Week of April 23


Reports Cards went home Friday. There is still a fourth report card that will go home at the end of the year.

Passport Club is Wednesday, April 25.

Students have homework — recite a poem of any length on May 4.

In class, we are hyper focused on animal reports. Students are reading and writing about an animal and will produce one or more paragraphs about their animal. An organized and readable 10 sentences with punctuation will be more than appropriate for second grade.

In math we are just about to start making bar graphs and tally charts.

We are also sharing and sending home personal biographies.

Daily I have been choosing what I consider the creme de la creme of picture books to read to the children.

This is all we have time for in the classroom. So packed.


OMG Lots Happening

So this morning as teachers were preparing for next year’s supply list, one teacher mentioned how we will start report cards in a month. This is laughably painful because as I write this, I’m still working on Q3 reports!!!

I thank you for your patience in all matters. There is simply not enough time or perhaps enough human energy.

In the areas of geometry I really tried to tease out these confusing strands on the report card and in doing so I think have pretty accurate information. Many children have mastery of one area but a deficit in another. I graded hard. I’d like to review more of geometry if we have time at the end of the year. Unfortunately, at second grade this stuff isn’t very standardized, so it’s difficult to know if I’m “being too hard.” The curriculum we are provided doesn’t come close to addressing the strands on the report card. In grading, I am looking for deep understanding. If you see gaps, please review concepts at home. Do not panic! Like I said, I hope we can return at the end of the year.

Comments in Q2 were provided by myself. In Q3, Mogi Sensei has written all of the comments. I added additional comments if I have concerns about behavior or academic concerns. If we have recently met, I most like did not add anything to the comments section. I will write more comments in Q4.

Report cards go home Friday.

All the best,


Being Bad!

I’m supposed to be doing report cards (and I am) but I’m actually taking a moment to clean, plan, prep and organize the classroom!

We are headed into non-fiction: Animals and Habitats. Students will eventually write an animal report.

If your child hasn’t mentioned anything about a personal biography, we worked on them for weeks and homework went home two weeks ago. They were due last week. I’ll check with kids Monday who have not turned in their report.

Next week also includes lots of mandated one-on-one assessment and make-up tests.

On Thursday, April 19 students in the Blue Class will walk to the Belmont Library. Please brings jackets in case it rains.

In math we’ll be working on money, money story problems, and probability once all assessments are wrapped up.

Students continue to impress.


Homework Today

Students are bringing home a rough draft of a writing assignment for homework today and/or tomorrow and I misspelled “dinner” as “diner.” Nice! Forgive me and please correct. Only caught it in the afternoon.



Dear students and families,

We have three fields trips planned for our final quarter of school. Please return permission slips and mark your calendars and keep a look out for volunteer chaperone sign-ups. Make sure you have an updated background check with the office.

Thursday, April 19 – The BLUE class ONLY will walk with Mr. Denlinger to the Belmont Library after lunch. If your child does not have a Multnomah library card, it would be fun for them to have a card by the time we go. (Mr. D is the coordinator for questions.)

Thursday, May 3 – The YELLOW class ONLY will walk with Mr. Denlinger to the Belmont Library after lunch. (Mr. D is the coordinator for questions.)

Wednesday, May 9 – students will travel downtown via bus to see A Year With Frog and Toad. (Mogi Sensei is the coordinator for questions)

Thursday, June 7 – ALL four second grade classes will walk to Mt. Tabor for our annual END-OF-YEAR celebration. Students will be gone all day. Keep a look out for additional information.  (Mr. D is the coordinator for questions)

April Updates

Hello families,

Thank you for getting through all of those sick days AND training days. And yet, there are still MORE training days. I will be out April 4 and 5 at two all-day trainings and next week, April 10 — ALL second grade teachers will be out at a training. And I’m not sure, but something else might have just landed in my inbox…I don’t know. I’m doing everything I can to be here in the classroom with your highly intelligent children. Thank you for your understanding.

What’s happening.

Wow, we are trying to smash in a lot of geometry. This week and next week are test weeks. We’ve already got the jump on some comprehension tests. You’ll also see a writing assignment as homework that will also inform the Q3 report card.

Gearing up for field trips. This requires a certain amount of paperwork. Keep a look out.

April is national poetry month. We’ll write some more poems. We’ll also look at some more short fiction texts. This week we are studying The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein, a moving masterwork in reductive art. Before break we did some analysis of The Lorax. Basically in April we’ll pull from fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, before another big blast of non-fiction.



Tomorrow is BIG HEART DAY

Wear red or orange for BIG HEART DAY.

P.S. — training is cancelled. I’ll be here tomorrow.

Earthquake Safety Measures

Using guidelines provided, I have recently made adjustments to the room for earthquake safety — removing heavy things from tops of the bookshelves.

About Lock Down Drills

Hello parents,

This recently came up in a conversation with a parent and so I thought I should mention it to everyone. As a practice I never talk about school shootings in our classroom and they have never come up. However, I hope it is common knowledge that your child takes part in a practice lock down drill every year. We will have one very soon.

I frame this drill as an “unknown safety emergency in the building” and use the example of a big, possibly dangerous dog being in the hallway. Something unknown, where we are safest in the classroom. I can’t really justify why we are in the dark with the shades pulled and super silent.

As a teacher I have to be apolitical and I like that. I’m allowed to say the following, since I’m only describing how I experience mass shootings., not prescribing a solution.

Like you, I did not grow up with lock down drills. Despite how statistics can water-down these horrific events as anomalous – if you’ve been touched by a preventable tragedy and lost a loved one, you understand that statistics are useless to victims.

I was in high school when Columbine occurred. I remember the moment I learned about it. And I was working at Richmond on December 14, the day Sandy Hook occurred and the anguish I felt, my shock at how little anguish I felt in our country.

Two years ago there was an accidental lock down at Richmond. If memory serves correct it was supposed to be a Lock In, not Lock Down. There was, at least at that time, a difference. My co-teacher asked me, “Is this real?” I said, “Treat it like it is.” Something was happening in the neighborhood. It was terrifying.

Years ago a police officer trained our staff on lock-down drills and gave us a protocol that I follow daily, a certain safety measure, and I follow this protocol lock-step. Unlike much of the population, I have not yet become inured to mass shootings because I follow this safety protocol as I begin my day. It is the first thing I think about, this protocol. That is not an exaggeration. In eight years I have never missed this step. I never forget this step.  Due to this, I think about what to do in case of active shooter as part of my job requirements. I have not yet become inured.

I’m reading a PAT Union email and an email from the Guadalupe Guerrero, Superintendent about the March 14 17-minute walk. I do not know what Richmond will do yet on this day EXACTLY. I heard at the staff meeting the all grades will be invited to meet on the field to make a BIG HEART and that we are encouraged to wear red and orange and that the school’s focus will be on “anti-bullying and inclusion” and not on the gun debate.

In my class we’ve been reading a lot of history and I think we’ll use this as an opportunity to celebrate inclusion. However, ALL second grade teachers will be at a required training on March 14, so our guest teachers will be running the show. I will prime students heavily on March 13 about the big-heart day!

In my class I often describe imagination as the key to solving problems. Imagine a world where_____. Despite the comfort (if you can call it that) of statistics, I imagine a world where thinking about what to do in case of a mass shooting was not part of my daily job requirements.

Lots of love,


Morning Duty

Good morning!

Sometimes, like today, I have mandatory morning duty in the cafeteria. Because I dismiss students at the bell, I won’t be at the room until 8:03. Thank you in advance for your patience. Next time I’ll post it on the blog, too.