess, we used hands-on materials to subtract two digit numbers from one another. We discussed two strategies and tried out both of them. Another Friday is on the horizon.




1/16/19 - The new unit 5 math homelink was the only item that should have gone home via the red folder. Math homework is for the students to work on homelink 5.1. MY FIRST OPTIONAL STUDY HALL OF THE YEAR IS TOMORROW FROM 4-5:00. I MUST RECEIVE PARENT PERMISSION FOR ANY STUDENT TO ATTEND. Email me with any questions you may have. After Literacy Lab, I reviewed some of my classroom expectations. I also discussed how to revise a first writing draft. I used a student example to assist students in their revising. We ended the morning going to music. In the afternoon we continued finishing our school improvement organizers and writing our response to the question about the octopus. Our fourth and final session will be tomorrow. I will look at these papers and compare each one to the Beaver article students completed the second week of school. Before recess we practiced our phonemic sounds. We ended the day using more hands-on materials to add two and three digit numbers together. We are working on building a firm place value foundation.




1/15/19 - A Panera Bread note, a yearbook note, an acting note, and my STUDY HALL note were all sent home via the red folders. For math homework this evening students should try to explain to an adult how they added amounts using cubes, longs, and flats. We had a very productive day. After Literacy Lab, students worked on the second session of our school improvement assignment. They reread an article about the octopus, reviewed the question they were asked to address, and proceeded to complete their graphic organizers. Tomorrow, we will work on completing the first draft. We concluded the morning discussing the Growth Mindset word of the week... Confidence. I reviewed what we did last week. Then, students wrote about confidence in their own ways. I provided a personal example. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. We also worked on our, "What did you do over the break?" essays. I showed more student examples and we discussed how to improve our writing. After the afternoon recess, we used cubes, longs, and flats to add numbers. Longs are made up of 10 cubes and flats are composed of 10 longs. Each piece represents part of the Base 10 place value. Many students were able to add two and three digit numbers accurately by using these manipulatives. We are developing a better understanding of place value. REMINDER - STUDY HALL IS THIS THURSDAY. PARENTS NEED TO INFORM ME IF THEY PLAN ON LEAVING THEIR SON/DAUGHTER AFTER SCHOOL. SACC PARENTS NEED TO FILL OUT A FORM THAT RELEASES SACC FROM RESPONSIBILITY DURING THIS TIME.




1/14/19 - No notes were passed out. However, most students should have taken home the unit 4 math test. Please return the half page parental signature to school by this Friday. After Literacy Lab, we continued working on our, "What did you do over winter break?" assignment. Most students are in the process of using their graphic organizers to write down their first draft. I reviewed with the students how to go about this process. We concluded the morning with gym. In the afternoon we started with school improvement. This week Coolidge is in the process of assessing how much reading/writing progress each student has made since September. In second grade students were given an Octopus article to read. After thoroughly reading the article, students are expected to complete a graphic organizer that revolves around a particular question that gives students a purpose for reading the article. Once the graphic organizer (map) is complete, students will use it to produce their essay. About one hour each day, Monday through Thursday, will be given to complete this task. I will look at the final product this weekend. I will compare this essay with the one each student completed in September. Around 2:15 we switched our attention to math. I went over several problems on the math assessment. After recess, I finished going over a few more problems I wanted to address. Overall, the class averaged about 90%. We ended the day practicing our phonemic sounds. STUDY HALL WILL BE THIS THURSDAY. What is study hall? A letter will be placed in the red folders tomorrow or Wednesday. Have a good evening.




1/11/19 - No notes were passed out. However, a number of students may have taken home the unit 4 math review. These reviews can be recycled. There is no homework on the weekend. After Literacy Lab, students continued to fill out their graphic organizers reflecting upon the question...What did you do over winter break? As students completed their organizers, I checked each one and gave individual feedback. Students who received my blessing began to write their essay using their graphic organizers as a guide/map. We concluded the morning going to the library. Many students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. Once again, students navigated to my Outbox. They opened up a document that contained a paragraph with punctuation errors. As students fixed the errors, one by one I checked their work. When completed correctly, students proceeded to have academic choice time. Around 1:50 we took the unit 4 math test. Students were allowed to use their review as a resource. After recess, we watched another Mystery Doug video. He talked about the coldest places in the world as well as what cold weather can do to different objects. We finished the day completing the math test. As students finished the test, they continued to work on their writing piece, What did you do over winter break? Have a good weekend.




1/10/19 - A Box Tops worksheet was placed inside the red folder. Math homework is to play the dice place value game. All the students know how to play it. It does require a partner. I graded the remaining math reviews I received and returned these reviews to the students. THE UNIT 4 MATH TEST IS TOMORROW. Students may use the unit 4 review on the test. Be sure your son/daughter brings the review back to school. I have also been collecting the unit 4 homelinks. All homelink booklets should be turned in by tomorrow. Today, students went to art and we had Mrs. M. present artwork through the program, Masterworks. After Literacy Lab, we watched Mystery Doug present his version of how chocolate is made. Students enjoyed the segment. Before art with Mrs. Stark I reintroduced how to use our second grade graphic organizer to organize a response to the question... What did you do over break? In the afternoon after Masterworks, we continued working on filling in the graphic organizer. Then, we practiced our phonemic sounds. We concluded the day with math. We practiced some mental math. I asked the question, "How do you make 47 cents with the fewest coins possible. Students brainstormed their thoughts. We ended the day reviewing how to accurately measure objects to the nearest inch and centimeter.




1/9/19 - A Snow White play note and a Karate note were placed in the red folders. For homework, students should complete the rest of the unit 4 math review. Students who had the review checked by me should look over the notes I put down. The unit 4 math review may be used on Friday's unit 4 math test. Students should turn in their unit 4 homelinks by this Friday. Thank You. After Literacy Lab, I used a couple more student examples to show how to revise and edit the OWL paragraphs. Students are in the process of completing their pieces on the owl they feel is the most unique. We concluded the morning going to music. In the afternoon students watched a brief video on the sounds owls make. The video was produced by Mystery Doug. I encouraged students to ask their parents to locate Mystery Doug on the web. He is such an interesting source of knowledge and I believe his site is free for everyone. After Mystery Doug, we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, students were given 30 more minutes to finalize their written OWL paragraphs. Students who did not finish today will be given some time to work on their owl paragraphs tomorrow. We concluded the day with math. We focused on using cubes, longs, and flats, which represent the ones, tens, and hundreds place values. Students used these manipulatives to eventually show numbers and to add numbers. Reminder... If your son/daughter completes the unit 4 math review and brings it to school tomorrow, I will check it during the day. Students will then have time before the test to look over my notes. Have a nice evening.




1/8/19 - No notes were added to the red folder. However, another unit 4 math review was passed out. For homework, students should work 10 minutes on the review. The review may be used on this Friday's unit 4 math test. As students finish the review, they may turn it into me. I will check it and return the review. Unit 4 homelinks should be turned in this week. I did not assign all of the link pages to be completed. As always, email me if you have any questions. At 7:00 this evening, we have a PTA meeting. I plan to be there. During Literacy Lab I met with a number of students. Most students are making good academic choices, using their time wisely. After Lab time, I read a Chicken Soup story about CONFIDENCE. We discussed the meaning of this Growth Mindset word. In our booklets students wrote down their definition of confidence and gave four examples of demonstrating confidence. We concluded the morning working on our final OWL paragraphs. In the afternoon we continued our OWL work. I showed some student examples on the whiteboard and we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each piece. Students who volunteer to have their pieces examined get a lot out of it. I plan to give the students some final class OWL writing time tomorrow. We worked on our phonemic sounds too. In math students buddied up and practiced writing numbers in expanded form. We did some whiteboard work as a whole group and I reviewed what times am and pm represent. Most of the students seem well prepared for Friday's assessment.




1/7/19 - Happy New Year! Time is moving quickly. I did not assign any homework as it was our first day back. The unit 4 math test is scheduled for this Friday. A second identical review paper should come home tomorrow. No notes were passed out. However, I asked students to add the January calendar to the back of their red folder. I will check the folders tomorrow. On Tuesday at 7:00 pm we have a PTA meeting. We had another good day today. So many of the students came back with smiling faces. Personally, I was ready to come back as well. A piece of our day was spent reviewing some expectations as well as discussing the growth mindset word of the month, Confidence. In math I allowed the students some time to play the computer game prodigy. We practiced our place value by playing a game in pairs. In addition we had a mental math problem to challenge the students. In language arts I reviewed where we left off. I gave the students two Literacy Lab sessions. We practiced our daily phonemic sounds as well. In science students played vocabulary bingo using terms associated with owls. We are off to a good start.




12/21/18 - TODAY WAS OUR FINAL DAY BEFORE VACATION. SCHOOL WILL RESUME ON MONDAY, JANUARY 7TH. A baseball note and a scouting note were placed in the red folder. There is no math homework and THE UNIT 4 MATH TEST WILL TAKE PLACE THE WEEK WE RETURN (THURSDAY OR FRIDAY). As expected, today was not a typical day. We did begin our morning with Literacy Lab. After that, students worked on their owl writing. We concluded the morning going to the library. Students were allowed to check out books. Hopefully, some of those books made it home for the holidays. In the afternoon students went to the computer lab. I allowed the students to choose their program. From the lab, students worked on their picture craft project. We concluded the day changing desks, cleaning desks, and cleaning out our lockers. With the extended break, I did want any old food or clothing to stick around through the holidays. Although I will enjoy the time off, I will look forward to seeing the many happy faces once again. I am blessed and I hope you feel blessed as well.
Merry Christmas, Todd Mai




12/20/18 - TOMORROW IS A FULL DAY AND THE LAST DAY BEFORE OUR TWO WEEK BREAK. No notes were passed out, but a completed math measurement paper should have come home. THERE WILL BE NO UNIT 4 MATH TEST THIS WEEK. We will take the test the week we return (Thursday or Friday).For homework, students should play the place value game. Using a die or a deck of cards students roll or pick a card. On a whiteboard or a piece of paper students write down the 1s, 10s, and 100s place values. They can include greater place values if they can handle such. As each number is rolled or picked, students decide where to put that number (in which place value) to make the biggest number possible. A parent can play along as well. After all the place values have been filled, the numbers are read out loud and compared. As a bonus, students can look at all the numbers and try to explain what the largest possible number could have been made using all those numbers. If this sounds confusing, we have played this game four times. Your son/daughter knows it well. After two unusual days, today was somewhat normal. We started out with our Literacy Lab. After that, students watched, for a second time, the video on how to write an opinionated piece. I also reviewed how to best utilize the graphic organizer. Art with Mrs. Stark finished off the morning. In the PM we continued working on the owl writing piece. I showed the students how to write using the chromebooks and many students took advantage of this tool. Around 2:00 we practiced our phonemic sounds and I began a mental math problem. After recess, we completed the mental math problem. We finished the day working on the measurement worksheet that should have found its way home. TOMORROW, BECAUSE OF THE EXTENDED BREAK, WE WILL SWITCH DESKS, CLEAN DESKS, AND CLEAN OUT OUR LOCKERS. I will be here after school in case you need your son/daughter to pick something up. You may want to peruse the Lost and Found containers as well.




