Caren Whaley
Email Me
603-643-6655 x2207

For more recent updates checkout the classroom blog.  The link is on the left.

Welcome to Second Grade
September 2016
Mrs. Whaleys Class     Room 207 

Our Specials Schedule:

 Monday:  Spanish, PE

Tuesday:  Music

Wednesday:  Spanish, Chorus, Library

Thursday:  PE

Friday:  Art 

Please make sure your child has sneakers on Monday and Thursday.  Feel free to keep a pair at school, especially if your child doesn't regularly wear sneakers to school

September 23, 2016

     We’ve made some good progress with classroom routines this week.  As a grade level we are noticing a larger than usual range of abilities.  We ask for patience as we work to find good fit work and ways to support each student.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to practice reading and counting and skip counting at home.  The more automatic these skills become, the more brain energy your child will have for other more complex areas of learning.

     We have introduced a variety of math stations.  We talked about how to be independent during math and what it looks like to do math the whole time.  We have a game called “Drop It” that students can bring home for counting and skip counting.  Your child should know how to play, but I’ll post the rules on the web-site some time this weekend.

    In Language Arts we started a “Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall” list poem.  We’ve worked hard this week on long and short vowel sounds.  This is much easier for some that it is for others.  We continue to work on stamina for Read to Self.  Today we learned about making good use of Read to Someone time.  This is an opportunity for students to share a book together and take turns reading out loud.  Emphasis is on fluency and checking for understanding.

      Today, Friday, we had STEM class (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  We began by reading a wonderful story called “The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires.  In this story, a girl attempts to build the most magnificent thing, but encounters failure after failure.  We talked about the author’s message, and came to the conclusion that the author was teaching us about trying over and over even when we fail. A good lesson for us all. We followed up by giving the students a STEM challenge with 20 coffee stirrers,  a yard of tape, a yard of string, and a marshmallow.  Mrs. Whaley’s class also did this last week and spent this week refining their designs and improving their teamwork skills.  Ask your child about it.


A few dates for your calendar:

Monday, September 26th  First Reading/Math Log due date

Monday, September 26th  Dot Day  Wear dots!

Monday, October 3rd  Me Collage due (can come in earlier)

Thursday, October 6th 5-6 pm.  Parent Information Night/Open House  This will be a night for you and your second grader. Please make other arrangements for siblings.

Friday, October 7th is an in-service day for teachers so there is no school.

Monday, October 10th is Columbus Day and is also a no school day.

 Have a great weekend,

Mrs. Whaley

September 16, 2016

Our first whole week completed!  We have a couple things coming home in the folder this week.  First, we are ready to start the Reading & Math Log.  All the directions are in the log.  There is a lot of information to take in, so it may take one or two readings on your part.  Basically we ask that second graders read 5 times a week and practice math 3 times a week.  It is VERY important that your child read “good fit” books.  We have been working on this at school, and some of the students are not consistently choosing good fit books.  A good fit book is one that your child can read with 99% accuracy.  With real estate the three most important aspects are Location, Location, Location.  With education the three most important aspects are Reading, Reading, Reading.  Five extra minutes of reading a day really adds up.  Some kids might need the reading time broken up into two different times of the day.  We are also working on stamina for reading.  Good fit books are key in helping kids stay engaged in reading.


I’m not assigning any “fact strategies” to be practiced yet.  Almost everyone should be practicing counting and skip counting (actual objects and in their heads).  By the end of the year second graders are expected to be able to count and skip count forwards and backwards by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s (from any number), and 100s (from any number).


The first Reading & Math Log should not come back to school until Monday September 26th.  We will be talking about this more with the students next week, but if you have any questions after reading the informational pages in the Log, feel free to zip me an email.  Most, if not all of the answers are likely in those front pages.


The second item coming home in the folders is the Judy Moody Me Collage Homework information.  The Me Collage is due Monday, October 3rd.  Feel free to send it in earlier if it is finished.


