Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Student Work

Here are some great pieces of writing from students. :) Enjoy!

My Cats
By Brittany Vinson
My cat died on May 20. It was my sister Kiersten’s birthday. It was really sad because she was so cute. She was a girl, and was a baby. Her name was Lucky. Lucky and I would play together every day, but now I got a new cat named Meowmix. Meowmix and I play together every day. Meowmix is so cute! Meowmix and I do lots of things together. Meowmix and my family are so special to me. My family and me have so much fun playing with Meowmix. Meowmix is the playfullest cat I’ve ever had. Meowmix loves me and my family. Meowmix loves to play with me and my family. Me, Meowmix, and my family are so lovable.

I Am
I am white like a sky,
High, high, high
I am cool like a snowflake.
I am happy like a bear in a den.
By: Anonymous

The Cat
The cat, he is like a mat
He is funny,
He is furry,
He is a friend with the mat.

A mat,
A mat,
Plus a cat

That cat is like that
Like I said, That cat is like a mat.
And he is fun,
He is furry.
Like I said before:
It was like that furry cat,
That is like a mat.
By Savannah

Dragon in the Wagon
I love that dragon in my wagon
In my wagon there was a dragon
In my wagon, here is a dragon
In my wagon, there was a dragon
In my wagon a playful dragon
In my wagon, my playful dragon, that’s in my wagon
I love that dragon, that’s in my wagon
There’s a dragon that’s in my wagon.
By Savannah

My German shepherd
I want a German shepherd for my birthday
When my other dogs die
And my German shepherd will make me smile
My German shepherd
Is my favorite kind of dog
My German shepherd
Has two brown eyes and one black nose.
By: Hannah Norton

November has arrived

These last few weeks have been very fun in here! We had a big harvest party, and it was very exciting. They have been kind of weird too because of our short schedules and Parent/Teacher Conferences. However, there are still some great updates.

A new addition to our class is iPads!!!!! We are only using them to do our xtramath practice so far, but in the future we will have great apps to reinforce the things we are learning in class. Students are enjoying using them!

Our math lessons have been focusing on money. So far we have talked about coins and their values, and added them up. It seems that quarters and nickels are hard to tell apart, so we're going to spend some more time working on noticing the differences they have.

Our reading picked up again last week with a story called A Tiny Seed Grows, and this week we are reading a piece of writing called A Harbor Seal Pup Grows Up. As you can probably guess, our theme for this unit is on growth and change! Last week we finished up short/long vowels with u, and this week we are beginning to study consonant blends. With that, here are the spelling words for the week!


November has also been a month of thankfulness in our classroom. We have written some letters to various school staff that support our learning to thank them for the hard work they do! Kevin, who cleans our room at night, was very grateful to receive such beautiful letters and drawings from the students.

In science we continue to investigate changes. We had some races last week to see which dissolved faster, a sugar cube or sugar grains. Then we did another race to see if hot or cold water dissolved sugar grains faster. Ask your student what the results were!

Social Studies has been focusing on goods and services. We have learned the difference between the two, and can now identify places to get goods, and places to get services. Since we have just been learning about money in class, I am hatching a plan to provide some goods and services the students can buy in class with some fake money. We'll see what happens!

Alright, I do have some great pictures for you of happenings in the room.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Return to the blog!

Well! It has been 2.5 weeks since I last made a post. I apologize to the loyal readers out there for this lack of updating! I was at a conference for 2 days in Bend with Mr. Bova and Mrs. Stoneberg. We learned a lot at that conference about how to use our iPads, creating better assessments so we know what our students are learning, and being respectful to our peers. It was a great learning opportunity for all three of us.

That being said, class is going VERY WELL! We are having so much success in here that I am not quite sure what to do with myself! Students have been working extremely hard in class, and we are nearly finished with Topic 4 in math. We have also been doing a lot of writing and reading. We are having review week this week and next in reading class, so there are no spelling words or tests.

