Welcome to Second Grade!
My first priority is to make children feel comfortable and independent in their new "home away from home" or classroom. In order to do this, we spend a lot of time learning where things belong and rehearsing my classroom procedures. We have procedures for many things: sharpening pencils, hanging backpacks, organizing desks, getting snacks and drinks, using the bathroom, calendar math, Couch Potatoes, handing in papers, lining up, and on and on!
I also need to evaluate children's strengths and discover their weaknesses. This is done with written and oral tests as well as observation of their behaviors. Once I have a feel for this I can plan my instruction to best meet their needs. Steadily we work our way into the core curriculum.
A simple worksheet that may have taken your child merely minutes to complete actually started with a rather in depth group lesson. For example, we just had quite a writing lesson to prepare for an activity titled My Favorite Things. First we discussed categories and shared our ideas about food then we went on to sports, hobbies, animals, toys and holidays. So by the end of the lesson, four of the Six Writing Traits were addressed: 1. Ideas 2. Word Choice
3. Organization and 4. Presentation.
It is always a challenge to know how long activities will take to complete because little issues or ideas can lead us into new unexpected areas. I try to stick to my basic objective, however if a teachable moment occurs I will take advantage of it and follow a new course. Each group of children are unique and arrive at school with a variety of needs and personal issues. First and foremost is their basic need to feel safe and comfortable then academics will fall into place.
So for the first few weeks, we gently fall into our new surroundings and review expectations and adjust to the school environment. Establishing procedures to function as a group in my classroom takes time because these things need to be rehearsed often. It is very important in the long run to start off on the right foot and feel good about everything in our room.
Please feel welcome to call or stop by if you have questions or concerns.