Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Memo 12/21/15

Hope you are doing well.  Not sure if you heard the saga about my periodontal surgery, but the stitches were taken out on Wednesday, and I'm so happy.  All I can say is, put an electric tooth brush in that stocking or in whatever gift receptacle of your choice for your child's next holiday.  Let's all work to preserve our gum tissue to avoid grafts in the future.


Thank you for helping your child complete that homework assignment.  I am excited to give them their compliment sheet on Wednesday! 

Party in a Bag

Tomorrow, your child will bring home the paper bag that she decorated in school.  We will enjoy a fun party on Wednesday to celebrate our upcoming vacation!  We will have a “Party-In-A-Bag” where students will bring in your own snacks to enjoy while we watch a movie.  

Please pack bag with:

  1. Something to drink (juice box, water bottle)
  2. Something sweet (fruit, cookies, a cupcake)
  3. Something salty (pretzels, chips, crackers)
  4. A napkin   
    5.  A canned good we will donate to Parmenter Food Bank 

    New Desks!

    We will get new desks for 2016!  That means we have to empty our desks and reload them in January.  Please send in a large paper grocery bag labeled with your child's name so we can store the contents of their desks over vacation.

    Happy New Year!  See you in 2016!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Monday Memo 12/14/15

Good morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend.
​ ​
​I spent Saturday in Boston with my husband, seeing a show and walking around.  How lovely!​
​I feel totally spoiled.​

8th Graders Visit
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We were delighted to host four fabulous eighth graders on Friday as part of their community service project.  These young men and women joined us for writer's workshop and did a great job conferring with the writers in our class, correcting spelling and helping our with word choice.  I was particularly thrilled to host Brett Morris, my former student.

The students really enjoyed the band and strings concert on Wednesday.  It is always so impressive to see these young musicians, and it's particularly fun for the second graders as they imagine themselves performing next year, if they choose to learn a strings instrument.  This week, we will attend a concert by the Happy Hollow Chorus.  We are excited!

This week, we will do our Fractions and Time Assessment.  We call this our "Show What You Know."  I'm sure the children will do very well.

​Holiday Presentations
We are looking forward to everyone sharing their holiday presentations with the class this week.  Thanks for your help and support with this.​
Have a great week!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Monday Memo 12/7/15

Happy Monday!


Here is a List of Positive Character Traits.  I shared this with the class and explained how this might help them with the Compliment Project.

Holiday Tradition Project

Next week, students will present their Holiday Tradition Project at the Sharing time in our Class Meeting.  Here is an example of what my daughter did for this project when she was in second grade:

Unfortunately, it's backwards because I took the picture with Photobooth, but you get the idea :)  I shared this with the children.  As you can see, it is not an elaborate presentation.  A photo or two or some other symbolic object that can be brought in is great.  Thanks for helping your child prepare for this.  Students are always very interested in the family lives of their classmates.

Bread Baking Fun!
Check out these adorable pics!


Did you hear about our fraction pizzas?  They looked quite delicious, although they were made of construction paper.  The students made their own pizzas using fractions to represent the different toppings.  We will have an assessment at the end of this week about fractions and time.


We are working on concepts of geography this week with our Me on the Map books, based on the picture book by Joan Sweeney.  A major topic for discussion for us was the difference between a city and a town.  Ask your child about this!

Have a great week!


Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Memo 11/30/15

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  Mine was fantastic.  Now we all need to brace ourselves for the freight train that is December.
Thank you all so much to contributing to our bread baking project.  I hope you all enjoyed the finished product!  We are especially grateful to Jill Zukerman, Sarah Langan, Meghan Flatley, Sara Niimi, Michele Karol, and Jennifer Altreuter for running the actual baking stations.  You guys rock and did all the work;  I just walked around in my apron, taking it all in.
December Homework
The December Homework Calendar is attached.  It is basically two projects.
We are delighted to welcome Marley Eggers to our classroom.  The students welcomed Marley on Friday with an Open Circle in our classroom, led by Mr. Lee.  We are happy to have a new friend and classmate.
We wrapped up our Personal Narrative Unit by sharing our Small Moment Stories with a Clock Buddy.  Each buddy listened to their partner's story and "gave them a hand", by writing them a compliment on something they did well.  These students are very appreciative of a good author's craft; I read lots of compliments about writing good similes or strong verbs or onomonopeia.  I am so proud of these fabulous authors!
Our next writing unit is composing opinion letters about a character in a book.

