We are proud to be Armstrong Eagles!

Armstrong Elementary School

Second Grade News

March 3, 2017
 

This time of year is great for both the students and the teachers!  The students have grown so much and are now able to do a great deal of work independently!  As we approach the time of the year where many of our students are at or above grade level, as teachers we work strategically to not push them through or rush them through a particular reading level.  Instead, we want to make sure that the foundation is solid on a particular level before moving them up a level.  For example, a student reading at an M level should be strong in articulating text evidence for predictions, internal character traits, problems and solutions, and much more!  Many students can decode and retell at a higher level, but it's important to ask them to think more deeply about the "beyond the text" questions.  

Feb. 24, 2017
 

The most important thing parents can do at home to ensure their child is ready for third grade is to practice addition and subtraction facts.  Knowing the facts fluently is essential to success in computation of bigger numbers. As students add and subtract with regrouping if they have to spend a lot of mental energy figuring out the facts, they aren't concentrating on the multiple steps required to solve the problem. This is where errors occur. Research shows that a few minutes of practice each night is more effective than one longer period once in a while.

As we begin the third quarter of the school year, the second grade students are doing a great job preparing themselves for third grade and beyond!  A few things can help ensure that your children are well-prepared.  

  • Complete math homework every day
  • Read every night
  • Promote independent work whenever possible

Thank you!  

January 6, 2017
 
We are very excited to welcome the award-winning author David Adler to Armstrong on Thursday, January 12!  Mr. Adler will present to the second grade classes in three small groups, so the students will have the great opportunity to learn from him.  In addition, the author will sign copies of his books!  David Adler's books are available at all major bookstores.  There are many options, but the titles and series below are especially recommended for 1st-4th grade students.
 
  1. The Babe and I
  2. Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man
  3. America's Champion Swimmer:  Gertrude Ederle
  4. A Picture Book of ____________________ (Many famous historical figures)
  5. Millions, Billions, Trillions
  6. Cam Jansen Series (David Adler's most famous series.  Perfect for Second Graders)
 
There is no obligation or need to buy anything!  We just wanted to let you know of this opportunity.
December 2, 2016
 
As we finish off 2016, we are looking forward to our Winter Party!  This party will take place in the classroom on Friday, December 16, from 12:20-12:50, followed by early dismissal at 1:00.

Nov. 18, 2016

Thank you so much for your support of Armstrong's outreach project! Today, each second grade student was able to pack a bag that will help a Dallas family have a holiday dinner. One of our goals in developing learners for the future is to make sure that students have an awareness of the community around them. The students were happy to be able to help!

 

Nov. 4, 2016
 
We hope last week's report cards have provided you with a good picture of your child's growth.  Please remember, these now communicate where your child is on a particular learning target.  The goal is for mastery of the learning targets by the end of second grade.  If you have any question, please be sure to ask your child's teacher.
October 21, 2016
 

What is a learning target?  A learning target is what the student is expected to master by the end of a unit or school year.  Some are year-long targets (such as reading fluency and comprehension), some are taught during a short period (needs of plants and animals). The grades on the report card no longer communicate whether a student is meeting expectations at this particular time, but rather, where the student is on the way to mastering the learning target.  
October 14, 2016
 
There are lots of events coming up this week!  Red Ribbon Week is next week!
 
Don't forget the second grade dance presentation on Friday, October 21. We will have our Founders Day picnic during our regular lunch times that day as well.
Oct. 7, 2016
 

Thanks to the standards-based report cards, grades are neither rewards or punishments.  They simply communicate the child's progress toward a learning target.  The vast majority, no matter how bright, do not begin even close to mastery.  And, they shouldn't! The children are here to learn. In the classroom teachers provide the appropriate work to keep the children moving towards master of these targets.  The report card grades communicate the progress.  

Sep. 30, 2016

The second grade teachers appreciate having a way to communicate specific progress on a learning target.  The standards-based report card shows where a child is along the continuum.  Once a learning target is mastered, the teacher can either go deeper within that target to further challenge the child, or concentrate on the targets that are yet to be mastered.  This helps the teachers plan their instruction, and differentiate for each child.  

Sep. 16, 2016
 
We are already approaching the mid-point of the first nine weeks of school! As we work on our learning targets, now is a good time to remember how we communicate this progress on report cards. Students will be given a grade depending on where they are on their way to mastery of a learning target. Students don't start second grade with all of their learning targets mastered, so please don't be surprised to see many grades that are below a 3! You can find the explanations for each learning target on the report card guide found here.
 
Sep. 9, 2016
 
Second grade is in full swing!  Teachers are currently assessing students for their reading levels, math fact fluency and more.  We use these assessments to inform our instruction.  Differentiating for each child is a top priority in the second grade classrooms.  Thanks to the workshop model, students can be engaged in important work while the teacher is working with small groups or individuals.  Getting the routines down these first few weeks of school has paid off.  We're happy to see the great work your children are doing.  
Sep. 2, 2016
 
Thank you so much for a great start to the new year! We hope you found Curriculum Night to be useful. The second grade teachers love to share the best practices and research that drive our instruction. We know that by challenging ourselves to continue to learn and keep up with the latest research, our students will benefit. Please feel free to contact us for a conference if you have any questions.

March 27, 2017
 

Report Cards are available this week!  We're down to the last 8 weeks!  That's still plenty of time to master some important second grade skills.  Many grade-level standards are expected to take the full year.  As always, please contact your child's teacher if you have any questions.