Creekside Forest Elementary

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Dear Parents,
I know this is going to be a great year! I am honored and excited to be a part of your child’s learning experience in second grade. This website will tell you a little about me and some important second grade information.
I understand that your child comes to me with unique experiences, interests, and learning styles. My goal is to truly know your child well and use this knowledge to guide, support, and motivate him or her. I value parent involvement and encourage you to partner with me to give your child the most powerful and joyous learning experience possible.
Thank you in advance for all of your support and help this year!
Kind regards,
Hollyann Apel
281-357-4526 x3891
Conference Period: 12:55 - 1:50
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Recent Posts


This year has absolutely FLOWN by!  It’s such a bittersweet time.  I know everyone is excited for summer, but after the dust settles and I come to work on Friday I know that I will be saddened at how quiet my room is and that I don’t get to see those sweet smiles every day.  They have blown me away at the progress they’ve made, all the hard work they put in and what wonderful little people they have grown into this year.  You should be so proud of your kiddos; I have seen an AMAZING amount of academic growth.  This was a special year for me, having my first child and I am so thankful that you and your families were a part of it!  Thank you for everything that you have done for me this year and sharing your children with me, I truly think of them as my own.  

There are just a few announcements for this week…

  • Students are having a read-in/game day tomorrow, Wednesday. They can bring small pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and games. Please have them bring games that they have previously played and can explain the rules to others.
  • Please continue to empty your child's backpack NIGHTLY. They are heavy as we continue to send home workbooks and school supplies. 
  • End-of Year Parties will be from 11:30-12:30 on Thursday, June 1st, parents are welcome to come! Parent volunteers may begin setting up at 11:10 in the room.  Students may be dismissed with a parent without penalty.  General dismissal will be at 12:50.
  • Please pick up all medication from the nurse by June 1, 2017.  All medication not picked up by the last day of school will be destroyed.
  • Lost and found items, located on the table outside the library, will be donated June 1st. Please check for any lost items that may belong to you.
Kind regards, 
Hollyann Apel

Weekly Updates and Reminders 5/22

Academic Updates:
Camping will continue this week as well!  We are doing many camp themed review assignments to practice previously learned skills.

Yearbooks were distributed Friday for all students who purchased a yearbook.  If you ordered a book and did not receive it, or find a defect in your book, please notify the front desk Monday, May 22.  Additional yearbooks will be on sale in the front lobby at a price or $40 for any student who did not order a book but would like to purchase one.  

Please send the books back on Friday May 26th for 2nd Grade's Chance to sign autographs!
We will have our last class store shopping day this Friday for students to spend any money they have earned and saved! If you are able to donate anything for the students to purchase using their classroom money, it would be greatly appreciated! ("treasure box items", small toys, arts/crafts supplies, etc). 

Have a great week!  

Weekly Updates and Reminders 5/15

Salsa Success!
THANK YOU to everyone who donated, volunteered and came to school to support the students with their garden project.  I was blown away!  The salsa was so delicious, if you'd like to make your own this summer with your expert gardener here's a link to the recipe:  (e-mail me if you are unable to view this!)

A note from the counselor:


I would love your input as to what you value the most and feel is the most essential part of a comprehensive counseling program.  If you could respond to the survey below, that would be wonderful in helping me tailor the program to meet the needs of our students here at CFES!  

Ms. Dean, Counselor

Updates & Reminders: 
No more spelling tests or homework other than nightly reading.  (Hooray!)
ALL library books are due. 
The "Dance Party" will be on Friday, during specials. 
We started our 2nd Grade annual "Camp Learned A Lot" today. We have a tent set up in the classroom, campers read by flashlight during stamina time (if you have not sent in a flashlight, please send one in tomorrow), and complete various "camping themed" activities! 
What are we learning this week?
Reading & Writing - Students will read camping mentor texts to practice & review reading and writing skills.  
Math - Students will be using a variety of strategies to solve division problems (repeated subtraction and equal groups). We will still continue to practice multiplication as well.  Students will also be doing extension activities and problem solving activities to review and extend their learning for previously taught objectives. 
Science - Students will participate in many "STEM" science activities. Students will take the 2nd Grade District Science Benchmark on THURSDAY, MAY 18th. 
Social Studies- Students will continue learning about landforms and bodies of water. Students need to know: river, lake, ocean, hill, mountain, valley, peninsula, island, plain, canyon, plateau, bay, glaciers. Students will have a major grade assessment on Friday, May 19th. 
We're happy campers this week!
Mrs. Apel

