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SECOND GRADE CURRICULUM & CLASSROOM INFORMATION
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys
Journeys is a reading program designed to meet the diverse needs of all students by using a balanced literacy approach. Students will progressively learn and develop different skills related to phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension.
Balanced literacy is an approach in which teachers support each reader’s development. The teacher will utilize materials from the program that allow for differentiation, whole group or small group instruction. The teacher can support the student which leads to the ultimate goal of independent reading.
Some of the reading terms you may hear from our Journeys program include:
- Read aloud - the teacher reads to the students exposing them to various types of literature and develop reading strategies.
-Shared reading - children participate in reading with the teacher and classmates and learn critical concepts of how print works.
-Guided reading - students are reading independently at their instructional level while discussion is facilitated by the teacher.
(Primary teachers - discuss the use of decodable books within your classroom)
Through this balanced literacy approach the teachers will be evaluating students in several ways.
- Running records
- Small group instruction
- Weekly phonics, vocabulary, and spelling tests
- Cold reads
- Unit tests
- Benchmark tests
- MAP testing
The balanced literacy philosophy is an effective way to help children improve their skills one step at a time. The better your child learns to read, the more successful they will be in years to come.
The students will be given a spelling list every Monday or on the first day of each week if there is no school on Monday. Some of the words may seem easy, but our goal is to have each student master the spelling of these words for all assignments, not just to memorize them for the spelling test.
Click on the Bee to see spellings list at Spellingcity.com.
Correct letter formation and neatness are stressed. Cursive handwriting will be introduced during the second semester.
Students in second grade use writing portfolios. Children collect, select, and reflect upon their work throughout the year. The portfolios demonstrate student progress and self-reflection.
Investigations in Number, Data and Space
- Organized into units that offer 3 to 6 weeks of mathematical work in number, data analysis and geometry; students require time to build understanding
- Activity-based program focusing on conceptual understanding
- Teacher as facilitator
- Student-centered activities encourage creative thinking and enable students to construct knowledge
- Student develop and articulate their own problem-solving strategies
- Mathematical connections are inherent in the units
- Students participate in engaging games that reinforce their understanding of important mathematical concepts and skills
- Students work cooperatively with their classroom
- Students are asked to answer questions that go beyond "What is the answer to this problem?" in order to think, reason, and share their mathematical ideas; questions such as the following are typically asked of students:
- Does this remind you of other problems you've worked?
- How did you find your answer?
- Why does that work?
- Is there another way to solve this problem?
- Communicating mathematically is emphasized both orally and in writing
- Calculators are assumed to be standard classroom materials, available for student use in any unit
- Family letters communicate essential information about the Investigations units being used at a particular grade level. Each letter gives families:
- an idea of what their children are doing in class,
- explains how the information is connected to the rest of their children's lives
- describes some of the homework children will be doing, and
- provides ideas for families about how to expand on the mathematics that is being done at school.
- Continuous home and school practice of addition facts to 20 and subtraction facts to 10 is a necessary component of second grade. Students should learn these facts using quick recall instead of relying on number lines, finger counting, etc. Approximately three times per nine-week period, assessments will be done to check for quick recall. These assessments will not be timed until the second 9 week grading period.
Basic Math Facts Program
Basic Facts Research Says:
· Mastery of a basic fact means a child can give a quick response (about 3 seconds)
· Child does not resort to non-efficient means such as counting
· Mastery can be achieved through the use of efficient mental tools or quick recall
· All children are able to master the basic facts
District Assessment Guidelines
· Work toward mastery of addition and subtraction facts begins in Gr. 1
· Assessment of facts begins in 2nd semester of Grade 1
· Assessment of facts is designed to follow curriculum pathway
· Use of benchmark assessments occurs 3 times per 9 weeks
Current Plan for Basic Fact Mastery
Nine weeks cycle for facts practice and mastery
· Week 1 or 2: Initial Assessment
· Weeks 2-5:
Ř Focus instruction on strategies
Ř Reinforce strategies with activities and games at home and school
· Week 5: Check point assessment
Ř Monitor progress
· Weeks 5-9: Reinforce strategies with activities and games at home and school
· Week 9: Benchmark assessment-Expected Mastery 90%
“Basic Fact mastery is not really new mathematics, but rather it is the development of fluency with ideas that have already been learned.”
-John A. Van De Walle
In social studies, students study rules, neighborhoods, good citizenship, map skills, and the suburban community of Mount Lebanon. In the fall, students take a walking tour of Mt. Lebanon and visit the Safety Building. In addition, we teach ccharacter education through stories, discussions, and activities. We will be incorporating character education themes (respect, honesty, love, justice, courage, loyalty, and hope) with other areas of the curriculum.
We cover two ASSET (Allegheny Schools Science Education and Technology) units. The ASSET program is a "hands-on" approach that emphasizes the steps of the learning cycle: focus, explore, reflect, and apply. (F.E.R.A.) The science modules units include:
1. Changes --Physical science (December through February)
2. Plant Growth and Development (March through May)
Science lessons are often integrated into other areas of the curriculum.
*Please remember to have your child wear tennis shoes on gym days.
**Please help your child to remember to return his or her books on time on library day.
Spanish is taught twice a week for 25 minutes by Senorita Buterbaugh
The Mrs. Lori Morin, the guidance counselor teaches classroom lessons twice a month.
As part of our district wide intervention model, we have an Instructional Support Teacher. Mrs. Kim Salvador, the IST teacher re-teaches, reviews or mediates concepts and skills in math, reading, writing or social behavior. She may come into our classroom from time to time or pull out a small group. You will be notified by her if your child needs to be seen on a regular scheduled basis.
Click on the computer to see Great Second Grade Websites!
Important Classroom Information
Please label all belongings--lunch box, jackets, boots, and backpacks.
Please inform the teacher when your child will be eating lunch at a friend's home, or if there is a change in your regular schedule.
Parent conferences are formally scheduled twice a year; once in November and again in April. We support active parent involvement and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Absences: After your child has been absent, please send in a written excuse within ten (10) school days with the date of absence, reason for absence, and signature of parent/guardian. Please file a request for excused absences from school for a pre-planned educational trip in the office prior to a trip.
Please check your child's take-home folder each day for papers, notices, or special notes.
- Birthdays at school are an important part of celebrating individual students throughout the year. Jefferson has a school-wide policy regarding birthday treats in the classroom. Parents may wish to send in a non-food treat to school, such as pencils or bookmarks, however it is not necessary should you choose not to. Many students have severe allergies and dietary restrictions, so the school asks for an alternative to birthday snacks. Please do not send in food items as they can not be distributed or served. Thank you for your cooperation!
We celebrate birthdays with a simple song. We will also present the children with a certificate and birthday pencil. Summer birthdays may be celebrated at the end of the year. We appreciate your cooperation in advance!
Homework is not a nightly Second Grade practice. However, there are a few areas that all second graders should devote time to regularly. These include:
Reading silently and aloud approximately 60 minutes per week or 15 minutes a day.
Math facts (addition and subtraction) for quick and accurate recall
Occasional math homework from Investigations
Weekly spelling list (to master, not just memorize for the test)
Vocabulary (for recognition and meaning)
Other work on an "as-needed" basis.
We look forward to working together with you to make your child's second-grade experience meaningful, enjoyable, and intellectually stimulating.
Mrs. Sarah Davis Mrs. Lou Ann Miller