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Alex Brewer is a youthful and energetic addition to the CSMH staff. She received her credential and M.A. from San Jose State University in December of 2016, where she focused on developing classroom community. In her spare time she enjoys reading, playing with her two cats, and watercolor painting.
 
 
 

Posts

February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

Classroom Updates

We had a fun and love-filled week in 2nd grade. Friday was especially fun with our Valentine’s Day activities! When we return, we will have our Ellis Island simulation. Please spend some time this break putting your student’s costume together and working on your family recipe. Here are the sign-ups for the simulation day:

Supplies: https://signup.com/go/pHaTNbL 

Volunteers: https://signup.com/go/FgnKpXy 

 Please feel free to sign up to help. 

In math this week, we revisited addition and subtraction games. We played, Beat the Calculator, Close to 20, Cover Up, and Double it. When we return we will continue working on unpacking and understanding story problems in math. 

Writing this week included students choosing two February writing prompts and writing in their writing journals. On Friday, students wrote a letter to someone they love. 

Reading this week included working on our reading stamina, several read aloud books, and books related to Ellis Island. 

In science this week, students continue to learn about the properties of matter. After the break we will complete some experiments to better understand this concept. 

A special thanks to our wonderful parents who volunteer in and out of the classroom!. I am so appreciative! I’m also very thankful for all of the goodies I received for Valentine’s Day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Everyone is so generous and I feel so appreciated. Enjoy your break!

Looking Ahead

  • February 17th-21st: Holiday Break
  • February 27th: Ellis Island
  • March 6th: Open Enrollment Closes
  • March 16th: Staff Development - No Students
  • March 23rd-25th: Minimum Days - Conferences

January 31, 2020

January 31, 2020

Classroom Updates

Another great week in 2nd grade, please read below about all of the amazing things we accomplished in the classroom.  Report cards went home in Friday Folders. Please check to make sure you received one. Please feel free to send me an email if you have questions, would like clarification, or want to touch base after reading your report card. I am happy to talk over email or the phone if needed. 

 

In math this week, students solved more problems that combined two or more quantities and we continued to look at addition story problems. Students used familiar number combinations to solve problems with multiple addends. They also recorded their work and discussed strategies with a partner. In addition, we learned two new games:  “Beat the Calculator” and “Close to 20.” Next week, we will begin to look at subtraction story problems!

In phonics this week, students worked on syllables and identifying how words are broken up. We played syllable bingo and sorted words with many different numbers so syllables. Next week we will work on abbreviations and double consonants. 

  • main
  • wait
  • sail
  • tail
  • train
  • jay
  • pay
  • stay
  • hay
  • may

Writing this week included the students answering the questions: “When I am 100 years old…” and “What would I do with $100?” 

Reading this week we worked on reading stamina and studied problems and solutions in familiar stories. We also read many books on Lunar New Year. 

In science this week, students explored the different properties of materials used for clothing, such as texture, flexibility, and absorbency. Students used this information to design and build a hat that protects them from the sun. Next week, we are going to try and answer the question, “Can you really fry an egg on a hot sidewalk?” For this activity, please have your child bring in one pair of socks on Monday. 

On Friday, we celebrated 100 days of school! We are officially 100 days smarter! 

We are preparing for Ellis Island! The simulation will take place on February 27th.  Please keep an eye out for information and sign ups next week. 

A special thanks to our wonderful parents who volunteer in and out of the classroom! I truly appreciate the help from all of you! 

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!!!!!

Looking Ahead

  • February 5th: World Read Aloud Day
  • February 17th-21st: Holiday Break
  • February 27th Ellis Island Simulation Day
  • March 6th: Open Enrollment Closes
  • March 16th: Staff Development - No Students
  • March 23rd-25th: Minimum Days - Conferences

January 24, 2020

January 24, 2020

Classroom Updates

We had a short week, but we were able to accomplish so much! Please read about all of the wonderful things we did in the classroom. 

In math this week, students wrapped up their unit on 3D shapes and discussed the attributes of shapes. We finished up the last section of our math assessment or “math best” as we call it. We also learned a new routine to gain more independence during math workshop. We learned about a “math menu” where we select an appetizer, entrees, and dessert. The intention of this routine is to teach personal responsibility for finishing tasks, as well as gives students the opportunity to learn how to select appropriate tasks to be successful.  Next week we will get back into our Investigations by playing close to 20 and beat the calculator. 

