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Grade 2 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 2 below.

This Week: Teacher's Pets

posted Oct 7, 2018, 7:15 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Oct 7, 2018, 7:15 AM ]

This week the Grade 2 class will be working out of Journeys reading Teacher's Pets, a funny little story about school and pets by Ann Dodds. While it is a short week due to National Day this Monday, we will still be covering our vocabulary, phonics, grammar, and reading lessons. We will also have some friendly letter writing practice on Friday this week.

Below is the weekly handout sheet for this week. On it you will find the spelling and vocabulary words. Vocabulary words are also posted below in the practice slideshow to help you practice. A spelling test will be given on Friday this week. The words are getting harder. Please review. Coat of Arms pics are coming soon. I'll post them later this week.


This Week: Diary of a Spider

posted Sep 30, 2018, 3:01 AM by Jason Brunken

This week Grade 2 is moving on in Journeys to Diary of a Spider. This is a wonderful little book by Doreen Cronin that takes a comical look at life through the eyes of a spider (if the spider thought and lived like we did that is.) Ms. Cronin has written several of these books with titles such as Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Fly. Both of those are in our Happy Kids library I believe. She also writes the great "duck books" about a scheming duck on a farm. Click-Clack-Moo is one we will read later this year. You can see a complete list of her books here.

As always we will begin the week looking at our vocabulary words, move into grammar on Wednesday, read the selection on Thursday, and then do a writing assignment on Friday. The spelling test will also be on Friday. Please remember to help your child study for the tests. Below is the weekly handout for this week. On it you will find all of the spelling and vocabulary words along with some grammar practice. You can also find a slideshow for practicing vocabulary below. Please encourage your child to practice.

We will also be wrapping up our Coats of Arms this week. They will be posted on the 2F landing of the building for all to see on by the end of the week. I will post a few pictures later this week.


Extension Project: My Family Coat of Arms

posted Sep 27, 2018, 10:08 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 27, 2018, 10:09 PM ]

My apologies for the late post. This week, we took a break from Journeys and did our first extension activity: a family coat of arms. A long time ago in Medieval Europe, wealthy families that had land were required to fight for their king as knights. These knights would suit up for battle in full armor making it difficult to tell who was who on the battlefield. So knights could know who was friend and who was enemy, they began wearing their family crest, or a symbol that represented their family. These became known as coats of arms and can be seen today all over Europe and even in the US. Think of coats of arms as logos for a family. They are usually simple in design but capture the essence of what the family is.

Students have been working on their own this week to both create a coat of arms for their family and then write about their family in a paragraph that explains why they made the coat of arms the way they did. I am looking forward to seeing our students' coats of arms, as I am sure you will be too. These will be on display for Parent-Teacher Conferences later this month. I will also be sure to post pictures of them when we are done. To see examples of coats of arms used around the world today, see the slideshow below.


Our Pen Pal Project

posted Sep 17, 2018, 5:56 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 17, 2018, 6:11 AM ]

Perhaps your child has told you already. Maybe you remember the letter I sent home the first week of class. We have pen pals! Pen pals are special friends we have in a far away school that we only interact with through writing. I have used a project like this for many years and it always helps motivate the kids to write with more care and enthusiasm. 

This year, our Grade 2 classes are collaborating with a class of Year 4 students at the International School Moshi in Arusha, Tanzania (East Africa). Can you believe it? Friends in far away Tanzania! I know our students will learn a lot of about this country and their new friends this year. My goal to have our students not only just share letters with our friends, but also digital projects as well that share information about our home and school. Stay tuned for more news about projects with our pen pals.

This Week: Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon

posted Sep 17, 2018, 5:42 AM by Jason Brunken

This week we pay homage to the arrival of fall by reading another great Henry and Mudge book called Under the Yellow Moon. This story is about how Henry and Mudge are both alike and different in how they enjoy the thrills of fall. So far, Henry and Mudge have been a big hit in class. I know they will enjoy this one too. Also this week, we will be continuing our efforts to learn how to write a proper paragraph. Last week we learned the basics; this week we will practice writing our own paragraphs. 

Below is the handout for this week with the spelling and vocabulary words. I've included a slideshow with this week's vocabulary as well for more practice. Remember, spelling test on Friday so help your child practice and encourage her to read at home.

This week is our annual Meet the Teacher event. I look forward to meeting all of my Grade 2 Early Bird parents this week on Wednesday from 2:30-3:00.