There is no school on Friday so that I can do report cards for everyone. Remember that report cards are just a reflection of what students know, and are used as a tool for teachers and parents to be on the same page about their student's learning. Next week on Wednesday and Thursday are conferences, and I am excited to share everyone's progress with their parents.


We took a field trip to the pumpkin patch 2 weeks ago, and I have a great picture of Jayden to share with you. She is picking out a gourd!

 Here are some students having fun learning how to do Cat's Cradle!
 Steven enjoyed the "Hayflower." It was a scale model of the Mayflower made out of hay!
 Here are Zane and Jack also enjoying the Hayflower.
I made a joke about how I should take these students back to class with us. It didn't go over very well. Ha!

The next big news is that our class has been doing so well in all locations around the school, that we won the most awesome award at our Billie Spirit assembly, THE GOLDEN APPLE!!!

Also, Mrs. Stoneberg gives out an award each month to a student who is doing great work in class. Our Principal's Award winner this month was Hannah! She has been working hard and always shows great Billie Spirit! Congratulations Hannah!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Update/Spelling for the week

Well, hello there! Here are the spelling words for the week:


This week's focus in reading is on long i, short i sounds. We are also talking about subject and predicate in a sentence.

In math we will be starting place value, so look for questions in the homework about that. We had a fire truck visit us last week! Ask your student about their plan if there was a fire in your house.

I'll try to update with some poems and pictures this week, I'm in a blogging slump right now!

Have a great day!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week of 10/7

Good day readers! Here are the spelling words for the week:


Our focus is long a and short a. See if your student can tell you the difference!

We have started our subtraction unit in class, but to be honest, students passed the basic computation pre-test, so we're going to have a focus week on problem solving! I am going to bring in real world problems for us to solve and think about this week. We made some charts of key words for knowing what to do when presented with a word problem. I'm hoping that this focus on problem solving will allow students to better understand practical applications of subtraction in the outside world.

Another activity we did today was list the ways we use subtraction outside of school. It was difficult to begin with, but we eventually came up with some pretty good ideas. Some of them were counting down spelling words left to write, figuring out how many pages of a book are left to read, knowing if we can bake brownies based on how many eggs we've used so far, and being able to figure out how much money we have left after paying for things at the store. These are all great uses of subtraction in our daily lives!

We are reading a story about firefighters this week in reading, so ask students what they know about fires and safety. Our focus in reading is main idea and details. Our grammar focus is the subject of a sentence. Remember that the subject is who or what the sentence is about.

Example: Suzy ate her lunch quickly. The subject is Suzy!

I'm really enjoying reading the sentences students came up with in their homework. Thanks for supporting your students in all they do! Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Update on Curriculum

Well, we have come to the end of Topic 2 in math, and tomorrow we start in on Topic 3. Topic 3 is all about subtraction. Since I like to have students share their thinking in class, I was hoping I could give you readers a homework assignment with your kids!

Do some real world subtraction with your kids! If you bake some muffins and eat a few, have your student figure out the math that went with it. Include them in kitchen, shopping, or other chores where you have to use every day math. Talk about it too. Ask them what they did to figure out the problem. Did they count up? Did they count down? Did they break numbers apart? It's fascinating to listen to a child think about their math. I'm also finding that students are beginning to understand how all this number stuff relates to the real world, and it would be a great activity to apply that knowledge at home.

Reading is also going well in here. Our Daily 5 rotations have been going well, except for a bit of chit chat here and there. We are now up to 3 activities: Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Work on Writing. I plan to formally launch Word Work tomorrow, and then the only piece that will be left is Listen to Reading. Soon students will have so many choices for how to work on their reading that they will be even more excited to do it!

Our poetry writing has slowed down a bit as we have been taking more time on some concepts in reading. We will pick that back up soon though. In read aloud we are reading Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech. We just finished Love That Dog. Ask your student about these books!

