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Ms. Novak - Room 302



  ¡Bienvenidos! Welcome!
Welcome to second grade! This will be only my second year teaching at Johnson Elementary School, but I have held various teaching positions throughout  Arizona and Washington State over the course of the last several years. I graduated with a degree in Child Development from WWU and received a Master of Arts in Teaching through WGU. When I am not teaching I enjoy sewing, cooking interesting foods, and traveling. When I am unable to travel, I try to read a great deal so that I can still explore far away places with the help of my imagination. I am eager to meet all of you and am confident that we will share a wonderful year together!

Please check back frequently as I will post weekly newsletters to this site and will also keep you current with the goings-on of our classroom through regular announcements.

Thanks for stopping by,
Catherine Novak
(802) 635-2211 ext. 302
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Check out our mascot!

https://youtu.be/meICs8kOX3o

Jesse was a monarch caterpillar brought to JES last year by one of my students. Last fall we had the privilege of watching Jesse spin a cocoon, slowly transform within her chrysalis, and emerge as a beautiful butterfly. We are fairly certain that Jesse is a female given the markings on her wings. Jesse has since migrated south to Mexico. We love hands-on science in room 302, so please contact me if you find yourself with an extra monarch caterpillar to donate to our classroom (or something else equally as riveting!)

This is a photo of one of Jesse's cousins!


This is a photo of Jesse's cousin, Pat!
       
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Specials Schedule:

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

10:15-10:45

Music

Art

Technology

Music

Library

10:45-11:15

PE

Art

Health/

Guidance

PE

Spanish


Daily Schedule: 

7:30

Breakfast/Journals in the classroom

8:10

Morning Meeting

8:30

Reading

9:15

Writing

10:00

Snack

10:15

Specials: M-Music, T-Art, W-Tech,

                 Th- Music, F-Library

10:45

Specials: M-PE, T- Art, W-Health,

                 Th-PE, F-Spanish

11:15

Recess

11:45

Lunch

12:15

Mindfulness/Fact Fluency

12:20

Math

1:15

Science/Social Studies

1:55

Jobs/Circle (read-aloud)

2:15

Home


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Spelling Unit 1

This week students will be reviewing the silent e. In class students are taught that the silent e makes a vowel say its name (or rather, makes the vowel long). For example, the e in kite makes the i say i. This week's spelling words are:

gave, plane, care, tone, lake, ride, came, cube, fire, rise

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Spelling Unit 2

Thank you for your help with our first spelling unit! It was a great success. We are now moving away from words that end with a silent e and are focusing on the “th” digraph. A digraph is a pair of letters that make one sound. It is sometimes difficult for students to differentiate between digraphs, so we spend a lot of time in second grade mastering both digraphs and consonant blends. Students will practice s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out words that have a “th” as a beginning or ending sound. This week's list is extra challenging, so not to worry if your student finds these words a little difficult.

thirst, length, through, birth, thing, cloth, three, math, though, mouth

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Spelling Unit 3

This week we will be looking at words that have the “ch” sound. This will also be a difficult list, but it is less important to memorize how to spell the words than to be able to hear and identify the “ch” digraph in words that we don't yet know. Please don't feel disheartened if your student is having trouble with some of the spelling! By the end of last week EVERYONE could identify the “th” digraph, so it was time well spent!

chomp, muchchunk, teachchildren, eachchair, searchchange, 

such

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Spelling Unit 4

This week we will continue to work with digraphs and blends, this time concentrating on words that begin with the “wh” sound. This digraph is particularly hard for students to identify as it can be indistinguishable from the “w” sound, depending upon how it is pronounced. However, it is also an important digraph, as students use “wh” words every day in their writing! There is a certain amount of memorization involved in differentiating between “w” and “wh,” so practice is especially important this week! This week's words are: 

what, when, why, where, who, white, whale, while, whisper, whatever

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Spelling Unit 5

Though we will continue to study digraph/blends in class (including sh, sn, tr, dr, st, br, and pr), I would like to take a few weeks to concentrate on vowel pairs in spelling. Vowel pairs are a difficult concept for students to grasp as they aren't intuitively phonetic for second graders. However, being able to recognize vowel pairs is an essential skill for readers, and learning how to spell them will help our students to blossom into amazing writers. In class students learn that when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking! For example, we know that the oa in the word coat say o. The majority of this week's spelling words follow this rule, with the exception of said and again (depending upon how it is pronounced). However, I decided to include these oddballs anyway, as we use them so frequently in the classroom. As a side note, students are learning how to be flexible readers, so they are well aware that English has some rogue words that don’t follow any of the rules!

