Letter homes during the month of April.


Homework for the week beginning 22nd April 2013:

1. We are continuing to practice subtraction

of double digit numbers with renaming.

There will be work sheets going home.

If these get lost,

this is where I where I sourced them:

Subtraction worksheets from Worksheetplace.com

This is a short explanation of the methodology:

How to do takeaways with renaming or regrouping

There is a longer explanation

including the above link already on this blog

Explaining renaming

2. We will continue reading ‘The Snow Spider,

no more than a page a night, from page 26.

Ideally your child should read this

at least three times, aloud with expression.

3(a) I have made a list of the spellings

that are often misspelled in the children’s work.

I will pretest this, so your child won’t

be ‘learning’ spellings that they can already spell.

The spellings that your child is finding tricky

will be for homework.

The children will be using the spelling charts

we used in the first term:

Really Useful Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check Template from The Spelling Blogspot.ie

3(b) For those lucky children who find spellings easy,

I will be asking them to do some ‘procedural’ writing

as that is the whole school focus at the moment.

I think the children will find this challenging

because it is a change in style from the wonderfully

descriptive writing

they have been doing for me.

I will send home a list from which your child can choose e.g.

How do you play your favorite game?

How do you make a snowman?

How do you care for a pet?


I find it useful to say to the children,

how would you explain this to an alien from outer space.


The full list is here in case the list is mislaid:

Procedural Writing Prompts from Worksheetplace.com

This is the worksheet that they will use initially:

Worksheet for Primary School Procedural Writing from Worksheetplace.com

In a nutshell, the homework is

1.FinishMaths worksheet – subtraction with renaming

2.Continuing to read one page of  ‘The Snow Spider’ (atleast three times, aloud, with expression)

3. Learn Spelling

or choose a procedure/a ‘how to’ from the list

and write down the procedure.

Tomorrow and the Next Day and the Day After That
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight

Letter going home today 22nd April, looking for volunteers

for the morning of Thursday 25th, to accompany the class

to the local football pitches

for the run offs for the North Wicklow Sports.

Dear Parents,

It is that time of year again when we hold the run offs

for the North Wicklow Sports.

We have been advised that for insurance purposes we need

extra adult supervision.

I need at least three parents to walk with us from the school

to the local football pitches

and to help supervise when we get there.

We are scheduled to leave the school shortly

after school starts.

No matter what the weather, there can be a wind chill factor,

so the children will need to bring a jacket; a rain jacket

if the weather looks changeable.

Sun screen may also be needed.

It is hard to guarantee when we’d get back to the school,

but usually it is well before school lunch time 12.30.


Letter going home on paper: 15th April, 2013,

Dear Parent,

Second Class Room 6 ‘hit the ground running’ last week and we got lots of work done. I am very happy with the work the children are doing, particularly the standard of the written work in ‘Away With Words’. Earning a Handwriting Licence was a great incentive for the children to give of their best.

Take aways with renaming is about the most challenging maths that is taught in second. I have done concrete, hands on work with the children in preparation for learning how to do these. We have worked on the sums themselves. Some children are finding them tricky.

It is interesting to analyse how this happens. Some are inclined to take the smaller number of units from the top, even if the smaller number is on top. Some children are making mistakes in their subtraction tables.

There are about fifty days left in second class. I will do a few of these sums each day until everyone is happy that they can do them.

May I also ask you to check if your child is coming to school with what they need to do their school work in their pencil cases. They do not need rubbers or pencil parers. If you have crayons or twistables at home, please you send them in with your child.

I love to encourage children to share but sharing colours can involve travelling the length of the room to borrow them from a friend and stopping to chat with other friends on the way back. So it isn’t the best use of our time.

We have had great fun reading our class novels. I had thirty of each book we read: for example: ‘Dog on a Broomstick’, ‘The Hodgeheg’, ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark,’ ‘Owl Tree’, ‘Bill’s New Frock.’ Some of these sets of books have gone missing. Any chance they would be at home. If you have any of these or class library books, I’d love to get them back.

With every good wish,

Letter home at the beginning of the first week back after the Easter holidays.

With twelve weeks left in 2nd class, we have a lot to look forward to; most especially 1st Holy Communion.

From Wednesday, we will have a visitor from Junior Achievement for an hour weekly over six weeks. There will also be the school tour and Sports’ Day.

We have worked very hard this year and made good progress.

We will continue to be very busy in the next twelve weeks so it is important to come to school each day.

We have worked very hard at learning our addition and take away tables.