​Have a great week!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Memo 11/23/15

This is, without a doubt, my favorite week of the entire year.  All the fun of the holidays without the gift stress.  It's the best, and I'm not only excited for the vacation and time off with my family, but the special Happy Hollow traditions, like making pumpkin bread on Wednesday.  Thank you all so much for contributing!  It will be great!

No word study this week!

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend.  I'm very grateful for these twenty fabulous second graders.  They are awesome. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Memo 11/16/15

This is the "Let's Go Fly a Kite" iMovie we showed at the assembly last week.  Enjoy!

Here is a slideshow of various highlights from our weather unit.  Hope you like it!

Thanksgiving Bread Baking

Thank you to all who have volunteered to contribute to our bread making project.  Please contact our room parent Amita Potnis if you can help.  

Thankful Project

We have received almost all of the "secret" Thankful Projects completed by you!  Thank you!  I am excited to give them to the children this week.

Social Studies

Our new unit is geography.  We are studying features of maps and globes, including the continents and oceans.  We watched a movie about map-making, and we will begin a "Me on the Map" project.


We began our Fractions and Time unit by making posters of some of the math vocabulary we will use in this unit.  The children worked in partners to create their poster and present their work.  They did a great job!

Have a great week!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Memo​ 11/9/15

Good morning!

I hope everyone enjoyed a lovely fall weekend.  I enjoyed a welcome respite from football games.
Baking Bread​
Thank you
​ to our fabulous room parent​
​Potnis (Maya's mom) ​
​setting up ​
sign up
​ for our baking bread celebration.  Please email
​her at ​
​ ​
if you did not receive the email with the volunteer spot link to sign up to contribute.​

Wrapping Up Weather

Thank you to ​Mr. Conner for sharing his home weather station with us in a fantastic lesson.  The kids loved having him. He also donated solar powered windmill kits to our class, which the kids built in teams.  We brought them outside, and they worked!​


We will have our assessment this week on place value.  Our next unit is time and money.  If your child does not have their addition facts through 20 memorized, you can help by regularly practicing.  First, focus on sums to 10, and once they have that down, work on sums to 20.


​We will have spelling practice homework this week.  Click here if you need another copy of the practice menu.  Your child should also be working on the leaf project!​
​ Click here if you need another copy of the Leaf Project.​



​We have started Sharing this week.  Click here if you need another copy of the Sharing Schedule.​
​   This week, we are sharing something (or someone) we are thankful for.  On your child's sharing day, he also may want to bring in a symbol of what he is thankful for (photo or something else).  ​


We met with our fourth grade buddies this week to make woven paper placemats.  These will be used at the teachers' Thanksgiving breakfast​ and hopefully as a lovely centerpiece at YOUR Thanksgiving celebration as well.​
Veteran's Day
Thank you for
​helping your child make a card for ​
​s. As my brother was depolyed twice to Iraq (in 2002 and 2004), this holiday is meaningful for me and my family.  My nephews were very little when he was away, and it was hard for them, but the worst part for me was watching the toll it took on my parents.  Fortunately, today my brother is quite well and living in Natick where he is a police officer, and his sons are happy and successful college students!  We are very lucky.  
Have a great week! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Memo 11/2/15

Field Trip

Our field trip was a great success, thanks to all of our parent volunteers.  We loved having you.  It was a great day of exercise, nature, and learning.

We had a great time kite-flying on Friday afternoon!  It was truly magical watching the second graders run around the playground with their kites.  We made a little iMovie with our photos and video, and it will be shown at the assembly next week.

Veggie Skeletons
This was a great cooperative project.  Thank you for your contributions.  Check out the results!

November Homework
Please click here for the November Homework calendar.  Your child also received an updated Spelling Word Practice Menu with some additional choices.  Click here if you need another copy.

Baking Bread

The second grade has a fun baking bread project that we do every year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  We will send our a link soon for volunteers and contributions of ingredients. Thank you in advance for supporting our tradition.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Monday Memo 10/19/15

