Thursday, November 29, 2018

Polar Express Christmas Party, Christmas Book Orders, & Keep Reading!

Dear Parents! 

The time seems to be flying by so quickly! December is almost here! We are finishing the 15th week of school and we have made such great progress. Let's keep helping all children continue to learn through this busy holiday season. Make sure that your child continues to read every night/day or do the Lexia computer program for 20 minutes a day. Remember that doing Lexia will count on the monthly reading charts for the BOOK-IT reading program.

-November Book Report is due 
tomorrow: Nov. 30th.

Christmas Book Orders are due tomorrow if you are planning on sending the order to school. If you plan to order books online, you can do that through Saturday evening(Dec.1st) at
You can order from the Nov. or Dec. book order forms. If you are ordering gifts, please send me an email and I won't send the books home with your child when they come in. I'll keep them in my closet until you can arrange a time to pick them up. Remember my special teacher code at scholastic is: HLCVM

I just wanted to send out a reminder that our classroom is a nut free zone. We have three children in our class with nut allergies. I've noticed that several children have been bringing things with nuts or peanut butter for snack time. Please make sure that this doesn't happen any more. I'd hate to have any child not get to eat their snack because it has nuts in it, but I can't have any children getting sick from being around the nuts either. So I ask for your help and cooperation in helping our classroom stay nut free.

Guess what is coming soon on Dec. 19th? 
Ms. Staley's Annual Polar Express Party!!!
We need more parent volunteers to help us that day or this party doesn't work well. Tara Ashby, Crew's mom, is leading this fun party for us but needs more parent volunteers or people to bring things. If you are willing to help, please e-mail Tara @

 We are all so excited for this fun day. Here are some tips to help make the day run smoothly. I'll send out a reminder email a few days before the party too.

  • Your child can wear pajamas or a robe, but make sure they are appropriate for the weather. They can be worn over regular clothing if they wish.
  • The children can bring slippers to change into once they get to class and the party starts. Make sure they have good shoes to wear coming to school and going home at the end of the day.
  • If your child wants to bring a pillow and a blanket, please put it in a large garbage bag with their name on it. They can also bring a stuffed animal friend but it needs to be small enough to fit in their backpack or the garbage bag. They can also bring treats to eat while watching the movie and snuggling with their animal in the afternoon.
  • Please make sure your child brings a small gift, $5.00 and under, for the gift exchange. It's best if you can send something that would work for either a girl or a boy.

One last reminder, when Christmas is over and school hasn't started back yet, please take the time to help your child practice their Math 36 club facts.  There are so many kids that are so close to passing off addition, but need just a little extra practice. Let's make 2019 a great year by having everyone pass off their addition and subtraction math facts.

Monday, October 8, 2018

More Information for Parents: Book Orders...Take Home Reading...New Incentive Program at School

Believe it or not? Here's another blog post! Hopefully this one won't be as long.
I sent October Book orders home on Friday. They are due this Friday, October 12th. If you send the order back to school, please don't send cash. It's truly easier to order your books online at I want to get the order sent off this weekend so any Halloween books you order will be back in time for Halloween. When you order books, we get free books for our classroom. Thanks!

At school we've been trying to work really hard at not talking so much during work time. I've told the children we can whisper to our neighbors, but not be too loud so other's can get their work done. There has also been a problem where many students are talking while I'm teaching. I really want your children to learn as much as they can during 2nd grade so I can get them ready for 3rd grade. Please have a little chat with your child to encourage him/her to be good listeners. One of the things we've talked about to help us, is the saying...
"I Believe I Can Do It!"
I've told them they can do anything they set their mind to, whether it's math, spelling, or being great listeners. I would appreciate any and all help with speaking to your child about this.
I've also started a new incentive program in the classroom. They can earn Dragon Bucks by following classroom rules, including being a good listener. They have a card at their desk. If they have no X's on their weekly card by end of Friday, they will receive a $5 Dragon Buck that they'll be able to use at the class store at the end of the month. If they get no more than 3 X's by the end of the week, they'll earn 1 Dragon Buck. I think the children are excited about doing their best. 

