January 2016

Welcome Back!

I was so glad to see so many bright and smiling faces this morning! Admittedly, I was probably the only person dancing to the theme song of "Welcome Back Kotter" in my head, but I sure am happy to see your young ones! Hold onto your hats because the 2nd semester of 2nd grade is a whirlwind of fun and learning. Whatever you do, don't blink because you might miss your little one turning into a big kid as he or she gains independence and responsibility (not to mention all of the academic knowledge) and blossoms in the blink of an eye! Please keep reading because there is a lot of important information I'd like for you to know about!

Science Fair

The school science fair is next Tuesday, January 12th. All K-2 classes complete a class project. Students will be given the option to complete a personal project in 3-4th grade and it will be required in 5th.

For our class project we are learning about the how sugar affects our teeth. Your students have worked hard as we have studied tooth enamel and proper dental hygiene. We then asked the question What if we don't brush our teeth? ("Gross!" they said, but couldn't give me a definitive reason why) So, we broke out the handy dandy Scientific Process! We learned to read a nutrition label and found the number of grams of sugar per serving of the following drinks: water, milk, gatorade (surprise kids - lots of sugar!), apple juice (surprise again!) and Pepsi. We created bar graphs showing the amounts of sugar in each serving and then placed a hard-boiled egg (representing our teeth) in 12 ounces of each beverage. We're leaving them overnight and will check on them in 24 hours. Our students hypothesized that the more sugar that was in the drink, the darker the egg would become. We then worked on our procedural writing as students wrote the procedure we followed for completing the experiment. Tomorrow, we will check our eggs and write a conclusion!

Group Research Project

Students will be applying what they have learned from our units on reading and writing nonfiction texts to complete a group research project. Students will work in teams of 3 or 4 to research a given country. They will learn how to read for specific information, ask and answer questions about key details in a text, use various text features to locate information efficiently, among other skills. Additionally, students will learn about the country's money, physical features and landforms, their flag, their language, and their culture. Groups will use Highlights Top Secret Adventures books, Atlases, and the Culturegrams website as their main sources of information to ensure that all exposure to these countries is unbiased, kid-friendly and culturally welcoming.

M-Class Assessment Time is Here

You will most likely hear your child say that I'm working with "reading partners." As we discussed in our conferences, Harnett County teachers perform M-Class assessments on all students 3 times a year: beginning, middle, and year-end. During this assessment time, your child will be asked to read a text to me. He or she will be scored for accuracy, fluency, comprehension, and written response. None of these procedures will be new or a "surprise" for your students - I've formatted our guided reading time to closely mirror our m-class expectations. Please know that although your child's m-class score is listed on his/her report card, it is not the only measure of his or her reading ability. I will let you know your child's performance as that information becomes available. Grade level performance at this point in the school year is level "L." If you have and questions/concerns please feel free to contact me. My contact information is listed below. Thanks for all you do everyday to help your child be successful!

Inclement Weather

Please be aware that LaFayette asks that you not call the school with questions concerning inclement weather, as this ties up lines needed by our staff. You will be notified by the 'School Messenger' phone information system using the phone number we have on file. If your number has changed, please contact Mrs. Jennie Butts so we can update you in our system. As always, you can also tune in to the local TV or radio stations, or check WRAL online with the link provided.