It's already May!

This has been a quick, productive year for the students of 2nd Grade!

We have:

* become proficient students

* learned how to study

* practiced referencing text

* received two sacraments

* become good friends with classmates

* learned to trust each other in the learning environment

* understood that we must be reliable students & friends

* decided that all work required is possible when we concentrate & choose to learn well.

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Please keep your student's mind & learning engaged throughout the summer break!

More things can be introduced, attempted, and learned during their 3rd grade year when skills are kept alive during summer.

Allow your child time to:

Rest

Read

Work with math skills (basic facts expertise is KEY!)

Begin learning multiplication & division facts

Partake in artistic endeavors

Have rich conversations

Write letters, postcards during travel, journal summer activities, or compose stories (recall & write about the Saints!)

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Things to have on hand for engaging summer thinking:

Library card

Journal

Art pad

Pens, markers,  colored pencils, drawing pencils

Glue, rulers, construction paper

Flashcards (+/- facts to 20; beginning multiplication & division)

Supplies for fun, small science discoveries (examples: bug habitat, magnifying glass)

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The students have been a joy to work with during 2nd grade...it's a pleasure to see the ways they've grown in goodness, holiness, academic acuity, confidence, and size!

I wish you a restful, serene summer full of the right kind of laziness and with time for recollection of the wonderful things your children have accomplished and the amazing road ahead of them.

Congratulations to the 2nd graders of the school and parish for having made their 1st Confessions on  Sunday, March 17th! It was a humbling and wonderful sight to witness. The students will be making monthly confessions now with Fr. Bernie, with the next one being on Wednesday, April 3rd.

The Church recommends monthly confession in order to maintain a heart & soul worthy of receiving Holy Communion. Please help your 2nd graders continue on in this beautiful habit during summertime!

Many thanks to Nichole Giefer and Sister Mary Rose for coordinating and facilitating our First Communion Retreat which will take place on Monday of Holy Week, April 15th, at the IHM Convent in Colwich! Thank you, too, to all of our drivers who will also assist during the retreat!

      

Please consider having your 2nd grader/First Communicant participate in the recessional of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday. It is a poignant and beautiful Triduum participation extended to them by Father Bernie.

First Holy Communion is @ 1:00 P.M. on Sunday, April 28th (Divine Mercy Sunday!). More information about this blessed and holy event will be coming home during the next couple of weeks.

 

Reading

It's nearly impossible to emphasize just how important generous experience and exposure to reading is for students. We routinely recommend that a variety of materials be available at home, as well as generous, routine provision of time for reading set aside in the home. Please also consider the continued importance of your reading aloud to your child(ren). Modeling fluent, expressive reading is known to influence a child's desire to read -and leads to increased fluency of their own!

  • Pick books that are interesting, above a child's reading level but well within his/her interest level.
  • Pick books that model excellent writing.
  • Pick books that you really enjoy, that you will delight in sharing with your child.

Check out (and bookmark) the  Literacy Connections site for ideas and inspiration!

http://www.literacyconnections.com/

http://www.literacyconnections.com/readingaloud.php

http://www.literacyconnections.com/reading-with-my-child.php

Math

2nd grade has found so much great success in math this year! It's exciting been an exciting phenomenon to witness.

Our wish list for skills -which means please practice at home!- is as follows:

  • Addition and subtraction practice with and without regrouping up to the thousands in place value;
  • Telling time to the 5 minute increments;
  • Elapsed time ("Sam started his homework at 4:00 and worked for an hour and a half. What time did Sam finish his homework?")
  • Money: counting coins, addition, subtraction, and word problems.

Please, please, please also provide beginning experiences in multiplication (classified as repeated addition in our standards) -if you haven't already!- with your 2nd grader. You'll be SO glad and grateful for this head start once 3rd grade is under way.

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It's February: a time of unique beauty, love, and the renewal of hope as Winter unfolds towards Spring. It's a good time to take a look @ your 2nd grader's PowerSchool account in order to apprise yourself of their standards progress in all subjects.

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RELIGION

We will continue to learn about Jesus' mercy & forgiveness in this season of the Sacrament of Penance. We are steadfastly preparing our hearts and minds for First Confession on Sunday, March 17th, when we will welcome your children to an ever-deepening membership in the Church and within the Love of Christ!