Our focus in reading this week has been plot. The plot is what happens in a story. We have talked about beginning, middle, and end. We read a great story called Mr. Putter and Tabby. Have your student tell you about it!

Also, we have started our science kit! We are talking about changes in matter. Solids, liquids, gasses, and chemical and physical changes are some of the topics. Yesterday we dropped some Alka-Seltzer into a cup of water and investigated what happened. We still aren't sure where that tablet went!

Alright, I think that about covers it. Here are some upcoming dates for you to remember:

Oct. 4th- Jog-a-thon. Get those pledges and come prepared on Friday!

Oct. 18th- Field Trip to Northern Lights Tree Farm's pumpkin patch. Please get that $5 to me, or write a note if you need assistance.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Spelling for 9/29-10/7

Well, it's been another week! I totally did not update the blog last week, which is because things got a bit crazy here. So busy! This week I hope to showcase a few things the students have done and post more poems. There is some great work going on in this classroom, and it needs to be shared.

Here are the spelling words for the week:


There are also vocabulary words that you can help make sure your students understand. Those are:


Here is a poem that was written by a student:


A person to play with
A smile
My mom and dad
A person to make me food
Someone to take care of me
Someone to help me learn

By: Ryan

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Spelling words 9-23

Oops! I boo booed and forgot to update yesterday! I remembered when I got home, but I didn't have the list with me. Oh well. Here they are!


School is going well this week. We have started our structured reading program and now have small groups going as well as Daily 5. I hope that your students are having a great time and learning a lot!

Something I did want to mention is that research shows that praising a student for working hard is much more valuable to their learning than praising them for being smart. I've been impressing on the students that I am more concerned that they are putting forth their best effort than whether they are intelligent or not. I know that each of these students can be successful through hard work, and knowing math or reading is not an innate skill. Everything we learn in life takes practice and hard work. I am also emphasizing the value of making a mistake. Brain research and educational research shows that a person learns MUCH more by making a mistake than getting the questions right. Mistakes are part of a healthy process of learning. So, if you get a paper home from your child that is filled with mistakes, take it as a learning opportunity and help them persevere and figure out those questions that were wrong. Eventually, with hard work and practice, they'll learn what they need to know. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is our spelling test! Practice those words and be ready to spell away! Haha. I also wanted to share some student poems real quick.

My Cat

My cat has fiery eyes
My cat is orange
My cat is white like snow
And, he’s also a flame tip

By: Chloe M.

The Darkest Thing

The darkest thing is a spa
It is dark like a cube
And it’s warm like a fire.

By: Jack P.

Check back for more poems soon!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thoughts On Spelling

I was thinking about fun ways to practice spelling today, and I ran into this neat post. If you want some ideas for practice at home, I think these would be great.

Today we struggled with alphabetizing. This is a good skill to practice with spelling words as well. Some students experienced a lot of frustration, but I reminded them that this was the best way to learn. Our brains learn best when they are challenged to try to do something that we might have to try again and again. I was really proud of the class because everyone tried their best, and the feeling of FINALLY getting it right was proof that persevering was worth it.

This group of students works very hard, and I'm excited to be their teacher this year because I can tell they are going to teach me a lot and make me very proud.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 3!

Hello there! We are off on week 3 of school already! What a great week we had last week too. Last week we started our social studies curriculum, and it was a lot of fun! We even made some pages about what students in the United States like to do. This activity is leading up to learning about what students in other countries like to do, and how that is both similar, and different, from what we do here. I know I promised some pictures, so I will include them at the end of the post today.

This week is safety week here at PHES. We are practicing drills in case we ever need to use them. Students are being reminded of how important it is to listen and follow directions immediately in case of an emergency. This might be a good reminder to practice your own safety habits at home! For example, I reminded myself where the cat carrier is this weekend just in case I needed it in a hurry! Haha.

