Monthly Archives: May 2014

Field Trip Notes

Who: Ms. Won & Ms. Seyan’s 2nd Grade Classes
When: Tomorrow, Fri. May 30th. Leaving Carson School around 10:20 am; Returning around 1:00 PM.
Where: Meadows Park.
How: Walking there!

More Details:

WEAR school uniforms (Free Dress ok with a pass), hats or sunglasses may be a good idea! A picnic blanket is a good idea! Everything/anything you bring is YOUR responsibility!

BRING a bagged lunch!

Students can bring *one* toy/play item.
Student MAY bring fans, footballs/baseballs/soccer balls/etc., action figures, dolls, bubbles, stuffed animals, spray bottles.

Students may NOT bring: bicycles, scooters, rollerskates (anything requiring a helmet), squirt guns, board games, science experiments.

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We Donated Some Books…

May 29, 2014

Dear Families,

A high-school colleague of mine is involved with a yearly drive that brings warm coats and interesting books to children on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
I decided that I wanted to help out, so our class donated some of their books-including some of their very favorite ones!
When she came to pick up the books Tuesday morning, Ms. Kennett kindly answered many questions for us. After we helped her take some books to her car, we realized we still had loads of questions we would like to ask. So, we did a shared write.
I opened my laptop, hooked it up to our document camera, logged in to my account, and found Ms. Kennett’s email.
Your children worked with me to craft a list of Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How questions that arose from the discussion. We sent the email right away-and received a reply to each and every question that night!
Here is the text of Ms. Kennett’s reply:

“Hi Ms Seyan,

Thank you so much for the books for the Rosebud Reservation. We are so excited to see the reaction of the children there. I will try and answer your question.

1. How big is your classroom? Is it, like, three classrooms? (170 students
is a lot!) *question by Zariyana; corrected by Nicole
My classroom is regular size. I teach 33-35 students each period and I teach 5 periods.

2. How can you teach so many students at once? *question by Nicole
I only teach 33-35 students at one time.
3. How cold is it in South Dakota? * question by Mikayla
The average temperature in the winter is 5 degrees below zero.
4. How many days have you taught? *question by Riley
I have taught for 25 years. That is 25 time 180. I might need a calculator for that one!

5. Do they have electricity? *question by Allison
On the reservation, families have electricity but they often can’t afford propane gas for heat.

6. Do families have a lot of kids on the reservation? We do!! *question by
Families do have a lot of children on the reservation. Often they have more children than they can take care of so many children live with their grandparents.

7. Why don’t they have that many books? *question by Leah
They have very little money because there are not many jobs on the reservation. There are almost no stores, no Walmart, no McDonalds.

8. Do ALL of the students behave in Mrs. Kennett’s class? *question by Ryan
My students are very, very well behaved. I have no problems in my classroom.

9. Why are they all 15? *question by Austin
They are all in 10th grade and by May they have all turned 15. A few may be 16.

10. What do they do for fun in South Dakota? *question by Trina
In South Dakota

11. How can they get food if they are in their house a lot? *question by
They usually cook their own food.

12. What do they eat? *question by Mayra
They often eat fry bread which is like pizza dough. They grow some vegetables like corn and zucchini and they love junk food, like hot cheetos too!

13. Do you teach high school? *question by Kelana
I teach at Piedmont Hills High School in North San Jose

14. How far is South Dakota? *question by Luis
South Dakota is halfway across the US. It takes 3 days to drive there.

15. Is there money there? (on the reservation) *question by Rodrigo
The people in South Dakota are very poor. 80% of them have no jobs.

16. Why is it so cold in the winter and so hot in the summer? *question by
The wind is very cold on the plains and there are few trees for shade in the summer.

17. Do they have any animals? Do they have any plants? *question by Sethia
Sometimes they have gardens. They may have horses or dogs.

18. What are all your students’ names? *question by Chloe
I can not list ALL of my students’ names but I once had a student named Chloe!

19. Do they have any bathrooms; do they take showers? *question by Braedon
They have bathrooms that are small and the water does not work so well. The water is not hot in the shower.

20. Never mind. *from Isabella

21. Is it cold, even though it is summer? *question by Annabel
It is more than 100 degrees in the summer.

22. Does your husband actually have to drive that far? *question by Victoria
My husband, Mr. Murphy, is a math teacher and he does drive that far every summer.

23. Do they have video games? (question melee for a few rounds here…)
They love video games. Some kids have video games and all the kids love to go to those kids houses!

24. Where do they take showers?
They have showers.

25. How did they post this video of the thing on YouTube?
Some kids have computers. Some times computers are donated.

26. Do they have skateboards and scooters and bicycles?
If they are lucky they have skateboards and scooters and bicycles. They do not have as many of those things as kids here. Most are donations and might be old.

27. Is a lot to teach 170 people?
This weekend I graded 170 essays! That is a lot!

28. Why do you have 170 students? How did that happen?
We used to have smaller classes. Now there is less money for public education so the class size keeps getting bigger.