Good morning!
Hope you can join us TODAY at 9AM for the assembly.  Our class will perform "The Watercycle Song."
Our cloud observation on Friday was awesome!  The clouds were actually moving across the sky as the children sketched.  We saw cumulus, cirrus, and stratus.  It was a fun time sitting on the blacktop outside our classroom, watching the sky and drawing. 
The students also created three-dimensional cloud posters this week with cotton balls and cotton batting. 
Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats was our mentor text this week, and we discovered some of the good author crafts Keats used in his writing; for example, strong verbs like stretched and whispered.  I also read my personal narrative Stapled! to the class, which is the story of when I got my ears pierced.  They helped me revise by finding a better words for said (a student suggested "moaned"), and using better details, like replacing the word "gum" with the more specific "Big Red".
Book Fair
Our class will visit the Book Fair on Thursday afternoon.  You are welcome to send in money.  Some families prefer their child make a list of books they are interested in, and then make the purchases together at the Movie Night on Friday at 6:30.  The Book Fair will be open then as well.  Many thanks to the PTO for coordinating both the Book Fair and Movie Night.
Vision and Hearing
Ms. MacDonald, the school nurse, will conduct the vision and hearing screening on Thursday for our class.  If your child wears glasses, please be sure he is wearing them on Thursday.
Our class is creating a three dimensional autumn forest with our buddies!  This two week project will be completed on Friday and will be displayed in the school library.
Field Trip
Just a reminder that the field trip was rescheduled for Friday, October 30. 
A new permission slip must be signed with this new date.  If you need a copy, please click here.
Thank you for reading.  Have a great week.

Monday Memo (Tuesday Edition) 10/13/15

I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend.  Wasn't the weather fantastic?  Here are a few things about our week:

We will perform the second grade classic "The Watercycle Song" at the assembly on Monday.  We have been practicing the words and our choreography every day.  I sent home a copy of the words with your child today so they can practice.  Click here if you need another copy.  Hope you can join us!

Field Trip
We are so excited!  A reminder notice and email will be sent home on Thursday about the field trip.


Using our Writer's Notebooks as a resource, we are writing small moment stories (personal narratives).  You can help by brainstorming memories and ideas with your child about times in their lives that would make an interesting story.  First times, last times, and times with strong feelings are best.  Great ideas the students have thought of include the first time I rode my bike, when my cat died, the first time I rode a roller coaster, etc.

We just finished our unit on Addition and Subtraction through 20, and we will now embark on a place value unit.  Math Stations have begun in our classroom!  If you are interested in coming in to help for an hour on a Monday or a Thursday, please click here.
We conducted a fun experiment blowing bubbles and observing how they behaved in air.  We also learned about a weather instrument called an anemometer.  The windy weather on Friday really helped us out, and we were able to see the anemometer in action, spinning around and around to measure wind speed.
Have a great week!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Memo 10/5/15

Happy October!
Click here for the October Homework Calendar. 
​Please remind your child to write their NAME and DATE on all assignments.  Thank you​.

Thank you for signing up.  I'm excited to begin our discussions this week about your child's progress.

Global Cardboard Challenge
It was a blast. Hope you like the slideshow!  We couldn't have done it without you and without all of your tape and cardboard donations.  We talked alot about the three C's:  collaboration, cooperation, and compromise.  Your children really rose to the challenge in creating fun games out of cardboard and tape.  Our fourth grade buddies enjoyed playing them with us!  The Cardboard Arcade, run by the fifth graders during recess on Friday, was lots of fun, too.  So many students made a donation to Room to Read, the charity for which the fifth graders were raising money.  It was a great day!

Field Trip
We are getting very excited for the trip!  The torrential rainstorm last week was a perfect opportunity to introduce an important weather instrument:  the rain gauge.  We measured two inches of water in a three hour period!  Wow!​
Thank you to so many of you for offering to chaperone.  I will email you today if you were selected.

Children are sharing their beautifully designed Writer's Notebooks.  We are currently working on a piece based on The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown.  This week, we will begin Small Moment stories, our personal narrative unit. 
Have a great week!  Please let me know of any questions or concerns you may have.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Memo 9/28/15

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a great weekend. Can you believe it is our first five day week??? It will be good to jump into a regular schedule. Yesterday was a lovely day to spend at a softball double-header. I hope you and your family got to enjoy the great outdoors, too!

Global Cardboard Challenge

Please send in cardboard and masking tape if you have any to donate. We will make our creations on Thursday. It should be really fun.

Writer's Notebooks

Thank you so much for sending in all the photos and collage materials for our Writer's Notebooks covers. We had a blast decorating the covers. They look awesome! 

Readers Notebooks

Thank you so much to Elena Taxiarchis for making our Readers Notebooks for us. We already started using them to record our books and our good thinking.  


Thank you for sending in the permission slip for our upcoming field trip. Click here if you need another copy. On Friday, we had fun doing a science experiment with thermometers and measuring the temperature of water.

