In the spring of second grade, our readers dive into the Mystery Genre. This is a very exciting time, where students read their books carefully, looking for suspects, watching for suspicious behavior, and collecting clues to help solve the mystery. They work in partnerships or small groups, planning their reading work, and talking about the chapters they’ve read and what they’ve learned.
This kind of reading requires a lot of envisioning – making a movie in your mind as you are reading – so a great way you can support your children at home is by reading with them - have them read their chapters out loud, or read a separate mystery book as a family – and slow down the reading to make a picture of who’s in the scene, where they are, and what they are doing. Pay special attention when the author goes out of their way to describe physical appearances, facial expressions, or behavior. They might be wanting you to picture this because it’s a clue!!
January and February in the Reader’s Workshop is an open cycle period, where teachers give students a larger window of time for reading, and meet with individuals or groups within that time each day to tailor lessons and reading jobs for each child. Please ask your child about their reading job, how to do it, and why they are working on that job.
All students will take a week or two out of the month to read one book altogether – Junie B Jones and the Mushy Gushy ValentineJ. In this book, the teachers focus on envisioning – making a movie in your mind – from the action words and the dialogue in the book. This is a critical skill for chapter book readers, and the focus on the action words and dialogue sections helps readers understand the places in their books that are most important to visualize. You can practice this at home with your child in whatever book they are reading!
Reading in November is dedicated to reading our leveled books actively, with comprehension. We read a few different series books, where students we asked to watch their characters closely in the beginning to get to know them, to identify the problem their main character was facing, and to watch it progress, and to read the ending very carefully to notice exactly how and when the problem was resolved, and what their character learned. We discovered that second grade readers have to do a lot of envisioning – making a movie in their mind – to really understand what is happening in their books. We noticed that authors on these levels (levels J, K, and L) don’t always tell you how the character is feeling - you have to figure it out by watching what they do and say. This unit sets our students up for high expectations around what it looks and feels like to really understand a book.
At home, you can support this work by asking your child to read a chapter aloud to you, and and they read ask them to stop every once in a while a share what they are “seeing” and what they’re thinking. In other words, where is their character, what are they doing, what do they probably look like, and what are they thinking about their character and the problem now?
In December, we begin our nonfiction study, which later extends to the writing workshop where each student will choose a topic of interest to study in depth. These first few weeks, we take time to introduce students to different nonfiction structures – procedural writing (how to), expository writing (informational texts), and narrative nonfiction (biography, autobiographies). We also take time to teach students key comprehension strategies they will need for reading and researching nonfiction, including previewing a book to get ready to read, reading in small chunks and summarizing in your own words what you’ve learned, solving words using context clues, glossaries, and photographs or pictures, and accumulating all the information on a page, which basically means reading the big text, the small texts, the pictures (yes, read the pictures!) and the captions, then retell what you’ve learned on the whole page.
At home you can support this work by taking some time to talk to your child about the kinds of nonfiction reading YOU do at home – do you read the newspaper? Biographies? Cookbooks? Blogs or news online? Or do you use another type of media to get your information? Do you listen to podcasts, for example?
You can also take trips to your local library or bookstore, and spend some time browsing the nonfiction sections there, too. OR if you are looking for a holiday gift, consider one of these great magazines that often offer a combination of nonfiction and fiction: Spider Magazine https://shop.cricketmedia.com/SPIDER-Magazine-for-Kids.html
Reading Workshop Second Grade Reading Workshop is a very exciting time, because our readers begin reading chapter books that are at once challenging and exciting to read! Students come into second grade reading around a level J. These books may have small chapters, but they can be read in one sitting and they often have a simple plot. By the end of second grade, our students are asked to read level M and N books. These are often books with 10 chapters, so our students need plan their reading across a couple days. The stories have multiple characters, so students need to read carefully in the beginning of the story to learn who is who what role they may have in the problem. And finally, these stories have more complex problems – often there is a big problem, as well as little problems all along the way. Or, there’s a big problem, but the REAL problem is more internal – the character has to change or change their mind about something by the end of the story.
We support this journey in the beginning of the school year by teaching students to track the elements of story….Characters, Setting, Problem, Important Events (where something happens related to the problem, or where the character has a strong feeling or makes a decision about the problem) and Resolution. The story elements give students a framework for reading with strong comprehension – they know they need to be reading with these in mind, and that if they are confused about any of them, they will need to reread because they probably missed something.
