Second Grade News You Can Use

February 16-19, 2016

A Note from Mrs. Graham

Preparing your child for third grade requires more than just making sure he or she can read, write, and do arithmetic. In fact, most of the students I have are able to perform their academic requirements at a level that is acceptable to send them on to third grade. However, I want to do so much more with them. Exceeding the academic expectations is probable and achievable. Unfortunately, we are running into roadblocks in the form of general class behavior both in and out of the classroom. Some of the problems we are running into are; transitioning from one activity to the next , independently coming in the classroom ready to learn, speaking and listening respectfully, and eating in the lunch room using table manners. Many, not all students are struggling. Those who do listen and speak respectfully, practice using good manners, come in independently, and have the right attitude about using their learning time wisely, may be coming home frustrated as they are often waiting for their peers to follow their good examples. I have recently tried modifying these class behaviors with reward days like TOY DAY and HIBERNATION DAY. I will still be finding ways to reward the students. However, I am going to be working on an individual level with some of the students in order to improve in the areas needed for the individual to be ready for third grade. This could mean that some children will not be participating in the classroom rewards as these will need to be earned. Instead, the children who need to improve will be using this time on activities to improve his or her weak areas. Third grade is a huge transition. Preparing your student for success is a job for all of us.

The student who is ready to learn...

  • comes into class, unpacks folder and planner putting them on the desk, and begins morning work without reminders
  • takes care of bathroom needs and asks for water breaks when we are not in the middle of a lesson
  • listens completely to instructions and asks questions after instructions are given for clarity
  • follows directions quickly on class time instead of in their own time
  • speaks clearly when spoken to and listens when others are speaking
  • works independently when asked to do so during small group time
  • is a self starter and stays on task
  • completes homework, meets AR goals, and is prepared for tests with little help from parents
  • is not a distraction to self or to others
  • stays seated during instruction, on the carpet, and when eating in the MPR
  • walks, stays quiet, and does not touch the walls or others in the hallway
  • can use the bathroom in the hallway without being reminded not to talk or play
  • uses utensils, napkins, and good manners like not talking with a mouthful of food
  • can keep desk, locker, and other personal space organized
  • can dress, keep appearance neat and can tie shoes
  • can speak respectfully to authority even when angry or disappointed
  • can speak kindly to peers and seeks help when needed to resolve conflict
  • helps keep the classroom healthy by cleaning up messes and by practicing healthy habits like covering coughs and sneezes, keeping hands and fingers out of nose and mouth, and by washing hands when necessary.

Teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic is the easy part. Teaching this other stuff turns out to be the challenge. I hope you will support your student by supporting me through the rest of this school year. I look forward to being able to enhance our curriculum in response to a class full of students who are ready to learn.


February 19-Re-enrollment deadline (after this the fee increases by $100)

March 4-Second Grade AR deadline for 3rd term

March 4-5-Spring Consignment Sale

March 11-Grandparent's Day

March 14-18-Spring Break

I will be rescheduling parent/teacher conferences during the next three weeks.


Words with or, ore

New List Words: horn, story, fork, score, store, corn, morning, shore, short, born, tore, forget

Challenge Words: report, force

Words from Writing: really, Mrs. Graham, and very

Test will be on Friday, February 19, 2016.


New Story: Dex the Heart of a Hero (Fantasy) and Heroes Then and Now (Informational text and Biography)

Essential Question: What makes someone a hero?

High Frequency Words: I've, begins, being, flower, ground, laugh, ready, stood, tall, very

New Vocabulary Words: depended, sore, sprang, studied, gazing, hero, exercise, overlooked

Vocabulary Strategies: Prefix (over)

Fluency: Intonation

Grammar: Commas in a Series

Comprehension Skills: Compare and Contrast, Figurative Language

Writing: Narrative Writing: Fictional Narrative

Fluency Homework: Dex The Heart of a Hero will be due Friday. Focus on intonation rather than speed. When good readers read aloud, they use proper intonation to emphasize certain words and emotions. This means they change their voice so the listener can understand the mood of the story.


The skills we are working on this week are adding with regrouping in the ones and tens places. We will also work on subtracting 3 digit numbers.

Most of us have the concepts of adding and subtracting and can add and subtract three digit numbers with and without regrouping. Those of us who know our facts are able to complete our work and homework in short order. Continue to work on those addition and subtraction facts to improve speed and accuracy in problem solving.


Lesson: The Rich Man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31

Theme: Christians will spend eternity in heaven

Memory Verse: Luke 16:31

If they will not listen to Moses, then they will not believe someone who has risen from the dead.


Continued from last week: Landmarks Tell a Story

New this week: American Cultures

Students will compare and contrast the American Cultures of the past to cultures found in America today including African American, Hispanic and Asian American cultures.


Continued from last week: Plants

New this week: Animals

Students will learn that many different kinds of animals live in different environments on Earth. They will understand that animals have different systems that perform different functions-movement, digestion, respiration, etc. They will also explore the life cycles of animals.


We have been introduced to 16 lower case cursive letters. The students were especially attentive today as we learned a cursive k which is one of the more challenging cursive letters to learn. I am proud of their effort and positive attitude during our cursive time with Mrs. Hamilton each morning.