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The Four Blocks of Literacy
In 2nd grade we continue to build on the foundation of Language Arts that was built in K & 1st grade with our Four Blocks of Literacy: Writing, Shared Reading, Self-Selected Reading, and Working With Words. All 4 of these areas are vital in helping your child improve their reading and writing skills, comprehension, and fluency. Our goal is for your child to grow one or more years by the end of second grade.
During the writing block each day we will practice the skills required for your child to become a better writer. Your child will learn how to find mistakes in writing and how to correct them. We will work on grammar, sentence structure, and writing detailed stories. Your child will individually conference with me each week to evaluate the piece of work they are currently working on. We will brainstorm ideas, write rough copies, edit/revise, and publish a final copy.
During the Shared Reading block each day your child will read literature from our textbooks, the library, and other resources. Sometimes we will read together, in small groups, with a partner, or as a class. We will compare stories we read and learn to analyze the characters and themes we encounter through the year.
Self Selected Reading
Each day during our 30 minutes of self selected reading, your child will select and read books on his/her level and may take tests on the computer. Your child will read independently as well as with me each week in a guided reading group. Your child will be given small group instruction on a targeted reading strategy or skill. We will look for improvements in fluency, comprehension, and whether the book level selected is appropriate for your child. Together we will check for strategies that good readers use: self correcting, sounding out the words, using context clues, etc. Each night your child’s homework is to read 15-20 minutes, log it onto the homework sheet, and get a parent’s initials. The only way to improve your child’s reading skills is to read. Reading well takes practice, practice, practice.
Working With Words
Your child will continue learning letter sounds and putting them together to help them read. We will explore how sounds and patterns are used to help make good readers and spellers. Each week you child will have 5 new Word Wall Words. Lots of these are sight words, words that cannot be sounded out using phonics strategies. They must be memorized. We will practice using and spelling these words each day in class with games, songs, and hands-on activities. These are words that your child will be expected to spell correctly by using the word wall as a resource. You will receive a portable word wall each week, with the new words added.
Your child will begin each day with 1 critical thinking word problem. These problems require problem solving skills such as drawing tables, graphs, and comparing items. We will also review simple computation problems using the Target Math bulletin board or digital version. We will be using a combination of math programs to help your child become a better problem solver. We will use Lone Star Math, Texas Go Math Curriculum, and many other hands-on math strategies. In addition to these programs
Knowing Your Facts
It is very important that your child memorizes all his/her addition and subtraction facts with sums and differences to 20. Your child will need to be able to complete a fact practice page with every Friday. Your child needs to be able to ‘play’ with numbers and their family members, i.e. 4+2=6, 2+4=6, 6-2=4, 6-4=2. Please practice these at home. In addition, Mrs. Gaytan’s class was awarded a Reflex Math Grant for her students to practice their facts using an online computer application. Parents may sign up for Reflex Math for $35 per child if they wish. This program can be used at school and at home. It can be used on a home computer or an iPad. If you are interested in learning more about Reflex Math please visit www.reflexmath.co
Science and Social Studies
Science and social studies will be taught in mini-units. We will start the year learning about people in groups, working together, living in a community, and being a citizen. Later in the year we cover topics such as government, services, maps and regions. The students will make and interpret time lines of historic events. We also do a large unit on recycling and conserving the earth’s resources. Science will involve lots of hands on experiments and demonstrations. Our main teaching points are temperature, energy and water, animal and plant cycles.