In phonics this week, students worked on understanding syllables and learned two strategies to check the number of syllables in a word. We also worked on spelling this week and practiced 2nd-grade sight words. Next week we will work with a new set of sight words and spelling words. 

In writing, students worked on free writing stories. We discussed setting and characters and tried to add them to the story. Next week we will begin reading and writing about Ellis Island and our families. More information about Ellis Island will be going home next week. Keep an eye out for that! 

Reading this week involved working on our reading stamina and selecting a just-right book. We also read Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine. I always enjoy reading a book aloud to the class, but this one was my favorite as a child so I love getting to share it with them! 

A special thanks to our wonderful parents who volunteer in and out of the classroom! I truly appreciate the help from each of you! 

Enjoy your weekend!!!!!

Looking Ahead

  • January 27th: Open Enrollment Begins
  • February 5th: World Read Aloud Day
  • February 17th-21st: Holiday Break 
  • March 6th: Open Enrollment Closes
  • March 16th: Staff Development - No Students
  • March 23rd-25th: Minimum Days - Conferences

January 17th, 2020

January 17, 2020

Classroom Updates

It’s official! Our school year is halfway over. That is really hard for me to believe. Much of our week was devoted to completing or mid-year assessments. 

In math this week, we worked on developing an understanding of 3d shapes. We learned how to draw 3d shapes and learned about faces, vertices, and edges. We also played find the block, mystery block, double array, and completed math assessment, or a “best” as we call it! 

In phonics/spelling this week we have worked more on noticing endings of words, such as -ing. We also sorted words based on their ending sounds. Next week, our class will start working on spelling skills and strategies. The words we will be working on are:

  1. Dress
  2. Task
  3. Drop
  4. Skin
  5. Still
  6. Slips
  7. Must
  8. Crisp
  9. Spell
  10. Slide

Please review the spelling of these words at home with your child. We will continue to work with these words each day next week as well. 

Writing this week included finishing our cycle of free writing before we begin our work on our next project! We are working on adding more information, details, and descriptions into our writing.  

In reading, we continued to work on reading strategies and completed DRA reading assessments. 

In science, students investigated erosion. We talked about quick and slow erosion. We also learned about landforms and conducted experiments using water in Ag.

We also had Project Cornerstone last week. Mrs. Azevedo came in and read The Day you Begin, which is a wonderful book about uniqueness and finding out who you are. I will definitely be adding this into our classroom library! 

A special thanks to our wonderful parents who volunteer in and out of the classroom! I truly appreciate the help from each of you! 

Looking Ahead

  • January 20th: NO SCHOOL
  • January 27th: Open Enrollment Begins
  • February 17th-21st: Holiday Break

 

 

December 13, 2019

December 13, 2019

Classroom Updates

We had another awesome week in 2nd grade! I can’t believe we only have a short week left before our holiday break. Time sure does fly by!

In math this week, we continued to look at odd/even numbers and word problems. We also played our doubles games. 

In phonics this week, students were able to recognize and use syllables in words with double consonants and also identify syllables in words with three or more syllables. In January, we will begin to work with word lists and start spelling tests. 

Writing this week included explaining our answers in math and writing about our field trip experience. 

In reading, we continued to work on reading stamina, reading strategies, and fables/fairy tales! 

In science, students investigated the effects of rocks tumbling in a river. Based on their observations, they constructed an explanation for why there is sand at a beach. We also had an amazing time on our field trip to the YSI in Los Gatos! The museum there is open to the public and definitely worth a visit. 

A special thanks to our wonderful parents who volunteer in and out of the classroom! I truly appreciate the help from each of you! 

Looking forward to: 

We are very excited about our upcoming field trip to the Exploratorium on 12//18! Please keep an eye out for an email if you have volunteered to chaperone. 

On 12/19, students can wear pajamas to school and also bring a stuffed animal. In addition, we will be participating in a Secret Snowman Book Exchange on 12/19. Instructions and reading sheets are going home in the Friday folders today. The sheet attached is your child's “secret snowman”. Your child can select a book for this classmate and bring it wrapped to class next week. If you will have trouble getting a book, no worries! Please let me know ASAP and I will get a book at Barnes and Nobel. Thanks and enjoy your weekend!

