Classroom News from the Second Grade
l Our Mission
To provide an excellent education for our students while developing and maintaining fluency in both the Japanese and English languages.
l Communication With Each Other
We look forward to getting to know you and your child in the coming weeks. At the beginning of each month we will post online a "mini-newsletter" like the one you are reading now. (One of Mr. Denlinger’s goals this year is to utilize technology and the internet to better communicate with families.) ALL newsletters will be posted ONLINE at the web address below.
Along with newsletters, under the heading “Seth Denlinger” you will find lots of useful classroom information like class party info, homework available for download, etc. This page is new to me (Mr. Denlinger) and will continue to grow over the course of the year. I hope you find it useful.
Mr. Denlinger will also be using a wordpress “blog” to place more current classroom information: volunteer requests, more weekly news, etc. I will speak more about both sites and how you can use them at Back 2 School night. You can access this site at:
For school-wide info, check out:
This page is a great source for school information, phone numbers, calendars, etc.
If you prefer to have a hardcopy of newsletters, we will happily send one home BY REQUEST. (Some families prefer a hard-copy while others enjoy reading a digital version. Please let us know if you would like a paper-copy. J)
We also stock a few extra newsletters in our Parent Resource Center outside our classrooms. This resource center will also continue to grow and expand throughout the year. If there is something you’d like to see in it, please don’t hesitate to make a suggestion. Thanks!
If you need to contact us directly:
ü Send a note with your child.
ü Call us at school after 2:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday. Mondays we have staff meetings and Thursdays our second-grade team will be meeting directly after school.
ü Mogi, Ext. 761-34
ü Denlinger, Ext. 761-32
ü Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mr. Denlinger)
ü Email: email@example.com (Mogi Sensei)
ü Make an appointment to meet after school. Because of our need to plan and prep we must limit most meetings to 15 to 20 minutes.
ü Please read the Back to School Packet carefully. Inside you will find important information about attendance and how to pick up your child early.
ü Teachers are required to have attendance finished by 8:15 a.m. and the safety of your child is our number one concern. We’d love to gab but in the morning it’s crunch time! So it’s absolutely crucial that your child arrives on time as much as possible. (Also, please remind your child to use the restroom before coming to class—just like a road trip. J) If you arrive after 8:15, please check in at the office for a tardy slip. Students who come to the door after 8:15 without a pass from the office will be sent there to check it. Also, please make sure to alert the office to any changes in the after-school routine of your child. Thank you. J
ü -- from the office: “Parents/guardian must contact the school office by the attendance line (503-916-6148) and leave a message by 9 a.m.—or send a note ahead of time to both the teach and office. Any unexcused absences after that time will trigger the AutoDialer to call home.”
ü Please remind your child to place their cold-lunches in their class basket when they arrive in the morning.
ü Please remind students to store water bottles in their lockers.
ü CLASS FUNDS: If you have not brought in your $15 for class-funds please send a check or cash with your child ASAP. Please make sure to attach your name to any cash donations so that we can “check your name off.” Currently we have two cash donations WITHOUT names. If you handed cash (without an envelope or name attached) on day 1 or day 2 of school, please let us know who you are so we can give you credit. We have received many donations already—thank you!
Important Dates in September (check our your school calendar for more dates.)
ü September 20 - Picture Day. Look for forms soon. You can return those to your child’s homeroom teacher.
ü September 21 – 2hr Late Opening. School starts at 10 a.m.
ü Monday, Oct. 3 – BACK 2 SCHOOL NIGHT. Starts at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria and 7 – 8 p.m. in room 213. Please come!
This Month's Highlights
ü Students and teachers are learning new routines. At present we have 27 students in the Blue class and 28 in the Yellow class. In September we will stress teamwork, cooperation and good citizenship in our classrooms and school.
ü Please look carefully at the papers your student brings home from school. Some of these papers require information and/or signatures from you. Getting these back quickly will help us proceed with the business of learning.
ü Most extra forms can be picked up outside the office or just check with us. Thanks.
ü To know more about what is taught in the second grade, please attend Back 2 School/Curriculum Night on Monday, Oct. 3.
Students at Richmond Elementary will follow two sets of standard outlines, one set by Portland Public Schools and the other by the Oregon Department of Education. Below you'll fine only a sample of some standards we will cover in the forthcoming school year. If you would like to learn more about standards, visit
l Integration and Differentiation
ü With so much to teach and so little time, teachers are always finding new ways to integrate curriculums. For example, in our second unit of Math, students will be reading, writing and gathering research while still learning how to collect and sort information as well as write story problems. And what a great opportunity for a student to go above, beyond and deeper. In reading, we often journal about what we read. Our class schedules imply that only one subject area is being taught during said time, but in actuality we are constantly overlapping content and skills. (Connecting art with nature with culture with science with math—you can start to see why Mr. Denlinger was a Humanities major!)
ü In English students are being assessed in math, reading comprehension, and phonics.
ü This year all of Portland Public Schools will use an exciting new curriculum, Bridges. We are so excited to start this new program with our students. Two of our third-grade teachers piloted the program last year and with great results.
ü There are two pieces of Bridges: Units with sub-sessions (50-60 minute lessons) and Number Corner (daily 15 minutes). At our grade-level, English and Japanese teachers will teach different units independently. The first two units will be taught in English. However, the Japanese teacher will reinforce vocabulary and concepts throughout. In English, when Unit Lessons are not being taught the class will focus on science. Each day both classes will start with Number Corner in Japanese and English so that math is taught in both languages daily. Afternoon classes will then review the morning’s work in the opposite language. When we switch every eight weeks students will have the opportunity to go deeper into Number Corner with the opposite language. If you’re confused, don’t worry—we will review this at Back 2 School Night.
