Welcome to Second Grade!

The weekly 2nd grade Specials’ schedule is as follows:


v Monday morning: Computer (10:00)

v Tuesday afternoon:  Art (1:05)

v Wednesday afternoon: Gym (12:15)

v Thursday morning:  Music (10:45)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 October 23rd, 2017

Dear Parents,


          It was great to see so many of you at the 80’s Prom Night that was sponsored by the HSA last Saturday night.  It was a wonderful evening!  I would like to commend Mrs. Olori and her fantastic committee for creating such a festive event.  I would also like to thank everybody who contributed to the event and all those who attended.  Speaking of Autumn events, this week the children will enjoy Fall Measurement Week in our Science program.


          Throughout the week, we will measure occurrences in the natural world, such as temperature and sunrise/sunset times.  We also will take these same measurements during a week in the winter, spring, and early summer.   At the end of the school year, we will compare our findings and make observations about the natural rhythms of our world based on our observations of the similarities and differences in the information we record during those measurement periods.   Although we will record the temperature as a class each day in school this week at the same time and location, please feel free to so at home with your child at a convenient time should you like to do so.  Again, although I will show the students how to determine sunrise and sunset times from print or internet sources, it would be great if you are able to help them observe some of these occurrences in real time.  Your child is not required to record these measurements at home or observe sunset or sunrise times.


Next Tuesday, the children will enjoy some Halloween activities. They are invited wear their gym uniforms and bring costumes to wear in the afternoon during the St. Margaret’s School Halloween Parade. That event begins at 1:00 p.m., and it will take place in front of the school.  Children may bring costumes to school in a bag.  They may not wear them into school. The costumes must fit over their gym uniforms.   All are welcome to come to see the parade.  Please make sure to label the costumes and accessories. The children may be receiving a variety of treats on Halloween.  So, please let me know if your child’s snack intake must be restricted in any way. After the parade, the children will enjoy a class celebration.  Although the party is for the students, parents are welcome to celebrate with us  should they wish to do so after the parade.

On this Friday night, October 27th, the Home School Association will host a Halloween Party for the children.  The Halloween Party is a family-friendly event, and I highly recommend it as a venue for safe Halloween fun.  More importantly, we will not overlook the great religious feast that occurs on the day after Halloween.  The Feast of All Saints is a wonderful feast that provides an opportunity to share stories of the saints and discuss ways we can all become saints.  This week, we will continue to focus on lessons that can be learned from the saints.  Last week, every child received a book about an individual saint.  This week, the children will meet in small groups to share information about the saints.  The children will use this information, as well as any information they have learned independently, to write a persuasive paragraph encouraging people to imitate the saints and providing advice as to how to do so. The students will attend Mass together with the entire school on Feast of All Saints.


Last week, I sent home a note with information about the cross-curricular Saints Project we began last week.  Please consider spending some time reading your child’s individual saint book with him/her. In addition to learning about the saints, in Religion class we will continue to study the 10 Commandments.  We will complete Chapter 6 this week, which covers the 4th Commandment, and, the Chapter 6 test will be on Wednesday. 

            Speaking of compositions, please note that you will receive your child’s first paragraph composition in the assessment folders this week.  At this point the children are learning the basic mechanics of a paragraph.   With respect to their paragraphs about Columbus, the class drafted the first two sentences together.  Then, the children were instructed with respect to the other three detail sentences they were expected to draft independently.  They were shown a “writer’s checklist” that alerted them to the requirements of the paragraph. In this first composition, punctuation and capitalization rules were emphasized.  The children were instructed to check their papers carefully to make sure they followed capitalization and punctuation rules.  In subsequent compositions, we will focus on additional areas.  The rubric that is attached to the composition in the assessment folder is written for the parents so that you will understand the basis of my assessment.  The children are shown a different rubric that is developmentally appropriate when they are drafting their compositions. Please remember to sign each assessment and return the signed assessments to me in the red folder after you have gotten a chance to review it.


We will begin Unit II in Reading/English Language Arts {Working Together} this week.  Our first Unit II selection will be the literary nonfiction story, Tara and Tiree: Fearless Friends.  The selection test will be on Friday. We will complete a new chapter on words with r-controlled vowels in Spelling this week, and the Spelling test will be on Thursday.   The Spelling test will include a Grammar/Dictation section.  The children should review the Grammar notes in their ELA/Reading notebooks to prepare for the test.