12/19/18 - No notes were sent home. For homework students should work on homelink 4.11. I have decided that the unit 4 math test will take place the week we return. THANK YOU FOR YOUR FIELD TRIP SUPPORT. The students enjoyed watching Polar Express in 3-D and they may have made a lifetime memory. After our lunch and recess, I discussed the movie with the students. We shared our favorite scenes, talked about parts that appeared confusing, and discussed the main message of the movie. We practiced our phonemic sounds and students were given Literacy Lab time. We concluded the day playing the place value game. Ask your son/daughter how we play it. FRIDAY IS A FULL DAY AND IT IS THE LAST DAY BEFORE BREAK. THE 1/2 TEACHERS ARE USING THE POLAR EXPRESS FIELD TRIP AS OUR HOLIDAY PARTY. Have a good evening.




12/18/18 - THE POLAR EXPRESS FIELD TRIP IS TOMORROW. ALL STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO WEAR THEIR PJs. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR SON/DAUGHTER HAS WALKING SHOES AS WE WILL BE GOING OUTSIDE FOR RECESS AS WELL. ALL STUDENTS NEED TO BRING IN A BAG LUNCH AND A DRINK IF THEY SO CHOOSE. THE HOT LUNCH PROGRAM WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR US TOMORROW. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO REFRAIN FROM USING GLASS CONTAINERS. THE BUSES WILL LEAVE ASAP SO PLEASE HAVE YOUR LITTLE ONE TO SCHOOL ON TIME. I THINK WE WILL LEAVE AROUND 9:05. POPCORN WILL BE DISTRIBUTED AT THE THEATER COMPLIMENTS OF IMAX. I hope your were able to attend today's music concert. I know the kids were so looking forward to it. No notes were sent home and the math homework is homelink 4.10. In math we continued to discuss how to measure a straight object. I am hoping the unit 4 test will take place this Friday, but I am not sure. With so many extracurricular events taking place, academic teaching time has been limited. The two music concerts and preparation for each one took up most of our day. We did have our Literacy Lab time. In addition students saw a series of brief youtube videos that clearly explained how to write an opinion response. Students began writing their first drafts of their owl paragraphs. Each student is focusing on a particular owl that they find to be quite unique. We have three more days before we go on a two week break. Time is flying by.




12/17/18 - TOMORROW AT 1:30 IS THE PARENT 2/3 HOLIDAY CONCERT. THE DOORS WILL OPEN AT 1:00. STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO DRESS FOR THE CONCERT. Christmas colors (greens and reds) and/or dressing up for the occasion would be wonderful. Santa hats and stick on seasonal tattoos and the like are encouraged. The 2/3 students will have a morning concert as well. However, the morning concert is only being attended by a senior citizen group and some of the Coolidge students. Parents should only attend the 1:30 concert. No notes were passed out. For homework, students should work on the 4.9 homelink. In math today we discussed and practiced how to measure lengths to the nearest inch and centimeter. We read more about owls focusing on each owl's unique traits. Shortly, students will begin using their facts to write a paragraph on the uniqueness of each owl. Literacy Lab went well and we practiced our phonemic sounds. Students went to gym. In addition we practiced our owl vocabulary words in groups of three as well as playing owl vocabulary bingo. THE POLAR EXPRESS FILED TRIP IS ON WEDNESDAY. STUDENTS NEED TO BRING IN A BAG LUNCH AND BEVERAGE OF CHOICE. THE HOT LUNCH PROGRAM WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE. WE WILL LEAVE AROUND 9:10. Hope to see you tomorrow at the concert. The students are ready.




12/14/18 - Found out just this morning that the Holiday Shop closed yesterday. All Holiday Shop money turned in today should have found its way home. No notes went home via the red folders. However, some students did have their Square 1 artwork taken home. There is no math homework on the weekend. Having said that, parents may want their son/daughter to work on the unit 4 math review. The unit 4 math test should take place next Thursday or Friday. NEXT TUESDAY PARENTS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE 2/3 MUSIC CONCERT. IT BEGINS AT 1:30. I think seating will take place after 1:00. This morning we had our Literacy Lab and students went to the library. In between these times Mrs. Alt, our school's Literacy Coach, came in and presented a vocabulary lesson to the class. I enjoy having these guests come in as students always like seeing different faces. In addition I tend to pick up an idea or two. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. Students navigated to my outbox. Then, they made a copy of my Sentence and Punctuation paragraph. When they made the necessary changes, any leftover lab time I allowed students to do academic choice. When we came back from the lab, we worked on our phonemic sounds. Then, I gave the students more time to finish highlighting unique traits about the four owls we are reading about. The day concluded with math. We practiced some mental math, we discussed expanded notation, and students buddied up to play the place value game. Next week we have a full week before we go to break. The Polar Express field trip is on Wednesday. All students will need to bring a bag lunch and a beverage (if desired). The hot lunch program will NOT be available. Have a good weekend.




12/13/18 - The Holiday Shop is open one more day. No notes were sent home via the red folders. I forgot to pass out the Square 1 artwork. Look for it to come home tomorrow. The K/1 music concert for parents is tomorrow at 1:30 (in case you have a younger son/daughter). THE 2/3 MUSIC CONCERT FOR PARENTS IS NEXT TUESDAY AT 1:30. For math homework, students should play the game on homelink 4.5. Using a die or a deck of cards students take a card or roll the dice. Using a piece of paper or a whiteboard, students place that number taken or rolled in a place value they think will make the largest number. After the die has been rolled three or more times (depending on how many place values you are using), the student says the number. When we do this in school, students compare their numbers to their partner's number. The person who makes the larger number is the winner of that round. We have played this game twice so your little one should be familiar with it. After Literacy Lab, we played the owl vocabulary game. Students listened to various owl definitions. If the definition fit a vocabulary word that the student had on the board, the student circled that word on their tic/tac/toe board. We stopped the game when a student got three in a row. We concluded the morning going to art. In the afternoon Mrs. M. came in and presented Masterworks. This is a program that showcases famous paintings. The volunteer discusses some of the unique aspects of each painting. Around 1:30, I reviewed the word "unique" with the class. I also reminded the students what our "Big ?" is for the Owl unit. I showed some unique animals and we discussed what made each animal so unique. By the way, that would be a good discussion question for home as well. Personally, the parrot may be my most unique animal. Students proceeded to read about four different owls. As they read, they highlighted unique features of each one. Next week, students will write a paragraph about their most unique owl. The day concluded with math. Students played the Power of Place Value game. I discussed a mental math problem and encouraged students to try and use some different strategies to solve it. Finally, I demonstrated expanded notation with the numbers students created. Expanded notation is when you take a number and break it down into each place value amount. For example, 532 is equal to 500 + 30 + 2 . Almost all the I Ready assessments have been completed. The scores, as a whole, are strong.




12/12/18 - The Holiday Shop will remain open Thursday and Friday during second recess. TWIN DAY IS TOMORROW. Some students received their Lifetouch picture retakes. Only the unit 4 math review was placed in all of the red folders. For homework, students should work on the math review. Some of the problems have yet to be covered in class. The unit 4 test will take place later next week. We had another good day with many smiling faces. We started off the morning with a brief Literacy Lab period. At 9:45, we went to the Little Theater for our inschool field trip on owls. Students enjoyed looking at the owls that were mounted and many of the students were so excited to dissect the owl pellets. We concluded the morning going to music. Students practiced for next Tuesday's concert. NEXT TUESDAY, AT 1:30, WILL BE THE 2/3 MUSIC CONCERT FOR THE PARENTS. YOU MAY WANT TO ARRIVE A LITTLE AFTER 1:00. In the afternoon we went back to the computer lab to continue with the I Ready math test. As students finished, they had the choice to read from a variety of sources. Five students will complete the I Ready math test tomorrow or Friday either using the chromebooks in class or joining another teacher in the computer lab. As a whole, the scores are looking great. After recess, I discussed the power of place value. Then, in partners students played a place value game. Have a nice evening.




12/11/18 - THE HOLIDAY SHOP IS OPEN UNTIL 6:00 THIS EVENING. Students may also shop during their afternoon recess the rest of the week. An inschool field trip message was sent home via the red folder. All the owl pellets the students will be looking at have been disinfected. I know the students will have a great time looking at this regurgitated stuff. Math homework is homelink 4.6. Look for the unit 4 math review to come home tomorrow. We had another unusual, unique day. After our Literacy Lab, we went to the computer lab. When students completed the I Ready reading test, they moved onto the I Ready math test. We will go back to the lab again tomorrow to try and finish up the testing. Most of the students are doing great. In the afternoon we went to the Holiday Shop. Hopefully, all of the trinkets got home. Almost every item was $1.50 in case you are wondering where your change is. After the shop, we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, Mr. Hillard, our district's math coordinator, came back and presented a mental math problem to the students. Mrs. M., one of Coolidge's wonderful volunteers, read to four of the students as well. After recess, we completed our phonemic sounds and I reviewed with the students some more mental math strategies. We concluded the day discussing the power of place value. I demonstrated a place value game that I hope we have time to play tomorrow. TWIN DAY IS THIS THURSDAY. Perhaps your little one might want to dress like someone else.




12/10/18 - THE HOLIDAY SHOP IS TOMORROW. Having said that, students can shop the rest of the week during certain recess times. Math homework  is to work on homelink 4.4. After Literacy Lab, we went to the computer lab. Students began taking the December I Ready Reading test. This assessment gives us an idea how much each student is improving. At 11:15, we went to gym. In the afternoon we went back to the lab to continue working on the I Ready Reading test. By 2:15, most of the students had finished. As students completed the reading portion of the assessment, they continued reading in various ways. After second recess, I gave the students a mental math problem to solve. We discussed how some students solved the problem. Then, I went over last Friday's problem solving problem. We concluded the day discussing numbers and the power of place value. More than likely, we will head back to the computer lab tomorrow. We probably will begin the math portion of the assessment. Overall, the students are doing very well. The I Ready assessment scores each student in real time. It is nice to be able to look over the student results so quickly. Please keep turning in the report card envelopes. Thank You.




12/7/18 - REPORT CARDS WERE SENT HOME VIA EVERY STUDENT'S RED FOLDER. No other notes were passed out. There is no homework on the weekend. However, some students may have taken home a Santa story problem. They are trying to solve it for some extra Coolidge Cash. Parents may assist their son/daughter, but all the pencil work has to be written down by the student for any extra credit to be considered. THE SECOND PHASE OF OUR BENCHMARK TESTING BEGINS ON MONDAY. We will head to the computer lab to take the second main session of the I Ready reading assessment. Today, we had our regular Literacy Lab period. Then, we discussed the owl vocabulary from the past two days. We concluded the morning having the opportunity to check out more books during library time. In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. Students worked on locating my teacher outbox and dragging a copied document to their desktops. Students continued to work on correcting the punctuation of a paragraph I had written. After lab, we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, we played a vocabulary bingo game. After recess, we worked on a story problem. We reviewed the key components to solving a problem...... understand, plan, carry it out, and reflect. Two full weeks to go before we depart on break. Time goes by too fast.




12/6/18 - I am at an inservice on this date. However, by 5:30, I hope to have completed my notes for the day. The math homework will be homelink 4.5.    5:05pm  (update)  The second grade teachers were at an all day reading inservice. REPORT CARDS GO HOME VIA EACH STUDENT TOMORROW (FRIDAY). This morning students had Literacy Lab. Then, students discussed the owl vocabulary words they found in their reading yesterday. Students read more about owls looking for additional vocabulary words. We concluded the morning with art. In the afternoon students, as a whole group, practiced their phonemic sounds. They were also given an additional period of time to free read. Some of the students read more about owls. Around 2:00 the students played the math game, Salute. Students learned about the power of place value, reviewed the less than and greater than signs, and practiced writing numbers in expanded form. Look for the unit four review to come home shortly.