At home, you can support this important unit by first and foremost setting up a place and time for your child to read quietly each night. By the end of September, your child will come home with an individualized job to do in their books. You can ask them to tell you about the characters and the big problem, and to explain their reading job. Then, if you have the time, sit with them as they read and work on their job. We encourage independence in reading homework, but we also recognize that reading can be lonely and hard work for some children, and we would much rather have a student reading well alongside a parent than not reading or fake reading each evening!
This spring, the second grade students continue their study of Roald Dahl, ending with his autobiography, BOY. The students then take time to consider what real life events influenced the characters and lessons in his books the students have read. They learn that even fiction writers create stories inspired partly from their real lives, and that also learn that – when you really like an author – it’s interesting to read their autobiography or their memoirs, because it gives you a window into their lives and how they’ve come to write the stories they do.
In April, the students begin a social-studies themed read aloud, where they study the colonial period of New York. They read “When Peter Stuyvesant Came to Town,” as well as a few brief articles on Henry Hudson and other explorers. Then, the students work in small groups to research what life was like during the colonial period for New Yorkers. They study clothing, family structures, food, housing, and leisure. The students then present their findings to each other so that everyone gets a sense of what life was like then, and how it was quite different than our lives now.
Read Aloud In January, our read aloud curriculum focuses on reading to learn about the Native Americans of New York. This is a project based unit, where the students are given the challenge of creating a museum piece to illustrate what they’ve learned about New York Native American Culture. Alongside our read aloud time together, the students are studying native American culture with their art and dance teachers, both of whom will be advising and supporting the students in their final projects. Our curriculum focuses specifically on how Native Americans used the natural world around them to meet their needs and wants, and the students also learn about Native American contributions to our culture today. On Friday, January 26th, we will be inviting families to join us in learning more about Native Americans today in a special school assembly for second grade students and families.
In mid-February, we begin our study of Roald Dahl, which continues through March. Roald Dahl is a prolific author whose writing is funny and often inspired by his own life events. The students are already familiar with him – they read The Enormous Crocodile in Kindergarten, and The Twits in first grade. This year, they’ll read Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Witches. They’ll watch the movie Matilda, and then they’ll read Roald Dahl’s collection of memoirs, called BOY. His memoirs are short, true stories about his childhood, and these stories gives students a window into a different place and time, and also a window into how authors are so influenced by their own experiences. This is another project based unit, where the students will be asked to draw connections between events in Roald Dahl’s real life to characters and events that appear in his book, and they’ll be asked to represent these connections in a creative way.
In Read Aloud, we spend most of November studying characters. We also study how have conversations. To do this, the teachers have chosen books that inspire lively discussions among our second grade students – Shoeshine Girl, The Chalkbox Kid, and The Paintbrush Kid. All of these books are written by Clyde Robert Bulla, who experienced many changes during his own childhood – moving from place to place, making new friends, feeling lonely or left out. His stories, which in the end are all uplifting, are the kinds of stories that many students connect to, and all students have something to say about!
Through all of these books, we invite students to question and react to the characters and the choices they make. Rather than ask them comprehension questions at the end of each chapter, we pause often inside of the chapter to let students think about what they’ve heard, and have an idea about. We often ask the simple questions, What are you thinking? Or, What are you wondering? From there, students are invited to build on each other’s ideas, or propose other points of view.
You can support this work at home by picking out a chapter book – slightly above your child’s level – to read at night to your child. Pause often to think about what happened and ask your child what they’re thinking or what they’re wondering. Here are a few second grade favorites: Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling Any of the Junie B Jones books by Barbara Park, if your child needs a light and funny story before bed! Read Aloud In the Second Grade, we launch our read aloud with a favorite series that many students read independently in their second grade year; Ready Freddy. Together with the students, we take time in this first read aloud to establish expectations and goals for our classroom conversation together. What makes a good conversation? What can we do to improve our conversation? How can we help our peers in getting better at talking about books? These are some of the questions students ask themselves, as they set goals as a class and individually around quality conversation.
We also demonstrate key comprehension skills during this unit, such as:
Getting a strong start in a book by previewing, then reading carefully at the beginning to get to know the important characters and the big problem in the book.
Carrying a story across chapters by stopping to think about what happened in the chapter, and how it fits with the whole story.
Making predictions as we read, and reading on to confirm or adjust our ideas.