Weekly Reading Log

Today your child will come home with a Reading Log.  Click here if you can't find it :). It is due each Friday. Making reading a regular part of your nightly routine is very important, as I'm sure you already know. Please listen to your child read, and read to your child every day. Sometimes when I'm busy, I really want to let this slide (can't we all just go to sleep?!?!), but I try to read to my own third grader every night. Here is a really good article about the importance of reading to your child. Thanks for your help with this.

Math Stations

Please click here if you would like to sign up for Math Stations sometime. We'd love to have you! 

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful week!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Permission Slip

If you need another copy of the permission slip to the Blue Hill Weather Observatory, please click here.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Memo 9/21/15

I hope your weekend was fabulous.  The weather was lovely, which was good because I logged a lot of hours in the bleachers at Wayland High School watching two football games.  As a result, I wasn't able to attend the picnic, but I'm sure it was great, and I hope many of you were able to enjoy it. 

It was wonderful to have such an amazing turn out at Back To School Night on Wednesday.  Thank you for coming.  I hope you were dazzled!


I'm looking forward to our upcoming conferences together.  Thank you for signing up for a time slot with me.  I emailed you on Friday if you had not yet signed up for a conference.  Please do so as soon as possible.  Thank you!

Math Stations

We do Math Stations twice a week for one hour, and I'd love your help!  Please visit the sign up page by clicking here, and volunteer if you can.  Thank you!


Here is the link to homework for the next two weeks.  Please let me know if you have any troubles accessing the assignments or if your child is stressed or if you have any other thoughts.  Thank you for your help with this.


We met with our fourth grade buddies in Ms. Moynihan's class on Friday.  Every other week, we will have a fun meeting with our buddies, reading together or doing various projects.  We look forward to a great partnership this year with this class. 

Thank You

Meg Flatley took on a take-home project for me this week and brought home twenty folders to put together.  Thank you, Meg!


We've started blogging!  Ask your child about Kidblog and our ongoing digital discussion of our read aloud Alvin Ho by Lenore Look.  I'd give you the link, but I want your child to show you how they get on the blog and submit a comment for my approval.  If your child will not have access to online homework, just let me know, and I will find time at school for her to complete the assignment.

Thank you for your help and support.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday Memo (Tuesday edition) 9/15/15

I hope you had a lovely weekend and enjoyed a happy holiday.  My family had a lot of sports and our entry into the world of orthodontia.  Oh boy.

We have spent six special days together so far in our classroom, getting to know each other and all of our new routines.  Thank you to Jill Zukerman for her huge rotating fan.  It was like a Bikram yoga studio in our room for a couple of days there.

We are thrilled to welcome Kordell Shouder to our classroom this week.  Kordell is new to Happy Hollow School, and we are lucky to have him.

Dates to Remember:
  • Back to School Night:  Back to School Night is TOMORROW from 7:00-7:30PM in our classroom.  Please come to this special adults only event to learn more about your child's second grade experience.
  • METCO Picnic:  Hope to see you at the district picnic at Happy Hollow on Sunday, September 20 from 1-4!  Click on the flyer to learn more.

See you tomorrow night!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Monday Memo (Wednesday Edition) 8/31/16

Welcome!  It was nice to meet some of you at the Library Meet-and-Greet and some of you yesterday for the new student open house.  It is a pleasure getting to know your child today.  We still had a super day together--second grade rocks!

The body of this email will appear on my blog, which you should bookmark on your computer.  If you do not receive this email electronically, please email me because I must not have your correct address.  My email is:  Please do not email me with dismissal changes, as I don't always receive the email in time.  Dismissal changes should be communicated via a written note from you to me delivered by your child in the morning.  Barring that, you must call the school office 508-358-2120, and they will be sure to get the message.  My cell is 508-314-2796.  Please feel free to call me with any questions after school hours.  My phone is off during the school day.

I try to send you an email every Monday morning (or, if a Monday holiday, Tuesday morning).  I read somewhere that people are more likely to read emails on Monday morning than other times in the week.  Here are a couple of important items:

Special Schedule:

Monday:  Physical Education
Tuesday:  Technology/Library
Wednesday:  Music
Thursday:  Skills Lab
Friday:  Art

Remember those library books on Tuesday and sneakers on Monday.  Sneakers are the best shoes for your child to wear any day of the week.  Outdoor play and recess are very important for a young child, and it is a shame when a child's footwear interferes with her ability to climb and run.  Footwear such as flipflops can be a safety issue as well.