12/5/18 - My notes for this date will be completed by 5:30. I am running late. Nothing went home in the red folder. For homework students should turn to the back page of the homelink. Using the green horizontal number grid students should start at zero and proceed to count by 4s. Students should circle the numbers as they count and they should look for patterns. When and if completed, students should start at zero once again and count all the multiples of 4 out loud. The second grade teachers will all be at an inservice tomorrow. We are being educated on a new reading program. REPORT CARDS WILL BE SENT HOME WITH EACH STUDENT THIS FRIDAY.  If you have not already done so, please turn in the math parental signature page by this Friday. After our Literacy Lab, I worked with the whole class on understanding prefixes. Then, we discussed how to use text (passage) clues (context clues) to help us find the meaning of unknown words. Students concluded the morning going to music and practicing for their Holiday performance. This performance will take place at 1:30 on Tuesday, December 18th. Parents are encouraged to attend. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, we shared our OWL facts from yesterday in both small and large groups. We placed our owl pictures on the front of our binders too. Students proceeded to read more about owls. Students looked for vocabulary words relevant to owls. Each student tried to find 10 vocabulary words. After recess, students did more clockwork in both a large and small group setting. Many of them can tell analog time quite accurately.




12/4/18 - A Holiday Shop note should have gone home via the red folder. Math homework is to work on homelink 4.2. Deposits to the credit union take place this Friday. If you have not already done so, please turn in the unit 3 homelink. If you have seen your child's unit 3 test, please turn in the parent signature page. Thank you to those parents who already have. The remaining math tests will come home tomorrow. We had a PTA meeting this morning. REPORT CARDS ARE SCHEDULED TO GO HOME THIS FRIDAY. We had another good day although several students left feeling sick in the afternoon. Literacy Lab went fine. After lab, I introduced the mindset word of the month, "Empathy". We watched a brief video about empathy and discussed an appropriate definition for the word. Students wrote down the definition and then they wrote four examples when empathy could possibly be demonstrated. The last hour of the morning we researched owls. Students read about owls and they recorded facts about them. We used the Chromebooks for our research. We also reviewed key vocabulary words such as TRAITS and UNIQUE. Students will eventually write about, "Which owl is the most unique?" In the afternoon we completed our day's owl research. We practiced our phonemic sounds and moved onto math. We did a mental math problem. Students tried to solve 18 +  19 =   ?  in their heads. We discussed the strategies they used. After that, we practiced telling time. We worked in small and large groups. Most students seem to be making a lot of progress. Many of them will be able to tell analog time consistently before starting third grade. Have a good evening.




12/3/18 - Welcome December! Students received a YMCA note and their new unit 4 math homelink in their red folders. Please keep the unit 4 homelink at home until the end of the unit. The calendar on the back side of the red folder was also changed to December. Students who were not absent received last week's unit 3 math test back. By and large, students did very well. For homework this evening students should attempt to fix their test mistakes (not necessarily the extra credit) and they should complete homelink 4.1. Please sign and return the parent signature test page one day this week. This morning we had our Literacy Lab. After lab time, students had their monthly clean up. We switched desks and cleaned out our desks and lockers. As students finished, they were given academic choice. By 11:15, it was time to go to gym. In the afternoon I led off with phonemic sound practice. Then, I introduced December's OWL unit. We discussed the Big Question and reviewed some key vocabulary related to it. Students drew a picture of an owl. Before the afternoon recess we began math. We worked on a mental math problem at the carpet. We concluded the day with math. We finished discussing the mental math problem. Then, I reviewed with the students how to tell time on an analog clock to the nearest hour and half hour. We played the math game, "Salute". I passed out the unit 3 math tests and emphasized what a good job the class did. Folders were passed out and the students started to prepare for the end of the day.




11/29/18 - NO SCHOOL THIS FRIDAY. IT IS A REPORT CARD TEACHER WORK DAY. Good bye, November and our first trimester. Nothing was sent home via the red folders. If you still have a unit 3 homelink at home, please turn it in early next week. We began the morning with our Literacy Lab. After lab time, we watched and discussed a video on landforms. Then, we went to music. In the afternoon we took the unit 3 math test with extra credit. As students finished, they were given additional literacy lab time. After all the students finished the math test, we practiced our phonemic sounds. After recess, we had another discussion about landforms. We discussed how lava from volcanos form some mountains and such things as the Continental Drift Theory. We ended the day eating some ice cream sundaes from the PTA. Our second grade turned in the most Box Tops. Have a good weekend.




11/28/18 - NO SCHOOL THIS FRIDAY. IT IS A REPORT CARD TEACHER WORK DAY. Nothing was sent home via the red folder. However, the unit 3 math review and the unit 3 math homelink should be returned to school. THE UNIT 3 MATH TEST IS TOMORROW. Students are allowed to use the review on the assessment. Students may explain their thinking on the test using words and/or numbers. I could use some more rags and/or socks to erase our whiteboards with. Thank you for the previous donations. Tomorrow ends our first trimester. We will celebrate this with ice cream donated by the PTA. Students in the second grade turned in the most Box Tops. Today was another good day. After Literacy Lab students worked on the second half of their Land and Water Venn Diagram (see yesterday for more information). We concluded the morning going to music. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, Mr. Hillard, who is in charge of the math/science program, came into the class. He did some mental math with the students. Mental math was discussed at our last teacher inservice. I observed Mr. Hillard teaching so that I could pick up some more ideas how to best teach mental math. Mr. Hillard was very impressed with the class and he said he hopes to be invited back shortly. Around 2:00 Mr. Hillard left and we practiced the remaining portion of our phonemic sounds. Before recess students paired off to work on their fact triangles. After second recess, we went over the unit 3 math review. Then, I gave the students a couple of potential extra credit problems to work on.




11/27/18 - NO SCHOOL THIS FRIDAY. IT IS A REPORT CARD TEACHER WORK DAY. Only another unit 3 math review went home via the red folders. THE UNIT 3 TEST IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS THURSDAY. Tonight and tomorrow night students should attempt to independently complete the math review. The math review can be used as a resource when the students take the test. I tend to pass out a second review just before the test. I know that some students have a tendency to misplace the one I passed out weeks ago. If your child has already accurately completed the review, I would encourage parents to make up some similar problems, perhaps somewhat more challenging, and invite their little one to work on them. Literacy Lab went well. Then, students worked on and turned in their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Venn Diagrams. I had a fact versus opinion discussion with the students and we practiced some phonemic sounds together. Since students will not be here on Friday, we went to the computer lab today. In the lab students practiced several skills. We looked at a paragraph and worked on fixing spelling mistakes, upper case letter mistakes, and adding periods in the correct places. In the afternoon we finished practicing our phonemic sounds. Then, in our Land and Water unit students conducted more research on two different landforms. We began to use Venn Diagrams to record facts from the two landforms each student selected. We concluded the remaining portion of the day with math. We practiced solving a mental math problem and we practiced using helper facts and other strategies to solve more complicated problems. We concluded our math session reviewing functions and building upon our previous learning. One-third of our school year will be done when the students come home this Thursday.




11/26/18 - It is good to be back. There were a lot of smiling faces and the day moved quickly. No notes were sent home. On the first day back from an extended break I do not assign math homework. However, students can work on the unit 3 review. Parents can also give their son/daughter some practice problems. The unit 3 test is scheduled for this Thursday and the students will receive another identical math review tomorrow. The reviews can be used on Thursday's math test. FRIDAY IS A TEACHER REPORT CARD WORK DAY. STUDENTS WILL NOT HAVE SCHOOL THIS FRIDAY. We had a good day. Literacy Lab went fine. Students were focused and they seemed to easily get back into the groove. After lab, we practiced our phonemic sounds. I read to the class a Chicken Soup story and proceeded to discuss the theme of it. We went to gym. In the afternoon students worked on completing a Venn Diagram of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie and book. We discussed how a Venn Diagram is set up to help people compare and contrast various topics. In math students practiced some of their basic facts using the fact triangles. I remodeled how students should practice with one another. After that, we completed some mental math problems. We also practiced how to turn and talk with a buddy. Towards the end of the day we reviewed and expanded upon the strategies used to solve function problems (see last week's homework). The year is flying by. Hard to believe there are only 18 more school days left before we depart for the next major break.




11/20/18 - THERE IS NO SCHOOL THE REST OF THIS WEEK. SCHOOL WILL RESUME NEXT MONDAY. There is no math homework over the break. However, looking over the unit 3 math review would not be a bad idea. Of course, keep on reading. A blue Parks and Rec. note was sent home via the red folder. A couple families did receive a final Polar Express field trip reminder note. We had a terrific day. Literacy Lab ran smoothly. I worked with a number of students. We focused on improving reading strategies. After our Lab time we practiced our phonemic sounds as a whole group. I introduced the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Then, we watched the movie until recess time. After recess, I had a guest teacher. The second grade teachers were given release time to discuss academic issues and the upcoming report card. According to the guest teacher, the students were focused and well behaved. I checked in with the class periodically. In the afternoon the students finished watching the movie. After the movie, students had a second reading time period. Finally, after second recess, students worked on a Thanksgiving wordsearch paper and a Thanksgiving crossword worksheet. Students left with smiles on their faces. May all of you have a most blessed Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my job and the wonderful students I get to teach. They keep me feeling young and the days go by so quickly. When Monday arrives, I will be ready to come back to a bunch of enthusiastic children. Talk to you soon.




11/19/18 - Math homework is to work on homelink 3.7. The canned food drive ended today. Picture Retakes/Make-Ups took place. Please send in the previous pictures if your son/daughter had their pictures retaken. If you have already done so, thank you. All Polar Express forms and field trip money was due today. Tomorrow is another Lion's Spirit Day. Endless Shrimp ended at Red Lobster. TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL BEFORE WE GO ON BREAK. SCHOOL WILL RESUME ON MONDAY. I think we had another good day. Students went to gym. In math we practiced more mental math problems. We used our whiteboards to try and balance out more equations. There are a number of strategies students can use to solve problems. By modeling various strategies, students will have more knowledge for attacking problems that challenge them. We played the math game Salute. Students finished math learning about functions (see tonight's homework). We practiced our phonemic sounds. In social studies we researched more bodies of land and water. Students are learning how to take notes and compare information on a Venn Diagram. Literacy Lab went well. The majority of the time students are reading "just right" material that interests them. In writing I remodeled how to read and respond to a student's paper. We focused on the Incredible Candy paragraph. Students spent more time going over their peers' papers. When finished, some students had time to complete their writing concerning who would make a better principal, Mr. Grezak or Mr. Wonka. Time is moving quickly.




11/16/18 - This message may be a bit abbreviated as I will be leaving shortly after school. There is no math homework on the weekend. In the red folder only a Picture Retake reminder note was placed in it. PICTURE RETAKE DAY IS THIS MONDAY. ANY CANNED FOOD BEING DONATED SHOULD BE TURNED IN ON MONDAY. FIELD TRIP MATERIAL FOR POLAR EXPRESS IS DUE MONDAY. SKATE NIGHT IS THIS EVENING FROM 6-8:00. Students had the opportunity to check out more books during their library time. We went to the computer lab. Students were given time to familiarize themselves with the math program, Prodigy. I began to adjust student Prodigy settings as needed. In math we worked on some mental math and we completed some board work. The Unit 3 test will take place after next week. We practiced our phonemic sounds. In writing I modeled how to peer edit another student's paper. Students began to peer edit. Literacy Lab time flowed smoothly. I reviewed with the whole class the fr, tr, and gr sounds. Have an enjoyable weekend.




