April 16

Spring has Sprung!

Dear 2A Families,

We have had a terrific Spring so far!  We enjoyed field trips to the Desert Museum and Sabino Canyon.  The students have had the opportunity to observe desert plant and animals in their habitat.  At the Desert Museum, we saw many of the animals that the students have been researching for their desert animal reports.  At Sabino Canyon, we had a terrific hands-on experience where we learned more about adaptations.  Thanks again to all our drivers/chaperones.  We couldn’t have gone without you.

The students have been doing such a great job over the last three weeks participating in literature circles.  We have read Freckle Juice by Judy Blume and Stone Fox by John Reynolds.  Each novel contained challenging vocabulary words which the students worked hard to learn to spell and to understand.  We loved both stories and the class had enthusiastic discussions about both!  Last week, the students read three different non fiction books about animal habitats, desert cacti, and ocean reefs.  After reading individually, the students read together in groups and created presentations to share what they had learned with the rest of the class.  We’ve done this before but this time, the kids didn’t know who they would be grouped with because they selected the books that they were interested in reading before they were grouped. They did a great job planning, organizing, and presenting as teams.  See the photos below.

We continue to do daily spiral math review so that we revisit and practice all the math we have learned so far this year.  Currently, our math lessons that you will see in the homework consist of measurement, fractions, and geometry.  In class, we do our number of the day and the spiral math which keeps the kids’ skills fresh in subtraction, multiplication, addition and division problem solving.  As always, we have fun telling time, counting money, and keeping track of the daily temperature every morning.

Last week we planted our garden.  We had a special guest come help us.  My mom, “Mrs.” Allen, is a Master Gardener at the University of Arizona agriculture extension.  She had small groups of the students prepare the soil and plant seeds.  We are hoping to grow kale, lettuce, spinach, radishes and sunflowers.  It was a productive day and we all enjoyed being gardeners!

A FRIENDLY REMINDER:  We have been asked to remind families that the courtyard outside our classrooms is not a playground.  We need this area to stay quiet and calm in the mornings before we open our classrooms.  Thanks!

March 12

Love of Reading

Hi 2A Families

Last week was a terrific week full of books, reading and fun!  During our Monday chapel, we were visited by Wilber and Wilma.  They enjoyed listening to the classic story, Peter and the Wolf read out loud to the whole school by Mr. Vernon.

Our class had a wonderful time visiting the book fair and reading many of the books purchased by our families!  Thank you.  We also finished reading Freckle Juice on Friday.  It was a hit with everyone in 2A.  We laughed and made many connections with the main characters.  Each student wrote a review of the book and shared it with the class.

We keep working on multiplication and division in class.  We are practicing our skip counting and continue to do timed tests with subtraction.  Knowing math facts is SUPER important.  By the end of second grade, all students should have addition and subtraction facts mastered.

We are in need of at least one more driver for our field trip to the desert museum next Monday.  Let me know if you can help out.  Thanks!!!

Congratulations to Emilio for winning the Eagle’s Quill travel theme contest for his drawing!  Way to create!  And another shout out to Austin who has completed 100 books this year.  We are so proud of you Austin.  He is the first member of the 100 book club this year.


February 27

Two Thirds of the way!

Hello and Welcome back 2A Families,

I had a terrific break.  I got to watch my daughter Lilly and her volleyball team play in a 3 day, west coast tournament in Phoenix.  The girls were tough and play really well.  I had a wonderful birthday, beginning with my surprise from my little 2A friends on Friday before Rodeo Break.  Thanks so much!  I am still enjoying the amazing gluten free cupcakes from Breanne.  Yummy!

You will receive your child’s report card for the second trimester this week.  The students are working hard and we are continuously striving for individual improvement and success.  Can you believe we are 2/3 of the way through second grade?

Beginning this week, the students will receive a daily assignment notebook and nightly homework.  This is a great way to prepare for the transition to daily assignments in third grade and beyond.  Please sign your child’s assignment notebook each day.

Enjoy the photos from our many activities and adventures below.

January 22

Presenting 2A!

Greetings 2A Families!

It was such a pleasure getting to chat with all of you about your amazing kids!  Thanks for making the time to come to Parent Teacher Conferences.  As we embark on the last half of second grade, I am reminding the students to put forth their best effort, focus, and try their hardest in every subject.

Last week, we read different books about Martin Luther King. Jr.  We talked about segregation and equal rights.  The children loved hearing his “I Have a Dream” speech and created mobiles with their own “dreams” for our community. country, and world.