said, easy, wait, please, again, eat, main, mean, paint, 

dream

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                                                  Spelling Unit 6

I hope this finds you all well! Last week's spelling unit was a great success. Students have discovered that their newly acquired spelling knowledge is very helpful during our writing workshop! This week we will continue to look at vowel pairs, but will focus on ou and ue. Please note that “when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking” only applies to our ue words this week. The vowel combination ou makes a similar sound to ow. Also take note of the great initial consonant blends present in our ue words! We will work with these same words next week, as this is such a short week. Our spelling test will take place on Friday, October 28.

house, blue, sound, due, out, true, our, clue, round, glue

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Things are really heating up in room 302! Last week we received a new packet of pen pal letters from our friends in Glendale, Arizona. We learned that Glendale is A LOT hotter than Johnson, sometimes reaching upwards of 116 degrees in the summer! The landscape in Glendale is also very different from Vermont, favoring cacti and shrubbery—not a maple tree in sight! Several of our pen pals have seen some exciting desert wildlife up close, including black widows, snakes, and scorpions. Best of all, our pen pals sent us a favorite treat to try—Takis! Each of my students tried a Taki, and some very brave ones had two or three! The general consensus was that they were tasty but too spicy! We have decided to send back a batch of maple sugar candies for our pen pals to sample. Remember, all of our pen pal letters are bound into classroom books for everyone to share, so feel free to stop by room 302 and read the latest!


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Spelling Unit 8

I hope this finds you all well! Our spellers did a wonderful job with last week's list. This week we are focusing on the vowel pairs ey and ie. Unfortunately, ie does not always fit the vowel pair rule of “when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” Instead, we say, “i before e, except after c.” However, I know this tricky vowel pair won’t be too much of a bother for my class, as I happen to have very bright students. Nobody has ever said that English is an easy language to learn! Students will take their spelling test on Thursday, November 10, as we do not have school on Friday.

piece, moneybelieve, monkeyfriend, journey

cookie, turkeyfield, honey

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Spelling Unit 7

This week we will continue our work with vowel pairs, focusing specifically on ay and oa. I know that the kids will love this spelling unit, as they are always so pleased when y gets to wear its special vowel hat instead of being stuck with the other consonants. This week's spelling words are:

say, coach, today, boat, stay, road, birthday, float, playground, soap

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Bouncy Ball Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon Borax
  • 2 tablespoons white liquid glue
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Liquid food coloring

1. Start by adding the warm water to a bowl.  Be sure the water is quite warm or the Borax will not dissolve properly.

2. Next, add 1 tablespoon of Borax to the water and gently stir until it dissolves.

3. In the other bowl add 2 tablespoons of white liquid glue, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and food coloring.  
4. Gently mix the glue, cornstarch, and coloring together until you have a smooth mixture.

5. Pour the contents of the first bowl (water and Borax) into the bowl containing the glue mixture.  

6. Stir quickly, as the mixture will harden rapidly.

7. Once a clump forms in the liquid, use your hands to pull it from the spoon.

8. Rub the clump between your hands until it begins to form a ball.

9. There will be a period where the ball is very sticky - this is normal!

10. When the ball is no longer sticky it is ready to bounce!

Class Resources:

Raz-kids Reading and Literacy Teacher Code: cnovak3

Reflex Math Mathematics Username: catherinenovak1

Front Row Mathematics Class Code: 242WA7

Duo Lingo Spanish


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                                                Spelling Unit 25

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend! This week students will look at words that contain tch. These words are related to the ch digraph, which we studied at the beginning of the year. However, tch is actually considered a trigraph because it blends three letters together to make one sound. Unfortunately, it makes the same sound as ch, so students need to memorize which words contain that extra letter.