11/15/18 - Run deer, run. PICTURE RETAKE/MAKE UP IS THIS MONDAY. If your child is having their picture retaken, please make sure to give me the original pictures by Monday morning. POLAR EXPRESS FIELD TRIP FORMS AND MONEY ARE DUE MONDAY AS WELL. The canned food drive ends this Monday too. Four items should have been in the red folders..... two notes about this year's yearbook, a Square 1 reminder note, and a math assignment that I checked and decided to return home. If you do not see the checked math assignment, assume it was never turned into me. Skate Night is NOT this evening. It is tomorrow (Friday). MATH HOMEWORK IS TO COMPLETE HOMELINK 3.11. Students went to art class and they enjoyed it. Literacy Lab continued to run smoothly. We practiced our daily phonemic sounds as a whole group. In math we practiced completing more mental math problems. Then, we did some whiteboard work. We practiced sharing number amounts to help us balance equations. Students are being challenged. Students completed their writing piece on the Incredible Candy. We looked at student examples and assessed how well students used the margins of the paper, wrote in detail, and wrote in sentences. When finished, we did a Venn Diagram of Mr. Grezak and Mr. Wonka. Students used their diagram of information to write a draft of who they thought would make the better principal. During our new unit of Land and Water students chose a topic to read about on the Epic website. We discussed how people do research. Mrs. M., a wonderful volunteer, also donated another hour of her time to have four students read to her. There were a lot of smiles throughout the day as well as some deep thinking taking place. Thanksliving is upon us. The days and weeks are moving too fast.




11/14/18 - IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO, PLEASE TURN IN THE POLAR EXPRESS PERMISSION SLIP ALONG WITH THE MONEY. MONDAY IS THE DAY IT IS DUE. At the end of the day a student picked sticks to see what parents would chaperone the Polar Express field trip. If your stick was picked, you will receive an email from me by 6:00 this evening. Personally, I wish I could have taken every parent to chaperone. If we have another outside field trip, the parents who did not have their sticks picked will be given priority to chaperone. No notes went home via the red folders. Math homework is to complete homelink 3.8. Students went to music. In math we completed some mental math work. We reviewed what the equal sign truly represents. It means that both sides are balanced or have the same amount. It does not mean the answer to a problem. We practiced solving problems using our whiteboards. Students played the game, Salute. In addition students practiced balancing equations and sharing amounts to help them solve challenging math problems. For example, 29 + 29 + 29 =  ? may look too hard for a second grader to solve. However, if we think of the problem as 30 + 30 +30 =  ? , the problem becomes more manageable. Likewise, 27 + 33 may look too hard to solve. Having said that, if I take three away from the 33 and give it to the 27, the problem now reads 30 + 30 = ? . CONTINUE TO PERIODICALLY WORK ON THE UNIT 3 MATH REVIEW. The test is scheduled for the end of November. Literacy Lab went well. Mrs. Alt, out literacy coach here at Coolidge, came into the class and modeled a small group lesson. At lunch time, we dialogued about the lesson. Through this type of interaction I hope to continue to grow as a teacher as well as use all the resources provided to me to help students academically improve. In writing students worked on their final "Incredible Candy" paragraph. I am emphasizing students to write in clear sentences, write with detail, and use the margins of the paper correctly. For 15 minutes we practiced our phonemic sounds. We also reviewed the words Respect and Responsibility. Skate Night is Friday, not tomorrow. Report cards go out in early December. What will the students find in their stockings???????




11/13/18 - IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE IN THE LOTTERY FOR CHAPERONING THE POLAR EXPRESS, PLEASE EMAIL ME BY WEDNESDAY (12:00). Parents who have turned in the Polar Express permission form by tomorrow morning may also indicate their interest in chaperoning. We will pick three names tomorrow afternoon. I will email the 3 chaperones chosen at lottery and the chaperones will need to agree to fill out and pass the ICHAT screening (see yesterday). We have a PTA meeting this evening at 7:00. I will be there. KEEP SENDING IN THE CANNED GOODS FOR THE NEEDY PEOPLE. MUCH APPRECIATED   Skate Night is this Friday. Please take care of the Square 1 art fundraiser if you still see it in the red folder. Unless I see a check or cash in the front of the package I am leaving it alone. In math the homework is HOMELINK 3.5. We did some mental math, we checked yesterday's truck problem, and we discussed when it is best to count up or to count down to find an answer to a subtraction problem. We finished Charlie... Students seemed to enjoy the book. We will watch the movie soon, probably before break. It will be fun to compare/contrast the two. As a group, we practiced phonemic sounds. We continued writing about our magical candy. I provided examples and students looked at other examples from the hall. In our Growth Mindset books I discussed the words responsible and respectful. I shared a personal moment when I was irresponsible and disrespectful. Students then wrote about a time when they did or did not demonstrate being respectful. We began our new science unit on Land and Water. Students looked at a marble and a picture of the Earth from space. We discussed how one of the Earth's nicknames is the big blue marble. We brainstormed different water and land bodies. IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO, PLEASE TURN IN THE POLAR EXPRESS PERMISSION FORM/$. Have a good evening.




11/12/18 - IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE IN THE LOTTERY FOR CHAPERONING THE POLAR EXPRESS, PLEASE EMAIL ME BY WEDNESDAY (12:00). On Wednesday we will pull sticks to see who will be attending. I wanted to be fair for everyone. Parents who also fill out the chaperone form and return the form by Wednesday will be part of the lottery as well. Please keep in mind that all chaperones, per LPS policy, need to be willing to fill out a background check (ICHAT) form. Contact me about this if you have any questions. The ICHAT forms should now be online and I believe the forms can be sent directly to  the Board Office.
It was nice to see a number of our families at our first Movie Night. It was fun. The math problem solving paper was the only item placed in the red folder. Students should try to solve the problem and explain to an adult how they solved the problem. All the 5s should have been changed to 3s in the story problem. We have a PTA meeting tomorrow at 7:00. Skate Night will take place this Friday, not Thursday. Please be sure to remove the Square 1 art fundraiser from the red folder. Only return the material to school if you are paying by cash or check. Students went to gym and we had a discussion about Veteran's Day. In math we practiced some more mental math strategies to solve a problem. I hope to make mental math a consistent part of our daily academic routine. We discussed Friday's problem solving paper. For homework, as mentioned above, students should try to complete today's problem solving assignment. I have stressed drawing out each sentence piece by piece. Please return the homework to school. In writing students wrote their first draft of their INCREDIBLE CANDY. I showed some examples and we talked about important questions their paragraph may want to address. I also went over my example of the unusual elevator Mr. Wonka has in his factory. I emphasized the importance of writing in detail. Our Literacy Lab went well. Most students are using their time wisely. I read another chapter from Charlie... I discussed several reading strategies as I read from the chapter. Phonemic sounds were also practiced in a whole group format. NEXT WEEK, STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE SCHOOL WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, AND FRIDAY.




11/9/18 - MOVIE NIGHT IS THIS EVENING. No homework on the weekends. However, keep on reading. A Polar Express field trip note, a Skate Night note, and the Square 1 art fundraiser should have come home via the red folders. Cash will also be accepted for the Polar Express field trip. Parents wishing to assist us need to drive separately. All students will ride the bus both ways. No younger children can accompany us. In addition, there may be no refund if a student and/or parent can not make the trip. If you have any other questions, simply email me. Today, students went to the library. They had the opportunity to check out more books. Literacy Lab went well. After Lab, we worked in our Growth Mindset books. We discussed the word, Respect, in detail. Many examples were provided as students worked to complete page 33. We went to the computer lab. The students set up their own math Prodigy accounts with my assistance. The rest of the time students organized their new account and began solving math problems. When we came back to the class, I reread Charlie... Chapter 25. This chapter focused on the glass elevator. On their own I asked students to write a paragraph describing reasons why make Mr. Wonka's elevator is so unusual. I will be reading all of the student responses to help me assess how much each student is understanding paragraphs. Phonemic sounds were practiced before and after recess. Once again, we concluded the day with math. I put another mental math problem on the board. Students discussed different ways (algorithms) to solve the problem. We finished the day reviewing the 4 problem solving steps and working on this challenging problem.... "There are 5 trucks. On each truck are 5 crates. In each crate are 5 boxes. In each box there are 5 rings. How many total rings are there on all the trucks?" I have been emphasizing reading each sentence piece by piece and drawing pictures of what we read to help us solve the problem. We will continue this discussion on Monday. Have a good weekend. Perhaps I will see you this evening.




11/8/18 - LIFETOUCH PICTURES WENT HOME TODAY for all the parents who paid for them. PICTURE RETAKE/MAKE-UP DAY HAS BEEN MOVED TO MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH. A Girl Scout note, wreath fundraiser information, and a Swimming note also were placed in the red folders. SQUARE 1 ART MATERIAL WILL BE SENT HOME TOMORROW. Tomorrow is MOVIE NIGHT and it is RED WING SPIRIT DAY as well. Math homework is to complete homelink 3.4. Remember, homelinks should stay at home until I collect them at the end of the unit. Unit 3 reviews are also meant to stay home until students bring them back to use on the unit 3 assessment. As mentioned yesterday, all of the students completed their first computer I Ready reading growth check. Overall, the class scored higher on this growth check than any other of my previous classes. We are off to a great start. We began the morning with Literacy Lab. It went well. After Lab, we continued completing our Chocolate paragraph puzzle (see yesterday for more info.) Students worked on this until they went to art class. In the afternoon students finished their paragraph puzzles and they turned their work into me. We proceeded to practice our phonemic sounds and one student did a little sharing (Show and Tell). I read a chapter from Charlie... after reviewing the previous chapter. We are nearing the end of the book. In math we practiced some more mental math. I put some coins on the board and asked the students to find out how much money all the coins were worth. After that, students played a math game called, "Salute". Salute is quite similar to using facts triangles. We concluded our math session going over the second side of the problem solving paper I had passed out several days ago. We reviewed the problem solving steps and discussed mini steps within each step to help us solve the problem. Another Friday quickly approaches. 




11/7/18 - LIFETOUCH PICTURES GO HOME TOMORROW. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD IS WELL DRESSED FOR OUTDOOR WEATHER.  A lot of students were cold at recess and some seemed underdressed. The forecast is COLD. A lot of sickness seems to be going around. Sorry for the delay. I had a conference after school and the material I did write did not save. In the red folder students took home a Leo's restaurant fundraiser note. Students also took home the unit 3 review. This review should stay home for a couple weeks. When the unit 3 test is upon us, students can bring in the review from home and use it on the test. Today, students went to music and we had a brief break. In addition, students took a short I Ready reading quiz in the computer lab. Two months ago students took the entire I Ready reading assessment. Today's test was called a growth check. The results will let teachers, students, and parents see home much their child is improving based on this one "quiz". In the morning our Literacy Lab time went well. Most students are highly focused for the great majority of the time. After Lab, students worked on a paragraph puzzle. A paragraph puzzle involves separating sentences on a paper into proper paragraphs. We work hard on determining ways to decide which sentence belongs to a particular paragraph. In math we did some mental math work. Mental math involves students solving a problem without writing tools. Mental math problems are not memorized problems. As a whole group, students discuss strategies they used to solve the problem mentally. Perhaps you might ask your child to solve 21 + 31  in his/her head and explain how he/she did it. This afternoon we also spent time practicing our phonemic sounds. The day moved quickly.




