2nd Grade Home

24 September 2018

Second Grade Happenings!

We pray you have had a great couple of weeks, and that you all enjoyed the sunshine we’ve been having!  Here are some dates to note…and an update on what’s happening in the classroom.

NOTE:  We will be doing MAP testing for the next 2 weeks. Second graders are scheduled to be testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so please try to avoid having appointments on those days for the next couple of weeks. If your student does miss a testing session, we will schedule a make-up session for them, but  they may miss our regular classroom activities during those make-up sessions.


  • Tuesday & Thursday (Sept. 25 & 27) – MAP testing for Grade 2 (reading)
  • Thursday (Sept 27) — OLG Student “Family Groups” activity
  • Tuesday & Thursday (Oct. 2 & 4) – MAP testing for Grade 2 (language)
  • Friday (Oct. 5) — Spirit Day — students wear OLG sports or Seahawks clothing
  • Sunday (Oct. 7) — Catechetical Sunday — Blessing of teachers/catechists at the 11am mass
  • Wednesday (Oct. 10) — Grade 2 attends daily mass
  • Friday (Oct 12) —  NO SCHOOL – Archdiocesan Teacher In-Service day
  • Sunday (Oct. 14) –Sacramental Prep for families participating in First Communion (9:30-10:45am in the gym, followed by 11am mass)


Math – We have been reviewing & practicing Place Value to 1,000, as well as writing the three forms of numbers (standard form, word form, and expanded form). We have been comparing and ordering 3-digit numbers, as well as practicing perseverance by doing problem solving in small groups. We are nearing the end of our first chapter, so we will likely be having our Chapter 1 assessment within the next two weeks. Please keep practicing number patterns with your child at home, especially counting three-digit numbers by 1s, 10s, and 100s (forward & backward). For example: 235, 245, 255, ____, _____, ____.

Quick Recall Facts –We have been using Grade1 Quick Recall Checkpoints this month. Starting in October, we will move to using the Grade 2 Quick Recall Checkpoints (using facts with sums to 20). Quick Recall checkpoints to assess your child’s math fact fluency. These checkpoints assess how many addition/subtraction basic facts your child can complete within 60 seconds. Checkpoints will have 28 “basic” facts on them and will be scored by the following scale:

                                3  = 25 – 28 correct

                                2  = 15 – 24 correct

                                1  = < 15 correct

The year-end goal is to be able to complete 25-28 Grade 2 math facts (adding & subtracting facts to 20) in one minute. Second graders will be creating a bar graph in their Math Journals to track their own weekly progress. You will see graded Quick Recall tests coming home about once a week, and a practice sheet will come home before each week’s assessment. I encourage you to find fun ways to practice those quick recall facts (computer games, practice sheets, flashcards, oral quizzes/races, etc.).

Science –In science the second graders have been investigating balance and the motion of objects.  The students explored numerous ways to balance two-dimensional shapes as well as a pencil using counterweights and pliable wire.  While walking around the classroom, the second graders observed that objects can be balanced in many different ways and that the task of stabilizing an object can be difficult.  They compared, communicated, and recorded their discoveries in a science logbook. Way to go second grade scientists!

Yoga –In yoga the students explored relaxing positions centered on balance. We start our yoga time with a breathing exercise in the bear position.  Once we are relaxed students try the new weekly yoga pose. Throughout the school week we stop and review previous poses that we have learned, which creates a relaxed classroom atmosphere.  Take a moment with your child to breathe and try out “The Boat” our newest weekly pose. Enjoy!

Language Arts/Social Studies –We are currently using our Daybook resource to learn how to be “active readers” and to how to find main ideas and details in informational texts. Next, we will be practicing these skills as we learn about Communities! We will focus on the four components of communities (places to live, work, play, and learn/solve problems), as well as the 3 types of communities (urban, suburban, and rural). We will create a class bulletin board for our community and will create mobiles about our own community. Our writing is focusing on reading responses – using complete sentences to answer questions about our texts. We will also be writing paragraphs about our community.

