Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Memo 5/16/16

Happy Monday!

Important Dates:
  • North End Field Trip - Friday, May 27
  • End of the Year Open House,  Monday, June 6 8:15AM - 8:45AM
  • HH Picnic and Book Fair, Monday, June 6 5:30PM
  • Field Day, Thursday, June 9
  • Last Day (1:50 dismissal), Monday, June 20
North End

Thank you for returning the permission slip and submitting the payment for the North End trip.  It should be lots of fun.  Chaperones will receive more information next week.

Fun with the Osmo

Have you heard of the Osmo?  The iPad actually sees what you are doing while you manipulate these tiles in front of it.  We had a great time making combination of numbers with this amazingly engaging tool.  Check out these photos above!


Thank you for making sure your child submitted their vote for a name of our community on Kidblog.  The students loved going into Kidblog everyday and reading the responses.

Have a great week.  Please let me know about any questions or concerns.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday Memo 5/9/16

Good morning!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  I was so glad the sun came out yesterday.  My whole family ran a Mother's Day 5K together, which was lots of fun.  I can't believe my kids can run three miles.  I couldn't do that until I was in my twenties.

Yard Sale

The yard sale was a blast!  I really, really love yard sales; it's in my blood.  As I type this, I'm sitting on my couch that I got a few weeks ago at a yard sale, wearing bracelets from a different yard sale, watching my son play with Captain America from another yard sale... Thank you so much for your contributions.  There was a lot of great computation going on AND some amazing finds.  The students voted, and it was decided the proceeds would be sent to Buddy Dog.  Here are a few pics:

Homework Change

Much to my chagrin, the cultural enrichment performance was rescheduled.  So there is an assignment for today's homework on Kidblog, but the question is a different one, not what was written on the homework calendar.   Instead, we are voting on what type of community we will build out of wood (urban, suburban, or rural) and what we will name our community.

Farewell, Miss K.

Your children gave Miss K. a lovely send off.  She loved her ABC Book!


Your child took very good care of the Flat Stanleys from California sent by our penpals.  Here is a animoto video we sent them of their Flat Stanleys "touring" Happy Hollow.

I won't be here Friday, as I am attending a family wedding in Florida.  I will miss your children, but I must say, I'm pretty excited.  Ms. Norcross will do an excellent job holding down the fort.  Have a great week!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Monday Memo 5/2/16

Good morning!

I hope you had a great weekend.  I enjoyed spectating at various spring sporting events, although being outside for hours was far more pleasant on Saturday than Sunday.  The Earth Day Festival was lots of fun, and it was great to see some of you there!

Open House Reminder

Our Open House will be Monday, June 6 8:15-8:45.  You don't want to miss it.  It's important that every student has a special adult there to see their work and watch our little classroom "performance."  Please let me know if you are anticipating a problem with this date.  Thank you!

North End

Thank you so much for sending in the permission slips.  Please click here if you need another copy.

Flat Stanley

Oh my goodness, this class gets the Flat Stanley gold star!  Everyone had such a fantastic presentation, and we all learned so much.  Your child did a fabulous job presenting the photos, the letters, the books, or posters.  Our class rocks!

Farewell, Ms. Kosiba

We will bid adieu to our lovely student teacher Hannah Kosiba on Thursday.  Ms. K. has been a fantastic addition to our class on Mondays and Thursdays, and we all know she will be an excellent teacher with a classroom of her own someday.  Your child contributed to a beautiful book: The ABC's of Ms. K., which we will present to her on Thursday.  We are grateful for Mr. Lee's cultivating Happy Hollow's relationship with area colleges such as Framingham State, as it is such a benefit to the students and teachers to have student teachers in our school.


Please click here for the May Homework Calendar.  Please note that on of the homework assignments this week is an interview.  Your child has to interview you or a neighbor or a family member about a paying job.  Please click here if you need another copy.

Another assignment is your contribution to our class yard sale.  Please click here for the assignment.  Thank you in advance for your help.

Florence Adler Road Race

This fun event takes place on Saturday.  Click here for more info.

Have a great week!  Please contact me with any questions or concerns.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Monday Memo 4/25/16

Welcome back!