itch, switch, scratch, witch, stretch, patch, watch, twitch, catch, ketchup

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                                              Spelling Unit 24

Happy Monday! This week students will continue to look at past tense verbs, but will now focus on irregular words (words that don’t follow the ed pattern). There are several patterns that irregular past tense words follow, as well. For example, ing words become ang words, ome words become ame words, and ow words become ew words. Of course, there are also a few loose cannons in the past tense verb club, too! You might notice that we have had several of these words in their present tense form.


forgave, began, became, kept, grew, knew, built, found, forgot, brought

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                                            Spelling Unit 23

The last few weeks have been a great success, spelling-wise. Even with our many snow days and late arrivals, students have clearly been studying! I am so impressed with my students’ commitment to learning. This was proven by last week’s spelling test-- everyone did fabulously! This week we will look at past tense words, specifically words that end with ed. Past and present tense are concepts that we learn in LA, outside of our spelling unit. However, it does not hurt to have these ideas reinforced through spelling practice! I find that the more students come across concepts like these in different contexts, the easier they are for students to grasp.


walked, cleaned, turned, needed, jumped, waited, started, rained, snowed, bumped

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                                           Spelling Unit 22

Happy Monday! This week students will begin to look at words that end with ful. This lends itself nicely to our study of adjectives. Students frequently misspell ful words as they assume that they end with two Ls. After all, if something is beautiful, it is full of beauty, right? Unfortunately, this is one of the English language’s funny little quirks, and we just have to memorize the correct spelling!

thankful, awful, helpful, hopeful, careful, thoughtful, joyful, useful, forgetful, beautiful

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                                            Spelling Unit 21

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! This week students will be looking at words that end with tion. Students often confuse the spelling of words that end with tion, sion, and cian. Why? Because they all sound like they should end with the letters s-h-u-n!

addition, stationsubtraction, education, action, cautionemotion, vacationdirection, mention    

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                                            Spelling Unit 20

I hope this finds you well! Last week students began to take a closer look at contractions: how we make them, what they represent, and which letters are replaced by an apostrophe. Students are taught that when combining two words, the first word rarely changes (we generally shorten the second). Occasionally both words change (“will not” changes into “won’t”), but this is more uncommon. Though there are certainly some trends and patterns when making contractions (goodbye “o” in don’t, can’t, shouldn’t, etc.), the best way to master contractions is by simply practicing! This week’s word list consists only of contractions. We will continue to study their two-word counterparts in class so students know what these contractions represent. This is likely going to be a challenging list as students will need to memorize where to put their apostrophes!

wouldn’t, I’m, couldn’t, doesn’tshouldn’t, don’twe’re, it’swasn’t, won’t

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                                             Spelling Unit 19

Everyone did a fabulous job with their soft c words last week! Now comes the tricky part; remembering to spell them all correctly in our everyday writing. This week we will study the hard c (as in cake). A hard c is generally followed by the vowels a, o, and u, or a consonant (l, r, etc.).  

can’t, cornercold, concert , cook, curlcandy, cowcoin, circle 

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                                            Spelling Unit 18

Happy February! This week we will continue our focus on soft versus hard sounds, but will now turn our attention to the letter c. C makes a soft sound (as in ace) when it is followed by e, i, and y. In writing, students often misspell soft c words with an s, as the two sounds are indistinguishable. The best way to learn when to use a soft c in place of an s is practice, practice, practice!

sentence, fancy, circle, center, twice, place, dance, voice, city, mice

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                                                Spelling Unit 17

   I hope this finds you all well! Last week we looked at words that contain a soft g (ge, gi, and gy). The students did a wonderful job with their word list, even though it was a bit of a challenge! This week we will look at words that contain a hard g, as in golf. You will notice that words with a hard g generally have an a, o, or u following the g (ga, go, and gu). You will also find a hard g at the end of a word, as in dog.

goes, good, gowngarden, gamegather, gateegg, guitar, garbage (this one has a soft g, too!)

