Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Update

Upcoming Dates:
  • Thursday, October 5th- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 6th Crazy Hair Day (Make a donation to  hurricane relief fun to wear crazy hair)
  • October 9-13th- Fall Break
  • October 16-18 Fund-Raiser at the Chicken Shack
  • October 31st- Halloween Breakfast Parties and Costume Parade

Curriculum Update:

During Reader’s Workshop students are working on the following:
  • We continue to build our stamina to be able to independently read for longer periods of time.
  • Recording  and sharing our thinking while reading
  • We wrapped our Reader’s Theater- Fox Plays
    • During this unit students learned about fluency (reading like a reader would read it). We practiced reading with a good pace, good phrasing and changing our voice to match the punctuation and characters we are reading about.

We are continuing our Opinion Writing Unit.
  • Student have written several letters at this point to recommend favorite books to readers.  
  • We have learned to make our letters stronger, longer and more convincing by adding more parts/reasons to our letter and providing evidence to support our opinion
  • We have used a checklist to evaluate our writing and set goals to make our writing better

We will be wrapping up our first Investigations Unit right after Fall Break.  We will then begin Unit 2 Attributes of shapes and Parts of a Whole. During this unit students will be focusing on the following:
  • Identifying, describing, sorting, comparing  and drawing 2-D and 3-D shapes.
  • Learning vocabulary for shapes.
  • Understanding equal parts of  a whole.
  • Partitioning shapes and using fraction vocabulary.
  • Continuing with fluency within 20.

  • We are completing our unit on Civics this week. Students identified what our Roles, Rights and Responsibilities are in various parts of the school and playground. During our Technology Time with Mrs. Fleet we learned about an App called Adobe Spark. Students then collaborated with a partner to create a  video describing one pace in our school. Please look at your child’s Seesaw account for the video.

  • Your child has had several weeks of getting into our routine of Word Work and Spelling. Please continue to practice these words with your child (see yellow word study page in homework folder). The idea is that your child learns to identify the pattern (through sorting) but is also able to accurately spell the words as well. So far, the children are making good progress!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Digger Dash

The Digger Dash is this Friday, September 29th. 

The class voted and we will be...... Mrs. Graham's GOLDEN CHAMPIONS

A BIG HUGE THANK YOU goes to Heidi Snyder for making our Banner! I sent home some info (green page) on sending "SHOUT OUTS" for your child during the Digger Dash. If you would like to do a shout out please return this paper by Thursday. Parents are welcome to attend and cheer us on! Please see the schedule below for times:

Digger Dash Schedule
8:45 – 9:00            Stretching (Preschool and Kindergarten)
9:00 – 9:15            Race  (Preschool and Kindergarten)
9:10 – 9:25            Stretching (1st and 2nd grades)
9:25 – 9:55            Race  (1st and 2nd grades)
9:50 – 10:00         Stretching (3rd and 4th grades)
10:00 – 10:45       Race  (3rd and 4th grades)
10:40 – 10:50       Stretching (5th grade)
10:50 – 11:35       Race  (5th grade)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September Update


Upcoming Dates:
  • Monday, September 18th- Conference Sign Up Opens 
    • Picture retakes - please return picture package if you would like a retake
  • Friday, September 22nd- No School (Professional Learning for Teachers)
  • Wednesday, September 27th- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Friday, September 29th- Digger Dash
  • Thursday, October 5th- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 9-13th- Fall Break

Curriculum Update:

During Reader’s Workshop students are working on the following:
  • Learning the routines and rituals that will make Reader’s Workshop successful
  • Choosing Just Right Books- Books that we can read most of the words without difficulty or can use strategies to figure out the hard words
  • Building our stamina to be able to independently read for longer periods of time
  • Identify and discuss story elements- character, setting, problem, solution and identify beginning, middle and end in stories
  • Recording our thinking while reading

Our first writing unit is Opinion Writing. During this unit students will be writing letters to share ideas about books (opinions). By the end of the unit students will be able to:
  • Write about an opinion (likes or dislikes) and give reasons why
  • Have a good beginning in which you state your opinion and set reader up to expect the writing to convince them
  • Connect parts
  • Have different parts, a lot of lines about each part
  • Have at least two reasons
  • Have an ending that reminds reader of your opinion
  • Chose words that would make your reader agree with your opinion
Conventions are a big emphasis in second grade as well:
  • Capital at the beginning of each sentence
  • Punctuation at the end of each sentence

