Welcome To Second Grade
Important 2nd Grade Information
The math curriculum used in Saint Paul Public Schools is called Everyday Math. Everyday Mathematics is a research-based and field-tested curriculum that focuses on developing children’s understandings and skills in ways that produce life-long mathematical power. The second grade team also uses other resources to gather materials that will help the students meets the standards. Your child will show their math understanding in their math notebook, on their iPad, and with manipulatives.
The second grade teachers are spending the first unit of math getting to know the students as mathematicians. Unit one reviews many first grade math skills. Once we are in a good routine, your child will begin to participate in flex groups.
What is a flex group?
A flex group is a small group of students working on a targeted, differentiated math skills. The skills practiced in flex groups may be below, at, or above the second grade level. Teachers determine which skills need to be practiced based on pre-assessments, along with daily observations. Your child’s specific needs will be met in flex groups.
In Reader’s Workshop, your child will participate in a short 10-15 minute mini-lesson daily. The lesson will focus on a strategy that will prepare them to be a stronger reader. After the lesson, students will practice using their reading strategies independently, in guided reading groups, and in books clubs. Then, we will wrap up Reader’s Workshop with a share time. During share, students will talk with each other about reading and the strategies they practiced for the day.
Our weekly newsletter will inform you of the strategies being practiced in class.
It is expected that students are reading 20-25 minutes at home each night.
Your child will participate in a short mini-lesson that focuses on the craft of writing. Then, there will be work time where the students will practice with a clear writing goal in mind. At the end of our work time, we will meet together to share our work and progress.
Published work that has been revised and edited will come home at conferences or other school events. Some of our writing will be published on our iPads. (Look for a copy on Seesaw.) Students take great pride in their “published” pieces of writing!
This year, some of the writing units we will cover include: nonfiction plant writing, personal narratives, poetry, book reviews, realistic fiction, and procedural writing.
At home, encourage your child to write you a letter, a fiction story, a personal narrative, a list of facts, directions how to make something, or a poem. Most of our homework will be about reading and math, so any way to build writing into your evening or weekend routines will help your young writer!
For some families, homework is an important tool for reinforcing skills, as well as for staying up-to-date with what we are learning in class. The 2nd grade homework will be sent home at the beginning of each month and should be returned once each calendar has been completed. There is a reading calendar for your child to log the number of minutes read at home. (The expectation is for 2nd graders to read 20-25 minutes at home each day.) There is also a math calendar that lists the math assignments for the month. As the year progresses, some students may receive alternative assignments for math to provide additional challenge as needed.
When the homework calendar is returned, I will give the student credit for returning it on our homework chart. At this age, homework builds responsibility and gets them into the routine of completing some academic work at home. This is to help prepare them for the work to come in the upper grades. I will check it for understanding and use it for reference when planning differentiated lessons.
For some families, homework is not a useful tool but rather a source of conflict or frustration each night. Or, perhaps the things that you do as a family are providing your child with rich experiences that provide real world opportunities for learning. For that reason, we are offering an “OPT OUT” option for homework this year. If you opt out, your child will not receive the monthly reading and math calendars. However, he or she will still be expected to read each night. We also reserve the right to send work home that is not completed in class or practice pages for high priority skills as needed.
If your child would like to bring a healthy snack to have mid-morning, please pack something nut-free that does not need to be refrigerated. Snack is optional.
With our new schedule this year, it makes the most sense to have our snack during recess. Students will bring their snack with them outside and then play once they have finished eating. We will have snack and recess from 9:30-10:00am.
A snack idea…Have your child save something from the free Breakfast-to-Go meal each child is offered at the start of the school day. The goldfish graham crackers are perfect to save for snack!
*If you would like to donate a snack to the classroom, please make sure it is nut-free.
Horace Mann follows the SPPS district wellness policy (533.00) regarding sweet treats in the classroom. Under this policy, we will have no more than one celebration per month with sweet treats.
On the last school day of each month, children who have birthdays in that month, can coordinate and bring in a treat to share with the class (if they wish.) I will send home a note with the students who have birthdays each month, along with the date we will celebrate with a treat. Non-food treats (stickers, pencils, trinkets) are a great alternative! Summer birthdays will be celebrated at the end of the school year with a special breakfast!
On your child’s actual birthday, we will make them feel special in class by singing at morning meeting. Both singing and bringing a treat/prize are optional.
Your child has a plastic folder, which is their “Friday Folder.” It is important for your child to develop responsibility with this folder. When it comes home, it should be emptied, and returned to school on Monday, ready to use again.
Paper copies of our weekly newsletter, other paperwork from the school, and any unfinished work, will be sent home in this folder. A short, weekly Friday Report will also come home each week to keep you informed about how your child is doing in class. Please return any forms and other paperwork in the Friday Folder.
Anne Commers, Jennifer Vincent, Anna Witt