Welcome to 2nd Grade!

September 2013

I'm Mrs. Mason and I'm glad you're here!

I hope you had a great summer! I did a lot of swimming and boating and playing with my sons who are in 3rd and 6th grade. I graduated from Iowa State in Elementary Education and received my Master's Degree in Counseling/Human Relations from Northern Arizona University. I've taught grades two through six, Elementary Spanish technology. I've worked in Texas, Arizona, North Dakota and we moved back to Iowa about four years ago. We love it here! I've been teaching for 20 years and I'm excited to be teaching 2nd grade again this year. We're going to have an awesome year!


Class Expectations

Our classroom has just three rules.
1. Follow directions.
2. Be respectful.
3. Treat others and you would like to be treated.
These rules are always expected to be followed. I always try to emphasize the good things kids are doing. However if your student is having difficulties with these rules, I will have a private discussion with him or her. If it continues to be difficult to follow these rules your student may be making a phone call to you so we all can discuss how we can get back on track. Of course if there is a serious problem (fighting, continued disrespect, etc.) a visit to our Dean of Students, Mr. Sharkey is in order.
We just recently started using a behavior management tool in our classroom that we're really excited about, ClassDojo. Students are awarded points for positive behaviors such as being on task, helping others and working hard. They can also have points removed for negative behaviors such as being off task, not following directions and having hands on other students. I can record everything on the iPad, iPhone or a laptop. The students can help manage their behavior by seeing all their points and adjusting when necessary. You can learn more about ClassDojo by visiting their website below.


What will we be learning?

Second grade is wonderful! Your student should be reading more independently this year with greater understanding of what he's reading. Chapter books may be something your child will be ready for too! In math we'll be working on fact fluency--learning the basic addition and subtraction facts without using our fingers as much! :) Word problems, time and money will be a big focus also. In Social Studies we will start with learning about communities. It's going to be a fabulous year!


Read, Read Read!

Reading with and to your child is SO important! Have them read signs, labels and everything! Your child should practice reading at home as much as possible. Reading each day for at least 15 minutes will help your child learn new words and continue to become an even better reader. This is always part of your child's homework.
We will be using the BookIt! Reading incentive program. Each month I will send home a reading calendar. When your child reads (to you, with you or independently) please record it by initialing the date. Your child needs to read at least 5 days out of the week. I know how busy family's schedules can become! At the end of the month your student will bring it back to school to receive a certificate for a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.

Practice those facts!

Knowing the addition and subtraction facts well (without counting on fingers) is a huge benefit for your student. Please practice these facts with your child--just 5-10 minutes a day and they'll have them memorized. Practice them with flash cards or out loud while you're in the car or waiting in line. Right now we're working on addition and subtraction facts up to 20 and being able to decide to add or subtract in a word problem.


Weekly Schedule

Monday -- Library and Art
Tuesday -- Art and Music
Wednesday -- P.E. and Early Dismissal at 1:30
Thursday -- Music
Friday -- P.E. and Guidance


Homework

The main homework for your child will be reading at home. It makes such a difference in their learning! There will be spelling tests each Friday and your student may receive 1-2 math papers for homework weekly. The homework should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. The homework needs to be returned completed the next day.


Questions? Concerns? Let me know!

If you have any questions you can call the school or email me. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Our CarverTech website has links to the websites we often use in our classroom.


It's Going To Be A GREAT Year!