Reading Sight Words


Sight words are words that a reader can recognize and read without sounding out each individual letter.  Many sight words are hard to sound out phonetically and must be memorized.  I suggest printing a copy of the sight word list and practicing. It is expected that second grade students can read most of the 1,200 words on the list without hesitation. Spelling the sight words correctly would be an added bonus since these words are used frequently in students’ writing.

Here are a few suggestions for how to practice learning sight words. boy_reading_1

  1. PRACTICE!  PRACTICE!  PRACTICE!  The more a beginning reader sees words and practices reading them, the easier reading becomes.
  2. MAKE FLASHCARDS  Flashcards work well for many students.  Each word should be written neatly on an index card.  Write large enough so the reader can touch each letter as they are saying the sounds.  In the lower right corner of each card, write the list number that the word is from.  Keep the cards for review.
  3. WRITE THE WORDS THAT ARE TRICKY Although learning to read sight words IS NOT a spelling activity, some people memorize things by repeatedly writing them down.
  4. USE COLORS With a colored marker or crayon, outline the shape of the word.  Pay close attention to blends, such as th, wh, sh, tr…  Blends should be underlined or boxed together so the reader has a visual cue to remember to say the sounds as one, not choppy as two.
  5. VOWELS Usually, when two vowels are together the first one does the talking, the last one does the walking. In the word coat, the o makes a long o sound and the a is silent (the first one does the talking, the last one does the walking.) An e at the end of the word is silent because it is tired from helping the other vowel say its name.  For example: In the word TAPE, the a says its name (a) and the e is silent.

(Reprinted from Karen Powell’s website)

Math Games to Play at Home

Check out these fun math games!

Family Math


All you need is a deck of cards or a pair of dice. If you don’t have any dice, click here for some you can use online!

Concentration (add, sub, multiplication, division)
The object of the game is to find pairs of matching cards among an array of face down cards. Help your child write addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts on one set of index cards, and the answers on another set. Shuffle the cards and lay them out face down. The first player turns over two cards. If they match, the player keeps the two cards and takes another turn. The next player continues by trying to find two matching cards. When all cards have been collected, the player with the most pairs wins.

Dice Games (addition)
You will need 2, 3, or 4 dice and one score sheet. Tally to so many rolls or to a preset score such as 50 or 100 points.
Vary it by adding the sums of the dice together, and the greatest or least score wins!
Vary it again by rolling 3 colored dice and 1 white die. Subtract the number on the white die from the sum of the colored dice, and the greatest sum wins.

Prepare flash cards from 0-10 (3 sets of each number). Play “Go Fish” to add numbers up to 10. (Ex: Sally has the number 4, so she asks her mother for the number 6 because 4+6=10.)


Card Games (addition)
War: Divide the deck of cards evenly. Each player will put out two cards and add them together. Whoever has the highest total will take all cards. The object is to take the whole deck.

Pig (addition)
Players take turns rolling two dice. A player may roll the dice as many times as he/she wants, mentally keeping a total of the sums that come up. When the player stops rolling, he/she records the total, and adds it to the scores from previous rounds. BUT if a one is rolled, the player scores a 0 for that round, and it’s the next player’s turn.

Race for $1.00 (money addition)
You need 30 pennies, 10 nickels, 20 dimes, 1 quarter, a dollar, 2 dice, and a partner.
Take turns. On your turn, roll the dice. The sum tells how many pennies to take. When you have 5 pennies, trade for a nickel. When you have 2 nickels, trade for a dime. When you have 2 dimes and one nickel, trade for a quarter. The first player to reach $1.00 is the winner.

Guess My Number (number logic)
You need: paper, pencil, partner
Player one picks a number from 0-99 and writes it down. Player two makes a guess and writes it down. Player one gives a clue: “Your guess is greater than my number” or “Your guess is less than my number”. Continue playing until player two guesses player one’s number. Switch jobs and play again.

The 1 to 10 Gam
e (addition)
You need: 2 dice, 1 deck of cards, and a partner
Use only the ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 cards.
One of you takes the red cards, one of you takes the black cards. Take turns. On your turn, roll the dice and figure out the sum. Remove enough cards from your hand to add up to that sum. For example, if you roll a 5 and a 3, you can make 8 in many ways (5+3, 4+4, 4+2+2, 8, etc…). If you can’t make the sum with the cards in your hand, roll again. If you can’t make a sum after three rolls, you lose the game. You win if your partner can’t make a number in three rolls or if you use up all of your cards.

