Monday, October 1, 2018

October Update

Upcoming Dates:
  • Thursday, October 4th- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 8-12th- Fall Break
  • October 15 or 16th- Vision & Hearing Screening
  • October 25th- Legend Family Trunk or Treat 5:00-6:00
  • October 31st- Halloween Breakfast Parties 8:45-9:30 and Costume Parade 9:30-10:00
Curriculum Update:

We will wrap up our first Lucy Calkins Writing Unit Reading Growth Spurt after fall Break and begin a new Unit called Becoming Experts. This unit is devoted to reading Nonfiction. 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
  • Notice and learn about the difference between fiction and nonfiction
  • Notice, learn and question
  • Identify “What is this book teaching me?”
  • Characteristics of Nonfiction (text features)
  • Building knowledge of unknown words
  • Strategies for solving unknown words
  • Adding info across books
  • Retell topics not just books
  • Lifting your level of thinking
We will be wrapping up our Narrative/Small Moment Writing Unit after fall break. Student have written several stories up to this point. We will choose a piece to edit, revise and publish. We will:
  • Collaborate a partner to help make a story better (revise by listening)
  • Word choice- make our readers be able to visualize our story
  • Revising and editing rough drafts
  • Fix conventions
  • Use word wall to fix spelling
  • Fix and Fancy up our writing
It has been absolutely delightful to hear the narrative stories students are writing about their special memories!

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!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September Update


Upcoming Dates:
  • Monday, September 3 - No School (Labor Day)
  • Monday, September 18th- Parent Teach Conference window opens Conference Sign Up
  • Thursday, September 20th- Digger Dash
  • Friday, September 21st- No School (Professional Learning for Teachers)
  • Thursday, September 27th- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, October 4th- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 8-12th- 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
  • Recording our thinking while reading
  • Stopping, thinking, and retelling a story to check for comprehension
  • Reading more and more to continue growing
  • Strategies to use when words are tricky
Our first writing unit is Narrative Writing. During this unit students will write short stories based on true events from their lives. By the end of the unit students will be able to: 
  • Discovering small moments that matter-generating ideas
  • Tiny Topics- using a notebook to remember topics for writing
  • Stretching out small moments- learning to plan a story by touching each page and saying what they will write
  • Writing a good beginning, middle and end
  • Writing with detail: Magnifying a small moment
  • Bringing characters to life by using talk, feel or actions
  • Setting goals and making plans for writing time
  • Using checklist to self assess and plan for next parts
  • Close Reading: Looking closely at how mentor authors write and trying it
  • Collaborate a partner to help make a story better (revise by listening)
  • Word choice
  • Revising and editing rough drafts
Conventions are a big emphasis:
  • Capital at the beginning of each sentence, for the word ‘I’, and proper nouns
  • Punctuation at the end of each sentence
  • Quotation marks when using dialogue

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).
  • Communities - We are exploring how communities change, reasons for living in a specific community, and the different types of communities. 
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.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

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 18th 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 20 years. We have three beautiful daughters McKenna, Kendall and Delaney. McKenna is 15 years old and is a sophomore at Legend High School. Kendall is 13 years old and is an eighth grader at Cimarron Middle School. Delaney is 7 and is a 2nd Grader here at Gold Rush. We also have Dakota a Gold Retriever Puppy! Our family enjoys outdoors activities such as camping, hiking, swimming and skiing. All three of my girls are soccer players so we spend a great deal of time on the soccer field! In my spare time I enjoy running, going to Orange Theory 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  school supplieson Monday, August 6th. Please sign up for a time slot by clicking here for the  On Line Scheduler use the password digger and then use the student look up tab
·    Our First day of school is Thursday, August 9th
.   Wednesday August, 15th Back to School Night for Parents Only. We will offer 2 sessions 6:05-6:35 & 6:40-7:10
.   We will not have class on August 28th. 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 18th and July 31st by clicking On Line Scheduler.  Because we value the information we are obtaining on these days, it is mandatory that all children complete the assessments on this day.  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 28th.  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