Please commit to bringing your family to the Sacrament of Reconciliation once each month.

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As we approach First Holy Communion we will continue to learn about Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, His teachings, and striving for a greater participation in the Mass. Please continue to listen to your children pray

the required prayers of 2nd grade -primarily the Act of Contrition, the Memorare, the Pledge to the Cross, the Morning Offering and the Hail Holy Queen. We will be assessing your 2nd grader's ability to say these prayers aloud, independently, during the next few weeks.

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MATH

The students are very enthused with the work they encounter in math and I imagine they'll love the new challenges that the 2nd semester brings, too. We are about to work with three-digit addition and subtraction, with and without grouping to/from the hundreds. If you know that your 2nd grader has struggled with 2-digit regrouping please be extra-vigilant with 3-digit skills.

 Please, please have the students continue to practice basic facts -to 20- and concentrate on both accuracy & speed! It's clear to see which students are dedicated to the required fact practice, as well as those who have soundly mastered them! Please continue to oversee some sort of fact practice -your student is at great disadvantage if they do not know facts to 20 on sight. The problem-solving that your child will be encountering will rest on a secure foundation if you ensure they're quick & correct with basic facts.

It is time, as well, to begin expanding your students' horizons to multiplication (which in the KCCRS is referred to @ 2nd grade as "repeated addition"). It's also imperative that practice with telling time & counting money be worked into your daily homework time, too.

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February is full of good things:

Feb. 12-13: Conferences 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 14: The Feast of St. Valentine! Valentine's Party 2:45

Feb. 15: No School: Inservice

Feb. 18: President's Day- No School

March 17: First Confession-2nd Grade (Note coming soon!)

 

 

Welcome to 2019!

Now that we're well-rested it's time to begin the 2nd semester!  We've got sooo much to accomplish with the time that remains in 2nd grade. Your students can probably tell you how often we've talked about the year going too fast based on our "Fridays List"!

Image result for kids cold weather cartoonWINTER!

Indoor recess ::: We welcome your donations of gently-used, complete games and activities for students to enjoy during indoor recess this winter!

Please make sure your students have all the proper and necessary warmth for our walks to Mass and for the recesses we will be able to spend outdoors.

  • We will gladly accept donations of Lysol Dual Action Wipes that "kill 99.9% cold & flu viruses;" these particular wipes have a scrubbing side! The students seem to react better with the citrus scented wipes and spray.
  • If you're questioning whether your child is ill, please choose caution and do not send him/her to school.
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  • Math ::: Please continue to reinforce basic addition and subtraction fact skills, whether it be through Xtra Math or another system of practice your family has put in place.  Success with Common Core Math *demands* fact fluency! Students must have basic facts memorized in order to free attention to skills of greater degree of difficulty that we encounter. This must be a continued priority for your student! Reminder: our semester goal was 50 addition and 50 subtraction facts completed/correct in 4 minutes, with the end-year goal being 100 of each operation in the same 4 minutes!

We will review our work with 2-digit subtraction and discerning *when* to regroup (borrow) once we're back @ school and then we'll hit the ground running with 3-digit addition w/regrouping ones, tens, and ones AND tens ... and we'll tackle problem solving w/3-digit subtraction and regrouping in subtraction to the HUNDREDS!

Please find time for routine (and fun!) math practice @ home, via games, word problems, and fluency speed!

Religion ::: We are in the season of Sacraments! The 2nd graders will be making their First Confessions on Sunday, March 17th... please ensure this date is on your calendars! Towards this endeavor we are steadfastly working on our examinations of conscience, via the Ten Commandments, and growing in our understanding of contrition and God's vast mercy.

Students must be able to recite the Act of Contrition and the Memorare (for the penance prayer); please listen to your child recite these as practice @ home.

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VBRD = Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline

Your 2nd grader may be able to recite for you this definition: "Virtues are holy habits which make us like God and lead us to Heaven," since this is a primary tenant of our work towards more virtuous operation in our classrooms this school year.

"A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good.

It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself.

The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.

The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God." (CCC 1803).

