Second Grade News

January 12-25, 2016

The Second Grade Team

Olivia Claiborn: Ext. 325

Ana Owens: Ext. 322

Lakeshia Peters: Ext. 323

Anne Yarbrough: Ext. 324


Writing Responses

Back in October, students wrote letters to second and third grade peers at Sudie Williams Elementary School. They have gotten lovely illustrated and written responses from their Pen Pals. This month, we will be working on answering any questions our new friends have asked and elaborating upon shared interests. We will also be writing about and recommending exciting books we have read and tell them all about our recent Pioneer unit and Journey Day.

Reading Workshop

In our fiction genre, second grade readers are reviewing story elements and retelling events in order. Our new focus is determining the theme or central message of the story as we recount what has taken place in the plot. This is a great way to challenge student comprehension by encouraging and modeling for them the use of higher-order thinking skills. This will deepen their understanding of a story because they are called to to synthesize all of the elements to find an overarching message or lesson. Theme goes beyond the main idea as it really ties to what the author is trying to convey to the reader. Second grade readers are learning how to ask essential questions and how to support the theme with evidence from the text.

As we begin to focus on nonfiction, students will explore the text features that set this genre apart. Instead of skipping over these parts of the page, we want second grade readers to use these tools to help deepen their understanding. Special print can help students identify content vocabulary and use context clues to decode new words. Captions and charts are rich with information that can make new information familiar. Students will learn how to identify these features and explain how they clarify a non-fiction text and their topics.

Word Study

Just as a reminder to parents, please review words missed or patterns that your child is struggling with on the word study tests as they come home. Word study uses spelling, phonics, and vocabulary to build a bank of rules and patterns that allow children to understand how words are built. The more we reinforce with students, the better and more confident they can become. We are building their writing and spelling skills but also supporting their fluency as readers.

Book Recs

If you are looking for some great nonfiction series to explore at your house, below are a few of our favorite sets from Scholastic!


This month we will focus on multiplication.

The students will learn various strategies to help them solve multiplication equations.

For example 4 x 3 = 12 or 3 x 4 = 12:

  • Repeated addition 4 + 4 + 4 = 12 or 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12
  • Three groups of four or four groups of three
  • Arrays - an arrangement of objects using rows and columns

We will also introduce division number stories using simple drawings or counters. We will discuss equal shares and remainders.

Everyday Math Unit 6 concepts:

· Addition of Three or More Numbers

· Comparison Number Stories

· Data Day: The Five Food Groups

· Mixed Addition and Subtraction Stories

· Subtraction Strategies

· EXPLORATIONS: Exploring Arrays, Coins, and Division

· Multiples of Equal Groups

· Array Number Stories

· Multiplication with Arrays

· Division Number Stories

Vocabulary: comparison number stories, difference, comparison diagram, 5 basic food groups, bar graph, trade, equal groups, multiplication, times, multiplied by, multiplication diagram, array, x-by-y arrays, division, equal-sharing, equal-grouping, remainder

Literature: Each Orange Had 8 Slices, Sea Squares, Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream, One Hundred Hungry Ants, A Remainder of One

IXL at home:


Second Grade Star

A long time tradition in Lamplighter's second grade is Star of the Week. Each second grader will be chosen to be the Second Grade Star one time during this semester. When your child is the Second Grade Star, he or she will prepare a poster containing pictures important to him or her and bring in a collection to share with their classmates.

The posters will be created at school, however we need your help. Enjoy a trip down memory lane as you help your child choose 8-10 photographs. Please label the pictures on the back and send them to school in a Zip-Loc bag by Tuesday, February 10. We will keep these pictures in a safe place until your child's name is drawn as the Star. When your child's name is drawn, we will send home a notice that will include when to send in your child's collection. Thank you for all of your help in continuing this wonderful Lamplighter tradition.

SATs classes

Environmental Science with Mrs. Cauley

In January our students are responsible for filling their bird feeder in the Jonsson garden. Students will be checking their terrariums to see how their plants are surviving. We hope the terrariums are healthy enough to be ready for adding earthworms in the spring.

Our winter crystal study has each class preparing a different crystal solution. The solution jars are in the second grade shared space while the children delight in watching their four crystal solutions (salt, sugar, borax and Epsom salts) form and enjoyed comparing their different growth patterns. They will be drawing and observing their crystal formations and learning to use microscopes for crystal recognition.

Each student will chose a personal rock from our creek area and their rocks will be used for games like “Pebble You Must Wander” and rock attribute “hunts”. Students love our rock cycle game where they experience how rocks change and move over millions of years.

Science with Mr. Burton

Second grade students just finished dehydrating fruit for their pioneer journey. Coming up, we will be discussing how scientists use evidence and inference to learn about the world around them. Students will have to take measurements, make observations and then infer what might be inside some mystery containers.

Media Center with Mrs. Vermillion

Youth Awards and Visiting Author

During the month of January, we are reviewing the Caldecott, Newbery, and Bluebonnet Youth Awards. Students are exploring diverse works of art from past Caldecott winners. We are comparing various mediums used by the artists, such as watercolor and gouache. The Youth Awards will be announced Monday, January 11, 2016.

On Tuesday, January 26, former Lamplighter parent Michelle Grimes will read from her new book "Where's Pidge?" To order a copy, please go to the media center page on the Lamplighter website to fill out a form.

Technology with Mrs. Ogden
Welcome back! As the second grade Pioneer unit comes to a close our time in technology classes will be working in tandem with our final Pioneer activities.

3D explorations! Soon we will be working shifting our focus to work in tandem with math classes to create 3D objects using Tinkercad online CAD software. In order for your child to participate I need your help. I will be sending home a permission slip with your child. Please use the second and third pages to create a Tinkercad account for your child. (I cannot create the account for you.) Once your child’s account has been created, fill out the bottom of the first sheet and return it to school. Thank you very much for your assistance with in our 3D program.

Looking for a website to help enrich your child’s learning at home? Check out my educational blog to find a list of educational websites and apps that can help reinforce 2nd grade skills at home:

Important Dates

  • January 15 - Wear your Lamplighter Spirit Red for afternoon Hootenanny

  • January 18 - MLK Jr. Day - No School

  • January 25 - Speaker Series: Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age 7:00 p.m.
  • January 26 - Author Michelle Grimes shares her book, "Where's Pidge?"
  • February 9 - Valentine's Day at Lamplighter
  • February 10 and 11 - Conference Days - No School for students
  • February 12 to 15 - Winter Break - No School for students
  • February 16 - Lamplighter Night at the Perot 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Questions to ask your child at home....

  • Tell me about your Pen Pal.
  • What is a caption? Where can I find one?
  • How do you use a glossary, index, or table of contents?
  • What other nonfiction text features do you know? Why do books have them?
  • Why do we use diagrams for addition and subtraction number stories?
  • What does it mean to trade when using two-digit subtraction?
  • What is an array?
  • Who is Amanda Bean? What does she dream about every night?