Monday, December 7, 2015

Hello families! It’s hard to imagine that we’re so close to a winter break when the weather has been beautiful and there’s still no snow. It’s crazy! The weather is certainly in our favor, as the children have been able to go outside everyday and there’s been no snow accumulation, which always causes much excitement.

Don’t forget tomorrow night is our annual concert. I’ll be at the high school to greet the students at 5:40pm. We’ll meet together in one of the classrooms. I’m sure it will be marked but I’ll send the room number tomorrow when I have the information in front of me.

The concert (k-2) goes from 6:00-7:00pm. I’ll take the children back to the same classroom where you dropped them off. Please do not take your child before they are back in the room, as it causes much confusion and I don’t always remember who was picked up.  I’ll be leaving after the concert so there will be no one to sit with your child for the following concert. Please pick them up promptly.

In place of a Santa Secret Shop the students have been busy making a very special gift for you. I’m still collecting $2.00 from each family to help cover the cost.

We’re also going on a field trip next week. We’ll be going to Fredrick Meijer Gardens to learn more about holiday celebrations around the world. Please send in $3.00 to cover the cost of the trip. I’m also in need of adult chaperones. Let me know if you can assist with this. Since background checks are mandated, I will need to know by Friday if you need to have a background check.

All students will soon need a pair of earphones or earbuds at school. This might make a great last minute gift or stocking stuffer. I’ll have extra earbuds at school, but it isn’t always a good idea since the children end up sharing earbuds. It’s always better if they have their own.

Finally, we’ll be celebrating the holidays with our annual gingerbread house activity. I will need many, many adults to help with this. If you are available on Friday afternoon (December 18), let me know. We’re also going to need graham crackers, vanilla frosting and assorted candies. You may send this in at any time.

Wow! I believe that’s all for now. As mentioned above, I’ll send the room number (meeting area) for the concert tomorrow. Check your e-mails!

Monday, November 30, 2015

It’s good to be back in a routine after a long holiday break. Now, we’re on the countdown to Christmas Break and time will fly by! There’s a lot of activities going on at Alpine and a lot to remember.

First and most importantly, if you are planning on coming to school to help and/or participate in these events, a background check is essential. Let me know if you need a form and I’ll put it in your child’s backpack.

Christmas Party/Celebration: 
The 2nd grade classes have the tradition of making and decorating gingerbread houses on the Friday before vacation (December 18). Although the time has not been set yet, I will need a lot of adult helpers! The more the merrier.  All adult helpers need a background check on file.

We are in need of vanilla frosting, graham crackers and assorted candies. You may send these in at any time. 

Christmas Concert:
The annual concert will be held Tuesday, December 8 at the High School Performing Arts Center. K-2 will be on stage at 6:00pm but I will be waiting for my students at 5:40pm. Please don’t drop your child off any sooner, since there won’t be anyone there to supervise them. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out where we will meet.

The older kids (grades 3-5) will perform from 7-8pm. Make sure to pick up your child before this concert begins, as there will be no childcare during this time.

Field Trip: 
As part of our Social Studies curriculum, we study traditions around the world. To learn more about traditions, we’ll be traveling to Fredrick Meijer Gardens on Thursday, December 17, to learn about “Holidays Around the World.” Please see the green paper in your child’s backpack. 

Coats, Boots, and Hats:
Please make sure your child comes prepared for our unpredictable weather. Your child should have a winter coat, snow pants, boots, hats and mittens. If this is a problem, let me know. 

Christmas Gifts:
At this time of year I often get asked about Christmas gifts for students as well as myself. We do not exchange gifts in 2nd grade. I will have gifts to share with your students, though!

As for me, I really do not need any presents. If you feel the need to give something, I would rather have you give something for us to use in the classroom. Here is a list of items our 2nd grade classroom can use:

tissues pencils crayons
dry erase markers colored pencils hand sanitizer erasers Lysol Wipes board games
Graham crackers Saltine crackers

Please have your child label the donated item with his/her name. On December 18, your child will be able to present the gift to the class.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hello Families!

Thank you to all who came to conferences. I enjoyed seeing you all and had some great conversations about your children. 

