• September 2019



    Dear Second Grade Parents,


                Welcome to Second Grade!  Second grade will be a big stepping stone in your child's life.  He/she becomes more independent and is eager to absorb knowledge.  In second grade there will be many opportunities for your child to explore, create, and solve problems constructively.  I am looking forward to a wonderful and rewarding year filled with many educational experiences.  Here is a list of some classroom procedures and objectives that should clarify any concerns you may have:


    Homeroom  Period

    Morning meeting is based on the Responsive Classroom model.  During this time we review the calendar, daily schedule, days of school using money, even and odd numbers, and perhaps incorporate a mini lesson.  We usually also read a story together as well as share and enjoy a “mindful moment” together.

    Morning Meeting:  Please review the letter that was sent home about your child’s share day.


    Language Arts (Objectives)



              Reading Skills connecting to reading, main idea, cause and effect, choosing an appropriate “just right” book, sequencing, following directions, categorizing, dictionary skills (alphabetical order, guide words and entry words), exploring genres, thinking about our reading, (etc.)

    English Grammar Skills Common and proper nouns, singular and plural nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, subjects and predicates, write complete sentences, write a complete paragraph, four types of sentences (statement, question, command & exclamation), write a friendly letter, appropriate use of capitals, spelling, punctuation marks, Etc…





    Read At Home

    Part of the Reading Workshop program fosters reading at home as well as in school.  We will work together throughout the school year to encourage reading and connect skills from school to home.  The goal is to have children think of themselves as “readers” and to enjoy and connect with reading.  We work throughout the year to increase reading stamina and to apply strategies as we become more active readers.  Books may be selected from school or home to read and should be at a just right or instructional level.  Although the “alphabet letters” are appropriate reading levels, please try to discourage children from feeling too focused on “their letter.”


    Snack Time

    At approximately 9:30 AM every day we have snack time. Students may bring in a healthy snack to eat and a drink if desired. Milk may be ordered through the school on a bi-yearly basis. Check with your child to see if she or he enjoys milk and finishes it prior to reordering. Please label water bottles and use a reusable bottle whenever possible.  If it is helpful for your child, you may send snack in a separate bag/container from lunch. Environmentally friendly, reusable snack containers are encouraged. The students are encouraged to have water throughout the day and may eat if they are hungry in the classroom.



    Fundations is a phonetic based, multi-sensory approach to encoding and decoding words.   Students learn rules and strategies as they study words and apply them to their spelling and reading.  The Unit words sent home are examples of the skills we are working on each week at school.  They are not necessarily the exact words that will be assessed.  It is the skill and rule that is assessed. 



    Writer’s Workshop

              The emphasis of the Writer’s Workshop program is on creative content and production of writing.  Similar to Readers Workshop, the goal is for students to think of themselves as “writers.” We incorporate mini lessons and teaching points throughout the lessons.  Students’ writing will be brought home at the end of each unit.  Most Writer’s Workshop pieces will remain unedited. Final, “published,” pieces are completed through a process but are not necessarily rewritten. The students have ownership of their writing and are instructed on group and individual teaching points and monitored and assessed in authentic ways. 



              Library book selection will be on Friday.  Your child may select two books a week. One book must be a “just right” book and the other may be a book of choice. Unfortunately, until all books are returned, no other books may be taken out. If a book report or project is assigned, a third book may be checked out and kept for the duration of the assignment.



              Cursive writing is taught in Third Grade.  We instruct penmanship through the Fundations program. 


    Math (Objectives)

              Master basic addition and subtraction facts, addition to the hundreds place with regrouping (carrying), subtraction to the hundreds place with regrouping (borrowing), telling time to the minute, money from the penny to the dollar, basic geometric shapes, word problems (one step and two step), explaining process and thinking, responding to work, multiplication facts (in the form of skip counting, arrays, and concept), simple fractions, graphs, tables, ETC…



    Science (Topics)

              Changes, life cycle of the butterfly, and energy works


    Social Studies (Topics)  Mrs. Gero teaches Social Studies to both second grade classes

    Families, Neighborhoods, Communities, Country and State exploration, Government, Map Skills

    We also learn about holidays and other cultures throughout the year.


    Health (Topics)

              Five senses, basic food groups, safety, manners, germs.

    Technology (Objectives)

              Turn on/off, open/close a program, basic keyboarding (right hand and left hand keys), save a file, word processing, internet use and safety.


