Second Grade Room 214

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Week of January 22nd

Hi Room 214 Families-  Please find information about the PTO’s fundraiser below!
Join us for a night out at The Promontory on Thursday February 1, 2018 from 6-8 pm featuring a performance by Bethany Pickens Trio!  Your $40 advance ticket includes beer, wine and light appetizers.
Child care will be provided by Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (HPNC) from 5:45-8:30 pm for $20/child + $10/sibling, including dinner and fun!  Please note that the day following the event, Friday Feb 2, is a non-attendance day for students.
Can’t attend the event but still want to support Ray School, enter our Raise a Glass raffle at:
What is happening this week…
Reading Workshop:  We wrapped our unit on nonfiction and have moved back to fiction!  We are going to work a lot on fluency and making sure that we are comprehending what we are reading- keeping track of the story and thinking about the dialogue of our characters.  We are also going to work on making inferences and study metaphors, similes and other ways authors add details and voice to their writing.  Please make sure your child is filling out their reading log every night.  Everyone should be reading for 20 minutes every night.
Writing Workshop:  Kids should be finishing up publishing their nonfiction stories.  We have returned to science writing and are making catapults.  We are focusing on writing questions, hypothesis, procedure, results, and conclusions.  Spelling Test on Friday!
Math:  Last week we focused on exact change and making change.  This week we will work on 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, and 5.9.
Science:  We continued our investigation of solids.. we made towers out of solid objects and examined what properties made materials work for a base and a top.  We also put solids in categories and found that they share many of the same properties.  This week we are going to investigate liquids.
Social Studies:  We discussed a lot about Martin Luther King Jr. and are discussing what social justice means to our classroom, community and greater world.  This topic will lead us into our next unit study for African American History month.
Spelling Words
Group 1
  1. Families with ck

back sick lock duck neck

sack lick rock suck peck

tack pick sock tuck deck

jack tick dock truck speck

pack kick clock

Group 2
  1. Less Common Long e

greed chief these *

speech field scene vein

greet brief theme friend

creek grief eve seize

fleet    geese piece

cheese thief   niece

Group 3

Open and Closed VCV

meter petal *

human rapid water

secret punish busy

paper magic

lazy shiver

even comet

major river

climate clever

crater proper

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Week of January 16th

Please find a message from administration about arrival and dismissal procedures.

Dear Ray Families:
The purpose of this new plan to reduce heavy hallway traffic as students enter and exit the building. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Start Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

· Pre-K students will enter through the glass annex door.
· Kindergarten will line up outside the auditorium doors.
· First, Second and Fifth Grades will continue to follow the same procedure.
· Third & Fourth Grades will enter through the Main Entrance Door.

· Pre-K students will exit through the glass annex door.
· Kindergarten will be dismissed outside auditorium doors.
· First, Second and Fifth Grades will continue to follow the same procedure.
· Third Grade will exit through the main entrance door and walk to their numbers on the North playground.
· Fourth Grade will be dismissed from the main entrance door.

Thank you Ray Families!


What is happening this week in Room 214

Reading Workshop:  Last week we read multiple books on one topic.  We looked at how we can add on to a topic and also how we could find things that related in texts, even if it was not glaringly obvious.  How can you relate a  section of how lions mark their territories to how they hunt for food.  We will continue this work- building on our partners post-its and also practicing retelling nonfiction text.


Writing Workshop:  We are continuing to publish our expository books.  We are writing through an editing lens and making sure we are remembering our grammar, punctuation and spelling.  Students will receive new spelling words on Monday as well. We will return to scientific writing once we finish with our expository books.

Math:  This week we will cover lessons 5.3-5.6.  We will be working with money and practicing making exact change and also giving change.  Extra practice giving and receiving money at home is very helpful.

Science:  Last week we started our states of matter science unit.  We did an investigation of solid objects and discussed properties. This week we will investigate liquids and gases.


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Week of January 8th!

Welcome back!  I hope all of you had a wonderful break- I sure did.  This week we will spend a lot of time on setting goals, reviewing expectations and talking about what makes a good community member.  We will begin by reading the book The Curious Garden and will reflect on how we have grown in 2nd grade and discuss how we can continue to work and grow together as a class, friend, teammate, student.

We will also…

Math- review center expectations and telling time, measuring, base tens, addition and subtraction facts.  We will review and correct our mid year, Unit 4 assessment and begin Unit 5 mid week.

Writing Workshop- on Monday we will write about our goals for the new year.  For the rest of the week we will continue publishing our informational books.  Students will receive new spelling words on Monday as well.

Reading Workshop- we will review independent reading expectations and dive back into our books.  We will also start tying up our informational reading unit these next couple of weeks.

Social Studies- we are focusing on social emotional skills this week and will work on a super hero art project too. Kids will ask themselves- what make me a super friend, student, classmate, kid?

Science- we will begin our unit on Solids and Liquids!  More to come!

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Week of December 18th!

The time is flying! I can not believe that we are already at the last week of the 2017 school year.  This Friday we will be performing in the winter assembly at 9:15 in the auditorium.  Kids will be singing and signing Feliz Navidad.  We are asking that kids come dressed in green, red, white and/or blue with a dark color skirt or pant.

