The Hernandez Herald

News and Updates from Mrs. Hernandez's 2nd Grade Class

Hello, families!

I hope this newsletter finds you well! We've been talking a lot about communities, and that they are not just places or buildings-- but groups of people. These are some of the goings on in our classroom community. I hope you enjoy the pictures and tidbits, and don't forget to check out the events and reminders.

International Walk to School Day

Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 7:15-7:30pm

7900 Broad River Road

Irmo, SC

Join millions of families all over the country who will be exercising together by walking/running on Wednesday, October 7. We will meet at the DFES Sports Field from 7:15-7:30 am and walk or run around the field with your parents. All students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate. Parents can park in the back of the school near the field for this event. All participants will receive a bottled water after the run! Hope to see you all there!

Picture Day

Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 1-1:15pm

7900 Broad River Road

Irmo, SC

Picture Day will be on Tuesday, October 6th, from 1:10 to 1:20. (The event template didn't list these times.)

What We're Learning

In Math, we’re working on a variety of subtraction strategies, like using a number line to "count back." Something that will help students greatly is to ensure that they can quickly recall addition and subtraction facts from 0 to 9, that is, having memorized that 4+8=12 or that 7-3=4. This fluency is foundation for our work throughout the year. Flashcards are a great way to help students have these math facts at their fingertips. They can be purchased at the dollar store (or homemade!)

Our Reading Workshops have been filled with minilessons about things like choosing "just right" books-- not too easy and not too challenging, so that we are able to grow as much as possible. Of course, familiar books are nice for an easy day of relaxing and enjoying, and occasional challenging books are good if it's something that really interests us. But we'll learn the most from books that are just right for us and aren't too overwhelming. Perhaps you can share with your student how it is that you choose what to read and know that it's right for you. We're also continuing to enjoy our chapter book read aloud, Charlotte's Web.

In Writer’s Workshop, we've taken a couple of spelling preassessments that are helping me learn what types of word studies will best benefit each student. We’re also beginning our Lucy Calkins’ unit of study on personal narratives. We've just done a preassessment in which students planned and wrote a "small moment" story. I will be using data from these pieces to determine what we most need to learn about as we experience the writing process. We will be reading lots of other authors' small moments stories as mentor texts, like Owl Moon and The Leaving Morning. I am so excited to see the tales our great storytellers tell!

In Social Studies, we are continuing to learn about communities. We have been talking about different types of communities and homes, like what urban, rural, and suburban ones look like. We have also been talking about our school as a community.

We took a Photo Walk, a scavenger hunt with iPads, in which we found, photographed, and PicCollaged things like "someone who helps keep you safe" or "something that has changed since last year." They were beautifully done!

We're now studying maps-- what kinds of maps are out there and how we might use them. Be on the lookout for maps you may have at home or come across while out and about.


We have a time each day that we talk about and write down the homework for the day. Students in older grades write down homework, so this year is a good opportunity for students to get in the habit of writing and checking notes and reminders for themselves. If you notice that your student hasn’t written each day’s homework in their agendas, please join me in encouraging your student to use wisely the time of the day in which we write homework and pack (before they begin reading.)

Each day, students should read for 15 minutes. Please remind them to fill out the reading log that should be kept in the back sleeve of their green folders. When they are filled, they will be turned in and replaced. Our green folders are now more green-- the reading logs are now two sided.

Math pagesWe will generally have a page of math homework three days a week (Monday through Thursday.) Students are responsible for tearing out the page, putting their name on it, putting it in their green take-home folder, completing it after school, and turning it in in the mornings when they put their take-home folders away. This homework will be brought back to school the next day so that we can talk about it together.

Other homework—Students will also write other notes or homework items that you may need to see.

Take-Home and Thursday VIP Folders

Thank you so much for checking your student's green take home folder each night. Some of the information sent your way recently is:

- Information about Girl Scouts

- Carolina vs. Clemson reading challenge- please return the card and list of books after your student has read 6.

- Information about picture day and yearbooks:

The PTO will begin selling yearbooks for the 2015-16 school year. If you would like to purchase one, please complete the form that was sent home by your child. Turn in your envelope with the money by Friday, October 9, 2015. You may also order online. A link is on our webpage. Please use Yearbook ID Code: 12213216 when you place your order.

If you are missing one of these things that you need, let me know and I can send another.

Beginning next week, all school-wide information like this (unless it is very time sensitive) will be sent home on Thursdays in the white VIP folders you may have used last year. Homework will continue to be in the green take-home folders.

Other Information

Information about and sign-ups for other upcoming events, like parent/teacher conferences, will be coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled for emails.

As our mornings and evenings are (sometimes) getting chillier, we're starting to bring sweaters and jackets to school. We've found that they occasionally sprout legs and walk out to the playground, staying there after we leave. Please put your child's name on the tag of these items in permanent marker, or I can delicately write it to avoid distress if they are misplaced. An optional suggestion is to add a star-- which I will let the other second grade teachers know is code for the item belonging to a student in our class. That way it can bypass the school lost and found and come straight back to our room.

A link to the 9/24 edition of the school newsletter, the Cub Reporter, can be found here:

Grandparents' and Grandfriends' Day!

We LOVED having our dear grandparents and grandfriends visit us! It was so special to see a glimpse of these precious relationships. We enjoyed these visitors' company and were also thinking fondly of those who weren't able to join us.