The “Choose Kind” Challenge

Ms. Barbour visited our class last week and read the wonderful book We are All Wonders by R.J. Palacio. The central message in this book is that when we choose to practice acts of kindness toward others, we pass on both love and hope and inspire others to do the same. We also learned that it is important to have empathy for others who may be different than us.

Each day we have so many opportunities to choose to be kind. We want to join the Choose Kind Challenge at Stafford and see how many kind deeds we can do for others this week. Each day we have so many opportunities to choose to be kind.  We want to promote, recognize and celebrate each act of kindness.

Add your kind acts to our Padlet below. Click on the + sign to add your sticky note. Click anywhere outside of the note to make it stick.

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We read another book that we loved called Don’t Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin and Alan Shamblin. In this book, we really discovered what it means to have empathy. Empathy means understanding how someone else feels.

Why do you think it is important to feel empathy? 

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A Time to Give Thanks


November 23 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 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. Click on the + sign to add your thoughts. You can make the sticky note “stick” by clicking outside of the box.

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Tough Boris By Mem Fox

This week we are reading Tough Boris by the Australian author Mem Fox. It is another great book that we are reading as a part of The Global Read Aloud. One of our learning targets in reading is “I can read with expression” and this is a great book to practice this with.  Two other learning targets have been “I can retell a story” and “explain the central message”.

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What did you like about this story?

Do you feel empathy for Boris?



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Whoever You Are: by Mem Fox

We learned that peace begins with each one of us sharing acts of kindness with our friends, our family and the world. We also learned that peace spreads when we focus on all the things we have in common: our joys and our sorrows, and our hopes and dreams for a bright future. This is the big idea in a book by Mem Fox called Whoever You Are.

Watch this video below. This is a digital story that has the same message: peace spreads when we focus on the things we have in common. All around the world people share the same joy of music, dance, laughter and love.  It is very creative way to share this message. Nice “green hat thinking” Mr. Harding! (video creator). Let’s look closely at how we are the same and not so different.

Add to the Padlet below. Click on on the + sign and share one of the countries in the world you recognize. Peace starts when we need to get to know each other better one step at a time! Let’s see how many countries we can name.

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What do you think we all have in common all over the world?

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Possum Magic: By Mem Fox

This week in the book, Possum Magic, we get to know the characters Hush and Grandma Poss, two possums who lives in the Australian bush. They live there together with other Australian animals: wombats, kookaburras, dingoes, koalas, snakes and kangaroos. In this story we learn not only the names of Australian animals, but also the names of special foods that come from the different regions of Australia: Anzac Biscuts, Mornay, Minties, Vegemite, Pavlova, Lamington.

Let’s share some of our favorite foods from the state of Oregon, which is in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Click on the “+” at the bottom of our Padlet (online sticky notepad) to share your thinking.

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Let’s also share the names of the animals we know live here in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest region of the United States (Washington State, Idaho,  Montana, Wyoming, northern California, and southwest Alaska).

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Thank you for writing on the Padlets!

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The Global Read Aloud: Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox

This week for The Global Read Aloud we are enjoying the book Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox. One of the important main ideas in the story is to listen respectfully to your friends. As second graders we are also learning the importance of focusing our full attention during class, when we have a guest speaker, and when we are on field trips. Building good listening skills is one of our learning targets this year. We hope the story Hattie and the Fox will continue to remind us of the importance of this skill.

Why do you think the animals are not listening to Hattie?

Do you think you are a good listener?


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The Global Read Aloud: Mem Fox

This month we are reading books from the Australian author Mem Fox. We are participating in The Global Read Aloud, and will be reading her books together with other students all over the world. Students everywhere love to read, and we want to join with them in getting to know some of her wonderful books.

The settings and the characters in her stories teach us so much about the beauty of the country of Australia. Let’s talk about what we know about Australia, what we want to know and what we learn as we explore her books this month. We will share our ideas on a Padlet: an online sticky notepad. Click on the + to add your first name and your ideas:

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Our first book was Koala Lou.  Koala Lou has strong feelings at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the story. Listen to the story and share your ideas about the main idea or author’s message below.

