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Grade 2 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 2 below.

Extension Week: My Family Coat of Arms

posted Sep 21, 2020, 3:00 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 21, 2020, 3:00 AM ]

My apologies for the late post. This week, we are taking a break from Journeys and will do 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.

Meet Mr. Brunken

posted Sep 17, 2020, 6:29 AM by Jason Brunken

This week I emailed and sent home a video introducing myself, my teaching, and what's going on in 6th Grade this year. I hope you all had the chance to watch it. If you forgot, don't worry. I'll post it here too for you to see. Remember you can always contact me with questions and concerns. I look forward to meeting all of you at Parent-Teacher Conferences later in October.

This Week: Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon

posted Sep 14, 2020, 6:24 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 14, 2020, 6:24 PM ]

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.

I will have a video posted later this week introducing myself and the class instead of our usual Meet the Teacher event. Stay tuned.

This Week: My Family

posted Sep 6, 2020, 6:06 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 9, 2020, 7:13 PM ]

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. The reading skill packet for this week can be found here.

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 Thursday 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 Aug 30, 2020, 6:46 PM by Jason Brunken

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 2020-2021 school year!

posted Aug 23, 2020, 7:19 PM by Jason Brunken

Hi! Summer is officially over now that school has started. Don't worry, I miss it too. We also have a whole year together to look forward to. As we go through the year, this website (and especially this page) will be a helpful resource for you to stay on top of what's going on in class. I will work hard to make sure as much of the work that we do in class as possible is posted here for you to reference and ask your kids about.

I have high expectations for my Grade 2 class. I expect the kids to be on time every day to class, do their best each day, and to take time to read independently outside of class. You can be a big help with this task. Never underestimate the power you have to model good behavior for your child. Read more at home this year so your child can see the value of reading first hand. 

I appreciate your support in helping your kids grow this year. We will make a great team. If at any time you have questions or concerns or would like more content posted to this website, please contact me. Below is the letter of introduction I sent home today along with the monthly calendar which can be found online here. You should have also received a letter about our Pen Pal Project. This is a year-long collaboration with a school in Arusha, Tanzania. The students will begin making postcards to send/share with our friends in Africa this week. Over the course of the year we will write letters to our friends and hopefully collaborate in many other ways. It should be a great year.

This Week: Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble

posted Apr 6, 2020, 2:34 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 6, 2020, 2:35 AM ]

We are reading a very interesting and funny story this week called Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble. It is a book about a principal who loves ties but loves his school and students even more. He decides to sell his entire tie collection to raise money for the school to build a new playground. The surprise is how the students and community repay Mr. Tanen in the end. I hope the kids enjoy this book. If they do, there is another book about Mr. Tanen called Mr. Tanen's Ties.

The weekly handout containing spelling and vocabulary words is posted below along with a slideshow of the vocabulary words to practice with. Please take some time to review with your child this week. Spelling test will be on Friday. One fun activity we will be doing this week is making a new tie for Mr. Tanen. The kids will get the chance to design and color their own ties for Mr. Tanen and write about them. I can't wait to see them all. Students will also continue work on finishing their projects for the upcoming ASLA Expo.


This Week: Working in Space

posted Mar 9, 2020, 7:34 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 9, 2020, 7:34 AM ]

This week we are reading Working in Space, a nonfiction book about some of the many jobs astronauts do in space. This reading selection is interesting for the kids and a great way to get back into the mode of reading and analyzing nonfiction after so long reading and focusing on stories. Our focus while reading will be on the text and graphics features of the selection, namely headings and captions. It's a review, but very important review.

Throughout the week we will be practicing our spelling words on the /ow/ sound. We will also practice vocabulary and grammar (possessive nouns). Please refer to the weekly handout sheet below for the spelling and vocabulary words. I have also posted a slideshow of that teaches the vocabulary words. Don't forget to practice and review throughout the week. 

For writing we will begin our focus on persuasive writing. We began practicing this writing model last week. This weeks the kids will begin planning their own persuasive paper on what they think is the most important recent invention. We will continue work on these papers next week.

This Week: Now and Ben and more

posted Feb 19, 2020, 6:11 PM by Jason Brunken

Welcome back! It's been over five weeks since I have last seen the kids in class. I'm so happy to see everyone back and healthy for the first week of classes of the new year. Due to the three weeks that have been cancelled, we are changing up our plan for Grade 2 a bit from what was originally scheduled. A new calendar has been sent home to tell you all about what is coming up.

The first two weeks back, Grade 2 is reading 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 write a short poem about Ben Franklin too.

The practice materials for spelling, grammar, and vocabulary can be found below (weekly handout and vocabulary slideshow). Also this week, students will be watching video responses form their pen pals to the letters we mailed out last semester. The kids will work on making their own videos this week, probably to be recorded next week sometime.

This week: How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

posted Dec 30, 2019, 5:19 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Dec 30, 2019, 5:19 PM ]

Welcome back! Christmas has come and gone  and New Year is days away, so it's time to get back to learning lots and having fun.

This week, Grade 2 will be reading the folk tale How Chipmunk Got His Stripes. This book is a retelling of a Native American folk tale. It, like most folk tales, stars animal characters acting like people. In this case, a braggart bear is outsmarted by a Chipmunk who then gets in trouble when he teases Bear. Children always love this story. I've put a YouTube video of the story being read below if you're interested.

This week students will be exploring characters' personalities by looking at their actions as well as story structure. This practice will later be applied to our culminating lesson this month of writing our own stories.

We will be practicing vocabulary, grammar, and spelling this week as well. A spelling test will be given on Friday. For writing this week, students will be reviewing story structure in preparation for beginning their first stories next week. Please help your child study the spelling and vocabulary words with the slideshow and handout below.

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