Welcome to Second Grade!


January 25th, 2019:  Dress down day to support Building Blocks Foundation  

January 26th, 2019:  Reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation {please meet in the church by 10:45}

January 27th, 2019:  Catholic Schools' Week begins with an open house in the school from 10:00 until 2:00                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                  January 22nd, 2019


Dear Parents,


          I hope the children enjoyed their long weekend.  Please note that there will be a dress-down day this Friday to benefit the efforts of the Building Blocks Foundation to provide warm clothing for needy children. Participation is, of course, optional.  If your child would like to participate, please have him/her bring in a donation on Friday of at least $1.00.


Although it is hard to believe, the children will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Saturday at 11:00 in the church! The children should wear dress-clothing (no jeans, athletic gear, or sneakers, please) and sit with any accompanying family members anywhere in the church.  Please arrive by 10:45 at the latest.  There will be a short prayer service followed by individual confessions for the children and anyone else who would like to avail themselves of the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturday.  After each child leaves the confessional, he/she will pray his/her penance, put a lamb on the Good Shepherd display in the front of the church, and light a candle to symbolize the light of Christ shining more brightly through the children after they receive this sacrament.  After your child has lit the candle, your family may leave the church.  There is no closing liturgy.  Please let me know if you have any questions, or if your child will be unable to attend. 


This week we will continue Chapter 14 in Religion.   Chapter 14 in our workbooks is a review chapter covering the important material in Unit III.  Unit III is designed to prepare the children to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation this weekend.  Last week, the children reviewed each of the chapters in Unit III.  There will be no Chapter 14 test.    Instead, during this week, the children will work together in groups to complete a cumulative Unit III project.  They will be able to use their notebooks and workbooks to help each other find the answers to questions about Unit III material.  The children generally enjoy working together and reviewing material in a small group setting, and this type of project allows the children to practice using research materials with their peers.


In addition, I have prepared a sheet that  reviews the exact procedure that the children will follow when they enter the confessional on Saturday.  We will go over the procedure in class, but the sheet will be available in the children’s ongoing assignments folder should you wish to review it with your child.  I will also attach a copy of the sheet to the hard copy of this letter for your convenience. I would like to thank Fr. Raaser for meeting with the children in church last week to show them the confessionals, put them at ease about reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and answering any questions they had.  I look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday.


This week, we also will wrap up Unit III in our Language Arts/Reading program. We will continue to discuss A Weed Is A Flower, the remarkable biography of George Washington Carver, but there will be no selection test on this story because we will take our Unit III Benchmark tests this week. As with Unit II, the Unit III Benchmark Test is comprehensive.    The Unit III Benchmark Test will include reading comprehension, high frequency word recognition, phonics (long i, comparative endings, compound words, long e, long o), listening and writing skills, and grammar, usage and mechanics.  As this test covers cumulative concepts and skills, there is no need to study for it; however, Grammar instruction  and Unit III high frequency words. Sections of the Unit III Benchmark Test will be administered throughout the week as time permits. The Grammar portion  will be on Thursday.  The children should study their Grammar notes and the yellow Unit III Grammar review sheet in their ongoing assignments folder to prepare for Thursday’s Grammar test. I sent the review packet home last week and encouraged the children to review begin reviewing it.


 In Spelling/Phonics instruction this week, we will learn about words that end in –le, and the Spelling test will be on Friday.  There will be no Grammar/Dictation section on the Spelling test this week because the children will take a separate Unit III Benchmark Grammar test on Thursday.


Last week, we completed Topic 6 in Mathematics.  Topic 6 covered fluency in two-digit subtraction and reviewed two-digit addition as the children solved word problems involving addition and subtraction.  Most of the children did well on the Topic 6 test. The children should now be fluent with respect to two-digit addition and subtraction. Topic 7 is an optional review topic.  It contains no new material, and it will not be covered in class.  It is available as reinforcement for any students who had difficulty with the Topic 6 material or simply would like extra practice with respect to these foundational operations.  If you would like to have your child to complete any Topic 7 lessons as reinforcement material, please send me a note in your child’s assignment pad, and I will detach those pages and send them home to you.  The children are not required to submit any completed reinforcement material, but, if your child is having difficulty completing Topic 7 reinforcement material, please let me know, and I will be happy to meet individually with your child and help him/her master the material.


