A new school year is beginning and this is a very exciting time for all of us! It is truly a pleasure to
be working with your child and we hope to have an opportunity to get to know and work with you as
The purpose of this packet is to share important information about routine activities & curriculum in
Second Grade. Please carefully read each section of this document to ensure an easy transition for
your child. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher via email and/or written note if you have a
concern about your child.
We look forward to an amazing year of progress with your child, academically and socially! As we
work together, we will make your child’s second grade experience happy, comfortable, and
Kristy Ackerman/Dee Carpenter email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Abbie King/Marcia Levine email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Paggio email@example.com
Children are welcome in the classroom at 7:45
a.m. Morning convocation begins at 8:00 a.m.
and the children are considered tardy if they
report to school after that time.
Please send a light, nutritious snack for your
child to eat during our morning break. Our
lunch hour begins at 12:00 p.m., so by mid-
morning the children are hungry and thirsty.
The children are responsible for the
maintenance of their supplies. During the
year certain supplies may need to be
replenished. Teachers will purchase these
items at the Berkeley Book Store and your
account will be billed.
Birthdays are very special and we love
celebrating them at school. On your child’s
birthday (or as close as possible) you may
send a special treat (cupcakes, cookie cake,
doughnuts, etc.) for your child to share with
his/her class. Napkins & plates are
appreciated; drinks are not necessary. Please
give advance notice (one day notice is
sufficient) when you want to send in the treat.
Summer birthdays may be scheduled as soon
as you would like.
The homework that is assigned is not busy
work. It is a way of reinforcing and enriching
the concepts that were taught in school that
day. It is also a way to review skills
previously taught. Homework is valuable in
that it helps your child establish independent
study habits and self-discipline.
As parents, it is important to take an active
role in your child’s homework. Please work
with us to make this a successful year for your
child. Below we have listed some tips that can
help make homework time more meaningful.
1. Allow your child to unwind and play
right after school. He/she may be more
willing to sit down and complete work at
a later time.
2. Provide a quiet, comfortable place for
your child to work away from the
distraction of television and toys.
3. Talk about the events of the day. Try to
get beyond the “I don’t know” or
“Nothing” answers that are common at
4. Make it clear to your child that
homework is his/her expectation and
responsibility, but also help him/her
understand that you are there if any
help is needed.
5. Ask your child to show you his/her work
when it is completed. Consider yourself
a consultant and not an editor
evaluating and proofreading their work.
Berkeley rules dictate that proper clothing and
shoes must be worn at all times. It would be
extremely helpful if you would label all of your
child’s clothing. This includes shirts, pants,
jumpers, jackets, ties, P.E. uniforms, etc.
Labeling uniforms and P.E. clothing is
important. Second grade is the first year
that students have lockers for P.E. and
many items get misplaced if they are not
Our dismissal procedures will require you to be
VERY specific to ensure that your child is
taken to the correct dismissal area. If you
cannot provide this information on Book Sale
Day, please let us know by the first day of
school. ANY TIME YOUR CHILD IS GOING
TO USE TRANSPORTATION OTHER THAN
WHAT YOU HAVE STIPULATED, YOU NEED
TO EMAIL SUE ROTHENBUSH AND YOUR
CHILD’S TEACHER FOR VERIFICATION.
It is so important to build our 2nd
community! Every week we come
together as an entire group to foster this
goal. During this time we may read
stories, discuss current events and/or
connect through specially planned
activities involving music & movement.
This is a great opportunity to bond,
share ideas, and much more!
A child’s education should be interesting and
even exciting. Our brain-friendly teaching
strategies are researched based to include
providing a safe, stimulating and highly
academic environment wherein each child
feels acceptance and encouragement in the
achievement of success through the love of
Be sure to read interesting FACTS about the
brain and learning each month on our 2nd
Star Student of the Week!
A "Star of the Week" child is an extra
special tradition in each 2nd
classroom! Each child will have the
opportunity to be a "Star of the Week".
This honor will allow all the children to
share special information about himself
or herself with the class in a fun and
exciting way, while simultaneously
reinforcing communication and public
During your child's week, he/she will
be an honored leader and decision
maker in the classroom.
At home, your child will complete a
'Star of the Week' information sheet
and return to school.
