Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Party

Thanks for all of your help in making our holiday party fantastic and delicious. The students had a great time decorating cookies.These gingerbread boys and girls did not escape! The students enjoyed reading lots of versions of The Gingerbread Man the past few weeks. This was a great way to being those stories to life. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday. See you next year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

School Safety

Please read the following letter from our principal.

Dear Addison Families,

By now you probably are aware of the horrible shooting that took place on Friday at a Connecticut elementary school. As a result, you may have concerns regarding the safety and security in our school building.  In order to reassure you of our safety measures, here are a few of the things that CCCSD has in place:

Police officers in every middle school and high school
Surveillance cameras throughout all school buildings
Electronic access control for elementary schools

At Addison,we also ask that you continue to check in and out on the computer in the  front office and obtain a visitors badge when you enter our school building . This must be done, even if you are just dropping off a snack or walking your child to his or her classroom.  If a staff member sees anyone without a visitor's badge or a Cobb County ID, he or she will ask you to go back to the office to check in.  Remember that this is another way we are keeping your children safe at Addison.

These resources go a long way toward maintaining a safe learning environment for our students, but as you are well aware, no security measure available can protect against every conceivable threat. Despite that fact, and despite the occurrence of random acts of nature and disturbed individuals, our schools remain arguably the safest place a child can be, including their own homes. 

The safety and security of our children is our highest priority, and we will be vigilant and use all the resources we have available to ensure that students stay safe under our watch. If you continue to have concerns, then our Public Safety Department is available to speak with you about the security measures we have in place. Hopefully this information will give you a peace of mind regarding the safety of your children.

Susan Hallmark
Addison Elementary School

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Subtraction Strategies

As I am sure you have noticed, math looks a little different this year. Back in the olden days when I was in school we borrowed to subtract. Maybe you learned that way too? For the past few weeks we have been working on solving double digit subtraction problems using two different strategies. The strategies are called adding up in chunks and using models to subtract. The students are figuring out the strategy that works best for them.I am sure your child would love to teach these strategies to you!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fire Safety Village

Today we went on our field trip to the Cobb County Fire Safety Village. They practiced what to do if their clothes were on fire,  riding bikes safely, getting out of a bedroom in a fire, and learned about strangers. We had a great time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Science Lab- Energy Part 2

Today we went to the science lab for another fun lesson on energy. This time the students participated in activities to show how energy can move or change matter. For sound students used tuning forks to experiment and watch how sound can make objects ove. For heat they cooked pancakes and watched a liquid turn into a delicious solid. For light the students watched as the sun's light change beads from white to colorful! Pretty amazing. Even on a cloudy day we need sunscreen. They made bracelets with the beads. Thanks again to our parent volunteers.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just Eat It!

Today Wellstar came to visit and discuss the importance of a healthy diet and exercise.  The students learned about the food groups and what their plate should look like( half full of fruits and vegetables). They also learned they need 60 minutes of exercise each day.Students were given a place mat to help them remember. On the place mat there is a website that students can visit to play games and learn more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It was great meeting with you and having the time to celebrate your child's accomplishments and goals. The students did great sharing their data. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to meet. Please feel free to email me or leave a message at school if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to watching your child learn and grow this year!


Today we went to the science lab for a preview of our next science unit. We will be learning about energy! The students modified a car using modeling clay toothpicks, and paper. They had to get the car to move using wind power! Mrs. Ives provided the wind for us via a hairdryer. We measured the distance our cars traveled in centimeters.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Our Pumpkins and Garden

Here are some pictures of our Skippyjon pumpkins and our class garden. Come by and see them at the Fall Festival.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Our new math unit will be measurement. We will be measuring in centimeters and in meters. Here are a few fun websites to help your child practice measuring.
Measurement Practice
Measure It!

Fall is Finally Here!

Autumn is in the air. We have been celebrating fall by gardening, painting pumpkins, reading stories, laying said to rest, and playing some creepy language arts games.

Thanks to Mrs. Bassett for all of her help in our garden! She got it clean and ready to plant. She helped the kids plant pansies, carrots, radishes, and lettuce. We hope to have a salad soon! There is also a beautiful mum in a very special pot. If you are at school for the Fall Festival on Friday please take a look.

For the Fall Festival we are creating pumpkins to go along with the story Skippyjon Jones. You can bid on out storybook pumpkins and the money earned will come back to our classroom!

We have been reading some spooky and festive stories this month. The stories are really helping us develop our writing. We have practiced descriptive language using The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin. We laid said to rest and found words to use in its place after reading Too Many Pumpkins.  We also made a list of transition words to use in our writing with a little help from Spookley the Square Pumpkin.

We have played games to practice spelling and identifying homophones and compound words. These games have been added to word work during our Daily 5 practice. 

