The Hernandez Herald

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

Hello families!

I hope you are doing well! We are in the midst of an exciting couple weeks. I know your students enjoyed the book fair and fall festival, those who went. This week we have an early release day and field experience, and next week, Thanksgiving is upon us. Each day we dig into our number of the day, considering patterns, comparisons, whether it's even or odd... Tomorrow we will look at 60, as it is the 60th day of school! Below you will find updates about some events and things that we are learning.

Upcoming events

  • This Thursday is an early release day for students.

  • Also on Thursday, our school library visits will resume. Please do a quick check to make sure no library books get left behind at home.

  • Friday we will go on our field experience to Camp Discovery in Blythewood. Half of second grade went on Monday and we have heard from staff and students that it is an excellent trip. Please remember to send your student in outdoor and weather-appropriate clothes, e.g. jeans, tennis shoes, and a sweater or coat, depending. They will also need to bring their bag lunch, if you indicated that they will be bringing one from home, and possibly a labeled waterbottle, as there are no water fountains or vending machines.

  • Next week will be Thanksgiving break, so we will be together on Monday and Tuesday.

  • Pajama Day! The Tuesday before said break we will have pajama day. Any student that donates at least $1 to United Way can wear PJs on November 24th. Please send any donations in an envelope with your student's name.

Other reminders

School-appropriate items

Please remind your student that toys need to stay at home. This will help keep Legomen safe and students focused.

Slushie/snack/ice cream money

Students may bring money for slushies, snacks, or ice cream on Wednesdays. (We call them Wonderful Wednesdays, a nice mid-week pick-me-up!) The money needs to stay put up during the day for students to be permitted to use it at lunch time.

Early dismissal/change in transportation notes

If your student has an early dismissal or a change in the mode of transportation to get home, please send a written note and ask your child to put it in the designated spot in the "turn-in zone." This is the most effective way for the office to know that there is to be a change.

What We've Been Learning

Math- We are finishing up our first unit on place value. We have been using what we call base-ten blocks (those plastic blocks of 100, 10, and single cubes) to build three digit numbers. We've been talking a lot about how, in the number 546, for example, that the 4 really has a value of not 4, but 40, and the digit 5 in the hundreds place really has a value of 500. The vocabulary we've been using to accurately talk about these concepts includes

  • place value
  • digit
  • expanded form (that is, expanding 56 to 50+6)
  • ones, tens, hundreds, thousands
  • comparing numbers (as in which is greater)
  • less than, greater than, equal to

We have been playing several math games to reinforce these concepts, including Betcha Can't Expand It and Value Wars, which could be played at home with dice or a random number generator app. Students can describe the games (or at least a variation of them) and teach you to play.

We will continuing reviewing Wednesday and we will take the chapter test Thursday.

Reading- we are making links as readers and writers, focusing on the kinds of things we see in the beginnings, middles, and ends of stories. As your student completes and logs his or her 20 minutes of reading each night, perhaps you can discuss elements of each piece of their story. Some things we've noticed are that beginnings often include information about setting (when and where), introduce characters, make the reader start asking questions. We've noticed that the middles include the action and the details, and that the end usually wraps things up, answers questions, sometimes it echoes the beginning, and sometimes it leaves the reader hanging (like in a series.)

Writing- We've talked about beginnings and ends of stories as writers too. Students have been such prolific writers that it can be difficult to choose a piece to commit to, but we've begun work editing in pairs. We're talking about how the focus of editing (end punctuation, capitalization) and revising (changing the ways we say something) are really to help the reader understand what we want to say as a writer. We're moving towards having polished pieces we will publish.

Science- We are learning about air and weather. We've been doing investigations that show the effect of air and moving air (wind) on different objects. Each day, we use a thermometer and the Weather Channel website to find the morning temperature and forecast for the day, including the symbol used to show it (e.g. a sun for sunny, a hidden sun for partly cloudy, etc.) We have created data collection notebooks to begin recording mid-day temperatures as well. Temperature and forecast checking (as well as discussions about wind speed, "feels like," etc.) could be things you and your student check and talk about each day.

Book Fair

I hope your student enjoyed visiting and/or purchasing items from the school book fair!

If your student had change from the purchase that he or she hasn't yet brought home, that will be sent in a sealed envelope tomorrow.

THANK YOU to those of you who donated a book to the classroom library. Those books have been a huge hit. We are so grateful for your helping us update our library!