Literacy is the foundation of all instruction and I strive to have a classroom rich in literacy instruction. I will use Reader’s Workshop, Writer's Workshop, and Phonics & Vocabulary Instruction to develop this in the classroom. We focus on teaching students to connect more deeply to their reading through oral and written comprehension. We will focus equally on fiction and non-fiction texts and students will learn to read for meaning. We will have whole and small group discussion about texts. Students will also be learning to write about what they are reading; this allows students to make a deeper connection and understanding of the text.
Reader’s Workshop/CAFE: The Reader’s Workshop is a literacy structure that teaches independence and gives children the skills needed to create a lifetime love of reading. During Reader’s Workshop students will learn comprehension skills and then apply those skills when reading a text at their independent reading level. They will also work with a partner to practice the skills as well. We will begin the year focusing on building reading stamina until they are successful at being independent while doing the tasks. When students are independent, I am able to work with small groups and confer with children one on one. This structure is effective and the results are amazing. Students will work independently, with a partner, in small groups, and with me to grow as readers. This is a great way for students to develop independence as readers through meaningful and authentic literacy activities based on their individual needs. We will also use a Reader’s Response notebook for students to develop their written comprehension skills and reflect on what they read. CAFE stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. This is a program that teaches specific reading strategies to students to help them grow as readers. As strategies are taught students will set independent goals throughout the year and this will help develop the strategy groups for students to focus on the specific skills they need to improve on. Also during this time students will have access to a variety of reading programs to assess their comprehension and to help them build fluency. These programs include: Accelerated Reader, Achieve 3000, RazKids, iReady, Tumble Books, etc. Students will not use all programs, but will use the programs appropriate for their reading needs.
Writer's Workshop: We also have a time specifically for writing instruction. During Writer's Workshop students will learn the writing process through guided writing mini-lessons. They will also write independently and have conferences about their writing with peers and myself. We will focus on content, structure, editing, revising, and conventions. During the year students will write narratives, informational, and opinion pieces.
Phonics/Vocabulary: Second graders are still growing as readers and continue to need phonics instruction. They will learn spelling patterns and phonics skills in their reading groups based on their individual needs. We will also work on increasing students’ vocabulary and ability to determine the meaning of unknown words using their schema and context clues. Students will be exposed to new vocabulary during whole group and small group instruction.
o Good Reading Habits
o Tackling the Tricky Parts
o Connecting with Characters
o Learning through Informational Texts
o Exploring New Genres
o Book Clubs
o Becoming Resourceful Readers
o Writer’s Workshop
o Small Moment Narrative Writing
o Writing for Readers
o Opinion Writing
o All About Writing
o Research Writing
The main goal in math is to teach children effective mathematical problem solving. To do this I will use multiple teaching methods to engage the students and develop their problem solving. It is important that students fully understand how they are solving math equations and story problems instead of just going through the process without understanding why. Students will work through problems independently, in partners, in small groups, and whole group and will discuss and explain their problem solving process. Allowing students to verbalize their thought process gives them a chance to really understand the method; it also allows for their classmates to learn other methods. We emphasize this discussion process through Math Talk where students will be engaged in questioning themselves and each other about their thought process. This method gives students a much clearer understanding of math and a firmer foundation to build on as they grow. There will be further information about math topics as we go through the year.
o Place Value
o Addition & Subtraction
o Odd & Even Numbers
o Multi-Digit +/- Strategies
o Problem Solving
o Partitioning Shapes
Science topics are best taught through inquiry based instruction. Students will engage in hands on science activities to help them develop a stronger more meaningful understanding of the topics. I feel that students learn best when they are actually experiencing science and creating their own methods of learning. Students will also write written responses in their science notebooks to explain their understanding of the topic. They will begin by making predictions; then they will test their predictions, and finally explain the outcome of their tests in their science notebooks.
Science Topics Taught in 2nd Grade:
o Life Cycles
o Solids & Liquids
Social studies instruction in elementary school creates a child’s foundations in their understanding our how society functions. In 2nd grade we contribute to this foundation. 2nd grade social studies gives students a basic understanding of the past, citizenship, economics, and geography. During social studies students will be using a variety of resources to develop an understanding of societal topics. They will create projects individually and in small groups to demonstrate what they learn. I feel that part of education is teaching students how to become members of society and this happens during social studies instruction.
Social Studies Topics Taught in 2nd Grade:
o Civics & Government
o History & Culture