Grade 2

First Grade Team

Welcome to Second Grade!

Welcome parents to an exciting year in second grade!  We feel second grade is a very important year for your child.  Our objectives for the year will be:

* To provide a program which emphasizes the mastery and utilization of basic skills and processes.
    * To promote a feeling of self-confidence and self-worth to each child.
    * To provide an atmosphere which encourages each student to grow physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually to the maximum of his or her potential.

We look forward to working with each of you to ensure a successful school year for your child.  Please call if you have any questions or concerns.  The best time to reach any team member is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. or from 3:45-4:00 p.m.  We can be reached at 651-683-6970 or you can leave a message on voice mail at 651-683-6969 at the voice mailboxes listed below.

Grade Two Teachers:

Pat Egan VM: 92707
Colleen Frank VM: 92721
Ann Batkiewicz VM: 92775
Heidi Clendening VM: 92740
Kendyl Molda VM: 92720

Parent Involvement and Communication
We invite you to become involved in your child’s education at Oak Ridge.  We need volunteers to be classroom helpers, party helpers, and guest readers.  We will send a note requesting volunteers for any field trips, if volunteers are needed.

    * Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for October and January.  We welcome your notes, calls, and emails at any time throughout the year.
    * Report Cards will be issued three times during the year, following the end of each trimester.
    * Monthly newsletters will be sent at the beginning of each month with upcoming events and curricular areas of study.  A classroom calendar will also come home at the beginning of each month to post in your home.
    * Parent Information Night is an evening for parents to learn about the second grade curriculum and other information that relates to second grade.

Curriculum Areas
Each day offers something new and exciting for your child.  Our curriculum is filled with a wide range of skills and studies.  We ask that you take a few “special” minutes each day to listen to your child share his or her papers or happenings about school.  You will discover all the activities they participate in daily.

Language Arts
Reading, writing, listening, speaking, spelling, and handwriting are all important components of language arts.  Skills and strategies in each area are modeled, taught, and practiced, taking into account the unique needs of each learner.  Knowledge and skills are acquired through connected experiences between home, school, and community.  Students read from a variety of texts, including fiction (short stories and whole books), poetry, and nonfiction (textbooks, newspapers, and magazines).  Students read (or are read to) and write daily.

         *Guiding Reading Resources
         *Classroom Libraries
         *Reading with Meaning
         *Invitations to Literacy, Houghton Mifflin
         *Writing- Units of Study for Primary Writing
         *Word Study- Phonics Lessons:  Letters, Words, and How
          They Work (includes spelling, phonics, and vocabulary)
         *Handwriting- District developed

* Main ideas and supporting details
* Main events or ideas in sequence
* New word pronunciation
* Reading aloud fluently with appropriate expression
* Appropriate techniques for learning new vocabulary
* Character traits, plot, and setting
* Distinguishing between fact and opinion
* Using graphophonic (sounds), syntactic (language), and semantic (meaning) strategies to understand text
* Planning, composing, and editing pieces of writing
* Editing to correct grammar, sentence construction, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling
* Writing personal narratives, reports, instructions, and a friendly letter
Speaking and Listening
* Multi-step oral directions
* Correct grammar in speaking
* Oral presentation
* Identifying purpose and summarizing ideas of an oral presentation
Word Study (includes spelling, phonics, and vocabulary)
* Spelling patterns
* Spelling frequently used words correctly
* Finding the correct spelling of an unknown word
* Vocabulary development
* Legible printing of numbers and letters using uniform shape, size, placement, and spacing

Further description of areas of Language Arts:
Reading Workshop
A large portion of your child’s literacy instruction occurs during reading workshop.  Using the model from Debbie Miller’s Reading With Meaning, the reading workshop is structured around a mini lesson and a large block of time to read, respond, and confer.  The reading workshop concludes with a short sharing time to reflect. During the beginning weeks, lessons focus on “what readers do” and choosing “just-right” books.  As the year moves forward, the reading workshop format provides strategy instruction that successful readers of all ages use routinely to construct meaning when they read.  Proficient readers construct meaning by using the following strategies that will be taught during the mini lessons:

    * using schema or prior knowledge
    * creating visual or other sensory images
    * inferring
    * questioning
    * determining the BIG ideas or themes
    * summarizing
    * synthesizing
    * the importance and characteristics of non-fiction

Word Study
During 2005-2006, the District 196 Language Arts Committee reviewed and revised the elementary spelling curriculum.  “Spelling” will now be called “Word Study” and include spelling, phonics, language, and vocabulary development.  Current research shows that learning about language and words through phonetic principles helps students become more effective readers and writers.  The Word Study Curriculum in kindergarten through third grade includes studying phonetic principles, generalizing spelling patterns, and memorizing high frequency words (Must Know Words) used in reading, writing, and vocabulary development.  In fourth and fifth grade, the Word Study Curriculum includes spelling lessons, language, and vocabulary lessons as well as dictionary and thesaurus lessons.  Use of the Word Study Curriculum enables children to transfer what they learn about words into daily reading and writing.

