Weekly Updates 1/2/19

Happy New Year!

Today is the start of a new quarter in 2nd grade. I cannot believe that we are already starting 3rd quarter and that this year is officially halfway over. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday break and spent some quality time with family. Here are the updates for the next week and a half.

Math- We are starting to review addition. At the beginning of the year we were adding numbers that had a sum within 100 and now we will start to add numbers that have a sum within 1,000. We will be using all strategies we have learned before (base 10 blocks, expanded form, and number line.

Social Studies- We are starting our economics unit. This is one of my favorite units! Students will be learning basic understandings about our economy. They will be earning “School Bucks” for following our class promises and will be able to spend the “school bucks” at our economics fair at the end of the unit. More info about this will be coming home tomorrow. Please look for a letter in hw folders!

Reading- We are starting our compare/contrast unit while studying fairy tales. Students will be reading different versions of fairy tales/fables and comparing the story elements (characters, setting, events, etc.).

Writing- We are starting our realistic fiction writing unit. Students will be writing a realistic fiction story about pirates. We will be studying the life of Blackbeard as a read aloud to pair with our writing.

Tower of Books- Today students will be sent home with the new tower of books challenge for quarter 3. This challenge will focus on illustrators. The tower of books challenge will be due March 20th. The book tasting will be March 27th. We will also be doing a special writing celebration on that same day. Please plan to attend if you are able to!

Report cards will go home next Friday, 1/11/19. Updated mClass reports will also go home with the report cards.

Have a great week!

Mrs. K

End of Quarter 2 Updates

Here are the weekly updates for the end of Quarter 2:

This Saturday, December 15th we will have our first make up day for the snow day. School begins at the regular time with the first bell ringing at 8:45 and the last bell ringing at 9:15. Students will be dismissed at 12:45pm. During Saturday school, lunch is not served so please make sure your student has a “hearty” snack packed for school. There will be no before or after school care offered. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns

Tower of Books: Please make sure your student brings their favorite FICTION book from this quarter’s challenge in by Friday. Our book tasting this quarter will take place on Wednesday December 19th at 12:00pm 🙂 Hope to see you there!

Science- We will conclude our unit on sound. Students have been visiting Mr. Lamanna’s room for some sound lessons as we have collaborated on this unit. Please look for information tonight on the sound project due next Thursday. Here are some websites that can help your child with the project:




Math–We will continue to learn about place value and then move on to comparing three digit numbers using place value for explanation. Next week we will finish up and review comparing numbers. We will take our third unit 4 assessment on Wednesday, December 19th.

Reading– Over the next several weeks, we will be administering middle of the year MCLASS assessments.  The results will be shared when they are completed.  We are starting our unit on how to compare and contrast important points on the same topic.  Students will be reading passages on nonfiction topics like pandas and famous monuments. They will be assessed next week.

Letterland: Due to the snow days, we will not have new letterland words this week. Students will have new words  next week.
Writing:  We are working on our continent research. Students have “stamped out” their driving questions and will collect their research in their suitcases. On Monday we will be turning our facts into sentences. We will work on organizing our writing and finishing the final copy.
Important Dates:
December 15th-  Saturday School 9:15-12:45
December 19th- Book Tasting at 12pm
December 20th-  Winter Learning Experience at 12pm
December 21st- Half Day

Weekly Updates 12/3/18

Here are the weekly updates for 12/3/18:

Holiday Shop: Our class will be shopping at the PUE Holiday Shop TFriday, 12/7 @9:30-10:00! Please join us to shop if you can!  If your student plans to shop please make sure to help them plan their purchases and send them to school with money in the envelope provided the day of our shopping time.

Tower of Books: The second TOB challenge is under way! We already have a few turned in! Reminder, if your student’s tower goes missing, I will send home a picture of this quarter’s challenge. The student may flex their creative muscles to make their tower! This quarter’s challenge is due on Wednesday December 12th. Our book tasting this quarter will take place on Wednesday, December 19th at 12:00pm 🙂

Math– This week builds on what we have learned in place value so far.  We will decompose 10’s, expand numbers and continue to represent numbers in various ways.  There will be an assessment towards the end of the week.

Social Studies: We are taking a break from our unit on “Sound” to learn about the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”, which is on 12/3 of this year.  I truly believe that when I teach Social StudiesI am giving your child the opportunity to learn about different cultures, expand their thinking, and become a compassionate citizen.

Reading– This week we will continue to focus on the main idea and key details in a nonfiction text.  We will read passages about becoming famous, adapting to survive and other nonfiction topics.  We will have an assessment towards the end of the week.