I hope you had a great vacation.  The weather was so nice, and I was able to attend a family wedding in Milwaukee, which was lots of fun.

Happy Hollow Garden

Our class got to do some planting last week in the Happy Hollow Garden.  Here are a few pics!

Flat Stanley

Thank you so much for helping your child send out their Flat Stanley.  Almost everyone brought in their Flat Stanley and letters and photos before vacation, and we are looking forward to sharing them this week.

In more Flat Stanley news, you may have heard that our classroom received a package all the way from California.  My aunt, Miriam Hopkins, is a second grade teacher in Santa Monica, and she had each child in her class make a Flat Stanley and write a letter to a student in MY class.  How cool is that?  We spent Friday afternoon walking around Happy Hollow and the playground with iPads, taking photos of each student with their Flat Stanley in various places and poses.  We will send Ms. Hopkins' class an Animoto of all of our photos, as well as include a few in the letters each student will write for a reply.  What a fun project!  Here is a sampling of our photos:


On Friday the 15th, our Painted Ladies finally emerged from the chrysalids, and we were thrilled to see them!  However, it was only 50 degrees, so we thought we shouldn't release them.  Painted Ladies live about fourteen days, so we had kind of a Sophie's Choice of keep the butterflies in the pavillions and hope they live through vacation, or set them free but know they will die in the cold.  It's like the famous quote from Mary Oliver:  "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

A couple of the butterflies suffered an early passing, but as of this writing at 8:21PM, four are still fluttering in the pavillion on my coffee table.  So I hope to have a lovely releasing ceremony tomorrow in the courtyard.  Stay tuned!

Natick Earth Day Festival

I have to put in a plug for the Natick Earth Day Festival.  It's this Sunday from 11-3 on the Natick Common.  It's free and fun for kids, and my dad (retired Wayland teacher and major environmentalist and community activist) runs it.  Hope to see you there!

Have a great week!  Please contact me with any questions or concerns.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Memo 4/11/16

Good morning!

Only one week to go before vacation!

End of Year Open House

Our Open House will be Monday, June 6 from 8:15-8:50.  You don't want to miss it!  It's important that every child has a special guest, so please make an effort to have a grandparent or someone in your place if you can't make it.

Library Day!

You and your child are invited to join me at the Morse Institute Library in Natick on Wednesday of vacation week.  I will be in the Children's Room from 10:30-11:15.  If you are in the area, come to the library and help your child check out some books.  Reading over vacation is very important.

Thank you

Thank you so much to our fabulous field trip chaperones--Davide Eggers, Sara Langan, John Taxiarchis, and Jill Zukerman.  It was a great day of learning at The Butterfly Place and certainly an experience our students will never forget.  We couldn't have done it without you.  More pictures to come soon!  I'm having a little trouble with iPhoto.

Informative Writing

We have done a lot of research about continents, and now students are composing their informative writing pieces.   We have Continent True or False, Guess My Mystery Continent, Continent Top 5, postcards, newspaper articles, and more.  Excellent job, second graders!


We are wrapping up our unit on three digit addition and subtraction.  We are beginning an assessment this week.


We represented the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly with life cycle models made from pasta!


Thank you for sending in the baby pictures!  We are looking forward to a fun week with lots of guessing the mystery baby!

Have a great week and a nice vacation.  Please contact me with any questions or concerns.  Hope to see you at the library!


Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday Memo 4/4/16

Good morning!

I hope you had a great weekend.  Mine started off with a bang at the HH Talent Show.  All of the student performers did a great job, including our own Ava!  This is a wonderful event run by parent volunteers, and I highly recommend it.  Maybe your child will perform in it next year!

April Homework Calendar

Attached here is the April Homework Calendar.  

Field Trip Friday!