ü From the Oregon's Standards: Second grade students continue to refine their additional and subtraction skills and basic number sense. They explore larger numbers by learning about place value and the various representations, compositions and decompositions of numbers. They develop fluency with addition and subtraction facts, procedures and applications. Additionally, they refine their understanding and skills relating linear measurement.
l Monday Meetings
ü Every Monday students in English class participate in a class meeting. These meetings start with the sharing of “appreciations” or giving a compliment. (Students are always allowed to pass.) The rest of the time is used to sort out the week’s class jobs, review protocol, give announcements, role-play and/or problem solve. These meetings help create community and develop listening skills. They are vital to communication and building our team.
ü Every day Mr. Denlinger will read to students for at least 15 minutes, sometimes longer. A note from Mr. Denlinger: You can help your child's comprehension by asking them to retell the story each evening.
ü In Mr. Denlinger's room students practice "Sustained Silent Reading" (SSR) daily for at least 20 minutes. As the year goes on this time will grow. Regular reading at appropriate reading level is one of the most important factors in reading progress. We will also be reading from the Scott-Foresman anthology. This is a district-wide reading program. Each week students will participate in listening and talking about the elements of genre, story, character, conflict, etc. They will pair-read as well as have a chance to present a short oral reading to their peers. Students will also use our reading time to work on spelling. Students will take part in reading plays (they love this!) Students will also participate in reading groups and have an opportunity to read books of their choice. Comprehension and phonics are both very important in second grade. More about Reading at Back 2 School Night.
ü Students are being assessed in every area of Japanese this month. The first two weeks 2nd graders are focused on introducing themselves orally and in writing and getting to know each other. We are also getting familiar with the 2nd grade routine and expectations. They are encouraged to listen attentively and speak clearly in the class. Students are also practicing on writing their full names in Japanese. Hiragana is no longer used (unless it is supposed to).
Second Grade Specials
ü Richmond has an excellent physical education teacher (with support via Foundation), Deb Madore! Students in both classes will participate in PE twice a week. Ms. Madore is a fantastic PE teacher and we are so lucky to have her.
ü Blue Class (1st/3rd quarter) Tue: 9:45~10:05, F: 8:15~8:45
ü Yellow Class (1st/3rd quarter) Tue: 8:45~9:15 and Fri: 9:45 ~10:15
ü 2nd/4th quarters the times will switch (Blue takes Yellow times and vice versa.)
ü A note from Mr. Denlinger: It is really important that we give our students the opportunity for exercise. In my experience kids have an easier time concentrating after exercise. For these reasons and more I hope to incorporate EXTRA MOVEMENT breaks into our weekly routine.
ü Currently Richmond does not have a music teacher.
ü A note from Mr. Denlinger: music enriches the learning experience. In our daily routines students will be exposed to a wide variety of music from around the world and different eras. Music also creates an opportunity to make connections with geography.
ü Currently Richmond does not have an art teacher.
ü Art will be used throughout the curriculum: illustrating book reviews, illustrating social studies projects, responding to reading texts, and the occasional art for art’s sake project.
ü Richmond has a new full-time Media Specialist, Bryan Smith! Please welcome Mr. Smith to our community.
ü Students in both classes will visit the library once a week.
ü Blue class (1st/3rd quarter) Tue: 1:30~2:00
ü Yellow class (1st/3rd quarter) Wed: 12:50~1:20
ü 2nd/4th quarters the times will switch (Blue takes Yellow times and vice versa.)
ü We also have class libraries. Students are encouraged to use these books in the room or check (most of) them out for home reading.
ü We encourage you to use the Belmont Public Library and other public libraries as well. Students enjoy having their own library cards! A note from Mr. Denlinger: room 213 also has its own Multnomah County Library section. These books will be in the room for about a month and cannot go home.
Birthdays and Holidays
ü Instead of birthday parties, every student in Mr. Denlinger's class will be recognized at some point as the "Student of the Week." During this week, students will write a compliment to the Student of the Week. These compliments will be displayed and then sent home for you and your child to enjoy.
ü Please be sensitive to the feelings of children who may be left out by delivering your party invitations outside of school time. This is also a school-wide policy.
ü We will have celebrations with activities and treats during the year at Halloween, Valentine's Day and the last day of school. We will happily accommodate if your family does not participate in such holidays. J
ü The second grade team in currently discussing possible field trips in the winter and spring. We will have at least one field trip this year.
ü Your student might be surprised at how much responsibility and trust they are given in our second grade classrooms. While some routines may vary from the Japanese class to the English class, Mogi Sensei and Mr. Denlinger will have continuity in the fundamental rules and expectations. Richmond is also lucky to have a great counselor, Mary Megivern. Ms. Megivern will also be teaching lessons in the classroom about community, friendship and problem solving.
ü Learn more about classroom management at Back 2 School Night.
ü Several parents have already volunteered to help in the classroom. Thank you for your enthusiasm. Currently the second-grade team has different methods of utilizing volunteers, however, IN-CLASS volunteering will begin in early November. More information about IN-CLASS volunteering will be available to you in mid-October.
ü If you are looking for a take-home project, please visit http://richmondroom213.wordpress.com -- More and more projects will be posted on this site. Thanks.
ü Mr. Denlinger needs pencil-sharpening volunteers immediately. Here’s how it works. Anytime, pick up the bucket of dull pencils. Take my sharpener to the volunteer room and sharpen as many as you like. Return the bucket and sharpener and you’re done! If you have a sharpener at home and would like to take some home to return later, that works too! We need lots of sharpening each week.
ü Homework will start in mid-October. Details TBA.