There’s a lot going on at Alpine Elementary this week, specifically Thursday. Plan on coming to the Feeding America Food Truck, which will be in the gym from 5:15-7:00, or until the food runs out. Be sure to bring a box, bags, or even a laundry basket! At the same time the Scholastic Book Fair will be open.  Stop on in to purchase your Christmas gifts.

Thursday night is also Alpine’s Wild About Learning Night! There will be many activities going on in the building. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend due to another commitment but it’s sure to be a great night for your family. Wild About Learning runs from 5:15-7:00pm.

Remember, students are off next week while teachers attend professional development.

If your student needs boots, snow pants or other winter clothing, let me know and I will see what is available at Alpine.

Enjoy the rest of your week and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dear Families:

Halloween is just a few days away. I have some special things planned in the afternoon. Our Alpine Costume Parade is scheduled for 2:30pm. If you are able to come about 2:15pm, I’d appreciate any help getting the children into costumes. With a tight schedule, we won’t be able to start getting costumes on before this time. Feel free to take your student home after the parade. Remember, we do not have a Halloween Party in Room 24.

The November 3rd Election Day is just one week from today!  We hope our communications leading up to this important day have provided the information you need to be well-informed about the Bond Proposal and its impact upon each and every KHPS student and staff member.
To see just how bond dollars will be distributed between safety and security, technology, and aging facilities, please click here for the bond infographic.

Two Votes on November 3
When you arrive at your polling location and review the official ballot, please note there will be two Kenowa Hills Public Schools votes to cast.
1.The first is the Bond Proposal, which is the new proposal focusing on upgrades to safety and security, technology, and aging facilities.
2.The second is an Operating Millage Renewal.  Our Operating Millage is renewed every 10 years and supplies KHPS with approximately one-third of our operating budget.  Primary residence homes do not pay any taxes on a school district’s Operating Millage.

CONFERENCES: Remember to schedule your conferences online. If you need help with this, call the office and they can do it for you. I still have several slots available, but they will fill quickly.

I look forward to seeing everyone at your conference!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

This week is flying by! There’s a lot going on and we’re all staying busy, especially as we prepare for our first field trip of the year! We're all very excited to be heading to Schwallier's Country Basket tomorrow afternoon to learn more about the parts of a plant and the life cycle of plants!

Tomorrow is also HAT DAY! Students are invited to wear hats for a $1.00 donation. All money received will go towards the Feeding American Food Truck, which will visit Alpine in November.

Halloween is next week (already!). We’ll be celebrating on Friday afternoon (10/30).School Policy states that students are not to wear their costumes to school. Weapons and blood are not allowed, either. I have a lot of fun activities planned for my students, but I do not host classroom parties, which means the event is only for the students in my class. However, parents and other adults are invited to our costume parade at 2:30 pm! If you would like to help your child get ready for the parade before it begins, please arrive to the classroom at 2:15 pm. When the parade is over, you may take your child home for the day!

It’s conference time again, too. Please sign up for a conference slot right away! Signing up earlier means there will be more time slots available to choose from! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone! You can use the link below to sign up. If you don’t have internet access, or don’t feel comfortable signing up online, please let me know and I will be happy to schedule one for you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Friendship Pillows are finished! Mrs. Meulenberg, a retired 2nd grade teacher from Alpine, brought her sewing machine yesterday. The children were delighted to see her work her magic. It’s fun to witness such joy and happiness from the children!

We have another great PTO sponsored assembly Thursday afternoon. The Brainstormers will offer a fun, action packed program, which teaches the children about the important parts of a story.

Both Math and Reading Neighborhoods are in full swing. The 2nd grade team was fortunate enough to group children according to what they need. Things are going well and the students seem happy.

Our first field trip of the year is scheduled for next week Friday, October 23. The cost is $5.00/child. This will include cider and donuts, along with a pumpkin to take home. Please send the money in ASAP! 

I could use some adult help on this field trip, too. If you are able to help, a background check is required. Let me know if you are interested in going to Schwallier’s Country Basket on that Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hello Second Grade Families!

As we begin a new week, I just have a few reminders:

  1. Friday is a 1/2 day, with dismissal at 12:00. 

  1. MAP Testing should be complete this week! I hope to have all of my students finished tomorrow.

  1. Tomorrow is also COUNT DAY, which is a day where student attendance plays an important role in determining state monies. 