This Week: My Family

posted Sep 9, 2018, 3:22 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 9, 2018, 3:22 AM ]

Hello! This week the Grade 2 classes will be reading My Family by George Ancona. George Ancona is an acclaimed photographer who has made and contributed to many children's books over the years. This week we are reading a book he made about families, specifically his family. This story fits great with our overall family theme this month.

Below is the weekly handout sheet for this week. Please help your child review the spelling words, grammar concept, and vocabulary words this week. I've also posted a slideshow of this week's spelling words below to help you and your child review this week. A spelling test will be this coming Wednesday instead Friday due to the short holiday week.

Soon we will be learning to write paragraphs and begin our journey to becoming composition writers this year, but first this week we are focusing on what makes a complete sentence and continue to practice our fundamental skills.


This Week: Henry and Mudge

posted Sep 2, 2018, 7:37 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 2, 2018, 7:37 AM ]

This week, the Grade 2 class will be finishing our postcards to our pen pals and reading and doing lessons related to the first chapter of Cynthia Rylant's first book in her amazing Henry and Mudge series. Students at this age love Henry and Mudge: a boy and a dog who are best friends. The Happy Kids library has seven Henry and Mudge titles. I will encourage the kids to check them out f they enjoy the reading this week.

The selection this week tells the story of how Henry first got Mudge. It is a cute story and easy to read. The kids will enjoy this smooth transition into 2nd grade. Aside from reading, the students will also be practicing short vowels, a list of vocabulary words, subjects and predicates, and sentence writing. There will be a spelling test on Friday, so please help your child review both the vocabulary and spelling words throughout the week. 

I sent home a weekly handout with this information and posted it below to help your child review at home. I have also included slideshows to review the vocabulary lesson for this week. Feel free to use it if you need.

Please email me with any questions. Don't forget, Library on Wednesdays!

Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year

posted Aug 26, 2018, 10:09 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Aug 26, 2018, 10:10 PM ]

Hello! I'm Mr. Jason Brunken, and you've found the online home for the Grade 2 Early Bird class at Happy Kids. Let me welcome  Grade 2 parents. I am very excited to get the chance to teach your child this year. your involvement and input is very important to me. Please feel free to contact me whenever you like with questions, feedback, or concerns about class this year.

To learn more about me, please visit the About Me page on this website, or see the letter of introduction I sent home this week. I have been teaching Grade 2 at Happy kids since I started here back in 2006. It is one of my favorite classes to teach, and I am really looking forward to helping these kids grow in to strong young writers and readers this year.

This week we will be focusing on three main tasks. First, we will be getting used to each other and learning our class routines, rules, and expectaions. Second, we will do some character education with Happy Kids's Core Values. I want the kids to think about how they can not just be good students while they are here, but also good people. Finally, we will begin our Pen Pal Project. This is an annual project that I do with my Grade 2 classes to help motivate the kids to write. More information on this will come later in the week.

Please stop by here each week to get updates on what we will be doing in class and to view important class materials like our weekly handouts or writing assignment sheets. I work hard to keep this site updated for your convenience.

Extension Week: Poetry Book

posted May 20, 2018, 7:14 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated May 20, 2018, 7:15 AM ]

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This week Grade 2 will be focusing our final efforts of the school year on poetry. We've been talking about poetry and figurative language all month and even practiced them a bit. Now it is time for the kids to really give poetry a try. 

Their task this week is to prepare a short book of 5-6 illustrated poems to take home at the end of the week. I hope these poems can be a keepsake and testament to their time in Grade 2 this year. The kids will learn how to write four kinds of poems: rhymed, acrostic, diamante, and shape. They will write at least one of each in their books. Below you can find assignment sheet for poetry book.

Remember, this is the last full week of class. Make sure library books are sent home before Wednesday next week. Books that are not returned will be considered lost and you will be liable for a replacement fee.

This week: Now and Ben

posted May 20, 2018, 7:12 AM by Jason Brunken

Sorry for the late post. Last week, Grade 2 read about Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin (Ben) Franklin is a very important figure in American History. He is considered one of the Founders of America for his role in gaining independence from Great Britain and helping to write the Constitution. He was much more than that though. He was a man of science, an inventor, a writer, a publisher, and a philanthropist. He, in fact, invented or improved some things we see everyday, like public hospitals, flippers (for swimming), and vitamins. This week we will be reading a fun little book called Now and Ben which looks at how Ben Franklin has affected our lives today. I know the kids will enjoy learning from this little story. When we finish, the kids will think of their own inventions and make a poster for them.

The practice materials for spelling, grammar, and vocabulary can be found below (weekly handout and vocabulary slideshow). It's too late to practice, but you can review in case you feel you missed something. We did a little preparation work for this week's Poetry Writing project as well.



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