Writing Workshop
An important component of your child’s literacy instruction is the writing workshop.  During this time students learn and practice the skills of the writing process including planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.  We use the resource Units of Study for Primary Writing: A Yearlong Curriculum written by Lucy Calkins.  The writing workshop begins with a mini lesson focusing on a particular aspect of the writing process, such as choosing a topic to write about or how to revise while writing.  Students then have the opportunity to incorporate the information from the mini lesson into their writing.  While students are writing, the teacher confers with individuals about their work.  These conferences allow a teacher to best meet the instructional needs of each child and help him/her become a more proficient writer.  The writing workshop concludes with a reflective sharing session.  During this time, children talk about what they have written and learned.

Your child is being instructed in manuscript handwriting using district-developed curriculum for this school year.  Handwriting will be taught through direct instruction and integrated throughout the curriculum.  Correct letter formation will be modeled using specific instructional language.  It is essential children attain an acceptable level of legibility in their writing, however, not all children progress at the same rate.  Throughout the school year, students will practice handwriting using developmentally appropriate handwriting activities.

District 196 elementary students will be using two math series published by Scott Foresman that includes Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics and Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. This updated math curriculum will provide continued academic rigor and high expectations for math students at all levels.  The students will build mathematical understanding, skills and proficiency by integrating important mathematical concepts such as numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis, and probability by using the processes of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communications, connections, and presentation.

The Big Ideas of Grade 2 Math:

Numbers and Operations (999)
Place Value:  Identifies value of digits; uses correct place value language when solving problems; builds numbers with base-ten blocks and other tools
Computation: One and two-digit addition and subtraction with regrouping; multiplication- repeated addition/ rectangular array; division- repeated subtraction / sharing equally
Unit fractions: Part of a whole, part of a set

Understands equality and the use of the equal sign
Growing and shrinking patterns
Explore and apply zero, commutative, and associative properties

Two- and Three-dimensional shapes and their attributes (sort, classify, and describe)

Money:  Identifies coins and their values; counts amounts of money up to $1.00; writes amounts of money with dollar sign, cent sign, and decimal point
Time: Tells time to quarter hour, half-hour, and hour; begin elapsed time to the hour; units of time - minutes in an hour, days in a month, weeks in a year
Linear: Estimate standard and nonstandard measurements; measure to the nearest inch and centimeter
Recognize the attributes of length, volume, weight, area, time, and money

Data Analysis and Probability
Collect and record categorical data
Create pictographs and real-object graphs to represent data
Identify patterns in graphs or data sets

The second grade science curriculum is designed to help students learn concepts through hands-on experiments and activities, class discussions, and a variety of instructional materials.  Units covered in science are from the FOSS program and include:  Balance and Motion; Pebbles, Sand, and Silt; and Insects.

Social Studies
The emphasis of second grade social studies is on people living in social groups.  The units of study include neighborhoods, mapping, communication, transportation, environmental awareness, and countries around the world (Canada, Japan, and Russia).  We also use Daily Oral Geography and Scholastic News.

Health and Guidance
During the year, we will cover the topics of emotional & social health, chemical health, safety & first aid, nutrition, and environmental health.

The second grade curriculum includes activities related to keyboarding, word processing, Internet research, and other programs that supplement the second grade curriculum.

The elementary visual arts curriculum helps students understand how media, technique, and process are used to create works of art; how artworks are structured, an how art has a variety of functions; how to identify, analyze and select subject matter, symbols and ideas for personal/cultural expression and how historical and cultural contexts provide meaning for works of art, and to assess the merits of their own artworks and the artworks of others.

The music program focuses on making music, and listening to and responding to music others have produced.  Students sing, play instruments, move, and create music.  They learn to read music, and analyze and evaluate the music of others.

Physical Education
Physical education is based on learning basic movements and skills, and refining these movements and skills into specific activities.  Skills include loco-motor movement, non-loco-motor movement, perceptual movement, and manipulatives.  Students at Oak Ridge have Physical Education each day.

Procedures in Second Grade

The children must bring a note if there is a change in riding home on the bus.  This includes getting off at another stop.  If we do not receive a note, your child will be sent on the regularly scheduled route.

If your child is ill or if he or she is going to be absent from school for any reason, please call the school voice mail absence line at 651-683-6969, mailbox 92764. If your child needs to stay in during recess because of a medical reason, you must send a note to your child’s teacher.  Any medications must be brought to the nurse with a note.

Shoes/ Boots
Remind your child to bring gym shoes daily and wear boots during winter months.  Always be prepared for outdoor recess.  We discourage students from calling home for shoes.

Students may visit the library any day to check out NEW books if their OLD ones have been returned.  Usually, students may check out two books.

Book Orders
Throughout the year, book orders will be sent home with your child.  Within the book orders you will find a variety of books and other items at reasonable prices.  Please note that book orders are optional.  If you choose to order, one check made out to Scholastic will do the trick—all the book order branches are now owned by the same company.  Please make sure your child’s name is on each order.

Lunch Credits
Lunch credit balances are handled by the kitchen.  Reminder notes will be sent home when lunch credit balance is low.  Checks may be sent any day to school with the student’s lunch ID number printed in the memo line.

Any time you send money to school, please put it in an envelope with your child’s name on the outside unless otherwise specified.  Please avoid sending cash to school.  Make checks payable to Oak Ridge unless stated otherwise.

We will be having a nutrition break during the day.  We encourage you to send appropriate snacks such as fruit, vegetables, crackers, yogurt, dry cereal, fruit roll-ups, etc.  Do not send candy, beverages, high sugar or high salt snacks.


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