Greeting parents,

Here is what we are up to:

In literacy:

reading Scott Foresman stories aloud

reading short plays aloud and presenting in front of class

listening to Scott Foresman stories for fluency (pausing at periods and commas, reading clearly)

using SF stories to understand setting and protagonist

creating famous protagonist list

writing stories in composition books (Next term we will focus on opinion writing.)

In math:

measuring in inches, feet, and yards

estimating in inches, feet, and yards

measuring in centimeters

estimating in centimeters and meters

This week: reviewing graphs for three days

In December: more measurement practice (we need it) and intro to telling time.

Science: intro to Weather, reading “National Geographic’s Everything Weather” for Read Aloud

PASSPORT CLUB MAPS for December will go home this week, but there is no new official English homework being assigned for Thanksgiving Break.

Thank you,

Mr. Denlinger


Welcome Kurumi Yamada

Greeting parents,

After 10 years in the game, and 5.25 at Richmond, I’ve taken on my first student teacher. Kurumi Yamada is a graduate student at PSU. She’s working in the English room, but Yamada Sensei actually speaks Japanese. She’ll only be here on Thursday afternoons, but for most of the school year.

Please welcome her if you see her. She’s been very helpful.



Revised 2nd HF Word List…it is a little longer

Revised 2nd HF Word List (1)

Hello families.

I hope when you have time you can download this list, and the previous lists posted last week. Second grade students need to be able to read these site words, and spell them (eventually.) They are a key ingredient to reading fluency.


Thank you,


Must-have home teaching tools

5 finger rule

short vowel rimes

1st HF Word List

2nd HF Word List

Place take a look at these lists and make sure your child can (eventually) read all these short vowel rimes and 1st and 2nd grade site words. Keep on it. What we call “direct instruction” is still important, so when you have a moment, check in and see what they can do.

Also, please take a look at the 5 finger rule …

REMINDER: No school next Wednesday.

Thanks everyone. Students are working nicely with each other.




Greetings parents,

Anna K and I will sit down this week to discuss student goals for this next term. We already know we will be teaching:

Math – measurement. You can help your child by using rulers and yardsticks at home. We’ll focus on inches, feet, and yards. We’ll also use centimeters, but we do not go deep into the metric system in second grade. This is a good time to build something with your kid. In class we’ll be measuring and estimating A LOT. Much of our work is hands on, and I’ll also be using more worksheets to reinforce attention to detail.

Read Aloud – we’ll be reading Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry, a memoir/how-to by Jack Prelutsky.

Reading – focus will be placed on oral reading fluency by using Reader’s Theater

Writing – we are actually getting a lot of writing time in: handwriting, spelling, creative writing. The next step is add in grammar. Over the next two months we’ll look at the elements of story/narrative. We will score students this term for their narrative skills. Later in the year we’ll focus on opinion and informational writing. Second grade narratives can be five sentences to five pages, as long as they having the following:

a character with a problem

a beginning, a middle, an end

a sense of setting

a resolution

–spelling high frequency words correctly, using capitals, and periods, with nice handwriting

fiction or non-fiction or both is ok

Class Academics

Greeting parents,

We are finishing out October with:

for math – Creating a grid of the OCT calendar, filling in, and completing the pattern

Reading about the life cycle of a pumpkin and re-creating this sequence

Hearing seasonal books with some special guests

Talk Show — on this Thursday — a few students are interviewed in front of the entire class, as a substitute for birthday celebration

Passport Club Check In – Thursday

Reading plays — for last week’s homework, just take some time reading the play. Students will work in small groups and also read another play in class (multiple times)

Tally graphs are being introduced

Out of the Building on Monday

Dear families,

I will be traveling to Dallas this weekend to attend a friend’s funeral. Do to the timing, I won’t be back in class until Tuesday. Our most trusted guest teacher, Kathleen Ingerson, will be working for me, so the kids should have a productive day. I will also begin the process of following up and answering some of those open-ended questions in this coming week. Thank you for your patience in advance.

Thank you,


Conference PRIMER

Greetings parents,

If you get this, you’ll have a little more insight before we sit down to talk. To start, after many years, I think that we can tell a lot from our assessments. I also know that assessments are only one measure of growth and success. For me, I think student skills trump grades. You can make good grades when it is “easy for you,” but what happens when challenges come along, how do you work through frustration to learn. I also think you should celebrate whatever you can. Confidence is so import to learning and, well, success in all things. So celebrate when grades come, and then consider deficits. “What’s working? What could be better?” Sometimes, too, you can just celebrate. If someone is doing good work, we don’t always have to be better right away. Just stay on track. New challenges will come in next quarter, and I promise all students, it gets harder and harder. The marathon is just getting started, and we’ve already accomplished so much.

  1. Data is very fresh. We tested in October.
  2. I give out VERY few exceeding marks this early in the year. I still don’t know students as well as I will by January’s report card or March and it helps me to push them more.
  3. Don’t panic if you see Close to Meeting or Not Meeting. That just means that data or work samples is pointing us towards places where a child needs extra support. Panic and worry is useless. We just have to get to work on students who need more support.
  4. I’m grading Writing harder than years past. Richmond has trouble getting enough writing practice in, and I want to make sure I’m not misleading anyone. The expectations, for better or worse, are high here and everywhere. First I have to raise my own expectations. Writing is also not something students can “fix” in a few months. Lots of instruction and practice is needed. Writing is also a subjective grade, but I use my previous years to guide me.  In second grade: spell high frequency words, punctuate, capitalize. After that we’ll work on organization and high level concepts.

Thanks ya’ll. Well, looks like I’m battling another cold!!!



Another great week with students

First off — I REALLY appreciate the verbal communication. I’ve been able to put so much more into planning, and thinking, with so few emails this year. It is such is big help! Email if you gotta, no problem, of course, duh, that’s the gig and I still get and read and respond to emails as fast as I can, but the mini-chats is such a game changer in time management.


Focused on ASSESSMENTS. Lots of tests in English and Japanese. Trying to get make-up tests in as well. Read A Thon was in full effect. Power Readers. Some writing, not as much as I would have hoped for. Lots of totally INSANE read alouds. Students believe that it is ME that is dressing up and reading to them, but I SWEAR I have nothing to do with it. I’m sure these read alouds will help when we start reading plays — starting next week.

Leading up to conferences, we are doing a lot of figuring out the kids, teaching some new math concepts, building reading confidence, class community, and making school the place you want to be. After conferences, that will continue, but more trust is built, and we can dig deeper into academics and push harder, raise expectations without students shutting down (that happens if you don’t start the year right.) We have a lot of strong readers, but I want to make these students better spellers! That’s coming. Right now we need to get their writing minds fluid and loose.

Wow! There is a lot to do around here. We’ll see folks next week.

Keep up the great parenting. Have a nice weekend and be safe.

Lots of L-O-V-E


Family Fun Race



A Family Fun Run/Walk to

End Child Homelessness

Date: Saturday October 31st

Time: 8:30 AM check in starts, 9:30 race

Where: Mt Tabor Park


Fee: $23 ~to represent the 2,225 homeless children in Multnomah County every night. All the money goes to helping homeless children.  (Up to 8 people can register as one family for the same $23 fee.)

What you need to do: Register your child by clicking on the Richmond logo on the race website and selecting “Join”. Our team is already set up.

What to wear: Richmond or Oya No Kai gear; no Halloween costumes

What to do: Come to our designated meeting spot at the basketball courts on Mt Tabor before the race starts. Ms. Sterry will be there and we’ll walk or run as a team! Parent volunteers and family members/siblings welcome!


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