29. How tall are your students?
Some of my students are tall and some are short. Most are the size of Ms Seyan.

30. Do they have toys in South Dakota?
They do have toys in South Dakota. They like Legos and X-men and Disney Princesses.

31. Why do the kids in South Dakota have different life styles than us?
Their lifestyle is a mix of modern and ancient because they are descendants of the native people in America, the Lakota Sioux.

Thank you so much!
Ms. Kennett
PS this is a video about a young boy growing up on the very reservation Mr Murphy is driving to. It is about 6 minutes I think.

Hidden America: Children of the Plains

Great job, A-3 All-Stars! I am proud of your generosity AND of your interesting questions!

Ms. Seyan 🙂

For more information:

Lakota Coat Drive 2014

“Each year Kevin, travels to South Dakota to visit the people of the Rosebud Reservation and to attend the Sundance Ceremony. Kevin is always struck by the level of poverty of the people he meets and indeed, the poverty on the Lakota reservations is among the worst in our nation. To compound this, the weather there is brutal. The average temperature is 5 degrees below zero in the winter! Children wear what coats they have indoors because the propane heating in their modest homes is so inadequate. The generosity of the people in our community is helping. Each year, we have collected coats at our high school and at our daughter’s elementary school, which have made their way to some very grateful children of the Rosebud Reservation! Each summer Kevin has delivered those coats and has seen firsthand the gratitude and relief of the mothers who have received them. He has called me on these occasions, and I have heard the tears of joy first-hand!
Each year, the most difficult aspect about bringing donations is the transportation. This summer, Kevin has the time and the opportunity to drive an entire U-haul van back to the reservation in South Dakota! We are in the process of collecting the most needed items we can find to fill this precious space. Already our students have collected a roomful of coats/jackets and athletic/casual shoes of all sizes to deliver to the people of Rosebud. We are also including gently used books that the children of our community have outgrown. We are also in the process of boxing up unused novels from our school’s bookroom to send. The Saint Francis Indian School reports that their students have virtually no books in their homes which, as educators, pains us to hear. With the blessing of this entire trailer to fill, we are hoping to share our children’s love of reading with the children of the plains. This is going to be a very special trip for Kevin because it is the largest Lakota Coat Drive that we have ever conducted. The next challenge is to fund the u-haul van and the gas needed to get these precious items to South Dakota. We are asking for $1000 to fund our project.”

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Some End-of-Year Updates!

Dear Families,

These past few weeks have been full of twists and turns and changes at school, so I am a little behind on the class announcements this week. Thank you for your patience!

*Second Grade Field Trip on Friday, May 30th, from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.. We will walk to Meadows Park. Students: Bring a lunch, outdoor toys, walking shoes, a hat, and put sunblock on if you wear it. We will be playing games, celebrating class birthdays, and enjoying each others’ company! Families are welcome; you don’t need to officially chaperone. We will talk more on Thursday about what we can and can’t do on the field trip; we will write and post more details then.
*Congratulations to our class for winning the Box Tops Contest for 2013-2014! The A-3 All-Stars won the class party of their choice. We voted to have ice cream on Monday afternoon. By the way, we used a pictograph and a bar graph to record our choices and bring math into our daily lives. A very big “Thank You” to all our classmates who helped us win this year! Woo hoo!!
*Tuesday, June 3rd will be a regular, full day with school getting out at 2:22 p.m.. In school that morning, our class will watch the Annual Carson Talent Show. In the afternoon after lunch, we will finish our end-of-year writing projects. Our day will be full!
*Thursday, June 5th is the last day of school. School is dismissed at 12:52 on that day. Our class will watch the fifth grade graduation ceremony in the morning, eat lunch on campus, and then participate in my class’ Second Grade Graduation ceremony. All families are welcome in our classroom for that cute event from 12:16-12:52.

More news and information to follow next week, as usual. 😉 I have plans to update the blog over the summer so we can keep these kids engaged and learning!

Here are this week’s Spelling Words:
1. cry 2. kind 3. fight
4. behind 5. sight 6. sign
7. loved 8. taped 9. erased
10. loving 11. erasing 12. reached
13. dressed 14. waited 15. climbed

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Spell-A-Thon Contestants Announced

UPDATE: Congratulations to Nicole and Allison, who both did very well at the Spell-A-Thon! In fact, Allison was the Second Grade Winner! Great job, Allison! We know you worked very hard on your Spelling words that week. 🙂

May 22, 2014

Congratulations to our A-3 All-Star Spell-A-Thon Contestants, who scored 100% on the Second Grade Word Test!

Nicole Santos
Allison Duong

and congratulations to our alternate: Mikayla Sosa

In the event that Nicole or Allison cannot participate, Mikayla will stand in.

The Spell-A-Thon will be held in the Carson cafeteria at 9:15 Friday morning.

Good luck, A-3 All-Stars! Study for tomorrow!!