Inferring character feeling – figuring out how a character feels, even if he/she doesn’t say it.
Thinking about the role of secondary characters – why are they important to the story?
Our next unit, Endangered Species, extends through the end of October. This is a project-based unit where students investigate first extinct, then endangered species, and then they take action by educating our community about an endangered species of their choice. Part of this project involves community outreach – at our Cafecito in late October, students will be presenting what they’ve learned and asking for commitment from families in our school to take one step toward protecting these endangered species.
In the spring of the second grade, our students learn to write persuasive pieces. They sample foods, games, movies, and they even recall favorite class trips. Then they consider whether they’d recommend it, and why. They learn the structure of an essay, and they learn persuasive techniques, such as providing examples, giving detailed descriptions with a slant, or exaggerating details to make a memorable point. Our students love to write these reviews, because it helps them to organize and exercise their argument skills! We return once more to persuasive writing at the very end of the year, where students in the second grade work together to create a Summer Family Fun resource for the families of the school, recommending the best places to go in NYC over the summer – we are excited to share these with you!
In April-May, the second grade students study Memoir. Memoirs are anthologies, or collections, of stories, poems, or picture books that tell about a person’s life. They often include beautiful language, and somethinking or reflection at the end. We planned this Memoir unit for the spring of the secondgrade because it is a wonderful time for our students to start thinking about who they are,what is important to them, and how they would like to record this in poems or stories for others to read. There are many ways you can help your child throughout this unit – please see below. MEMORY PROJECT: Due Friday, April 27th. Help your child get ideas for their memoir collection by working with them to put together a Memory Box, a Scrapbook, or a Timeline of important or memorable events in their life. This can be a shoebox full of pictures, important objects, programs from their first school performance, a belt from their first karate course, a recipe for a special meal you make together that’s important to your family or culture, etc. Or it can be a scrapbook of pictures that show special moments, special relationships, or special places they like to spend time. Or it can be a timeline of their life – think about including “first times”, special visits with relatives, special cultural celebrations, etc. Please make sure your child brings these to school on or before Friday, April 27 th . Talk to your child about your own memories from childhood – we want them to know that memories can be good and bad and in-between. So please take time to tell stories that made you happy, sad, proud, sorry, and of course silly ones too! Talk to your child about memories YOU have of them, growing up. Remember that our students don’t remember everything from when they were 3, or 4, or 5, or even 6. They might need your help retelling stories- especially stories that say something about who they are. A nice idea might be to add storytelling to your dinner table or bedtime
January and February of the Writing Workshop are dedicated to nonfiction research and writing. The students choose a topic of interest, collect resources to learn about this topic, then read with their research questions in mind. As many of the students select animals, there are certain questions that are essential to address in a research report – habitat, food, predators, etc. But we challenge students to also consider other sections they might want to include in their book, and many do. You can support this unit by asking your child what their topic is, then visiting your local library or online nonfiction sites such as national geographic kids to continue reading and learning across many sources.
This is another project based unit, where the students choose their topic and the materials they’ll use, but they all learn the art-form of a diorama as a tool for teaching their audience. We will be asking you to help your child collect supplies for this final product, and we will certainly be inviting you to celebrate your child’s writing and teaching dioramas at school! Writing Workshop The second grade writing workshop focuses on studying the structure and craft of different genre, and many units allow students to dive deeply into the study by either writing multiple pieces or, later in the year, working on one piece for a long time.
We begin the year with a Realistic Fiction study, where students develop their own fictional character with “real life” problems and “real life” solutions. This writing compliments a lot of the work students are doing in reading workshop, because it forces students to think carefully about these questions: Who is my character, what are their interests, strengths and weaknesses, and how do these lead to a problem? Who are the other characters and what role will they play? How will the character deal with their problem, and how will they finally resolve it?
As writers, students work on planning scenes, writing with craft such as specialized dialogue tags, 3 step action, and body language or facial expressions that reveal character feelings. The craft we try is inspired by favorite books on the grade, such as Ready Freddy.
A final component on Writing Workshop takes place on Mondays, where instead of Weekend News (which our students write in Kindergarten and First), our second graders enjoy prompt writing. They are given a prompt – usually an opinion question that is exciting to them – and they’re asked to respond, supporting their idea with anecdotes and examples. This is a great way for students to develop a writing voice, work on punctuation and sentence construction, and strengthen their persuasive and essay skills in a fun but meaningful way.