Your "Star" will have the opportunity
to share with the class his/her
information and any additional items
about himself or herself with the class.
You will receive a letter, in advance,
explaining more about the process when
it is your child’s week.
This is a rewarding and fun time for the
entire class. Your child will receive a
special keepsake booklet of letters from
his/her classmates and have a special
post on our 2nd
grade blog too! We look
forward to celebrating with all our "2nd
TRADI TIO N S
& INT ER ES T ING FAC T S
We are looking
forward to a
fantastic year in
Grade Virtue Sticks
Grade uses colored virtue sticks to help
the children remain accountable for their
behavior and choices at school. Please
check their daily planner each day for their
progress. Give them a lot of praise for
remaining on the color Green
(Contributing Member of Berkeley) or
for being recognized by a teacher for
going “Above and Beyond” which is a
Purple colored virtue stick.
There is no such thing as perfection, so if
your child’s planner occasionally displays
an orange or red virtue stick color, they
will have written a sentence explaining
their actions. Please discuss with them
ways they can behave differently and what
positive choices they can make in the
future to contribute positively to our
classroom and each other. Everyone
makes mistakes, so the occasional color
that requires reflection is fine, but if a
pattern develops you will be contacted by
your child’s teacher and asked to consider
reinforcing expectations with consequences
Purple: Above and Beyond Behavior
Green: Contributing Member of Berkeley
Orange: Recess Reflection
Red: Recess Reflection & Contribution
Blue: Recess Reflection & Call Home
Please contact your child’s teacher with
any questions or concerns. Thank you in
advance for your support.
Children learn by observing values that
are modeled for them. At Berkeley it is
our goal to help the students develop
habits of virtue (i.e. motivation,
commitment, integrity, creativity,
cooperation, curiosity, independence,
respect and dignity, confidence,
appreciation, empathy, kindness,
reflection, open-mindedness, inquiry,
teamwork, leadership, self-awareness).
When the expectation is clear and the
practice is consistent they can apply
these values and put them into action
on a daily basis. These virtues can be a
guiding force in the lives of children
whose destinies and character will one
day shape our world.
In alignment with our philosophy, each
grade class uses positive-
reinforcement systems for
behavior and to provide an uplifting
and positive learning environment.
Second grade is such an exciting year! We have so much to learn and have a wonderful time
exploring together. Below are a few helpful pieces of information for the upcoming year.
Second Grade Learning Links:
Senora Calandrino's Blog:
• Field Trips (dates to be determined)
• Brooker Creek (Conservation Unit) October
• Theater Field Trip (Language Arts Focus) January
• Dali Museum (Biographies Unit) – February/March
• Busch Gardens-Behind the Scenes (Animals/Habitats Unit) - April
• October 31: Halloween Parade & Party (Parents invited)
• November 8: Pumpkin Bread Baking Service Project
• December 18: Heritage Luncheon 12:00p.m. (Parents invited)
• December 18: Winter Concert 7pm Lykes Center (grades 2-5)
• February 14: Grandparents’ Day & Valentine’s Day
• May 9: Poetry Party 11:15a.m.-12:00p.m. (Families invited)
• May 22: Philippe Park (End of the Year Party – Families Invited)
• November 1st
• March 14
Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher via email and/or written note if you have a concern
about your child. Be sure to include Mrs. Rothenbusch in any changes in dismissal and/or
notifications of absences.
Kristy Ackerman: firstname.lastname@example.org Dee Carpenter: email@example.com
Abbie King: firstname.lastname@example.org Marcia Levine: email@example.com
Rachel Paggio: firstname.lastname@example.org Mrs. Rothenbusch: email@example.com
We look forward to another wonderful year!
HELPF U L HI NT S
****PLEASE READ CAREFULLY****
You will be receiving communication in a variety of ways this year. Our 2nd
Grade Blog and emails
will provide you with important information.
Also, on a daily basis, your child will bring home a Daily Planner and a Berkeley Homework Folder.
Information about the Daily Planner:
Each day, your child will write one sentence highlighting a learning experience or exciting event
from his/her day and also reflect on behavior choices using his/her planner. Your job is to read
what he/she wrote, ask questions, and then initial the day. Your child will need to return the
planner to school each day. We will be writing in our planners daily, so it is very important that
your child return it to school after you have checked it.