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Short Parent News, May 12-16, 2014

3 A-3 All-Star Reminders:


  1. PTA meeting tonight at 7:00, Tuesday, May 13th, in the Carson cafeteria. Please come! Dr. Vincent Matthews, San Jose Unified School District’s Superintendent, will be here to discuss the process of choosing next year’s principal with Carson parents. As you may know, Mrs. Doss is now the Director of Special Education, and will be leaving Carson at the end of the year. Again, please come tonight with all your questions about next year!
  2. Water in Class: Yes, please send water bottles along with your child. A-3 All –Stars may keep sealed (or opened, but sealable) bottles with clear water only on their desks to sip during the warm school days that remain in the year.
  3. Spell-a-Thon Fundraiser Pledge Forms went home today. If you, friends, or colleagues can pledge, that’s wonderful! Your child has decorated an envelope to hold the pledges you get. If you’re not interested in this fundraiser, that’s totally fine, too. We will ALL be taking the test in class, though! The Second Grade team chose 25 words from the list and we will be looking for students to join the 100% Club next week! One note: Pledges are due May 16th, 2014 and NOT May 9th, as it states on the yellow pledge form

Spelling Words


1.   hood

2. cook

3. look

4.   moon

5.   food

6. spoon

7. clue

8.   blue

9. glue

10. new

11. fruit

12. juice

13. proofread

14. cookbook

15. balloon

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Parent News, May 5-9, 2014

Two-Digit Subtraction with regrouping was tough! Here are some online games to help with that:

Soft Schools’ 2-Digit Subtraction Game

Fruit Splat Subtraction

Cool Math 4 Kids’ Subtraction Page

This week, we will revisit “Thundercake” and plan to start “The Art Lesson”. Here are some learning links to get you interested.

For “Thundercake”

Story Summary


eWord game

For “The Art Lesson”

Story Summary

eWord Game

Online Art Poll

Meet the Author

Challenge: Practice Using Quotation Marks

Challenge: Soft Schools’ Quotation Marks Quiz

We will also revisit “Ant” by Rebecca Stefoff to practice close reading and reporting on informational text. Here are some further resources to help you learn more:

*Enchanted Learning page about ants
*An “Ant” story summary
*Fiction or Nonfiction? – practice

Language Arts:

Unit 6: Literature Study

Questions: How does comparing/contrasting different versions of the same story from other cultures help expand students’ worldview and connection to other cultures? How can a writer convey their opinion about a story and support their opinion?


 2.RI.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words:

  1. Distinguish long and short vowels
  2. Know spelling-sound correspondences for vowel teams
  3. Decode two-syllable words with long vowels
  4. Decode words with common prefixes and suffixes

2.RL.9 (Literature Study) Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

 2.W.1 (opinion) Write opinion pieces in which they introduce a topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support that opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.

2.W.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects

2.W.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question

 2.SL.4 Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.

Vocabulary/Conventions Focus Areas for this unit:

 Editing phase of writing, with emphasis on Conventions (Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling) and Usage (Organization; Grammar); parts of speech; possessive nouns; verbs.



Spelling Words


1.   running

2. batted

3. clapped

4.   stopped

5.   getting

6. shopping

7. stepped

8.   hugging

9. pinned

10. sitting

11. telling

12. cutting

13. jumped

14. walked

15. chased



 Units 17 and 18: Using Place Value and Patterns with numbers to 1,000 AND Using strategies to add and subtract three-digit numbers


Unit 17: Students have ample practice learning that all numbers between 100 and 999 can be broken down into hundreds, tens, and ones. They will learn to interpret the value of a digit in a multi-digit numeral by the value of its position in the number. They will use 10 as a benchmark when adding and subtracting whole numbers. (SJUSD Division of Instruction, June 2013)

Unit 18: Students will use pictures, number lines, and base ten blocks to show their reason. They will have ample practice composing and decomposing three-digit numbers, using 10 as a base to regroup or create smaller numbers, and adding and subtracting to the thousands.

2.MBT.2, 2.NBT.3, 2.NBT.4: Students will understand that the three digits of a three digit number represents hundreds, tens, and ones; they will understand that 100 can be thought of as a bundle of tens called “a hundred”, that 100, 200, 300 etc., refer to 1 hundred, 2 hundreds, 3 hundreds, etc.. Students will also count within 1,000, including skip-counting by 5s, 10s, and 100s.

2.MBT.7 and 2.MBT.8: Students will add and subtract within 1,000 using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction. They will understand that when subtraction three-digit numbers, they are going to subtract ones from ones, tens from tens, and hundreds from hundreds. They will also be able to mentally add 10 or 100 to a given number and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number.

Standards for Mathematical Practice:

 MP6: Attend to precision. Communicate precisely with others and try to use clear mathematical language when discussing their reasoning.

MP7: Look for and make use of structure. See complicated things as single objects or as being composed of several objects.

MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

MP5: Use appropriate tools strategically.



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May 6, 2014 · 12:08 am