Word Study The word study curriculum in September and October reviews and builds upon key concepts from the First Grade. Digraphs, glued sounds, and the silent e are reviewed, then students are introduced to concepts they will see often in their independent reading books this year. These are; vowel teams, R controlled vowels, and multi-syllabic words. The word study week offers a variety of activities for all learners, as students engage in a combination of direct teaching, hands-on practice, and choral drills, along with small group centers where students can work on their own areas of need or readiness.
At home, you can make sure that your child completes their word study homework each night, and help them practice their trick words. Trick words are words that “break the rule” and just need to be memorized. Furthermore, if you take time to read with your child at night, you can go on a word part hunt to support the lessons that week…..for example, be on the lookout for vowel teams, new suffixes/endings, etc.
In the spring of the Second Grade, our students begin studying the colonial period in NYC. Please see more about this as described in our Read Aloud Curriculum. Then, as the end of the year comes near, the students accumulate all that they've learned about NY Past and Present, and they put together a celebration and sharing of NY Then and Now to share with the school community and you, their families. We hope you can make it! We are tentatively scheduled to celebrate on Tuesday, June 12th at 1:30 pm, beginning in the classrooms and ending in the auditorium.
In the winter of Second Grade, students study the social studies curriculum through shared and independent reading and project work during the Read Aloud period. Please see the read aloud section of our curriculum to learn more about what and how students will be studying about Native Americans of New York, and then later, the Dutch.
In the Second Grade, our social studies curriculum spans across all curriculum areas. In September, we dedicate time to Geography, where students learn about continents and oceans, and begin a timeline of history to help keep the rest of the year in perspective. In late September and October, as part of our Endangered Species project, students explore the role and responsibility they have as citizens to take care of the environment. Further more, the grade plans many meaningful learning experiences outside of the school to learn about NYC history and culture, and how the different services in the city meet our community’s needs and wants. At home, you can take time with your child to plan some free or almost free excursions into Brooklyn and the rest of NYC to enjoy and learn about our diverse and rich cultures and city services. Here are two of our favorite websites for learning about what’s happening for families: www.Mommypoppins.com www.Timeout.com/new-york-kids
Module 6 lays the conceptual foundation for multiplication and division in Grade 3 and for the idea that numbers other than 1, 10, and 100 can serve as units. Topics in this module include: Formation of Equal Groups, Arrays and Equal Groups, Rectangular Arrays as a Foundation for Multiplication and Division, and The Meaning of Even and Odd Numbers.
Important Terms to Know:
How You Can Help At Home:
Using any number of small objects, challenge your students to sort them into equal groups.
Again, using objects, challenge your student to sort them into groups of two and determine whether there are an even number of objects.
Module 7 presents an opportunity for students to practice addition and subtraction strategies within 100 and problem-solving skills as they learn to work with various types of units within the contexts of length, money, and data. Students represent categorical and measurement data using picture graphs, bar graphs, and line plots. They revisit measuring and estimating length from Module 2, though now using both metric and customary units.
Important Terms to Know:
How You Can Help At Home:
Ask your student to count the coins received in change when shopping or to count a handful of coins at home.
Once students have learned a few ways of representing data, find something around the house you can make a line or bar graph about, e.g. types of stuffed animals, colors of LEGO pieces, etc.
Addition and Subtraction Within 1,000 with Word Problems to 100
In Module 4, students developed addition and subtraction fluency within 100 and began developing conceptual understanding of the standard algorithm via place value strategies. In Module 5, students build upon their mastery of renaming place value units and extend their work with conceptual understanding of the addition and subtraction algorithms to numbers within 1,000, always with the option of modeling with materials or drawings. We will bridge these two modules with the Age Project where students will continue to practice the strategies they learned in Module 4 to explore the ages of their family members. Students will look into the past and calculate how hold their family members were when they were born. Then they will take a trip into the future and calculate how old their family member will be when they are their age now. Throughout the module, students continue to focus on strengthening and deepening conceptual understanding and fluency.
How You Can Help At Home:
Help your student practice counting both backward and forward by 10’s and 100’s
Given any two or three digit number, help your student practice finding 10 more and 10 less and/or 100 more or 100 less than the number
Module 4 ` Addition and Subtraction Within 200 with Problems to 100
In Module 4, students develop place value strategies to fluently add and subtract within 100; they represent and solve one- and two-step word problems of varying types within 100; and they develop conceptual understanding of addition and subtraction of multi-digit numbers within 200. Using a concrete to pictorial to abstract approach, students use manipulatives and math drawings to develop an understanding of the composition and decomposition of units, and they relate these representations to the standard algorithm for addition and subtraction.