Information about the Berkeley Homework Folder:
The Homework Folder will have your child’s weekly homework calendar expectations, notices, your
child’s work and newsletters.
Both items are brought home each day and need to be returned the next school
Feel free to jot a note inside the agenda or folder (it is checked daily), email, phone, or set up an
appointment to discuss any questions or concerns.
HOMEWOR K FO LD ER &
DAI LY PLA N NER
Students will be introduced to 10 vocabulary words from the Wordly Wise book every other
week. We will spend approximately two weeks learning the words from 1 lesson using a
variety of strategies to encourage recall.
The Wordly Wise homework assigned each week will be very similar from lesson to lesson.
The following table is an example of what you might see on the homework calendar for
Wordly Wise practice:
Visit website http://www.wordlywise3000.com/ Review words and
Grade Learning Links for Brain Flips:
Wordly Wise Illustrations - Choose 2 words and draw a picture to match the
Create your own sentences using vocabulary words
BrainFlips have been created for each Wordly Wise lesson and provide online flashcard
practice for your child.
Please contact your child’s teacher if you observe your child having any challenges completing
the review activities. Thank you in advance for your support with your child’s vocabulary
WO RDL Y WI SE
VOCA BULAR Y
Our 2nd Grade Word Study (commonly known as Spelling) curriculum promotes a working knowledge
of commonly misspelled words and high frequency words. The list we use has been pulled from an
extensively researched national study of grade-level words. It is comprised of the most frequently misspelled
words, high frequency words, compound words, homophones, contractions, suffixes and prefixes.
Important Information to Know!
Our Classroom Word Wall
It takes more than HAVING a word wall to improve reading and writing skills. The power of the Word Wall
technique lies in DOING word study activities each day. Daily practice helps students learn words correctly
and at the automatic level. On a metacognitive level, we think and talk about what is not logical about words
that don’t follow the patterns. We chant, cheer (auditory, rhythmic and visual approach) and use other
approaches to practicing the words, and also are writing words (kinesthetic) daily.
Teaching Tools include (but are not limited to):
Focus for the year:
Application of previously learned words (student writing)
Using resources (such as spelling dictionaries)
Developing phonetic strategies where applicable
Theme words entered into the dictionaries where applicable
Our goal is to have the students self-monitor their spelling and transfer it to their writing. We want to
promote a working knowledge of commonly misspelled words and high frequency words.
Assessment of spelling occurs in various ways:
1. Introduction of a developmentally appropriate list and number of words
2. Practical Application
3. Dictation Assessment with immediate feedback
4. Student Accountability – Ongoing assessment in writing
5. Spelling Activities
6. Spelling Options / Homework
7. Holding students accountable throughout the year
Below is a “Word Wall” for your child to use when journaling at home. Please reinforce that your child is
using resources to spell when writing.
WO RD STU D Y /
SP ELLI N G
school children because favorite friends
about family what name have
could said really right very
are again after before every
first nice here other with
was when not our were
aunt uncle sister brothers people
wanted always went beautiful how
to too two one won
there they’re their they where
boy girl who why will
black green made make more
would should knew new best
drink eating thank house phone
gym sports played skate kicked
clock city found off use
truck trip car slow stop
write writing pretty those into
crash crashes caught junk quit
didn’t don’t won’t that’s it’s
joke can’t little saw small
float rain outside ride snap
shook hurt off line mail
sale sometimes them then than
many tell or bug I
The boldfaced words in the list above are often used on a first-grade word wall, but it takes
some children two years to learn to spell these words automatically every time they write. The
underlined word segments are common spelling patterns that can be used to help spell rhyming
WO RD WAL L
In correlation with our word study curriculum, 2nd
grade uses a web-based program called:
This program allows your child to build upon the essential literacy skills needed for reading success:
phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and spelling. One of the
most important pieces to the program is that it offers differentiated curriculum, ensuring that
your child only works on areas of need.
Your child will work with his/her classroom teacher to set academic goals. He/She will have
classroom opportunities to achieve them. In addition, your child is expected to spend time at home
each week practicing these skills using your home computer. The expectations will be in each weekly
Your child will be given his/her own username and password, so that each child, parent and teacher
can monitor progress.
