Important 2nd grade information pages blog


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Important 2nd grade information pages blog

  1. 1. Dear 2nd Grade Parents, 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 well.  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 rewarding. Warmly, Kristy Ackerman/Dee Carpenter Abbie King/Marcia Levine Rachel Paggio Morning Arrival 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. Morning Snack 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. Supplies 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. Birthday Treats 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. 2N D GRADE NEWS
  2. 2. Homework 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 this age. 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. Clothing 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 labeled. Dismissal Procedures 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.
  3. 3. 2nd Grade Community Building It is so important to build our 2nd grade 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! 2nd Grade BRAINTOIDS 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 learning. Be sure to read interesting FACTS about the brain and learning each month on our 2nd Grade Blog! S.S.O.W. Star Student of the Week! A "Star of the Week" child is an extra special tradition in each 2nd grade 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 speaking skills. Important information:  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 Grade Stars"! TRADI TIO N S & INT ER ES T ING FAC T S We are looking forward to a fantastic year in second grade!!!
  4. 4. 2nd Grade Virtue Sticks 2nd 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 at home. Purple: Above and Beyond Behavior Green: Contributing Member of Berkeley Orange: Recess Reflection Red: Recess Reflection & Contribution Back Blue: Recess Reflection & Call Home Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns. Thank you in advance for your support. Our Philosophy 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 2nd grade class uses positive- reinforcement systems for individual/community appropriate behavior and to provide an uplifting and positive learning environment. CHARAC TER EDUCA TION
  5. 5. 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. ~WEBSITES~ Second Grade Learning Links: 2nd Grade Blog: Senora Calandrino's Blog: ~EVENTS~ • 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 • Celebrations • 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) • Conferences • November 1st & 4th • March 14 ~contact~ 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: Dee Carpenter: Abbie King: Marcia Levine: Rachel Paggio: Mrs. Rothenbusch: We look forward to another wonderful year! HELPF U L HI NT S
  6. 6. ****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 day. 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
  7. 7. 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 Review words and definitions Visit 2nd Grade Learning Links for Brain Flips: Wordly Wise Illustrations - Choose 2 words and draw a picture to match the meaning 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 development. WO RDL Y WI SE VOCA BULAR Y
  8. 8. 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):  Spelling dictionary  Word Wall  Computer resources 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
  9. 9. 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 words. WO RD WAL L
  10. 10. 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 homework calendar. 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 placement  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
  11. 11. 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:  Retelling  Creating sensory images  Making connections  Asking questions  Inferring  Determining importance  Summarizing  Synthesizing ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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 mathematics. 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 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
  14. 14. 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 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
  15. 15. 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 them. 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