Friday, August 26, 2011

Character People

These character people were made by my students to review the skill character and setting. Each character opens up like a book and is described inside using complete sentences.  Next week, we will glue the character people to a white sheet of construction paper and create a setting for them. I believe there are some very talented artists in my classroom!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Can...

Something new that we are incorporating into our classroom this year is "I Can" statements. For example, "I can write a complete sentence with a subject and predicate." Students are keeping track of their "I Can" statements in a journal. At the end of the year they will be able to look back at all they have learned in the second grade. They are pretty impressive, I must say!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Taking It Hard

As you know, my oldest son Will started Kindergarten this year. So far, he's just been hanging out at Wisekids and attending Kindergarten once a week for testing.

This is what happened to my poor baby one day after school. I took him with me to Extreme Fitness. While I jogged on the treadmill, I watched him squirm in his seat until he eventually fell asleep... in this very awkward position.

He starts Monday with his teacher Mrs. Anderson. We are very happy to welcome her to our J.W.W. staff. I know he will love his teacher and his first year at J.W.W. I just hope he's able to stay awake during class!

Homework Plan

As I told you I would in Parent Night, I've come up with a plan for the Fluency Folders and other homework. Here it goes...

Fluency Folders will go home on Mondays and you have until Thursday to complete the Fry Instant Word List and WPM fluency practice. There is also a set of sentences that are leveled by the colors green, yellow, and blue. Please have your child read over them, but there is no timing or documentation needed. Just initial at the bottom of the page, letting me know your child read his or her leveled set. (I will highlight their levels before sending the folders home.) The WPM fluency practice is located on the back side of these sentences.

I decided to give students all week to complete their Fluency Folders for two reasons. 1. Flexibility, and 2. Some parents were excited about the Fluency Folders and I could tell that they might want to go above and beyond the required practice. Feel free to read and practice as often as you'd like throughout the week. Just please return the folders by Friday each week. My aids will pull children to read from the Fluency Folders on Fridays. Thanks for your help with this. Let me know if you have ANY questions. I'm excited to see how this helps!

I've also come up with, what I think, will be our weekly homework schedule. You can expect for our class to stick to this plan almost all weeks, with the exception of short weeks and special occasions when family projects are sent home. This is the plan for now. I will let you know if it has to be changed.

Monday- Math Practice, Take Home Phonics Reader, Fluency Folder comes home
Tuesday- Reading Ticket
Wednesday- None
Thursday- Spelling practice test (10 times each for any missed words), Language practice, Return Fluency Folder

*I expect students to study their spelling and vocabulary words each night for as much time as needed. The only homework I'm giving in spelling is the practice test, so it's important that these words have been looked at each night. Get creative, and have fun with them! If students begin to fall behind in spelling, I will begin assigning spelling homework to those students needing the extra practice.

Hopefully, this homework plan is manageable for you and your family. It is my goal to assign meaningful homework. Reading is obviously my main focus for homework. As you may have noticed, language and spelling homework are assigned on Thursdays, right before the tests on Fridays. Pay special attention to the Language practice and check for accuracy because the test on Friday will be very similar.

Thank you parents for all that you do at home to ensure your child is learning and practicing these important skills. Your support means everything to your child and me. With lots of practice and hard work, I am confident that we will be amazed at your child's progress this school year!

Thank you,
Mrs. Hester

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Meet Hootie!

This is Hootie, our class pet. He loves going on adventures with Mrs. Hester's second grade students. He even has his very own journal called "Hootie's Adventures". I can't wait to see all the places Hootie gets to go this school year! Kids, take very good care of Hootie when you take him home with you... Hootie can't be replaced!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our First Stab at Work Stations

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This week, I introduced a few Work Stations to my second graders. They practiced working quietly with partners and I emphasized that we always WORK during our work stations. Soon, they will really get the hang of it, and the WORK in our Work Stations will be a lot of fun!

Second Grade Fluency Folders

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Click on the video to watch two of my students read from the Second Grade Fluency Folders. One example shows how to read from Fry's Instant Word List and the other shows how to find WPM, or words per minute. I can't wait to see how each child's reading fluency improves as the year goes on.

Our Class Chant

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Click on the arrow to watch Mrs. Hester's Class Chant!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Working Hard

Our week ended with a bang! We had a great Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing all parents on Tuesday night for Parents' Night. We will start right at 6:00 p.m. and should be finished in thirty or fourty-five minutes. I hope all of you are able to attend. I am excited to share classroom information with you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This is a special year for my son Will and me. He begins his first year at J.W. Wiseman as a kindergartener this school year. You could say that teaching has come full circle for me. I will now know what it is like to be the parent of a student, not just the teacher of a student. I'm sure this experience will open my eyes to many things, and I'm excited to start this journey with Will, even if he is growing up WAY too fast.

Above, Will is pictured with his friends Andrew Polston, Mrs. Polston's son and Ava Black, Mrs. Black's grandaughter.

Our First Week

Our first week of school is coming to an end. My students have learned so much about our classroom procedures and my expectations. We have worked on touch math, and I've gotten to listen to each student read, which was a lot of fun! We've definitely worked hard this week and learned a lot about each other. I'm looking forward to all that this school year entails. These children are amazing, and I know they will grow so much as the year progresses, both socially and academically. Thank you for sharing them with me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ready for School

I am FINALLY finished with the classroom and ready for my new second graders to break it in! Can you guess what our theme is this year?

Whoooo's ready for school to start? Mrs. Hester is!!!!