Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Spring!

Hi All,

I hope that everyone is drying out now that the rain has ended! It was so great for the children to be able to go outside today for recess. We are all looking forward to the sunny, warmth of spring!
Here is a quick curriculum update:
Math- We are working on multi-digit subtraction with re-grouping. Please keep practicing those facts! We are also working on problem solving.

Reading- We are just about finished with Balto and will begin our next unit on mystery soon! I am looking forward to exploring this exciting genre with the students!

Writing- We are working on 4-detail paragraphs now. The children comtinue to select topics and carry them through all stages of the writing process. We have added the choice of publishing with handwriting paper or using an AlphaSmart to type on and publish using MS Word.

Science- We are exploring habitats now. We have learned about the tundra, the desert, and grasslands. We will explore the rainforest next.

Social Studies- Students should be working on their Famous Person Fact Cube Project. I look forward to seeing them share their new information. We will also be starting our Family History Projects soon.

Help Wanted!
We are in need of help during writer's workshop (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday), but especially on Tuesdays from 9:30-10:15. Please consider volunteering and making a difference in your child's class! Contact me if you are available.


We still need tissues and Clorox wipes. Allergy season is on its way!
Toy Recycling!
Feel free to clean out your toys that are not being used and donate them to our class for indoor recess/choice time play. We just scored a pirate ship that was rescued from the Zeh School attic and the Gillerin Family has donated several card games. Items desired include: board games, legos, matchbox cars, Barbies, Polly Pockets, etc. Please only donate complete puzzles and games- no missing pieces!

That's all for now. Have a great long weekend!
-JoAnne Gorham

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Snowy Day...

Hi All,

I hope that you are enjoying this long weekend with friends or family. I traveled home to NY this past weekend and caught up with some old friends. As much as I love visits to NY, it is becoming more obvious to me that my true "home" is now in Northborough. (Don't tell my friends...they still think I am moving back!) I just wish it would stop snowing and that spring would get a move on!

Anyways, one of my New Year's resolutions was to become better about posting. I can't tell you where the first half of the year went, but we were super-busy and it flew by! The children are making great progress towards meeting the second grade benchmarks. I am looking forward to a productive second half of the year.

Looking ahead, several projects have been assigned.
  1. "Have You Seen Any Good Math Lately" is due this Friday, January 22nd. The children are to look for math in the world around them. They can use digital photos, the newspaper, magazines, or the internet to find their examples. They should try to locate 3-5 different examples and be able to explain the image's connection to math.

  2. This is an example of an eight-sided shape called an octagon.

  3. "What I Love About You" Valentine Hearts are due on Thursday, January 28th. Please contact me if you need any decorating supplies to "jazz" up your hearts. This is a special project and the children really enjoy seeing them on the bulletin board.

  4. Native American Projects have also been assigned. The children are to create model on a topic that they selected for the tribe that they researched. For example, if I researched the Inuit and selected homes as my topic, I would need to make a model of an igloo.

That's all for now. Please contact me with any questions and have a great week!

-Mrs. Gorham

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm Back!!

Howdy Friends!
I have returned from a lovely week of vacation with my family. We all took a cruise to Bermuda and despite Hurricane Bill's attempt to "rain on my parade", it was a fabulous trip! The weather was great (because we left Bermuda early!) and spent time at gorgeous beaches. Check out my pictures
! Blogger is giving me trouble now, so I apologize for the lack of order and the wacky underlining of this paragraph!

My first and quite possibly, last jet ski fast and scary!

Mr. Gorham & I before dinner.

Church Bay is known for its snorkeling...but not right before a hurricane! Big, scary riptides!

I was in search of pink sand, but this was the best I found.

Horseshoe Bay Beach was so beautiful and crowded with cruise visitors!

Saying goodbye to Lady Liberty as our ship left New York Harbor.

My sister Meg & I on the deck before we left port.

I have one more last adventure to look forward to this weekend- the Dutchess County Fair! I have attended for 28 years now and love sharing the tradition now with Emma. I promise to post some pictures when I return. Check out the link, if you want to learn more about it:

Other than traveling, I have been busy at school unpacking supplies with Mrs. Christian and Mrs. Dallaire. We are looking forward to a super year in second grade!

