2nd Grade Basics

        I am looking forward to having your child in my Second Grade class. This will be an exciting time for your child and I am here to guide them through the year and to help them grow in their knowledge. Together we will help all of these bright children reach their highest potential inside and outside of school.
I am so excited to be your child’s teacher this year. My goal is to meet the needs of each individual child while providing a wonderful experience for your child and you. Communication and involvement are the keys to your child’s success. Communication between home and school is an essential component of your child’s education. Please feel free to come in to the classroom, email or call if you have any questions. I have an open door policy and welcome all parents. We are partners in your child’s education.

Our Day
Our day will be full of engaging activities and powerful learning. It is important that the students arrive to school on time. It is critical to set up this routine early so that they become responsible later on. When the children first arrive at school, I would appreciate it if they would take their backpacks to the playground.  I have them take their backpacks to the playground because I may not be in the room due to playground duty, meetings or in the office and the door will be locked. I will pick the children up at the playground when the first bell rings at 7:40 am. 
When we enter the room, the children will need to independently remove notes, lunch money, and homework from their backpacks. These need to be placed in the appropriate places. They will hang up their backpacks and place their lunches in the lunch basket if they brought their lunches. If not lunch costs $1.85. Please send lunch money in a sealed envelope or a bag labeled with your child’s name. Make sure your child’s lunchbox is labeled with first and last name. There are forms in the office for free and reduced lunches if you need them.
In the morning we will focus on our Balanced Literacy Program. During this time the students will be working with me to develop their reading skills. Students will have independent work during this time. Activities will include journaling, writers workshop, skill activities, shared reading, spelling and centers. We will have snack during this time to help feed the mind. Students will need to provide their own snack which needs to be healthy - NO CANDY, due to the district’s Wellness Policy. I will not provide snack for the students. If you would like to donate a healthy snack to be shared with students who forget to bring in a snack, it is more than welcome.
We have lunch at 11:00 am. For the first few days, I will help the students become more comfortable with the lunch process by walking them through the process. 
When we come back from lunch, the students will be participating in Enrich. During this time the second grade team works with the students on essential math or reading standards that we are focussing on. It is a time that we will assist students who are struggling with the standard or enriching the students who have a deep understanding of the standard. Then we will move into balanced math. This year with the new math standards we will be focusing a lot on the theoretical understanding and application of each second grade math skill. 
We will be incorporating Science and Social Studies into our reading program. In the afternoon, the students will have their specials which include Music and Art. We end the day at 2:15. I will walk the students to the buses and the After Care Program. Families who pick up their children, I ask that you wait for them by the gates at the front office and not by the classroom door. If there are any changes to your child’s transportation, please call the office (879-2500) to notify them of the change. If you have any questions about our day, please feel free to call me at 879-2540 or e-mail me at straits@vail.k12.az.us