Letterland: Unit 13 of Letterland focuses on the Robot syllable with Ir and Ur, as in the words nurse and shirt. The tricky words this week will be thought and around. Students take their spelling notebooks home on Monday and bring it back Friday for a completeness check. Students are expected to do four activities with their word lists for the week.
Writing:  We have been working so hard on our research.  Students have revised and have “close edited”.  This week we will be publishing our final copies in a book form with text features! Once all students are done we will celebrate and read each other’s work! Students will be able to show you this at our book tasting!
Important Dates:
December 7th -9:30-10:00 Holiday Shop, come shop with us!
December 12th- Tower of Books Due
December 19th- Book Tasting at 12pm
December 20th-  Winter Learning Experience at 12pm
December 21st- Half Day/Track Out

Magic of Math & Writing Bootcamp

I cannot believe that the first week of school is already over. This new year has already refreshed me and left me feeling grateful and excited for the year ahead.

This year my team and I have decided to adapt some new curriculum changes. We have been incorporating some “magic of math” lessons and “writing bootcamp” lessons from the one and only Amy Lemons (teacher, blogger, and pure genius in my opinion).

In math we have been learning about even and odd numbers. We learned that to determine if a number is even it must have a pair and can be written as a doubles equation. We had some fun with that this week as we created odd and even monsters and played “musical monsters”. Tomorrow we will take our first math assessment on odd and even numbers.

In reading we have been learning about answering and asking questions from a fictional text. We also started to build our reading stamina by practicing reading to self. We read “Dex, the Heart of a Hero” story to understand what stamina means. We had a “book tasting” with Mrs. Blocker in which we got to “taste” the many books in my library to see which ones we would like to read during read to self. We had so much fun!


In writing we started our writing boot camp. During this boot camp we are learning all the essential skills needed to be successful writers in 2nd grade. We practice by creating a 2nd grade survival guide. Today we learned about different punctuation marks and how to edit our papers!


In social studies we have been learning about community helpers and school/community rules. We will continue this until we track out.

I am so excited about this year. I look forward to the new memories we are going to make in Room 302!

Welcome to 2nd Grade! 2018-2019

Welcome to Second Grade!

I would like to welcome you and your child to our second grade class! I am very excited about the adventures this year will hold! Below I have listed important information. We will have a great year!

About Me: My name is Madeline Krautwurst and this is my sixth year teaching. This is my fourth year teaching second grade at Pleasant Union Elementary School and I love working in such a welcoming community. I previously taught third grade in Harnett County, North Carolina. A few years ago I moved here from a small town in New York called Pavilion. I graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2013 with a degree in Childhood Inclusive Education and a minor in English. I currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina with my husband and my cat named Rue. I recently graduated from UNC with a masters in Literacy. Some of my passions include running, reading, camping and of course, teaching! I look forward to working closely with you throughout the school year. If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me. Together we can ensure success in our second grader! Thank you for your support!  


8:45-9:15- Morning Work/Arrival

9:15-9:20-Morning Meeting


10:20-11:05- Science/Social Studies

11:10-11:40- Lunch


1:10-1:40- Recess

1:45-2:45- Writing/Snack

2:45-3:25-Specials (On a rotating, 4 day schedule)

3:25- Pack Up/Class Dojo

Attendance is very important in the second grade! If the child is not at school or arrives late often, he/she is missing valuable learning time. One goal we have in this class is to maintain great attendance!

Snack: Students will be allowed to have snack in the afternoon during writing time. Students are responsible for bringing their own snack each day. Snacks should be healthy!

Classroom Management: This year I will be using classdojo (SEE SEPARATE PAPER FOR INFORMATION). Please sign and return.

Weekly Work Folders: The Weekly Work Folder will be sent home each Tuesday. This folder will have updates from the office and student work from throughout the week. Please review the assignments in the folder with your student.

Homework/Homework Folder: Students will have nightly homework in reading, math, and spelling. Students have a purple folder that goes home every night. This will have their class dojo chart in it as well as their homework. Please take out papers that are in the “keep at home” section each night. Students are expected to complete homework each night. The next day we will go over math homework as a class or in small groups. Spelling homework is sent home each Monday and will be due at the end of each week. I will check this each Friday. Students complete their spelling homework in their spelling journal. They are expected to do this on a nightly basis. They will get their spelling list and spelling menu at the beginning of the week. Students are also expected to read 20 minutes a night. They will track the amount of minutes they read on the calendar on the front of their homework folder. Each night you can use this sheet to see the points they earned in Dojo and for the students to write minutes read that night. Your signature is required each night. This tells me that you have seen their behavior and have approved the minutes they have read. Students will complete a “tower of books” challenge to track books read. I will go over this at open house and this will not start until we track back in. Students will not have a regular homework schedule for the first few weeks of school.

Transportation: Students must have a bus tag on their bookbag in order to board the bus. They will not be allowed to board if the tag is not on their bookbag. If there is a transportation change (to carpool, etc.) a note must be sent into school to me via email or written note.

Communication: Every week I will send a “weekly update” outlining the updates for the week in our classroom. I communicate A LOT through the class dojo app so please make sure you have this.  Please read updates to stay informed about information from our classroom. I also have a classroom twitter that I would love for all parents to follow! I post daily activities and pictures that we are doing. Please follow us at @mrskscampers. Students will also post daily/weekly things to our class Seesaw and their dojo account.
I am looking forward to a fun, successful year! If you have any questions or concerns throughout the school year please feel free to contact through my email. My email address is mkrautwurst@wcpss.net.