As promised, here is our specialist schedule for your planning purposes:

Monday- Music

Tuesday- Library

Wednesday- Phys. Ed

Thursday- Art

Friday- Phys. Ed

Be sure to wear/bring sneakers for the first day of school! I will let you know when we have computer lab once Mr. Gervais sets the class schedules up. I love computer lab and we will go many times this year to do special projects!

If you're anything like me, you probably hate to pack your lunch each day. I get tired of the eating the same lunches day after day, but I also don't really like to buy lunch. Luckily, I found a few websites to help keep my lunchbox choices fresh and healthy. There are also some good snack recipes to try as well. Click on the links to check them out if you are looking for some new ideas. Let me know if you find something tasty!
Here are some ideas for help in the morning for friends who are not "morning people"....yet!?!

Finally, here are 3 "green" ways to recycle and have cool lunch gear. You will need an adult to help you.

1.) A milk money wallet ( with video to help)

2.) reusable lunch containers (instead of plastic bags)
3.) a lunch sack
Be sure to let me know if you make any of these projects. They would be great items to share at "Morning Meeting"!
I guess that is it for now. Please post a comment, if you get a chance. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, September 2, 2009! Have a great last week of vacation!
Love, Mrs, Gorham

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hi Everyone!
I am getting really excited as I head into our classroom to set up and visit with other Zeh teachers. I have had the opportunity to attend a few workshops this summer and I have learned some new games for us to play and songs for us to sing. It is going to be a great year in room 13!
You can also access the blog from our grade level page on the Zeh School website. I will be placing a bright, sticky label on your child's agenda with the web address as well. The blog is a wonderful window into our daily activities. I am looking forward to sharing it with you this year.
I love to take pictures and travel in the summer. Here is a peek at my recent adventures:
Emma & I love to hang out at Memorial Beach in Marlborough.

Emma & I took a trip to Niagara Falls with my mom.

We rode on the Maid of the Mist and got wet!

We also took a trip to Sesame Place and had breakfast with Ernie...

and Cookie Monster!

Stay tuned for more pictures! My next trip involves a big boat and lots of pretty blue water. See if you can guess where I am off to next. I hope you are having a great summer and exploring new places with family and friends.
Leave a comment, if you have a chance. I always like to see who has stopped by our page. Check back for more updates!
Love, Mrs. Gorham

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome Back, Everyone!

I hope you had a fantastic holiday and break. Thank you so much for the lovely holiday treats and gift card to Target. A special thank you to Mr. Gordon for sharing his time and his family's Hannukah traditions with us. Thank you also to Mrs. Moyer and Mrs. Washburn for assisting the class with our holiday crafts. Your time and talents are greatly appreciated!

I spent time with family and friends during the holidays. I also had the opportunity to take a course with Mrs. Christian called "Sensory Integration and it's Link to Behavior." It was taught by some of our talented colleagues in Shrewsbury through Anna Maria College. While I never like to give up my vacation sleeping time, this was a fabulous course and we both came away with current and useful information.

Before vacation we did have the dentist come and visit us. She was very informative and demonstrated proper brushing techniques. I also had found some interesting websites that I wanted to make available to you. Check these out if you get a chance...

Dental Websites

Other cool cyber places to visit...

Shredderman (we read the book as a read aloud)


Dog-Eared Book Reviews by Kids

Free Behavior Charts (to help with those new resolutions!) just scroll down and take your pick!

Well, we are back in the swing of least we are trying to get in the swing. The weather has been anything but cooperative as of late. Here are some things that we are trying to work on in Room 13:

Mathematics: We tried our best to finish graphing before break but needed to cover the concept of venn diagrams when looking at data. We will have an assessment on graphing at the end of the week and move swiftly into place value.

Reading: We have been learning about Pocahontas and Squanto. In addition to learning about biographical information, we are exploring adjectives and locating evidence within the text that supports the adjectives we select. For example: Pocahontas was friendly. In the text, we would locate the page number where we find information about Pocahontas being friendly to the English settlers.

Research/Social Studies: We have just about finished our research time with Mrs. Remillard. We will head into the library one more time to work on our bibliography. At this time, the children are working on PowerPoint presentations in computer lab about the tribe that they have researched. Also, an at-home project went home on Tuesday 1/6 (a bright orange paper!) detailing what your child needs to do for their Native American models. Please contact me with any questions.

