May 17, 2018

LANGUAGE ARTS:  This week we read and discussed Now and Ben and A Model Citizen.  Now and Ben is an informational text about the inventions of Ben Franklin while A Model Citizen is a biography about Ben Franklin.  We worked on skills such as decoding longer words with long "o" and "e" as in snowflake and season, identifying and using adjectives and adverbs in sentences, decoding words with the final syllable "le" as in noodle, identifying and counting syllables in words, finding known root words in unknown words (for example, understanding that the root word in "strongest" is "strong,") reviewing how to use irregular verbs (such as give/gave, took/take), and learning ten new high frequency (sight) words.

SCIENCE:  We started a new chapter over forces and motion.  So far students have recognized a force as something that pushes or pulls on an object to make it move.  We identified that a force is used to change the location of an object and the direction it is moving in.

MATH:  This week we named three, four, five, and six-sided shapes according to their sides and vertices, identified angles in two-dimensional shapes, sorted two-dimensional shapes according to their attributes, and partitioned rectangles into equal size squares and found the total number of these squares.

SPRING CONCERT:  The spring vocal/band concert will be next Wednesday, May 23 at 6:30 at Creston High School.  Students are to wear Mass day attire.  Students will be going to the high school to practice for the concert that afternoon.  Please sign and return the permission slip so your child may attend the practice if you have not already done so.

FIELD TRIP:  What a great day we had at Fort Des Moines Park on Tuesday! Below are some pictures of the field trip.  We had so much fun, and learned a lot about habitats, too!


















May 10, 2018

LANGUAGE ARTS:  This week we read and discussed Two of Everything and Stone Soup.  Both are folktales.  We worked on skills such as decoding words with long "a" and "i" as in rain, rake, day, pie, sight, and fly, identifying and using possessive pronouns, decoding words with "oi" and "oy" as in boil and toy, identifying and using antonyms in sentences, identifying when to use irregular verbs, and learning ten new high frequency (sight) words.

FIELD TRIP:  Next Tuesday, May 15 is the second and third grade field trip to Fort Des Moines Park.  Please note the following:

  • We will be leaving the school at 8:20 A.M. and will return to school by 3:00 P.M.
  • Students need to bring a sack lunch in a small cooler along with a drink
  • Long pants are recommended, but not required
  • Tennis shoes should be worn due to the nature of the field trip
  • Hand held electronics are allowed during the bus ride
Please return the permission slip to school, along with $5.00 to cover the cost of the public school bus by tomorrow, May 11 if you have not already done so.  Thank you!

SCIENCE:  We started a new chapter over changes in matter.  So far students have observed how cutting, shaping, and mixing can change matter.  We also described how water can be made to change from one state to another, and identified some changes in matter that are reversible and irreversible.

MATH:  We took the chapter 10 test and started chapter 11 over geometry and fraction concepts.  So far students have identified three-dimensional shapes (sphere, cube, cone, pyramid, rectangular prism, and cylinder), and described three-dimensional shapes according to their number of faces (the flat surface of a three-dimensional shape), edges (where two faces of a three-dimensional shape meet), and vertices (the point where three or more edges of a three-dimensional shape meet).

May 3, 2018

LANGUAGE ARTS:  This week we read and discussed the fairy tales Cinderella and Yeh-Shen.  We compared both stories to see similarities and differences between the two.  We worked on skills such as decoding words with "ou" and "ow" as in cloud and cow, identifying how to form possessives with nouns that name one or more than one, decoding words with "o," "aw," "oo," and "ew," classifying words according to how they are alike, reviewing when to use irregular verbs, and learning ten new high frequency (sight) words.

SECOND AND SIXTH GRADE MASS:  Next Wednesday, May 9 the 2nd and 6th grade classes will be in charge of the school Mass.  If your child has  a speaking part, I have placed it in the today's take home folder.  Please look for a note in the take home folder for more information concerning this special Mass.  Mass begins at 9:15 in the school gym.  We hope to see you there if you are able to come!