Important Facts to know!
Explode the Code provides:
abundant practice and reinforcement opportunities for greater retention
development of comprehension skills through reading in context
ongoing assessment for proficiency as the program records correct and incorrect responses,
response patterns, and completion times
Ongoing progress monitoring includes:
o Daily, weekly, and monthly progress reports
o Skills mastered
o Potential problems skills and tasks…and more
differentiated curriculum, ensuring that students work only on areas of need
assessment zones throughout the program determine appropriate, individualized student
research-based, multisensory instruction best for beginning and remedial readers
Visual and auditory cues support student independence and vocabulary development
Online program presents a comprehensive curriculum
Game-like interface engages students to make learning fun
Immediate audio and visual feedback is provided for each lesson
Rewards system keeps students excited about progressing through the program
PHON IC S RESO UR CE
EXP LO DE T H E CODE ON LI NE
Readers’ Workshop is a research-based approach that addresses the needs of all students in the
class. It begins with a focus lesson where we, the teachers, explicitly model a strategy or skill.
After the focus lesson, the students read independently to practice the strategy or skill. During
independent reading, students are reading “just-right” books that are matched to their
individual abilities and interests. We confer with students during independent reading to be sure
they are successful in their practice or to provide one on one instruction around any particular
needs. Sometimes, we may work with a small group of students who have similar needs during
independent reading. Finally, Readers’ Workshop ends with a group share to summarize the
important understandings of the lesson.
Reading strategies are “in the head” problem solving processes. Reading strategies are tools for
decoding and understanding what you read. Our strategy instruction helps students develop,
access, and apply these strategies independently. Some examples of strategies your child will
learn about include the following:
Creating sensory images
Writers’ Workshop is an approach to writing instruction that also addresses the needs of all
students in the class. Writers’ Workshop follows the Readers’ Workshop model and begins with a
focus lesson where we explicitly model the process and conventions of writing. After the focus
lesson, students write independently for an extended period of time. During independent
writing, we confer with individual students to assess progress and provide one on one
instruction to help students grow as writers. Sometimes we may work with a small group of
students who share similar writing needs during the independent writing time. Finally, Writers’
Workshop ends with a group share where students discuss and share their writing.
Instruction during Writers’ Workshop is organized around units of study (e.g., personal narrative,
poetry, nonfiction). During a unit of study, we may ask students to write in a particular genre,
or practice writing techniques related to the unit of study, but specific writing topics are
selected by the students based on their personal experiences and interests.
Why Writers’ Workshop?
The Writers’ Workshop supports and complements Readers’ Workshop
Writing craft and conventions are explicitly modeled
Assessment drives instruction
Students have choice and ownership in their writing
Experiences foster self-expression and a love of writing
READ ER S ’ & WRIT ER S ’ WOR K S HO P
An important part of your child’s reading program involves daily practice at home for at least
20-30 minutes. The independent reading program reinforces our literacy curriculum by
providing the opportunity for students to read and share a wide variety of genre from our
classroom and school library. The reading that we want the children to do at home is meant,
first and foremost, to help foster a love of literature. Your child is encouraged to select books
that are “just right” for him/her, as well as books from shared reading and read aloud
experiences. You can support our class lessons about book choice by discussing the books that
your child chooses with him or her.
The ability to choose books is an important and very difficult skill for many children. To help
define “just right” book selections, the following information is provided.
Is This The Right Book for You?
Ask yourself these questions.
If the answer is YES, the book is probably:
A Vacation Book
Have you read it a lot of times?
Do you understand the story very well?
Do you know almost every word?
Can you read it smoothly?
A Just Right Book
Is the book new to you?
Do you understand a lot of the book?
Are there just a few words on a page you don’t know?
When you read, are some places smooth and some choppy?
An Up-Hill Book
Are there more than 5 words on a page you don’t know?
Are you confused about what is happening?
We will instruct and conference with your child about his/her independent reading
selections and goals. This relates to the 2nd
grade reading curriculum and our work to empower
students to monitor personal reading progress. Our goal is to foster a love of literature for all
students. We look forward to celebrating reading this school year!