11/5/18 - NO SCHOOL TOMORROW. Teachers have an academic staff development day. It is a good day for students to be off as many strangers will be in the building voting. Except for three students who already received their unit 2 tests, the unit 2 tests should have gone home via the red folders. Please sign the parent paper and return it this week. Also in the red folders students should have taken home their problem solving paper. Over the next two days students should try to complete both sides. That paper is their math homework. Please return this paper on Wednesday. AS OF NOW, PICTURE MAKE UP AND RETAKE DAY IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS FRIDAY. As of now, our school secretary does not know when the student pictures will be coming in. Students went to gym. Literacy Lab went well. Students continue to enjoy this one hour block working on their choice of language arts stations. Before gym we read over another chocolate article. We worked on highlighting sentences different colors based upon what each sentence talked about. In the afternoon we began another week of phonemic awareness practice. After that, I talked about some of the extra credit problems from the unit 2 math assessment. Then, we worked on today's problem solving homework. I read another chapter from Charlie... We continue to focus on inside character traits. After recess, we focused on math patterns to help us solve problems in a more efficient way. We ended the day completing math journal page 47.




11/2/18 - A Youth Making a Difference note and a Movie Night note should have been sent home via the red folders. There is no math homework on the weekend. Look for the unit 2 tests to come home this Monday. A few students already should have taken home the unit 2 assessment. We had another good day. Students had the opportunity to check out more library books and we took a brief break in the morning. Literacy Lab went well again as I worked with individuals and small groups. Before library we completed the second half of the chocolate essay. I provided the model of, "Where does chocolate come from and how is it made"? In the afternoon we went to the computer lab. The students learned how to navigate the Microsoft Word document onto their desk top. The time remaining students were given academic choice. When we came back to the class, I read another chapter from Charlie. Every time I read, I review and discuss various reading skills needed to become an active, informed reader. After recess, we reviewed the four problem solving steps. Then, the students worked on solving some story problems. Time is flying by. Have a good weekend.




11/1/18 - Happy November! Thank you for the emailed Halloween pictures. We sure enjoyed them. Every red folder should now have a November calendar with it. Hope it is helpful. The Thanksgiving canned food drive has begun. Donate as you see fit. The new math homelink books should have come home today. For homework students should work on link 3.1. The first unit review will be sent home later next week. Remember, until the end of the unit, the math links should stay home. As needed, answer keys are in the front of the link. I will recollect the links at the end of the unit. All unit 2 links should be turned into me by tomorrow. This morning the Literacy Lab continued to flow well. Many students are utilizing their time effectively. After Lab we took our snack break and enjoyed looking at the emailed Halloween pictures. After break, we changed our desks for the month of November. We also cleaned out our desks and we cleaned out our lockers. This took awhile, but it was well worth the time. Before art class I went over a couple more expectation reminders. In the afternoon we practiced, as a whole group, our phonemic sounds. Our class is coming along. After that, I showed a chocolate video. I passed out the students chocolate graphic organizers. We reviewed what we worked on and proceeded to complete the remaining portions of it. Then, we began writing our essay as a whole group. We concluded the day with math. We practiced our basic facts using the fact triangles. Then, I discussed how we could use more ten frames to add numbers without counting each number one by one. We closed the day reminding each student to place their names on their homelink book before they left for the day. Another weekend approaches quickly.




10/31/18 - Happy Halloween. Feel free to email me tmai@livoniapublicschools.org  your Halloween pictures from this evening. The students would like to see the pictures tomorrow morning. No notes went home via the red folders and there is no math homework on Halloween. The morning went well. Thank you again for all of the donations. Students enjoyed the food and they had fun participating in the parade. It was a blessing that the rain stopped. During the morning students worked on some Halloween worksheets and I told them a couple Halloween stories from my youth. Around 11:00 we changed out of our costumes and went to music. In the afternoon the students had a solid hour of Literacy Lab. They did a great job reading and focusing on other literacy stations. Around 2:10 I reviewed the last couple chapters from Charlie... I discussed how authors write in a way that the readers like and dislike different characters. After recess, I read a couple more chapters from Charlie... We finished the day practicing our phonemic sounds as a whole group. The year continues to fly by.




10/30/18 - A reminder note about the 1/2 breakfast and parade was sent home via the red folders. As the note mentions, students should come with their costumes worn. Please have the kids bring in a bag as the costumes will be taken off in the later morning. Thank you for all of the donations. I think we are in good shape. What a blessing it is to have such generous parents. Students may pass out trinkets tomorrow. Please, per school policy, do not bring in any candy. Students who pass out trinkets (plastic spiders, rings, false teeth, etc) should have enough for every student. Any parent who arrives by 10:15 on the lower elementary playground should see the 1/2 students' parade. For the most part I will be handling the breakfast with the students. There is no math homework. The test in math was long enough. Today, we had a morning break. After literacy lab, the students took the unit 2 math test. Look for the results of this test to come home on Friday or Monday. I am still active doing some conferences and Halloween is tomorrow. I gave students an hour to take the math test as there was quite a bit of extra credit the students could work on. We concluded the morning with the students quietly reading as they finished up their math assessment. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. Then, I distributed another chocolate article. I emphasized with the students how to identify paragraphs. I reviewed how to use paragraphs to help us find answers in the text. Before recess we also reviewed some expectations. After recess, I read from Charlie. I summarized the previous chapters and discussed inner traits with the students. We completed the day talking about tomorrow's celebration and the expectations during it. As always, contact me with any questions you may have. REMINDER - IF YOU HAVE A UNIT 2 HOME LINK AT HOME, PLEASE TURN IT INTO ME.




10/29/18 - The Fall Festival was a blast. I hope you had a terrific time if you were able to make it. No notes went home in the red folder. However, for homework students should have taken home the unit 2 review. THE UNIT 2 TEST IS TOMORROW. Students should bring back the review to use as a guide on the test. Some students were also encouraged to take home the extra credit paper I made available. WE SHOULD BE ALL SET REGARDING OUR PARTY DONATIONS. THANK YOU. If you have not already done so, please bring in your party donations by tomorrow. Please return the unit 2 homelink math booklets as I will be collecting each one. THANK YOU.  Today, we took a brief morning break and the students went to gym. Our Literacy Lab went well. Many of the students are enjoying working on increasing their reading fluency. After break time, we continued working on highlighting the Chocolate article. Students are highlighting the article in different colors depending on whether the article is talking about where chocolate comes from or how it is made. We had a good discussion as well about headings and paragraphs using the article. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds as a whole group. Then, I read a couple paragraphs from Charlie... Students wrote a paragraph in their writing books explaining why Augustus Gloop was selfish. We used evidence from the text to explain our thinking. At the end of the day we went over the math review. I gave any student who did not have the review in hand another one. During this time I also went over a couple more strategies students might want to implement as they prepare for and take tomorrow's test. THE HALLOWEEN PARADE WILL BE ON WEDNESDAY. STUDENTS MAY WEAR APPROPRIATE HALLOWEEN ATTIRE. I WILL TRY TO FINALIZE THE TIME ON TOMORROW'S WEBSITE.




10/26/18 - THE FALL FESTIVAL IS THIS EVENING AT RILEY FROM 6-8:00. Students are encouraged to wear school appropriate costumes. See you there? In the red folder students should have taken home a ballet note, a second unit two math review, and a note from me about my website/Twitter. There is no math homework on weekends. Having said that, students who have been on vacation, sick, or behind completing the review might want to work on it. The review can be used on Tuesday's unit two math test. Donations for Wednesday's breakfast buffet are coming along. Some doughnuts, apple slices, and juice boxes may need to be purchased. If you have yet to donate and would be willing to, feel free to email me. Please wait for my return email confirmation before picking any items up. Today, students went to the library and they had the opportunity to check out more books (provided they turned in their other ones). We had a brief break in the morning. Literacy went fine. Students are doing a variety of activities as I work with groups and individuals. After our break, I practiced phonemic awareness sounds with the whole class. See my earlier website notes for more information about this. After that, we read an article about chocolate. Students highlighted sentences in different colors depending if the sentence referred to how chocolate was made or where it came from. We had a good discussion. We continued working on this article into the afternoon. In the computer lab students were given academic choice. I showed the students some possible sites to utilize. We finished up the day reviewing odd/even numbers, name collection boxes, and following patterns. The days are flying by too fast.




10/25/18 - The first round of Box Tops ends tomorrow. Our Fall Festival is at Riley tomorrow from 6-8:00. Should be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there. Donations for the Halloween breakfast on Wednesday are coming in. Still could use donations of doughnuts, apple juice, apple slices, candy corn, and marshmallows. If you are able to donate, simply email me what you would like to donate. Please wait for me to confirm your email so that the correct food and amount is purchased. Math homework is link 2.9. Students should recognize even numbers as amounts that can be split into two equal groups. Odd numbers can't be split into two groups equally. I taught even and odd numbers already in September so some students may need a little refresher. Today, students went to art, we had a brief morning break, and Mrs. M. presented artwork through the Masterworks program. Literacy lab went well. Some students participated in one of our new stations, Fluency reading. I am already noticing student reading growth early in the year. After lab, we further discussed the Chocolate graphic organizer. We reviewed what was discussed yesterday and began adding notes to paragraph three. Rereading and reading information slowly was emphasized. After masterworks, I read and we discussed another chapter from Charlie... No new traits were recorded. We concluded the day with math. I focused on what the equal sign in math refers to and we practiced some problems. The equal sign refers to both sides of the equation being balanced. It does not refer to the answer. Knowing this should help students solve math problems regardless of which side the equal sign is on. After that, we practiced using helper facts of various amounts to HELP us solve problems. It was a mental math exercise that went well. Have a good evening.




10/24/18 - No new notes were placed in the red folders. Two bags of candy corn and two bags of chocolate chips have been donated for the Halloween breakfast. Thank You. Math homework is to complete home link 2.8. THE UNIT TWO TEST IS SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY.  A second review page will come home on Friday. The review may be used on the assessment. Today, students went to music and they had a brief morning break. We started the stay doing our Literacy Lab. As I worked in small groups, Mrs. Alt, another teacher, worked with students on their reading fluency. All students practiced for 15 minutes their phonological awareness. This involves listening to sounds and making/changing the sounds as we go. For example, I might say, "Fight". Change the F to an M. "What do you get"? "Might" There are about seven phonemic awareness strategies we go through. Phonemic awareness practice will become a daily event. In math I modeled once again how to properly problem solve in groups. When students work well in groups, a lot of enjoyable learning can and will take place. We proceeded to complete two pages from the math journal (section 2.8). In reading/writing we discussed where chocolate comes from and how it is made. We brainstormed different foods and discovered that it appears almost all food either comes from a plant or an animal. We watched a video on where chocolate comes from and how it is made. Students received a graphic organizer and I began to model how to fill it out. We watched the brief video a second time. I stopped the video often to record information on the graphic organizer. The students wrote down my notes and added any relevant information to it. The days are flying by. Tomorrow is already Thursday.