          Please note that the children will no longer need to keep in their ongoing assignments folders the yellow handout that lists all of the Unit I high frequency words that the students are now expected to know as sight words. You may keep that list at home.  Last week, I distributed a blue sheet that lists the Unit 2 words.  That sheet should remain in the ongoing assignments folder for the duration of Unit 2.


Please note that the children’s completed October logs will be due next week. I will collect the completed October logs at the end of next week.   Your child should write the total number of minutes that he/she read independently in October and write it on the appropriate line. (I’m sure they will need assistance with the task of adding up their total minutes.)  Remember that the children merely have to record the number of minutes they read daily on the log.  They do not have to record the name of the book or number of pages they read on a daily basis.  When they have finished a book, they should record the book’s name on the back of the log and rate the book.  The children are not required to read a mandated number of minutes each day, but they are required to submit on a monthly basis a completed and signed reading log.  It is recommended that they read for 20 minutes a day.  Remember that they should get in the habit of recording their independent reading on a daily basis even if that record indicates that they did not read independently. Also, please send the log in every Friday so that I can review it before it is due at the end of the month.


In Mathematics, we will complete Topic 3 {Add within 100 Using Strategies}.  This is a very important topic.  The children will continue to learn a variety of strategies that will help them learn how to add two-digit numbers.  We will complete Topic 3 this week, and the test will be on Friday.  I sent the Topic 3 Practice test home over their extended weekend so that the children could begin to complete it over the weekend although it is not due until Friday. I think the practice test is a particularly useful review tool because it covers all the material that will be assessed on the test and the questions on the practice test are formatted the way the questions are formatted on the actual test.


I know that some children have been experiencing difficulty with some of the homework assignments associated with this topic, and some parents have been kind enough to alert me when their children have found a question particularly frustrating.  I appreciate the feedback.  Often, the children are able to complete the calculations in the homework assignments, but they frequently have difficulty explaining their work.  It is perfectly normal for the children to experience difficulty in this area.  They are learning a new skill, and we model that skill every day in class.  However, most of the children are not yet proficient in this area, and we will continue to teach them throughout the year how to explain their answers.  Some of the homework assignments have questions that expose the children to queries that encourage higher order thinking.    Children should complete the “higher order” thinking questions if they feel up to a challenge, but they may leave them incomplete if they find them too difficult.  We will concentrate on the basic strategies, but it is good for children who have mastered the basic work to challenge themselves by tackling more difficult questions.


Also, I noticed that several of the children understand the new strategies that we introduce, but they cannot successfully solve problems because they do not know basic Math facts.  Basic Math facts fluency is necessary to be successful in Mathematics.  We have reviewed doubles facts, near doubles facts,  +0, +1,  +2, +3, and +4 facts so far this year.  I will not move on this week, but the children should be reviewing the facts that we have already targeted this year.  We will move on to +5 facts next week.  I will periodically assess the children on their mastery of facts we have reviewed to date.


Please note that there will be a dress-down day on Wednesday for those who bring in a donation to support the High Tor Animal Shelter.  I would like to give you a “heads-up” that the children will be expected to wear their regular uniforms (no more polo shirts or gym shorts) starting on November 1st.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


                                                                            Mrs. McNulty 











Second Grade Supply List
Please note:  Do not be concerned if you have difficulty finding all the items on this list for the first day of school!  I know there can be shortages, and I will have extra materials for any children who do not have everything.  I do not want you or your child stressing about supplies as you ease into second grade.  The children's (and parents') peace of mind beginning a new school year is more important than whether everyone has all of the supplies.  Also, since the copy paper and tissues are bulky, there is no need to send them in on the first day of school.  I suggest that you send them in piecemeal starting next week.

2 packages of 81/2 by 11 inch copy paper
2 2-pocket folders
2 boxes of tissues
3 sharpened pencils will be required on a daily basis
1 box of crayons {no larger than 24, if possible)
1 box of 12 sharpened pencils
1 12 inch/30 centimeter ruler
1 pair of children's scissors
2 glue sticks
1 six-pocket accordion folder (if it is easier to get a folder with more than six pockets, that would be fine)
You will also need clear contact paper to cover six soft-covered workbooks at home and 2 JUMBO book socks (or paper covers) to cover textbooks  I find that these items are often in short supply in September.  So, it is best to purchase them in August.  Also, please label all of your child's supplies.

Feel free to contact me {cmcnulty@saintmargaretschool.com} if you have any questions at all.