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                                                Spelling Unit 16

I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend! This week we will be looking at words that contain a soft g (as in giraffe). Often times, when students read the letter g in a word that they don’t yet know, they will use the hard g sound (as in go). However, there is actually a rule that dictates whether a g is soft or hard. Generally, when g is followed by a, o, or u, its sound is hard. When g is followed by e, i, or y, its sound is soft. This week’s words all contain a soft g.

vegetable, hugestrange, message, orange, arrange, page, germsstage, magic

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                                            Spelling Unit 15

What a wonderful first week back! The students did a great job on their spelling test and everyone seems excited to be back at school. This week we are going to look at words that contain the letter combination ow. Ow typically makes a sound like the one you would hear in cow (or when you stub your toe)! However, ow will occasionally make a long o sound (as in slow). This week we will focus on these maverick ow words.

arrow, borrowfollow, shadowbelow, flownown, narrowslow, grow

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                                            Spelling Unit 14

          Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed your vacation! We will jump right back into spelling this week. This week we will continue looking at words that end with a double consonant. We will be focusing on words that end with LL.

yell, smellball, callhill, willwell, fullfall, roll

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                                                 Spelling Unit 13

I hope this finds you all well! The students did a wonderful job with last week’s spelling list. Hopefully this week’s words will be even easier for them to master! This week students will be studying words that end with ss. We often double the consonants S, F, and L at the end of one-syllable words (and sometimes two-syllable words, as well). We will continue to look at words that end with a double consonant in the following weeks.

pass, kissdress, missless, guessaddress, unlessgrass, class

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                                                 Spelling Unit 12

       This week we will be looking at words that start with qu or tr. Students often get both blends confused with different letters (k for qu and ch for tr).  Sometimes it is helpful to have students take a second to notice the shape of their mouth/tongue when pronouncing a blend like tr versus ch. When we stretch out words and concentrate on how our mouths make different shapes for different sounds, it is easier for students to distinguish between very                                                   similar sounding letter blends.

quick, treequeen, truck, quilt, train, question, trash, quiet, treat

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                                                      Spelling Unit 11

This week students will be studying words that contain wr or kn. Silent letters are frequently the source of misspelled words in our classroom, and the only trick to spelling these words correctly is to memorize them! In turn, this week's list of words will be a real challenge for students. This week’s spelling test will take place on Thursday, December 8 due to our field trip on Friday.

wrote, knowwrite, kneewreck, knewwrong, knifewrapper, knock

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Calling All Volunteers! 

Room 302 has some exciting field trips coming up! We are looking for parent volunteers to help chaperone. On Friday, December 9, we will be going to Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium to learn about the night sky. Students will have the opportunity to explore Fairbanks Museum and will leave with a better understanding of our place in space. Please let me know if you are interested in chaperoning this event and I can give you further details. On Friday, January 13, we will head to the Paquette Ice Arena in Burlington to watch a theater production on ice! Students will learn about different types of performing arts and witness some truly amazing ice skating feats. Let me know if you are interested in attending, as we have a limited number of tickets available for parents. Lastly, our class will bus out to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center on Friday, January 27 to learn skiing basics… more information to come! Please keep in mind that you will need to file the proper paperwork with the office in order to chaperone. Processing the paperwork takes several weeks, so you will need to plan ahead. 

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Spelling Unit 10

I hope this finds you all well! Though we will not be taking a spelling test this week, I thought I’d go ahead and give you the spelling list ahead of time in case you can get some studying in over Thanksgiving vacation. Students will be quizzed on these words Friday, December 2. This week we will be looking at words that contain ight and ack. Ight words are especially difficult for students because they are not spelled phonetically. However, with a little bit of practice I know that each of my students will become an ight/ack expert! 

backbright, snackright, blackmight, pack

tonight, sack, light

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Spelling Unit 9

          I hope this finds you all well! This week we will be studying r controlled words.  R controlled words are words where the vowel is followed by an r, which changes the sound of the vowel. For example, in “shark” the a does not make the sound it does in “apple”, but instead makes a sound like the letter r. When students spell r controlled words they frequently leave the vowel out altogether, but as we are learning—ALL words need a vowel! R controlled words are a real challenge for students, so this may be an extra tough list!

hard, under, start, large, short, girl, store, person, other, shark

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