Welcome to my Classroom

Work_on_writing

September – Grade Two Homework Policy

After speaking with some parents last night at open house and receiving some questions by email, I wanted to elaborate on the Grade Two Homework Policy. 

 

The Grade Two Team is focused on fostering a love of reading and writing.  We are encouraging all parents to participate in an ‘At Home Reading Program’.  Students should engage in a reading activity each night.  This reading activity may involve taking turns reading to each other, or your child may want to read to you (or any other family member, even a pet), or you may want to read a bed-time story to your child.  There is no ‘right’ way to read at home, as long as your child is enjoying reading.

 

There will be no other homework for the grade 2 students.  If your child is experiencing difficulty in any area of the curriculum and you would like some ideas to support them at home, I would be happy to share some activities and games with you.  The children work very hard all day and need time for play, family, and rest!

 

Grade 2 students will work on Spelling words each week and there will be a test on Friday.  From time to time, I will send home the Spelling Test Folder so that you can see what they have accomplished. 

 

From time to time, I will send home some ideas for at-home activities.  These will not be required activities, but rather, helpful ideas that support the curriculum outcomes we are learning at school.

 

Word_work

September – IPICK Books

We have gotten off to a great start this year with Literacy.  We have been busy getting to know each other and learning our classroom routines.  I am sure your children have spoken with you about ‘The Daily Five’ and all the reading and writing we do in class.  We have been working on building our reading and writing stamina.  So far this year, we have built 16 minutes of stamina as a class.

 

Over the past two weeks we have been learning and practicing how to choose ‘Good Fit’ books.  Research shows when children are reading independently, they should be reading books they understand and can read.  Reading books that are too difficult can lead to frustration, and then reading is no longer enjoyable.  We want children to enjoy reading, which means it is important they are reading books they are interested in and on their ‘Just Right’ level.  Research also shows that children are motivated to read when they can choose their own books.

 

There is a very simple way to help your child choose ‘Good Fit’ books.  It is called IPICK.  IPICK is an acronym that stands for:  1.  I choose, Purpose, Interest, Comprehend, and Know the words.  Here are some easy steps that you and your child can follow in order to choose ‘Good Fit’ books:

 

1.  Have your child choose their own books.

2.  Ask your child “What is your purpose for reading this book?”.  They may want to learn more about whales.  Or, they may just want to read something for fun.

3.  Ask your child, “Is this a book you are interested in?”

4.  Have your child read a page somewhere in the book. Then ask them, “Who did you read about and what did they do?”.  If it is a ‘Good Fit’ book your child should be able to tell you about what they have read.

5.  Have your child read another page and ask, “Did you know the words?”  Your child should know all or most of the words on the page.  New research shows that for independent reading, children should be reading books with 98% accuracy.  That means they should already know most of the words on the page.

 

Going through these steps will only take a few minutes and some children will master this process very quickly.  Other children may need more help in practicing these steps.  Choosing a ‘Good Fit’ book is an ongoing process that we continue to learn and practice at school.

 

I hope this helps you to feel more connected with what your child is doing and learning at school.  Using common language between home and school can help your child in their learning.

Rk8_girl12

September – Communication Folder

Today your child will be coming home with a book in his/her Communication Folder.  Based on last year’s reading abilities, this book should be a ‘good fit’ for your child to read independently (or with very little help).  Your child is not required to read this book at home, nor are you.  The purpose of sending this book home is to ensure that all children have access to a book that is a ‘good fit’ for them at home or daycare.

 

Each Wednesday, I will switch the book and send home a new one.  Please make sure that this book is in the Communication Folder on Wednesday so that I can send the new book home.

 

It is common to have some reading loss over the summer.  If you find your child is struggling to read the book I have sent home, please let me know and I will make a change.  A ‘good fit’ book is one that a child should be able to read fluently with 98% accuracy independently.  It should not be a book they have to struggle through.

 

Our goal is to make reading fun!  We want our students to look forward to reading, so that they will continue to grow as readers and learners for years to come.  If we push them with books that are too difficult now, they may decide that they don’t like to read, which would be a big loss.

Listen_to_reading

September – You and Your World

Today we began our first unit of You and Your World.  You and Your World is a science, social studies curriculum for K-2 students.

 

In Grade 2 the You and Your World theme is “Change”.  The units we will explore are:  Growth and Development of animals, Technology and Community, Work, Healthy Lifestyles, and Change and the Physical Environment.

 

We began to discuss Healthy Lifestyles today.  At the beginning of the year this discussion focuses around safety in the home and at school.  Our topic today was Fire Safety.  Your child may ask you about a fire escape plan for your home tonight. 

 

I’m including a link with some games and activities that you may like to explore together:

http://www.stayingalive.ca/kids_zone.html

 

Many of the students have also requested that I share a Math link with you.  This ‘Dog Bone’ game is an excellent numbers game that you can play at home:

http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/DogBone/gamebone.html

Work_with_teacher

September – Schedule and Information

Now that I have had the opportunity to set up a distribution list to contact you through email, I just wanted to take a chance to say hello and share some more information with you. 

 

A little bit about our day at school:

 

Your child’s day begins with Math.  We will do a Math Workshop and share some Number of the Day Activities.

 

On Tuesday and Wednesday your child has Music.

 

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday your child has Phys. Ed.

 

After Recess we spend time on Literacy.  In our class we are practicing the ‘Daily Five’ and the ‘Daily Cafe’.  These are both literacy practices/programs which focus on learning through practice (both guided and independent).

 

After lunch our schedule varies.  We will do some more Literacy, You and Your World and Art.

 

On Friday we usually participate in a school assembly and a fun fitness activity.

 

We also have Library on Friday.  Please make sure that your child returns his/her Library book by Friday so that he/she can take part in our trip to the school library.

 

*Please note – schedules may change from time to time depending on a number of factors. 

 

 

Supplies and School Fees

 

A Quick Checklist for you (I have already received most of these and I will send a personal email by the end of the week to let you know if anything is missing):

 

–  Kleenex

 

–  $30 School Fee

 

–  Change of clothes to keep at school

 

–  Student Data Form

 

A Note About Arrival and Dismissal

 

Arrival time for buses is 8:25am.  Please do not drop off children before this time.  There is no teacher on duty before 8:25am and we are often in and out of the classroom in the morning.

 

Dismissal time is 2:05.  I must receive a note from home if there is to be any alternate arrangements in buses or walking (including different family members picking up the children).  This is for the safety of the children.

 

Read_to_self

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