Park Specialists' Newsletter

Second Grade Edition - Third Trimester

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Third 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.

From Park's Art Instructor - Ms. Kirchoff

Op Art Shapes

We began the trimester with a brain teaser, OP ART! Op Art resembles optical illusions where artists use line, shape, and color to fool your eyes! We examined artists M.C Escher and Bridget Riley who specialize in Op Art. For our Op Art Shapes project, we used vertical lines, geometric shapes, and complementary colors to trick a person’s eyes!

Eric Carle Painted Paper

What a FUN mess! Students read an Eric Carle book, and then learned how to create painted paper – just like Eric Carle uses for his illustrations in his books. Once our paper was dry, we created a painted paper spring-time collage.

Silhouette Self Portraits

For our last indoor project, we crafted self portraits. We discussed the difference between portraits and self portraits. Some classes even compared them to literature (biography and auto biography)! In order to create the silhouette outline, an overhead projected was needed (which is antiquated compared to SmartBoards). To get started, I used the projector to trace every single 2nd grader’s head/shadow. Afterwards, students used magazine clippings to collage the inside of his/her silhouette. Each student’s personality shined bright! What a wonderful project to conclude our 2nd grade year in art.

Giant Sidewalk Tessellations

Artist M.C. Escher created some mind-boggling tessellations. Students learned that tessellations are created through replicating geometric shapes – a great interdisciplinary lesson! Inspired by his work, students created tessellations on the school’s sidewalks. Looking for a cool summer-time activity that combine math and art? Learn how to make tessellations here:

Summer Youth Art Classes

I will be teaching a handful of art classes this summer! I would love to see some Park kids there! See the class offerings here:

From Park's Librarian - Ms. Shadis

Reading opportunities continue to be plentiful at Park! Please read below to see what activities students have been and will be able to partake in over the summer months.


After reading the book Strong Man: The Story of Charles Atlas by Meghan McCarthy, students enjoyed some exercises part of Charles Atlas’ dynamic tension fitness system. Click here and here to see the students on the move!

PTO Free Book

115 second grade students read and turned in their clock sheets to receive a free book from PTO. Ask them to share their book with you! A big thanks to PTO for this neat opportunity!

Summer Reading Opportunities

All summer long, the Library will be open on Wednesdays, from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. for book check-out. We would love to see you!

Can’t make it during that time? There are plenty of online reading resources! Please scroll below to find a listing of the various online sites.

Don't know what to read? There are some great book recommendations that can be found at:

Get rewarded for reading: Check out this page to access the reading log/Book Buck$ sheet to earn rewards. Visit the Library on Wednesdays this summer to claim a prize! The prize redemption deadline is September 20th.

From Park's Technology Integration Instructor - Mr. Durheim

Students continued to learn, create, and collaborate during Tech Time. Click here to learn more!
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From Park's Phy Ed Educators - Mrs. Hahn & Mrs. Mueller

Even though the weather was not always cooperative, we took advantage of every opportunity to be outdoors. Encourage your child to continue keeping active this summer.

Units covered in the third trimester:

· Components of Fitness

· Hockey

· Softball/Kickball

· Lawn Games

· Capture the Flag

· Tennis Stations

· Track and Field

· Fitness Tests

Fitness Tests:

The Fitness Tests consist of five exercises that students complete annually. The purpose of these exercises is to track a student’s progress in five areas: strength (abdominal and upper body), flexibility, agility/speed and endurance.

Curl-ups – measures abdominal strength

Students have one minute to complete as many possible

Pull-ups – measures upper body strength

Students attempt as many possible with the proper form

Sit and Reach – measures flexibility

Students must keep legs straight while reaching as far as he/she can on top of box. The

Shuttle Run – measures agility and speed

Students complete the following task: run 10 yards, pick up a block and bring it back to the starting line, run back, pick up final block and finish back at the starting line.

½ Mile – measures endurance

Students are timed as they attempt to run the ½ mile course.

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

We were busy this trimester working on singing, reading, writing and playing patterns and songs using Do, Re, Mi and So, and quarter notes, eighth notes, quarter rests and half notes in 2/4 time. Some of the songs that focused on these skills were Grandma Grunts, Hush My Baby, Pitter Patter, and Candy Shop. The students enjoyed making up their own Rain melodies and Candy melodies on the Orff instruments. In addition, the students learned to say new rhythms and patterns in 6/8 time. Dances we learned this trimester included Lead Through That Sugar and Tea and Bela Kawe. (Students also had fun participating in London Bridge. Click here to see the action!) . These dances required students to learn some new dance moves including alternating right and left elbow swings. The Lollipop Tree, Crocodile Song, I Had A Cat, and I Know An Old Lady were some of our favorite songs we sang. During our instrument unit, the students learning about the four families of instruments in the orchestra and how they sound when played together in an orchestra. We had a lot of fun while learning at the same time in second grade music!

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

In order to learn science, you must do science!

Science Lab spent most of 3rd trimester learning about plants. We explored the various plant parts such as roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds. A comparison between a dry and wet seed was done by dissecting both to learn about what is stored inside a seed. We discovered leaves are green because of a pigment called chlorophyll, and we connected this to photosynthesis: the process by which plants make their own food. Celery stems were used to further examine how plants move minerals and water from its roots. Toward the end of April, two visitors from the City of Hutchinson shared with our students about the various trees we have growing in Minnesota and the many ways we can care for this precious resource. As a closure, we learned about Carl Linnaeus, a scientist that focused on classification of plants and animals. He is credited for developing taxonomy. While learning about Linnaeus, students had the opportunity to sort nature in a variety of ways.

We hope your scientist can take the information they learned throughout this entire year and apply this to the many things they will see and do over the summer months! Whether you are hiking, camping, visiting a lake or ocean, playing in your neighborhood park, touring a national park, or exploring your own backyard, there are tons of science activities you can do with things that are all around you! Take these opportunities to go bird watching, find unique plants, collect weird rocks, or discover new insects.

Try some of the following project resources to get outside, have fun, and enjoy science.

Sign up for weekly science experiments:

50 summer science experiments:

Summer Science Camp Opportunities

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.