This week we continue to read about weather and air, and arctic animals.  Last week, the students read weather books during Literacy Block and then created visuals to explain what they read.  Each team did a class presentation on their book.  See the greats photos I captured below!

We are continuing to experiment with air by making straw rockets, parachutes, “air brush” paintings, and balloon rockets.  Air is everywhere.  We also are investigating why penguins don’t fly but other birds do.

Keep working on math facts.  The students love multiplication and division.  Practicing skip counting is an excellent way to learn multiplication facts.




January 3

Happy 2018!

Greetings 2A Families!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.  I cannot believe 2018 is here and that we are almost ready for the LAST half of second grade.

I wanted to thank you all for the generous and terrific class gifts.  I felt very loved and appreciated.  I will enjoy shopping.  Look for new eyeshadow and nail polish coming soon!  😉 .

We have enjoyed a tremendous year thus far in 2A.  Your children are growing as students, people and friends.  I love seeing each and every child’s growth inside and outside of the classroom.  We sure have a good time in 2A and learn a ton while being a little family of life long inquirers!

We continue to read both non-fiction and fiction texts daily.  We have reading groups with opportunities for shared reading, individual silent reading and group oral reading.  We always respond to what we have read through art and writing.  It was really cool to read about each of your family’s Christmas traditions before break.

I am excited that we will continue studying weather, air, and clouds during science as well as begin exploring seeds and herbs in preparation for our annual vegetable garden!  As always, we will explore various scientific questions and/or interests that develop from our outstanding STEaM news reports.

As the students will tell you, “Ms. Allen loves math”.  I admit is is true.  Be sure to ask them about our number of the day (we will begin to work with millions this year!), daily spiral math review, and multiplication games.  I always remind them to keep practicing addition and subtraction facts and (maybe even multiplication facts, for some) so that the students can answer timed fact tests with speed and accuracy.  This knowledge builds the foundation for all math to come.  Beginning in January, we will have a weekly math challenge centered around logic puzzles and problem solving.  The students who solve the challenge correctly can earn a lollipop and sticker!

Please make sure you sign up for a conference.  You will receive your child’s progress report when you meet with me.  I look forward to sharing my observations and anecdotes regarding your child.  You should have received an email from sign up genius. Each conference is about 15-20 minutes.

Here’s to great new beginnings in 2018.  Keep reading, saying please and thank you, and smiling.

Much love,

Ms. Allen

Some fun happenings from the end of 2017 below:

Thanks St. Nicholas!

Almost time for the St. Nick’s Performance


Christmas giving from 2A                                Getting ready for Las Posadas


Our little camel, Ellynna!

Apostles during Primary Mass



December 4

Fire Station #9

We certainly enjoyed our field trip to Fire Station #9 at the beginning of the month.  Thanks to our parent drivers.  We couldn’t do it without you!  We were given a great tour of an important part of our community .

November 17

Research and Information Literacy

In Computer Class this week students began working towards meeting Concept 2: (Processing) of Strand 3 (Research and Information Literacy) of the Arizona Educational Technology Standards. These relate to locating, organizing, analyzing, and evaluating information from a variety of sources and media.

We used Kids’ Infobits on the Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records webpage to learn more about bees and spiders. You may search through Kids’ Infobits from the DAZL website by clicking here:  https://www.azlibrary.gov/dazl/learners/elementary

These are free (and fun!) databases for students and parents to search together. Your students enjoyed browsing the various types of resources (articles, images, video) and having text read to them by machine reader.

~Ms. Hawes

November 8

Spooky Fun

Here’s a shout out to our 2A Room Parents!  We had a great Halloween celebration with yummy snacks and fun activities.  Thanks to Helen, Calline, and Helena for planning and hosting our party.

October 27

Grandparent’s Day, Yay!!!

What a lovely day!  The students and Grandparents enjoyed each other’s company.  We shared our “Eating the Rainbow” STEM project and the kids read their personal narratives to the grandparents.  They also had fun showing off their desks and our classroom projects!



October 15

Fall Break

Hello 2A Families!

I hope you had a lovely Fall Break.  Here are some photos of our days before break.

We enjoyed a great play from Live Theater Workshop.  Rooting Tooting Red Riding Hood.

Emilio presenting his Cultural box…..

Having fun on the playground….

See you all soon!  Don’t forget Grandparents’ Day this Friday 10/20.