Welcome to 2nd Grade! ONE Goal, ONE Team, No Limits

Welcome to Second Grade! I am excited to meet all of the students of D10 and their families at our Open House on August 30th  from 4:30 -5:45 PM! You are welcome and encouraged to bring student supplies to the Open House. The supply list is on the school website ( http://pinchbeck.henricoschools.us/ )

Please parents, also mark your calendars for Back-to-School Night on September 20 starting at 6:30 PM. I hope to see everyone at both of these events. If you and your child are not able to attend our Open House, I would still love to meet you the first week of school. Please send me an email, and we will schedule a time to chat.

Ways You Can Help Your Child Prepare for Second Grade

Parents and Families, you may have noticed your child is growing up, not as dependent on you as he/she used to be and more often seeking approval from friends his/her own age.  They do still need you, your love, your approval, your guidance, and your support! You are your child’s best advocate; you’ve known them the longest and in the most intimate setting of a home life. Your child’s teacher, that’s me, is also an important advocate for your child, as is the entire staff at Pinchbeck. Our theme this year, One Team, One Goal with no limits, reiterates this important truth. We all want your child and all of the students at Pinchbeck to enjoy coming to school, learning new things, and challenging themselves to meet their full potential!

Communication is an important aspect of teamwork and for helping your child do his/her very best. Ways we can communicate:

  • Let’s meet early in the school year and throughout the year as needed;
  • Email or leave a message for me with the office when you have questions or concerns;
  • Read the weekly email and newsletter;
  • Check, sign, and review papers in the Graded Paper Folder with your second grader every week.

These are important ways to communicate and demonstrate to your child that you are engaged and supportive of his/her educational experiences. There are other ways of course! One might be to just ask your child what they had for lunch today and see where the conversation goes from there.

Here is my Top 10 short list of recommendations to help your child prepare for 2nd grade and beyond.

 Top 10 Recommendations

In addition to having your child organized and on-time every day for school:
1.  Have your child read “Good-Fit” books at least 20 minutes a day.
2. Have her/him read a variety of print from fiction and nonfiction materials.
3. Read with and to your child regularly; point out and discuss new vocabulary words, funny parts, questions or observations readers might have, and ask what he/she liked or didn’t like about the story/article.
4. * Practice math addition facts through 12s for 5- 10 minutes a day with your child. When these are mastered, have him/her practice subtraction facts. You can get flash cards at a discount store.
5. Take trips to museums, parks (Three Lakes Park and Meadow Farm Museum are both free and in Henrico) libraries, and new places to grow experiences and vocabulary.
6. Allow your child to use a GPS (Google Maps on smartphone or tablet) when traveling around town, first using US Customary measurements, later using metric units.
7. Cook with your child using child-friendly recipes that allow him/her to read directions and measure ingredients.
8. Subscribe to a children’s magazine or website like National Geographic Kids.
9. Help your child perform scientific experience. There are tons of website with ideas. Here’s one: Science Kids
10.  Take an interest in your child’s education and communicate with me (medamron@henrico.k12.va.us) if you have questions or concerns.

I look forward to working with your child and their family this year!

Learn more about selecting “Good-Fit” or “just right” books and helpful ideas for reading with your child.

Disclaimer: My Top 10 is an incomplete list. I’m sure I’ve left out many more things you can do to help your child succeed in school and beyond.

Why is it so important for students to be reading fluently by the end of third grade?

“Take a guess: What is the single most important year of an individual’s academic career? The answer isn’t junior year of high school, or senior year of college. It’s third grade. What makes success in third grade so significant? It’s the year that students move from learning to read — decoding words using their knowledge of the alphabet — to reading to learn…Children who haven’t made the leap to fast, fluent reading begin at this moment to fall behind, and for most of them the gap will continue to grow. So third grade constitutes a critical transition — a “pivot point,” in the words of Donald J. Hernandez, a professor of sociology at CUNY–Hunter College. “ (Paul, 2012)

How is building my child’s vocabulary knowledge related to literacy and linked to the ability to learn subjects more quickly?

“Word knowledge is among the most critical pieces of language development. Children who acquire a substantial vocabulary are often able to think more deeply, express themselves better, and learn new things more quickly. They are also very likely to be successful not only learning to read, but also in reading at or above grade level throughout their school years. Research shows that children who reach school age with smaller vocabularies, less depth in prior knowledge and background experiences, and fewer experiences with hearing stories and exploring with print are more likely to have significant problems in learning to read. We know now that if we boost children’s language and literacy experiences early in life, later difficulties can be alleviated or even avoided.” (Canizares)

Research on the importance of memorizing math facts:

“Calculation fluency is critical for advanced arithmetic ability (Smith‐Chant, 2010). Algorithmic strategies and basic arithmetic facts should be taught and rehearsed so that arithmetic facts can be memorized in meaningful ways. Calculation fluency can be assessed through mathematical tests that measure both the speed and accuracy with which a child solves a problem.

 Someone who is fluent in calculating numbers is able to retrieve arithmetic facts from memory and is, therefore, able to solve basic math problems quickly.

 Teaching arithmetic facts is best done through repeated practice. Over time, these arithmetic facts become stored in a child’s long‐term memory and are quickly retrievable.

 Understanding the concepts and reasons behind the memorized arithmetic facts makes them meaningful sources of information instead of remote facts.” (Korn, 2011)