Field Day Information


Your child will participate in field day this week. K-2nd grade will be on Thursday from 9:30-12:30, and 3rd -5th grade will be on Friday from 9:30-12:30. Please make sure that they wear the color that their teacher has given them, and tennis shoes. Field day attire must follow the school dress code. Kindergarten lunch is from 10:30-11:00, 1st grade from 11:00-11:30, and 2nd grade is from 11:30-12:00. Grades 3-5 will eat after the games at 12:30. If you did not order a box lunch for your student, please be sure to send your student with a sack lunch. On Friday the cafeteria will be closed, and will not be serving the regular menu to ANY grades. Only box lunches that were pre ordered, will be served on Friday. Please pack a lunch on Friday as well, if you did not order a box lunch.

Please make sure that your student puts on sunscreen/bug spray before they come to school. Please send them with a water bottle and towel for picnicking as well. We are hoping for beautiful weather, but you never know what could happen. Unless it is storming, we will plan to go on with the day. Thank you for allowing your child to participate. We are looking forward to 2 days full of fun!

If you're interested in volunteering, use the link below to sign up!

Coach Baxter & Coach V

Weekly Updates and Reminders 5/8

There's a busy week ahead!  Let me first say THANK YOU! You and your families have spoiled me yet again!  The classroom was covered in flowers, treats, my favorite things, and my favorite of all - letters from my students!  I truly have the best job in the world; thank you for trusting me with your children and I hope that they have enjoyed this school year as much as I have!  


Thursday, May 11th-  Field Day: 2nd Grade students wear BLUE! Make sure your child is in clothes appropriate for athletic activity, and that those clothes still meet CFES dress code. They need to wear closed-toe shoes, too.  Please apply sunscreen to your child before they come to school.  Send a sack lunch unless you pre-ordered lunch from the cafeteria.

Friday, May 12th - the cafeteria will be closed. All students need to bring a lunch from home. 

Friday, May 12th - SALSA party - 2:15-3:15 Come enjoy homemade salsa from our garden vegetables. We will also show group technology projects and individual projects will be displayed. Click the link to view the invitation: You will be able to sign your child out after the party.

Also, we are in need of volunteers and a few donations for our upcoming Garden Celebration.  We need 3 bags of tortilla chips, such as Tostitos or a similar brand for dipping.
We also need 30-40 small sized water bottles for our class.  If you are able to donate, please send me an e-mail.  We will need these supplies by Thursday, May 11th in order to prepare.
If you are interested in helping prepare the salsa, please e-mail me!

The week of May 15th - We will start our annual 2nd grade Camp Learned A Lot. Students will need to bring in a flashlight, labeled with their name (this will be returned).  Also, we are looking for a tent we could borrow to use in our classroom for the 2 weeks of "camping". Please let me know if you have one we could use! 


What are we learning?

Reading: Students are going to be participating in a book study (Bailey School Kids series) and focus on reading strategies and comprehension skills. Students will independently read and respond to the text.

Writing: Students will be working on writing "how to make salsa" and practice using strong word choice in their writing. 

(last spelling test!) Spelling words: giant, digit, gym, jam, badge, green, goose, games, gems, garden, jumps, gifts, frog, young, sentence, idea

Math: Students will  begin learning how to solve multiplication problems different ways. Students will learn how to solve problems using repeated addition, arrays and equal groups.

We will still have our weekly math fact check on Tuesdays (addition and subtraction),  but we will also begin multiplication fact checks (not for a grade). Students will all begin on x0,x1,x2 facts and as they master the facts they will move on to x3, x4, and so on. 

We will also  be reviewing previously taught 2nd Grade objectives. Students will take their end of the year District Math Benchmark Test on Tuesday, May 16th. 

Science: Students will be working on their garden project! Students will be creating a poster or box to display their data from their project. 

Social Studies: Students will continue to learn about landforms and bodies of water.

I told you we'd be busy!  Please contact me if you are able to volunteer and/or have any questions!