How you can help at home:
Continue to ask how many ones, tens, and hundreds are in numbers that you and your student come across
When possible, encourage your student to explain their mathematical thinking by drawing a diagram or picture that links to their addition and subtraction problems
Place Value, Counting, and Comparison of Numbers Up to 1,000
In this 25-day Grade 2 module, students expand their skill with and understanding of units by bundling ones, tens, and hundreds up to a thousand with straws. Unlike the length of 10 centimeters in Module 2, these bundles are discrete sets. One unit can be grabbed and counted just like a banana―1 hundred, 2 hundred, 3 hundred, etc. A number in Grade 1 generally consisted of two different units, tens and ones. Now, in Grade 2, a number generally consists of three units: hundreds, tens, and ones. The bundled units are organized by separating them largest to smallest, ordered from left to right. Over the course of the module, instruction moves from physical bundles that show the proportionality of the units to non-proportional place value disks and to numerals on the place value chart.
We will launch this module with our Box Top Project. In this project the students will be helping the PTA count all the box tops that were collected during our Box Top Contest. Students will work in small groups to construct their own learning and strategize to find the best way to count and keep track of the number of box tops collected. Once strategies are developed students will share their strategies with their peers, ultimately leading to the understanding of bundling ten ones to make a ten and ten tens to make a hundred.
How you can help at home:
Ask how many ones, tens, and hundreds are in numbers that you and your student come across
Continue to review addition and subtraction skills
Help your student begin to compare numbers by asking questions about “more than”, “less than”, and “equal”
Module 2 Addition and Subtraction of Length Units
In this 12-day Grade 2 module, students engage in activities designed to deepen their conceptual understanding of measurement and to relate addition and subtraction to length. Their work in Module 2 is exclusively with metric units in order to support place value concepts.
Students will be exploring concepts about the centimeter ruler. They are guided to connect measurement with physical units as they find the total number of unit lengths by laying multiple copies of centimeter cubes (physical units) end-to-end along various objects. Through this, the students discover that to get an accurate measurement, there must not be any gaps or overlaps between consecutive length units. Next, students measure by iterating with one physical unit, using the mark and advance technique. Students repeat the process by laying both multiple copies and a single cube along a centimeter ruler. This helps students create a mental benchmark for the centimeter. It also helps them realize that the distance between 0 and 1 on the ruler indicates the amount of space already covered. Hence 0, not 1, marks the beginning of the total length.
Then, students learn to estimate length using knowledge of previously measured objects and benchmarks. This enables students to internalize the mental rulers of a centimeter or meter, which empowers them to mentally iterate units relevant to measuring a given length. The knowledge and experience signal that students are determining which tool is appropriate to make certain measurements. Finally, students will measure and compare to determine how much longer one object is than another. They also measure objects twice using different length units, both standard and nonstandard, thereby developing their understanding of how the total measurement relates to the size of the length unit. Repeated experience and explicit comparisons will help students recognize that the smaller the length unit, the larger the number of units, and the larger the length unit, the smaller the number of units. The module culminates as students relate addition and subtraction to length. They apply their conceptual understanding to choose appropriate tools and strategies, such as the ruler as a number line, benchmarks for estimation, and tape diagrams for comparison, to solve word problems. The problems progress from concrete (i.e., measuring objects and using the ruler as a number line to add and subtract) to abstract (i.e., representing lengths with tape diagrams to solve start unknown and two-step problems).
How you can help at home:
Ask questions that encourage your student to estimate lengths of household items
Continue to review adding and subtracting up to 20
Practice measuring lengths longer than a ruler by marking and measuring from a mark
Module 1 sets the foundation for students to master the sums and differences to 20 and to subsequently apply these skills to fluently add one-digit to two-digit numbers at least through 100 using place value understandings, properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction. In Grade 1, students worked extensively with numbers to 10 and they developed Level 2 and Level 3 mental strategies to add and subtract within 20 and 100.
