Reading at Home
- The expectation in second grade is that second grade students are reading at home for 20 minutes each night, 5 times a week. Encourage and support your children’s recreational reading.
- In addition, parents should continue to read to their children.
- www.abcya.com -- for interactive computer games that practice reading skills
- Work on reading comprehension, stop and ask your child questions as they read.
Writing at Home
Help your child become an even better writer by making writing engaging and fun at home.
- http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/ -- if your child is having trouble coming up with a topic to write about, try this free topic generator published by Scholastic.
- Write letters and cards to family members and friends, and encourage them to write back!
- Encourage your child to write stories about their favorite things.
- Keep a journal of Summer activities.
- Read comics in the newspaper and let your child create their own.
- Create a newspaper and write articles about weekly activities.
- Use fun writing tools such as markers, gel pens, crayons, pencils, etc.
- Let your child create a shopping list before going to the store.
- Gather kids in the neighborhood to write a play.
- Take turns writing back and forth to your child! Leave a note by their bed or in their lunchbox.
- Play word games such as Wheel of Fortune and Hangman. Hangman is an especially great way to pass time in a doctor’s office or restaurant!
- Have a place in your home where you display your child’s writing!
- Encourage your child to plan their writing and revise drafts before publishing.
- Publish your child’s writing! Not only does it make them feel special, but it also makes a wonderful keepsake.
Spelling at Home
Practicing spelling doesn’t have to be boring. There are tons of ways to practice tricky words that are engaging, fun, and HANDS ON. Try some!
- http://www.abcya.com/second_grade_computers.htm#letters-cat --This site has lots of free games to practice phonics and spelling.
- Use magnetic letters on a refrigerator or cake pan to spell words.
- Cut out letters from a newspaper or magazine to spell words.
- Use ABC Cookie Cutters and play-dough to cut out letters and spell words
- Use shaving cream to write words (added bonus: shaving cream helps get tables really clean!).
- Write words in sand.
- Use letter beads from a craft store to write words (You could even put them on a string or a straw, which is a great motor skill!)
- Write letters on Legos, rocks, popsicle sticks, or bottle caps and put them together to spell words.
- Play Scrabble (add up the points for each word to practice math skills)
Math at Home
At the end of every math unit, you will receive a Mathematics Family Letter. Each letter will provide an overview of what we have worked in in class. Included will be important vocabulary from the unit, the “I Can” statements, and some at home activities that you and your child can do together for practice. Highlighted on the Family Letter will be the standards your child is still working on, accompanied by games or activities that target those skills.
Aside from the activities on the Family Letter, we encourage families to reinforce and stretch the math students are learning in the classroom in other ways. Below you'll find links for fun math games that connect to concepts that we are learning within the classroom. The games range from online games to printable puzzles.
Make math part of your everyday life with the following suggestions. As the great mathematician Paul Hamos once said: “The only way to learn math is to do math.”
- Play board games as a family! Many of them encourage the development of math skills. To name a few -- Yahtzee (basic addition), Connect Four (problem solving), Card Games (basic addition, subtraction, ordering numbers), Candy Land (make your own game cards and use math facts instead of colors), Monopoly (money), and Battleship (coordinate graphs).
- Talk about the calendar with your child. Look forward to and countdown to special events such as vacations, birthdays, and holidays. Count the weeks and days to an event, and determine which day it will fall on.
- Help your child learn to count money by playing store with them. We suggest you use real coins and dollar bills.
- Have your child go “shopping.” Give your child a pretend budget and have them cut out the items they want from a sales flyer. As they cut, children will have to keep a total of all the money they are spending. Will they be able to afford everything they want? This is also a great way to make a holiday wish list!
- Use an empty egg carton as a counting tool to practice addition and subtraction skills up to 10. Simply place objects in the slots, and use the empty slots to count up to/from 10.
- Be on the lookout for shapes. Discuss the shapes you see. For a challenge, ask your child how many sides, angles, and vertices the shape has. (Example: A triangle has three sides. Two triangles would have six sides.).
- Help your child develop time skills by incorporating the clock into their schedule. At home, create a bedtime schedule (Example: Brush Teeth at 8:00; Bedtime story at 8:10; Bed at 8:30). Create a poster with the schedule, and hang it in your child’s bedroom. Begin with easy times (7:00), and gradually progress to more difficult times (7:30 and 7:45).
- Involve your child in activities at home that use measurement such as picture framing and home improvement projects.
- Bake with your child. Have them read recipes and measure ingredients.
- Develop an understanding of fractions when eating or making a pizza by discussing how many slices there are, and what fraction of the pizza they are eating.
We’d love to know how you are using math at home! Send us pictures or write to us so we can share your ideas with the rest of the class.
Pro-Social at Home
The second grade team is piloting a new curriculum to help develop pro-social skills. You will be receiving half page handouts from some lessons to review at home with your child. The curriculum focuses on empathy training, impulse control, problem solving, and anger management. We are excited for this program and the positive effect it will have on second graders!