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September 21st-25th ***Homecoming Week!***

date 09/20/2015 author Dan Renwick category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

Hello 2nd grade families,

This upcoming week is going to be an interesting one! It is going to be homecoming week, so each day there will be a dress up theme the kids may participate with. I am excited to have some fun with this myself, but I will also remind the students that we will need to be getting things done in class as well. In the past, when I was teaching 4th grade, there were occasions where I had to ask a students to put a piece of an outfit into their locker for the day if it was causing a distraction to themselves or others in the room. The dress up themes this week will be:

Monday: Class Color Day (2nd Grade is wearing black)
Tuesday: Spirit Day
Wednesday: Wake Up Wednesday (pajama day)
Thursday: Throwback Thursday (decade themes/dress like a grandma)
Friday: White Out Day 

Weather permitting, we will have an outdoor pep assembly on Monday @ 9:00 in the morning on the football field. The kids will also be attending the parade on Friday by taking seats along 3rd street - NOT in the bus lane like in past years. And just for clarification: Friday's white out theme is connected to planned events at Friday night's homecoming game where they will be exploding color powder cannons into the crowd during the 2nd half of the game, so it should be white clothing that would be okay for this activity. 

And now for this week's subject focuses:

In Reading we will be doing Theme 1 Review Week. There are two short stories that go with the week, called George and Martha: The Surprise and Hippos from a "Ranger Rick" magazine. We will be covering review lessons over many skills we worked on with the first 3 stories, and the students' Spelling list this week will be longer - 20 words with 5 challenge words as well. 

In Math we will be starting Module 2 this week, which will deal with the addition and subtraction using units of measurement. The kids will be reminded to use the skills and strategies from Module 1 to work with these units of measurement. I have been having discussion with both the whole class and individuals about the fact that we absolutely cannot continue to rely on counting on with our fingers. We are going to be adding and subtracting larger and larger numbers as we go forward, so the kids must start to nail down their simple facts in order to be working effectively. Facts such as ten pair facts (numbers that add up to 10) and single digit addition and subtraction facts are going to need to be used as we move forward, so students who continue to count on will need to work on those facts to stay with us. 

We will be finishing up our first unit of Social Studies on Monday, so the students should have brought home their Unit 1 packets to study with over the weekend. On Tuesday we will be starting the next chapter in Science, which is called "Animals Grow and Change". I know the kids are excited to get back to Science, but I am hoping everyone studied hard for the Social Studies test on Monday!

I also wanted to address the fact that there have been some issues with Class Dojo over the past week. One day the messenger part of it could not load on a computer at all, but would load on the phone application, another day other teachers were having problems with it giving duplicate points every time they put some in, and then on Friday it would not work for me all day! I am going to put them all in this weekend since I kept a few notes about points that should be awarded and taken away. 

Let's have a great Homecoming week! If you come to the game on Friday feel free to say hi - I will be working in the concession stand that is sure to be very busy!


date 09/17/2015 author Dan Renwick category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

Your kids should have come home with homework sheets that said we were testing today (Thursday), but many kids talked about how they did not know what to study last night, so they hadn't studied at all. We also were having a bit of a rough day when it came to following directions and getting our work done, so I made the decision to go back through our review and print it off for kids to use as a study guide. 

Let's end the week on a high note and go for it on the math test!

Dan Renwick

September 14th - 18th

date 09/13/2015 author Dan Renwick category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

Hello 2nd grade families!

My blog is finally up and running here, so I hope that it will be a very helpful tool for us going forward. As I am sure you have all heard, the first few weeks have been full of adjustments for both the kids and myself. We are starting to establish our procedures and schedule, which helps everyone, and we are starting to pick up the pace in our work as well.

This week's Reading story is called "Mrs. Brown Went to Town". It is the third story in our first theme, called "Silly Stories". The comprehension skill for the week is going to focus on predicting outcomes in a story. 

Our high frequency words for the week will be: different, floor, letter, move, poor, and word. Our vocabulary words for this story will be: commotion, released, delivered, tire, feathers, and wearing. Our Spelling list will have words that follow the vowel-consonant-e pattern with 10 of the words following the normal pattern of the vowel saying its name (bite, late, size, etc.), and 2 words that are exceptions to this rule and have a short vowel sound (give and have).

Over the past couple of weeks during grammar we have been talking about how sentences have a naming part, which tells who or what is doing the action in the sentence, and then the action part of a sentence, which tells what the action of the sentence is. Last week we focused on the naming part of the sentences, and this week we will be spending more time on the action parts of sentences. We will also cover the vocabulary skill Multiple Meaning Words.

In Math we will be finishing up Module 1 this week. Lesson 8 will be Monday afternoon, and the plan is to send the homework for lesson 8 home on Monday night. Because Lesson 8 is the last lesson in Module 1, we will then review Module 1 on Tuesday, then have the Module 1 Assessment on Wednesday. We would then start Module 2 on Thursday.

In Social Studies we will be finishing the lessons for chapter 1 during the week with Lesson 3 on Monday, Lesson 4 on Tuesday, Lesson 5 on Thursday (Wednesday is skipped because it is an early out), and reviewing the chapter before sending packets home to study for the Chapter 1 test over the weekend to test on Monday, September 21st! 

Now, as I mentioned, we do have an early out this Wednesday, September 16th. Just wanting to make sure everyone is aware of this so that students are not confused about where they will be going when we dismiss on Wednesday. We will also be doing FAST testing this week, so some of our normal schedule will have to be flexible in order to get the testing done. 

Another thing I wanted to note: different homework sheets will be coming home this week, and they will be the ones we use going forward. There were a few points of confusion between myself, the students, and parents, and for that I apologize. In the letter I handed out at conferences it said that weekly homework sheets would go home every night and need to be signed each week. I meant this to mean that every week we would have a new sheet for parents to sign each night, but I clearly should have said that they would come home each night and need to be signed nightly. To eliminate as much of the confusion as I could, I will not be sending a sheet home that will have a place for parent initials next to each day. I will be teaching the kids how to use these new sheets on Monday. They will fill them out each night before packing up, and I will check the sheets in the morning as they arrive.

Thank you all for being patient with me as I have made adjustments to better fit teaching at a second grade level. I am sure, as always, that there are plenty of things that I will continue to find and improve upon, but I will try to remain as flexible and proactive as I can be to make adjustments easy for all of us. 

As always, please feel free to contact me on Dojo Messenger, email, or by a phone call! 

Let's have a fantastic week!

-Mr. Renwick