Park Specialists' Newsletter

Second Grade Edition - Second Trimester

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Second Trimester Recap

All of Park's Certified Teaching Specialists have compiled a summary of what students have learned, enjoyed, and mastered in their respective classes for the past twelve weeks. Please scroll down, read, and watch what students have been up to at Park Elementary.
For your viewing pleasure, a short video montage of the school-wide Reading Celebration lyceum is available below. This event took a lot of planning and preparation on behalf of some of our Specialists. Watch and enjoy!

From Park's Art Instructor - Ms. Kirchoff

Time Flies! Second Trimester is complete! This trimester in art we talked about illustrator Charley Harper and created Charley Harper-inspired winter cardinals. In January we learned all about Vincent Van Gogh and we got lost inside his painting The Starry Night. We talked about line and color and created swirling skies just like Van Gogh. Although Van Gogh used heavy layers of oil paint, our second graders stuck with oil pastels and watercolor paints! After our Starry Nights, we discussed an abstract artist named Piet Mondrian. Mondrian used line, shape, and color in his paintings. Can your second grader name the type of lines, shapes and colors Mondrian used in his artwork? I hope so because we created a “Mondrian” collage and a “Not Mondrian” collage using A LOT of construction paper. Thank you to the janitors for cleaning up the mess we left behind! We are currently looking at Op artists named M.C. Escher and Bridget Riley and creating some Op Art with shapes. Hopefully these will trick your eyes, just like an OPtical Illusion!

I am starting to choose student artwork for the Elementary Art Show in May. Keep a look out for information in the months to come!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email me!

320-587-2837 x1014 //

If I Ran the Circus -Excerpts from the staff student play

From Park's Librarian - Ms. Shadis

Access the Online Library

  • Select Park Elementary.
  • Select For Students.
  • Select Library!
Direct link:

Library Class

One of our favorite activities this trimester was reading some great books, courtesy of participating in the Star of the North Picture book award. Students enjoyed listening to all ten books (click here to view video recap) during library class, in which each book was rated on a scale of 1-5 stars. Students voted for their favorite. Park's voting results were sent into the state; we're eagerly awaiting the statewide winner announcement on April 25.

Read Across America

Park culminated its I Love to Read/Read Across America celebration with a special parent guest reader during library time. Click here to see the album! Students also participated in other festivities such as: Guess the Seuss Silhouette, daily dress-up days, and attending the grand finale of a special lyceum presented by staff of If I Ran the Circus. Preceding the performance was a special appearance by the Cat-in-the-Hat to announce the favorite book award winners. Here are the top five that garnered the most votes from second grade students:

"Fly Guy" series

"Star of the North"

Various books by Dr. Seuss

Jake Maddox series


For Suess-fun you can enjoy at home, check out

Destiny Quest
Second graders continued to enjoy Destiny Quest. To gain access, follow the posted steps:

  • Click here
  • Select Park Elementary
  • Login (found in the upper right-hand corner).
  • Enter username: first and last name (no space)
  • Enter password: student's assigned lunch number

E-books are available via desktop computer as well as iPad, KindleFire, and Nook Tablet.

Another great resource that doesn’t require a dedicated e-reading device, but works on any internet connection is or

Both websites require the following: Username: park423. Password: login

Students can listen to books while following along with the text at a variety of levels. Check it out!

Have you read a book to your child lately?

From Park's Technology Integration Instructor - Mr. Durheim

Students have been busy learning, creating, and collaborating during Tech Time. Click here to learn more!
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From Park's Phy Ed Educators - Mrs. Hahn & Mrs. Mueller

A typical day in the Physical Education class begins with a fitness warm-up activity. These activities vary from cardiovascular, muscular strength/endurance, and/or flexibility. The purpose of these activities is to increase the students’ awareness and level of fitness. After the warm-up, students have a lesson that focuses on the skills that will help them to be successful in the games of a unit. The students will then participate in an age – appropriate game using the skill(s) practiced in that lesson.

Units covered during second trimester:

*Basketball *Cooperatives- large and small group activities

*Multicultural games * Jumping activities- ropes and Chinese jump ropes

*Table tennis * Juggling

Walk for Hunger:

In December, our students participated in the “Walk for Hunger Food Shelf Drive”. This event combined wellness and community service for our students. We donated 2768 pounds of food to the food shelf. Thanks to all the families that donated and helped make this event a success!

Healthy Living Steps

See below for simple steps that make a real difference in children’s lives by helping build healthy habits for life.

  1. Keep fresh fruit in a bowl within your child’s reach to grab as a quick snack.
  2. Take a walk with your family after dinner.
  3. Plan a menu for the week. Get children involved in the planning and cooking.
  4. Turn off the TV during meals and share some family time.

For more information, go to:

From Park's Music Teachers - Ms. Hauth & Mrs. Hoeft

This trimester we focused on reading, playing, and notating: quarter and eighth notes along with quarter rest rhythms. “Grandma Grunts,” “Peas Porridge,” “Hot, Hot Cross Buns” and, “Bow Wow Wow” were some of the songs that focused on these rhythms. We also worked on our singing voices and matching pitch. Big High Hill and Valentine Song were two of the games we enjoyed playing to help us develop our singing skills. In addition, we worked on echoing, signing, reading, and writing the notes Do, Re, and Mi. It was fun to read the “mystery song” notes on the board and figure out which song it was! In addition, it was also fun to make up our own Do Re Mi songs and perform them for our classmates. We even figured out how to play the note patterns Do Re Mi and Mi Re Do on the Orff instruments for the song Santa Claus.

Ethnic music learned this trimester included the song May There Always Be Sunshine, the partner game Miss Mary Mack and the movement game Here Comes Zachary. Students also enjoyed playing a variety of African instruments while listening to music.

We studied the piece Cathedral Forest by Paul Winter and listened for the various instruments and the sound of the spotted owl in it. After becoming familiar with the music we read Owl Moon by Jane Yolan as we listened. It is a story about a parent and child who go “owling” after dark one quiet winter night. As the story unfolded, we felt their awe as they do see an owl and catch its gaze in their flashlight beam. The music in the background helped to make the story seem more real and exciting.

The video below is of Mrs. Olberg's class performing a song while playing a game: a great mix of music and movement!

Olberg Gr2 Singing Games

From Park's Science Specialists - Mrs. Kucera & Mrs. Mueller

In the Science Lab we have been learning all year about energy. We finished up our focus on energy with sound energy. Tuning forks, long gongs, boomwhackers, and 3-way telephone lines were some of the activities that kept us busy and excited about learning about sound. Check out the video below to hear a simple song that some of our fifth graders were able to play while exploring sound with the boomwhackers! Students also explored pitch by changing a variety of variables such as length, tension, and thickness.

After learning about sound energy, we switched gears and started learning about matter. The following questions were posed to students: What is matter? What 3 main states do we find matter on Earth? How can we change matter? How do we measure matter? Students started answering all of these questions while exploring matter in a variety of experiments. Students measured matter in many ways: mass in grams and kilograms, volume in liters and milliters, length in centimeters and meters, and temperature in degrees Celsius. Who knew how much matter, matters?!

Science Lab Boomwhackers

Park Elementary School

Park Elementary School serves approximately 875 students in second through fifth grade. Our purpose is to meet the needs of the whole child with an emphasis on basic academic skills. We are committed to providing as many hands-on-learning experiences as possible in all academic areas. We want our students to know, understand, and apply what we teach. We provide instruction and opportunities in all academic areas. As an elementary school, our focus is on language arts and mathematics.