Second Grade,
Ms. DeVaney-Wilkes, (Ms. D.)

“To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love, For it is in giving that we receive. . .”
~ from The Prayer of Saint Francis

My name is Suzanne DeVaney-Wilkes, but I'm better known as Ms. D. This is my fortieth year of teaching, my thirty-second at Holy Cross. Time flies when you're having fun! Most of these years have been spent teaching second grade. It's such an incredible year of growth for the children academically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, especially their feet!. I still have fond memories of being a second grader myself in Mrs. Edlund's class at The Madeleine School in Portland . My hope is that your child will feel the same way I did and still do about this special year of elementary school.

Students need a respectful, challenging, and safe classroom environment where they can feel comfortable and confident in their learning. Effective classroom management directly enhances the learning environment. Students who consistently demonstrate behaviors and attitudes that reflect the Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs) become Busy Bee Self-Managers. The children really take these expectations to heart and do their best to become Busy Bees!

Second graders who have been baptized have the opportunity to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist during the school year. Please contact Andrea Swanson, the parish Director of Religious Education, if you are interested in having your child participate in the parish program. This is an important mission of the parish. We hope to deepen the children's knowledge of Catholicism and put their faith into action. The children come with open minds and hearts in order to more fully participate in the Church, the Body of Christ. Even though I am no longer directly involved in teaching the Sunday sacramental preparation classes, I will offer support by planning with Mrs. Swanson and presenting faith-based lessons in the classroom.

It's wonderful to be part of the Holy Cross community. It feels like a home away from home, and there's no place I'd rather be!

Contact Ms. DeVaney-Wilkes


                                                                 Open the eyes of our hearts Lord.                                                                                                                                      (based on) Ephesians 1:18


Second Graders are learning . . .

  • Religion: We are exploring the Essential Question of Unit 1: How does Jesus help us find our way to God the Father?


  • Reading: Second graders are reading a variety of developmentally appropriate literature and informational texts. Phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension skills are ongoing. Guided reading groups provide differentiated lessons to meet the needs of all learners. Students are also reading ebooks on a website called Raz-Kids. This site can be accessed at home for additional practice.


  • English: The 6+1 Traits of Writing integrated with the English Language Arts Common Core Standards are being used in planning, teaching, and assessing the progress of my young authors. Students are currently working on writing informational paragraphs about animals. In grammar, the focus is on verbs.


  • Spelling:The Rebecca Sitton Spelling Program is a resource that provides the weekly word lists. In second grade, there are 170 Core Words that the students should master by June. The spelling lists are made up of high-frequency words that recycle through the year. It's not a one and done kind of program. Here is a link to a website for spelling practice:


  • Handwriting:The manuscript alphabet is now being reviewed. The four keys of legibility (letter size, shape, spacing and slant) are being emphasized and are the basis for handwriting evaluation.


  • Math: The beginning unit of math is Operations and Algebraic Thinking. This includes basic addition and subtraction facts, finding sums of ten, solving one and two-step word problems involving, identifying odd and even numbers, and using addition to find the total number of objects in an array.


  • Social Science: Second graders are currently learning about the Schoolwide Learning Expectations. Geography skills are being practiced daily, too.


  • Science: Our first unit of study is Matter. This is such a great topic to begin our exploration of the world around us.


  • Art: Second grade artists will be exploring line, shape, texture, and color this year. We will also have fun with seasonal arts and crafts projects!


Click here to read The Second Grade Buzz Newsletter.


Faith Formation

Learning about and having the opportunity to fully participate in the wonderful sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist makes second grade an extra special year!

First Reconciliation ~ Preparation Class on Sunday, March 15th at 11:00 a.m.

Celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is Saturday, March 21st at 10:00 a.m.

First Holy Communion ~ Preparation Retreat Day on May 3rd from 11:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.

First Communion Rehearsal on May 5th at 6:00 p.m.

First Communion Mass on Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 a.m.

These are a few photos of children who received their first Holy Communion last school year.




Use this link to place your Scholastic Book Order online

The next book order due date is November 1st.


Service Projects

The second grade works with the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry with whatever they may need. We also provide service to the parish by making various projects, and writing notes for the homebound.

Second graders from the 2018-19 school year carried all the items donated during the fall Food Drive to the SVdP Food Pantry. We helped in the spring, too!