Welcome to Second Grade!
I am amazed and pleased with the boundless energy 2nd grade exhibits on a daily basis. They are truly engaged and active learners!
Here's what we are doing in class:
Language Arts:We are working on skills to become even better readers and writers.
In reading, we are working on getting everyone to their "Just Right" reading level. The goal is to have everyone reading books that are developmentally appropriate to your child's reading ability. Just as we are all better at some things than others, so too are your children at different places in their journeys as readers.Finding their "Just Right" levels is being accomplished with the invaluable skills of Teacher Lela Betts, who is in her 9th year as a Reading Specialist. She is amazing at helping your children become more confident readers.In addition, Teacher Lela teaches Spanish to your children and does a great job.I have also been reading aloud to your children as a part of every day. I firmly believe that young readers need to hear how the proper use of phonics, grammar and inflection sounds.
After the break, I intend to work with your children in groups doing literacy circles using the Scott Foresman text called "Reading Street." I have previewed this book with them by reading from it aloud.
Your children read a play about a young person losing a tooth – something to which they could all relate – where they each took a role and read out loud. This was a fun and challenging activity. As you know, studies show that people are more afraid of public speaking than of death! I would like to see if we can change that just a little... your children will continue to read aloud to get the practice of speaking in groups. It is a lifelong skill.
In writing, we have been working with adjectives and using writing prompt to display our skill at using describing words. Second grade was challenged to describe a real or imaginary vacation using good, strong adjectives. The results were pretty amazing. We also wrote about what we would like to be when we are older. Again, some pretty thoughtful and insightful responses from your future adults.I plan on asking the children to write a little about their own Thanksgiving once they return. I will look for good use of describing words and comparative suffixes (-er, -est). We will write quite a bit. It is an invaluable skill that must be practiced.
In spelling and grammar the text we continue to use is Wilson's Fundations. We have studied the suffixes -s, -es, -ed and -ing and the comparative suffixes –er and –est. We discussed how certain suffixes cause words to become plural and others can change words that happen now to ones that occurred in the past. We also grouped these suffixes by type – either a vowel (es, ed, ing, etc.) or consonant (-s) suffixes. The goal of this exercise is to better equip your young writers with more choices in their bag of tricks when they write.In order to supplement the Wilson program, and more effectively address the many and varied ways in which children learn, we are awaiting a newly purchased program called "Words Their Way". Here is a link to the program from Pearson.
In math, we continue to use the Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics program. Your children are working hard learning addition strategies – including counting on, doubles facts to 18 and the "make 10" strategy – which has students try to take a single digit addition problem (like 8+7) and have them figure out what to do to make 10 and then add the remaining numbers.In that problem 8+7 – the "make 10" strategy asks them what they need to do to change the 8 into a 10. The answer is add two. So the 8 is now a 10. They know that if they add two to 8 to make 10, then they have to take those two from the 7 to make 5. The thought being, it is easier to add 10+5=15 than to add 8+7. The kids have worked with making 10 to add 7, 8 and 9.We also did an exercise on using words and pictures to solve number riddles. This was an interesting, outside-the-box way of thinking for them and it proved time well spent.We are finishing up on writing number sentences: 5+6+4=15 and thinking about the strategies we use to solve such equations.We are almost ready to do a diagnostic checkpoint of chapter 2. This will be followed by a cumulative review and a 5 question test.
In science we are beginning a unit on studying Planets and the Solar System. The kids got a first look at a new App called "Solar Walk" from the Apple App Store. I downloaded it and tried it out on them. It had some pretty amazing views of the different planets and had a wealth of interesting information about each planet. I hope to use this more thoroughly as we get further into our study.The plan is to have the kids each choose a planet (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) or Pluto (recently demoted from the list of planets) to study and spend time making up an oral report for the rest of the class. Depending on how things go, I intend to help them create a multi-media piece to go with their reports. It should be exciting to see how it turns out.
We are working on a project with Presidents in Social Studies. The kids were asked to pick from one of three Presidents – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. Once chosen, the kids were given a handout askin biographical information ( name, born on and where, died when and years spent in office). The kids were asked, "What would you do or change if you were President?" Finally, the kids will be asked to come up with a fun fact about their President.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years. Hold on tight. Here we go!
As we head into the break, I wish for you and your kids a restful, safe and fun holiday. I look forward to reconnecting with your fabulous children following L-Tryptophan laden days of rest.
Should you ever have any questions, problems or concerns, please email me at
I thank you for entrusting me with your prized possessions. Please rest assured, that I value them as highly as you do.
Fifth grade graduates are effective communicators and creative problem solvers and approach transitions with self-assurance. They are not only prepared for a middle school setting; they are "ready" in every sense.