Please pack a healthy snack each day.  Please make sure your child has a reusable water bottle (labeled with their name) for classroom use.  Water is the only beverage children may drink in the classroom, so please do not pack juice or milk for snack.  

Important Dates:
  • Curriculum Night is Thursday, September 8 from 7-7:30.  Please do your very best to have at least one parent attend.
  • Picture Day is Thursday, September 15.  
Parent Interview Form

I sent a parent interview form through your email.  You can also click here to fill out the form.  Thank you.

Happy Day One!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Happy First Day!

Good afternoon, Families!

Your children are delightful.  Here is a list of the notices you received today:

1.  Biographical Verification report
2. After School Destination chart
3.  Principal letter about the Happy Hollow Handbook
4.  Parent signature form about the Happy Hollow Handbook
5.  Student signature form about he Happy Hollow Handbook
6.  Listserv notice
7. "5 Things in a Bag" Homework assignment

Highlighted items must be returned to school.  Thank you so much for your help with this.  Have a great evening.

Miriam Morrison

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Move Along Day Letter with Supply List

June 2015

Dear Future Second-Grader,

Welcome to second grade!  I was so happy to meet you today, and I look forward to a super year!  

You might be a little curious about your new teacher so here is a bit of information about me.  I have enjoyed teaching children from preschool to grade five for many years.  My favorite things to do include reading, running, singing, going to yard sales, and being with my three children.  Their names are Matthew, Genevieve, and Bowen.

Second grade is a special time.  We will observe the metamorphosis of the butterfly, do science experiments with solids, liquids, and gases, study weather, build a community out of blocks of wood, and do lots of reading, writing, and math.

I hope you have a fun summer full of all your favorite activities.  I look forward to lots of reading and seeing friends.  I hope you will take time for reading this summer too!!!  My children and I love to go to the library, especially in the summer.  It’s air-conditioned, it’s free, and I always leave with a bag of books that I can’t wait to dive into.  I always have a big stack of books on my bedside table.  Lately, I’m really into historical fiction.  I wonder what you like to read.  

I’d like your parents to send me the email address(es) they would like me to use to communicate.  I’ll send them an email and invite you to meet me at the library one day this summer.  That will be fun!  Your parents can contact me at  You can check out my blog at  You can also find it on the Happy Hollow website.

On the first day of school, bring a SMILE, and be ready to start our learning adventure!
Ms. Morrison

Ms. Morrison’s 2nd Grade Supply List
  • A recent photo of yourself doing something you enjoy ~
size 4x6 preferred but NO BIGGER than 5x7
  • One set of earbuds (must be able to fit into a laptop or iPad) Label with name!  Put in ziplock bag.  Label bag, too.
  • One BIG box of tissues to share with the class
  • One box baby wipes
  • One pencil box filled with:

  • 2 fine point black Sharpie markers
  • 10 sharpened pencils with erasers
  • One small pencil sharpener
  • 24 Crayola colored pencils
  • 12 Crayola markers
  • One glue stick
  • 4 Expo markers
  • One highlighter
Wish List (if you care to donate to our class):
  • Ziplock bags, any size
  • Extra container of baby wipes
  • An extra set of earbuds

Summer Invitation

Greetings Families!

Ah, the first email from your child's second grade teacher.  There will be many more, I can assure you, so brace yourself.  

I hope you are all enjoying a fantastic summer.  Mine has been great.  I worked at a summer camp that my children attended, and we all had a blast.  It ended yesterday, and now I have space in my brain to think about school.  Second grade will be a great experience, and I'm excited to build a special relationship with your child--and with you!

You are all invited to meet me at the Children's Room at the Morse Institute Library in Natick on Thursday, August 20 between 10:30-11:15.  My children will be there, so feel free to bring all of your kids along.

It is nice for your child to see me before school starts in a different setting, and it's a good opportunity for me to meet you as well.  Plus, I'm crazy for books, and I think libraries are basically our most important institutions--everyone is welcome, you can take things home for free, and they are great places for families to spend time together.  

Your Minuteman Library card works there, and if your child does not already have her own card, she can get one.  You just have to show your Massachusetts license, and she has to be able to print her first and last name.

I only had email addresses for eleven families; I'm missing the families of Aubrey Calabro, Drew Conner, Ruth Flacke, Jared Kerrigan, Mya Martorilli, Emiko Niimi, and David Zuckerman.  Please forward this email to those families if you have their addresses.  Thank you for your help.

Hope to see you Thursday!