Mrs. Apel

Weekly Updates and Reminders 5/1

Academic Updates:
Reading: Students will be completing book studies on assigned chapter books. Students will read the text and respond to their reading.Students will also be assessed on their end of the year reading levels. 
Writing:Students will continue working on the writing process and will also focus on writing expository text. Students will have a district expository major grade writing prompt this week. 
Spelling Words: city, sail, nice, cell, price, cent, call, kitten, cable, basket, face, police, cupcake, place, second, once
Math:Students will continue their study of financial literacy and money. They will have a major grade assessment on Friday, May 5th.
Social Studies: Students will begin studying landforms.
Science:Students will continue studying animals and identify how physical adaptations help  them survive in their environments. 
***Garden Project:*** This is a big deal for our 2nd graders and our school! This "project based learning" project will be coming to end soon and the kids have done a great job planting, researching, caring for and making observations in the garden.
Students need to bring in a shoe box OR a poster board to display all of their data from their project. Students will be creating a slideshow of their pictures and data and creating a display to "show off" during our Salsa Party celebration.
Our salsa party will be on MAY 12th! ALL parents are invited to come view your child's project display and celebrate with us! More information will come home next week. 
ON MAY 11th - I need 2 parent volunteers to help "prepare" the salsa with the students! If you are able to and want to help in the afternoon, please e-mail me! 
Dates & Reminders:
May 1st - May 12th: Penny War! Support the CFES DI Team by donating coins to help raise money for the Global DI tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee!
May 8th-9th - STAAR testing (no visitors/volunteers) 
May 11th - Field Day (2nd graders - wear BLUE)
May 12th - Cafeteria closed - all students need to pack a lunch
A note from the Counselor:

Students in grades 3, 4, and 5, will have an opportunity to show all that they’ve learned this year as they take a variety of STAAR tests.   

May 8th, 2017:  3rd, 4th, Math STAAR, 5th retest

May 9th, 2017: 3rd, 4th, Reading STAAR, 5th retest

May 10th, 2017: 5th Science STAAR

 Due to the security of this testing process, all parents (Kinder through 5th grade), will eat lunch with their children on other dates. Volunteers are also asked to reschedule their time. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter. Here at Creekside Forest, we have the most amazing parents who provide their time and care to volunteer and make our school a nurturing environment.


Please contact me with any questions or concerns.  I can't believe it's already May!

Hollyann Apel

Weekly Updates and Reminders 4/24

Book Fair - We will go as a class will go on Tuesday during our library time from 10:30 - 11.  We would love for you to meet us there and shop!  (This also backs up to our lunch time, just a reminder.)  You can also send money with your child and they can shop then or before school.
Tuesday, April 25th- Muffins with Mom! 7:30 a.m.The book fair will also be open early that morning. 
May 11th - Field Day - 2nd grade students need to wear a blue shirt. 
May 12th - cafeteria closed - students need to bring their lunch. 
Academic Updates:
Reading and Writing: Students will begin their animal research portfolio using the notes they recorded on their note taking chart! This project has many parts and the final product is a lot of work,  but it turns out really neat. Students are always so proud of the work they put into it.  Students will also have a formal major grade research assessment on Thursday, April 27th. 
Students will also continue to read a passage and find the evidence in the text to support their answer! Please work on this at home if you see your child is struggling with going back and using the text. They should be doing this weekly on their homework passage. We took a daily grade this week and will take another one next week. 
Spelling words: lick, leak, snake, sleek, weak, croak, whack, brook, bank, smack, kick, rock, spoke, ask, back, sometimes
Math: Students will continue learning about money. Students should be able to identify coins and their values, determine the value of a collection of coins up to a dollar, make an amount using different coins and write the value using the cent symbol and a decimal point. Problem solving problems are incorporated into our study of money as well. Students will have a daily grade on Tuesday. Students will then be using their money knowledge to learn about "financial literacy". Vocabulary: saving,spending, lending, borrowing, withdrawl, deposit, responsible and irresponsible
Science: Students will be studying how animals meet their basic needs. They will compare the needs of animals and  determine if all animals need the same things to survive. They will also look at an animal's environment and how it effects the animals' ability to meet their needs. 
We are still going to work in the garden to record observations and measure our onions every week! We released ladybugs into the garden as well and added a hummingbird feeder. 
Social Studies:  The students will locate and identify each continent and ocean on maps and globes and describe the characteristics of the continent.Students will take a major grade assessment on Thursday, April 27th. 
Kind regards, 
Mrs. Apel

