2nd Grade Home

13 September 2019

Welcome to Second Grade!

Well, we’re off and running into another exciting year!  It’s going to be a year full of reading strategies, math facts and skills, fun writing projects, science explorations, world cultures, and first sacraments. Whew! We don’t think it gets any better than that!

We were thrilled to meet many of you at last week’s Curriculum Night. If you were not able to attend, you should have seen an information packet in your student’s backpack last Friday. If not, you can download the packet from the Grade 2 website. You can also review the Curriculum Night powerpoint presentation on the website. Both documents are located under the “Academic Overview” tab, under Grade 2 classroom. Let us know if you have any questions about the upcoming year.  look forward to seeing you at Curriculum Night this Thursday. 

*Reminder: First Sacraments (Sacramental Prep) Orientation Meeting is on Sunday, September 22 (9:30-10:45am in the Gym). If you are planning to have your child receive first Reconciliation and first Communion this year, please plan to attend that meeting. Helen will be going over ALL of the requirements/expectations for families whose children will be receiving the sacraments. Contact Helen Oesterle in the Parish Office if you have questions or concerns about the First Sacraments program

Here are a few notes about what we’ll be doing in the classroom: 


  • Monday Sept. 16 & Thursday, Sept 19 — Individual Reading Assessments for 2nd graders (Ms. Z to be in classroom while Mrs. H does assessments)
  • Thursday, Sept. 19 – Individual Photos (free dress day)
  • Sunday, Sept. 22 – Orientation Meeting for First Sacraments (9:30-10:45am) in the Gym
  • Monday, September 23 — Begin MAP Testing, school-wide
  • Monday, Sept 23 & Thursday, Sept 26 — Individual Reading Assessments for 2nd graders (Ms. Z to be in classroom while Mrs. H does assessments)
  • Wednesday, September 25–Class Mass with the 7th grade (9:00)
  •  Friday, Oct.11 – Teacher In-Service No School – Archdiocesan Teacher In-Service
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 – All School Mass – Please make sure your child has a blue on top (OLG sweatshirt, vest, sweater)


  • Earthquake Kits – Please make sure we have an Earthquake Kit for your child. We need to have all of them as soon as possible.
  • Pick Up/DropOff Forms – Please return them to the office as soon as possible.
  • Technology Use Contracts — Please return your student’s Technology Use Contract to school as soon as possible. We are not able to use any technology devices (computers, iPads, etc) until we have ALL 2nd grade student forms on file. 

Homework – Expect an average of 20-30 minutes per day, covering a variety of subjects. Reading, Spelling, & Math will be most prevalent as we work to solidify their basic skills in these foundational areas. We will send homework assignments on a daily basis to ensure the assignments align with the instruction. Most of the time we will ask for the assignment to be returned the next day. Please send a note if, for some reason, your child is unable to complete the assignment that night. It’s fine to hand it in later – we just want to know that it didn’t simply get lost in transit. 

We are adamant about checking Reading Slips – reading is THAT important for second graders. If a child does not bring their reading slip back the next day, they may be asked to stay in at Recess to read. So, if no other homework can happen in a given night, please be sure your child at least reads…it will make a huge impact on their learning this year.  Note: If the official Reading Slip gets lost, simply write down (on any piece of paper) your child’s name, the book they read, the author, how many minutes they read, and any comments you wish to share with me.

Communication – Most classroom newsletters and notes will be sent to you via email. We strive to send them out every other week (twice per month). Please let us know if you prefer hard copies of communications and we will happily provide them to you. Please send a written note telling us you’d prefer hard copies. Thank you! **A reminder, please make sure you include BOTH Ms. Zbaracki & Mrs. Hoch on any communications regarding your 2nd graders or 2nd grade happenings. It helps us provide the best support possible for you and your student since we share the week with the students.**

Interested in helping in the classroom? Please email us if you’re interested in helping. We will have lots of projects this year with which we could use some help. Thank you!


Language Arts – In the next few weeks we will be learning how to read be active readers by marking texts, asking questions, making connections, predicting, and visualizing. We will practice these strategies using the Daybook materials, and further practicing them with our Read Aloud book, Because of Winn Dixie. Next week we will do the preliminary assessments to create our SIPPS word work groups that will strengthen foundational skills in reading. Reading groups will hopefully start Sept. 30.

We will be learning how to read with Buddies, building stamina, and using informational texts to learn about communities. We will be doing “close reading” of texts (re-reading several times as we look for different information within the text), which will help us practice fluency.

While reading informational texts about Community, we will introduce several reading strategies that will be used throughout the year:  (1) Monitoring – making sure we are checking for understanding as we read, and making sure we are reading at an appropriate speed; (2) Text-to-Self Connections – connecting what we read with our own experiences: and (3) Summarizing – retelling information in our own words. We will practice these strategies through written responses to our reading. Our writing is focused on using proper sentence structure (capitalization & punctuation) and using complete sentences to respond to reading prompts.

Starting next week, we will be doing individual assessments on each student to determine their current independent reading level. Once all students have been assessed, students will be given a reading range for independent reading, and we will begin building stamina as individual/independent readers. We will send home assessment summary sheets after the assessments are all completed. Keep up the great reading you’re doing at home!

Finally, in Language Arts, we continue to review and develop proper handwriting formations for all letters and numbers. Please help your child “check their grip” as they are doing any kind of writing at home. 

Social Studies – In our first unit we will learn about communities. We will learn that all communities in the world have 4 things in common – they all have places to live, learn/solve problems, work, and play. We will also learn that there are 3 kinds of communities: urban, rural, and suburban. Using informational texts, we will discover what these “fancy” words mean and how we experience them in our own community of Seattle.

Math – We are reviewing counting patterns and place value. At home, please practice counting patterns with your child… find fun ways to encourage them to count by 1’s, 10’s and 100’s (forward AND backward to 1,000) to help them feel really confident in their number patterns.

Spelling – We are planning to begin Spelling workbook work next week! Spelling books will be sent home on Mondays. Please help your student complete the assigned lesson pages and return the workbook no later than THURSDAY. We will have Spelling Tests on Fridays. All Spelling lists are posted on our website, under the “Files & Flyers” tab. Please note that we will not spend time in class practicing Spelling words, so please be sure to do so at home throughout the week. Once we have had a word as a Spelling Word, students will be expected to spell that word correctly in everyday writing. Please help your child practice their Spelling words throughout the week so they can comfortably spell these words for the test and in their daily writing.

Religion – We are focusing on God’s love for us. We have read several versions of the Creation story and reflected on the many blessings God has given us. We have learned about Saint Isidore (patron saint of farmers & picnics). Next, we will be learning the story of Joseph later this week. Our service project of cleaning the church will begin in a couple of weeks.

Science – In science we will be investigating solids and liquids through the properties of these items.  The students will set up their science logbooks, investigate, join in decisions, record their findings, and answers the focus question.  During the activities students will be responsible to explain their ideas verbally or in written (picture) form, listen to others and show that they are listening, ask questions when they don’t understand or can’t hear, connect their ideas with others, respectfully, and participate fully because all ideas lead to learning.  It will be an exciting science time filled with exploring and learning.

Yoga – In yoga we will start breathing and relaxing our body. Throughout the weeks I will introduce simple yoga positions to enhance our focus, balance, strength, concentration, flexibility, and awareness to slow down.  What fun we will have!

The year is off to an exciting start and we feel so blessed to journey through the year with you and your family! We pray you all have a fabulous week, full of smiles & sunshine!

With joy,

Mrs. Hoch & Ms. Zbaracki