Welcome to Second Grade 2019- 2020
    Mrs. DeStefano
    We are all part of our classroom community of learning. We all contribute with kindness, understanding and support so we can enjoy our growth as learners. 
    If you need to contact me please email me at
    This website is to inform you of what the goals of the classroom curriculum are, in the various subjects for the weeks to come.  Along with communicating the classroom goals I will give you advise on how to extend this learning at home with your child. Latest update was 9.-8-19

    READING: At the start of the year we need to learn the expected behaviors and routines that go with learning throughout the day and curriculum.  I have successfully used a system for teaching students the necessary behaviors for independent reading in which we gradually develop reading stamina slowly.  I start with 5 minutes of class reading silently, then each day I increase that time by a minute until we are all remaining silent for 20 minutes and reading the whole time.  Once we get to 15 minutes I begin my reading groups for guided reading.  

    The first concept we will explore for reading will be making connections. A connection is when you read and think, oh I had this happen to me, or I read about this, or I have seen it on TV or heard about it from someone else.  If a person does not connect in someway to what they are reading the meaning of the reading does not reach its full potential.  Most students make connections to their reading but they are not tuned into them as they are happening. This is what this focus of reading instruction will guide your child toward doing. 

    How you can help your child develop hearing their connection thoughts is to ask them as they are reading what they have seen, heard, or done themselves that is like what is happening in the story they are reading.  

    I recommend that you read aloud to your child a harder book than they can read themselves. While reading aloud, role model your connections you are having and ask your child what connections they are thinking about as you are reading. I am fine with you using 1-2 nights a week on their reading log as a read aloud just indicate that you read to your child instead of them independently reading during that time frame.

    In addition to working on predictions we will be taking time each week to learn how to answer questions, in writing with words from question in the answer.  That means putting in the important words from the question into the answer.  The students will learn how to do this first with questions about themselves and their friends but eventually they will be having to do this with their reading.  On top of using the words from question in answers they will have to remember to capitalize and put in punctuation.  


    Writing: This first week of writing workshop I will be assessing each child's ability to write a story from their personal life. I will assess who struggles with forming sentences and who just is able to make it flow and are ready for more elaborate writing. All the students will be  writing Small Moment stories for the next few weeks. That means they will all be retelling an event that occurred in their life with descriptive detail. As the unit moves on they will expand the story with using dialogue and adding emotion without telling the emotion but by showing the emotion. During the unit students will learn to revise in order to improve their writing and finally to edit for spelling, punctuation and that the story flows in the right order. 

     Spelling: Our first unit in spelling reviews many of the concepts the students learned in First grade along with marking the concepts with symbols to remind the student of the rules for using that concept. These reviewed concepts are when to use -ck instead of k in a word; to use bonus letters f, l, s, z in one syllable words right after the short vowel sound, and marking short vowel sounds. 
    Support: Do the spelling homework.  Hold your child accountable when they have any writing for school to use what you have seen in their spelling homework in their other writing.  IF your child has come home with a list of words they need to practice then play spelling games at home or while waiting for an older sibling at a soccer practice.

    Math: Our first unit in math is learning about how numbers follow a pattern of ten; increasing the number of digits once the place before it exceeds having 9.  I stress understanding the vocabulary words of: digit, place value, regroup.  These words are the touchstone concepts of the first 3 units of math.  All three units require understanding what these words mean and how they affect understanding numbers.  Once a student understands these three concepts then doing the "math" has meaning and purpose. We will explore the concepts using manipulatives and games until each child is confident and capable. As students move faster grasping the concept, I will challenge them to use the information for larger numbers and harder problems using those numbers. 

    You can help your child with math by doing their homework on the night it comes home. If your child struggles with math this is MANDATORY or they will fall behind rapidly.   I do not give homework to "test" your child.  So please review their work to make sure it is correct.  I give homework for your child to practice the concept we are learning so they gain confidence and you can help them if they forget what we did in class or need a review before the next day.  If they absolutely cannot do the worksheet, email me and send it back in without being done. 

    Science:  We will not be doing Science until late September early October. Our first science unit is about seed dispersal.
    Home Support:

    Social Studies: We are learning about communities. Of course we are learning about being a classroom community and all it takes from each person to make our classroom a happy place to be for learning and growing.  Once we complete that concept we will move into learning about the larger communities we live in and how they are categorized as rural, suburban or urban. That is followed by how a community provides us with what we need to live healthy, comfortable lives. And the final concept in this unit is how laws and rules are part of communities to help us be safe from harm. We will learn about having a voice in that process of law making as citizens in a democracy.


     Open Circle: Second Grade continues to help each child learn how to handle social interactions with peers through a series of lessons in Open Circle. I then support the lessons as true situations arise among the students by addressing problems using the Open Circle methodology and terminology.  I will send home form letters that come with the program so you know what skills we are working on and what skills you can reinforce using at home when difficult situations arise.