For example, to solve 12 + 3 students might make an equivalent but easier problem by decomposing 12 as 10 + 2 and composing 2 with 3 to make 5. Students can use this knowledge to solve related problems such as 92 + 3. They also apply their skill using smaller numbers to subtract problems with larger numbers: 12 – 8 = 10 – 8 + 2 = 2 + 2, just as 72 – 8 = 70 – 8 + 2 = 62 + 2.
Structure of Lessons
Throughout the module, students will represent and solve word problems through the daily Application Problem. Application problems precede a lesson to act as the lead-in to a concept, allowing students to discover through problem-solving the logic and usefulness of a strategy before that strategy is reviewed. This structure allows problem-solving to begin as a guided activity, with the goal being to move students to independent problem-solving, wherein they reason through the relationships of the problem and choose an appropriate strategy to solve. Following the Application Problem students will come together to form a Math Congress. Here students will lead the discussion and explain their strategy to the whole class. The teacher will introduce the lesson of the day through the strategies shared by the students. Following the Math Congress students will have the opportunity to practice the skills independently through games, activities, or worksheets.
How you can help at home
Review with your student all the ways to make 10; students will need to have these memorized as we work through this module.
Practice “10 plus” problems, such as 10 + 9, 20 + 8, 40 + 6, 70 + 7, and so on, so that your student becomes very adept at doing them mentally and quickly.
My name is Mr. Manley and I am the new Physical Education teacher at P.S. 172. I am very excited to join this community of teachers, students and families. I’ve taught Physical Education and Health the past six years at the middle school level and coached a variety of sports to all ages. I look forward to getting to know you and your child this upcoming school year.
In the month of September, students in grades Pre-K to 2nd grade will be participating in a variety of locomotor and fitness skills as well as learning to cooperate with others. Students in grades 3-5 will be participating in team building activities and personal fitness. For their safety, please have them come prepared wearing sneakers on days that they participate in Physical Education.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Welcome to art! My name is Mrs. Siskar and I teach art to class K 103 and grades 1-5 for the 2017-2018 school year. I’m so excited to have a creative year together in the art room. Childrenl have art class once per week for 50 minutes. Participation in the art room is encouraged and we can prepare each student by making sure on their assigned day for art they arrive prepared and ready to learn!
I recommend no new clothes on art class days. Even though everyone will wear their art t shirts to protect clothing accidents and messy masterpieces still happen. Please provide your child with the following materials by September 25th so they feel prepared and ready to learn.
MATERIALS: Students inall grades are required to wear an oversized T- shirt or art apron to protect their clothing from arts materials. Please write your child’s first and last name on the shirt in permanent marker. Many students bring an old recycled shirt, as it does not need to be newly bought. Throughout the year this will be returned home for washing when needed and to be returned to school the following week.
Grades 3, 4, 5 : Sketchbook with blank pages OR a composition notebook. Please label your child’s name and class room on the front. This will be used for in class drawing, writing activities, and occasional homework. If your child does not bring materials each week they will be marked unprepared, as this limits your child’s ability to appropriate participate and engage in learning.
Additional materials are also appreciated:
SEPTEMBER IN THE ART ROOM: As each class in grades K-5 begins to learn the routines for our art room we will be starting with a school wide community art lesson inspired by the literature The Dot, by the author Peter Reynolds. Students will be using their imaginations to invent their own dot artwork and contribute it to our community dot gallery. September 15th is International Dot Day!
Parent Conference Night: Wednesday September 13th Parents & students meet me in the auditorium during our enrichment fair to make a dot together for our dot gallery.
ART DOJO This year I will be connecting with parents through classroom dojo to share student masterpieces and communicate your child’s progress and different art events throughout the year. Please make sure you are connected to your child’s classroom with their teacher’s invitation.
If you need assistance with materials or have questions, please contact me by email.
Welcome to 2017-2018 school year at P.S. 172! I hope your summer was a fun and relaxing one. We have an exciting and creative year ahead in the art room. There is a small number of materials your child will be required to bring to art class each week to support their success and preparedness for their learning experiences.
Students inall grades are required to wear an oversized T- shirt or art apron to protect their clothing from arts materials. Please write your child’s first and last name on the shirt in permanent marker. Many students bring an old recycled shirt, as it does not need to be newly bought. Throughout the year this will be returned home for washing when needed and to be returned to school the following week.
Grades 3, 4, 5 are additionally required to bring a composition notebook with lines OR a sketchbook with blank pageswith their name, and classroom labeled on the front. This will be used for in class drawing, writing activities, and occasional homework. If your child does not bring materials each week they will be marked unprepared, as this limits your child’s ability to appropriate participate and engage in learning.