    Please read, practice Fundations skills, and practice math skills each night in a way that works for your family.  There are suggestions on my webpage.


              Meaningful homework may occasionally be given to reinforce skills learned in class.  In addition, incomplete class work may also need to be finished at home and returned. Usually, there will not be homework on weekends.  Conflict Resolution Home School Connections are important for our character education program and for in school lessons.  Please try to complete them on time and use the opportunity for conversation with your child.

    The assignments will be on the 2C web page. If a child is missing homework, I send home a friendly reminder.  Please just send me a note or an email if for any reason your child is unable to complete the assignmentPlease encourage your child to follow all of the directions on the homework and practice proper skills.  If your child is struggling with a concept, please let me know and we’ll review it in school.  


    Assessments (tests)

              Please sign and return all tests. If a test is lost or misplaced please send in a short note indicating that you have seen it.


    Scholastic Books

              Periodically flyers are sent home for Scholastic's Lucky Books and shopping is open on-line. If you are interested in purchasing any of the books, please follow the instructions that will be sent home for on-line ordering.  The website is:  www.scholastic.com and use the code H8WKD.   If you're not interested in ordering, please kindly recycle the flyers.  Scholastic lists Reading Workshop levels for most of the books offered.


    Specials Schedule


              The specials schedule was sent home.  Please have your child wear sneakers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for Physical Education (gym) class.  Please practice shoe tying skills! (I will provide strategies given to me from a district Occupational Therapist and we have a center in school to practice shoe tying as well.)  


              Check your child’s “keep home” and “bring back” pocket of his/her folder each night and encourage a sense of responsibility for your second grader.




    General classroom info:


    RESPECT is our only classroom rule.  Together we brainstormed the meaning of respect and daily we create a respectful and kind classroom community. (A paper was sent home about this topic and is linked to the website.)


    Student of the Day- This is a positive reinforcement which is individualized for each student.  The “student of the day” wears a special sticker, walks second in line, and leads us in the morning “drumroll” and leads the reading of the class motto.  I keep record of the amount of times each child is “student of the day” to be sure it is equitable.


    Mystery walker- “The mystery walker cannot be a talker.”  “We’re lined up straight and tall, mouths are quiet, eyes look ahead, and we’re ready for the hall.”


    Teams:  The children are usually seated in teams.  The teams are reorganized approximately once every five or six weeks.  This allows a new perspective in the classroom as well as the opportunity and valuable experience of working with different people.  Each week, a new child is “captain” of the team.  The teams earn tallies as a positive reward for teamwork.  The children in the winning team earn a special reward like a “No Homework Pass” or sticker at the end of each week and before changing groups. 


    Focus:  Collectively, we have ways for the class to remain respectful and focused such as a “high-five” (Eyes on the speaker, Quiet mouths, Listening ears, Quiet/still bodies, Sitting or Standing tall and straight.) Class tallies for Friday fun is another positive reinforcement we will use for class behavior.

    I will only contact you if there seems to be a need for a discussion. 


    Tools:  phonics “whisper” phone, wiggle cushion, reading highlighting stick, privacy shields, “quiet desk,” dry erase overlay, color overlays for reading, slant boards, enrichment centers


    Birthdays:  To celebrate birthdays, we create a special birthday book where each child completes a page.  The birthday child gets to pick a game for the class to participate in playing and we sing happy birthday in English and Mandarin during snack. Summer birthdays will be celebrated either at the “1/2 birthday” point or in June. 


    It is my personal philosophy to educate and nurture a whole child.  In 2C, we celebrate each child’s uniqueness and work together to find ways to meet each child’s needs.  I value the trust that you place in me while caring for and teaching your child each day.  I look forward to working with you and your child this year and am certain that second grade will be a positive journey. 



    I will try to answer all e-mails within twenty-four hours during school days.  I do not always check email from home.


    There are many times when I do not have the opportunity or access to email throughout the school day.  Please call the main office or send in a hand written note if you need my attention promptly.  If throughout the course of the day there is a change in your child’s dismissal routine, please also contact the main office and aftercare, if needed. And, if you have anything that will help enhance or enrich our topics during the year, and would like to share with our class, please contact me.


                                                                            With gratitude,


                                                              Ms. Sarah Conklin

     E-mail: sconklin@veronaschools.org