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2O; 2nd; Maria Osbourn
10/8/2016 Second Grade Highlights

Second Grade Highlights


 Second Grade Highlights


Dear Parents,

 Welcome to second grade! This year your child will experience tremendous growth both academically and spiritually! We are so excited to get the school year started. We so excited to partner with you and your child, so we can have a successful year. Please refer to this document when you have questions about second grade.



School Times:

Early Dismissal Days: 7:45-11:30   Full Days: 7:45-3:10

Any child arriving after 7:45 must report to the Nurses office to check in.


Second graders attend Art and Library once/week, PE and Music twice/week, and Spanish three times /week. We will also have computer lab time with Mrs. Henneberg during second and fourth quarters.    Please remind your child to wear tennis shoes on P.E. days!


Our archdiocesan standards have been updated and can be viewed on the archdiocesan web site. If you go to you can find a link on the left side to take you to them.  

     In Reading, we utilize the Scott Foresman Reading Street program by Pearson Success Net. Included in this series are leveled phonics readers, our hardbound reading book, and technology components for all the lessons.    Most second graders still need instruction in phonics, fluency, grammar, sight words, and spelling. The spelling words for the week are also taught through our lessons, which make learning them at home that much easier! Students will also be expected to take and pass tests at 80% correct or higher. They will earn points on the books they’ve read, based on their individual reading levels. This is a change from the first grade way of taking a certain number of tests per month.

 We are very fortunate to have updated our math series two years ago with Go Math! (A Houghton Mifflin Harcourt text). This program also includes many opportunities for small group instruction and technology integration. Students will also have the opportunity to use the Accelerated Math program, much like in first grade.


Information will be coming home soon about the ALEKS program, which will help the children master their addition and subtraction facts.   We require the second graders to master their addition facts by Christmas break and master their subtraction facts by Easter break. Students will have an opportunity to work on ALEKS at the computer lab at least once a week during school. The ALEKS program includes computation practice (Quick Tables) along with games that are unlocked as the students master the tables.

Testing and Grades:

 Your child will be tested at least 3 times/year with the STAR Reading and Math test. Students that are considered strategic or intensive (based on lower than average scores) will be tested more frequently. We will share these results with you soon after we receive them. We will also have weekly reading tests, unit reading tests, weekly spelling tests, and chapter tests in math.

Your child will not receive letter grades until third grade. We do keep percentages on all tested work and review lessons, which partially helps us to determine what marks your child receives on his/her report card. 


Focus Groups and the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS):

Focus groups in math and reading provide opportunities for your children to receive instruction at their individual levels. Students are placed in either small or large groups to work on common skills that need reinforcement or they complete enrichment activities if they have mastered particular skills. The groups change frequently and we as teachers use classroom data to determine. Focus groups will begin after Labor Day and occur 4 times/week for both math and reading.  


Religious Education and Sacramental Preparation:

Your child’s religious education is of tremendous priority to us. We have a religion book and a reflections journal that will cover the required religion curriculum. You’ll get to see it each week when your child brings it home to be signed and when your child completes their chapter review. Please take the time to look at the book when it comes home! “Speaking as a parent who just went through the sacramental process last year, I can say that I also grew spiritually when my children received their sacraments.” Mrs. Strathman. We also share daily prayer intentions with each other, and your children’s prayers are powerful!

 The main sacramental preparation will rest with you.   You’re encouraged to attend the sacramental preparation meetings facilitated by Kathleen Willis.   She will coordinate dates for Reconciliation and First Communion.   You’ll also have a book for each sacrament to complete at home. 


The Adventures of Prayer Bear

This year we are also going to provide another opportunity for you and your children to grow in faith.   We are going to have 2 class “prayer bears” that travel home for a week with students.   A small journal will accompany each bear, and your child will fill it out and return it at the end of the week.   Additionally, we’ll have lists of prayers included that your family can say together.


Homework/No Homework Passes:

Homework will be sent home every day. The only exceptions to this will be on evenings when sacramental preparation meetings occur or on Family, Faith, and Fun nights. 