Number Family Rumm
y (fact families)
Use a deck of 40 cards: Four suits of ace through ten. The goal is to make families of three cards that are related by addition or subtraction. For example: 5, 5, and 10 are a family because 5+5=10, and 10-5=5. 6, 3, and 9 are a family because 6+3=9, 9-6=3, and 9-3=6.
Shuffle the deck and deal 6 cards to each player. Place the remaining cards face down in a pile. If you have any families of cards, place them aside. If you don’t have any families, you may draw one from the pile and discard one of your own. You may also discard the one that you picked up, if you don’t want it. The first player to get rid of all 6 cards (2 fact families) is the winner. Remember that the ace equals one.

Grab Bag Subtraction
Choose a number of things to work with, and put that many objects into a bag. You can use crayons, coins, beans, buttons, etc…) Grab a handful of the items and count them. Use subtraction to figure out how many items are now left in the bag. So if you put 100 items in the bag and pulled out 20, then you would write 100-20=80. Let your partner have a turn, and whoever leaves the least amount in the bag is the winner.

Lineup (number order, multiples)
Prepare number cards from 0-50. If more than two players are going to play, you might want to prepare two decks. Shuffle the cards and deal 8 to each player. Players place their cards face up in a horizontal line in front of them in the same order in which they are received. Players may not move their cards around. The object of the game is to be first to have your cards in the right sequential order from smallest to largest. A player does this by taking a card on each turn from the top of the undelt deck, and using it to replace any of the cards in his lineup. He discards the card that is replaced. Whenever a player’s lineup of numbers is in the correct order from smallest to largest, he calls out LINEUP and wins the game.

You can vary this game by using multiples of numbers. You still have 8 cards, but are trying to get multiples in order from smallest to largest. So you can do multiples of 2 (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16) or multiples of 3 (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24). You can even have numbers such as 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40. Those are multiples of 4, but they don’t necessarily have to start with the number 4. They are however, still in order from smallest to largest.

Card Capture (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
Use a set of fact flashcards. Divide the cards equally between the two players. One player attacks, while the other player defends. The defending player shows his cards (problem side up) one at a time to the attacking player. If the attacking player says the right answer, he captures the card and adds it to his own. He can continue capturing cards until he answers incorrectly. When this happens, the defending player becomes the attacker, and gets his chance at capturing the cards. This continues with cards being captured back and forth until one player winds up with all of the cards, or has the most cards when time is called. You can even set the rules to the first player to capture 20 cards, or any number you’d like.

Addition and Subtraction Turnover (addition and subtraction)
Each player is given 11 cards numbered 0-10. These are placed face up in a row. Players roll two dice on a turn and may choose to add or subtract the two numbers shows on the dice. If the resulting sum or difference equals one of the number cards still face up, the player can turn that card face down. Next player then takes a turn. This continues until one of the players wins by turning all 11 of his cards face down.

Subtraction Pig (subtraction)

Two or more players start out with 100 points each. Players in turn roll two dice and subtract that number from their points. A player on a turn continues rolling the dice and subtracting the resulting number from his remaining points until a 1 appears on any dice rolled. That player’s turn ends, and the next player takes a turn. When a player has lost all of his points, he is out of the game. The last player in the game, is the winner.

What’s Your Favorite Number? (Challenging multiplication)
Ask someone his/her favorite number between 1 and 9. Then multiply the favorite number by 9. Multiply that by 12345679 and you know what? Your friend will be surprised when he sees you writing his favorite digit over and over again in the answer. That is, if you multiply correctly!

Slot Card Races (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
Cut an open slot in a card or blank piece of paper. The slot needs to be large enough to see only one math problem or fact at a time written in a column on another piece of paper. The problems should be such that the player can work the answers out in his/her head. Each player in turn tries to work the problems as fast as he can while being timed. The card is slid down from one problem to the next as he correctly answers each one. If a problem is answered incorrectly, the leader moves the card back one problem. Each player’s time is written down. Players may re-challenge each other. A variation would be to move the card at a certain speed for all players to see how many problems they can do accurately at that
speed before making a mistake.

