Room 113 News September 5th

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Announcements and Reminders

No School on September 15th and 16th

Peace Day September 21st

International Day November 15th

Room Parents

We do not have an official room parent yet. If you are interested in helping, please email Mr. Hagen. If several people express interest, this can be a shared responsibility. We know you have busy schedules and there are many classes that do not have an official room Mom or Dad. Thank you!

Mystery Readers

If you are interested in coming in to read a story to the class, we would be delighted to have you. Please email Mr. Hagen if you are interested. Feel free to bring a book you know the class will enjoy or we can help you pick one. Another thing parents can do is come in and read a book with their home culture as a theme. International Day is in November and it would help the kids make connections to this event. We will have mystery readers and speakers all year. You are also welcome to come and speak to the class about your profession or anything else you are passionate about.

Phones/Phone watches

We value the need for safety and the piece of mind parents get from children having a cell phone. Please know these devices are disruptive. Page 35 of the Student/Parent Handbook: "Mobile phones need to be turned off during school hours and left in back packs. They may be used appropriately after school."

Our Class Promise

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Starting last 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 small groups during reading time each day. Independent reading levels are still being assessed and some will change in the near future. Our class has also reviewed the good habits readers use when reading to themselves.

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.

This week, we focused on what to do when coming across tricky words. Students showed how to use these strategies in a screen cast that will be in your inbox soon.


- 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...take turns or take turns saying the last word of each sentence.

- have discussions 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!!!

Below you will find some information about reading with children as well as some of the strategies we've learned in class this week. Click on any photo to enlarge. Once enlarged, you can drag to your desktop to make even larger, save or print.


Our class launched our writing workshop for the year. Our first several weeks will focus on habits that good writers have as well as writing personal narratives. Here are some big ideas 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:

- something you know a lot about

- something you have done

- stories you create

- favourite topics

- a specific purpose

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

We have started to collect "seed stories" from the watermelons in our lives. Students have composed lists of seed stories, memorable times, that lasted about an hour. They have thought of first times, times with special people, times at special places, and times when we remember strong feelings. We have learned about the difference between seed stories and watermelon stories to help focus our writing into vibrant short personal narratives.

Our class has also learned about the steps of the writing process. Students are asked to show their classmates what step they are working on during writing time each day so that they can collaborate and be reflective of the process. Students are starting to view themselves as writers and writing each day has kicked off with a short personal narrative from a famous author. These "mentor" texts help inspire us as well as teach us strategies pros use.

Talk to your child about "seeds" they can write about.

Click on any photo to enlarge. Once enlarged, you can drag to your desktop to make even larger, save or print.

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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(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(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" This week, the make ten and take from ten strategies were introduced. 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. Students made a video with a problem of their choice showing themselves practicing "making ten" to add. Next week, students will make a video showing "taking from ten" to subtract.

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