Mark your calendars! Our Second Grade Native American Plays will be on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 8:45 AM! You will be invited back to our classroom to view the student models, their paragraphs, and their slideshows. Please plan to attend and share in the success of your child!

Writing: The students have been selecting their own topics for writing and taking their pieces through the stages of the writing process from brainstorm through publishing. We have been expanding our publishing skills using Alphasmarts (portable keyboards) and using Microsoft Word. Our focus continues to be on revising and editing independently, then with a peer, and finally with an adult.

Phonics: We are working with R-control syllable types. Ask your child if they know about Bossy R, the King AR, the Queen OR, and the Tricky Triplets IR, UR, ER. Hopefully, they can tell you the story. We are using some nonficition literature to support our exploration of these phonics skills. We used a story about "Sharks" (AR for r-control syllable) to teach the nonfiction text structure of definition. This week, we are using a story about "Storks" (OR for r-control syllable) to review the text structure of definition and to teach the text structure of description. The other text structure that we explore in second grade is sequential/chronological order. The children are doing an amazing job with the text structures and r-control!

Read Aloud: We wrapped up The Doll People by Ann M. Martin. This was a longer chapter book, but the students enjoyed it so much that the majority voted to continue on with the next book in the series, The Meanest Doll in the World. Maya has creatively devised a song to go along with the book. Ask your child to sing it for you. What sort of trouble will Annabelle and Tiffany get into this time as we learn about the meanest doll?

Also, Joe also let us know that there is now a third book in the series, The Runaway Dolls by Ann M. Martin. It was just published in October, 2008. If anyone is at the bookstore and wants to donate this title to our class library, we would certainly love to add it to our collection. I personally cannot wait to read it!


  • 1/19- Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (No School)
  • 1/20- Tuesday: Professional Development (No School for Students)
  • 1/26- Monday: Report Card Distribution
  • 2/3- Tuesday: Second Grade Plays & Classroom Visit at 8:45 AM
Thank you for a great first half of the year. I am looking forward to our continued success as we move into the second half of the year!

-JoAnne Gorham

P.S. I apologize for no pictures/clipart. Blogger was being really funny and did not want to let me upload today...despite my attempt on 2 different computers! Grrrr!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One Big Happy...Success!

Hello Everyone!
I hope you are having a pleasant weekend, despite the yucky weather! We've had a great week at school in Room 13. On Friday morning, the children presented their "One, Big Happy Family" play in the Zeh Cafetorium. It was a truly moving experience and there were many happy tears falling in the audience. I am amazed at how the students learned so many songs in such a short time! A special thanks to Mrs. Sherryl Stonebraker, our music teacher, for helping us to practice.

Waiting patiently...

One last practice...

After the performance, families were invited back to the classroom to view student work. Students shared their "Family Trees", "Family Brochures", and "Family Paragraphs & Portraits." They have worked extremely hard the past few weeks both in class and in the computer lab. A special thank you to Mr. Gervais, our technology specialist, for helping us with the brochures! Take a peek at the class family visit...

We have also started another project in writing this week. We are going to learn about signal words such as: first, next, then, after, and lastly. We will write about how to prepare a Thanksgiving Feast. We began the project by making our turkeys. Our next step will be to take the topic through the steps of the writing process and we will publish using the computer! I am excited to see this project completed. I am sure that they will be most entertaining!

First step: Color the turkey and the feet

Next, add a body and feathers.
Then, add the legs and the feet.

In reading, we are continuing with Corn is Maize. We have read the text and now we are using the text to answer different types of questions. We will also complete some new vocabulary activities.
Mrs. Remillard is also supporting our study of Native Americans by helping us with our research. Every Monday and Friday, we head to the library for a double-block of time (90 minutes) to read and research in small groups. Our four groups include: the Wampanoag, the Inuit, the Southwest tribes, and the Plains tribes. So far, we have explored location/climate, shelter, and food. The students are doing an amazing job gathering facts and developing their nonfiction literacy skills.
In math, we are just about to move into data/graphs. We will have an assessment on telling time and using the calendar this week. Data is a short unit designed to expose children to the different types of graphs and how to collect data. Place value will be our next major unit of study following data.
I look forward to meeting with you to discuss your child's progress during parent conferences this week. I will share assessments from early in the year and we can discuss plans for your child's academic success. This will not be a time to discuss the new changes made to the report card. Please address those concerns directly to Mrs. Whitten as they are district-wide changes.
  1. 11/18- Half Day Parent Conferences
  2. 11/20- Half Day Parent Conferences
  3. 11/26- Half Day for Thanksgiving Break
  4. 11/27-12/1 Thanksgiving Break and Professional Development Day for Teachers
  5. 12/2- Students return to school.