  • Dress in layers.  We spend sometime outside eating snack at the picnic area, but inside, the butterfly atrium is very warm for the butterflies.
  • Please pack a lunch for our classroom picnic.  We return to school too late for our scheduled lunch time, so we must eat packed lunches in our classrooms. 
  • Remember a pocket snack.  Send a snack without nuts that can be easily transported in a jacket pocket.
  • Chaperones:  Please arrive at school at 8:30 on Friday.
STEAM Lesson

Thank you for your support of our STEAM lesson on Thursday and Friday.  The students worked in teams to build a design to slow or prevent wind and rain from changing the shape of sand dunes.  We created replicas of a beach with sand dunes in plastic trays. Each team then scoured the playground for materials for a design to protect their dunes, keeping in mind the beauty of the beach and its surroundings.  We also supplied each team with some clay and craft sticks.  Every design then faced the elements- wind (some natural, some from a blow drier) and rain and waves from a watering can.  As you can imagine, there was a great deal of excitement.

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Today's STEAM Lesson

Hi Parents~

Today we presented our scientists with another STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) challenge about erosion and weathering.  The students worked in teams to build a design to slow or prevent wind and rain from changing the shape of sand dunes.  We created replicas of a beach with sand dunes in plastic trays. Each team then scoured the playground for materials for a design to protect their dunes, keeping in mind the beauty of the beach and its surroundings.  We also supplied each team with some clay and craft sticks.  Every design then faced the elements- wind (some natural, some from a blow drier) and rain and waves from a watering can.  As you can imagine, there was a great deal of excitement.

The engineering design process invites the students to describe the challenge, explore materials available, create a solution, test the solution, and finally to think of ways to improve their design.  We have asked the students to consider how they might improve their design and take on the challenge one last time tomorrow. They may run their ideas by you and ask for some support gathering other materials for the new design.  A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE CHALLENGE IS ENOUGH!  PLEASE DON'T STRESS ABOUT GATHERING MATERIALS TONIGHT! Materials should be simple and reasonable if the students choose to bring them to school. 

Thanks for your interest and support.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Memo 3/28/16

I hope you had a lovely weekend.  I can't believe April begins on Friday!


This week, we are sharing jokes, in preparation for April Fool's Day.  Thank you for helping your child remember their Sharing Day.
Fantastic Friday

This Friday, April 1, is a Happy Hollow Spirit Day.  It's Opposite/Backwards Day.  Fun! 
Field Trip

We are very excited for our field trip next Friday to the Butterfly Place.  Our chaperones will be: 
1. David Eggers
2.  Sara Langan
3.  John Taxiarchis
4.  Jill Zukerman

Thank you for volunteering.  We received our butterfly larvae (caterpillars) via US mail on Thursday.  We are excited to observe the changes every day.

Open House

Mark your calendars!  Our classroom Open House will be Monday, June 6 from 8:15-8:45.  You don't want to miss it.  Also, the presentation part of the program will begin promptly at 8:30.  The buses may not arrive by 8:30, so please be sure to bring your child to school that day at 8:15 so they won't miss this special culmination of their year in second grade.  Thank you.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Memo 3/21/16

Good morning!

I hope the snow and delay isn't making a complete mess of your morning.  If education is not your industry, I can understand that this may have launched a major wrinkle into your Monday.  As a teacher, you never lose that childhood thrill of a snow day; even a snow delay is a fun, unexpected surprise.  I am excited to see your child arrive this morning, stomping the snow off their boots (be sure to dig out that snow gear!).  The kids have a blast at recess after a snowstorm.  There's nothing like playing in the snow with seventy of your closest friends!

Butterfly Place Field Trip

The permission slip for the Butterfly Place was sent home last week.  Please return it as soon as possible.  If you need another copy, click here.

Congratulations, Spellers!

Many students took part in the WPSF Spelling Bee yesterday, and they are to be commended for their efforts.  It's hard to spell words on demand in front of an audience!  By all accounts, the second graders handled themselves beautifully, and I am very proud of them. 

Flat Stanley Reminder

Hopefully, your child's Flat Stanley has been successfully launched out into the world!  We are looking forward to hearing all about their adventures in April.  Just a reminder that the Flat Stanleys are due by April 15; that's the Friday before vacation.  We couldn't do this project without parent help and support, so thank you very much for all your work in making this happen.


We are sharing spring poems this week--ah, I love the irony of a first-day-of-spring snowstorm.   Many children brought it in on Friday, and everyone will share on their assigned Sharing Day (Friday people will share Thursday this week).  Next week, we will share jokes because April Fool's Day is one week from Friday. 


