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!


Sally said...

I liked the behaviour chart website - some good ideas. Joe and I had some fun last night with the puzzlemaker website and his spelling words. Have a great day!

jgorham said...

Thanks for letting me know! I also liked the behavior charts. You can keep it "fresh" and they are so versatile. Have a nice day!

Taylor said...

Hey Mrs. Gorham,
I have not checked out your blog in a while. It's really cool!!
See ya!! :)