Our first Investigations Unit is called: Coins, Number Strings and Story Problems. During this unit students will focus on the following:
  • Introduce Math Tools and classroom routines-using Number Lines and The 100 Chart
  • Understand if order matters when adding two or more numbers together
  • Adding and subtracting within 20 using known facts to solve problems
  • Begin to develop fact fluency within 20
  • Compare two quantities
  • Coins
  • Time
  • Solve addition and subtraction story problems, share strategies for solving and ways to record

Civics- Roles, Rights and Responsibilities of responsible community members. During this unit we described important characteristics of a responsible community member. We learned that people can express their ideas respectfully within a community. We also explored the idea that responsible community members influence the rules, policies, and laws in their communities (including classrooms).

Each student was given a spelling inventory to identify areas of strength and areas to work on. Students were then divided into groups based on their unique needs. Each week your child will come home with a list of words based on a spelling pattern. Please practice these words with your child (see yellow word study page in homework folder). The idea is that your child learns to identify the pattern (through sorting) but is also able to accurately spell the words as well.

Monday, August 14, 2017


We are off to a great start! We are building our classroom community, learning rules and routines that will foster a successful learning environment and making friends.

I wanted to remind you that we will have Back to School Night on Wednesday evening. Parents will meet in the gym at 5:45-6:00 for a presentation from our Principal Mrs. Brown. Then parents can attend one of two sessions 6:05-6:35 or 6:40-7:10.

Thursday and Friday are Assessment Days- Your child will attend one- one hour session on Thursday or Friday. There will not be regular class these two days.

I also sent out a Sign Up Genius Sign up for volunteers both in and out of class. Please look for email. I am looking for a few parents to help tear student pages out of math books, especially unit one ASAP! Please sign up if you are able to do this at home job!

Thank you for all your support and I look forward to building a partnership with you!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Welcome to 2nd Grade

Dear 2nd Grade Parents,

Welcome to Gold Rush Elementary! My name is Catherine Graham and I will be your child’s 2nd Grade Teacher. My goal as your child’s teacher is to foster a love of learning while valuing individuality and striving to meet the needs of each student. I am committed to ensuring a quality of instruction that is both developmentally appropriate and challenging for each student.  I am very excited to meet you and your child.

This will be my 17th year teaching in Douglas County. I graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and an emphasis in Exercise Physiology. I then went on to complete my Masters Degree through the University of Colorado (Denver) in Curriculum and Instruction and obtain my teaching license.

This August I will have been married to my husband Kelly for 19 years. We have three beautiful daughters McKenna, Kendall and Delaney. McKenna is 14 years old and Kendall is 12 years old. McKenna attends Legend High School and Kendall attends Cimarron Middle School. Delaney is 6 and is a 1st Grader here at Gold Rush. We also have Dakota a Gold Retriever Puppy! Our family enjoys outdoors activities such as camping, hiking, swimming, skiing and going to the Zoo. In my spare time I enjoy running and one of my favorite hobbies is to scrapbook. 

Please mark your calendar for the following important dates:
·       Families are welcome to come visit our classroom, meet me and drop off your labeled supplies on Monday, August 7th. Please sign up for a time slot by clicking here for the online Conference Scheduler use the password digger and then use the student look up tab
·       Our First day of school is Thursday, August 10th
·       We will not have class on August 24th or August 25th. Each student will come to school for one hour to complete reading and math assessments. Please sign up for a day and time between July 20th and August 3rd by clicking here for the online Conference Scheduler.  Because we value the information we are obtaining on these days, it is mandatory that all children complete the assessments on either August 24th or August 25th.  Please bring your child to the gym and teachers will bring students to their testing locations. Students will conclude their assessment day by having you accompany them to take their school picture.  Our Before and Afterschool Enrichment program (B.A.S.E.) will be available on both August 24th or August 25th.  Please contact B.A.S.E. as soon as possible as spaces are limited.

I also believe that in order for success to occur the student, parents, teacher and the school must collaborate to provide an optimum learning experience.  I look forward to forming a partnership with you that is positive and supportive.  If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to contact me via email I look forward to meeting everyone!

See you soon!
Mrs. Catherine Graham