Weekly Updates and Reminders 4/17

I hope y'all had a nice Easter weekend! 
Here's what we are learning next week:
Reading and Writing: Students continuing to work on their big research project.  Students picked an animal to research and will learn how to site sources and organize information.  Students are recording their research notes in a chart that will be graded.  The students will use their research notes to create a final product (major grade). 
Spelling:  chalk, fall, talk, calm, false, salt, stall, small, all, call, palm, bald, almost, always, animal
Math: We will review fractions on Monday (I will send home a daily grade from last week for review along with their homework pages). Students will take a major grade assessment on fractions on Tuesday, April 18th.
We will then begin studying coins - identifying coins and their values and determining the value of coins up to a dollar. Students need to be able to identify coins, know their value and write the value using the cent symbol and a decimal point.
Students need to continue to retain their skills on problem solving & understanding word problems. We had a problem solving daily grade last week and we will have another one next week. We practice these skills in class daily, students just need to take the time to read the problem, think about what its asking, and carefully and check their work for "careless mistakes".  
Science: Students will be learning about insect life cycles and comparing various life cycles. 


Social Studies: Students will be studying geography. Students will be identifying and locating the 7 continents and oceans on a globe and map. 


Hollyann Apel

Weekly Updates and Reminders 4/11

  • There will be NO SCHOOL this Friday.
  • We will take our spelling test on Thursday. 
  • Homework is due on Thursday. 
Reading: Students begin animal research this week! Students will determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gather. Students will clarify research questions and evaluate and synthesize collected information. Lastly, students will organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience.
Writing: Students will continue to research a self-selected animal, as they ask open-ended research questions and develop a plan for answering them by generating a list of topics of class-wide interest and formulate open-ended questions about one or two of the topics. Students will decide what sources of information might be relevant to answer these questions.

Lastly, students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience by creating a visual display to convey the results of the research.

Students will also review grammar skills. Students should be able to identify: nouns, adjectives, verbs, pronouns and subjects and predicates in sentences; change singular nouns to plural nouns; be able to identify mistakes in sentences and make corrections to the sentences. 

Spelling:haul, maul, gaunt, pauses, raw, paw, draw, claws, dawn, yawn, hawk, launch, haunt, saw, because, off

Math: Students will continue to study fractions as they use models to count fractional parts beyond one whole and recognize how many parts it takes to equal one whole. 

Students need to continue to retain their skills on problem solving & understanding word problems. 

Science: Students will understand how living things depend on one another for meeting their basic needs- ANIMALS DEPEND ON ANIMALS, ANIMALS DEPEND ON PLANTS, PLANTS DEPEND ON ANIMALS.

Social Studies: Students will be able to use a map to locate places and describe the benefits and reasons for using a map. Students will take a major grade Maps Assessment on Wednesday of this week. 

VOCABULARY: map, symbol, title, compass rose, key/legend, globe, coast

Does your child like LEGOS?  Then you may be interested in an event coming to Houston.

FLL Houston World Festival


World Festival FIRST® LEGO® League Robotics competition is being held in Houston from April 19th-22nd. This is a great opportunity for our kids to go visit and experience the biggest sport in Texas- Robotics! There are 108 teams from around the globe that are expected to attend this event. We hope your experience will be as rewarding to you and your kids as it is for the teams that are coming from all around the world.


If you are new to FIRST® LEGO® League, and would like to learn more about the program please click on this link


Date, Location, and Time

Dates: April 19 – 22, 2017


George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center

1001 Avenida De las Americas

Houston, TX 77010

Time:  Many events for other FIRST® programs are happening during this week as World Festival is part of the FIRST Championship. Please click on the following link to view the detailed schedules of the events taking place so that you can choose the event you would like to attend.


Full Schedule of Championship Events:


This is a free event with no admission tickets required but you might have to pay for parking.

I'm back!  I was welcomed with so many smiling faces, hugs, and cards this morning!  Your kiddos have grown so much since I've been gone!  I know Mrs. Whitson did an amazing job and they will all miss her.  I'm happy to be back doing what I love.  Thank you for all your support.  

Much love, 

Hollyann Apel 

Weekly Updates and Reminders 4/3

Please send in an empty cereal box with your child by Thursday! 