Towards this endeavor we:

  • Pray
  • Seek opportunities to grow in virtue
  • Solve the situation where there is harm
  • Pray and check back laterIDEAS for home:
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Stewardship ::: Do you regularly talk with your children regarding the ways in which your family celebrates stewardship? It's worthy to brainstorm among your family members what additional activities, kindnesses, and generosity you can incorporate in your day-to-day *giving back to God from the bounty of what He's given.*

Talking and Reading to Learn

 
Second grader

Most second and third graders are able to read independently. The more they practice, the more fluent they become. At this stage, your child begins to focus in depth on the meaning of what she reads, and she uses reading as a way to help her learn many new vocabulary words and concepts. Second and third graders use writing and talking to help them further develop their understanding of the books and the concepts they are exploring at school and in the world. Although second and third graders can do much on their own, parents can still help them to develop as readers and writers simply by reading aloud, talking with them about the books they read, helping to set up a homework routine, and communicating with teachers.

Your second or third grader is becoming a more fluent, efficient, and skilled reader. With lots of practice reading, he recognizes more and more words instantly, and he begins to read with expression that approaches normal speech. As they become more proficient readers, second and third graders are able to think about the deeper meanings in stories, learn new vocabulary words through reading, and gather new information from books. As writing becomes easier for them, they begin to use it as a way to clarify and extend their understanding of what they read. Likewise, they use discussion to make meaning out of what they read.

Even though second and third graders read and write independently, parents can still help them develop their abilities through regular, daily activities. You can extend the "school" experience at home by establishing good homework habits, helping with homework only when needed, and reading what your child has written. In addition, you can read and talk about books that are not part of homework assignments together and take trips to the library to find books your child likes to read. Learn more ways to help your child become a more fluent and independent reader and use writing as a way to understand what he reads and observes in the world around him.

http://www.pbs.org/parents/readinglanguage/second/main.html

 

Please remember to contribute to the Lord's Diner Christmas project!

Thank you for joining with us in this important and worthy endeavor!

Advent Angels:

Dec. 3-7: card

Dec. 10-14:  fruit

Dec. 17-19: candy

Dec. 19th/Christmas party: $5 gift

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Holiday Strategies

 

A Deeper Meaning

What makes this season magical to your family? These ideas focus on celebrating the spirit.

 

  • Revive holiday traditions from your own childhood. You’ll enrich your child’s understanding and appreciation of her family history.
  • Bond over a good book. Reading holiday favorites together is a great way to share spiritual beliefs and cultural customs.
  • Protect your child’s naptime, mealtime, and bedtime. Amidst the excitement, he’ll have more fun and be less cranky when you incorporate the celebrations into his regular routine.
  • Rethink gift-giving. New traditions — like making presents or taking a family trip instead of shopping — can be freeing, touching, and tons of fun.

 

Get in the Giving Spirit

 

Teach your children the joys of caring, and show them the true meaning of the season.

This year, create a new holiday tradition with your family — get involved in a charitable activity. It's an ideal way to teach your child values such as generosity, compassion, and gratitude, and prevent her from coming down with an annual case of "the gimmes." The months of November and December are a great time to get involved, as there are a plethora of opportunities to suit your family's interests and availability. It's also a chance to try out several different types of activities and find one your family can get involved in all year round. We've got a number of ideas to get you started, but to find more options and specific opportunities in your neighborhood, visit volunteermatch.org.
  1. Host a Coat or Food Party
    Drumming up donations is a great way to start a tradition that not only helps your community but also strengthens bonds within it. It's great to give some canned goods or your family's old coats to a charity, but making it a party takes it up a notch. For a coat party, have guests bring coats that are used but still in good condition. If you want to have a food party, ask for canned and dried food and have kids help pack it up for food banks and shelters.
  2. Sing and Dance for Joy
    If your child is the type to surprise you with impromptu puppet shows or sing from dawn to dusk, consider harnessing that energy to put on a play (or other performance) at a nursing home or community center. Involve everyone in the family in making costumes and sets, and recruit other families and friends to play parts.
  3. Help Furry Friends
    For animal lovers, helping out at a pet shelter is an easy choice. Donate a few days or just an afternoon to give the regular staff a break and fill in for vacationers. Even during the holidays, dogs need to be walked, cats need petting, and all animals need to be played with, fed, and have their cages cleaned. If you have young or sensitive children, a no-kill shelter is a good option (especially if you don't want to come home with a new pet!).
  4. Serve a Senior Citizen
    If your child is unable to spend time with his grandparents this season, consider reaching out to an elderly person. The winter and holiday months are often the hardest on the elderly and a little help will be much appreciated. Help your child connect with past generations by visiting with seniors in a retirement community or nursing home. Your child can give manicures or makeovers, deck the halls with boughs of holly jolly décor, help wrap gifts, or read to the hard-of-sight.
  5. Feed the Needy
    The most familiar way to volunteer is still a perfect one: help out at soup kitchen or food bank. The holidays are the busiest time at shelters, and they need help setting up, serving, and cleaning up. If your older child is interested in cooking, he can don an apron and help prepare food in the kitchen.
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Tech ideas

