Helping Hands

Multiracial Hands from iStock-thumb-347x346-2955

We have been talking about the importance of recognizing opportunities to reach out and help or serve others when we can. We call this service learning. We want to be the helping hands that bring joy to others. When we hear of an opportunity, we are training our hearts to respond.

free-rice-widgetWe have heard that there are many people all over the world that are hungry and need food especially in these winter months. So, over the next 2 weeks we will be using the site called Freerice to help feed the hungry in the world.  

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Freerice is a wonderful way for us to learn all sorts of things, and at the same time help provide food to hungry people in our world. There are so many different subjects. Math, vocabulary, geography, art history, languages, chemistry, and flags of the world are just a few.


With each new fact we learn, we donate 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Programme.  This organization passes on the rice to countries in the world that need it.  This week we will be working hard, learning tons of new and interesting information, having incredible fun, and helping the hungry throughout the world!

Keep track of the number of grains of rice you donate throughout the week, and we will see how much rice we donate as a class by next Friday. Challenge your parents and your entire family to join you as you use your helping hands to feed the hungry.

Let’s get to the learning!  

Let’s feed our minds and feed the hungry!

What subjects do you enjoy learning?

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Hour of Code


Will you be one of tomorrow’s superheros? As your teacher this year, I will bet on it. Amazing things are happening these days in the area of Computer Science.  Watch this video that introducea us to some important people who talk about the importance of kids like us learning computer code.

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This week is Computer Science Education Week, and we are celebrating with others around the world “An Hour of Code“. Students all around the world will spend one hour learning the basics of computer programming. We will explore programming with tutorials throughout the week. The fun tutorials include Star Wars, Minecraft, Anna and Elsa and Lightbots!

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Almost everything we do involves some sort of computer programming. Creating things through code may seem to be wizardry or involve superhero skills, but one thing is for sure. It can make a huge difference in the lives of people, and we can use these powers for good.  So, let’s get to it geniuses!

Our learning targets:

1. I can create something new using computer code

2. I will collaborate with others to learn a new language: “computer code”

3. I can use my critical thinking skills to use code to design and complete a project.

Haven’t we all wished we were superheros? Here is our chance.

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How many lines of code did you create today?

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art_Penguins_emperor_and_chick[1][1]Family are the people who love you.

Each family is unique. Some families are big, and some are small. But, what they all have in common is that they are the people who love you. Add a sticky note to our Padlet to share what family means to you.

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This week we will be listening to our family members tell the special stories of how we got our names and where our ancestors are from. We will also share details about important family traditions. Our families hold the keys to these stories for us. We want to learn to tell these stories as part of our family history.

Where are your ancestors are from?

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The Celebration of Thanksgiving


November 24 is the day we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. Thanksgiving is a celebration where families and friends come together to share in a special meal. Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. Gratitude is the act of of giving thanks,  expressing appreciation, and returning kindness. All communities and cultures have celebrations where they express gratitude. Sharing gratitude is also one of the tools in our tool belt we use for creating positive emotion or happiness. We try to share gratitude throughout the school day.

Let’s create happiness for ourselves and others by sharing gratitude today!

What are you grateful for? Leave us a note on our Padlet below.

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How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

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City Cat


City Cat is a fun book written by Kate Banks and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. This book takes us on an adventure around the great cities of Europe.

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This is the last in the series of books we are reading with our friends across North America as a part of The Global Read Aloud (GRA). We have loved reading with Mrs. Cuthbertson’s class in North Carolina, Mrs Debertin’s class in New Brunswick Canada, Mrs. Orloff’s class in Illinois and Mrs. Schultz and Petruzzi’s class in New Jersey. Thanks for the fun everyone!


Which city would you like to visit? Leave us a note on our Padlet below. If you have trouble adding to the Padlet click here: City Cat Padlet.

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Mrs. Debertin’s Class has a challenge for us! We should tell them where City Cat would go if she were visiting our community here in West Linn. Let’s do it!

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What do you think the author’s message is? 

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Fall Celebrations


In many countries around the world people celebrate The Harvest season. Some countries celebrate Halloween by dressing in costume and going door-to-door after dark to gather candy from friends and neighbors.  They put a lit candle in a carved out pumpkin outside their door and it becomes a Jack-0-Lantern. In India and many other Hindu countries they celebrate Diwali. They are all celebrations that see light as an important symbol. Leave us a note on our Padlet to tell us how you celebrate during the season of Fall. Click on this link if you have trouble adding to the Padlet: Halloween.

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What do you like most about Halloween?


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Yard Sale


This week we are reading Yard Sale written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Who doesn’t love a yard sale? Well, the main character in this story has a different feeling about her yard sale.

