Science at VanAndel Education Institute

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If your child is interested in some extra science activities, Mrs. Sheldon shared the following link with me:

Science on Saturday

Please join us for Science on Saturday, a fun and exciting program for both students and adults. Experience “Thinking and Acting Like a Scientist.” Science on Saturday is for students who have not participated in any VAEI Science Academy out-of-school-time cohort program. Adults fully participate in all program activities.

Homework for Writing

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At school we are working on writing an ALL ABOUT book.   They want to learn as much as possible so that they can share it with their readers. Today they brought home a topic that they chose and the chapter headings that they want to include. Could you please help them find more information either online, in books, or from your experience. It would be great if they brought it to school by January 24th.

Math Facts

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Today I sent home information regarding a math site ( ) that offers additional practice of basic math facts. This is a free site that allows your child to progressively practice addition, subtraction and once these are mastered multiplication facts.  It is extremely important that we review these daily and increase accuracy/speed in the process.  I will be sending home flash cards with many of the students later next week for homework (especially if they are still relying on using their fingers to solve a problem). I would love it if they could become more rote with basic addition & subtraction facts. It would be GREAT if your child could get on this site for a quick review three times per week. I will be receiving a progress report weekly.

Overdue Books

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Please note that our wonderful librarian is initiating a new system for alerting you when books are more than 21 days overdue.   Beginning January 17,  an email will go out to families who have an overdue book ( 21 or more days) on Mondays.

We have library every Tuesday. Just a reminder that the minutes your child reads for Book It incentive, does count for the Reading Rewards. Please encourage your child to read 20-30 minutes at least 5 times weekly.

Hat Day

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National Hat Day falls on Saturday, January 15.  To celebrate this important event, we would like all students and staff to wear their favorite hat on Friday, January 14–our POPCORN DAY.
Hats serve many purposes.  They are used for protection, health and as a fashion statement.  Hats can also help us to define our interests and individuality. 
Friday, January 14 is a chance to make a statement and to display you favorite headgear.
Did you know? More body heat is lost from your head than other parts of the body. So, wearing a hat goes a long way towards staying warm on a cold January day.

Mrs. McDonald Leaves No Reader Behind

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In the fall, I read the story Miss Malarkey Leaves No reader Behind by Judy Finchler & Kevin O’Malley. This is a great story about a teacher that is determined to turn everyone of her students into a book lover. I have the same goal for your children. I want to encourage each of your children to chose reading material that is “just right” and of interest. I have a class of amazing readers but sometimes they become frustrated when they want to read a book and there isn’t a test. This website will allow them to write reviews and build a bookshelf as a class so that we can read books that others recommend. Your child should be reading 20 minutes 5 times a week. They will be held accountable for their reading because you will need to log their minutes.
Our goal will be 600 books as a class by June to have a Sundae party together. You will enter the time that they read at home but they can also write reviews on books that they read at school. Let’s give it a try and together we can decide whether or not we want to do it next year.
Reading Rewards will be a great way for us to see what everybody is reading, how much, and how you all rate and review your books. We get our own blog, too, where we can share all sorts of thoughts about our reading.

Reading Rewards is also a reading incentive program that is designed to encourage kids to read. Every time you log reading time on the site, you will earn ‘RR Miles’ you can spend in a Fun and Games section.

Here’s what I’d like you to do:

  1. Sign up for a free account at It’s fast and easy to do!
  2. Click on the Groups tab, and look for our group by searching for ‘Mrs. McDonald’s 2nd Graders, GES‘. Once you find it, click on it and JOIN our group!
  3. Go to your My Reading page and pick an avatar to represent you!
  4. Every time you read, click on ‘I read some more’ in your ‘Log Reading Time’ section.

That’s it! There’s lots more on the site you are welcome to explore, but that’s all you need to do to get started for our reading group.

Happy Reading!