We have also been working on poetry. We are reading a book called Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. It is about a boy who is very reluctant to embrace writing, and more specifically, poetry. The whole book is made up of his journal entry writings to his teacher. We never get to read what the teacher writes back, but it is a great book for teaching inferring, poetry, and other things along the way. After this book is finished we will read Hate That Cat, which is the follow up. The goal with the poetry is to have students write one new poem every week, or there abouts, and create a whole anthology for them to take home at the end of the year.

In math we are quickly approaching the end of Topic 1, which is the review of addition and subtraction sentences. We will be taking our Topic 1 test on Wednesday, so look for those to come home at the end of the week. We also have our spelling tests every Friday, and new homework was sent out today.

On Thursday is picture day! Please remember to have your money and picture packet given to me or here at school ready to go by then. :) We are taking pictures at 10:00 that day.

Alright, it's time to list the spelling words!


Keep practicing these sight words, and get that homework finished! We had all but 3 people turn in their homework on time today! Great work!

Here are some pictures from our adventures so far. :)

This is a poem we wrote as a class today!

Here is a collage made by Hannah that represents her.

Here is another collage, this one made by Savannah.

These are the awesome tools we get to use for social studies.

This is one of the examples of our group puzzles and how we all work together.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What a start to week 2! We've had a great few days so far this week, and yesterday I forgot post the spelling words. So, here they are. This week is all sight words that students should have learned in first grade, and we are going to review them this week.


Today we also started Social Studies! We discussed all the new tools we get to work with like maps, globes, and atlases. We also talked about working in groups, and then we each colored a puzzle piece and put our puzzles together as groups. When they were finished they said "Together We Work!" I will put up a picture tomorrow of all of our group puzzles. Ask your children about it!

I know that we are finally getting settled into our routine here and that we are all excited to work hard and learn a lot! As always, if you have questions please call or email me at the school!

-Mrs. Gerick

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

School has started!

Hello everyone! Well, the school year has started and so far, so good! I said this post would be to introduce myself and let you know what the curriculum for the year is, so here it goes!

This is my 6th year as a teacher, and my first year teaching 2nd grade. On Monday evening I'm sure I was feeling just the same as the students: VERY NERVOUS. Haha. I was actually born in Eugene, moved to the Portland area, came back to Eugene to attend UO, and then started my career on the coast before coming to Pleasant Hill last year. I have taught every grade between 3 and 6 since becoming  a teacher, and never the same thing twice in a row. When I was at UO I was a member of the marching band and the basketball band! Those years participating in those groups taught me the value of hard work, practice, and balancing my work and play.

As a teacher I am especially interested in math teaching and learning. I guess I have taken it on as my personal philosophy that every student can learn everything, and as a teacher it's my job to inspire and give them the tools to be successful! I also believe that with hard work, you can pretty much achieve anything you want. I love to learn, and I hope to pass along that enjoyment to my students. :)

Okay, that's enough about me, on to the learning! At school we use Treasures for reading, EnVision for math, and have just received a new, hands on program for social studies. For science we get kits so that students learn how to question, investigate, and analyze information. If you'd like information on any of these programs, feel free to contact me. Also, if you'd like to know what we teachers are aiming to teach your children this year, here is the place where you can download the State Standards.

Okay! This has been lengthy. I hope to add some pictures to the blog as we do fun activities in class, and I'll update this blog with spelling words on Mondays as well. Thanks for stopping by, and here's to a fun new year!

Oh, this summer my husband and I went to Disneyland. I do love Disney movies!

Friday, August 30, 2013

First Post!

Welcome to my new blog! I am excited to start off this new year teaching 2nd grade. I've never taught 2nd before, so this will be a fun learning experience for all of the members of our classroom. I hope to update the blog at least once a week in order to keep you up to date on what is happening in our room. I will post the spelling lists for the week and any other homework information that you might need. You can also come here to see examples of art that students have made! I will make an effort to tag things properly so that you can easily search for content if you missed something.

Well, I know that we will be having a great year in Room 19, and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. The next post I do will be to introduce myself and tell you about the curriculum for the year. Enjoy!