Room 113 News August 19

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DreamBox is an i-pad app and a website where students practice their math skills in a fun, age appropriate, and individualized manner. Each child progresses at their own pace. We will be using it in our classroom this year. As we get to know the students as mathematicians, we will be adjusting their levels. I will also monitor their progress throughout the year and use information about their performance within the app to help inform my decisions about what to teach each child in math.

Students are welcome to use it outside of school as well. You can download the app for your i-pad at home. After you download the app, enter the code below to connect with our account. There is a picture of the app below. Your child already has an account and will know their picture password.

If your child is going to use Dreambox on a computer, please click the link in the links section on the right hand side of this BLOG. From there, your child simply clicks on their name and then uses their picture password. You must use this link. Your child will not be able to access their account from the DreamBox homepage.

Some suggestions:

- Use DreamBox if your child has little or no home learning and you'd like them to practice math skills...remember ISB's suggested 15 minute guideline for 2nd graders

- DO NOT let your child spend hours on this website or praise them when they do. Like anything, moderation is key.

- This program does not replace real's only a supplement

- DO NOT sit next to your child and coach them through the activities. His/her account is tailored for him/her. Let your child use DreamBox independently.

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Home Learning

The ISB Elementary home learning guidelines dictate that 2nd graders read for 20 minutes each night and engage in an additional 15 minutes of home learning. Home learning will become more formal after back to school night. Thus far, a few math practice pages have come home. If home learning activities exceed the 15 minutes, please stop your child and contact me. As we get to know your children as learners, we will differentiate the home learning activities that are sent home each night. Sometimes home learning will focus on HABL, healthy active balanced lifestyle, which is a core value of ISB. I will be sharing more details about home learning at back to school night. We would like to be respectful of your time together as a family; it's important to communicate with me if home learning is causing your child anxiety or anguish. Home learning is meant to give your child an opportunity to practice things they already know how to do. Home learning is NOT meant to be homework for parents. Second graders should come home with books to read each night.


We have been reviewing some basic math concepts from first grade and establishing common vocabulary. Here are the things we have focused on so far:

  • decompositions of numbers within ten[1] (e.g., 0 + 7, 1 + 6, 2 + 5, and 3 + 4, all equal seven).
  • partners to ten[2](e.g., 10 and 0, 9 and 1, 8 and 2, 7 and 3, 6 and 4, 5 and 5, and “I know 8 needs 2 to make ten”).
  • tens plus sums[3] (e.g., 10 + 9, 10 + 8).

In the coming weeks we will continue to focus on composing and decomposing numbers with "10 as our friend" The make ten and take from ten strategies will be introduced as well.

Today, our class was introduced to the "Make Ten Strategy" for addition. This is a mental math strategy. For students who do not have strong place value concepts, this can be very tricky at first. We will practice this strategy in the coming weeks.

Additionally, students will learn the Read Draw Write process for solving story problems. This will be used throughout the year.


We have already started our work together as readers this year. Starting this week, students select 12 books every Monday morning. These books are organized into a box and 1-3 books will come home each night for home reading. The books students select should be at their independent level. This means that the books can be read and comprehended independently by your child. More challenging books are used in reading groups, which will start next week. Independent reading levels are still being assessed and some will change in the near future.

Our class reviewed the good habits readers use when reading to themselves and reading with partners. The most important thing adults can do for children this year is to promote and support their love of reading. Please contact Mr. Hagen if you notice that your child dislikes reading or if reading at home is a battle each night. Regularly reading books your child self-selects that are at his/her independent level is key to success and growth.


- home reading can be you reading to your child as well as him/her reading to you

- build home reading into your nightly routine

- ask you child to read orally sometimes

- partner read with your child...see below for some guidelines and ideas

- have discussion with your child about what they're reading and what they have read

- model a love of reading by reading something yourself

- do not hover over your child and correct all of his/her mistakes. If mistakes are frequent, the text is too difficult. Email Mr. Hagen!

- encourage and praise your children when they read


Our class is launching our writing workshop for the year. Our first several weeks will focus on habits that good writers have. We want second graders to know:

  • Writing is a vehicle to communicate meaning

  • Writers rehearse their stories before drafting

  • Writers share their writing

Throughout the year, students will be writing within these 5 categories:

Award winning author, Donald Crews, is one of the few authors that writes books in each category.

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Social Emotional Learning

This year, we will learn social emotional skills to help us as learners and to develop strong character.
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Yearlong Overview of ISB Elementary Music Program

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Booster Hut

Second grade is the first year in which the elementary students are allowed to venture down to the Booster Hut and popcorn stand on their own. The volunteers at the Booster Hut have done a terrific job of filling their stock with a variety of trinkets just right for second grade desires. Based on past experience, we’ve discovered that it is actually a bit challenging for the second graders to manage both their time and money while visiting the Hut.

Therefore, we have asked the students to not bring more than 100 baht to school on Fridays to spend at either the Booster Hut or the popcorn stand. (This is just a maximum—we find that 40-60 baht is usually sufficient for popcorn and a small treat. And of course, shopping at the Booster Hut and buying popcorn are optional activities—it is not necessary to bring money every Friday!) We have also asked students not to lend to or borrow money from other students. We have told the students that if their parents need them to purchase something from the Hut, then a letter to the teacher would be required.

Going to the Booster Hut and popcorn stand is a privilege. If students are behaving irresponsibly—for example, returning late to class—they may lose the privilege. Children are allowed to bring money to school only on Fridays for the Booster Hut and popcorn stand. Children should not bring money to school on other days.

We are hoping that you can help support us with this endeavor. Please speak to your child at home about responsible spending, the importance of returning to class on time, and putting toys into backpacks to be played with later.

Friday, August 21st, will be the first Booster Hut/Popcorn day for Grade 2.


Grade 2 Team

Another New Face in Grade 2

Avery Udagawa will be student teaching in EAL in Grades 2 and 4 at ISB, from now until the end of November. Avery grew up in Kansas in the U.S., attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and has lived in Japan and Oman as well as Thailand. She holds a Master's degree in Japanese from The University of Sheffield. She is married to Kentaro Udagawa, a teacher in ISB MS Bands, and has two daughters: Emina in Grade 2 (Ms. Madden) and Kaia, age 4 (a student at ELC). Avery enjoys translating Japanese children's literature into English (see In her EAL coursework at The College of New Jersey, she has focused on the challenges that face Japanese learners of English. She is excited now to work with EAL teachers Karlie Barness (Grade 2 EAL) and Marie Gaetgaeow (Grade 4 EAL), and to learn how they work with students from many language backgrounds.