Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15, 2018



Hi Parents~
Again, I'm so happy it's spring, except for the fact that our calendar chart reminds us there are only 29 days of school remaining. I love this group of children- it's been amazing to watch them grow and change. So... we have 29 days to savor and to live it up... there is a lot to look forward to.
Yard Sale- I think this might have been one of the best days for some of our savvy second graders.  It was entertaining at the least.  No tears this year!  Maryanne graciously rolled all the coins.  We'll decide this week where we will donate the change. Some students are presently conducting a service learning project for Buddy Dog- I think the children would like to support that organization.  We'll decide as a class.



Meet Jessica Bossolt- Ms. Bossolt is our Occupational Therapist and a yoga teacher.  She recently lead the class in several quiet ways to move and reboot. It's not unusual to see second graders stretching and moving in the classroom as needed to regulate their bodies and focus their minds.
I like that the exercises are quiet 😊.  See if your child can teach you a few calming moves at home.









Interviews- We are sharing the interviews this week in the spirit of hard working community workers. Thank you for your help behind the scenes.  
North End Excursion- This trip is a great opportunity to tour this slice of Boston.  Please send in your permission slips this week.  We'll be in touch next week with an update.
June 1, 2018- Mark your calendars!  Join us in Room 4 for our Second Grade Celebration. Invitations will arrive this week.

Maryanne and I received flowers last Friday which helped in ending our week feeling very appreciated.  Thank you for your kindness.

Thank you to Nell for showing up to be the Mystery Reader last week.  We all loved her share- I marveled at the idea that she was in my second fifth grade class at HH- 30 years ago.   How can that be?  Please contact me if you"d like to join us- Fridays are full, but I'm happy to work with your schedules.


Thank you for sending such wonderful children my way. Have a great week!
Gretchen 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

May 3, 2018


Dear Parents~
I'm so delighted that the month of May has arrived with the sunshine and blue skies we have been yearning for. This is a busy time of year in school filled with many events and activities. The children remain excited about learning and the special second grade fun in the coming weeks.   
Social Studies
Our continent research projects are completed.  Each child is choosing one piece of work to share with the class in the coming days.  They are proud of their publications and enthused about sharing their knowledge. You'll see all their work in portfolios.
We kicked off our Communities unit this week by distinguishing the unique characteristics of rural, suburban, and urban areas. Tomorrow I’ll send home information about interviewing a community member. This unit culminates with our trip to the North End on May 25. I hope you can join us! Field trip details will come home next week.
Author Grace Lin to Visit!
Thanks to a grant from the Wayland Public School Foundation, ​this Friday ​morning ​we will welcome a​uthor Grace Lin who will address the Happy Hollow Community about the importance of reading books that are mirrors of your own experience and windows into the lives of others. Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of more than a dozen children's books.
Grace developed a Community Bookstop at Sunnyside School to bring the topic of race into the home and beyond.  She is the inspiration for developing our very own Community Bookstop.​  The Happy Hollow Community Bookstop will be located in the main lobby.  It is a collection of books for students and parents to read together that features characters from different cultural and racial backgrounds. We believe that the more discussions that our whole community is having about race and cultural backgrounds, the better educated students will be about the world.  Grace will perform a ribbon cutting to open the Bookstop.   We expect books to be ready for circulation in about two weeks time.
Yard Sale
We’ve been exploring many activities this week that involve money.   The yard sale items are trickling in and the excitement is growing daily. Please refer to the blue notice that came home on Monday for details. The children should be prepared to participate tomorrow.    
Word Collectors
I recently read The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds to the class. It's about a boy named Jerome who discovers the magic of words all around him. Our second grade authors are on a mission to notice, discuss, and collect words just like Jerome. These collections will hopefully fuel some ideas for our poetry writing this month. Ask your child about their word collections - could be an interesting dinner topic.
Open House
Please mark your calendar for Friday, June 1 from 8:30-9 for our Open House.  We will have a short performance for you and time for you to see your child's work. 
Have a great weekend!
Gretchen

Thank you to our Mystery Readers Laurie Price and Philomena Quinn!



Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 21, 2018

Hi Parents~
I'm excited for a sunny weekend and I hope to see some of you at the Earth Day celebration in Natick tomorrow.  Pat Conaway works tirelessly to orchestrate this event and he'd be delighted to see some of his second grade environmental crusaders.  I do believe the children recognize the impact they had on changing the thinking and the habits of those in their immediate circle and a bit beyond.  Their voices and actions mattered and made a difference.

Emma is delighted to find a "real spoon" with her snack instead of a plastic one.  Save our Earth! :)
Sharing Flat Friend Adventures:  These presentations have been priceless.  You certainly have friends and family with devotion and humor.  We have enjoyed many journeys and still have some ahead of us.  If you are in the building, stop by to see the world map on display across the hall.  Our second graders have reminded us that we are connected to people and places all over the world.









The Butterfly Place- This was a perfect finale to out butterfly unit.  Thank you to Steve, Alyssa, Tim, Melissa, and Josh for chaperoning.  I have more pictures that will be rolling during our Open House.


Charades- Cameron is a chrysalis.

I'm looking forward to the last few months of school with your children.  The transformation from the early fall months to now is remarkable - and it's not just because that adorable grin-gap ( I made that  up) has disappeared. It's more autonomy and self-awareness.  Bit by bit.  We'll be doing more STEAM experiments and starting a unit on communities.  Reading and writing will continue to frame all of our learning.  It will be great.