IND EP ENDEN T READI N G
Integrated into our Everyday Math curriculum, the 2nd
Grade teachers use Math Exemplars and
Math Vitamins as two of the math enrichment programs that will provide opportunities for your
child to practice his/her problem-solving and communication skills through real-world math
problems. These resources facilitate both classroom assessment and our instructional approach.
Math Exemplars and Math Vitamins are designed to enhance your child’s journey through
We will be teaching your child strategies to work through each problem and show all of his/her
written work when solving the problem. We will provide coaching sessions to offer tips and options
for solutions so that he/she can rework examples to find success.
When your child brings home a Math Exemplar or Math Vitamin problem, feel free to review the
problem and suggest a strategy or just listen as your child shares his or her opinion of how a
problem should be solved. Included with the problem are examples of different ways to solve the
problems and include answers. Remember, this is a program where your child will be continuously
improving with his/her attempts to solve.
Another opportunity for math enrichment is Sunshine Math. It is designed to enhance your child’s
journey through mathematics. Sunshine Math offers more challenging problem solving, and will
allow your child to take steps toward becoming an independent learner who is able to address a
variety of math problems.
Our goal in Sunshine Math will be to encourage and facilitate problem solving, while at the same
time, allowing your child to independently think through and record his or her own solutions to
each problem. We suggest strategies, offer manipulatives or listen as your child shares his or her
opinion of how a problem should be solved.
The Everyday Math curricular year-long goals for 2nd
grade are posted on our blog. Please be sure
to read them at http://wildabout2ndgrade.berkeleyprep.net/
Contact your child's teacher if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your support!
MA TH INS T RUC TION & EN RIC HMEN T
The Second Grade Math Fact Program will provide your child with the
opportunity to continue practicing and mastering the addition and
subtraction math facts. Each week, in class, your child will have oral
and written activities to assist them with the mastery of these facts.
For use at home, 2nd
grade is using a web-based program called
XtraMath to increase speed and accuracy in arithmetic. Your child is
invited to spend a few minutes each day practicing math on the
computer at www.xtramath.org
We will also be sending home practice “Math Minute” sheet(s) for
your child. Every student will have an individual goal. Feel free to
use a timed or untimed “Math Minute” (whichever your child prefers).
Remember to keep it stress free!
To support our classroom studies each week, a “Focus Set” of math
facts will be sent home for review. Remember to Practice, Practice,
and Practice! Please encourage your child to study these facts 3 or
more times per week. Use the 2nd
Grade Learning Links for additional
games to support Math Fact practice. Remember that accuracy is the
key; the "speed" will come with mastery and our academic goal is to
have mastery of both addition and subtraction by the end of 2nd
grade. Above & Beyond enrichment is provided for students who
exceed these goals.
Thanks for your support!
MA TH FAC T PR O GRAM
The second grade social studies program is designed to be an integral part of the reading
curriculum, using both fiction and non-fiction texts to teach the children. Geography and map
skills are woven into each unit of study, and connections are made between the topics’ historical
contributions to present day society. We explore different cultures, countries and continents to
enhance our knowledge and awareness of diversity. Seasonal units include holidays around the
world, family heritage and traditions, folktales around the world, biographies of famous people
who made a positive difference in our world and ways humans impact their natural environments,
both positively and negatively.
To support current events, we subscribe to the following children’s magazines to highlight events
throughout our country and world: Time for Kids, National Geographic Explorer, and Scholastic
Weekly Reader. They provides a global view of the major issues, therefore it’s a source for
discussion groups, and an opportunity for our children to be “informed” in the content areas.
The goal of the second grade science program is to develop curiosity, interest and appreciation
through experimentation, as well as individual and group projects both in the classroom and
through weekly visits to the Seaman Family Discovery Center. We will observe, compare, organize
the results of our inquiries, and communicate both orally and in writing the things we discover.
These processes (observing, communicating, comparing, and organizing) are the basic thinking
processes students need at this age to develop a scientific understanding of the world around
The following topics are presented through integrated units:
Life Sciences: nutrition/health, animals
Earth Science: conservation, habitats
Physical Science: matter, scientific process
Of course, our science related field trips compliment our units of study to enhance the learning
process for your child!
Contact your child's teacher if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your support!
SOC IAL ST UDIES & SCIEN CE
AN IN T EGRA T ED APPR OAC H