4.  Our first field trip is scheduled for Friday afternoon,        October 23. More information will be sent home later this week.  

5.  Math Neighborhoods began this week. All second grade students were split into groups based on math needs. I am still your child’s primary math teacher but my teammates may be providing extra support for your child. This is similar to math instruction received last year in first grade.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Welcome to a new week!  Your 2nd grader has been busy taking the MAP Test, learning addition strategies in math and understanding complex sentences, to name a few.

Save the date for Friday afternoon, October 23. We’ll be heading to Schwalier’s Country Basket to further our study on the lifecycle of plants, along with their adaptations.  I’ll send out a formal note as the time gets closer.

As we begin writing number scrolls (writing numbers to 1000), we could use some Pringles containers. They make great storage for your child’s math sheets!

Thanks to all who sent in fabric for our pillow project. Mrs. Meulenberg, a retired 2nd grade teacher from Alpine, is busy sewing the pillows for the children. Everyone is excited!

Today you received a yellow HIGHLIGHTS form. Please sign and return the form, even if you chose not to buy the magazine. All you need to do is check the ‘no’ box and sign the form. All forms returned go towards really useful items for my classroom!

Don’t forget that all fundraising forms are due on Wednesday!

Below is a list of topics we are covering in all subject matters. Ask your child about what it is they are learning! 

Math:  Addition Strategies:  Students are learning strategies for solving math facts fluently through 20. You child also learned the difference between odd and even numbers.

Reading:  We are BIG TIME READERS! The students know that big time readers make decisions~ decisions about where they will read, along with what books they read. We’ve been working on building stamina for independent reading and so far the children can read for 20 uninterrupted minutes!

Language:  What makes a sentence? A who (noun) and a what (verb). We practice writing complete sentences, along with capital letters and correct punctuation.

Social Studies:  We are finishing up Our Constitution, which includes our country’s symbols and the big words in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Science:  We’ll be starting our unit on plants later this week!

Spelling: I continue to work with children on word sorts for Words Their Way. Words Their Way is a spelling program we have adopted in Kenowa Hills. 

I think that about covers it! As mentioned earlier, we’ve been very busy! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Good afternoon! I've been preparing lessons for this week and getting papers and supplies organized. We have a full schedule with a lot of fun and hard work ahead of us.

Reading is a big focus in 2nd grade. Some children may have a bit of anxiety about reading 'hard' books, moving from picture books to chapter books. I've assured your child that I am here to help them become 'Big Time Readers'. It's been fun to watch the children foster a love for books. It's obvious they are enjoying the reading process, even during the first few days of school.

It is my goal to foster a love for reading and allow the children to have the freedom to pick books for enjoyment. To this end, I won't be assigning home reading logs at this time. Children who receive reading support will still have reading homework, however, the other children will have sufficient opportunities for reading at school. Of course, children are always encouraged to read at home!

"Words Their Way" is the new spelling program we have adopted at Alpine Elementary. It involves a lot of hands on work, cutting and sorting words, and organizing the words into patterns. Since the children do not understand this, and I'm still learning, all spelling practice will be done at school, too. Again, this may change as the year progresses but I will keep you informed.

Homework will consist of math homework, generally two pages of review work. This is work your child will know and they should be able to complete it independently. I will not send home work that is new to your child or work your child has never had. Keep it simple!

Look for the math pages in your child's folder on Monday and it is due on Friday. Each child has a homework folder, which should stay in your child's backpack. Any papers sent from school will be in the folder.

Finally, we have scheduled our first field trip for the afternoon of Friday, October 23. We'll be going to Schwallier's Country Basket, which coincides with our study of plants, plant parts, and how plants grow. More information will be sent as the date gets closer.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome to 2nd grade! This is my 17th year teaching and my 5th year at Alpine Elementary! I'm excited to be begin a new year with my favorite class of 2nd graders. I look forward to meeting my new friends at our school open house on Wednesday, September 2. Come ready to learn about the happenings in Room 24, how to get involved at Alpine Elementary and meet your child's teacher.

If your child has school supplies, he/she may bring them to the open house. Your child will receive his or her first homework assignment (a fun one!) and I'll have a little surprise for each student.

I look forward to meeting everyone!