Timbertail Tidbits

September 13, 2013


The year is off to a really good start. We've been working on establishing routines and getting back into the swing of school. Everyone has done a great job with making the transition from first to second grade. It takes time but we are on our way!

This newsletter contains a few reminders and some tips for success. If you have any questions about anything please don't hesitate to contact me.

Part of transitioning to second grade is making sure that the homework routine is understood by both students and parents. The expectations are most likely different than those the students had in first grade. The expectations are listed below by subject area. Please review them with your son or daughter and discuss the importance of completing and returning all homework.


There will be nightly homework that reinforces the lesson we covered that day in class. The assignment will usually be the homework side of the worksheet. Please only complete that side. The reverse side is used as follow up and review at a later time. There will never be homework on Friday or days that an assessment was given.

Students should also be practicing their addition and subtraction facts 3-4 times a week. They can use flashcards if you have them at home. If not there are a number of links on the Weebly under math. The links provide important practice often in a more game like way.


Students need to be reading at least 20 minutes a day outside of school. Often times your child will be bringing home an assigned reading from our anthology or their guided reading group. These must be read to you and often times a skill card will be sent along so you know what the comprehension focus is for that particular reading and ways it an be reinforced at home. It is extremely important that books are returned the next day as I do not have extras and we use the books daily.


Word Study homework bags come home every Monday and the completed work is due back on Friday. An assignment sheet will come home each Monday so you know our focus for the week and what practice needs to be done. Most weeks the homework will be some practice worksheets and a word sort that works with our focus skill. Only the practice sheets need to be returned by Friday. Every Friday we will have an assessment. The assessment consists of the words for the week and 3-4 dictation sentences. The assessment will be in the weekly word study bag. I ask that you review it and then sign and return it to school the following day. Look for the first homework bag to come home on Monday, September 23.

Homework falls under our Forest Glen expectation of Be Responsible. There are consequences for homework not being completed or returned. If homework is not completed students need to give up recess to get it done. I also note it in their log so parents are aware that homework wasn't completed. If a student has 3 incomplete assignments in one month he or she will receive a minor which is part of our PBIS program. Each additional incomplete assignment will earn another minor. Each month everyone starts over. Please reinforce the importance of completing homework and being responsible at home.

All second graders take part in the MAP ( Measure of Academic Performance) assessment. Students are tested in the areas of Math and Reading. The test is given three times during the year: Fall, Winter and Spring. The assessment is individualized for each student and is taken on the computer. Each testing session is 75 minutes in length. If a student does not complete it within the time window the test saves and they can complete it at a later time. The best thing you can do to prepare your child for the test is to see they get a good night's sleep the night before and have them eat a healthy breakfast the morning of the test. Most importantly encourage them to do their best. This is the first time they will be taking it and often times they feel anxious. Assure them as long as they try hard everything will be fine. We will discuss your child's results at our conference in October. Our class will test Reading on Tuesday October 1 at 9:00 and Math on Thursday October 3 at 12:50.

Permission slips for our field trip to Heritage Hill are due Tuesday September 17 along with the $6.00 fee. I will picking, by luck of the draw, the parent chaperone on Wednesday. If you are interested please indicate that on the letter that was attached to the permission slip. In order to chaperone you must have completed a volunteer application and been approved.

When your child hears a new word whether it's in a book, on TV or radio or during a conversation comment on that word. Explain what it means and find ways to use it daily. It is a wonderful way to expand their vocabulary and encourages them to seek out new and interesting words.

When your child has sounded out an unfamiliar word, have him or her re-read that sentence. Often kids are so busy figuring out a word they lose the meaning of what they've just read. This helps them in their Checking for Understanding which is an important part of reading comprehension.

Find ways to practice number operations. Play a variation on the game “Go Fish.” Instead of asking for cards with numbers that match, players take turns asking for cards that, added to the card she has, adds up to 10. Count face cards as zero, aces as 1’s.