 

December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019

Classroom Updates

We had a great week! Please read below to hear about all of the wonderful things we did in the classroom. 

In math this week, we have continued to work on story problems and introduced the concept of doubling numbers. The students now know how to play two new doubling games! In addition, we reviewed place value, discussed even/odd numbers, and looked at using more than two primary cards to make ten. 

In phonics this week, we looked at nouns/verbs/adjectives, how we can build categories of words and principles to see how words work, we worked on breaking a word into syllables, and we were able to understand that some familiar words contain another known word. This last concept is a powerful strategy that will help children become faster, more flexible word solvers. In January, we will begin to work with word lists and start spelling tests. 

Writing this week we worked on writing about a winter tradition or moment we share with our families. Students were excited to write and reflect on all the wonderful things you do together as a family! 

In reading, we continued to work on reading stamina, reading strategies, and started to look at fables and fairy tales! We also read a Time for Kids Magazine on a famous author. It was fun to read this magazine in small groups with our classmates. 

A special thanks to our wonderful parents who volunteer in and out of the classroom! I truly appreciate the help and support! 

Upcoming Dates to remember:  YSI Vasona field trip on 12/12 and Exploratorium SF field trip on 12/18!

Happy Friday and I hope you have a great weekend!

2nd grade 19-20 (5)

Classroom Updates

We had a great week in 2nd grade! I am looking forward to seeing you and your child at conferences next week. You should receive a reminder from Sign Up the day before your conference. 

In phonics this week, we focused on recognizing and using y as a vowel sound. We did several activities to reinforce this concept. We also recognized and used phonograms with a VC pattern, as well as phonogram patterns with a short vowel sound in single-syllable words.

 We doubled up in writing workshop this week! We continued with our Heroes project. The kids have been working extremely hard and doing a fantastic job with their interviews. Students also wrote a personal narrative around an autumn event. We now have loads of Thanksgiving, fall leaves, pumpkin patch, and Halloween stories in the classroom. 

In math, a new game called “Plus 1 or 2 Bingo” was introduced to the students. They played this game in partners. We also reviewed counting strips, Collect $.25, Pocket Day, and Make 10.  

I really appreciate all of the parent help! I have really enjoyed having parents in the classroom. I want to give a gentle reminder that if you would like to help in the classroom you need to have your fingerprints on file in the office. Also please give me at least 2 days (48 hours) if you are you would like to help in the classroom. 

We will be exploring pumpkins on Halloween! Specifically we will be cutting open small, medium, and large-sized pumpkins and counting the seeds! We will be counting the seeds in a number of ways. This is sure to be a messy and fun math activity! If you can help during the activity (12:00-2:40 on October 31) or you can help with supplies (pumpkins, paper towels, hand wipes) please sign up by clicking here: https://signup.com/go/hpxCUPZ

 

I have also attached a general 2nd-grade schedule and one for our class. Thank you for your patience!  

Have a wonderful week. I am looking forward to seeing everyone at conferences this week.

September 27, 2019

Classroom Updates

We had another awesome week in 2nd grade! 

This week we continued our small group workshop on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Thank you to all the parents who have been helping in the classroom! The students were able to do six different stations! 

In math, we continued with our cubes and pattern blocks. We also started math workshop, which is very similar to reading and writing workshops. This week we started new concepts in math which included the number line, cube building riddles, the 100’s chart, telling time on a clock, and the students’ favorite: “Guess my number on the number line!”

In reading and writing workshop students had the opportunity to learn about opinions versus facts and write their very own opinion piece! Students also continued to work on building their reading stamina. In phonics, we looked at words that have a middle consonant and words that have double consonants at the end of the word. Students had the opportunity to explore different activities/games to reinforce these concepts.

On Friday, we read from our magazines, Time For Kids. I hope you all have a very enjoyable weekend! Thanks so much. 

September 13, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019


Classroom Updates


The big news this week is that all students were able to log onto their classroom chromebooks and then onto Reflex Math! We also got onto Epic Books and Typing Club! That’s quite a feat with 24 second graders! 


All students should now be working on earning three green lights a week with Reflex Math. 


To access Reflex Math visit https://www.reflexmath.com/ click on Login and then click on Student Login. 