FIRST EUCHARIST:  First Eucharist will take place this Saturday, May 5.  Practice is at 10:00 at Holy Spirit Church.  Individual pictures begin at 4:00 and a group picture will take place at 4:30.  Mass begins at 5:15.  There will be a reception following Mass in the church hall.

BOOK ORDERS:  Book orders are due Friday, May 4 if you are interested in ordering.  This is the last time I will be sending book orders home this school year.  If you are writing a check, please make it payable to Scholastic Reading Club.

SCIENCE:  We took a test over weather and started a new chapter over observing and measuring matter.  So far students have identified the three forms of matter and discussed properties of matter.

FIELD TRIP:  The second and third grade classes will be taking a field trip together on Tuesday, May 15.  Please look in today's take home folder for a note concerning this field trip as well as a permission slip for attending the field trip.

April 26, 2018

LANGUAGE ARTS:  This week we read and discussed La Brea Tar Pits and The Dog That Dug for Dinosaurs.  La Brea Tar Pits is an informational text.  I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the La Brea tar pits while in Los Angeles a couple of years ago, so I had pictures of the tar pits to share with the students! The Dog That Dug for Dinosaurs is a biography.  We worked on skills such as decoding words with "oo" as in "good," identifying and using adverbs that tell when and how, understanding singular and plural possessives, distinguishing shades of meaning among synonymous verbs such as jogged/ran or jump/hop, using "a," "an," "er," and "est" correctly in sentences, and learning ten new high frequency (sight) words.

SCIENCE:  We identified weather conditions and described ways to prepare for different weather conditions.  We also identified cumulus, cirrus, and stratus clouds and discussed how clouds can give us an idea of what the weather will be like.

MATH:  We took a test over measuring lengths in metric units and started a new chapter over data today.  Students were able to collect data in a survey and record the data in a tally chart.

LAP-A-THON:  The St. Malachy PTO Lap-a-Thon fundraiser will take place next Thursday, May 3.  Please note the following:
  • Students may wear sweat pants to school that day
  • Have your child wear or bring comfortable tennis shoes since students will be doing a lot of running
  • Second graders will be running between 1:30 and 2:30 if you would like to come and watch/cheer on your child
  • Students can bring a water bottle marked with their name.  This way there are able to get a drink of water while "lapping."  If you do not send a water bottle with your child, water will be available from the PTO.  (Please no sports drinks).
FIRST EUCHARIST:  First Eucharist will take place on Saturday, May 5.  Practice will be held at 10:00 at Holy Spirit Church.  Individual pictures will begin at 4:00 at the church, followed by group pictures at 4:30.  Mass begins at 5:15.  The students have done a great job preparing for this special sacrament!

April 19, 2018

LANGUAGE ARTS:  This week we read and discussed The Mysterious Tadpole and From Eggs to Frogs.  The Mysterious Tadpole is a fantasy while From Eggs to Frogs is an informational text.  We worked on skills such as decoding words with "oo," "ew," "ue," and "ou" as in boot, stew, blue, and soup, identifying and using contractions for verbs with "not" and contractions with pronouns, decoding words with the prefixes "re," "un," "over," "pre," and "mis," decoding words with suffixes "y," "ly," and "ful," using context clues to determine the meaning of words and phrases, identifying adjectives that tell how things look, feel, taste, sound, and smell, and learning ten new high frequency (sight) words.

MATH:  This week students estimated lengths of objects in centimeters by comparing them to known lengths, measured lengths of objects to the nearest centimeter using a centimeter ruler, solved problems involving addition and subtraction of lengths by using the strategy "draw a diagram," and estimated and measured lengths of objects in meters.

SCIENCE:  We started a new chapter over Earth's weather.  So far we have identified ways the weather can change from day to day and from season to season, explained how water gets into the air, and described the water cycle.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:  Just a reminder that St. Malachy School will be in session on Friday, April 20.  No bus service will be provided that day since the public school is having professional development.  St. Malachy will not have school on Friday, April 27 due to professional development in Des Moines.