This week we will introduce Topic 8 {Working with Time and Money} in Mathematics. Last week, we began to prepare for Topic 8 by reviewing coins and their values. This is a topic about which you can easily reinforce at home the skills the children will learn in school.  When you have time, consider giving children groups of coins.  Next, ask them to sort the coins starting with the coins with the greatest value and ending with the coins with the least value. Then, ask them to use their skip-counting skills to determine the value of the group.  Also, you can play a game with your child by challenging him/her to see how many combinations of coins he/she can use to make the same value.  It is best for the children to tackle this task by using the maximum number of the coin with the greatest value and then working their way through all the combinations until they end with the use of the maximum number of coins with the least value.  Similarly, it would be great if you help your child practice time-telling skills at home. 



Please remember that it is extremely important that any child who is not yet fluent with respect to basic addition facts should practice them diligently.  The Math facts should be on a piece of cardstock paper that was distributed in September, and the children were directed to keep those papers in their ongoing assignment folders permanently.  It is particularly difficult to be successful with respect to two-digit computations if the children do not know their basic addition and subtraction facts.  I will periodically administer unannounced Math facts quizzes so that you will know if your child needs more practice. When you review your child’s assessments, please pay special attention to the Math facts quizzes.  It is disappointing when children master the challenging concepts involved in regrouping but do not solve problems correctly because they simply do not know their basic facts.   I have pointed out to the children that if they really know their addition facts, they also know their subtraction facts.   For instance, if a child knows that 7 + 8 = 15, he/she will know that 15 - 8 must equal 7 and 15 – 7 must equal 8. 


Last week, we completed preliminary work on our January book report projects, and we will complete final drafts of our reports this week. During February, the children will write a report about a biography they have read.  I would like each student to select one biography of his/her choice (and ability level) to read independently.  The children are familiar with the genre of biography as they have read biographies of George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Christopher Columbus. The book may be from the school library, the class library, or the public library.  The time spent reading the biography should be included on the children’s  reading logs.  When the students finish the biography, they should complete the “Biography Report” poster that will be distributed next week.  The children may complete the posters at any time during the month of February, but the completed poster sheet will be due on March 1st.  Many children find it useful to draft each section on scrap paper first in order to revise it prior to completing the section on the actual poster.   If a student completes the poster prior to March 1st, he/she may turn it in earlier. After the students complete their biographies, they will participate in various activities, including book club discussions and the creation of timelines.  The children usually enjoy this project, and they are often very proud of their finished product!  They will have the whole month of February to read a biography and complete the poster, but if they would like to begin reading a biography this week, that would be fine as well. Please encourage them to work on the project at a steady pace instead of leaving it until the last minute.  I will distribute a separate sheet next week presenting the details of this project. 


Please note that Catholic Schools’ Week begins this Sunday with an Open House in the school from 10:00 through 2:00.  Feel free to stop by and invite any friends or relatives who would like to visit.  There is an exciting array of activities for the children scheduled for next week.  I will send home a separate reminder  that will review the activities and detail the dress code for the different days.  We are on the Blue Team!  There will not be a school-wide Spelling Bee this year, but there will be a Spelling Bee in our class to determine a second game champion. 


 Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday.


                                                                              Mrs. McNulty


Act of Contrition



My God,

I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.


In choosing to do wrong

and failing to do good,

I have sinned against you

whom I should love above all things.


I firmly intend, with your help,

to do penance,

to sin no more,

and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.


Our Savior, Jesus Christ,

suffered and died for us.


In his name, my God, have mercy.











                                                                                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(one in September and the other in January)
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 colored pencils
1 12 inch/30 centimeter ruler
1 pair of children's scissors
2 glue sticks
1 container of disinfecting wipes to clean student desks
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.