Upcoming Events:

April 7- Run the Creek (10:33)

April 7- Creekfest (5:30-8:00 PM)

April 14- No School (Good Friday)

April 24-28- Book Fair

April 25- Muffins with Mom


  • Please make sure your child packs a healthy, non-messy, easy to eat, snack every day.
  • Dress code reminder - please make sure shorts, skirts and dresses are finger-tip length. The kids are growing quickly and might have outgrown their clothes from last year! Tank tops must cover their shoulders as well or be covered with jacket/sweater.
  • A note from Mrs. Deyoe about Creekfest:

Run the Creek fundraising is in full swing and we need your help! As of today, we are $19,210 dollars away from our goal of $20,000! Remember, if you raise $50, you will receive 10 tickets for the raffle; if you raise $100 you will receive 25 tickets; and if we meet our goal, we will receive a school wide dance party! We appreciate your support!! 

  • Please support us as we begin reading The Lemonade War as a TISD community! Your child will be receiving a copy of the book! I highly encourage you to read this book with your child.  The chapters are short if you want to try one a night!  We followed along and listened to Coach Garrett (the Dallas Cowboys head coach) read Chapter 1 today! 

Academic Updates:

Reading: Students will be taking a Media Literacy Assessment for a major grade on Wednesday (4/5) of this week. Students are expected to be able to recognize different purposes of media, describe techniques used to create media messages, and use reading comprehension skills to analyze how words, images, graphics, and sounds work together in various forms to impact meaning.

Writing: Students will connect Science learning objectives to Writing as they write a narrative from a plant’s point of view! This will require online research in order to promote idea development in their writing.

Spelling words - how, counts, cows, clowns, found, town, loud, now, ouch, down, shout, brown, ground, around, house, until

Math: Students will be taking the Graphing Assessment for a major grade on Monday of this week. This week, students will begin studying fractions as they answer the following essential questions: What is a fraction? How can you determine which figures represent halves, fourths and/or eighths? Do fractions make sense with what we know about mat? How do you partition objects in equal parts? How do you draw a model of a fraction and justify your model? How do you explain the relationship between the parts and the size of the parts? Which fractions results in larger parts? How do you know when a set of fractional parts is more than one whole? What examples can you give for parts of a whole? 

Vocabulary: explain, fractional parts, whole, fraction, halves, fourths, eighths, equal parts, equivalent, partition

Science: Students will take a two-part Plants Assessment this week on Tuesday and Wednesday for a major grade. Students will continue their study of plants as they determine the basic needs, plant parts, how each plant part helps the plant meet its basic needs, and how the weather causes dormancy in plants. Later in the week, students will begin to study the dependency of plants and animals in the environment as they begin examining food chains.

Social Studies: Students will continue their study and creation of maps as they study significant U.S. landmarks located on maps.



Thank you hardly seems like enough!  I am so amazed at the out pour of love and generosity you and your families have shown me this year.  I have absolutely loved teaching your children and I feel so blessed to have such amazing parents.  From baby showers, to birthday, to Christmas - and all so close together!  Your encouraging words and thoughts have meant the world to me.  I will be back soon and your kiddos will be in good hands while I'm gone.  Thank you again for everything!
Merry Christmas from my (growing) family to yours! 

Weekly Updates and Reminders 12/5


For our Holiday Party next Friday, December 16th, please send a wrapped, new, or gently used, gender neutral book, that we can use for a book exchange game.

Thank you to all who have donated to our Angel Tree family.  All donations are due by Wednesday, 12/7, the Salvation Army will be here to pick everything up that next day.  We have almost everything on the list!   

We are still in need of Trader Joe bags if you have any stuffed in your pantry. We need these by next Monday.

This Thursday we have a 3 digit subtraction test, and a Culture and Celebrations assessment for Social Studies.

Progress reports will come home this Wednesday!

Academic Updates:

Reading: We will review previously learned skills this week using holiday texts.  Skills we will review include: inferring, comparing plot elements, summarizing,  analyzing character traits, and questioning.

Writing: Students will get back to writing personal narratives and also work on holiday topical writing.  Spelling:  chop, each, when, chin, what, lunch, why, speech, while, which, peaches, white, branch, such, much, where

Math: We are continuing with 3 digit subtraction to prepare for a test on December 8th.  When working on homework this week, have your child add to check their subtraction - they do MUCH better when they do this!

Science: Weather and the water cycle (what is a meteorologist, tools used to measure and predict weather, and how the water cycle affects weather patterns)

Social Studies: We will discuss the various elements of culture, and compare celebrations, traditions, and holidays.