How does Koala Lou feel?

What do you think the author’s message is?

Have you ever felt like Koala Lou?


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Let’s hear it for a Growth Mindset!


Hip, Hip, Hurray! We are getting into the mindset of doing our homework , and we are reminding ourselves that we need to have a growth mindset when sitting down to do it each day. That means we are learning how to have a positive attitude with challenges we face. We have reading, writing, and math work. We are building reading stamina, and doing word work.

We are learning how to build our resiliency and grit, so we can continue to learn and improve in our work at school and at home. This was an important main idea in the book we read by Peter Reynolds, The Dotbe courageous, make your mark and keep on going to see where it takes you.

Are you doing your homework each night?

Where do you do your homework?


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International Day Of Peace

We read a great book last week called The Peace Book, by Todd Parr. Listen and read along with the story below.

We learned that peace is many different things. We will try to practice acts of kindness as a way create more peace each day. Thursday is International Day of Peace. Children around the world will be practicing acts of peace as a way to make a positive change in our world. Let’s all join in and do what we can to make it a more peaceful world.

On Friday the second graders will lead the School Assembly and talk our second grade Community Time. During our Community Time, we talk about the things that are going well and discuss concerns we have. We are learning how to listen to each other well, and how to problem solve together as a community. These are important learning targets for us.  This makes us a strong community and creates more peace with our friends at school.

Thursday we will explore our West Linn community at our local grocery store, bank, orthodontics office and public library. A community helps provide us with our wants and our needs. We are continuing our social studies unit on Communities and look forward to seeing why West Linn, Oregon is such a great community to live in.

As a Stafford community let’s all join in with others to do what we can to make it a more peaceful world.

Which acts of peace will you practice this week?

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It’s a Book

We have been learning about reading and writing with blogs. We are participating in a  global collaboration project called The Student Blogging Challenge in which students and classes from around the world join together to work on improving their writing through blogging.  This project also challenges us to learn new web tools that support and enrich our learning.  We learn how to communicate and collaborate with others around the world.

We know that we are also using our blog to practice our independent and partner reading with our parents. Reading includes: independent reading, partner reading, and listening to a book being read aloud We know we can also read books on the iPad or the computer.

We will also be starting book bags for at home reading.  This is are a fun way to do your daily reading homework, and a great way for you to share your learning with us.  We will be blogging about our reading as a way to share our reading reflections with each other.  I am excited to start this type of book sharing. Yay for reading!



Do you have a favorite book?

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Hip, Hip Hurray! It’s Watermelon Day!

We celebrated Watermelon Day last Friday, and were grateful for a full day of watermelon activities. We know that fresh fruit is a healthy choice to include in the foods we eat daily. We learned that fruit has important vitamins and minerals that keep our bodies healthy and strong.  We also learned that nutrition is an important part of Wellness which we study in second grade.


We are learning to read the nutritional labels on the foods we bring for snack and for lunch each day. We look for protein, fat and sugar, as well the vitamins and minerals. We know it is important to make good choices when eating and try to choose “brain food” that helps us think better. This is one of our learning targets. We look at the “My Plate” diagram to see portion amounts we should be eating.


We did watermelon math together and practiced the skills of estimation. We estimated the weightcircumference (= distance around), the number of seeds and the cost of the watermelon. We learned how to use different measurement tools like a ruler, yard stick, tape measurement and scale. After making our estimates we used these tools to get the actual measurements.

Of course, we all enjoyed the eating part of this math activity, and it was an important step to writing poetry using our senses to describe what the watermelon looked like (big and round), tasted like (sweet and juicy), felt like (sticky) and even sounded like (crunch).

Finally, we got to express ourselves and our experience through watercolor painting. We enjoyed doing step drawings together and then explored the beauty of watercolors. What could be better than Watermelon Day? Could it be Pumpkin Day perhaps?

Do you like to eat watermelon?

Which healthy foods (brain foods) do you like for morning snack?

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