I think I missed November, it is flying by so quickly! I want to thank all you parents for coming to conferences. It really shows why St. Patrick School has so much success. We have had some good work this month, short as it is. I checked AR scores this week and was VERY impressed with improvements! Many have brought their scores up considerably. We have been working on telling time in Math, and really getting down to work on vowels in reading. We just learned about the liturgical cycle in the atrium, and look forward to Advent coming up soon. Of course, we are talking about Pilgrims and Native Americans, and about their most valuable commodity, corn. We also have done some fun STEM projects with leaves, pattern blocks, and building.
I welcome hearing from you if you have any questions or problems. Have a great Thanksgiving Break, and then we'll plunge into the few weeks we have before Christmas!
The field trip was a great success! Thank you again to all the drivers. We had a wonderful time, and it is such a big place, it would have been much harder, and possibly more stressful if we hadn't had enough chaperones to watch students in many different places. I like to think it also helped the parents know a little more about what we are learning at school. Do you remember learning some of that stuff we heard there in Jr. High school science? I do. Times have changed, and we are really trying to emphasize science, math, technology, and engineering.
It was nice and cool today, making me think about fall and all the activities coming up. Starting Sept. 26, we have Respect Life Week. It is filled with special events, but gives us a chance to really think about how precious life really is, in all its aspects, and allows some time for fun, though it is a more thoughtful, meditative week than Red Ribbon Week, which will be coming up 2 weeks later. Then, of course we will have Halloween and Parent Teacher Conferences (one is almost synonymous with the other by now.) I'm anxious to visit with you about how your students are doing in second grade. They are growing so much in their skills already!
Second grade has Mass parts the second week of October, and we have a field trip to Exploration Place on Oct. 14. I'm excited about that. I think the kids will learn a lot from that experience. In terms of class work, we will be studying long sounds for the vowels and how they are spelled, more about comprehension of both fiction and non-fiction, math facts, especially addition, Jesus, God's Son and the Holy Spirit, U.S. government and elections, and properties of liquids and gases, and magnets. So much to do!!
I hope you have a wonderful month. Thank you to all who have come in to sign ILP's, and please feel free to come in anytime to visit.
With cooler weather, and the start of September, it almost seems like Fall, but I'm sure we'll get much more hot weather when we least expect it. We've been in school 3 weeks, and the kids are really starting to settle in. They generally know what comes next in the day, and how to do basic things, so that is a relief.
We have been using the Chromebooks a lot, which has led to some time spent figuring things out, but, again, I feel like we are able to do what we need to most of the time now, and things are going pretty smoothly.
I want to thank all the parents who came to Back-to-School night. I know it is hard to make the time, but I think you will find it was worth it. I enjoyed meeting those I didn't know before. For those who weren't able to come, most of the information I had for you is also on this website. I will try to keep you informed as much as possible throughout the year.
We will have Aimsweb testing the week of Labor Day. Other than that, September is usually a good month to get a lot of work done without a lot of disruption. We will have a field trip to Exploration Place on October 14, so keep that in mind.
We are working on map skills, properties of matter, who God is, and the Trinity, short vowels, and math facts this month. Please ask your child about his/her work at school, and let me know if you need anything!
I have a new homework policy I will unveil at Back-to-School Night. It is this: 1: Play, 2: Read, 3: Sleep I feel that these are very important for second grade-age children, and for all of us for that matter. CREATIVE play develops the brain, reading ANYTHING helps with all aspects of academic work, and children need 9 - 11 hours of sleep at ages 7-9. These are all scientifically proven necessities in order for children to develop their mental capacities to the fullest, though you may read different numbers on different websites for the sleep hours.
This doesn't mean they won't ever have homework - I will ask students to bring things from home at times, and I really appreciate your cooperation, since those items will be a direct part of the learning at school, and your child we be at a disadvantage without whatever it is. I will either email, or have the students write it in the agenda in this case.
Also, I would like them to practice spelling words at home, and to finish any work not completed at school. And, I may occasionally send home a short homework sheet, but usually only in math to show the usefulness of math in real -life situations.
I am aware that some parents want their children to become accustomed to homework early, so if this is so, you are the primary educators, and I will be happy to visit with you about second grade standards, and what your child could do to up his/her game a little bit.
Thanks for reading - I had intended this to be a SHORT post, but you know us teachers, we like to be sure we've covered everything!
SAVE THE DATES for 2016-2017 second graders!
First Reconciliation - April 2, 12:00 Noon
First Communion - April 30, 12:00 Noon
I am moving to a format of 6 days per reading story, rather than a week, for second grade this year. This gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the story, comprehension and writing activities. Sometimes I found myself hurrying too much to get everything done, especially in short weeks, so I am excited about digging deeper into comprehension! This will make our spelling tests on the 6th day of the cycle, so kids will have a little more time to study, too.
We use spellingcity.com a lot. There are many fun games students can play not only for spelling, but also other language arts skills. I recommend that students go to this website at least once during the week at home to practice their spelling words if the internet is available. To find the list for the week, go to spellingcity.com and log in. The log-in will be in students' agendas. It will take you to my spelling lists. From there, look for the list titled by the story we are reading that week. I will put the name of the story on "Mrs. Hernandez's Classroom Calendar" here on the school website. (Also, remember that spelling words are written in the agenda at the beginning of each story.) Students need to take the test at school, but rather than waiting for the 6th day, they can take it ahead of time on the computer. About half way through the school year, I begin giving an alternate, harder list to students who find the spelling words too easy. I'll tell them about that when the time comes. If you have questions, please call or email.
If you would like to order book club books for your child(ren) online instead of having the hassle of sending the money to school, Scholastic has made it pretty easy. Check under "Documents" at the right to see a letter from Scholastic explaining how to do it. You have to use an access code the first time, which is on that letter, as well as on the flyer, but after that, you set your own password. It is pretty easy, and the orders come to the school right along with the order from the classroom. You are able to order from any flyer, not just the ones sent home by me. The advantage to the class is that Scholastic donates a book to our classroom for every online order made.
Parents, if your child's birthday falls during the summer, you might like to send birthday treats on his or her half-birthday or saint day. This way it seems more like a real birthday, instead of an afterthought. I do appreciate you letting me know ahead of time when you want to bring treats, but most any day works unless we are not going to be in the classroom for some reason. Please remember to bring only one item for birthdays. No drinks. It may seem like a small thing, but children are very proud to bring treats to school, so thank you for the effort!
Please check the documents section at the top. I have uploaded a Student Information sheet. I would like all parents to fill out for me. It is information I think may help me to teach your child more effectively. You may either fill out a paper form at Back to School Night or print it, fill it out, and have your child bring it back to school. Not all questions have to be filled out, only the ones you feel apply to your child, or you haven't already written on 10 other forms. And, of course, always feel free to call, email, text, or come in if you have anything else you would like to discuss. I am NOT open 24 hours a day, but I do not mind calls at home. :)