SPIRIT DAY/CLEAN UP DAY:  Friday, April 20 will be Spirit Day.  Students can pay $1.00 to wear a hat to school.  St. Malachy students will also be cleaning up the school grounds.  Your child may bring a pair of work gloves to wear while cleaning up if he/she wishes.

GUIDANCE:  On April 20 we will discuss our final lesson in the guidance book.  Lesson 10 is called "More Connections."  In this lesson we will identify the different kinds of families we belong to and what we can learn from our families.  We will also explain what having a friend means and the importance of friendship.

COOKIE PARTY:  The second grade class received a cookie party last Thursday (courtesy of the PTO) for bringing in the most box tops! Below is a picture of the class enjoying their cookies.  Way to go, second grade! Thank you, PTO, for providing cookies for us!




April 12, 2018

LANGUAGE ARTS:  This week we rad and discussed From Seed to Plant and Super Soil.  Both are informational texts.  We worked on skills such as decoding words with "au," "aw," "o," "al," and "a" that all make the same sound as short "o," identifying and using irregular verbs such as give/gave, take/took, eat/ate, and sit/sat, decoding words with suffixes "y," "ly,"  and "ful," using context clues to determine words meaning, using commas in a list of nouns and verbs, and learning ten new high frequency (sight) words.

FIRST EUCHARIST:  We discussed chapter 6 in the First Eucharist book.  This is the last chapter, so if all work has been completed in the book, it is yours to keep and does not need to be returned to school.

This Sunday, April 15 is the parent/student session for those who will be making their First Eucharist in May.  The session begins at noon at St. Malachy School.

IOWA ASSESSMENTS:  Students have been busy taking the Iowa Assessments this week.  They were tested over the areas of vocabulary, word analysis, reading, listening, language, and mathematics.

GUIDANCE:  On April 13 we will discuss lesson 9 called "Family Connections."  In this lesson students will identify seasons and times when families celebrate together and explore how families celebrate and help each other.

SCIENCE:  We are wrapping up our unit over the solar system and will begin a new chapter over Earth's weather next week.

SPIRIT DAY/SPRING CLEAN UP:  Next Friday, April 20 is a Spirit Day.  Students can pay $1.00 to wear a hat to school if they wish. This is also St. Malachy's spring clean up day.  Second graders will be picking up trash and sticks around the school and playground area.  Your child may bring a pair of work gloves if he/she wishes.

April 5, 2018

LANGUAGE ARTS:  This week we read and discussed the stories Half-Chicken and The Lion and the Mouse.  Half-Chicken is a folktale while The Lion and the Mouse is a fable.  We worked on skills such as decoding words with the prefixes re, un, over, pre, and mis, identifying when to use irregular verbs (such as went and took,) using story vocabulary in context, decoding words with silent consonants, identifying antonyms (words that have opposite meanings,) using commas correctly in dates and name places, and learning ten new high frequency (sight) words.

FIRST EUCHARIST:  We discussed chapter 5 in the First Eucharist book.  Please complete chapter 6 and return the book to school on Monday, April 9.  We will be discussing chapter 6 in class next week.  This is the LAST chapter!

MATH:  We are wrapping up our chapter over length in customary units.  Next week we will begin a new chapter over length in metric units.

IOWA ASSESSMENTS:  Next week, April 9-13 St. Malachy students in grades 1-8 will be taking the Iowa Assessments.  The main purposes of the Iowa Assessments are to provide the school with information that can be used to improve instruction and to help teachers make sound educational decisions about each student's learning.  The scores allow teachers to check each student's year-to-year growth (through eighth grade) and to identify each student's strongest and weakest areas of achievement.

Students should be encouraged to do their best on these assessments as they should for all of their school activities.  But it would be harmful to place too much emphasis on the importance of the tests, to make students feel anxious or stressful about the outcomes.  By maintaining a typical schedule and atmosphere at home during the week of testing, you can help your child have a positive testing experience.

The PTO will be providing students with a snack at the end of the testing period each day.  I will notify you when the test results are available.  If you have any questions concerning the  Iowa Assessments, please let me know.