10/23/18 - In the red folders you should find a Halloween party donation letter. Please consider donating to the party. Be sure to confirm with me, via email, what you might like to purchase for us. Thank you very much. Also, in the red folder some parents received a conference reminder notice. The math homework is similar to yesterday. Students should explain how they solved one of the story problems. Or, students could finish one of the problems yet to be completed. I will be assigning the home link pages again shortly. However, problem solving is very important and I find working on problem solving strategies to be super beneficial. THE UNIT TWO MATH TEST IS SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY. I WILL GIVE THE STUDENTS A SECOND UNIT TWO REVIEW ON FRIDAY. The review may be used on the assessment. Today, we did not have a special. We did take a morning break. During Literacy Lab students worked at their stations. I met with certain students. We are discussing vowels and syllables. I read from Charlie... We reviewed an inside trait of the Oompa Loompas. We wrote in our Growth Mindset books. Students completed a couple pages on EXPECTATIONS. We also reviewed what responsibility means. We started and finished our essay on how animal migrations are alike and different. We discussed each piece of the four paragraph essay. I collected the essays. In math I modeled once again how to work in small groups to effectively problem solve. We completed the second story problem about Mr. Ghost's 25 students. The day went by fast as we were busy having fun learning.




10/22/18 - It is good to be back. In the red folder some parents received an Entertainment Book reminder note. Please return all E. Books as this fundraising event came to a close last Friday. If you did not have a conference with me, simply email me and we will work out a time. Attending conferences sets an example for every child that learning is so important. The first and second graders are celebrating Halloween together. A note regarding this should have gone home last week. A note about food supply donations will be sent home via the red folders tomorrow. MATH HOMEWORK - Students should have taken home Friday's problem solving worksheet. Their homework is to explain how they solved one of the problems. OR - The students should work on one of the problems for 10 minutes. PLEASE return this homework paper tomorrow via the red folders as we will further discuss and work on this paper in class. Today, students went to gym. We had a morning break and I spent time discussing/reviewing some expectations. In math I modeled with students and reviewed the four step problem solving model. I demonstrated this model using students. Then, students worked in groups of three on Friday's problem solving paper. During our Literacy Lab students continued their stations. I met with a couple groups and discussed long vowels and syllables. I read from Charlie after I summarized where we left off last week. I modeled how to write a paragraph on the Oompa Loompa's inner trait (Happy). In addition we completed most of the animal adaptation graphic organizer together. Students recorded the work we did on their own graphic organizers. BOX TOPS, ROUND #1, ENDS THIS FRIDAY. THIS FRIDAY IS ALSO OUR FALL FESTIVAL AT RILEY. Hope to see you there.




10/18/18 -  DISMISSAL WAS AT 12:10. We have conferences the rest of this day. Spirit Day tomorrow. U/M and MSU attire. A soccer note, a baseball note, and a Halloween Party note were placed inside the red folder. Parents who have a conference today also received a reminder note. There is no official math homework this evening. Students who have not completed the unit two review can work on it. I WILL NOT BE HERE TOMORROW. THERE WILL BE NO MATH HOMEWORK TOMORROW (WEEKEND) AND I DO NOT PLAN ON SENDING ANY PAPERS HOME VIA THE RED FOLDERS. THERE WILL BE NO TWWET OR FRIDAY WEBSITE UPDATE. I will be here on Monday. Students went to art. In our Growth Mindset books students wrote about a time they were or were not acting in a responsible way. We shared some of their writing. I also read to the students a story about being responsible. We began the morning with Literacy Lab. Students are doing a nice job reading and writing independently. Our literacy groups begin on Monday. I circulated the room talking and teaching students how to become better readers and writers. See some of you this afternoon.




10/17/18 - Today, students had a half day. Dismissal was at 12:10. Parents who have a conference scheduled for today received a blue reminder note in the red folder. Otherwise, no notes were placed in the red folder. A Halloween note will be sent home later this week. Today, students went to art. We began our day with literacy lab. It is running quite smoothly. Students are basically engaged in literacy stations the entire hour. Next week, I will begin my literacy groups. I spent the hour observing and helping students become better readers. In our Growth Mindset books we wrote down and discussed the definition of RESPONSIBILITY. We watched a brief video of children talking about responsibility and the students wrote down examples of responsible behavior in their lives. Then, we reviewed the word migration. We looked at the Big Question from the article that discussed the migration of some animals. I read the article as the students followed along. I modeled reading strategies along the way. Eventually, students will write two paragraphs on the similarities and differences between each animal's migration. All of this ties into writing a clear paragraph with supporting details. Have a nice day.




10/16/18 - Mistake - There is no Skate Night this evening. In the red folder a PTA Reflections note was placed in it. MOST CONFERENCES BEGIN TOMORROW. I will send out a reminder conference note on Wednesday. 12:10 is the dismissal time this Wednesday and Thursday. Math homework is for the students to work on link 5.7. In math we further discussed the Turn Around Rule and we used it to solve larger problems. Students worked on their addition facts using their fact triangles. We reviewed two digit plus (and minus) two digit numbers. Students completed a worksheet and I collected it. I also collected the problem solving homework from yesterday. Students had a morning break and we took more time to discuss classroom expectations. During the literacy lab students used various stations to improve their reading and writing. We also began our phonemic awareness lessons. I read from Charlie.... We discussed Mr. Wonka's inside trait from the chapter read and I challenged the students to write their own Hamburger paragraph. Picture retake day should be November 9th. I had a guest teacher in the morning. I was being trained on our phonemic awareness program.




10/15/18 - An individual reading note was placed into each student's reading folder. We can discuss this paper during our conference time. CONFERENCES ARE THIS WEEK. A conference reminder note will go home on Wednesday. Contact me if you have any questions. Students should have also taken home their problem solving worksheet. For homework, students should choose one of the problems and be able to explain to a parent how they solved it. As a whole group, we went over the problem solving paper. Students also worked on their basic addition facts using their fact triangles. Students went to gym and we had our pictures taken. We also reviewed lunchroom expectations and discussed ways we could solve the messy situation. I read a couple more chapters from Charlie... On their own students tried to write a paragraph describing one of the crowd's traits as they waited for Mr. Wonka's gate to be opened. During our one hour literacy lab time I continued to monitor student reading progress. Next week, our literacy lab grouping will begin. Further in reading, we discussed the word, Migration. We talked about what migration means and why animals may need to migrate. We began reading an article about migration. I will model how to complete a graphic organizer. The organizer will be used to write a two paragraph essay. Reminder - Most of my conferences will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. Both days are student half days. Dismissal is at 12:10. We do not need to confer on those two days. Do not fret if you need to meet at another time. We DO have school on Friday.




10/12/18 - A Picture Day note, a polio fundraiser note, a fire station note, and a FALL FESTIVAL note were all placed in the red folders. Picture Day is this Monday. HAVE YOU SET UP A CONFERENCE TIME? Most of the conferences are scheduled for this coming Wednesday and Thursday. If needed, simply email me. It is the weekend. There is no official homework. We had a morning break, a fire drill, and students went to the library. After the fire drill, we had a debriefing. Most of the students did well. In math we discussed the four steps to solving a problem. Students are getting good at learning the steps. In groups students worked on four challenging story problems. During our reading time I reviewed with some of my students how to use another reading program. Weekly, I am noticing the students are developing their reading stamina. I read Charlie... and students wrote about the inside traits of the store keeper. I continue to model what a paragraph looks and sounds like. Have a terrific weekend.




10/11/18 - Keep working on the unit 2 math review a little bit on a weekly basis. Math homework is to try to complete link 10.6, the Turn Around Rule. In the red folders a Karate note was sent home. A Picture Day reminder note will go home tomorrow. Picture Day is this Monday. Students enjoyed their time in art and we had a brief morning break outside. In math we practiced completing more Helper Facts in our math journals. We discussed our answers and completed a couple review pages as well. We further discussed the four steps to problem solving and we did some more problems together. I read Charlie... and students wrote why the Bucket Family was beginning to starve. We shared some of our responses. After our literacy lab in the morning, I reviewed with the students how to use our Fluency station. In word study we looked at a most common error - the different sounds fr and fir makes. So many second graders pronounce FIRST GRADE correctly. Yet, they spell first, FRIST. As you finish, please keep on returning the Entertainment Books. Thank you and have an enjoyable evening.




10/10/18 - The unit 2 math review was sent home in the red folder. Homework is to work 10 minutes on the review. The review should stay at home. Students will receive another copy of the review just prior to the second assessment. Working a little bit on the review each evening is a good way to prepare for the coming test. Students who understand the review will do well on the unit two test. Students enjoyed their pizza luncheon. We had a practice lock down drill and on PTA's Facebook page we watched Mr. Grezak get his Coolidge Cougar haircut. In math we continued discussing how Helper Facts can help students solve addition and subtraction facts yet to be memorized. I read Charlie...  and the students wrote about Grandpa Joe's inside traits. During our morning literacy block students read and possibly wrote. I went around monitoring student progress and perused their decision making skills. Mrs. Alt, Coolidge's Literacy Coach, came by. She taught the students how to measure their reading fluency and improve upon it. We closed the morning with the students headed to music. Good Bye, Summer ?




10/9/18 - If you are not going to be selling Entertainment Books, please return these books ASAP. Each book is worth $30. We do not wish to have these books misplaced. There were no notes placed in the red folders. Keep in mind that the second grade students have a pizza lunch given by the PTA tomorrow. Parents may supplement their child's luncheon as they see fit. I know each student will get at least one piece of pizza. 2? A drink will also be provided. Math homework is to complete home link 2.5. Ten minutes of math homework four days a week is the Coolidge expectation. ALMOST EVERYONE HAS SIGNED UP FOR CONFERENCES. Contact me if you still need a time. Conferences are next Wednesday and Thursday. I am flexible. Report cards do not go out until December. We did not have a special today, but we were able to go outside for a morning break. In math we reviewed the problem solving steps and we practiced solving more problems using the four step method. Students also practiced their addition facts using their fact triangles. In addition, we talked about different "Helper Facts" and how they can be used by students and teachers to solve math problems. In reading we had our morning literacy lab. Most students are doing a great job focusing. I read a couple more chapters of Charlie... and students wrote about the various traits each character exhibited. In our Growth Mindset books we wrote down more expectations when students are in specific situations. Time is flying by and I think the students are learning a lot. Have a wonderful evening.




10/8/18 - If you are not going to be selling the Entertainment Books, please return these books ASAP. Each book is worth $30. We do not want to have these books misplaced. In the red folders only a half page pizza lunch note was placed inside it. Math homework is to complete home link 2.4. Use the answer key in the front of the link if needed. Students went to gym. In math we discussed the four important steps to solving a problem. Many examples were given and we practiced solving some problems together. Students also practiced their mental math addition by using their fact triangles with a buddy. This Columbus Day we took time to discuss who Columbus was, what he did, and why his accomplishments were so important. Did you know that Columbus made four trips to the New World? Did you know that Columbus set sail hoping to find a shorter route to Asia? He never planned on discovering a New World. To his dying day he never realized his discovery. Magellan and other navigators to come would validate Columbus' unknown accomplishment. Having said this, Amerigo (America) Vespuchi,  a map maker, had the two continents named after him. Our Literacy Lab (9:15-10:15) went very well. Students are developing their reading stamina nicely. I read to the students a story and we discussed the theme of it. I also read Charlie... We discussed the first two characters who found the first two golden tickets. In their journals students wrote about those character's inner and outer traits. They supported their statements with evidence from the story. We had another good day. 




