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

October Updates

Kila’s ‘Kind Words’

1.1 1st October : Paired Reading is entering its second week.
It may make better sense time wise if Paired Reading is done as Bedtime Reading rather than as part of homework time.
It is just important to ensure that the book is in the school bag each morning.
Please note:
An important aspect of the paired reading approach is that children choose their own books.
If the book going home is too easy, please note this on the coloured card that comes home with the reading.
If your child has chosen one of the longer books, you might read it with them over two or three nights.

Alternatively you could read every second page to them.
This will be a useful approach to adopt during the year,
particularly as the books your child brings home get longer and need more stamina for them to read.
The other second class teacher and myself will be swapping our paired book boxes half way through so that there will be new books to choose from.

If you haven’t had a chance to read about the yearly plan for reading and to see where ‘paired reading’
and the reading we have done to date, fits in with the scheme of things,
you might like to take a look at the following post
The Yearly Plan for Reading

1.2 Have a listen to our podcasts.
They can be found at the bottom of the right side bar.
We are only learning how to do this.
We are on a learning curve.
Check back in a couple of weeks and we should have become experts in podcasting!

1.3 Reminder: Communion meetings have concluded.
Enrolment Masses were this weekend 29th/30th.

Joseph’s multicoloured coat that his father Jacob gave him’ by Tadhg

1.4 We played this educational game in the last week of September.
The children tell me they played it last year and they enjoy it.
However their responses are rusty.
They might enjoy practicing this at home.
It teaches them the position of numbers on the hundred square.
100 Square Game – Give A Dog A Bone

Other good maths games here
Useful maths games

1.4 Annual Open Night in St.David’s 7-9 on Tuesday 2nd October. This is always an enjoyable and informative evening.

1.5 NB A change in homework for this month.

Homework is changing for this month, as follows:
1. Revising Addition/Take Away tables starting this week with adding 2/take away 2
2. Written work: Take two number facts from today’s homework and change them into number problems to be solved. The children have practiced this in school and there are samples of the number problems in the children’s copies.
3. Paired Reading

Click on this link to see examples of how to change number facts into problems to be solved.

You might also find this post of interest:
Follow this link to read earlier post about the importance of learning tables.

1.6 I read an interesting review of about Dyslexia Font on Seomra Ranga.com

and thought it might be of interest to some parents here.
Dyslexic Fonts

1.7 Attendance for the month of September in Room 6 was 98%.
Just nine school days were lost.
Let’s try to keep this great attendance record up.

Tom’s ‘Kind Words’

1.9 2nd October: As I mentioned: if you think your child would like to take part in the
Kilcoole Feis
they would need to be available to attend some time over the following weekends:
for Verse Speaking: November 9th-11th.
Song singing: from Thursday 15th – 18th November.

1.10 3rd October 2012 We are preparing for our First Holy Communion.
We are learning about the Bible stories in the Old Testament.

1.11 4th October 2012 Your child can vote for their favourite book
of the books we have read in class so far
on the poll on the side bar at the right hand side, underneath the bookshelf.
So far ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ is in the lead.

1.12 5th October 2012 Christmas Card Fundraiser.
To those of you taking part please return the completed templates by Wednesday. Thanks.

1.13  Parents Association AGM on Wednesday 10th October 2012 from 8-9.30 in school hall.

1.14 10th October 2012 The following website was developed for parents as part of the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy. See what you think: Help My Kid Learn

You may also find this one of interest:
Resources for Parents of 1st and 2nd class from the NCCA

The short videos about maths activities seem particularly good:
Helping your child with maths in 1st and 2nd Class – videos

1.15 Friday 12th October, 2012
We have swapped our box of paired reading books with the other second class.
To my eye, the new selection seem to have more substance.
They look interesting and perhaps in general slightly more challenging to read.

1.16 Today the children played recorder and for the first time,
pitched percussion instruments: bells, boomwhackers and chime bars.
You can hear how well they got on, on three short new podcasts.
The podcasts can be found at the bottom of the side bar on the right hand side of the page.
Here is a link to the first one.

1.17 Sunday 14th October, 2012
Just in case any child forgets to bring home their homework worksheet
They are asked to turn number problems into number sentences and find the answer:

Do two a night and there are some extra at the bottom:

Monday: 1. Twelve aliens in a spaceship. Four fell out the door. How many were left?

2. Ten ducks on a pond. A fox came along and frightened away four of them. How many were left?

Tuesday: 3. Seven bats hunting for insects. Four went home to roost. How many were left?

4. Five fox cubs playing in the sun. Along came four more. How many were there then?

Wednesday: 5. Five swans on a lake. Five more flew in. How many were there then?

6. Mum carved six pumpkins. Then she carved five more. How many had she carved then?

Thursday: 7. Eight Smurfs are in a village. Five got taken by Gargamel. How many are left?

8. When Teacher was little she had a packet of ten crayons. She ate five of them. How many crayons were left?

And if you want to do extra…..
9. Eight children went to the playcentre in Zoom.
Half of them bumped their heads and went home.
How many children were left?

10. Nine fat sausages frying in a pan.
One went pop and the other went bang!
So how many fat sausages were left?

11. The Seven Dwarfs were working in the mine.
Sleepy fell asleep and Grumpy went off in a huff.
How many were left working?

The last two are trick questions:

12. If you had four apples and five oranges in one hand
and six apples and seven oranges in the other,
what would you have?

If there are ten cats in a boat and one jumps out.
How many are left?

1.18 17th October 2012

Today the boys and girls in Room 6 found this activity about data enjoyable.
Perhaps they might like to try it at home:

Jelly Fish Factory

For reference:
From the archives: September Updates