• Reading

    Our Realistic Fiction Study solidifies students’ understanding of what types of books fall into the realistic fiction genre. We discuss other types of fiction, such as animal fantasy and traditional literature, and notice what distinguishes realistic fiction from other fiction genres. We identify the five major features of realistic fiction texts:

    • Characters - people in the story
    • Setting -  the location and time of a story
    • Problem -  the main challenge or difficulty the character is facing; conflict
    • Solution - how the problem is solved
    • Theme - a message about people, life, nature, and the world we live in that the author wants the reader to understand.  (Friendship, Family, Bravery)

    Please note that second graders are not expected to identify the theme on their own, but it is important that we recognize and talk about the themes in our texts. 

    Ways to Help at Home: Discuss genre with your child, and ask them to identify the genre of different books that they read, and back up their reasoning. Additionally, here are some great questions to ask surrounding character, setting, problem, solution, and theme:

    • Who are the main characters?
    • When does the author introduce the main character?
    • Which characters are not named?
    • How are the characters related to each other?
    • Where and when does the story take place?
    • Where does the action take place?
    • How much time passes in the story?
    • Could the setting be a real place that exists now?
    • Does the setting influence the character’s actions? 
    • What is the conflict or problem in the story?
    • What happens in the story? What were the major events?
    • What is the resolution of the story?
    • What is the big message of this book?
    • What is the book really about?
    • What message does the writer give?
    • What was the writer really trying to say?
    • What ideas does the writer want you to think more about?


    Unit 1: Coins, Number Strings, and Story Problems (Addition, Subtraction, and the Number System 1

    We are still working on the introductory unit.  Students are become familiar with math workshop routines, expectations and materials, while they build on their knowledge from first grade, and develop concepts surrounding operations and place value. Students also practicing identifying and counting coins, telling time, and practicing math facts. These skills will spiral throughout our math curriculum for the entirety of the year. In this unit students will:

    • Add and subtract a group of single digit numbers in an order that makes sense
    • Shift from counting by 1’s to counting by groups, particularly groups of 10’s and 1’s
    • Develop and refine strategies for solving addition and subtraction story problems

     Math Help at Home

    The best way to stay informed of the math happenings in our class is to read the family letters that are a part of your child’s math activity book. Each time there is a relevant letter, I will note it in the homework sheet. These letters contain some great tips and tricks for working with your child on developing their math skills. Additionally, playing any math games that are sent home with your child, practicing skills such as telling time, counting coins, and math facts are great ways to help them solidify math practices. 


    Our Personal Narrative Unit will ask students to select small moments from their lives, and write about them in detail. Students will know that personal narratives include the following features:

    • Includes a title
    • Tells the events in sequential order 
    • Has a beginning, middle, and end
    • Is told using the word “I”
    • Tells how the writer felt
    • Tells why the moment was important
    • Has a strong ending

    Ways to Help at Home: Notice when “small moments” occur in your life and ask your child to retell what happened. Model for them stretching out these moments in great detail. Perhaps you can start a family journal, keeping track of these moments to enjoy at a later time.

    Social Studies

    Grade 2:  My Community and Other Communities

    Our second graders engage in structured inquiry to learn about: 

    • Individual Development and Cultural Identity 
    • Civic Ideals and Practices
    • Geography, Humans and the Environment
    • Time, Continuity, and Change 
    • Economic Systems 

    These units represent five of the unifying themes of social studies.  Each unit includes inquiries that help students study their local community and learn about the characteristics that define urban, suburban, and rural communities. Democratic principles and participation in government are introduced. Interaction with the environment and changes to the environment and their effects are examined. The concept of change over time and examining cause and effect are introduced. Students will also examine the availability of resources and the interdependence within and across communities.  

    SS Inquiry: Do We Have to Have Rules? 

    To build community and establish classroom routines, we will engage in a discussion of rules. Students will have the opportunity to explore our school’s code of conduct, look at our school rules (ROAR) and discuss why we have rules and how they reflect our values. Students will grapple with the following questions:

    • What are my values and how do I show them?
    • Can we make classroom rules that reflect our values?
    • What would happen if we did not have rules?

    SS Help at Home

    Talk about the rules you have at home, and why you have those rules. What does your family value?  Read over the school’s code of conduct with your child and discuss how they can demonstrate the value of being Respectful, Outwardly kind and caring, Always safe, and Responsible. Panther’s R.O.A.R.!  Encourage your child to R.O.A.R at home and in school!

    We will also celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th! - an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is normally observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia.