Kitten Match Math Game

     Kitten Match Math Game

This week, the Owls will be practicing math facts with the help of the Kitten Match Math Game. According to Arcademics, Kitten Match is a multi-player game that allows students from anywhere in the world to compete against one another while practicing addition!  Look for the Arcademic Skill Builders link under Math on the blogroll. This game is designed to demonstrate fluency for addition and subtraction within 10.

Wise Owls’ Newsletter Sept. 30, 2013

Wise Owls Newsletter

September 30, 2013



Thank you for signing up for conferences!  There are still a few of you who need to do so.  Please email me separately if you need any help!  They begin next Monday on Oct. 3!


Please send a healthy snack daily.  If your child forgets a snack, then of course they may visit Ms. Barbour’s basket (which we are still filling, so send in your extra snacks!).  This basket is not to be used by your child every day, though. Please talk to them about the snack you have packed for them.  Sometimes they get to school and don’t really “like” the snack that was packed, but that is what they need to eat…it is not about getting a choice out of Ms. Barbour’s basket!  That is for true forgetfulness!



I was IMPRESSED with everyone getting in their homework menu last Friday!  Way to go everyone!  Some of the children forgot to write me a note on the back of the menu, but I know they will remember this week with your reminder.  I also would like for everyone to send in their homework notebook this Friday so that we can share where we are doing our homework that we are doing.  Savannah Russell brought her notebook in last Friday and it was fantastic!  The homework could be done in a spiral notebook, a 3 prong notebook, or just scrap paper stapled together…but it does need to be something!  I look forward to seeing their actual homework this Friday!



Please send in at least 2 beautiful fall leaves for an art project we will be doing this week. Also, send in your fall pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers and other things to help decorate our room for fall! 

Word Work (spelling, writing and reading)

Please write the 5 new word wall words down on your child’s “at home word wall” that was sent home last week (the brown folder that opens up and can sit upright).  This week’s words are: like, how, they, said, what.  Of course there are 5 more words but they do not get written down on the word wall.  Only the sight words get written down…or as we like to call them, “no excuse” words…meaning that there is no excuse not to spell them correctly at all times and to read them correctly!   


Yes, I was impressed with the spelling improvement from last Monday to Friday!  Way to go kids and parents for practicing with them!  We will do this every week!  Keep up the good work!


Bring in your coins if you have not!  I would like for each child to bring in a ziplock with:

25 pennies

5 nickels

10 dime

4 quarters

Thank you!

Parent Volunteers

Thank you so much to all of the volunteers who are coming in to help!  Thank you also for letting me explain what we are doing and take the time to go over procedures so that you and the kids are successful!


Upcoming Dates:

Oct. 4:  Homework Menu due and homework notebooks to be sent in for review by peers.

Oct. 7, 8, and 9:  Conferences















Mystery Reader

 Mystery Readers

What is a mystery reader? Mystery Readers are special guests who come to our classroom to read a story to students.  A mystery reader can be a parent, grandparent, relative, friend, sibling or educator.

When do mystery readers come to read?  A Mystery Reader reads to our class during lunch times a couple of times a month.  11:00-11:25. 

Why should I be a Mystery Reader? This is a great way to model your love for reading and enjoyment for books.  Ranchers will be thrilled with your surprise visit and to have a special story read to them.  We will discuss the author’s message after the story is read.

How does the Mystery Reading Program work?  The first step is to email me and we will confirm a time and date for you to visit. Start thinking about the book you would like to read to us.  A few days before you come to our classroom, please email 5 clues about yourself so we can try to guess who you are. Clues should be somewhat general and at the end be a bit more specific.

I’ll be anxiously awaiting your emails!



This week the owls will be working with links on our classroom blog for homework. Tumblebooks is an online collection of picture books that can be read to students or that students can read to themselves.  Go to our classroom blog and look under the Language Arts header on the left side.  Look for the Tumblebooks link and sign in. Here is the user name and password:

user name: stes (stands for Stafford Elementary School)

password: books (what we want to find on this link)

These books can be counted as your home reading experience.  Enjoy reading!

Goal Setting Conferences

Goal setting conferences are just around the corner. Don’t forget to sign up for a time online. Your child’s log-in information was sent to you by email from the school. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the school for help.  It will be great to spend time with each owl family!

Parent volunteers will “officially” begin this week.  Thank you for volunteering your time if your schedule is flexible. Look for the latest draft of the Volunteer Calendar to arrive by email today.