Dash the Robot Life Cycle STEM Challenge

The last day of school is upon us which means that we are finishing up our final Science unit. In this unit we study different life cycles. One particular life cycle that we focus on is the butterfly life cycle. We watch larva transform into a pupa then a butterfly in our own classroom. Every year this is one of my favorite things to teach. The students are engaged and excited.

A few weeks ago it was time to release our butterflies. The students were sad but understood that to continue the life cycle we had to let them go. I wanted a way to culminate this unit that allowed the students to express what they learned in a creative way. Thus a Dash STEM project was born…

If you are not familiar with Dash it is a robot that can be coded and is VERY kid friendly. More info here. This quarter we also learned about recycling and natural resources. I decided to blend these together and create a STEM project to culminate these standards.

Students had to build the different stages of the butterfly life cycle using recycled materials. These recycled materials included:

    • Toilet paper rolls
    • Cereal boxes
    • Tissue Paper
    • Egg cartons
    • Noodles
    • Yarn
    • Scissors
    • Markers
    • Tape
    • Bottle caps

Parents generously donated all the recycled things we needed :). Students could choose what materials they wanted to use for each stage. The only stipulation was that they needed a blueprint for each stage before they could begin building.

After students built each stage they then had to create a script that Dash would “say” as he traveled to each stage of the life cycle. I reminded students that you can only record for 30 seconds so they should keep their information “short and sweet”. Once the students created their script they could start programming! They had SO much fun with this. Check out some samples below!

Example One

Example Two

You can also find the link to the directions and planning page here.


My First Room Transformation

I have officially jumped on the bandwagon. I am obsessed and have completely engulfed myself in every “Get Your Teach On” Twitter and Instagram account. A while ago I started reading “The Wild Card: 7 Steps to An Educator’s Creative Breakthrough” by Hope and Wade King. A colleague introduced me to the book and all the passionate teachers who make up the “Get Your Teach On” entourage. As I read the book I could feel myself becoming a more reflective teacher. With that being said, I decided to try my very first room transformation like the amazing Hope King. Although my first one was small, I feel like I am tapping into my “teacher creativity” or at least I’d like to think so.

I decided to start off small. I only had about two weeks until track out when I decided to do this and I wanted to “spice” things up a bit in my room. March madness was coming to an end and the final game would be when we returned to school after the weekend. I decided to go “all in”. Friday afternoon I told my students to dress up for the finals game on Monday–wear any kind of sports attire (preferably basketball). I told them that on Monday we would have a “march madness” day and to come with their “game faces on”. As soon as I told them I knew there was no turning back. My teacher wheels started turning and this is what I came up with…

I knew that I could not overwhelm myself and decided to try to make all my lessons centered around basketball. I borrowed a basketball jersey from a friend, created a basketball court in my room out of masking tape, bought a Nerf basketball and hoop, and brought in drinks to keep us “hydrated” throughout the day. Looking back it now, I wish I would have had Gatorade supplied for the students but juice boxes had to suffice. 🙂

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Once I got thinking the planning of activities fell into place.

Math–We were learning about different subtraction strategies. I split the groups into different college basketball teams. I set up the basketball hoop and had three different places they could shoot from. There was a one point line, two point line, and three point line. We rotated through the groups and each student had a chance to shoot the basketball at either the one, two, or three point line. Once the student shot the ball, everyone had to answer the corresponding subtraction problem with their groups. One point meant 3 digit subtracting without regrouping, two points mean 3 digit subtracting with regrouping, and three points meant they would have a 3 digit subtracting problem with zeroes. We had so much fun with this!

Social studies – We were learning about maps and how to read them. I created a google maps scavenger hunt in which they could research one of the colleges in the final game (Villanova or Michigan). They then had to navigate google maps to practice their map skills.

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Reading – We were learning about cause/effect scenarios as well as procedural steps. I had created cause/effect scenarios that students glued to a piece of scrap paper. They then crumpled them up into “basketballs” and threw them across the room. Students then had to pick up one of the “basketballs” and find the matching cause/effect scenario by walking around asking other students.

We also read “Hoop Genius” by John Coy. Students then created procedural steps on how to shoot a basketball. During Daily 5 rotations students read about famous basketball athletes and created a flip book about them. I got these ideas from the fabulous Amy Lemons – http://stepinto2ndgrade.com/

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Writing – We had been learning about opinion writing for a few days. Students created basketballs and wrote different facts/opinions about the sport. We created an anchor chart with these and then students wrote an opinion paragraph using the different facts/opinions.

Overall I think I had a very successful first “room transformation”. I hope to have many more of these throughout the year. My students were engaged and excited. After it was all over I felt exhausted but refreshed.