Multiplication Trick (Multiplication)
Here is a quick way to multiply a two digit number by 11. Write the number to be multiplied, but leave a space in between. Add the two digits, and write the sum in that place. You have your answer.
Example:  If you wanted to multiply 11×36, write the 3 and the 6 with a space in the middle. 3+6=9, so write a 9 in that middle space. Your answer is 396.

Helping Your Child Be On Time

time-fliesIn her article Helping Your Child Be on Time, Susan Heid gives us great advice for helping our children (and us) be on time.  Whether you have a dilly dallier like me or just some poor habits to address, this article will help reduce the rushing and help your child be on time.

Check out this link:

School Success: Planning Matters

Boy_ReadingIn the article School Success: Planning Matters, Laura offers up some great advice and tips for helping our kids succeed in school this year. Whether your kids struggle with learning issues or not, Laura offers ups some great ideas that can help keep us focused on learning and succeeding in school.

Check out this link:

Addition Fact Practice

math-clip-art-14Here’s a great website that has Powerpoint math fact slides as well as links to great games and activities.

Perseverance: A Must-Have for Children


Many children have set out to accomplish something–sports, music, good grades–only to realize that the path is uphill and the prize is not free. Certainly, you’ve experienced seeing excited eyes and faces as your children share dreams of accomplishing some new endeavor; then, you later see the frustration and hear those distressed words, “I can’t.” This is the time when being a parent counts.

Children need to feel successful. The actual accomplishment of a task is not as important as the work they do to accomplish it. You may need to help your child adjust a goal, or you may need to give an explanation about why he or she can’t fly to the moon tomorrow on a rocket, but it’s important for you to find a way to help your child experience the satisfaction of persevering to the end.

As the close of the school year approaches, consider working on the following three “Be’s” that will help your children develop perseverance.

  • · Be interested. There’s a reason kids say, “Daddy, watch this!” Children never really outgrow the need to know that you care about what they do. Show that you want them to be successful.


  • · Be a teacher. Parents are teachers. Kids have classrooms at school, but the laboratory for learning is the home. You don’t need chalkboards, fancy technology, or advanced degrees in math or reading to teach your children. Simply watch for, and take advantage of, teaching moments–a chance to encourage, lift, explain, or share one of your life’s experiences.


  • · Believe. Your children can do anything. Do you believe it? Children can tell. Give them the gift of truly believing in them, and then brace yourself for them to do things that may astound you.

Your Child’s Learning Style

Your Child May Not Learn Like You Do


You probably remember what school was like when you were a child. You know what subjects you enjoyed–and you may remember the subjects you didn’t like. You also know how you learned new information the best. Maybe you retained more when you read your textbook, or maybe you liked it better when the teacher lectured, or maybe you did the best with hands -on activities. You likely still discover new information in the same way you picked it up in school.


However, when it comes to your child, you need to forget everything you remember about your school preferences. That may sound drastic, but it’s really necessary if you want your child to do his or her best. Your child is a unique individual.  Not only is it likely that his or her subject preference differs from yours, but your child may also learn differently than you do.


In terms of learning styles, there are three main types: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic or tactile. Your child may use one or all of these styles as he or she progresses through school. The rest of this message will define these styles and give you strategies to help your child make the most of his or her dominant learning style in school.


Visual learners benefit from seeing or observing the way something looks or works.

Think about and ask your child the following questions. Does he or she have a hard time remembering names although he or she can always remember a face? How does he or she recall information? Does he or she see images? If so, your child is likely a visual learner.


If your child is a visual learner, try the following approaches:

*Ask your child to highlight important information on worksheets or handouts with a marker or draw a line under it with a pencil.

*Make flash cards for your child. Simple math facts and vocabulary words lend themselves well to flash cards.

*Help your child make charts, diagrams, and graphs to better understand and express information.


Auditory learners learn best by hearing or listening.

If your child is an auditory learner, he or she probably retains more information when the lesson is presented verbally and when the teacher questions the whole class. Ask your child if he or she does well in class discussions. Is he or she easily distracted by noises? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, your child is likely an auditory learner.


You can help your auditory learner do better in school by:

*Reading aloud to him or her or having the child read material aloud.

*Using mnemonic devices or phrases when memorizing materials. Do you remember all of the colors of the rainbow? If you memorized RoyG.Biv, you probably do.

*Allowing your child to study with a friend so he or she can hear and talk about information.


