The Hernandez Herald

News and Updates from Mrs. Hernandez's 2nd Grade Class

Hello, families!

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. This is our first official newsletter, which will be coming to you biweekly. In it you’ll find a proper introduction of myself, a bit about what our classroom community has been up to, a bit about what’s to come, and what you can expect in the way of homework.

About Me

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The past few weeks I have been focusing on getting to know your child, but I wanted to share a little bit about myself as well!

I'm from... Greenville, SC

I'm here because... I came to USC to study Spanish and Latin American Studies, lived in a few other cities and countries doing AmeriCorps and teaching English, and came back to USC. Go Gamecocks!

I studied... Elementary Education (Master of Arts in Teaching) and student taught at the Center for Inquiry

This summer I... got married! Twice. My husband is originally from Mexico, so we had one wedding here and another there.

I love... reading, spending time with my family and church family, thinking and talking about language and culture, watching football, appreciating little things in nature, playing Bananagrams and board games, and cooking (and eating!)

Keeping in Touch

Collaboration is key in supporting your learner. I look forward to seeing, talking with, and emailing with you about how we can best help your child grow. You can contact me via notes in agendas, notes on paper, or email. Many of you expressed interest in volunteering in the classroom. I am so grateful, and will be in touch as those opportunities arise.

One way we will keep everyone updates is via the school newsletter, The Cub Reporter. It was sent home last week. An online copy can be found here: After this first one, it will be sent home electronically. If you have given me an updated email address, you should be added to the list of recipients. Another way to sign up is to go to the school website, On the left side of the screen, click "Subscribe to e-news."

Curriculum Night

Wednesday, Sep. 16th, 6-7:15pm

7900 Broad River Road

Irmo, SC

DFES will host our Curriculum Night on two separate nights this year. Wednesday, September 16 for grades K-2 and Thursday, September 17 for grades 3-5. Both nights will begin at 6:00 p.m. and last until 7:15 p.m. Please plan to come join us for an informative evening of what your child/children will have to look forward to this school year.

Grandparent and Grandfriends Day

Friday, Sep. 11th, 11:30am-12pm

7900 Broad River Road

Irmo, SC

Friday, September 11 and Monday, September 14, Grandparents and Grandfriends are invited to join our students for lunch. If someone will be joining your student, please complete the form that came home about this so we have enough lunches for everyone. Adult lunches from the cafeteria are $3.65, and advance payments are encouraged by Wednesday, September 9.


We have a time each day that we talk about and write down the homework for the day. Students in older grades write down homework, so this year is a good opportunity for students to get in the habit of writing and checking notes and reminders for themselves. If you notice that your student hasn’t written each day’s homework in their agendas, please join me in encouraging your student to use wisely the time of the day in which we write homework and pack (before they begin reading.)

Each day, students should read for 15 minutes. Just like with baseball or cheerleading or building lego structures, ­the more you do things, the better you get! Reading at home is an essential part of strengthening the skills and desire needed for a healthy reading life. Starting this week, students will record what they have read each day in a reading log that will stay in the back sleeve of their green take-home folders. You can guide them in what to write where as they first do this, and then students will be ready to independently keep track of what they have read.

Math pagesMost days, students will have a workbook page from our district’s math textbook, MyMath. This is a chance to continue the skills and strategies we have practiced during the school day. They are responsible for tearing out the page, putting it in their green take-home folder, completing it after school, and turning it in in the mornings when they put their take-home folders away. These pages may not come home every day, as we will sometimes spend two days on one lesson, or will reinforce a concept with a math game. For example, Friday we started talking about adding using ten frames. (That is, rather than adding 8 + 5, thinking of it as 10 + 3.) The homework will go home when we finish up this particular lesson.

Other homework—Students will also write other notes or homework items that you may need to see. For example, this week, please send your student with headphones that he or she can use with the iPads we will have in class. You may have them from last year, and those will work great. Please make sure they are actual headphones and not earbuds, as those aren’t as secure as the others. The simple, thin ones are best, and we ask that you not send large ones that cover the whole ear. Please put your student’s name is on them. Tuesday, Heather Reit, Dutch Fork’s Technology Guru, will speak with us about the setup, care, and keeping of iPads. We won’t yet be using them regularly, because as a class, we are still working on responsibly and respectfully using other materials, like caring for school supplies and math manipulatives. Please have headphones sent by Friday of this week. Many thanks!

What We're Learning

In Math, we’re working on a variety of addition strategies. While many students are eager to share multiplication facts they are learning, we’ve been spending most of our time together on ways of adding, other than memorization of facts. Some may seem odd (or so I think because I mostly learned to add through memorization), but often these are strategies are ones adults use in mental math. Not to mention, research shows that when students can use different strategies to think through a mathematical concept, it shows a deep understanding that serves as a strong base for later learning, be it for concepts we will tackle later in second grade or farther down the road.

In Reading Workshop, I have been alternating between modeling reading strategies and fluency in read alouds and talking about responsible use of books and reading time. Part of our library is opened, and students have been doing a great job with its upkeep so far. We spend time each day on independent reading, when students hunt for a book that calls their name, they dig into it while I conference with students, and then we come together and reflect on things like themes found or strategies used.

In Writer’s Workshop, we’ve been talking about how we use writing in our lives. Students will be interviewing someone from home as well about how you or someone in your family uses writing. Soon we will have a series of pre-assessments (spelling, handwriting, and narrative writing.) We’ll then dive into a unit on narrative writing, based on the Lucy Calkins’ unit of study that DFES and the Center for Inquiry Used. It will be exciting for our young authors to plan, tell, and improve their “Small Moments” stories.

In Social Studies, we are learning about communities. Friday we began applying for classroom jobs, and we will be talking about what makes our school a community, like the professions and the relationships. Our communities unit of study will include using maps and talking about different types of communities, like what urban, rural, and suburban ones look like.