This week…

Reading Workshop– we are moving right on through with our informational reading unit.  We have been talking about speaking the ‘lingo’ of our books and working deeply into our main idea and details.  We also are practicing talking like experts when we are finished reading with our partners.  Please ask your kids at home to teach you something they learned in their nonfiction books!

Writing Workshop– we will be publishing our informational books this week.  Last week we learned about topic sentences, using comparisons, writing introductions to hook our reader in and conclusions.  We will apply what we have learned with text features in independent reading of informational books to the informational books we are writing.

Science– we have wrapped our unit on Land and Water and will be working on some fun STEM winter science activities before break.  We will begin solids and liquids when we get back!

Social Studies– Last week we learned about northwest Native American tribes and this week we will wrap up our unit by studying the southwest!

Math- This week we will be covering 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, and 4.10 and having a cumulative test for units 1-4 on Thursday.  If you know your child will not be here Thursday or Friday please let me know and I will have them take it on Wednesday.

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Week of December 11th…

A lot is happening this week- please see below for spirit day activities.  December 12th is Stem night at Ray from 5:00-6:30.  December 11th and 12th we will be taking the second round of NWEA testing for reading and math.

Winter Spirit Days

December 11-15, 2017

Monday – Crazy Day🌈

Crazy Colorful Clothes 👚👖

Crazy Socks

Crazy Hair🎩

Tuesday – Pajama & Stuff Animal and Movie (3-3:45) Day🎬

Wednesday – Education T-Shirt Day 🎒

Wear any school t-shirt or hoodie

Staff eat lunch with students and share high school and college experiences

Thursday – Ugly/Beautiful Winter❄ Sweater Contest Day (Prizes awarded in class)

Friday – Twin or Jean Day👬


What is happening in 214…

Reading Workshop- we are working on main idea and details and using an organizer called- box and bullets.  We are using nonfiction books about Tigers as our mentor text.

Writing Workshop- we are continuing to work on informational books.  We will focus on how to write a topic sentence and using comparison.  This week kids boxed and bulleted their own writing to see if their writing made sense.

Science- This week we made the tarpul and now we are analyzing what exactly worked and what did not.

Social Studies- We will study the tribes of the Northwest Coast!

Math- due to NWEA testing on Monday we will pick up with Everyday Math on Tuesday.  We will complete an open response problem about base tens.  When at home please practice telling time!

Raz Kids info- to log on to Raz Kids my name is esweeney13.  Your child’s password is Room 214.


Spelling words:

Group 1:  Short u

cut tub bug fun duck

nut rub rug bun luck

hut cub dug run suck

but club jug sun truck

shut hug gun tuck

Group 2: short e/long e

mess head neat

rest dead meal

bell deaf speak

kept breath meat

nest death treat

shell dread sneak

vest bread heat

Group 3: Compound Words

landfill downtown

backyard homework

homeland downstairs

backbone homemade

wasteland lowdown

backpack hometown

landlord downcast

backward homeroom

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Week of December 4th

Hi Families!  Stem night is December 12th from 5:00-6:30.  Please join us!

This week…

Reading Workshop:  we are continuing our unit on informational reading and focusing this week on key vocabulary.  Once finished with our reading we practice talking about our books, using key vocabulary, and sounding like experts on the topic.  In guided reading we are focusing on main idea.

Writing workshop:  we have started our informational books.  Students chose a topic revolving around movement and have written a table of contents and are starting to write their books.  Please talk to them at home about what they are writing about.

Math:  I decided to give the test on Friday after a review in class on Thursday.  We will go over the tests this week and all students have an opportunity to earn more points by correcting their work.  We have begun Unit 4 and are working on telling time.  Please work on that at home- what time will it be in 30 minutes? 45 minutes?  What hand is the hour hand, which is the minute?

Science:  We are finishing up our TarPuls this week!

Social Studies:  We are studying the Woodland tribes…

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Stem Night

STEM Night: 12/12
Come join us for a fun night of Science Technology Engineering and Math on Tuesday, December 12th from 5:00 – 6:30 PM.
There will activities for all ages.
Our school Science Fair judging will be taking place in the cafeteria
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Week of the 27th

Hi 214 families- unfortunately I will not be at school Monday and Tuesday because I have been diagnosed today with pneumonia.  I am hoping for a speedy recovery and will update the blog with weekly information once I am back at school.  Until then, please make sure your child is reading nightly and I will plan on having the sub give the kids their spelling words for the week.


Ms. Sweeney

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Week of November 13th

Hi 214 Families!  This coming Wednesday is report card pick up and parent teacher conferences.  I have sent home a list with times for families to sign up and return to school on Monday.  I will do my best to accommodate everyones schedule.  If you can not make it on Wednesday and would still like to meet, please email me and let me know times you are available.

This week…

Reading Workshop:  We will continue our informational unit.  We are focusing in on main idea and supporting details as well as authors purpose. Today we focused on stopping and jotting questions.  Homework is still whatever leveled books they have in their book baggie.  Please make sure your child is reading for 20 minutes and filling out their reading log.