A few dates for your calendar:

Tuesday, September 20th  Picture Day

Monday, September 26th  First Reading/Math Log due date

Monday, October 3rd  Me Collage due

Thursday, October 6th 5-6 pm.  Parent Information Night/Open House  This will be a night for you and your second grader, please make other arrangements for other children you may have.

Friday, October 7th is an in-service day for teachers so there is no school.

Monday, October 10th is Columbus Day and is also a no school day.


Have a great weekend,

Mrs. Whaley


Dear Families,                                                                     September 9, 2016


Week Two in second grade is in the record books! It was a great week for everyone in class and we are all building stamina for school again!  This week was filled with assessments and more classroom community building. We have finished assessments in Math and Spelling and will begin Reading assessments next week. This will allow us to begin designing lessons and activities to meet the needs of this particular group of second graders.  Highlights of the week:

 *  Our first fire drill. Second graders found out it was a long walk to our meeting spot!

 *  Hopes and Dreams for the school year.  Second graders thought about what was hard in school last year, and what they hope to get better at this year. These hopes range from the academic: “I want to

 get better at reading to topics in the social/emotional realm: “I want to get better at not being so shy.”

 *  Our first visit to our outdoor classroom-the forest. We learned about how a non-native invasive species called European Buckthorn has taken over many sections of our forest and we are excited to be forest stewards this year and clear areas of this green menace!

 *  We learned that numbers are everywhere and are so important in all kinds of communication. We read a funny “newspaper” that was written without any numbers. For example, “Today’s date is late summer, but not quite fall.”

 *  We also learned how to pick good fit books.  Ask your second grader about the shoes I brought in to demonstrate.  Good fit books are books you can read with 99% accuracy.  It’s the best way to get better at reading. 

 *  Dates:  Picture day for us in Tuesday, September 20.  The school has two days of pictures, so you may have a child with pictures on Monday.

 Parent Information/Open House is Thursday, October 6th, from 5-6 pm.  We are working on child care for the second graders for the first half hour while we meet with parents.  For the second half hour it will be the traditional Open House where your second graders can show you around the room.

 Hope you’re having a great weekend!



September 2, 2016


     Happy Friday!!  We’ve had a great start in Second Grade.  The students are doing a great job with learning each other’s names and the classroom routines.  At the beginning of the year we go slow in order to go fast later.  The routines will help us establish independence, which in turn, frees the teacher to also be able to focus on small groups and individuals.

     We’ve been talking about what kind of place we want our room to be.  I love to use the book Little Blue Truck to help students think about how they treat each other.  Check in with your child about the discussion we had.


A few dates for your calendar:

Picture Day:  Tuesday, September 20th

Parent Information Night/Open House:  Thursday, October 6th This will be a night for you and your second grader, please make other arrangements for other children you may have.  (Also, please note that Friday, October 7th is an in-service day for teachers so there is no school and Monday, October 10th is Columbus Day and is also a no school day.)


Keep the tissue boxes coming…that’s the only homework for now.

 Have a great weekend,

Mrs. Whaley

Birthdays in Room 207 

            You are welcome to send in a special snack on or near your childs birthday.  I ask that you keep it simple.  Please have the snack be something that does not require a freezer, refrigeration, or teacher preparation (for example an ice-cream cake).  Your child should be able to pass it out with the help of another student.  We have birthday snacks at our regular snack time and the birthday snack is in addition to whatever else students have brought in for snack.

     If your child has a summer birthday we can celebrate a half birthday or pick the date of his or her birthday in May or June and celebrate on that day (for example a July 28 birthday could be celebrated on May 28).

Allergies in Room 207

We do have students with nut allergies.  They are not air borne so we do NOT have to have a nut-free room.

Take-Home Folders 

            The Take-Home folders generally go home on Fridays and are expected back on Mondays.  When we start the Reading/Math Homework, those logs are also due on Mondays.  I am changing the Reading/Math log from a sheet of paper to a booklet.  The booklet will need to come to school on Mondays, Ill check it and send it back home that day so that the reading and math can be recording for that week.