Enjoy the upcoming long weekend! 


Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Memo 3/14/16

Good morning!

I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather!   I was lucky to spend this weekend in New Hampshire, and it was lovely to be outside on Crotched Mountain.


Thank you for sending in all the board games.  The kids had a lot of fun sharing and playing.  It was a good reminder for me as a parent how great these games are for all sorts of things--academically, socially--, and I am resolving to play more games like these with my own kids.  This week we are sharing "A Gift that Touched Your Heart."

Social Studies

Continent research is our focus in social studies right now.  The students "traveled" to each continent during a carousel brainstorming lesson, and they recorded what they already knew about each continent.  This class has a lot of background knowledge!  You can see their work on a bulletin board in our classroom.  We are trying to build more schema for every continent and different aspects of each continent.  Eventually, we will embark on a research project about something special about each continent.  In the past, children have done research on the Eiffel Tower, Mount Vesuvius, the Sahara Desert--the possibilities are endless.  This is a continuation of our informative writing unit, and we will publish this writing in a variety of different ways.  By the way, this is all done in school :)


Ask your child what parallel means!  Today, students will "show what they know" about geometry by completing an assessment.  I'm sure they will do very well.  Our next focus is three digit addition and subtraction.

Student Teacher

We are excited to have Ms. Kosiba (or Ms. Kay, as the children call her) take on more responsibility in the classroom.  She is a highly skilled blossoming teacher, and we are lucky to have her.


We worked with our fourth grade buddies to make cards for our bus drivers.  The annual Bus Driver Appreciation Breakfast is coming up, and we were asked to show our gratitude for these important people.  Your child did a great job.

Have a great week!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday Memo 3/7/16

Greetings Families!

I hope you had a great weekend.  I went on my annual trip to Middlebury to visit my aunt and uncle, which I've done almost every winter of my life.  I love family traditions.  It was nice to get away from my laundry, and I worked a little more on my knitting, which is now six inches long.  I seem to be operating on an average of a centimeter a week.  Small steps...


We wrapped up our science unit on states of matter with an experiment in which we separated mixtures of color.  Students recorded their observations and conclusions in their lab booklets, which I am looking forward to sharing with you at our upcoming conference.  Look what happens when you drop water on a dot of black marker:
 Amazed?  Your second grader was, too!  It's called chromatography.  Ask your child about it.


Have you heard "The Polygon Song?"  If not, click here, and your super second grader will be happy to sing a long with you!  We are finishing up our geometry unit and will soon move into addition and subtraction of three digit numbers.  Students constructed two dimensional polygons with straws and pipe cleaners and three dimensional objects as well!  In addition to learning the attributes of polygons, we are also focusing on dividing rectangles into arrays of rows and columns, which is the foundation of multiplication.  Multiplication is a major part of third grade math.

It was great to see some of you at Math Night.  In case you missed it on the Happy Hollow Twitter feed, here's a pic from a fun evening of games with friends. 


Math Night games were lots of fun, so this week, we are sharing games in our classroom!  On your child's sharing day, they should bring in a game and demonstrate how to use it and explain why they like it.  The whole class will have an opportunity to play it, either together or in a small group, depending on the game.  This can be a board game, or a game they learned at camp, whatever...  I'm hoping to get some good ideas!

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


Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday Memo 2/29/16

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe it is almost March!


Please click here for the March Homework Calendar.


You all get a gold star for signing up so promptly for conferences.  Well done!  Click here to double check your time.  I'm really looking forward to discussing your child's progress with you.

Flat Stanley

Hopefully, you received the envelope on Thursday with your child's Flat Stanley.  Please help them choose a relative or family friend (who preferably lives at a distance) to send it to.  This is a fun way for us to learn about geography!  Thank you for your help with this.


Thank you so much for filling out the questionnaire.  I was really interested in your responses, and I appreciate your thoughtful comments.  Here is the link in case you still need to do it.

Have a great week! 


Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Memo 2/22/16

Our valentine mailboxes made the HH Twitter feed. Thank you for sending in the Kleenex boxes. 
Welcome back!