In the next weeks we will learn & practice how to find evidence of authors’ purposes & main ideas, make connections with the texts and our own lives, and use text features (table of contents, bold/highlighted print, subtitles/headings) to recognize important information with the text. We will be using several reading strategies including:

  •             text-to-self connections (When the character ____, it reminded me of when I ___.);
  •             predicting (guessing what will happen next based on what we already know);
  •             asking questions (asking/wondering about details in our texts)
  •             summarizing (retelling stories in our own words).

We have completed all of the individual Teacher’s College (TC) reading assessments. Each student has been given a reading level that corresponds to his/her current independent reading level. It is a lettered level, based on the Fontas & Pinell reading levels. We will be sending home summary sheets about your child’s assessment that will indicate your child’s current level & will provide websites that can be used to find leveled book lists for your student. Students will be using their level to choose books for independent practice reading during classtime. We will be doing TC assessments two more times throughout the year (Jan. & May).

A simple way to assess whether a book is a “good fit” for your child, is to use the 5-Finger Rule. The 5-Finger Rule states: If there are more than 5 words on one page that you don’t know, then STOP and choose a different (easier) book.  If there are NO tricky words for several pages, then STOP and choose a more challenging book. Keep up all of the great reading at home!

We will begin having weekly Spelling work and tests in October. Your child should bring home workbooks with practice pages to complete throughout the week to help practice the words. We will not be practicing these words in class, except in our daily writing, so we do expect the children to be practicing them at home. Once we have had a word on a Spelling List, we expect that word to be spelled properly in all daily writing. Workbooks should come home on Mondays, and practice pages for the week’s lesson will be due on Thursdays. We will have Spelling Tests on Fridays (or Thursdays, when there are no classes on Friday).

Religion – We continue to learn about God’s love for us and for all of creation. We also continue to learn about our parish church. We are learning about the Tabernacle, and the specialness of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. We will take a peek inside the Tabernacle and the children will be asked to watch the altar servers/Eucharistic Ministers during weekend masses to see them get the hosts from the Tabernacle to use during Communion. We will be learning about prayers of petition and praise. Children will have a chance to practice prayers of petition & praise each week as our closing prayer on Fridays (thanking God for all the blessing He gives us, and asking God’s help for the special people and pets in our lives). We will reflect on the story of the “lilies of the field” and how God does not want us to worry…God is with us always. We will be learning the story of Simeon who reminds us that we know we are listening to the Holy Spirit when we care for others & when we share God’s good news with others.

At home: As we reflect on the gifts God has given us, 2nd graders have been challenged/asked to add “Thank you God for ____________” into their daily prayers. It’s a fun way to remember all the amazing gifts God has given us, and to fill our hearts with gratitude as we journey towards First Communion this year. They should be asking you to share what your “Thank you God,” too. 😉

Sacramental Prep – For those families participating in First Reconciliation and First Communion, our next gathering for Sacramental Prep is coming up on Sunday, October 14. Please plan to have at least one parent/guardian attend with your child. Remember to turn in all registration materials for First Sacraments (Reconciliation & First Communion) as soon as possible. Remember to include a copy of your child’s baptismal certificate with your registration materials, even if your child was baptized here at OLG.  We are so excited to journey through the sacraments with you and your family this year! See you in the Gym/Parish Center at 9:30am on the 14th.

NOTE:  If you have not already done so, please let us know if your family is NOT planning on participating in the First Sacraments program this year. It helps us to be extra sensitive/aware as we go through the preparation materials that are part of our classroom curriculum. Thank you!

MAPS Testing – Please note the dates of 2nd grade MAP testing (Tuesdays & Thursdays, this week and next week) and try to avoid appointments on those days, if at all possible. Also, please make sure your student gets plenty of sleep & eats a good hearty breakfast in preparation for the MAP tests. We want their brains wide awake and fully fueled to do their best! Thank you!

Enjoy this amazing sunshine!  

With joy,

Mrs. Hoch & Ms. Zbaracki