Morning Routine and Morning MeetingI greet each child as they arrive in the classroom and they begin their morning routine. First, they turn in their home folder and reading bag. After that, they make a lunch choice and then read together with friends on the back carpet. We start our day when the bell rings at 8:10 by standing and saying the Pledge of Allegiance and reciting our Radio Park 4 B's Pledge. We also sing a patriotic song each morning as well. After that, we gather on the back carpet for our morning meeting. We say good morning to each other in many different languages, listen and respond to each other's news, practice academic and social skills, and talk about our schedule for the day. It is a wonderful way to start the day!MathThe children will have math for an hour at the start of every day. During this time, there will be whole-group mini lessons, small group math instruction, and choice activities called "work places" to build the students' mathematical understanding from the concrete (using manipulatives) to the abstract (using algorithms). Our math core resource is called, "Bridges in Mathematics" and there are eight units for the year. The goal is to provide a balanced math program focused on building conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. We also utilize IXL and Reflex Math, computer based programs that support math practice and fact fluency.Snack
We have a snack time each morning at around 9:30. The children can bring their own nutritional snack to school. SNACKS MUST BE PEANUT FREE. We always have a classroom supply of snacks for those children who do not have a snack of their own. I usually read aloud from a chapter book during this time.
BIRTHDAY TREATS: There will also be time during the day to celebrate birthdays. If you wish to send a birthday treat to school with your child, please let me know at least a day ahead of time. Healthy treats are suggested, but it's up to you and your child to decide what treat you'd like to share. Again, please remember that we are a peanut-free classroom this year. In addition, we also have a student who is gluten free. We have 21 children in our classroom. You are always welcome to come and join us for your child’s birthday “celebration”.
**I am always looking for volunteers to donate snacks for our classroom supply. If you can donate a snack, please send it to school with your child.**Read Aloud
This is a very important time in our school day! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read aloud to my students! There are many benefits of reading aloud to children, such as improved listening skills, increased reading comprehension, and a broadening of their vocabulary. However, the number one reason that I read aloud to the children is because it helps build lifetime readers. Being read to is one of the most captivating methods of bringing kids to books! I want the children to have MANY experiences with books that are ENJOYABLE-to motivate them to read books on their own. I also love to read aloud from a wide range of genres, in order to broaden the interests and "tastes" of my second grade readers. Who knows? This may be the year when your second grader discovers a love for reading biographies, historical fiction, mysteries, or science fiction! A read aloud may be just the spark that ignites your child's passion for reading!Recess
We have recess time each day. This year, our long recess will be from 10:30-11:00. Because of our extended day, we will also have a shorter recess break each day from 2:20-2:35. We will go outside unless it is raining or the temperature falls below 15 degrees.
Readers Workshop is a way of structuring our language arts block so every child is independently engaged in meaningful reading on a daily basis. Students select and read a variety of texts that are of interest to them and at their reading level. As they read, I confer with students, usually one on one, about their goals and next steps-and I also meet with small groups of readers to work on skills and strategies as well. Each Readers Workshop begins with a mini lesson and ends with a group share that revisits the learning for the day. Students also develop vocabulary and spelling skills through authentic and applied work in reading and writing. This year, Readers Workshop will also include phonics lessons to help build the foundational skills that will help the children be better readers and writers.Lunch
We eat lunch from 11:30-12:05 each day. The children will eat in our new cafeteria this year, under the supervision of our classroom paraprofessional, Mrs. Meyer. **Parents are always welcome to come in and eat with the children at lunchtime.**
Writer's WorkshopWe have Writer's Workshop daily because second graders need to write, write, write! The more they write, the more comfortable the task of writing becomes. During Writer's Workshop times (afternoons), we will be focusing on various skills that relate to either the content or conventions of the children's writing. Content includes skills such as topic sentences, transitions, using expanded sentences, including describing words, and writing stories with a beginning, middle, and end. Conventions includes skills such as using capital letters and punctuation correctly, getting better at using correct spelling, and spelling all of the second grade "No Excuse Words" correctly. We will work on proofreading and editing throughout the school year. Our writing units of study will include narrative writing, informational writing, opinion writing, and poetry.Social Studies/Science
We spend part of our afternoons doing social studies or science activities and projects. Some of our reading and writing is centered around our units as well. Our social studies units this year are: Our Patriotic Journey, Our Town: Then and Now, and Wetlands. Students often work in cooperative groups and engage in hands-on activities and experiences to build deeper understanding of unit concepts. In science, I use an inquiry approach. Based on what the children know and the wonderings they have, we design experiments to gain new knowledge. The children conduct experiments and then make claims about their learning, using the evidence from the experiments to support those claims. We have science talks to share our observations and claims/evidence with each other. Our science units this year are: The Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly, Changes (solids and liquids), Magnets, and Plants and Animals of the Wetlands.
The children go to Health/P.E. on Day 1 from 12:05-12:55. They participate in a wide variety of games and activities that promote physical health and well being. There will also be short lessons on health and wellness to support lifelong healthy habits. Our physical education teacher is Mr. Tim Moriarta.
**Please help your children remember to dress appropriately and wear appropriate shoes on P.E. days.**
The children go to Music on Day 2 from 12:05-12:55. They enjoy singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments with our music teacher, Mrs. Laura Mazer.
Please help your children remember to bring their library books to school on Day 3 for our library day. Our librarian, Miss Herring, usually meets with the children to do a read aloud, introduce a section of the library, or teach/review a library skill. The children use the remaining time to make their book selections and silently read one of their books. You should see these books come home every Day 3! Please encourage your child to read these books at home throughout the week or read the books together with your child. Miss Herring allows the children to return the books any day throughout the week (not just on library day) and choose new ones. We want the children to read, read, read!
The children go to Stem on Day 4 from 12:05-12:55. Our STEM program invites students to utilize the engineering design process to solve problems collaboratively across contexts as well as integrate technology and coding skills. Our STEM teacher is Mrs. Albright.
The children go to art on Day 5 from 12:05-12:55. Our art teacher, Mrs. Sue Harter, usually has the children create art projects related to our current social studies or science units.
Our book buddies this year are our fifth grade friends in Mrs. Harlor's class. Each child is paired with a fifth grade student to read together. We meet once a week to "show off" our reading skills and to listen to our book buddies read us a story, too. We will usually have book buddies on Fridays.
The children check their mailboxes at the end of every school day. They will be using a red "take home" folder as a way to "transport" their papers safely from school to home.
Please check your child's folder every day. This is where you will find school work, permission slips that need to be signed and returned, lunch menus, PTO information, and personal notes from me.
Likewise, if you need to send a note to school, please put it in your child's home to school folder. We also check them every morning here at school. This is also where you can put lunch money that will need to be sent to the cafeteria.
In mid-September, we will start our "Reading at Home" bags. These bags will come home on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. Your child will bring home a book at his/her independent reading level. He/she should read aloud to you for about ten minutes each evening. Please be sure to send the reading bag back to school EACH SCHOOL DAY.