Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday, October 30

Fall Festival

We all enjoyed our Fall Festival party held last Friday.  Thanks to the treats committee kids and their parents for sending treats!  We played Pumpkin Bowling where we tried to knock over a pyramid of toilet paper rolls, and the popular Heads Up 7-Up game!  Then we put on our costumes and went to the Keystone Care Center to parade for the residents.  They gave us lots of candy, so that's why your child came home with so much loot!  I got a few pictures of them in their costumes:


Tomorrow we begin Unit 3 and the reading strategies are Identiying Sequence of Events and Determining Text Importance.  Unit 2 was about Analyzing Characters and Visualizing.  We took the post-assessment on Friday and instead of sending it home, I'll keep it to show you at conferences. I've also been individually testing each student to determine their current reading level and fluency rate, which you'll see on the report card or at conference.  

I hope you're using the "Say Something" card after reading the Take Home Books that come home in the baggie.  It will help your child with comprehension by having them give a response to what they've read.  We do a lot of that in school, so they should be getting the hang of it!


The first 3 Math topics were about addition and subtraction strategies.  In Topic 4, you may have noticed lots of repeated addition on their math pages.  It's a basic introduction to multiplication and has been a nice break from addition and subtraction strategies!  We will test on Topic 4 this week, then move on to Place Value, which will get us ready for two-digit addition and subtraction as we move into the middle of the year.  The vast majority of 2nd grade math involves the quick recall of basic facts, so those strategies we learned in Topics 1-3 will come in handy as the year progresses.  Kids who don't use them move at a considerable slower pace and make more mistakes in solving 2 and 3 digit addition and subtraction.  That's why we emphasis Sticky Math so much all year long!

In a few weeks, every elementary student at Benton will be given a math test to determine their amount of growth from the beginning of the year.  I will share those results at conferences and compare that to what I see in their classroom work.

Dates on Deck

Monday, October 31  Crazy Sock Day (to celebrate our goal of over 1000 socks for Socktober)!
Wednesday, November 2  12:00 dismiss for end of elementary trimester/report card data
Friday, November 4  Breakfast Buddies 7:30 am
Friday, November 11  Report Cards sent home
Wednesday, November 16  1:00 dismiss for conferences 2:00-7:30
Monday, November 21  1:00 dismiss for conferences 2:00-7:30
November 23-27 Thanksgiving Break

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday, October 20

Device Day

We met our goal of receiving 5 Golden Ticket for awesome classroom behavior and the class voted to have Device Day be our reward. So, tomorrow, Friday, October 21, students may bring a hand held game device to school and I'll allow kids to play theirs for 15 minutes.  If you don't have a device or don't want to send one, I'll let them use the school computers or ipads in the classroom.


If you haven't already, you still have time to send some new socks to school that we will donate to the homeless in Cedar Rapids.  Thank you if you already have!  We hope to get 1000 pairs of socks by the end of October!  Right now, we are over 600.  Ask your family and friends to help out too...especially those from out of we are trying to get socks from all 50 states.

Fall Festival Party

We will have our Fall Festival Party next Friday, October 28.  It's a 1:00 dismiss that day, so we will party all morning!   Well, we will do some academics from 8:10-10:00!  At 10:30 we will walk to the Keystone Care Center to parade our costumes for the residents.  So children can bring a costume (don't wear it) to school that day and we will change into it for the parade, then have a party with treats and games in our classroom.  Please don't send any weapon-type items to school with a costume!

Red Ribbon Week

Below is a link to the purple sheet that came home about Red Ribbon week, which is next week.  We won't be doing PJ Day on Friday, due to it being our Fall Festival and we're bringing costumes to wear instead.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Fall conferences will be coming up on November 16 and 21.  Benton is trying something new this year by having online scheduling.  Parents may schedule one time slot per child.   Info about how to schedule online will be coming home soon.

Dates on Deck

Friday, October 28  1:00 Dismiss and Fall Festival Party
Wednesday, November 2, 12:00 Dismiss
Friday, November 4  Breakfast Buddies  7:30 am
Wednesday, November 16  1:00 Dismiss for Parent Teacher Conferences
Monday, November 21  1:00 Dismiss for Parent Teacher Conferences
November 23-27  No School - Thanksgiving Break

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday, October 10

Student Data Graph

Below is a graph of student data containing results of the beginning of the year FAST test, which is the state mandated reading test that measures fluency.  Each student in my class is identified by a number at the bottom of the graph.  If you'd like to know which bar is your child's, send me an email asking for the number.  Then you will be able to compare your child to the other 22 in our class.  Also on the graph are parallel lines showing the score desired (Benchmark) for fall, winter, and spring.  By looking at this you can tell what growth is expected throughout the year.

For those in the red, we are doing many small group interventions to target their specific fluency needs.   Unfortunately, that alone may not be enough to bring their scores up...students need consistent help at home, too.  I'll be sending home some ideas that you can work on to help out.

Email me if you'd like to know your child's number on the graph!  I'll send home a paper copy of this too, in case the numbers are hard to see on your computer.

Free Antler Pizza!

Last Friday I sent home a calendar to keep track of minutes read at home to get a free personal pizza at the Crooked Antler in Van Horne.  Let me know if you have any questions about that.  We'll be doing this (in place of Pizza  Hut Book It) each month throughout the year.


We finished Unit 1 last week, which focused on the comprehension strategy of Main Idea and Details and the metacognative str.ategy Ask Questions.  I'm taught and modeled how to stop and think about their reading and ask questions in their head as they read. Main Idea is the one thing that the passage is about, and Details are the things that tell more about the main idea.  We did many activities regarding these strategies over a period of 3 weeks.   The assessment taken last Friday will come home tomorrow.  It will show the number correct out of ten questions, and an M, P, or AC for Meets Expectation, Progressing Toward Expectation, or Area of Concern.

This week we will begin Unit 2, with the comprehension strategy of Analyze Characters and the Metacognative strategy called Visualize.

Dates on Deck

Wednesday, October 19 1:00 Dismiss for teacher professional development
Friday, October 28  1:00 dismiss - end of middle/high school quarter - elem prof. dev.
                                 Fall Festival parties and parade to Keystone Care Center
Friday, November 4  Breakfast Buddies

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday, October 3

Notice:  In last week's blog post, under Dates on Deck, I wrote this Wednesday's early dismissal as 1:00, but it's a 12:00 dismiss instead.  Teacher's are traveling to Grant Wood AEA for professional development (Wednesday, October 5).

Here are a few pictures from last Thursday at Bloomsbury Farm.  We had a fun day and the weather was awesome.  Thank you PTO for paying our admission!


Here's a link to a neat video the kids love about Making Ten.  It's a math strategy that we've been working on at school and a necessity to solve math problems quickly!