The class improved with an average score of 16.7 in a sixty second tables test in October to a score of 31.4 just before Easter.

Knowing one’s tables is important as your child progresses through the primary maths curriculum.

For children who find it hard to learn by rote, we learned ‘strategies’ to help e.g.
– using doubles to add near doubles,
– adding nine by adding ten, then taking away one.

Maths homework in the run up to Easter, practiced these strategies.

With twelve weeks to the end of 2nd class, you may decide to keep polishing the tables or you may decide that your child learns most effectively using mental maths ‘strategies’.

Here is a link to these strategies. You may remember I included it in the letter that went home after Christmas.

Mental Maths Strategies

We will take that one minute table test just one more time before the end of term.

We will also be preparing for learning multiplication in third class, by working on ‘multiplication as repeated addition’. This will keep addition facts fresh in our minds.


We did a lot of work on presentation and handwriting particularly in the first term.

In the next while the completed handwriting workbook will be coming home.

In some cases children were so eager to complete the book, that the quality of their handwriting didn’t improve. So I am putting some focus on handwriting again this term. The children will be working towards a Good Handwriting Licence.

Some children will be working on completing their 100 Book Challenge.

We will also continue to work on spellings. We have done a lot of work in this area and however some children are still mixing up ‘there’ and ‘their’, ‘to’, ‘too’ and ‘two’.

I am really looking forward to beginning the last class novel of the year; ‘The Snow Spider’ by Jenny Nimmo. This is a challenging read but we will take it slowly. The novel is serialized on Youtube

The Snow Spider – Part One ITV (1988)

Watching this may contribute to your child’s comprehension and enjoyment of the story.

Needless to say, the internet and particularly Youtube is a door to an outside world. It is advisable to supervise your child when they are online.

In the first term we did a lot of oral work. Last term we worked on reading and now we will be revising vocabulary and oral work and focusing on writing.

With the whole school emphasis on maths and literacy I find I haven’t got as far as I had hoped with regard to project work, but I am hopeful we will get more of these done in this last term particularly as project work can be integrated with literacy. We will also be doing a data project which will integrate with maths.

The most important homework is reading and ‘learning off’.

Children prioritize the written work which they may do at the expense of the rest.

It is very time consuming to check reading and ‘learning off’ is done nightly.

Please encourage your child to do all their homework.

If homework is taking much more than twenty minutes, drop me a note in the homework notebook.

If you feel your child is not getting enough homework here is the link I gave you earlier in the year, with some ideas:

Ideas for supplementing homework

This week’s homework:
Finish written exercises in ‘Away with Words’.
Maths worksheet: to finished for Friday
Practice reading one page of ‘The Snow Spider’ aloud with expression.

It maybe necessary to read the page up three times.

With all the work we have been doing, it may be that your child needs to restock their pencil cases; crayons in particular.

Needing to borrow these from other children can affect concentration levels and cause misunderstandings between children.

Thank you for your patience, co-operation and understanding in these matters.

With every good wish,

This letter will also be going home on paper.


For those of you who may not have seen the coverage of the Junior Spider Awards

This is footage of some of the prize giving ceremony.

From approximately 2 minutes 40 seconds 

you may see some children you know:

Junior Spiders Awards 2013 contd (Big Red Engine.com)



In the following link 2nd Class Room 6

were lucky enough to get a Mega Spider Awards.

Our section is at 8 minutes 30 into the video:

More from the Junior Spider Awards.


Highlights from

Eircom Junior Spiders Awards

5th March, 2013

Highlights from Eircom Junior Spiders Awards 2013 from Big Red Engine.com

Well done everyone !

Information for Parents – February/March Updates

What Matters?

As Standardized Testing Season approaches (May), Teacher finds this thought is a good reminder of what Education and Learning is really about.

Dates for your diary:

1. Talk for Parents about the Internet and Online Safety

on the evening of Tuesday, February 26th 2013 in the school hall from 8pm until 9.30.

2. First Confession: Saturday 2nd March 2013

(Room 19 at 11.30a.m. – Room 6 at 12.30)

Six children are doing the

100 Book Challenge,

at the moment.

Shortly the whole class will be beginning this.

Watch this space ! 

For reference:

From the archives: January Updates

From the archives: November/December Updates

From the archives: October Updates

From the archives: September Updates


Learning Irish

For those parents who have spoken to me about learning Irish,

I have added a widget which teaches a word a day to the sidebar of this blog.

THIS link may also be of interest to you.

For parents who are interested in learning Irish, you might find this link useful also