This is a quick reminder that Scholastic Orders are DUE this Friday, Dec. 3rd. This will be the last order before Christmas. Please send a note in an envelope if you would like me to keep any items aside.
Sight words are those most common and frequent words used in our everyday reading and writing. Amazingly, 50% of our written material is made up of 100 of these most frequently used words. They are service words which hold ideas together, there is no picture attachment. They are best learned by sight, not by sounding out. Learning these words by sight helps readers to maintain speed and fluency by not getting ‘caught up’ on meaning. They are important for early readers to learn.
In grade two, we expect that students have mastered the first 100 sight words. They should not have to use any reading strategies to ‘sound’ them out. They should read them with speed and accuracy.
There are a lot of great ideas for helping students with their sight word acquisition. I have two favourite games that are simple to use in the classroom and at home:
Everyone loves to play GO FISH! All you need to do is print out your Sight Words on card stock, or glue them onto a deck of cards. You may even come up with your own way to create your game cards.
Play this with two or more players. Use the words that you are working on (choose about 50 words). Deal five cards (face down) to each player. Place the rest of the cards in a draw pile (face down). Have the players remove of the matching cards and place them face up so everyone can see them. Have one person start the game. Have the first player choose a word that he or she has in his hands and ask another person, “Do you have the word …”______” (you can havev children say and spell to practice spelling as well)? If the player that was asked has the card, he or she hands it to the asking player. If the person that was asked does not have that word, he or she will say, “Go Fish!”. The asking player will then take a card from the draw pile. If the first player draws the word they has asked for from the pile, he or she will get to keep that card to make a pair, and take another. If the asking player does not draw his or her word, he or she will keep the new word and the next player can taker their turn. If anyone runs out of cards, he or she can take a card from the draw pile. Repeat the game until all the words have been found. The player with the most matching sets of words wins the game.
This game is really simple because you can put your Sight Words on just about anything. In class, I like to write the Sight Words on jumbo sized popsicle sticks and put them in a cup. You can also glue your words to seasonally themed playing cards.
Mix up the cards and put them all in the can or face down. In turn, each student picks a card and reads it out loud. If the card is read is correctly the player can keep the card, and it is the next student’s turn. The object is to have the most cards at the end of the game. “POW” is written on some cards.( I also like to add a few cards that say, “Go again!”) When a student chooses “POW!” he or she has to read “POW!” in a loud voice and put ALL of his or her own cards back in the can. The play continues with the next student until all of the cards or sticks are drawn from the pile. There will be lots of laughing and anybody can win, not just the best reader, because of the element of chance in the game. The game ends when all cards are gone.
Time always seems to fly by….
Tomorrow is our first skating day. Please remember to send your child with their skates, helmet and appropriate outerwear. If you will be meeting them at the rink with their equipment, please send a note to school.
Have a great day!
My daughter, Lily recently had her 4th birthday party. It was the first one for her that 'presents' were a pretty big deal. One of her school friends gave her a Zhu Zhu pet. Basically, a Zhu Zhu pet is a hamster that runs around in circles and makes cute jibberish noises. This little Zhu Zhu pet named Pinkie was worked hard to about 72 hours and then……he stopped. I had a very upset 4 year old and a broken Zhu Zhu pet! So, when Monday rolled around I told Lily that I would take Pinkie to school to see if my kids could help fix her. While I was saying this to her, I was planning a trip to ToysRUs after school so I could buy a new one, but things have a way to working out like you wouldn't expect.I'll fast forward now to Monday afternoon in my grade 2 classroom. There is a little restless buzz in the air and I have a feeling that the kids are going to have a hard time settling right into their Daily 5 choices. So, I improvised. I began telling them about Lily's birthday party with the idea that we would share some ideas for writing and then get to work But, the kids were really interested in the details. So, naturally, Pinkie came up in the conversation and she came out of my lunch bag! This is where 'magic' happened! I told the kids I needed their help. I filled them in on all the details about Pinkie's demise and asked if they could write a letter to Lily for me. I explained that she might like to have a letter that told her about their favourite toy and how they felt when they lost it or broke it. I also suggested that some of them could write a letter that included help on how to fix Pinkie. We did a quick mini-lesson on setting up a letter and then they were off. These kids were captivated. A few of them came up to the front of the class to have a closer look at Pinkie but others didn't lift their pencil for the next 25 minutes! I was buzzing with their excitement and their empathy brought a few tears to my eyes. These kids all wrote their hearts out and felt really important and confident about doing it. I hope for these moments everyday. My students became invested in their writing. They had a REAL purpose. They felt confident because they were the 'big' kids writing to a 4 year old. They worked hard and they had fun. These are the moments!!!