Look for photos soon!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fact Families

In math we have started learning addition and subtraction strategies. This week we focused on fact families. Learning the communicative property of addition.Students were asked to choose a fact family to represent in their house and to create both an addition and subtraction word problem to match. They evaluated and reflected upon their work. Check out our Fact Family Neighborhood!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Next week we will learn our last component of the Daily 5. It is Listening to Reading. There are two helpful websites that support this. They are BookFlix and Pebble Go. Both of these sites require a user name and password to access them from home. You child may use both of these sites to count towards their daily reading time for homework as well.

For BookFlix
user name- addisonsch
password- bookflix

For Pebble Go
user name- cobb
password- bird

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Matter Part 2

We have had a lot of fun learning about matter. This week we played a matter game. Students identified  states and properties in order to color in the box. The person with the most boxes colored in the end won! A copy was sent home if you would like a chance to play too. The Science Lab came to us this week. The students made ice cream. I am sure you heard all about it! Thanks to the many volunteers who helped out. It was great having you in the classroom. Today we made slime. We had to decide what state of matter it was and prove it. We also described its properties.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Homework has started this week. Please look for it in your child's backpack. Homework consists of a reading log, reading response, spelling practice, and math sheets. Spelling words can be found in your child's agenda. They are to be practiced 3 ways. The choices for practice are located in the cover of the homework notebook sent home today.Spelling practice should be recorded in this notebook. Reading is 20 minutes a day.Reading to your child can be part of this time.I also encourage you to have your child read to you! Math is a review of skills previously taught. Students should be able to complete this on their own or with a little help as needed.  Please remind your child to be neat and careful when completing their work. Also check their work as they finish. Thank you for your support. Remember homework is due on Friday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Science Lab

Today we visited the Science Lab for our orientation lesson. The students learned the rules and practiced with some of the equipment they will be using this year. Every other Wednesday we will be visiting the lab for lesson with Mrs. Knobbe. Some upcoming lessons are a delicious experiment that shows changes in matter, a lesson that focuses on the properties of matter, and investigating seasonal changes.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


In Science we have been learning about the three states of matter: solids,liquids, and gases.  Students are learning their properties,how to identify them, and how matter can change states. This week a homework assignment will be sent home to go along with our study. It will be due on Thursday. Look for it in your child's take home folder. We will do some fun experiments this week. Look for more on that later ! For now, check out this fun website.

Changes in Matter

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Daily 5 Word Work

We have learned a new component of the Daily 5 called Word Work. Word Work allows students the opportunity to practice spelling words in a variety of ways. Students have learned that if they practice with their words they will become better spellers, readers, and writers. Practicing words also will help others be able to read and enjoy their work. Here are a few ways the students practiced their words today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hearing and Vision Screening Volunteers

Greetings Gator Parents:
We are looking for volunteers to assist the Counseling Department with Hearing and Vision Screenings for all First and Fourth grade students. Volunteers will need to attend a training session held on Sept. 5, 2012 at Palmer Middle School from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. If you are interested in helping with this year’s screening please contact Ms. Hetzel or Ms. Weston. Please be advised that if you volunteer we will need parents that will be able to spend most of the day at school during the week of the screenings. Screenings should last approximately one week. Screening week TBD.

Thank you for your support.
Ms. Hetzel & Ms. Weston 

Daily 5

 Have you heard your child mention stamina? We have been working very hard on the Read to Self component of the Daily 5. This is day 7 and we have made it to 10 minutes and 48 seconds with an interruption. Wow!

Daily 5 is the structure we will use to plan our morning. Children will be busy completing meaningful literacy tasks. The choices will be:
Read to self
Work on writing
Word Work
Listen to reading
Read to Someone
We will begin by focusing on how to increase our stamina to work independently during Read to Self. Within the next few months, the other choices will be introduced. While the students are completing their literacy tasks, I will be meeting with small groups and conferencing with individual students.
Daily 5 is how we schedule our language block. CAFÉ is what we study during this time. CAFÉ is an acronym for the four major components of reading. They are:
C for Comprehension
A for Accuracy
F for Fluency
E for Expanding Vocabulary
The children will learn reading strategies within each category. These strategies will become tools for the children to use to help themselves become better readers and writers.

Place Value

Who knew math could be so delicious! Today we worked on place value. We used cereal and pretzels to build numbers. The students are learning to represent numbers using models and writing expanded form to show the value for each number. Yummy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mrs. Gillenwater's Class Rules!

Our class developed a list of expectations we will have for eachother in the classroom. We have practiced them and know them well. Our expectations are:
* Raise your hand when you want to share
* Be respectful of others
* Hands and feet to ourselves
*Use the right volume
*Always do your best

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day of School

We are already off to a great start! Today we sorted our supplies, practiced our math journal, read lots of great books, developed our class rules, and had a snowball fight!
Once our rules are finalized they will be posted in case you have to refer to them. Please remember check and sign your child's agenda, pack a healthy snack, and fill out emergency contact and clinic forms.
Thanks so much for all of wish list item you sent in. I appreciate you helping us  start second grade on the right foot.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Thank you for attending open house. It was great to meet you! I enjoyed being able to talk to you about what to expect in second grade this year. If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call or email me.