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Have you sold something at a yard sale?

Did you like selling your old toys, books or clothes?

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Twenty Yawns


This week we are reading the book Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo. We all love the feeling of settling into bed and relaxing before falling asleep. The main character in the story sleeps with her special stuffed animals. We all have personal connections, or schema, with our bedtime routines that help us relax our bodies and our minds. Leave us a sticky note on our Padlet and let us know how you relax and get to sleep. Click on the + sign to add your note. If you have trouble doing this, click on this link to get to the Padlet website: Twenty Yawns

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We have learned that there are also different ways of relaxing our bodies and our minds at school. We practice mindfulness technics throughout our day to help us refocus ourselves and be better learners. We use deep breathing, cross-lateral moves, positive affirmations, positive thinking (3-Good-Things), gratitude sharing, and gratitude letters.

What do you do to help you relax and fall asleep?

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Geology Rocks!


We have been learning all about rocks and minerals as we begin our study of Geology. We enjoyed the field trip to the Rice Rock Museum last week to see the wonderful collection of rocks. This museum is one of the biggest in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy watching this video our class made a few years ago. Read the captions as a way to review our learning.

What did you enjoy most at the Rice Rock Museum?

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The Reader


This week we are looking at the book The Reader written by Amy Hest and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. We are excited to do this together each week with our Global Read Aloud friends. Here we are during our Skype call with Mrs. Debertin’s class from Centreville, New Brunswick, Canada.


The main character in the story finds a very special place to enjoy reading a favorite book. The main idea is clear: There is a joy in reading and finding a book that you make a personal connection with.

Let’s share our personal connections with the joy of reading our own favorite books. Here’s our list! Share your thoughts with us on our Padlet below. If you have problems writing on the Padlet here, click on this link:

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What is your favorite book or book series?

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Our Community: The Peace Project 2016

Students from Ipyana School, Tanzania

Students from Ipyana School, Tanzania







In second grade we learn that communities work together to fulfill their wants and needs. They work together not only to help their local community, but also the world community.

This year the second graders at Stafford Primary School and Trillium Creek School are excited to join together in a community project. We are neighboring schools, so we often see each other in our neighborhood, at the store, and on the soccer field. This year we want to work together to bring more peace to our world.

Trillium Creek School

Trillium Creek School

How do we do this? We start by strengthening our friendships. So, our second grade classes are going to work as one big team to bring positive change to the world. We want to bring joy to students just like us in another part of the world: Tanzania!

Stafford Primary School

Stafford Primary School

There is a local community organization here called Africa Bridge that helps orphaned children in Tanzania find loving families, get the food they need and help them go to school. We want to share love and friendship with these children through the gift of words. We are inviting each second grader at Trillium and Stafford to make a Flat Stanley or Flat Stella and write a message of love and friendship on the back to send to a child in a village in Tanzania. The staff at Africa Bridge will take our friendship letters with them at the end of October.

Barry Childs, Africa Bridge

Barry Childs, Africa Bridge

This is a simple act of kindness that can have a huge impact. We are showing the children in Tanzania that we are thinking of them and we care. That’s what friends do. The more friendships we make and the more bridges we build between countries, the more peace we bring to our world. Let’s do it! STAFFORD AND TRILLIUM ARE A TEAM!

We want to share our idea with others as a part of The Student Blogging Challenge’s Blog Action Day 2016 (#BAD2016) (#16stubc). You can read more about connection with Africa Bridge, and see a video we made for one of our projects on our Africa Bridge page.

Let’s work together to create a more peaceful world one friend at a time!

Jambo Rafiki from Jody Amri on Vimeo.

Your Second Grade Teachers,

Mrs. Amri, Ms. Hainley, Mrs. Wise, Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. Almon,, Mrs. Johnston, Mrs. Teel

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The Trouble Maker by Lauren Castillo


This week we are joining our Global Read Aloud friends in reading Lauren Castillo’s The Trouble Maker. In the story the boy meets up with a raccoon while playing in his backyard. Add your thoughts to our Padlet.

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If you have trouble adding to the Padlet, click on this live link to go to the Padlet website:  The Trouble Maker


We enjoyed meeting up with our friends from Mrs. Cuthbertson’s class in Kannapolis, North Carolina last week. We are learning the importance of communication and collaboration with others. It is a small world when connect through Skype in the classroom.

This week we will connect with Mrs. Debertin’s class in Centreville, New Brunswick, Canada to share our learning from The Trouble Maker. They are in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone (AST) which is 4 hours ahead of us. It is fun to learn about the time zone differences. Watch this NASA video that explains time zones:

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We learned that Oregon is in the Pacific Standard Time Zone (PST).


Who is the trouble maker in our story this week?

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