Math Practice

Island Chase Subtraction

One of the Investigation games to enhance our mastery of subtraction is Island Chase Subtraction found under the Math Investigation link.  Scroll down to the heading entitled Addition and Subtraction Facts and look for this game.  Get ready to play as a family.  At home, owl families are encouraged to work together to achieve quick recall of addition and subtraction facts!

Spelling City

Together we can learn to spell using Spelling City!

Spelling City is a spelling and vocabulary website. It provides another incredible way to study the weekly list of spelling words. The link for Spelling City is under the Writing on our classroom blog. Every week, the Wise Owls can use Spelling City as a tool to work on their weekly words. When you open Spelling City, select Week One and the 10 weekly words are already listed.  From taking a spelling test to enjoying spelling games, this site will be used each week.  The Owls can select any of these options for mastering a new set of weekly words.

Wise Owls Newsletter Sept. 23, 2013

Wise Owls Newsletter

September 23, 2013


Dear Parents,


Please, please give me your current email if you have not already!  I want to conserve paper and send the newsletter via email if possible.  Thank you!





Homework is in your child’s home folder today.  It IS our very first day of homework besides our reading. Please look over the “homework menu” sheet.  Your child is to do ALL of the gray areas and choose some white areas to do.  I suggest getting a spiral notebook to do all of the homework in.  The notebook stays at home and the “homework menu” comes back to school on Friday, signed by you.  Your signature states that your child did all of the homework in the gray areas and that you checked it.  Your child needs to write me a letter on the back of the “homework menu” about what they learned.  We can talk at conferences how the homework is going for you!


Word Work (spelling, writing and reading)

Today was our very first day of word wall work.  Each child brought home their very own “At home word wall” today in their backpack.  This stays in a safe place at home where the students can refer to it when writing and reading….I suggest their very own desk or perhaps on the refrigerator in the kitchen.  We will be adding words to this word wall once a week, so do NOT LOSE IT!  It will be a vital part of your child’s homework this year in second grade.  Parents, I want YOU to write the word wall word down so that it is spelled correctly using lowercase letters.  Once the word is on the word wall, it should never be misspelled because they can look at it and copy it!  There are tons of ideas to practice learning these “sight” words on the back and front.  I am getting the word wall words from a second grade high frequency list.  Some words the children may already know how to spell, but that is ok…they are getting a different, individual spelling program here at school. 



Your child was given a spelling pre-test today on the 5 word wall words that is on their homework paper and the 5 word family words that is on the homework paper that is in your child’s home folder.  There is homework for your child to do this week to practice these words.  They will be given a post test on Friday to see how much they improved!  Please send in the “word strategy sheet” after your child has practiced their spelling.  You will find this sheet in your child’s home folder if they missed any words today.  Questions?  Please email!



In math, we are learning about time to the hour and half hour, writing equations using the number of the day, and recognizing and adding money.  In order to better understand money, I would like each child to have their very own coins.  I would like for each child to bring in a ziplock with:

25 pennies

5 nickels

10 dime

4 quarters

This will be so much better than using the fake money I have!

All of the money will come home at the end of the year…unless your child loses it of course!  Thank you!


Parent Volunteers

A list was sent home on Friday.  It is the first draft, so there may be some mistakes.  Just write me a note and I will fix it! 

Celebration Coordinators!

We do need a helper to work with David and Brandy on our classroom celebrations.  David and Brandy are willing to “co-host”, but need someone to help them organize and plan the celebrations.  Please, please, let me know if this is you!  Remember, it can be a group of parents who get together and plan the celebrations!  It doesn’t have to be just one set of parents…make it a group of planners and organizers!



Signups are on line.  Patrick Minor posted this last Thursday if you were having problems opening it.  If you try the below and still have problems, call Patrick! 


Dear Stafford families,

We have heard from some of you that you are having trouble finding the online conference link through our PASS system. For most, this has not been a problem.  If you tried to access our PASS system in the past few days though, you may be having trouble locating this link. This may be because your browser is holding onto an old file that is preventing you from seeing the link.  If you cannot see this link, you have a couple of options:

1. Shutting down your browser and restarting it

2. Emptying your browser’s cache

3. There has always been an invisible link there- right below the lunchroom balances link. If you hover your cursor over this link, you will be able to click on the conferences link. 

You can find all of this through our PASS system at the top right hand corner of our website. Thank you for your patience with us! 

Patrick Minor




Upcoming Dates:


Sept. 25:  PICTURE DAY and Early Release day at 12:10 PM. 


Sept. 27:  Homework Menu due


Oct. 7, 8, and 9:  Conferences















Wise Owls Newsletter

Wise Owls Newsletter

September 16, 2013


Hi All!