Teacher username is abrewer119

Select Brew Crew 19 

Then select your child’s names

Everyone's password is cheetahs 

 

I will send home Epic and Typing Club logins next week. 


Now that we will be using the Chromebooks in class, it is important that all students have headphones or earbuds. If your child did not bring in a pair this week, please try to have them in by the end of next week. 


This week we were able to start our small group workshop on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Thank you to our parent volunteers. The students were able to read in a small group with me, play math games, make words with a parent, and write quietly in a bubble spot. 


The students received their Reading Response Journals this week. We use this journal to practice a number of reading strategies to help us become better readers. In math, working on creating structures of ten snap cubes and writing number sentences to show our thinking. 


We finished reading Magic Tree House: Ghost Town at Sundown. We have now started reading Nate the Great together as a class! 


I sent home Scholastic Flyers last week. I will submit orders on the last Friday of the month. You can search for my name on the site or enter the class code: RCPB4


Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! 

Friday September 6, 2019

 

Classroom Updates

 

This week we have continued our review of sight words and phonics with our daily poems. The students are doing a great job reading and performing these poems to the classroom. They are also expanding on their word knowledge by listing similar sounding/spelling words. We also completed the morning work each day. Each morning we grade one slide of the morning work together as a class. If they have not completed the morning work, they write the answers in colored pencils while grading as a class. 

 

In math we continue to work with groups of ten; landmark and friendly numbers; and addition. The students are enjoying their mystery pictures and math games. We will be starting our math curriculum, Investigations, next week.

 

In writing we continue to build writing stamina. We have covered how stories contain a Beginning, Middle and End.  We also worked on adding a sensory detail to our writing. Lastly, we have worked hard to learn the routines and expectations for Writer's and Reader's Worksop.  On Thursday, the students received their Writing Folders that also included a spelling dictionary. Next week students will create a piece of writing for me that provides me with a formal check in on their individual writing. 

 

Current Needs

 

Students will each need to acquire a set of headphones for computer use. Earbuds are ok, but they often don't work well for small second-grade ears. Over the ear headphones work best. Here is a link to colorful, inexpensive headphones on Amazon: Feel free to bring ones from home or from another source.  All headphones need to have your child’s name clearly written on them in Sharpie. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006T9ZKAQ/ref=psdc_12097480011_t1_B004HIN9FE?th=1

 

Additional Info

 

The Homework Folder - As a gentle reminder, red Homework Folders will come home with your child on Mondays and turned into me on Friday Mornings. The reading log reflects four nights of reading only - but of course, we encourage reading every day. Reflex Math will be starting next week. 

 

I am happy to see that students are working on the monthly homework bingo. This is completely optional, but I have encouraged kids to pull that out when they are bored and feel like they have nothing to do. 

 

School Portrait orders are due by the end of the school day on Tuesday, September 10.

 

Thank you to the following parents for volunteering their time to help support our school and class. 

 

Room Rep: Stephanie Alanis

Gala Basket: Miranda Galloway

ABC Parents: no one YET

Trunk or Treat: Sandra Howard and Tawnya Kuzia

Cheetah Creation - no one YET

Family Fun Fest: Tanita Azevedo and Ron Cheung 

Class/Grade Community Builders: Jesica Marsh



As a reminder, all parent volunteers working with students need to be finger-printed. 

 

Have an amazing weekend!

 

Friday August 30, 2019

Thank you, everyone, for attending Back-to-School Night! I thoroughly enjoyed having the time to meet with all of you. 

 

This past week, we continued with our math review. We are practicing mental math with a focus on composing groups of 10. For example: 9 + 4 +1+ 5 + 6 = 25

 

We are practicing reading sight words; getting our writing and reading workshops up and running, and we had to time explore Mystery Science.

 

Thank you to my parent volunteers! I will be reaching out to those that have signed up next week, and I will be inviting my volunteers into the class the following week. That will be the week of September ninth. As a reminder, anyone coming into the classroom to work with children or driving on field trips needs to have cleared fingerprints on file. 

 

Homework folders will be coming home with your child on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Please be sure to ask your child to share the folder with you. All work in the folder will be collected on Friday. 

 

I'm still looking for a Room Rep, ABC parents, and a volunteer for our Cheetah Creation, please let me know if you are interested in these opportunities!