Writing Workshop:  We have started our scientific writing unit off with a bang and are learning how to write lab reports.  We conducted a simple test with a toy car, ramp and meter stick and wrote up a question, hypothesis, procedure, data, and conclusion.  Next week they will alter the investigation and try a new test and… write a new lab report!

Math:  This week we will cover 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, and 3.9.  Our ST math subscription is ending at school, but I have signed up all kids for a Moby Max subscription (  When signing in, you can enter il5089 for the code and you childs name is both the username and password.

Science:  We tested our model skyscrapers in different layers of the crust and found that bedrock indeed was the best layer to anchor a building to withstand an earthquake.  On Friday we created models of the Earth. Next week students will make a TarPul model and test what weight it can withstand using the engineering process (ask, imagine, plan, create, improve).

Social Studies:  We have begun our Native Americans unit and are learning about different tribes. Currently we are studying the Native Americans of the plains.


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Week of November 6th

Happy November 214 Families!

We will be taking a field trip 11/21 to The Old Town School of Folk Music for a pow wow.  The cost of the trip is $10.00.  Please get permission slips in early! We are also still in need of snack so we would love any donations.  Thank you to parents who have already contributed for the month of November.

The end of quarter 1 was this past Thursday and report card pick up will be November 15th.

This week…

Math:  We will begin Unit 3 in Everyday Math! This week we will cover 3-1 (2 days), 3-2, 3-3, 3-4.  At home, please continue to practice counting money and subtraction and addition facts.  Family letter covering the unit will go home Monday.

Reading Workshop: We are starting our informational reading unit!  At the start of the unit, we will orient ourselves to the different parts of nonfiction books and pay attention to details.  Students should still be reading their independent reading books at night and filling out their reading logs.  They should be reading an hour a day so it is necessary that they read at home at home as well so they build fluency and practice reading skills.

Writing Workshop:  To support our informational unit in reading workshop will begin our informational writing unit this week as well.  Students will learn procedural writing incorporating our science unit and will also make informational books. We will study mentor texts and learn how to write like a scientist.  This will be a big departure from our personal narratives which I urge kids to continue writing at home because they enjoyed doing it so much in class.  Our word work words from last week will carry over to next week.

Social Studies:  Due to the field trip and shortened week we were unable to wrap up our government study but we will do so this week.  After that we will begin a unit on Native Americans.

Science:  Kids are in the middle of performing an investigation on building support beams to anchor a building into the ground using models and core samples.  We made a prediction about what layer of the Earth would be the most supportive.  Most guessed bedrock…..

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Week of October 30th

We will be leaving for our field trip on Tuesday! Please make sure to dress your child appropriately as it will be in the 40s and we will be outside. For those who are chaperoning I will email you tomorrow with further details.  We are in need of snack- graham crackers, goldfish, pretzels, apples are great options and will be greatly appreciated.  As a reminder, all birthdays are to be celebrated on the last Friday of the month.  Due to school policy, treats should be on the healthier side- fruit roll ups, juice boxes, fruit snacks are good alternatives.

This week…

Writing Workshop- we will publish our 2nd personal narratives this week.  Kids have been doing a great job trying different leads and including dialogue.

Reading Workshop- we are working to include evidence from the text in our predictions.   I predict ______ is going to happen because ____________ is a prompt we use often.  We are also talking about how we can “elaborate” when we talk to our reading partners about our books.

Math- we will finish up unit 2 this week and have a unit test on Thursday.

Social Studies-  we will continue learning about state and local government and also continue on our Dia de Los Muertos art activities- sugar skulls and paper picado.

Science-  Last week we read about geotechnical engineering which leads us into this weeks investigation called “Stick in the mud.”  It will relate to geotechnical engineering and understanding how structures need to be supported in the earth.



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Week of October 23rd

Hi 214 Families!  Please turn in your permission slips for our October 31st field trip.  The cost is $15 and open to all chaperones.  Picture day forms went home last week- let me know if you another form.  October 27th is our school assembly and students will be performing a song with Señor Walters.  Please make sure your child is dressed in red , white and blue.

What is happening this week…

Reading Workshop:  we are going to finish up our unit on realistic fiction and begin informational reading next week. We will continue to work on authors purpose and support our ideas with text evidence.  Students will receive a new set of word work words tomorrow and will be assessed on Friday.

Writers Workshop: Last week we published our personal narratives.  This week we will continue writing narratives but focus on stories connected to people who are important to us- using that as a strategy to generate story ideas and include lots of details.  The kids are really excited about this project.

Math:  We will continue learning and practicing strategies (doubles facts, combination of 10, and turn around facts) for addition.  Monday and Tuesday we will be working on an open response math problem. In class we have been working on explaining our thinking with problem solving. We practice this by partner math talks and writing steps.

Social Studies:  we will be talking about local and national government and the process of voting within a democracy.  Last week we made 3 branches of government models and discussed the difference between each.

Science: We have begun our engineering unit!  We will begin by reading story about a student in Nepal who needs to engineer a bridge for his community.

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