Shabby Miss Jenn

Friday, December 9, 2011


Hello!  We have been having lots of fun learning about penguins!  It all started when I began reading aloud the book, Mr. Popper's Penguins.  (The book is very different from the movie!)  The book is a fictional account of a man who receives a penguin from the South Pole and goes on to have many adventures. 
The students were so excited about the book that I decided some nonfiction learning was in order.  We read nonfiction books about penguins and made a HUGE list (5 chart papers) of facts about penguins.  The students each chose one fact about penguins to write out and display in the hall.  We also made a penguin craft to display. We enjoyed penguin jokes and I will be sharing penguin poems with the students soon.  It is so fun to see the students enjoying learning!!
In math, we are using base ten pieces to learn about larger numbers.  We are learning how to write in base ten shorthand to show a number.  Ask your child to show you a number with base ten shorthand!
Before winter break we will be having our party and winter read-a-thon.  More information will be sent home about the read-a-thon next week.  We are also going to make a snowy craft that requires LOTS of scotch tape.  If you are able to send in a roll of tape, that would be great.  It can be one that you've already used part of...anything will help:)  Thank you!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello! Our Family Customs Oral Speeches were a great success! The students all did an awesome job and we learned about so many different family traditions. They were so happy and proud.
Conferences are next week! Your conference time was listed in a letter sent home with report cards. I look forward to meeting with all of you and discussing your child's progress.
PTA's Winter Wonderland is having a Bake Sale. If you are able to send in baked goods on Friday, December 2nd, that would be wonderful! The PTA does so many great things for your child including funding our assemblies and donating money for special projects.
Have a special Thanksgiving with your family! I can tell by the feathers that the students made that we all have lots to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We were very involved with Halloween activities the week of our party! In math, we measured Halloween shapes in inches and centimeters.

During writing time, we wrote wonderful, spooky stories. First we brainstormed Halloween nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Then we used those words to help us write a story. We have a whole book of the stories that you will be able to see at conferences.

Students also did an OUTSTANDING job on their storybook character pumpkins! Everyone was creative and did such a nice job writing their sentences and presenting their character to the class. We have a book about these characters, also!

We read lots of great Halloween books. One of our favorites was Every Monster Needs a Haircut by Matthew McElligott. It's not necessarily a Halloween story but it is certainly a fun book full of surprises.

Of course, we had an awesome Halloween party planned by the wonderful Mrs. Vrabel. The kids loved the games, food and crafts!! Special thanks to Mrs. Moriarty, Mrs. Gromala and Mrs. Jarayaman for helping.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gurnee Firemen Visit

Hello! This week the Gurnee Firemen visited us! They played a game with us about fire safety.

The class worked together to remember fire safety facts from last year.

It was amazing how much the students knew about being safe if there's a fire.
This week we also finished our unit on Communities. Next up is our science unit about Light and Sound!

We filled our Classroom Bucket! We counted 575 pom poms in the bucket. That means that the students have given 575 written bucket fillers to each other so far this year:) We celebrated by doing a Halloween craft.

In math we have been working to measure items with inches and centimeters. We will continue to measure next week!

We are busy with our Daily Five. Everyday the students are reading and writing. Many students are working on nonfiction reading responses. We will all be doing this soon.

Reminder! Our Story Character Project is due on Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Harvest Garden

Did you know that Elementary West has a Harvest Garden? It is back behind the school. Our Harvest Garden is planted by second graders in the spring and the produce is taken to local food banks. We visited the garden to see what it looks like at the end of the season. In the spring we will grow plants in our classroom and then plant them in the garden. Families volunteer to help over the summer to weed, water and harvest the produce.The first plant that we saw when we went to the garden was this giant sunflower!

The flower head was enormous!
We saw cauliflower, broccoli, and tomatoes.We saw pumpkins, peppers and herbs.
We picked a few pumpkins, peppers and squash.
We shared our harvest with the principals.
and kept two pumpkins that are now at home in our classroom!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Be a Bucket Filler!

Hello! At the beginning of the school year, each classroom received a copy of the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. In the book we read that everyone carries an invisible bucket that represents how we feel about ourselves. When we are happy and content, our bucket is full. When we are sad, our bucket is empty. We can help other people to fill their buckets by giving compliments and treating them kindly. When we help others to fill their buckets, it fills our buckets too! If we say unkind things or we are mean to others, then we are being bucket dippers. We are taking happiness out of someone's life. When we dip into other people's buckets, we dip out of our own bucket too.

We have a chart board in our classroom that helps us to remember to fill other people's buckets. Each child has their own pocket. There are slips of paper in the classroom that the kids fill out with a compliment for someone. They put the slips in a basket on my desk. Then I put them into each child's pocket. We are working on giving "inside" compliments. Those are compliments that are not about how we look or what backpack we have. Inside compliments talk about who the child is. For example: You did a great job in soccer at recess! or Thank you for reading with me today!
After a bucket filler compliment is written, the bucket filler child may put a pom pom into our green class bucket. Once we have the bucket filled, we will celebrate!
If you would like to check out this book to read with your family at home, please let me know! I would be happy to share it with all of you!!

Important Information:
*Your child received his/her spelling packet on Friday. I will be sending them home on Fridays from now on. This will give kids extra time to study if they need it.

*Starting in October, students will be working to earn a free personal pizza from Pizza Hut. This is called the Book It program. All your child needs to do is successfully complete her/his reading log for each week in the month. The program will run from October - December.