* Feel free to send water bottles, but please label their water bottles with their names
The district requires homework for children in second grade Monday through Thursday. Typically, I will send the homework out on Monday and it is due on Friday. Each child has a  homework folder. On the inside of it is the Spelling Menu. Typically, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday will be Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe and Wednesday will be a math page. There is one assignment for each day of the week. Please make sure your child practices their spelling words everyday. Each child needs to provide their own white school binder with clear pockets in the front in which they will bring home their homework folder, completed papers, and important letters to you. The main focus of second grade is to help these children become confident readers. In order to do this, I need your help. I ask that you read with your child every day for at least 15-20 minutes. This could include the child reading to you, the child reading a page and you reading a page, or you reading them a story and having them help you with the words. I am sending home some information regarding reading with your child. There is a reading log that needs to be filled out and it is a part of their homework grade. Reading is extremely important to every child and I need your help with this. Homework is a responsibility and it is part of their Social Studies grade. Homework is worth 10 points each week. Please make sure you take the time to work with your child and teach them the lesson of responsibility.
Nightly Homework E-mails
This year I will be setting up a listserve for all parents who would like to receive a nightly e-mail as to the class’ homework for the night. This will be a convenient way to know what has been assigned for homework. In addition, this listserve will be a great communication tool for any announcements/projects that you will need to be aware of. It will be sent out Monday through Thursday. If you are interested in having your e-mail added to this listserve please sign-up at the “meet the teacher” night or e-mail me at straits@vail.k12.az.us. * Some nights you may not receive an e-mail. This may be due to the fact that there is no homework or that the school e-mail system is down (this tends to happen to our network occasionally).
“The Sycamore Stinger” school newsletter will be sent via email, monthly.  I will also send a classroom newsletter weekly, outlining various activities and events to keep you informed.  It will be attached to the homework. Please make sure to read our newsletter every week as it contains important dates and information regarding your child’s education.
Each child is asked to bring certain supplies to school. Most of the general supplies are provided. Some of these will be community supplies and some will stay in their desks. A backpack is essential to bring to class everyday.  Please be sure to label it with your child’s name. I have a Classroom Supply poster by by door that will have post-its on it of items that we might need during the year. Please feel free to check it to see if their is something that you will be able to purchase for the classroom. Here are some items we could use to get us started:
*glue sticks and bottled glue *tissues
*Crayola crayons *#2 pencils
*small bottle of antibacterial sanitizer *markers
*hand sanitizer *yellow highlighters
*sandwich bags * gallon sized plastic    bags
I think part of the learning experience is to be able to have fun. We will be celebrating many things including your child’s birthday. Due to the district’s new Wellness Policy, we ask that students do not bring in sweets for their birthday, but a healthy snack to share with the class. Examples, granola bars, muffins, fruit roll ups... Also, your child can bring in something special (toy, book...) to share with the class that day. Please let me know ahead of time if the special item needs special care. 
Your child will travel to and from school each day. It is important that I know how your child will be traveling so that we can avoid any confusion. If there are any changes regarding your child’s transportation or activities after school that I need to know about, please notify me in writing or call the school office. Also, if there are changes made in the day, notify the office versus leaving me a message on my voice mail at school. The office will send me a note to confirm the change in plans. If your child arrives late or needs to be picked up early, you must go to the office for the proper protocol. If your child is absent please contact the school office at 879-2502.
I am always looking for people to help in and out of class. If you are willing to come in for a couple of hours a week, a month, or can do work from home, I would really appreciate it. Please let me know if you are interested and what you would like to help out with. I have a lot that I could use your help with, such as tutoring children in class, preparing materials for projects, creating classroom centers, joining us on field trips, and helping us with classroom celebrations. Please refrain from coming in to volunteer during the first couple of weeks of school. This will allow each child time to get to know the routines and procedures without distractions. Thank you for your cooperation.

Second Grade Discipline Plan
I believe it is important for children to learn in a positive, nurturing classroom environment.  I have developed a classroom discipline plan to guide children in making good choices about his/her behavior.  My goal is for each child to develop self-discipline and good work habits, resolve conflicts peacefully and think independently.  I feel together we can help your child learn these important qualities.  In order to guarantee your child, and all the students in my classroom, the excellent learning climate they deserve, I am utilizing the following plan: 
My discipline plan makes use of a color system. Please check out my "RULES" tab to see a picture and read the explanation.
I have a "SPARKLER" system in which students can earn  sparklers for positive behavior and following the ACT statement.  The students will be able to turn in their sparklers to receive different coupons such as; bring your favorite stuffed animal for the day or swap seats with a friend for the day, for the following Friday.  While students can earn sparklers for positive behavior, they may also have them taken away for negative behavior.  Through this system your child can learn the value of saving to earn bigger rewards.
**Rewards for appropriate behavior may include verbal praise, stickers, special privileges, and positive notes/calls home.  I encourage students to work together as a team.  During the week I give out table points, at the end of each month the best behaved table earns a special treat.  

**I have a zero tolerance for aggressive and physical behavior!  If your child chooses to hurt another student, I will contact you immediately about the behavior and appropriate action will be taken!  
Please help me in reinforcing good behavior at school!
Classroom Guidelines
1. Be Respectful
2. Raise your hand to speak
3. Be a good listener
4. Keep your hands, feet and other objects to yourself
5. Try your best!
1. Praise
2. Notes and phone calls to parents
3. Marble Party
Misbehavior Consequences
1. Verbal Warning
2. Time out
3. Writing a letter to parents by child during recess
4. Phone call to parent
5. See Principal
These guidelines are based upon the ACT Statement:
In the Vail School’s we
Are respectful and trustworthy
Care about each other
Take responsibility
I am truly looking forward to this year. It is my honor to be working with you and your child. In first grade, I will be planting the seeds that your child will need throughout their education and in life. I will help those seeds take root so that we all can see them blossom into the wonderful and individual children that they will grow to be. My goal is for each child to be confident in who they are so they are able to achieve high goals, work cooperatively with each other and become successful in school and life. By working cooperatively with each other we can tend to every child’s needs to help them accomplish outstanding achievements. Feel free to contact me by note or phone. My number here is 879-2540 or e-mail me at straits@vail.k12.az.us. I am here for you and your child, so let me know of any way I can help you.