Take Home Reading Books
Please make sure after your child has read their Take Home Reading Book that you initial next to the book they have just read. If there is no initial, they will not receive a new book. It's so important that each child reads every day. The Take Home Reading Program was started to help your child achieve this goal. Along with the Lexia Computer Program done at school and at home, this will help your child develop their reading skills and achieve the success in reading this year. Thanks for your help with this!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Finally: The First Blog Post...The Staley Review: Homework, Take Home Reading and Picture Day

What happened to the month of September? It came and went so fast. Now here we are already in October. I must apologize for not getting the first blog post up until now. It's been a busy start to school doing so many other things to get my classroom up and running. In this post I have many things to share with you, so I hope you stay to read it all. 

 Take Home Reading Program
{I just wanted to remind you about some important things concerning the Take Home Reading Program.}
  • Make sure to sign/initial your name on the white sheet next to the book your child has read. If there is no initial, your child won't be given a new book.
  •  When you return the book back to school, please remember to send it back in the gallon size baggy with your child's name on it along with the white paper.
  • If you lose a book, you will need to send $6.00 to school before another book is sent home.
  • Books are traded out every Monday and Thursday. 
  • Your child can do the monthly Book Report on one of their Take Home Reading books. 

The Book It Reading Program 
A Note was sent home today about the Book It Reading Program. This is a program that your child can do if they want. If they meet the reading goal each month, then I will send home a certificate to take to your local Pizza Hut for a free Personal Pan size Pizza! We will also be keeping track with a big poster at school on how all of the children are doing. In your child's Homework Folder I placed 9 months of reading calendars for you to log the minutes your child reads. Please just leave it there for the whole year. I will check the calendar at the end of the month. I would appreciate it if you'd help me out by totally up the minutes read by your child. You can do this weekly or at the end of the month and write it down on the reading calendar. This is a fun program that children have been doing for years and most kids love it. If you have any questions, please email me. 
 Here are some things to remember about homework and why it's being sent home and the amount of time it should take.
  1. Monthly Book Report:(10 points toward their Reading Grade) The Book Report is sent home to work hand in hand with The Take Home Reading Program. The big goal for 2nd graders is to not only move up in reading levels, but learn how to comprehend what they are reading. Children will not be moved to the next guided reading level unless the teacher, after testing, can see your child is truly understanding and comprehending what they are reading. Part of comprehending what is read is being able to Re-Tell what they just read. The book reports help your child in thinking about and remembering what they read. I'm also including an incentive of rewarding a $5 Dragon Buck for finishing and returning their Book Report along with a big certificate. This report should not take very long to complete. My suggestion is to complete it early in the month and sending it back to school sooner rather than later.
  2. Word of the Week:(10 points toward the Vocabulary grade) I've really liked the Word of the Weeks that have been coming back. It has been fun seeing how the children have learned the new words and are using them here in class. Keep up the good work! Please remember to have your child either color a picture, print out a picture, or bring an item to go along with their word. This should take about 15 minutes.
  3. Fluency:(8 points toward their Reading grade) It has been great to see so many doing their Fluency practice at home. I can assure you, those children that do their Fluency Homework will make the most progress in reading. Along with the Fluency, doing the Lexia computer program at school and at home will bring about some amazing results in second grade this year.
  4. Math: As you can see, I'm not sending a lot of math homework home; only when I feel it is needed. I would like your children to do the math Prodigy Program that we are now starting. I sent home today in the folder all of the log-in information. You can decide how many minutes and when your child does this program. The Weekend might be a great time. Please explore Prodigy with your child. Also, don't forget to have your child practice their Math 36 Club facts. This shouldn't take up too much time if you practice it for 5-10 minutes daily or every other day. We've already had a few students pass off Addition.

 Don't forget that this Wednesday, October 3rd, is school Picture Day. Even if you are not ordering pictures for your child, your child's picture will still be taken to be included in the class composite. A form was sent home last week. You can either send a check to school or pay for pictures online.

One Last Thing...I Promise!!!
Our class Halloween Party will take place at 12:30 on October 31st, after our lunch time. Kim Fjelstrom volunteered to be in charge of this party. Many of you signed up at Back to School Night to help in some way. If you did not get the chance to sign up and would still like to help, please send me an email and I will forward your information to Kim. The school-wide Halloween Parade will take place at 2:30 on the same day. Please remember that your child cannot wear a mask at school, but they can wear face paint.

Thanks for sticking with me reading this VERY long blog post. I'll try harder to send out shorter posts more often!  
If you have any questions about anything...please email me at