10/5/18 - Entertainment Books were sent home today. A girls' hockey note and a skating note were placed into the red folders. No homework this evening. It is the weekend. Students went to the Book Fair during their library time. The Book Fair is open until 6:00 this evening. Then, it shuts down. By all accounts, this has been a fantastic Book Fair. Awesome! Students had a brief outside morning break and we had a brief Entertainment Book assembly. In the computer lab we reviewed and practiced navigating to my teacher Outbox (where I store information). Students had academic choice time once they were able to navigate to my Outbox. In math we practiced using the fact triangles to help us memorize our basic addition facts. Look for the unit 2 review to come home next week. During our two reading times students had a number of literacy opportunities to choose from. I completed my individual student reading level assessments and I will be sharing the results during conference time. I read a couple chapters from Willy Wonka. In our writing journals we wrote and shared responses. Students talked about Willy Wonka's inner traits and they had to support their answers in sentence form. I also asked them to write why the Indian prince was considered, "Crazy". We had a good discussion. Another weekend has arrived and the time is moving as fast as ever. Oh yeah, second grade did raise the most money from the Fund Run. THANK YOU ! To celebrate this fact the PTA is giving all the second graders a pizza party this Wednesday.




10/4/18 - No notes were sent home in the red folders. Math homework is to complete home link 2.3. THE HOME LINKS SHOULD STAY AT HOME UNTIL THE END OF THE UNIT. Please turn in the math test parent signature half page (blue)by the end of the week. Students did very well on the first math assessment. We will have an Entertainment Book assembly tomorrow. Look for an Entertainment Book to come home after school. Today, we had a morning break and students enjoyed their art time with Mrs. Stark. We read and discussed Charlie and the... We talked about inner character traits. Students pasted a list of traits in their writing book. Then, they separated the traits into good and bad traits. I read the first couple of chapters of Charlie... Students tried to write a paragraph describing traits that Mr. Wonka exhibited. In math students cut out five pages of fact triangles. We talked about how these triangles are used. Students who finished early completed the four pages of addition facts at the end of the journal. We had two reading periods. As I tested more reading levels, students had six literary choices to choose from. The weeks are flying by. Email me if you have yet to set a conference time. no problem




10/3/18 - A basketball note, a Picture Day note, and the unit one math test should have gone home via the red folder. Math homework is to complete home link 2.2. Please keep the home links at home until the end of the unit. I will collect them then. The Book Fair is open this evening until 6:00. Today, we had a morning break and the students went to music. We spent about 45 minutes reviewing routines and procedures. In math we completed 2.2 in the journal. PLEASE RETURN THE MATH PARENTAL SIGNATURE PAGE THIS WEEK.  The students did very well. It is always good practice for a parent to go over the test with their child. As mentioned above, link 2.2 is the homework. About 10 minutes of math per day is the expectation. I will send home the unit two review some time next week. In reading students had two reading periods. I continued to test student reading levels. I will be done with the first round of testing this week. We can discuss the results at conference time. In writing we completed a second paragraph puzzle together. Students grouped sentences by their common topics using key words to draw comparisons. I read to the students and we discussed the main message of the story. Have a good day.




10/2/18 - Math homework is link 2-1, page27. In the red folder students should have taken home the unit two math home link. The home link can stay home until the end of the unit. I will collect the home links before the unit 2 test. Math journals, which we have begun to use, can go home as well. Having said that, most of the time the journals should stay in class. The journals reflect classroom work whereas the links reflect work done at home. Next week I plan on passing out the unit 2 review. The home links have good information. Unit 2 will largely focus on addition patterns. Today, we did not have a special, but we did take a brief morning break to go outside. Students took the unit one math test. Look for this test to be graded and sent home this week. In the afternoon I introduced unit two. We discussed the purpose of the home links and we worked together on math addition patterns. We completed three journal pages. During our quiet reading blocks students read as I assessed more student reading levels. In writing we worked on a paragraph puzzle. Students color coded the various sentences based on the paragraph they thought each sentence belonged to. Upon finishing, some students recycled their papers while others chose to take their papers home. I read to the students and I also read the start of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This will be our main text for the next month. We will be discussing the big question and we will be looking at the different character traits of each Wonka character. Hopefully, by Halloween, our students will be little chocolate experts. We did have a PTA meeting this morning at 9:30. Our official class Book Fair day is this Friday. Rumor is we may have won the grade level pizza party for raising the most Fund Run dollars. We shall see. Have a good evening.




10/1/18 - Welcome October. The red folders should have contained three notes. One note was on strep throat, one was on a restaurant pizza fundraiser, and one note was on Box Tops. The September calender was also replaced with October's. I recently confirmed that the second PTA meeting is set for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9:30. Today, the students went to gym. The homework for this evening is for the students, with parental assistance, to look over the unit 1 math review for a final time. I made another copy of the review and the students worked on it. As students finished a page, I checked it. Most students need assistance with writing explanations. We will review that skill before tomorrow's assessment. The review can be used on the test if students feel it will help them. Using the 100s chart is encouraged as well. In reading students had a couple reading periods throughout the day. They used reading programs as well to supplement their reading time. I am in the process of finishing checking each student's reading level. I read to the students and discussed the main message (SHOW GRIT). In our Growth Mindset books we completed three pages. These pages focused on school routines and positive phrases. In writing we discussed hamburger paragraphs, reviewing the key parts of each section. We changed desks for the month of October and we cleaned the desks too.




9/28/18 - Good Bye, September. I will miss my favorite weather month. I hope the parents who attended Curriculum Night found the time informative and worthwhile. I hope I did not bore anyone. In the red folders a YMCA note was placed. Three students received a Liv Net form that needs to be completed and returned for students to continue using the computers. Students who did not finish their Halloween addition worksheet were also requested to take that work paper home along with a 100 chart paper. Students may finish this assignment at parent's discretion. The addition worksheet and picture do not need to come back to school. Today, we had a morning recess and the students had an opportunity to check out more books during their library time. Our official Scholastic Book Fair time is next Friday. However, I believe students can shop at recess next week. If you would like me to hold your child's money, that is fine with me. In the computer lab we worked on locating my OUTBOX folder. In this folder I have a number of assignments that the students can and will be working on. Once students located my folder, they began to edit a pizza paragraph that had two sentences which did not belong. Students worked on using the backspace button to erase the mistakes. Academic free time was granted when students completed this assignment. We spent time in the class reviewing and writing as a whole group and individuals Hamburger paragraphs. Most students are getting the hang of it. In math students worked on their Halloween paper. Students who completed this paper challenged each other with addition problems using the whiteboards. Students read silently throughout the day and they used reading computer programs to strengthen reading skills. KEEP IN MIND THAT THE UNIT 1 MATH TEST IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS TUESDAY IN MY CLASS. STUDENTS MAY KEEP THEIR REVIEW AT HOME. If you would like a math reference book, let me know. Have a nice weekend.




9/27/18 - CURRICULUM NIGHT IS THIS EVENING FROM 6-6:45. HOPE TO SEE YOU IN ROOM 13. THE SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR OPENS UP THIS EVENING AS WELL. PTA REGISTRATION AND CONFERENCE SIGN UP WILL BE OPEN TODAY. Curriculum Night is meant for parents. Teachers will give an overview of their classroom tonight. In the red folder no group papers went home. Keep in mind that some students will be taking home individual papers and/or papers that they have left previously in their folders. For homework this evening students should continue working on the math review for 10 minutes. The test is next week. We had an extra recess this morning and students enjoyed their art time with Mrs. Stark. Students had a couple of reading periods. They also read on a variety of reading programs. Their academic stamina seems solid. We did some more cutting and pasting of academic papers in preparation for academic assignments.  We discussed what a paragraph looks like and I modeled what a hamburger paragraph looks like. Then, students tried to write their own hamburger paragraph. In math we went over our skip counting homework assignment from yesterday. We discussed patterns and patterns within patterns. We practiced adding and subtraction numbers using the 100 chart. The 100 chart can be used on next week's math assessment. We had a good day.




9/26/18 - In the red folder you should find three items. I sent home a credit union note from yesterday's assembly. An Opt Out form was also sent home just in case parents missed the earlier messages. The Opt Out form does NOT have to be filled out. However, if a parent does not want something from a student to be made public for school only purposes, parents can return the form. The third paper is the 100 chart. Using four different colors of their choice students should circle the numbers as they count by 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s. We did a preliminary activity today in class so all of the students should be familiar with this exercise. Students should find patterns with the numbers they circle. Students are also encouraged to work on their unit 1 math review. The test is scheduled for early next week. The review should already be at home and it can remain there this week. TOMORROW IS OUR CURRICULM NIGHT. I WILL PRESENT FROM 6-6:45. THE BOOK FAIR WILL ALSO OPEN UP DURING THE CURRICULUM NIGHT HOURS AND CONFERENCE SIGN UP WILL TAKE PLACE (PROBABLY IN THE GYM). Students had a couple reading periods. They read from Read Theory, and I shared a fishing story about GRIT. Students went to music and we had a morning break. In our writing notebooks students wrote from their brainstormed list. Some students shared their pieces. In math we practiced skip counting. We also reviewed how to add money and use the number chart to assist us. We had another productive day. 




9/25/18 - Our first Skate Night takes place this evening from 6-8. In the red folders only one item went home. Students should have taken home a math money paper. The goal is for the students to work on just one problem for up to ten minutes. This math paper is challenging. If students give their best, they will be successful. Please return this paper to school tomorrow via the red folder. CURRICULM NIGHT IS THIS THURSDAY. Today, we went over more rules and procedures. We had an assembly from the credit union. A credit union student saver note should go home tomorrow. In math we talked more about the value of each American coin. Students practiced in buddies and in larger groups trying to find the amount of money each amount represented. The paper the students took home was part of our culminating activity. I modeled story problem number one for the students. I encouraged them to write my model down on their papers. In reading I read to the students and discussed GRIT in further detail. In our Growth Mindset books students wrote about a time when they demonstrated GRIT. We saw a couple brief videos to emphasize this characteristic. Students used the Chromebooks to become more familiar with the program, Read Theory. Many students seem to enjoy it. In writing students received their narrative books. Students cut and pasted a hamburger paragraph on the front and we brainstormed a list of at least 20 topics students could write about. We had another good day.




9/24/18 - Two Scholastic Book Fair notes should have gone home via the red folder. Students also should have taken home the Unit 1 Math Review. The test should take place early next week. Students can keep the review at home and use it to study for the assessment. I do not need the review to return to school. However, if a parent has a question about the review or wants me to look it over, it would be fine to return it to Coolidge. CURRICULUM NIGHT IS THIS THURSDAY. Students went to gym and we had an extra 10 minute recess break in the morning. A couple more routines and procedures were practiced. I read to the students and discussed the main message of the story. We had three quiet reading blocks throughout the day. Students were introduced to the reading program, READ THEORY. This reading program gives students short fiction and non fiction passages to read. Each passage is based upon the student's reading level. As students improve, the passages become more challenging. Students are able to monitor their own progress. In math students continued working on their two digit plus two digit paper. As they worked on that, they also received the Unit 1 Math Review. The math review correlates nicely with the test. Basically, only the numbers are different. Students who understand the review will do very well on the assessment. We concluded the day discussing coins - why we have them, their value, and their size. We had a good day. 