*I will be sending home a new book order on Monday. Feel free to order if you wish. You may order online or send in a check. I do get bonus points for every book ordered and I use them to buy books for our classroom library!

Have a great week!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

News of the Week

We had a great week in second grade!

We are busy learning about communities in social studies. We learned about our place in the world. From smallest to largest, we live in a home, neighborhood, community, town, state, country, continent and the planet Earth.

In math we are learning about the 200 chart that we will be using in math this year. We also learned about numberlines and how they are the same and different from our 200 chart. We are learning to use our 200 chart to solve problems with bigger numbers than first grade. Of course we know that there are lots of ways to solve problems without a 200 chart. Ask your child about some of the ways we solved problems in class.

In language arts we read the book, How I Became a Pirate. Afterwards we made periscopes out of paper and searched the room for objects to describe. We played an I Spy game that involved the students giving good descriptions to their friends about an object. Next we made an I Spy book of classroom items. Each child wrote one page. You will be able to see the book at conferences!

In language arts we also read the first story in our Treasures book and wrote an extended response to answer a question about the story. We did this together. The students will be working on these all year.

Our Daily Five is up and running! Starting on Monday, students will be able to make a choice about which Daily Five they want to do at each Daily Five time. The Daily Five choices are "Read to Self," "Read to Someone," "Listen to Reading," and "Word Work."

There are a few supplies that we could use in the classroom if you are able to provide them. These were up at Curriculum Night and were not chosen by other parents. Thank you!
2 hole punches
sticky velcro dots
red copy paper
red cardstock

3 yards denim fabric
8 pack vis-a-vis markers

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Read to Someone

Hello! One of our Daily Five is Read to Someone. We have been learning this week exactly how to do that! The first thing that we learned is that we need to sit EEKK - Elbow, Elbow, Knee, Knee. That way both people can read along with the story.

We learned that we need to get started reading right away, keep our eyes on the book, and stay in one spot. Each pair picks the spot that they want to read and away they go!

Each person gets a chance to read. Another very important thing that we learned is that we need to stop every once in a while to Check for Understanding.

Read to Someone is lots of fun! Don't you wish you were in second grade again?!?

It was so wonderful to see so many parents at Curriculum Night! Second grade is certainly different than first grade! If you were not able to be at Curriculum Night, the information went home with your child. Please be sure to read it all carefully and let me know if you have any questions!

*Our first spelling list will be going home on Monday. The test will be on Friday.
*Reading logs were sent home in the Curriculum Night folders. Reading logs started last Friday and are due back on Friday.
*Your child's first Oral Language Speech is Friday! All the information is in the Curriculum Night folders.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Math time!

Today we worked on math word problems.
We worked in pairs to solve the problems.

It was important that we knew how we got the answers and didn't just have the answer.

We worked wherever we felt comfortable....on the floor

...or at desks.
When we were finished with our partner work, we came back together as a class. We discussed all the different ways to solve the problems.
The students did an AWESOME job!
It's amazing what great thinkers they are!

Don't forget!!!
This Wednesday is Curriculum Night from 6:30-8:00!!
I look forward to seeing all of you there!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It was a hot one!

Wow! We were hot in Room 36 on Thursday and Friday! With no air conditioning and 26 bodies in one room it was stifling! We kept our water bottles on our desks and cooled off by working in the library and cafeteria on Thursday. I'm happy to see that the forecast for next week is much cooler!

This week we learned how to pick good books to read. We learned that although we might be really interested in a book, it may not be a good fit for us. Even though our best friend might love the book, it may not be a good fit for us. We learned to check if we understood what we were reading and if we knew most of the words in the book. If those two things were true and we were interested in the book and had a reason to read it, then it was a good fit for us! We will revisit this lesson often throughout the year. It is a lesson that we started to learn in first grade!

We also had the chance to share our summer memory object with the class. The class asked each student questions about the memory. Then we wrote about our summer memory. This writing will be put in our portfolio as a sample of the first writing for second grade.

We started greeting each other every day. We form a circle and do different greetings to acknowledge everyone in the class. This is a great way for the class to feel a togetherness as a group. We talk a lot about being a classroom family. Our daily greeting is one way that we show that we care about each other. Ask your child about our greeting time!

Picture Day is Friday! For the first time in years, I was able to get a slot for pictures before recess! I'm sure that has something to do with the fact that we have the last recess/lunch!!

Enjoy a fabulous Labor Day weekend with your child! I'm looking forward to next week!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our First Days of School

We had a great start to our school year! We had the chance to say hello to old friends and meet new friends! We reminded ourselves about ROAR behavior and did an AWESOME job using it at school. Ask your child what the letters in ROAR stand for; I'm sure they know:)

This Friday, Sept 2nd, is a half day for students. They will be dismissed at 12:00. Set your calendars for Wednesday, September 14th! That is our Second Grade Curriculum Night. There are important differences and changes between first and second grade, so please plan to attend!

Please help your student to have their supplies in as soon as possible. We use many of them right away! Thank you! Also please help to remind your student to bring their summer memory in to school. We will be using it for a sharing and writing project!

We drew self portraits this week. We compared them with the self portraits the students drew at the beginning of first grade. What a difference!! The pictures in this post are the self portraits of two students who are new to our class this year.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Welcome to Second Grade!!

Hello! Get ready for an exciting year in Second Grade! This blog will be the place for you to find out all the wonderful things that are happening in our classroom. If you sign up to receive emails of the blog posts, new posts will be delivered right to your inbox!! Just look to the right of this post to sign up. You can reach me by commenting on the posts or by emailing me at