Friday, January 29, 2016

In the Spotlight

Today the second graders started "In the Spotlight".  

Below you will find the introduction letter for Spotlight so you can start to think about how your child will shine in the Spotlight.

Dear Parents,

During the week of January 25, 2016,  The Second Graders will be starting a special program called “IN THE SPOTLIGHT”.  It is a unique program for second graders at Fox Hill School.

“IN THE SPOTLIGHT” is a time for us to really get to know each child and enjoy the child’s personality while the child feels very special.  There will be one child “IN THE SPOTLIGHT” in each classroom.

On the Friday before your child’s Spotlight week your child will come home with a Spotlight packet.   It will include the date and time you should come to visit (explained below) and several papers to be completed over the weekend and returned on Monday. Please encourage your child to do his/her best as the papers will be on display and become part of your child’s portfolio.

During the following week your child may bring items from home to share with the class.  The items should be small enough to come to school on the bus and not breakable or too expensive. No living animals are allowed.  The children are encouraged to select special items that tell us about themselves. (If an item is too large, feel free to take a picture of it and your child can bring the picture in.)

Some examples are:
  1. Special pictures of your family.
  2. Pictures of special occasions, trips, parties, etc.
  3. Favorite toys or books.
  4. Items from hobbies, trophies, patches, collections, etc.

All week the “Spotlighter” will be our special helper around the room.

On Friday afternoon the “Spotlighter” will be allowed to invite a special adult to come and visit with our homeroom class from 1:50-2:20.

If the date or time is not convenient for you please let us know and we can work with you to find a better time.  Also, if you know you will be out of town or will not be available during a certain part of the year, please let us know that also so we can plan around your schedule.

During the “Spotlight” time the “Spotlighter” will introduce the adult.  The adult will then share something special with all of the children.  Some suggestions are:
  1. Read your family’s favorite story.
  2. Demonstrate something special you can do: a craft, magic trick, play an instrument, sing a song or even dance!
  3. Tell and show the children what you do for a job or explain a special activity you and your child enjoy doing together.
  4. Share a special holiday or family tradition.
  5. Tell funny stories of things you have done with the child “IN THE SPOTLIGHT”.
  6. Share a hobby.

Our special visitors help us expose the children to a wide variety of experiences.

HELPFUL HINT: Keep in mind that children respond readily to visuals and hands on activities.

Finally, on Friday, our classroom Teddy will go home with the child for a weekend visit.  During this time the child will be asked to complete a book telling what he/she did with Teddy over the weekend.  The book also needs to be illustrated.  If you would like, digital pictures can be used.  Moms/Dads are encouraged to help your child with the writing.  The child should bring the book back on the following Monday to read to the class and add it to our classroom library for all of us to read and enjoy.

We are very excited to begin “IN THE SPOTLIGHT” but to be a truly successful program we need your support.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call us.

The Second Grade Team

Book Talks

We are excited to begin our book talk projects. It is an at home reading project that allows children to explore different genres of literature and share their stories with the class.  At this point all of the children should have had their books approved by their reading teacher and should be beginning their reading.

Below you will find the introduction letter and directions for the fiction project.  Directions for the other projects will be posted as we get closer to the presentations.

Dear Parents,

    We will be starting a wonderful activity that connects at home reading with writing and oral speaking.  We call this activity BOOK TALKS.  A schedule is attached let you know when your child needs to prepare for his/her BOOK TALK.  We hope you and your child find this activity as exciting and rewarding as we do.

    Here are some directions to help your child to prepare for his/her Fiction BOOK TALK:

  1. Have your child choose a book to read.  (We suggest using the five finger rule to select a book that is the appropriate reading level.  Have your child choose a book that looks interesting.  Open it to any page and read.  Every time he/she comes to an unknown word, put up one finger.  If he/she finds five unknown words on a page, it is probably too difficult. Choose another book.)

****All books must be approved by the child’s reading teacher before the start of the project.  This is to ensure the book is an appropriate reading level and subject matter.