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November

Thank you for making conferences a great success! It's a pleasure to meet with you in the interest of your students. I'm so pleased with the 2nd graders' progress leading towards the holidays!


We are studying and preparing in earnest now for the sacrament of Confession.

Elements of learning include: * the depths of God's mercy & forgiveness * our need for His mercy & forgiveness * humility * examination of conscience * the words of the sacrament * penance * the Act of Contrion * the Memorare

Many of the 2nd graders are already able to confidently recite the Act of Contrition -which is, of course, the required prayer for the sacrament. Thank you SO much for your diligence in this preparation! We'll need to hear each child say this prayer independently before Christmas break. Please make the Act of Contrition a daily vocal prayer in your home! Students will also need to recite the Memorare (the prayer of penance that Fr. Bernie prefers for Confession).

Five Ways to Get Your Child Ready for First Confession

Adapted from http://www.aquinasandmore.com/catholic-articles/five-ways-to-get-your-child-ready-for-first-confession/article/382/sort/relevance/productsperpage/12/layout/grid/currentpage/1/keywords/confession,%20reconciliation,%20penance

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is integrally important in the spiritual development of your child. With thorough preparation, your child’s worries or anxieties about Confession can be eased. Here are 5 things parents can do to help in their child's formation for First Reconciliation:

Catholic Prayer Book for Children5. Check That Conscience: One parish priest recommends that parents help their children with an age-appropriate examination of conscience as close to the celebration of the sacrament as possible. It is more beneficial to children to go through such an exercise several times prior to First Confession, so that they can begin to get a sense of examining their own consciences. The Catholic Prayer Book for Children features an examination of conscience that is designed specifically for children of this age.

4. Rehearse and Review: Learn and recite the Act of Contrition together. Also, just as a dress rehearsal helps actors prepare before a performance, practicing the steps of the sacrament will help your child feel ready.

3. Ask a Godparent: Your child’s godparents promised to help that child throughout his spiritual life. Involve godparents by asking them to help reassure a child who is nervous about this sacrament. Perhaps the godparents can share their own experiences or those of their children.

2The Sacrament of Reconciliation. Know Your Priest: For some children, the biggest hurdle is speaking to a stranger. To help a child who feels intimidated about talking one-on-one with Father, reassure him that the sacrament is gentle and loving and will bring him closer to God. Remind him that he is confessing his sins to God, through the priest. And let your child greet Father after Mass as the sacrament approaches, so that he will not, indeed, be speaking with a stranger. Read Father Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.’s booklet, The Sacrament of Reconciliation, with your child to help him understand to review what will happen during the sacrament.

And the number-one way to prepare your child for First Confession: Lead by Example. If you don’t regularly receive this sacrament, your child will not understand why it is important. It’s never too late to renew your own commitment to the sacrament of Reconciliation. Parents and siblings will have the opportunity to celebrate the sacrament, following your 2nd grader, during your family's scheduled time in February!

 


Please be reminded of the discussion that I had with many of you regarding the importance of continued practice of basic math facts. Many students still utilize Xtra Math for fact practice; please utilize the website, along with any other mode of practice your student enjoys.  I'm very pleased with the students who are staying true to the pledge for  fact practice: math confidence, speed, and accuracy are vastly improved.

