Welcome To Second Grade!
Homework is an essential part of learning. Students will learn the key concepts of various lessons in each subject area in class but need to complete homework as a form of practice to show what they have learned or need to work on. Second grade is a “step-up” from first grade so expect that there will be more homework assigned than there was last year. I will be sending homework home both daily and weekly. Homework worksheets that will be inserted into your child’s homework folder will be due the very next day. Both Spelling and ChoiceBoard assignments will be given out on Mondays and aren’t due until Fridays. If there is a strict homework routine in order at home there will be no problems with students finishing ALL assignments on the days that they are due. There will be points deducted if homework is not turned in on-time.
As apart of an ongoing homework assignment, your child will be expected to read nightly for 15-20 minutes. I will be checking “Reading Logs” daily. Reading at home is a necessary component of our reading program. It helps build your child’s confidence, fluency, reading skills, and reading strategies. In addition, after your student has completed the nightly reading requirements, I encourage parents to engage in short “Book Talk.” A Book Talk is basically a literary discussion between the reader and the person asking the questions. Book Talks are very beneficial in helping students craft meaning around their reading and it definitely sharpens comprehension skills. When having Book Talks always ask the: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions. These questions usually will let you know if your student comprehended the reading or not. You can also get an insight on how your child is answering questions in class with me during our reading period. Book Talks are not pencil and paper activities, just short discussions after reading…no longer than a 3-5 minute chat. (Additional information on book talks will be given at a later date)
In order to keep track of what your child is reading, book titles along with personal comments will be recorded in a mandatory Reading Log located in your child’s homework folder. Your child’s participation in this out-of-school reading time will be recognized and rewarded every four weeks of consistent: recorded reading, comments, dates and parent initials. Your child will not get credit for reading if an adult does not initial the reading log. Please complete reading logs daily. DO NOT fill out the whole reading log Monday-Friday in advance…it must be done on a daily basis.
In second grade, students DO NOT all have the same spelling lists. As you all know, students come to school on different levels and learn at different paces so it is our job as educators to meet every student on their individual level. We will have differentiated spelling list each week. Students will be grouped and there will be a Spelling List 1, 2 or 3 in which they will be assigned to study. Beginning of the year evaluations will let me know exactly where to place and group students where they will be most comfortable and overall successful in their individual learning plan.
Every Monday the class will receive lists of words to review and study
for the week: Differentiated Spelling Words (10) Vocabulary Words (6) and High-Frequency Words (5). Some of the words on these lists come directly from our reading textbooks and other words branch from additional subject areas outside of reading such as science, social studies, etc. You will find that the high frequency word list is used to ensure mastery of the most common words seen in children’s text. These words should be really familiar from 1st grade and second nature for students to read and spell in second grade. Having students focus on 3 lists of words broadens their vocabulary, expands their writing skills and gives them practice putting words in the right context. Be sure that students study nightly and are prepared for our Word Test each Friday.
Spelling practice helps children be prepared for our weekly spelling assessments. Students will be given a spiral notebook with a list of 21 different spelling activities to choose from for the week. The spelling activity sheet will be attached to the left hand cover side of the spiral-spelling notebook. It should remain in place as a reminder of the activities to choose from on a weekly basis. Students will choose 3 different spelling activities from the sheet to complete each week. Your chosen activity MUST be done in your spelling notebook in order to receive credit. I will not be taking individual sheets of paper so it is important that students are responsible and keep track of their own spelling notebook.
Spelling notebooks will be given on Mondays and must be returned with 3 completed activities on Fridays. Be sure to label the top of each spelling page with name, date and activity number, try to use the front & back of the notebook to reserve paper.
Spelling Notebook credit will be given based on the following scale:
3 completed activities = 100
2 completed activities = 80
1 completed activity = 70
0 completed activities = 0
I suggest that students do one activity using their Differentiated Spelling Words, then complete one activity using their Vocabulary Words and lastly finish one activity using their High-Frequency Words so that they are practicing ALL three list of words that will be on their test.
Math is a crucial subject area that requires a lot of practice. In second grade we’re building upon 1st grade math skills in the beginning of the year but the mathematical skills will get more challenging as the year goes on. I encourage parents to practice math skills at home as much as possible, utilizing flash cards, math websites, math workbooks, etc. in addition to the nightly math homework that I will give myself.
I will be teaching your child all the second grade math standards and more that we can fit into the school year. We teach math skills using a specific schedule but loop back over past concepts to be sure students are refreshed. Although we don’t get to “Money” until around March, I always suggest that starting now…during weekends you expose your child to coin identification and counting coins before we get to it in class. This is one of the more challenging math skills on our agenda and early exposure is a lot of help. So take time out during grocery store and dollar store visits to help your student learn the foundation of counting coins: pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
In Science and Social Studies our overall units are sectioned off by IB themes. These themes give us the teachers, an opportunity to conduct research, complete experiments, and create mini projects for our students to show what they have learned in a more stimulating way.
The projects that we will complete have a range of variety: research papers, 3-D models, oral presentations, pictures, Tri-Fold Board showcases, dioramas, collages, etc. Some of these projects will be done in class, while others will be assigned as a “Homework Project,” which will be done solely at home. I will let you know all the details regarding these projects at a later date. However I did want to make clear that these projects are to be “student-made” with the guidance of parental support.
IB (International Baccalaureate) Program:
For the past 3 years Beecher has adopted a world-renowned student centered curriculum called IB or International Baccalaureate. The mission of IB is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world though intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. This program encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate lifelong learners who understand diversity and different cultures. I look forward to introducing the class to the international exposure that IB provides.