What a great curriculum night!  I really enjoyed meeting all of you and going over what we will be doing in our classroom this year.  It is going to be a great year, especially as we work as a team!


Poetry Book and Reading

Every Wednesday, instead of a book coming home, the poetry book will come home.  The kids put the poems in the folder themselves, so you may need to take it out and show them how to correctly put in, folding the tabs down.  That would be very helpful to me.  Thank you.  This is a type of reading, just in poetry or song format.  Treat it like a book.  It is a good time to practice reading smoothly and with expression. Re-reading books leads to fluency and greater comprehension.


Some books will have words that require children to use their decoding strategies. ‘Sounding it out’ may work, but not all words are spelled phonetically! Too much sounding out can take focus away from the meaning of the selection. Here are some helpful cues that parents can give as a child is reading:


  • Be sure the child is pointing at the words!
  • Look at the picture.
  • Look at the beginning sound.
  • Say the beginning sound for the child.
  • Try to sound out the word letter by letter.
  • Re-read the first part of the sentence to the child or have child re-read.
  • Point out the book’s pattern.

Give the word if child is stumped or looking at all frustrated.

  • Take turns reading lines or pages or just read the book to the child, if it turns out to be too hard. Reading is not supposed to be painful for anyone!



We are learning about the primary colors of Yellow, Cyan (blue), and Magenta (red).  This is the terminology that artists use, so we will too!  Ask your child what secondary colors they made with these primary colors.  You will see their creations when you come to curriculum night this Thursday.



Yes!  I have one!  I would love to go paperless and put the newsletter on my blog only.  Check it out on the school website under my name, which is under “staff”.  Check out the websites on the right side of my blog.  We have been looking at Brainpop together.  You may look at it with your child too!  The user name is:  minorp.  The password is :  brainpop.


Upcoming Dates:


Sept. 25:  Early Release day at 12:10 PM. 


Sept. 19:  Parent Conference signs ups will be this Thursday at 8:00 AM on line at:   


Oct. 7, 8, and 9:  Conferences















September 9, 2013

The Wise Owls Newsletter

September 9, 2013


Hi Everyone!

What a great first week we’ve had!  The students are writing, adding and subtracting in math, checking books out of our classroom library, art and most importantly, learning about each other. Great job kids! 



There are several components to reading and the major one is getting books in kids’ hands.  I started a checkout system of my personal books the first day.  The students find a book that may be too easy, just right, or too hard and take it home.  This is THEIR choice of books.  This is not necessarily books that we have read, but are books they are interested in.  I want the kids to WANT to look at books, to read books.  This self-selection helps.  I do need your help in making sure they read the book or it is read to them.  Please sign the form that is on the inside of the envelope and send it back each day with the book.  We are building independence and self-confidence by having your child be in charge of their selection and checkout.  If the book is TOO EASY, then practice reading with FLUENCY!  Read with expression, enthusiasm, sadness, whatever the punctuation or pictures require.   Too easy books are the perfect book to practice fluency.  If the book is Too Hard, then “read” the pictures together and you read the words to your child.   Second graders should be reading the books by themselves, so if they are not, it is too hard.  Please send it back to me with a note!  Thank you!

The goal is to check out books that are “Just Right”.  The children are starting to learn this system, but it does take a lot of time.  I will also go over all of this at Curriculum night!




Lunch has gone fairly smoothly in the classroom.  I do want to remind parents that this is a “teaching” time where I am reading a book or doing calendar and math with the class, so unfortunately, the children really need to be independent with opening items, especially hot soup cups, etc.  Please do not close water bottles or other containers so tightly that the kids can’t open them!  Also, there are no napkins, forks, or spoons provided in the classroom.  Pack your child’s lunch as if it is a picnic.  A real cloth placemat works wonders for keeping their desk clean!  I am also teaching the students about reducing and reusing.  If they bring home their ziplock, teach them how to wash it out and resuse it another time!  We will be learning all about ecosystems and how we, as humans, have to help the animals in the world…so let’s do our part and reduce the amount of trash in our lunches!  Thank you!


Water bottles

Please make sure your child has a water bottle at school everyday.  With the weather getting hotter and hotter and no air conditioning in our school, they really need it to concentrate.  Thank you!


Curriculum Night

September 12 is curriculum night from6-7:15.  This is for you, the parents to come to.  Please get a sitter for your child.  Thank you.  We will meet in the gym first, so I will see you there!





Scholastic books

A great way to get your children reading is to have books for them to read!  Please check out the Scholastic book orders I have sent home.  If you would like to buy some books, put mark the back of the form, send a check in made out to “Scholastic” and I will order them for you!  Thank you!



Angie Wise