October – Halloween Activities and Updates
The month of October is quickly flying by and Halloween is on the horizon. We will be taking part in some cross-curricular Halloween activities throughout the week of Oct. 25-28. There is NO SCHOOL on Friday, October 29th.
We will be having an Orange and Black day on October 28th. Children are invited to wear orange and black but we would ask that they do not wear costumes or masks.
On Thursday, October 28th we will have a short class party in the afternoon. If you would like send in a treat for the classroom, please keep in mind that we are peanut-free. We have 19 students in our class this year.
As long as it is peanut-free, you are welcome to send any type of treat for this class party. However, during the week leading up to Halloween we will be taking the opportunity to discuss Healthy Lifestyles. In school we try to promote healthy choices for snacks.
If your child is having a birthday (at any time during the year) you are welcome to send in treats for the class. Again, please keep the District 8 Nutrition Policy in mind.
A few Quick Reminders for This Week:
1. Picture Day – Wednesday, Oct. 20
2. Scholastic Orders DUE – Friday, Oct. 22
It’s hard to believe that this is the 10th week of school! Here are some importants events to remember:
Skating Begins – Nov. 25th
Your child will need: skates, proper fitting helmet, and appropriate clothing.
Please make sure your child knows if you are coming to the rink with their equipment.
Scholastic Orders for November DUE – Nov. 12th
There will be one more Scholastic Order sent home before Christmas. It will include the December SeeSaw, December Lucky, and the Christmas Favourites catalogue.
Home Reports will be sent home on November 22nd
Parent Teacher Thursday evening (Nov. 25th) and Friday afternoon (Nov. 26th)
If you cannot make one of these times, please contact me for another appointment.
September – Grade Two Homework Policy
After speaking with some parents last night at open house and receiving some questions by email, I wanted to elaborate on the Grade Two Homework Policy.
The Grade Two Team is focused on fostering a love of reading and writing. We are encouraging all parents to participate in an ‘At Home Reading Program’. Students should engage in a reading activity each night. This reading activity may involve taking turns reading to each other, or your child may want to read to you (or any other family member, even a pet), or you may want to read a bed-time story to your child. There is no ‘right’ way to read at home, as long as your child is enjoying reading.
There will be no other homework for the grade 2 students. If your child is experiencing difficulty in any area of the curriculum and you would like some ideas to support them at home, I would be happy to share some activities and games with you. The children work very hard all day and need time for play, family, and rest!
Grade 2 students will work on Spelling words each week and there will be a test on Friday. From time to time, I will send home the Spelling Test Folder so that you can see what they have accomplished.
From time to time, I will send home some ideas for at-home activities. These will not be required activities, but rather, helpful ideas that support the curriculum outcomes we are learning at school.
September – IPICK Books
We have gotten off to a great start this year with Literacy. We have been busy getting to know each other and learning our classroom routines. I am sure your children have spoken with you about ‘The Daily Five’ and all the reading and writing we do in class. We have been working on building our reading and writing stamina. So far this year, we have built 16 minutes of stamina as a class.
Over the past two weeks we have been learning and practicing how to choose ‘Good Fit’ books. Research shows when children are reading independently, they should be reading books they understand and can read. Reading books that are too difficult can lead to frustration, and then reading is no longer enjoyable. We want children to enjoy reading, which means it is important they are reading books they are interested in and on their ‘Just Right’ level. Research also shows that children are motivated to read when they can choose their own books.