9/21/18 - No information was placed into the red folder. Students had a really good day. The inclement weather stayed away and we enjoyed our Fund Run activities. Will Mr. Grezak get a paw print on his head? Wait for Monday. Thank you for your donations. Students went to library and were able to check out more books. Except for one student, all the library books checked out remain in the classroom. During our math time students worked on completing a Halloween addition paper. They were very motivated even though October has not arrived. I read to the students and they had independent reading time as well. Students utilized our Chromebooks and they read from the program, Epic. We went to the computer lab. Students spent more time getting comfortable with the lab and the expectations. Almost all the students have memorized their passwords. Excellent. After afternoon recess, we celebrated the Fund Run with popsickles. The day went by quickly. Have a good weekend.




9/20/18 - WEAR RED. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will have our school wide Fund Run. For about an hour students will go to a variety of stations and do exercises at each one. The PTA is asking for financial donations to be turned in by tomorrow as well. Please see the notes in the red folder for more details. Seven notes should have made it home this afternoon. Students received two Fund Run notes, two Karate notes, a note about the Clothing Depot, a note about Drama classes, and a Skate Night note. Students enjoyed their time at art. We had two quiet reading sessions. We practiced more routines and procedures. Students had the opportunity to further peruse the computer reading program, Epic. I read to the students. In math we practiced in a variety of ways how to subtract numbers. Using the 100 chart was emphasized. With much practice, comes greater success. In our Growth Mindset Books the students wrote about who they want to be. We also discussed protocol for our lock down practices. Have a nice evening.




9/19/18 - Nothing was added to the red folder today. Our Fund Run takes place this Friday. Red is the color students are requested to wear. All Fund Run donations should come in this week. Let's raise enough money to have Mr. Grezak receive a Coolidge Cougar Paw Print in his hair. Many families have made contributions. Thank you! Students went to music, we had an extra morning recess, and Mr. Grezak talked to the second graders about having a Growth Mindset. Students had a couple of quiet reading periods. During our literacy lab time students were introduced to the reading program, getepic.com. This program acts similar to a second grade on line library. Students have many reading sources to choose from and they can use this program at home. The students seemed to enjoy perusing the site. In math students began working on subtracting whole numbers using the number grid. After a group lesson, students practiced in pairs. At the end of the day, students worked on comparing money and finding numbers that add up to ten. After lunch, the students were read to. In the afternoon I had a guest teacher. I was subbed out so that I could have more time working on testing individual student reading levels. Time is moving rapidly.




9/18/18 - Only a Scholastic News about the U.S. Constitution should have gone home in the red folder. We had an extra morning recess, two practice Lock Down drills, and a Credit Union Assembly that we went down to after lunch. However, the assembly needed to be rescheduled. Students had two quiet reading periods. I am observing what type of readers each student is and I am in the process of identifying students who are using their time wisely and selecting just right reading material. We talked about more the Constitution through the Scholastic News. In our Growth Mindset books I reintroduced the word, GRIT. Students wrote what grit means to them and they provided examples of demonstrating grit. On page 29 they drew a picture of the word. In math students practiced using their number charts to add numbers. Then, they worked together on problems that had missing numbers from the number chart. During our literacy lab time students shared more sight words and tried to spell those words correctly. Have a good evening.




9/17/18 - A Cheerleading note and a reminder Scout note were placed inside the red folder. Students went to gym and we had an extra morning recess. More rules, routines, and procedures were discussed. In math we continued more of the two by two digit addition problems. Students are working on learning and relearning math patterns and how to work well in groups. We had a couple quiet reading periods. Students worked on their sight words. In buddies students practiced writing certain words and using those words in sentences. I read to the class after lunch. Today was Constitution Day in the state of Michigan. We talked about the purpose behind a Constitution and watched an animated video concerning it. Have a nice evening.




9/14/18 - If you do not want your child's picture made public, please fill out an Opt Out form. The Coolidge website has these forms. The school office has these forms as well. If we do not receive an Opt Out Form, we assume that parent is ok with their child's picture made public for school purposes. For more information, contact the office or myself. Well, we made it through the first full week of school. We went from cool weather early in the week to humid weather at the end of the week. There is no homework. Rather, encourage your child to read, read, and read. Students who have books about topics they love and can read tend to become avid, life-long readers. In the red folder should be two Fund Run reminder notes. Our Fund Run is next week. Thank you to those families who were willing and able to donate. The PTA does so many positive things for our school. Students had the opportunity to check out more library books. Remember that we have gym on Monday. Students had several opportunities to read. We continued working on finding consistent patterns to correctly add two digit by two digit numbers. More procedures were discussed and I took the students out for a morning recess. We took our one session school improvement math problem. The same problem will be given in the spring. We will be expecting students to demonstrate a lot of growth. I read to the students. At the end of the day we cooled off in the computer lab. I let the students go on a variety of appropriate sites. Have a good weekend.




9/13/18 - No homework this evening. If you do not want your child's picture shown anywhere, please turn in an Opt - Out Form. See the Coolidge website for this document or ask the office for one. Red folders had nothing added. Students went to art and we had a morning recess. Unless absent, students completed the school improvement BEAVER article and paragraph response. We had two quiet reading periods. More routines and procedures were practiced. Many students could still use a rag as a whiteboard cleaner. Also, please consider donating to next week's Fund Run. The PTA does so much for us. In math we discussed how to add with a 100 chart table. We looked at patterns within the table and practiced solving addition problems as a whole group. Our first full week is drawing to a close.  




9/12/18 - No homework. Keep on reading. There were no notes placed in the red folders. Please send in a rag for students to clear their whiteboards. Fund Run donations continue on-line. Please consider making a donation. The PTA does much for Coolidge. Today, students had an extra morning recess. They went to music. We returned to the computer lab to complete our I Ready testing. Almost everyone is done. Students had a couple reading periods throughout the day. In math we continued working with even and odd numbers. Students used whiteboards in partners to take a number and divide it into equal groups. Session 3 of the school improvement BEAVER article was taken. I read to the students and we discussed more routines and procedures. Have a nice evening.




9/11/18 - We will NEVER forget. No homework. Keep on reading daily. Nothing was added to the red folders, but out of habit, the folders should go home on a daily basis. We had several reading blocks this day and I read to the students twice. We talked about the author's message. More classroom routines were discussed. In math students worked on odd and even numbers using individual whiteboards. We spent some more time in the computer lab as more students worked on completing the I Ready assessment. Students read the school improvement Beaver article and took notes from it. The school improvement results will help teachers identify strengths and weaknesses of students so that we can target areas needing improvement. We had another good day. The students are becoming more adjusted to the expectations and routines of the class. Have a nice evening. 




9/10/18 - Our first Monday together. In the red folder students should have taken home a Scout invite. Almost all of the students are taking home and bringing back their red folders on a daily basis. Excellent! Students went to gym today. We had a couple of quiet reading periods. I went over more of our routines and procedures. We switched desks and cleaned our desks as well. I played the Name Game and did quite well. I finally know everyone's name in the class. YEAH! In math we had a further discussion about even and odd numbers. Ask your son/daughter about them. I read The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and we discussed the message, or theme, of the story. I passed out our Growth Mindset books. We filled out the rules for fire drills and tornado drills. We went back to the computer lab and continued our I Ready math and reading assessments. We are almost done. Students read when they were finished. In class we began our School Improvement assessment. Students read about beavers and they watched a video on beavers. Students are reading for the purpose of understanding how beavers build their homes and how they use what they build. Tomorrow, Coolidge will have its first PTA meeting at 7:00. Perhaps I will see you there.




9/7/18 - The Open House seemed to go very well. It was nice to meet many of you. I placed the blue PTA folders inside the red ones. Some parents did not pick the PTA folders up at Open House. Nothing else was added to the red folder. There is no homework on the weekend. Naturally, students should try to read on a daily basis. Students went to the library and they were able to check out books the very first week. YEAH! We went back to the computer lab and continued our I Ready testing. We had several quiet reading periods throughout the day. I read to the students and discussed how fictional authors have themes, or messages, to their stories. In math we completed an even and odd number worksheet. We talked about what makes an even and an odd number. Students colored in a little Ninja in preparation for our math facts. We took an extra recess in the morning and practiced a tornado drill. Second grade seems to be off to a good start. Have a nice weekend.




9/6/18 - Open House/Picnic is this evening from 6-7:30. Hope to see you there. Red folders should go home on a daily basis. You should have found Mrs. Stark's art note inside. There is no homework. Hopefully, students are reading at home on a daily basis. Students went to art today. We discussed fire drill procedures and had our first practice fire drill. We had an extra morning recess. We returned to the computer lab. Students continued working on the I Ready math test. When that test was finished, students began taking the reading assessment. We had a couple quiet reading periods and discussed how to choose a JRB, just right book. Other routines and procedures were discussed. Students finished up their pictures from Tuesday. I emphasized writing stamina and doing personal best. At the end of the day, students had a Open House activity. They filled in a pennant with information, colored it, and cut it out. Most, but not all students, were able to finish. Either way, that is fine. Tomorrow, students will go to the library. They probably will not have the opportunity to check out books. Perhaps I will see you shortly.




9/5/18 - We made it through our first full and hot day. If everything was filled out, nothing should be in the red planner. The planner should go home and be returned on a daily basis. Please turn in the Emergency Cards and how your son/daughter is going home by the end of the week. I already have most parental information. Thank you. One E-Card remains with the office and one stays with me in the classroom. Tomorrow is our scheduled Open House/ Kona Truck/Picnic. Come any time between 6:00 and 7:00. Open House ends at 7:30, weather permitting. Most parents will probably spend about 30 minutes at the school. It is simply a time to meet and greet as well as peruse the school. Today, we began the I Ready math assessment. It was nice to go in the air conditioned computer lab. The I Ready test results are not graded. The results are not part of the report card. The information is used to determine what each student basically knows. It gives teachers a starting point. We will continue with the I Ready this week. Students went to music. Tomorrow the students have art. Art shirts are optional. In the afternoon we read in the computer lab to escape the heat. Then, I allowed the students some free time on the computer. Students are doing a good job relearning their passwords and navigating. After second recess, I read to the class. We discussed some more routines and procedures. We watched the Zootopia video and talked about its message of determination. A lot of us left with more smiles on our faces. Tomorrow should be a much more conducive teaching day. Hope to see all of you tomorrow. Mr. Mai




9/4/18 - Hey, you found me. We had a great first day of school. I hope your child came home with a smile and some positive things to say. The class looks like a good group of students. Each day I will write on my website. Please look at it daily as relevant information will be on it. Tomorrow is our first full day of school. Students should return and take home their red folders on a daily basis. Please return the Emergency Cards this week. Please fill out both identical cards, one for me and one for the office. In addition, please return the form indicating how your child will typically be going home. Regarding school supplies, keep in mind that the second grade list is only a suggestion. I can and will provide all the needed materials for all of the students. Having said that, many of you already donated many supplies. Bless you. I believe our gym day will be on Monday. Students should have gym shoes on Monday. Art shirts are optional. I check my emails every day I am here. Reaching me after school works well for me. My email address is tmai@livoniapublic schools.org. I also tweet daily discussing homework. Today, we went over some of the expectations. I read to the class, we went out to recess, and students had a drawing/writing assignment. Tomorrow will be another hot day. Please prepare for it. Look forward to seeing you at Open House this Thursday. Mr. Mai