Second Grade Handbook Peg Witt Sibley Elementary School 20010-11 peg.witt@nfld.k12.mn.us

Greetings!

I am very excited to be your child's teacher this year. We will grow together socially, emotionally, academically and physically. It is an exciting time for everyone.

This is my ninth year teaching second grade at Sibley School. I have been teaching at the primary level for over 20 years with experience in first, second and third grade levels. I received my Undergraduate Degree in Elementary Education with Kindergarten Licensure from the College of St. Scholastica and a Master's Degree in Elementary Administration from University of St. Thomas. My family keeps me very busy. My husband and I have 3 children, ages 24, 22 and 19. We have lived in Northfield for 20 years, and love this community and all it has to offer.

It will be a wonderful year. 

Communication

No one would dispute the importance of communication between parents and teacher. Please feel free to contact me with any question or concern. I check email throughout the day so this is the best way to connect with each other. My email address is peg.witt@nfld.k12.mn.us . I can be reached at Sibley at 645-3470 which is my voicemail. I'll return your phone call as soon as possible. You will receive general school and classroom information daily through Daily News and weekly by our classroom newsletter. This newsletter will come electronically if possible for your family.  It will be posted on the  classroom website.  Paper copies will be available for families without internet access.

Daily News

At the end of our day, each student will complete a page in their Daily News Journal which will contain some general information about that day. Each child will bring it home in their backpack, ask you to read and sign the page, and return it to school the next morning. I will check the journal each morning and stamp the page by your signature. This tells me you have read the information, and you know I have read any information you to write to me. This is an appropriate place to write any changes in transportation or various appointments. The Daily News Journal is a great way to keep in touch.

Newsletter

Each Friday I post a newsletter on the classroom website which includes important information about units of study and special events. I will send a notice of the update to your email account. I will provide paper copies if requested.

Content Areas

Reading: Second Graders are in a bridging year of learning to read and reading to learn. We will spend a large portion of our day reading in a variety of ways, both independently and as a group. I begin our literacy time with a 10 minute mini-lesson followed by independent reading time. My literacy goal is to read 6 pieces of literature daily to my students including a poem, chapter book read aloud, nonfiction share, two other picture book selections which serve as a resource for the mini-lessons in both Writer's and Reader's Workshop, and one community building text. I continue to implement the Daily 5 approach to reading and writing. Each day students will: read to self, read to someone, word work, work on writing, and listening to reading.

 Each child is expected to read daily at home for 15 minutes. I know you are familiar with Book in a Bag and we will continue that practice in our classroom. Reading at home makes a HUGE difference in a child's performance in the classroom. Thank you for your support.

Writing: Our Writer's Workshop is a wonderful time of the day for children to write and talk about their writing as authors. The writer's workshop begins with a 10 minute mini-lesson followed by independent writing. Your child will author many mini-books this year. Some writing selections will be "published" and have a more polished look for a wider audience, and other pieces might be in rough form. This might include lots of invented spelling. Invented spelling is developmentally appropriate. There are some words which we refer to as "No Excuse" Words and as they are introduced, they are expected to spell them correctly in their writing.

Math:The Everyday Math series has been updated and will be used this year for our math units. The units of study include addition and subtraction facts, place value, money, telling time, number patterns, measurement and fractions.  Daily math fact program, Xtra Math, will continue this year on classroom Ipads.

Discovery: The team of second grade teachers have worked together to support a "Discovery Time" which includes social studies, science, and health units. 

Specialists: Art, Physical Education, Media and Music are taught throughout the week on various days. Please note the days for the following:

GYM: Each Day except Friday at 9:20-9:45

MEDIA: Wednesday and Thursday at 9:45-10;10

MUSIC: Monday and Tuesday at 9:45-10:10

ART: Friday at 2:10-2:55

LIBRARY BOOK CHECK-OUT: TBD

Snack Time

We will take a daily milk and snack break mid-morning. Healthy snacks are strongly encouraged such as fruit, vegetables, cheese, etc. Students may not eat "Junk food" such as chips, cookies and candy. On "special" celebrations, birthdays and holidays, exceptions are made to the snack rule.  PLEASE REFRAIN FROM SENDING ANY SNACK CONTAINING NUTS!

Birthdays

We follow the calendar with our classroom birthdays. If your child was born during the summer months, we will celebrate their half birthday. Children may bring a treat to share with the class, but is certainly not required. Treats must be purchased at a store. Birthday party invitations must be sent through the mail and not given out during the school day as it an out of school activity.

Parent Involvement

Parent help is most welcome in a variety of ways! This might include: holiday parties, leading challenge Math groups, field trips, reading with children, "publishing" children's writing, preparing materials for class projects, and the list goes on! Many activities can be done at home as well as at school. Please note the volunteer form to indicate your interest. Thank you so very much! Please note you are welcome to visit the classroom at any time throughout the year.

Homework

Children are only children for a short amount of time. Families are busy therefore I do not send home daily "traditional" homework. However, it is expected children will read for at least 15 minutes each day at home, practice spelling words, and complete a weekly math skill sheet which will come home on Tuesday and returned on Wednesday. These activites should be completed in less than 20 minutes.

Field Trips

The second grade class participates in two large, springtime field trips. We visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art after a volunteer Picture Person presents 8 pieces of art which we will view on the trip. We will visit Mill City Museum in April as part of our economics study.

Classroom Management

Several years ago I attended the Responsive Classroom Seminar which holds the belief that social education is as important as academics. Our day will follow the principles and guideline of the Responsive Classroom which include, but not limited to, a daily morning meeting. Through the various phases of the group gathering, we will build a strong community. It will be a great year! Sibley School embraces the values of WORK, RESPECT, and BELONG. We will spend much time in the first weeks of the years discussing these values as well as "above the line" and "below the line" behaviors. Together we will decide on our classroom rules that support the school guidelines. Occasionally it is best I communicate with you by note, email, or phone call if I or another teacher has a concern about a behavior. Please let me know if there is a concern at home or major happenings outside the classroom affecting your child. My goal is for each child to have a successful school year emotionally, socially and academically. Together we can make this a reality.

Thank you for taking the time to read this handbook. I know it will be a great school year Thank-you!