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Holy Spirit Catholic School SECOND GRADE


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SECOND GRADE NEWSLETTER                                             WEEK #1                                                       August 22, 2014


Dear Parents and Guardians,

            With the first three days of school behind them, the students in second grade are just beginning to grasp the routine of the classroom.  Students will continue to learn about their schedule and other second grade tasks throughout next week.   I am looking forward to sharing these with you, as well, at our upcoming Meet the Teacher event on Saturday, September 27th.   We attended a Welcome Back Assembly and prayer service today to celebrate the start of school together as a school.

            Students will be taking several pretests and diagnostic tests next week in reading, spelling, and math that will give me a “look” as to what they now know and are able to do.  

            Next Monday and Tuesday, students will take the STAR computerized diagnostic reading test in reading so that beginning reading ranges may be obtained for the Accelerated Reading (AR) Program.  The results of this test will also help me to monitor students' reading levels throughout the school year.  Students will take the STAR test at the end of each of the four quarters to adjust reading ranges so that they may select books that are suited to their personal reading ranges.  Once the test is taken, I will send home a copy of your child's reading range with their weekly newsletter so that appropriate AR book levels may be chosen.  The second grade AR point goal for the first quarter is 6 points.  

            In class this week, students began reading several books from the Arthur series by Marc Brown, the books titled First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague, and How Full is Your Bucket? (for Kids) by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer.  These books are familiar to the students and a great, low pressure way to introduce students to their reading program involving the Daily 5 and various reading strategies used in the Café method which should engage all students in reading.  Students will be reading many literature books and informational texts this year that share common themes.   When a student receives his/her own copy of a book to use at school or checks one out from the school library, they will be responsible for it.  Lost or damaged books will have to be replaced by the family, so I've encouraged students to take good care of the books while they are using them.  Once I’ve reviewed students’ current reading scores and levels, I will be dividing students up into groups that will be called reading clubs.

            Also on Tuesday of next week, students will be given a beginning addition timed test which will be used as a pretest or diagnostic test of the addition facts through 18.  Learning facts enables students to function at a faster rate in math.  This is known as automaticity or math fluency.   However, the majority of their learning in math will focus on their understanding of math, not the speed at which it is completed. 

            On Wednesday of next week, students will be taking their first pretest in the subject of Spelling.  The list of words for the first lesson is attached to this newsletter.  This list should be kept at home to study from and for homework purposes.  A new list will be sent with the Friday newsletter each week to keep at home.  I will attach a spelling rubric to the pretest to explain how these tests will be scored.  There is a Basic List of 10 words and 3 Enrichment Words that all students are responsible for learning.  There are also 4 Champion Enrichment Words which should be added on to the lists of those who are ready for enrichment at this time. There are also two Challenge Words which come from elsewhere in the curriculum that all students should study and learn in order to excel beyond the standard.  The first lesson's Challenge Words are laptop and iPad.  This week, I would like all students to study all the words to see how they perform at the various levels of words.  A final test will be given only to students who need a second try at learning the words and the two dictated sentences that will be included on the pretest and final tests.

            A copy of the second grade homework sheet for the week will be sent home each week on Monday night in students’ homework folders.  I encourage you to look through the homework/paper folder every evening.  Checked papers may remain at home.  Unfinished homework, assessments stamped “Please Sign and Return”, and other important papers that need to be signed should be returned to school.   Assessments are usually sent home in the red, plastic Friday Folder.  Remember, the homework/paper folder needs to be returned daily and the Friday Folder needs to be returned by Tuesday of each week for this system to work!

            The first book order of the year is attached to this newsletter.  If you wish to order, please return it to school on or before Friday, September 5th.   Checks should be made out to Scholastic Book Club.  You can also submit your orders electronically at Scholastic.com, but you must still notify me of the order so that I can track it.  The second grade code for electronic orders is:  G2 CYH.

            During the year, the class will be working on several projects.   We will be using lots of shoeboxes this year, so please send them in as you come across them.   I'll let you know of any other items that need to be collected and when they'll be needed through this weekly newsletter. 

            Below, I've listed a few of the happenings for next week as well as a couple suggestions.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

            Thank you for your great support!  We are off to a wonderful start!



                                                                                                            Miss Costello


Monday, August 25th-Hot Lunch Day

Monday, August 25th-All second grade school supplies are due!

Monday, August 25th- Star Diagnostic Testing

Tuesday, August 26th-Hot Lunch Day

Tuesday, August 26th-Physical Education Day

Tuesday, August 26th-Star Diagnostic Testing

Tuesday, August 26th-Beginning Addition Timed Test through 18

                                     This will be used as a pretest of the facts!  

Wednesday, August 27th-Hot Lunch Day

Wednesday, August 27th - All School Mass /8:30AM/Church

                                            All students should wear their dress uniforms.

Wednesday, August 27th-Lesson 1 Spelling Pretest

Thursday, August 28th-Hot Lunch Day

Friday, August 29th-Hot Lunch Day

Friday, August 29th-Physical Education Day

Friday, August 29th-Lesson 1 Final Spelling Test

Monday, September 1st-Labor Day/NO SCHOOL

Friday, September 5th-Scholastic Book Order is due back!

Thursday, September 18th-Picture Day



            Please label all school supplies and uniform sweatshirts with your child's name!

            Second Grade Physical Education days are Tuesday and Friday.




Spelling List

Grade 2

Lesson 1

Basic Words

                   ask                                     as

                   sat                                      fan

                   map                                  hand

                   cap                                   sad

                   fat                                      bat


Enrichment Words

fancy         cabin        hatch


Champion Enrichment Words

basket          napkins    salad     wagon


Challenge Words

laptop                     iPad