Remember our goal @ semester is 50/50 correct for addition and subtraction in 4 minutes timed!

You can be as creative as you like with the ways you approach this! Create facts games, do them aloud in the car (no flash cards necessary), have your child turn addition facts into correlating subtraction facts, etc.

Following are some activities/links that you/your student might find enjoyable!

 

To teach children prayers such as the Apostles Creed and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, print lines and phrases from the prayers in large font. Glue these to pieces cardboard. Work together to solve each prayer puzzle.
  • You may also create a 'cloze' comprehension/vocabulary activity for prayers by typing the prayer in large font on your computer screen ::: but leave out key words! Your student may then attempt the prayer by reading it, saying it, and deciding what the missing words are. Printed prayers can be found in the student agenda book!
  • Great grade level Thanksgiving books to check out from the library or purchase:
    http://www.agatebooks.com/children-books/thanksgiving-stories.html
  • http://www.primarygames.com/holidays/thanksgiving/games/tic_tac_toe/

Who loves the month of October?! We all do!

It's a BUSY month...full of excitement and so many extra things to accomplish!

* * * * * *

Ask your 2nd grader about his/her current favorite saint! Just a few suggestions among the MANY we've learned about: St. Lucy, St. Augustine, his mother St. Monica, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Brother/Apostle-Saints Peter & Andrew, St. John the Baptist, Sts. Anne & Joachim, St. Paul and more! We make the time to learn about the Saints because we aspire to the Heavenly Kingdom that they've already reached!

From them we learn to be holy, obedient, and humble.

Ask your 2nd grader to attempt to list the 12 Apostles for you using the word "Baptism!"

* * * * * *

It will be SO good to visit with you during conferences! I enjoy talking with you about your students so much; working with them is such a joy & privilege.

There's always *work* for *home*

* Lexia can be used from home

* Other addition/subtraction facts drills & games at home (+/-) emphasizing SPEED and ACCURACY

* Beginning multiplication games/flashcards

* Vigilance regarding homework and weekly spelling word mastery

* Increasing student responsibility & accountability

* Students reading, reading, reading for A.R.!

Religion


 We recite the The Act of Contrition at the end of each school day and the 2nd graders are joining in one by one to make a nice, full sound! Please make it routine to practice this prayer at home since it is the required prayer for the Sacrament of Confession; it is the excellent bedtime prayer. Please also make it a holy home habit to say The Memorare - this is the prayer Father assigns as penance!

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We have begun learning the elements of examining conscience in order to make a good confession. Knowing the 10 Commandments is a primary assistance in the thorough examination of conscience. Your family can assist by sharing and discussing the Ten Commandments -and what they mean for your child(ren)- by sharing real examples of how each commandment is kept ... and broken.

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Once again, please let us stress that your family must attend Mass each and every weekend, as per the 3rd Commandment.

The days of allowing your child to opt out of the Sunday obligation (barring illness) are coming to a conclusion. As Catholics we have chosen Baptism for our children, making them Children of God and members of the Church. In doing this we have committed them, along with ourselves, to the sacramental life. We must strive to be appropriate, consistent examples of practicing the Catholic faith for them...something we promised at their Baptisms.

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year & to 2nd grade!

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I enjoyed meeting so many of you @ Open House on Sunday evening and I very much look forward to our first day of school on Thursday the 16th!

 

I am pleased to be teaching Religion and Math, as well as handwriting, for both 2nd grade classes this year.

 

 

If you'd like your child to get a jumpstart in Religion,

please begin the memorization process for

The Act of Contrition and the Memorare.

 

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 St. Peter will begin a basic math facts initiative K-8th this school year, lasting the entire school year,

in an effort to strengthen the basic calculating skills of our students.

I hope  your student worked on a big head start towards this endeavor during the summer!

 

So for math I am pleading with you -along with every math teacher on the planet!- to please have your child practice @ home every evening with (and memorize) the basic addition and subtraction facts.

 I cannot impress upon you enough just how much fact fluency aids ALL mathematics problems and procedures.

 

 

Remember that Wednesday, August 15th, is

The Feast of the Assumption

and is a Holy Day of Obligation!