2C Classroom Update

November 25, 2015

Dear Families,

We have been very busy these last few weeks before Thanksgiving break! We introduced the idea of POD learning. First, each Super Snake met individually with a teacher to identify his or her preferred method of learning to help students to reflect on their learning and recognize how they learn best. Some students realized that they learn best from visual activities (reading information), others learn best from auditory activities (talking about the material), and many of us learn best from kinesthetic activities (engaging with the material in a hands-on way). Students were then placed into groups, or PODs, with peers who enjoy learning in similar ways. PODs began to meet in their small groups (5-6 students) for special writing and math lessons tailored to their needs.

Writing has been a big focus for us as we finish writing our Narrative (true story) rough drafts. Students have studied mentor texts (books from authors whose writing we admire and want to emulate) and begun to try different craft moves (writing techniques) in their stories. For example, we studied how some authors begin their books by introducing the character or setting in an interesting way, with dialogue or by giving a hint of the problem. The students discussed why these ways of starting a story are effective, such as by grabbing the reader's attention, and then chose one technique to try in their own writing. Students then rewrote the beginning of their rough drafts to grab the reader's attention from the beginning. They are looking forward to inviting families and sharing their writing at our upcoming Writing Celebration in December.

From our 2C family to yours, we hope you have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!


Amy and Hannah

Second Step Program in 2C

This year, Brooklyn Prospect has begun implementing a social-emotional program in our classrooms called Second Step. The Super Snakes will start having Second Step lessons and activities after we return from Thanksgiving break. The goal of the program is to teach students skills—such as how to avoid assumptions, pay attention and listen, finish tasks, and show compassion—that can lead to gains in confidence and school success. At times, Second Step activities will be sent home in your child's orange folder. These activities do not need to be completed and returned to teachers, but we encourage you to look at them with your child so that you know what we are working on in class and can reinforce it at home!

Please reach out to us via email if you would like more information about the program. Here are the 4 second grade Second Step units and some topics they will address:

1. Skills for learning: Students gain skills to help themselves learn, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, use self-talk to stay on task, and be assertive when asking for help with schoolwork.

2. Empathy: Students learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Students also learn how to take another’s perspective and how to show compassion.

3. Emotional Management: Students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong feelings, such as anxiety or anger.

4. Problem Solving: Students learn a process for solving problems with others in a positive way.

Risk-Taking Student of The Week #1: Isla

Isla exemplifies what it means to be a risk-taker at Brooklyn Prospect. Other students gave examples of how she is brave, willing to try new things, and always stands up for what she believes in:

  • "Isla always raises her hand to answer something even when it is hard or she doesn't know if she is right or wrong."
  • "Isla auditioned and is a soloist in music class."
  • "Isla missed choice time to work on her reading and she was calm and cool."
  • "Isla is always nice even times when it is hard or she is upset."
  • "Isla told me what to do during number stories when the other kids were working."
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Risk-Taking Student of the Week #2: Sebastian

Sebastian also exemplifies what it means to be a risk-taker at Brooklyn Prospect. Other students gave examples of how he takes risks:

  • "Sebastian was new to our school, and he was brave."
  • "When a new student came to our class and was upset, Sebastian made him a present to become his friend."
  • "Sebastian made a cover for his story that didn't match, and he didn't get mad and made a new one."
  • "Sebastian will always have a power talk with me when we distract each other."
  • "Sebastian taught me how to be more of a friend."
  • "Sebastian learned to understand when it's not always your turn."
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2C Announcements:

  • Homework this week is OPTIONAL. It does not need to be handed in on Wednesday, December 2nd. However, after an extended break, we encourage students to work on a few pages Monday and Tuesday night to get back into the school routine.
  • Families are invited to our Fall Curriculum Share on December 11th. Students will share what they have been working on through our first Inquiry unit on "Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities."
  • Parent Teacher Conferences will take place December 16th - December 18th. This is a great opportunity to sit down individually with us to discuss your child's progress, what he or she is working on in class, and how your child could be supported with this work at home.
  • Families will be invited to our Narrative Writing Celebration where students will read their writing pieces that they have been working so hard on. It is tentatively scheduled for Monday, December 21st. More information to come!