Also, we are experiencing a severe pencil and glue stick shortage in our classroom! Please check with your child to see if he/she needs either of these items. You may also want to check to see if they need a new pencil sharpener or want mechanical pencils. It is advised that you have your child write his/her name on the items with a sharpie marker to keep them from getting lost.

We could also use some plastic spoons for snack time, if you have extras.

Thank you for your help!

-Mrs. JoAnne Gorham

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Spooktacular Week!

Hi Everyone!
I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful trick or treat! We have been so lucky to have such great weather on Halloween night for the past few years. Despite the craziness of Halloween, we had a very productive week at school.

We have started our Native American research projects. We are working on the projects in the library with Mrs. Remillard. Additional parent volunteers would be helpful for this project. If you are interested and free on Mondays from 12:30-1:45 and/or Fridays from 12:30- 1:15, we would love the extra help. Please send me an email if you can join us!

In math, we are still working on time to the quarter hour. This week, we will work on time to the nearest 5 minutes as well as to the minute. This can be challenging. Please help your child practice at home. You many wish to pick up an inexpensive analog (not digital!) watch for him/her to practice with. Your support at home is greatly appreciated with this topic!

In reading, we have begun our nonfiction book, "Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians" by Aliki. Your child will soon know more about corn than you though possible! (I know that I have certainly learned a great deal from this text.) We will learn about corn, how it grows, and its usefulness for Native Americans. This unit connects well with our research study of Native Americans as well as science.

We are continuing to work on our family history projects. This week, Ms. Meg stopped by and helped us create beautiful sponge painted trees for us to use as our family trees. We had a great time creating original works of art!

In writing, we are working on paragraphs about our families. We will be sharing them with you following our "One Big Happy Family" play on November 14th at 8:45 am in the cafeteria. We hope to see you there!

To get into the Halloween spirit, Grade 2 classes created Pumpkin tie-dye t-shirts! Thank you to all the parents who were able to donate supplies such as: rubber gloves, orange dye, and fabric markers. Thank you also to those that sent in a few "extra" t-shirts! They came in handy! We received many compliments on our shirts and some staff members were envious that they did not get to make one too!

Room 13 is proud of their Pumpkin Shirts!

This past Friday was our annual Halloween Event at Zeh School. I am always amazed by the creative costumes that I see parading around the gymnasium. This year, the Grade 2 Team went with a Seuss theme! Thankfully, I have gotten the blue out of my hair!

Mrs. Christian, Mrs. Dallaire, & Me!

Waiting for our turn to parade...

Here's a glimpse at the costumes in Room 13...

It is Book Fair Week at Zeh! Please join us on Thursday, November 6th at 6:15 pm for our annual "Read Aloud Night". This year, Mr. Sardella, Mrs. Zia and I will be sharing stories in our classroom, Room 13! Feel free to come in your jammies and slippers to hear some great stories. I look forward to seeing you at this special event!
I also want to congratulate Mr. Chris Louis Sardella, 5th Grade Teacher at Zeh School for receiving the prestigious Milken Educator Award for Excellence this past Tuesday! This is a wonderful honor for him and for our school. Zeh is truly an exceptional place to work and play!

  • 11/4/08: Election Day- No School
  • 11/5/07: School Committee Meeing at MMS at 7:00 pm
  • 11/6/08: Read Aloud Night
  • 11/11/08: Veteran's Day- No School
  • 11/14/08: One Big Happy Family Play at 8:45 am. Families are welcome to join us!
  • 11/18 and 11/20: Half day for Parent Conferences (Send in conference slips ASAP!)
  • 11/26/08: Half day for Thanksgiving!
  • 11/27-12/1/08: Thanksgiving Break!

Thank you again for all the supplies and for a great week at Zeh!

-JoAnne Gorham