There is a very simple way to help your child choose ‘Good Fit’ books. It is called IPICK. IPICK is an acronym that stands for: 1. I choose, Purpose, Interest, Comprehend, and Know the words. Here are some easy steps that you and your child can follow in order to choose ‘Good Fit’ books:
1. Have your child choose their own books.
2. Ask your child “What is your purpose for reading this book?”. They may want to learn more about whales. Or, they may just want to read something for fun.
3. Ask your child, “Is this a book you are interested in?”
4. Have your child read a page somewhere in the book. Then ask them, “Who did you read about and what did they do?”. If it is a ‘Good Fit’ book your child should be able to tell you about what they have read.
5. Have your child read another page and ask, “Did you know the words?” Your child should know all or most of the words on the page. New research shows that for independent reading, children should be reading books with 98% accuracy. That means they should already know most of the words on the page.
Going through these steps will only take a few minutes and some children will master this process very quickly. Other children may need more help in practicing these steps. Choosing a ‘Good Fit’ book is an ongoing process that we continue to learn and practice at school.
I hope this helps you to feel more connected with what your child is doing and learning at school. Using common language between home and school can help your child in their learning.
September – Communication Folder
Today your child will be coming home with a book in his/her Communication Folder. Based on last year’s reading abilities, this book should be a ‘good fit’ for your child to read independently (or with very little help). Your child is not required to read this book at home, nor are you. The purpose of sending this book home is to ensure that all children have access to a book that is a ‘good fit’ for them at home or daycare.
Each Wednesday, I will switch the book and send home a new one. Please make sure that this book is in the Communication Folder on Wednesday so that I can send the new book home.
It is common to have some reading loss over the summer. If you find your child is struggling to read the book I have sent home, please let me know and I will make a change. A ‘good fit’ book is one that a child should be able to read fluently with 98% accuracy independently. It should not be a book they have to struggle through.
Our goal is to make reading fun! We want our students to look forward to reading, so that they will continue to grow as readers and learners for years to come. If we push them with books that are too difficult now, they may decide that they don’t like to read, which would be a big loss.
September – You and Your World
Today we began our first unit of You and Your World. You and Your World is a science, social studies curriculum for K-2 students.
In Grade 2 the You and Your World theme is “Change”. The units we will explore are: Growth and Development of animals, Technology and Community, Work, Healthy Lifestyles, and Change and the Physical Environment.
We began to discuss Healthy Lifestyles today. At the beginning of the year this discussion focuses around safety in the home and at school. Our topic today was Fire Safety. Your child may ask you about a fire escape plan for your home tonight.
I’m including a link with some games and activities that you may like to explore together:
Many of the students have also requested that I share a Math link with you. This ‘Dog Bone’ game is an excellent numbers game that you can play at home:
September – Schedule and Information
Now that I have had the opportunity to set up a distribution list to contact you through email, I just wanted to take a chance to say hello and share some more information with you.
A little bit about our day at school:
Your child’s day begins with Math. We will do a Math Workshop and share some Number of the Day Activities.
On Tuesday and Wednesday your child has Music.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday your child has Phys. Ed.
After Recess we spend time on Literacy. In our class we are practicing the ‘Daily Five’ and the ‘Daily Cafe’. These are both literacy practices/programs which focus on learning through practice (both guided and independent).
After lunch our schedule varies. We will do some more Literacy, You and Your World and Art.
On Friday we usually participate in a school assembly and a fun fitness activity.
We also have Library on Friday. Please make sure that your child returns his/her Library book by Friday so that he/she can take part in our trip to the school library.
*Please note – schedules may change from time to time depending on a number of factors.
Supplies and School Fees
A Quick Checklist for you (I have already received most of these and I will send a personal email by the end of the week to let you know if anything is missing):
– $30 School Fee
– Change of clothes to keep at school
– Student Data Form
A Note About Arrival and Dismissal
Arrival time for buses is 8:25am. Please do not drop off children before this time. There is no teacher on duty before 8:25am and we are often in and out of the classroom in the morning.
Dismissal time is 2:05. I must receive a note from home if there is to be any alternate arrangements in buses or walking (including different family members picking up the children). This is for the safety of the children.