  1. Read the book completely.

  1. Fill in the question sheet TELLING ABOUT BOOKS.

  1. Think of an exciting way to present the book to the class using props, costumes, or anything else you can think of.

  1. On the scheduled day please bring the book, the question, and any props necessary for the presentation.

  1. Enjoy reading and learning the skill of public speaking.

We are looking forward to hearing about some great new books and seeing how creative each person can be.

Thank you for your support!


Telling About Books

Book’s Title and Author: ________________________________________________

Please answer the following questions in complete sentences.

1. Where and when does the story take place? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Who are the main characters? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. What is one of the main characters like? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Who is your favorite character? Why? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. Which picture in the book do you like best? Why? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

6. Which part of the story do you like best? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________  
7. How do you feel about the end of the story? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________  

8. What do you remember most about the story? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

9. Do you think others would like to read this book? Why or why not? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10. Would you read another book by this author? Why or why not? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year! Welcome 2016!

                                                     Image result for happy new year 2016

Welcome to 2016.  

With the New Year comes some very exciting new activities in Second Grade.

Shortly you will be receiving instructions for some new projects in the new year.

First of all will be our Book Talks.  The children will explore the genres of fiction, biography and nonfiction. They will choose a book from each genre, read it at home and come to school prepared to present their books to their reading classes.  

Image result for book clipart

Also, we will be starting a program called "In the Spotlight".  Each week a child will be randomly be chosen to be in the spotlight.  The child will be the special helper for the week, bring in special items to share with the class, will have compliments written about them and will bring a special guest in to share with the class.  This is a well loved activity that is exclusive to second graders.

In addition, in Social Studies, the children will be exploring their cultural heritage.  Using technology in the classroom they will research the country of their family's heritage, create a poster with interesting facts  and perform in a mulitcultual musical program in the spring.

2016 will be an exciting year!!

Holiday Party to end 2015

A special thank you to the room parents from Room 18, Mrs. Salmon and Mrs. Schwoebel, for planning and organizing our wonderful holiday craft.  All of the second grade children gathered in rooms 17 and 18 for a special snowman craft.  The parent helpers were wonderful with the hot glue guns and everyone enjoyed themselves.  After the craft the children enjoyed their Party in a Bag.  To end our special celebration, all of the second grade teachers presented the children with their holiday gift bag which included: a chapter book, a Geronimo Stilton book, a personalized bookmark,  a new box of crayons, pencils and erasers.

Goodbye, 2015!!

Family Traditions

We have enjoyed hearing about so many holiday traditions and customs during the month of December.

As the year progresses, we will explore many more holidays, customs and traditions as part of our Social Studies curriculum.  We will finish off the year by researching and presenting our own cultural heritage.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes

Giuliana's Dad taught us all about the Feast of the Seven Fishes that her Italian family celebrates on Christmas Eve.  Their family gets together to celebrate the holiday by having a special dinner which consists of different seafood dishes.

Kite Flying Tradition from Nepal

Mathis' Dad taught us all about the kite flying tradition he participated in as a young boy in Nepal.

 June is the rice planting season.  It is harvested in November, however that is the monsoon season. Long ago, to help with all of the rain, children would make kites and write messages to the Gods to stop all of the rain so the crops would survive.  Nowadays, children continue the custom and make many kites to fly during a festival in October.  Thousands of kites will be in the sky at once and if your kite breaks loose form the string the person who recovers the kite gets to keep it.  There is another festival in November to celebrate the harvest.

Mathis' Dad brought in some kites they had made together and a huge spool of string, that can be coated with different materials to keep the string stronger.  It was amazing how quickly he could reel in the string!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas Tradition-Santa and "The flare"

Grayson's Mom came in to explain a unique family Christmas tradition called "The Flare".  The whole family gathers to celebrate the holiday.  They go upstairs into one person's bedroom and all look out the window.  Suddenly, a flare appears in the sky and that means that Santa has zoomed by and left one gift for each person.  As they race down the stairs they are excited to see the special gift Santa has left.  Also, on Christmas Eve, Grayson's family puts out reindeer food to attract Santa's reindeer to the house.  Grayson's Mom brought in reindeer food for all of the children to bring home.