Kinesthetic or tactile learners learn best by touching or doing.

You’ll know easily if your child is a tactile learner. Is he or she the only person in the family who can set the digital recorder or run the computer? Does he or she love to build things? Is your child often out of his or her seat in the classroom? Yes, yes, and yes? Then your child learns best with hands-on activities.

You can try the following things to help your kinesthetic learner do better in the classroom:

*Ask your child to act out or demonstrate concepts. For instance, to help your child understand that verbs are action words, you might have him or her act out the meaning of the word.

*When helping your child with homework, give him or her a real world perspective on the content. For example, if your child is working with fractions, get out the measuring cups.

*Take advantage of hands-on projects. Your tactile learner will enjoy these assignments the most.

*Allow your child access to multimedia applications and learning tools on the computer.


Help your child discover his or her own learning style.

By doing so, you not only make your child more responsible for his or her own learning, but you heighten his or her awareness of how he or she learns. With your help, your child can develop strategies for making the best use of his or her dominant style, as well as overcoming any obstacles he or she may have with other learning styles.

                                From “Cut & Paste” vol. 12/#3/March 2011

Recipe for Second Grade

ScientistEasy Recipe for a Perfect Second Grade Class

1 Bunch of Happy Eager Students

1 Enthusiastic, Energetic and Loving Teacher

Combine the above ingredients with:

2 cups of Reading

1 cup of Phonics

2 cup of Math

1 cup of Spelling

1 cup of Science/Social Studies/Health

1 cup of Honesty

1 cup of Friendship

1 cup of Respect

1 cup Concern and Love for Each Other

Spices (for extra flavor)

A dash of P.E., Art, Music, Library and Computer Lab

A large portion of Centers

An abudance of supportive and concerned parents

Blend reading, phonics, spelling, math, science, social studies, and health very carefully, and thoroughly every day. Add honesty, friendship, respect, and concern for each other. Daily add a bunch of love and enthusiasm along with a scoop of understanding and a dash of discipline. Sift in P.E., Music, Art, Library and Computers to give it a little spicy flavor. Carefully blend in centers to enhance all learning styles. Mix thoroughly and check to see if all ingredients are blending and being learned. Bake in a second grade classroom everyday. Watch them grow and learn daily adding more of each ingredients as needed. When they are done and the year is through – turn them out into the world with knowledge, love, respect, and self-esteem….ready for third grade!



Welcome to Highland Drive Elementary’s Second Grade Webpage!  It will help you stay up to date on all the great learning going on in our classrooms.  You can find our weekly homework list and spelling words along with classroom updates and links to websites we use in class.































Poison Alert — Can Television Be Poisoning Our Families?

Poison Alert!

Mom and Dad watched as their one-year-old son crawled around the floor of Marv Mozzarella’s House of Fun. They noticed that little Carlton had found some tasty lead paint chips on the floor. Ma and Pa really wanted to do something. The chips were bad for their boy, but the other parents were letting their kids eat them. Could something so widespread and readily available really be that bad?

While most parents aren’t sitting around letting their kids eat lead paint, too many of them let poison ooze into their homes via their television sets. This toxic waste, represented by explicit violence and sexual images, is being beamed into millions of homes via satellite and cable.

Just like poison, these images may not cause immediate death, however, the toxic effects do accumulate and cause certain harm to body, mind, and spirit. Study after study has shown the horrific effects of exposure to sex and violence: Kids become desensitized, lose their ability to experience empathy, and fail to develop healthy cause-effect thinking.

At Love and Logic, we believe that children learn to make good decisions about big and important matters by making plenty of poor decisions about small matters, and experiencing empathy and logical consequences from the adults in their lives. As a result, we believe that wise parents allow their children to make plenty of affordable mistakes.

Watching sex and violence on television is not an “affordable mistake.”

Watching explicit trash on MTV is akin to dumpster diving.

As adults, we can remember that we have control over whether we make it easy for children to ingest poison within our homes. Smart folks don’t leave pesticides within reach of their toddlers. Smart folks also call their cable or satellite providers and cancel the programming that brings sex and violence into their homes. Others decide to password protect the explicit channels.

Best of all, the wisest parents engage in plenty of loving conversations with their youngsters about the fact that the human mind resembles a computer: Garbage in, garbage out.

Dr. Charles Fay