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Mrs. Hein’s 2 nd Grade Parent Information 2011-12.

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1 Mrs. Hein’s 2 nd Grade Parent Information 2011-12

2 Welcome to Second Grade… and to an important year in your child’s journey through school. I look forward to getting to know you better as the year goes on and to understanding your child as an individual and as a learner. The children in our classroom come with a wide range of abilities, talents, and interests, so I expect we will have a busy, exciting year! Much of my curriculum is based on the broad concept of “Changes All Around Us.” Using a central theme like this helps connect all curriculum areas, requires higher-order thinking, and leads to more meaningful understanding for everyone.

3 Our Class Bill of Rights and Responsibilities We have the right to learn. We have the responsibility to study, listen, and do our best. We have the right to make friends. We have the responsibility to be kind, fair, and honest. We have the right to be safe. We have the responsibility to solve problems peacefully.

4 Literacy Literacy instruction is based on a block approach to teaching reading, language, and writing. The first 90 minutes of the day is our reading block. This block of time will incorporate: -Mini lessons on targeted skills: This is done as a whole group, then students work with a small group on reading material at an instructional reading level. -Read to Self: During this time, students will be engaged in reading books in which they are interested, at their reading level. Some of these books will integrate Science and Social Studies themes. -Read to Someone: Students will read with a partner, using active questioning techniques. Reading aloud strengthens fluency. -Listen to Reading: Students will listen to a classmate/teacher read or listen to books on tape. -Work With Words: Phonics and word decoding is an essential part of learning to read "bigger words." Students will use a variety of activities to sharpen these skills. Writing Workshop will be done from 2:30-3:20. This is when writing skills are taught, with lots of practice time given to practice. Grammar and conventions are taught at this time, also.

5 “ Students will use a variety of materials to aid in the learning of essential reading and writing skills. These include (but are not limited to): Basal anthologies, of which we have several to choose Literature units based on novels/chapter books Junior Great Books Scholastic Reading Cards Comprehension Toolkit with accompanying trade books National Geographic magazine Weekly Reader magazine "Jacob's Ladder" reading comprehension program 6+1 Writing Traits materials (2nd and 3rd grade) Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Primary Writing Shurley English Intensive Phonics computer program

6 August-September: Friendship and School October-November: Explorers and Pioneers December: Holidays January: Myths, Fables, and Tall Tales February: Biographies March: Mysteries April: Journeys and Adventures May: Literature Circles Novel/Story Themes

7 Spelling and Vocabulary Lists Our spelling lists consist of 20 words coordinated with Intensive Phonics lessons. Also, there are usually a few “Most Common Words” in each list. These are words that children are likely to see and use most frequently and do not always follow “the rules.” I will give a pretest each Wednesday of the upcoming week’s spelling list. Those students missing 2 or less on the pretest will be given a “Challenge List” of words for the following week. The “Challenge List” will have 18 words on it. If a student misses 1 or 2 words on the pretest, these words will be added to the “Challenge List.” You can access the list of words each week through my website (on the spelling page) or through My webpage will have the list of students on the Challenge List and their extra words-if your child’s name is not there, he or she is on the Regular List. Lists can be printed off for writing practice. Tests over the spelling list words will be given in the computer lab on Thursdays. Vocabulary tests and dictation sentences will be written in the classroom on Fridays.

8 Math

9 Learning Math Facts

10 Science We will examine the difference between a pattern and a cycle. We will explore the life cycles of insects and plants, the water cycle (weather), the lunar cycle, and other cycles that help regulate our lives. We will learn how the earth has changed over time and continues to change. We will begin to appreciate the importance of cycles in our world as we understand our dependence upon calendars and clocks to mark time. We will examine the importance of recycling waste and the impact this simple act will have on future generations. In Second Grade, we will learn that a scientist uses many tools to observe and record changes. We will explore the world around us by using our 5 senses and other tools such as thermometers, rulers, magnifiers, and balances. Students will learn about the forces that regulate the physical world and how scientists use that knowledge to manipulate and manage change. Our scientific investigations will be based on learning about patterns and cycles:

11 Social Studies In social studies, we will focus on 4 main areas: history, civics and government, geography, and economics. History: Students will differentiate between events that happened in the past and recently, recognize examples of continuity and change in local and regional communities, and consider ways that people and events of the past and present influence their lives. Civics and Government: Students will explain why communities have government and laws, demonstrate that people in the United States have both rights and responsibilities, and identify individual actions that contribute to the good of the community and nation. Geography: Students will locate their community, state and nation on maps and globes; identify major geographic characteristics of their local community; and explore geographic relationships between the physical and environmental characteristics of their community. Economics: Students will describe how people in a community use productive resources, create a variety of businesses and industries, specialize in different types of jobs, and depend on each other to supply goods and services.

12 O Outstanding95-100 O-93-94 S+Satisfactory90-92 S80-89 S-70-79 NNeeds improvementBelow 69 Grading Scale

13 When a child misses problems on schoolwork, I usually ask that he/she correct or “re-do” those missed problems. The corrected problems are then turned back in to me to be checked again, and I will place an OK by the original score when the work has been correctly completed. I believe it is important that your child sees his/her errors and corrects them him/herself. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but many errors alert me to potential problems and give me a chance to help your child if he/she does not truly understand the concept being taught. Credit will be given for corrections made.

14 I look forward to an exciting, busy, fun- filled year. You will be amazed at how much growth your child makes during this important year-academically, socially, physically, and emotionally! Please explore and make use of our classroom website for updates and information. Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns.

15 "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson I hope all my students are able to make their own trails through life!

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