Here is a typical week’s plan for homework (Monday-Friday)

Monday:    Math homework

Tuesday:   Read the story of the week aloud

Wednesday:  Math homework

Thursday:  Reading review of the week’s skills

Friday:     Religion worksheet and book


No Homework passes are given as rewards occasionally throughout the year. They are a HUGE hit with the children! When you would like to redeem a pass, simply sign and attach the pass to the homework that your child is not doing.  



We encourage open and honest communication so that we may partner together for your child’s success. You will receive weekly newsletters (in the form of an email), along with other emails as needed. Your child’s planner will go back and forth between home and school every day, and that’s where you will see the daily homework assigned. If you have sensitive information that you wish to discuss, and would prefer to call your child’s teacher rather than send an email. If you’d like to call, please leave a voicemail  on the work  number listed below or send an email  that you would like a call back. We will do our best to return all communication within 24 hours. 

Fall conferences are required for all students. The spring conference is by request of parent or teacher. Thank you in advance for your partnership!


Technology Resources:

HTS is so blessed to have  many computer resources available. We will go to the computer lab at least once/week to take our reading test and practice math facts on ALEKS. During the second and fourth quarters we will have the additional scheduled time with Mrs. Henneberg. Both our reading and math series utilize technology in their instruction, and the children will also be able to take daily AR tests on our classroom computers.    


Birthday Celebrations and Snacks:

We love celebrating birthdays in second grade!  Each class has 21 students, but would suggest sending at least 25 treats because the kids love walking around to other classes to share their extras with teachers/staff. Please make sure that your child’s treat is peanut-free and pre-cut before you send it. You are welcome to send your treat first thing in the morning, bring it at lunchtime to hand out, or drop it by school later in the day. It is not required, but often a parent will come to school for lunch on or near their child’s birthday.  

Each child can bring a small, healthy snack to eat in the afternoons after specials each day. 


Estimation Jar:

Your child will have an assigned week during the school year to bring in a jar filled with something to share with our class. We will spend time doing math activities related to the amount in the jar. Your child’s week is already assigned and you’ll receive a sheet explaining ideas of what your child can fill the jar with. The children really love this activity!


Book Orders:

We will send monthly book order (September-April) from Scholastic Reading Club. You will usually have about 10 days to place an order, which can either be sent back to school or placed online. If you do send an order to school, please place the order form(s) and check in an envelope labeled with your child’s name. All orders placed help me to build up my classroom library and/or purchase classroom resources! Thank you in advance for your support of reading!


Discipline/Classroom Management:

 In our classrooms, we will utilize as much positive reinforcement as possible to help your child make good choices. We have our ongoing Peacebuilders and Kindness programs, as well as, the Keys to the Kingdom. In addition, the students will be able to earn letters to spell the word Teamwork”.    Once they spell teamwork, a class reward will be earned.


The use of ClassDojo will be the main way that I monitor behaviors and communicate them to you.    If serious behaviors occur, I will also call you. Last year, our students were very highly motivated to make good choices and developed their own reward system!   


 Blue Think sheets allow your student to develop their conscience, work toward reconciliation of the problem, and develop a plan for the future! I will send the think sheet home with your child when something happens and I ask that you please help your child to complete it, sign the think sheet, and return it the next day. 

Finally, the consequence that seems to have the most impact for our students is walking minutes at recess.  Other consequences can also be incurred, but this has traditionally been the most effective. 



Please send a note or email if your child’s way of going home is different from their usual way. If your student is unaware of the change in dismissal and your email is later in the day, please copy the office with this change as well. 


Second Grade Aides:

We are very fortunate to have two classroom aides to assist the three second grade teachers this year. They are Mrs. Lisa Brudos and Mrs. Spica Wassmer


Virtus Training:

Any parent volunteers that wish to work directly with students need to go to a training session. Please contact the office if you have not had the training, but want to take it. 


And last, but not least:

Thank you for sharing your child with us during the school day. We are looking forward to our partnership in teaching him/her as they learn and grow in their faith. Please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime with questions, concerns, or compliments! We are confident it will be an exciting year!  


We ask for your prayers for the Holy Spirit’s guidance during this school year.


God Bless you,

The Second Grade Team


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