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.