Enjoy the weather!
Gretchen


Thursday, April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018

Hi Families~
Welcome to this lovely new month of April.
Flat Stanley
Flat Stanleys are due to return home to you on Friday, April 6.  We will begin sharing them next week. Every child was given an assigned sharing day. If your child's Flat Stanley is not returned in time to share next week, your child may certainly share the week of April 9th.
Once students have shared the adventures of their Flat Stanley, they add a mini Flat Stanley to our second grade Flat Stanley bulletin board in the hallway and pin the place to which their flat friend traveled.  This turns into an amazing display.
Field Trip
Thank you so much for submitting the signed permission slip and check. I'm waiting for just a few.  We are excited for our journey to The Butterfly Place.  Thank you for all who offered to join us. Alyssa Regan, Melissa Spelman, Tim Bagley, and Steve Price will be our chaperones for this adventure. I will return checks to parents who will not be chaperoning.  Sorry for any inconvenience.  Please mark you calendars for the North End trip on Friday, May 25- ALL ARE WELCOME!!
Our Painted Lady butterflies arrived, stayed a while, and were set free!


Enjoy the rest of the week!
Gretchen


Saturday, March 24, 2018

March 24, 2018



Dear Families~
     During our morning meeting last week we celebrated 120 days with 60 days remaining.  With a little help from a pie graph we recognized that two thirds of the year was in the rear view mirror and one precious third remained. There were a couple of sighs and a few thoughts about our time together. I honestly look forward to coming to work every day. To be in the company of eager, inquisitive, loving children is something I don't take for granted.  There's a lot of personality and promise in Room 4.  I'm a lucky lady.
Science: Here is a copy of the The Butterfly Place permission slip I'll be sending home on Monday.  We are observing the lifecycle of the butterfly in our classroom - presently we are marveling at the chrysalises changing ever so slowly.  
Conferences/Connections- It has been a pleasure to sit down and chat about the school year.  Our second graders are growing in so many ways.  I love stories about how our school life filters into your homes. Several parents shared how our environmentalists influenced some of your thinking or behavior/practices.  In school we focused on forming opinions, student voice and activism. Pretty timely, and such powerful learning.  I invite you to take a minute to share a vignette or a quote that I might include in a presentation at a MRA (Massachusetts Reading Association) conference next month.  The children would also feel empowered to witness all the ways their voices and PSA's created positive change.  Here's a spot to jot your input. Thanks.
Buddies- Fourth grade buddies helped with the publication of our opinion writing pieces.  They used Google Docs to complement the students' writing with images and slogans.  This class publication will be housed in our Happy Hollow library and continue to raise awareness. 






Math - We're wrapping up our Geometry unit on Monday.  We'll be back to adding and subtracting larger numbers in the coming weeks.  Anything that you can do at home to practice facility with basic facts would be helpful.  Games from previous weeks are always good choices.
Spelling - No spelling this coming short week. We'll be doing more writing in the classroom.
Social Studies;  We're still on our journey around the world as the children visit the other second grade classrooms/continents and record some learning and questions in their passports.  Our bulletin board is all set up ready to chart all our Flat Friends' journeys. There is a lot of excitement about this research.
Thank you to our latest mystery readers Steve Price and Lisa Bagley.  The stories are a perfect Friday afternoon treat for all of us.  Sign up or encourage your child to invite a special adult in or out of school to join us. Contact me for help with scheduling as needed. 



     I mentioned this article in one of my conferences recently.  I found it helpful in engaging my own children. Maybe you'll find something useful as you try to stay connected to your child's school life. 25 Ways to Ask Your Children 'So How was School Today?' Without Asking Them 'So How was School Today?
Author Matt de la Pena will be visiting Happy Hollow on Tuesday. We love his picture books and look forward to his presentation. Use the list of 25 to see what you can learn from this visit :)!
Stay in touch and keep looking for signs of spring.  I know they're out there!
Take good care,
Gretchen

Monday, March 5, 2018

March 5, 2018

Dear Parents~

The assembly presentation this morning was the culmination of a lot of work.  It showcased good citizenship, public service, and activism.  The children learned that they can influence thinking and behavior through education and by example.  They should be proud environmentalists. Here's a snippet of the song.
We happily welcomed Mark Krupienski and Andrea O'Brien to Room 4 when they showed up to share a few stories.  I know this is not convenient for everyone's schedule. The children can ask any grown up (including the ones in the building) to our classroom to read.  Here's the  link if  you can join us.  My schedule is flexible if another time might work.

Conferences are upon us. This is a time for us to talk about academic, social, and emotional learning.  Please come with questions or thoughts for our discussion.  Check the spring conference sign up  to confirm your date and time. I am looking forward to seeing you.
Have a great week!
Gretchen






Sunday, February 25, 2018

February 27, 2018

Dear Parents~

I hope your vacation week was memorable.  The children returned to school in great spirits.

Just a few reminders and updates:

Please visit the spring conference sign up link to schedule a meeting time or confirm your conference date.  I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks. 

The second grade classes will be presenting at our school assembly next Monday between 9:00-9:30.  This will be a short presentation about our environmental activism including a few of the public service announcements.  Please join us if you can!

I hope our Flat Stanley friends made it home before vacation.  The letter in the envelope explains the project to ensure that every flat friend has an adventure to share.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Here is the information for a fun and engaging night of math exploration.  Hope you can make it!


A big thank you to our PTO for sponsoring Tony Voca and Abdou Sarr who shared their musical talents during a cultural enrichment presentation on Monday. Ask your children about the experience. It was incredible.











100th Day of School

Happy Valentine's Day!



Have a great week!
Gretchen