I hope you and your family had a great week.  I had fun seeing some of you at the library!

Pre-Spring Conference Questionnaire

Thank you for signing up for parent-teacher conferences. You should have received an email from me with a google form attached.  It's just a short questionnaire eliciting some feedback from you.  Click here if you need the link again.  I really appreciate your thoughts and time.

PTO "Social Smarts" Evening for Families

Hope to see you at the PTO meeting on Thursday night at Happy Hollow at 6:15.  Dinner will be served as well, but you have to RSVP.  Contact

Science Experiments

We call it science, but it's actually our informative writing unit.  Your children are writing the steps of the scientific method (question, hypothesis, procedure, results and conclusions) as they conduct experiments. Check out these scientists at work designing and executing their own collaborative experiments.  These guys are awesome!

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week!


Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Memo 2/8/16

We had a fun snowy day on Friday!  I hope you are enjoying the snow day today.

Happy New Year!

Along with our buddies, we made a dragon bulletin board in the hallway with paper plate scales.  Be sure to check it out!

Valentine's Day

Thank you for sending in the Kleenex boxes.  We are excited to create our Valentine mailboxes.  Just a reminder to be sure to send in valentines for classmates.  Click here for a class list.


We loved hearing about what people love to do--from drawing to tap dancing.  This week, we are sharing someone we love.  Many children bring in a photo for this share, or any kind of symbol to represent that person.


Scientists in our classroom have completed many exciting experiments, complete with lab booklets they have written detailing each step of the scientific method.  Well done!

Have a great snow day.  See you tomorrow!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Memo 2/1/16

Happy February!

I can't believe how quickly time is passing.  I think it's a phenomena of having children.  I always think of that expression, "the days are long, but the years are short." 


Please click here for the February Homework Calendar.

Halfway Day

Speaking of time passing quickly, we are already past the halfway point of second grade!  We celebrate Halfway Day on Wednesday, the highlight of which was completing a self-portrait from a photo that was cut in half.  Students had a lot of fun using mirrors to see the symmetry in the photos.  Wait until you see our Halfway Day Self Portraits! 

It's Not Easy Being (in the) Green (Zone)

Please forgive my Kermit the Frog reference.  We filled our Green Zone jewel jar, and today we are celebrating with a special pajama day.  Great job, second grade!  Our class rocks!

Lunar New Year

Congratulations to Emi, who performed so beautifully at the Lunar New Year celebration at Wayland High School on Saturday.  This was a great event.  Definitely put it on your calendar for next year .

HH PTO Meeting on "Social Smarts"

On Thursday, February 25, there will be a special PTO meeting at 6:15 at Happy Hollow, including dinner for the whole family.  Come learn about the social/emotional learning curriculum.  Hope to see you there. 

Math Night

Also, mark your calendars now for Math Night on Thursday, March 3 at Loker.

Have a great week!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Monday Memo 1/25/16

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  It was very exciting to see the snow.

Wayland Lunar New Year Celebration

Click here to learn more about this great event on Saturday.  I went last year, and it was a lot of fun.

Student Teacher

We are delighted to introduce Hannah Kosiba, a student teacher from Framingham State.  She will be joining us two afternoons a week.  


This week we are sharing favorite songs.  Your child can bring in a CD, you can send me a link to a youtube version of the song, they can sing a song...The possiblilities are endless.  The students just have to be able to name the song, show it in some way, and explain why they like itThis will be fun!

Snow Gear

Thank you for remembering to send all the snow gear with your child.  Children are not allowed to play on the snowy field without boots and snowpants.  Hats and mittens are very important too.  Please remember that your child should have a pair of shoes to wear inside the classroom every day, in addition to their outdoor boots..  

Check out these pics from the Acton Discovery Museum presentation!



Report Cards

Report cards will be sent home Tuesday, not Monday as I had originally reported.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


An assessment on double digit addition and subtraction will be given this week.  I'm sure your student will do very well.  As always, we always try to describe assessments to kids as an opportunity to "show what you know" to the teachers.  And if you don't know how to do it, that's good information for the teachers to know, and we're going to help you get it.  That's our job.

Next, on to geometry!

Have a great week!  Stay warm!