Additional materials are also appreciated:
small or large paper plates
Please contact your child’s teacher or myself with any questions or concerns regarding these materials. I look forwarding to working together this year in supporting your child’s artistic growth!
Mrs. Siskar firstname.lastname@example.org
The following are dance units/ mini units we will be working on in Sept/Oct- In Prekindergarten and kindergarten, we start the year creating good habits for dance class. We learn how to move safely in one place and through space. We also learn how to focus our energy on our bodies and not our voices. Our focus in our first larger unit will be pantomime, in which the children will learn and create movement to communicate ideas. We will then move to studying opposites in movement and how contrasting efforts can give us a wider dance vocabulary. We will then work on a unit based on the fall, in which the children will continue to explore movement options based on books, poems, songs, pictures and other inspiration based on the autumn. In first grade, students in dance class start the year learning how to do a set warm-up. This warm-up helps children keep their bodies safe throughout class and reminds children how to move in their own space with energy and effort. First graders will focus on making shapes of different sizes with their bodies, taking movement with which they are already familiar and extending it in creative ways. After we have expanded our movement possibilities, we will study the human body and how our bones, joints and muscles allow us to move in different ways. In second grade, students start the year with a complex warm-up routine which incorporates standing, sitting and traveling all while executing various movements. We will work together to develop our movement vocabularies by performing movements at different levels, in different shapes, and in assorted relationships with other students. We will also challenge ourselves by planning dances with multiple movements and working to remember and perform our dances. We will also practice our audience skills as we respectfully watch other students perform their dance work. In third grade, students first learn a set warm-up which we will use throughout the year in order to keep our bodies healthy and safe. Our first big unit of study will be Chinese dance, and through books, photos and videos, we will be studying the dance characteristics, culture, costumes and music of Chinese dance. Students will also begin to create their own choreography based on the characteristics of Chinese dance, which they will perform for their classmates and assess together. In fourth grade, we start the year by reviewing the importance of a good warm-up and learning the important components that keep our bodies healthy and safe; raising our body temperature, building strength and stretching our muscles. Our first big unit focuses on American Indian dance, aligning with the social studies standards in fourth grade. Using books, images, videos, poems and more, we will learn several American Indian dances and also create our own choreography based on what we have learned. In fifth grade, students take the reins! They’ve learned the importance of a good warm-up for several years, and pretty soon, students lead our class warm-ups! We quickly start our unit based on New York and choreographers who have lived and worked creating dance based on New York. We will study the choreographers Jerome Robbins, Trisha Brown and Pascal Rioult, learning about their different dance styles and characteristics and practicing their movements. Our creative and team-working skills become important when we use the ideas and movement styles of these NY based choreographers to craft our own dances, also relying on our audience and assessment abilities to help ourselves and each other continually improve our work.
In the month of September, Pre-K students will learn how to utilize their voices in order to sing songs. We will start by singing familiar songs, which many students were exposed to when they were younger. During this month and the coming months after, the students will be developing their voices and improvising movements for each of the songs.
In the month of September, the students in kindergarten will be learning about many different instruments including the Tambourine, Djembe, Guitar, and the Egg Shakers. Students will be using these instruments to develop the important skill of keeping a steady beat. Building up from this skill, students will also have a chance to experiment with different rhythms, making sure that the rhythms being performed are played steadily. The students will also be clapping their hands or playing percussion instruments while singing children songs to reinforce the idea of steady beat, and to develop their individual voices.
1st Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the students in first grade will review steady beat, one of the most important skills a young musician can develop. Once reviewed, students in first grade will learn about quarter note and eighth note rhythms, using one syllable and two syllable words to help the students understand the timing of each rhythm. Students will then begin to compose their very own rhythms using one syllable or two syllable words, which will then lead them to having a share of their composed rhythms in class. There will also be a great deal of singing to further develop the students own voices.
2nd Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the students in the second grade will be reviewing steady beat, and will be performing rhythms using quarter notes and eighth notes. The rhythms will first be performed by clapping, but instruments will then be introduced into the performance. Students will also be singing and clapping the same rhythms being sung in order to practice quarter note and eighth note rhythms. After the students have practiced, there will be a slight introduction to the pentatonic scale, a scale in which sounds pleasing to the ear, and is very fun to play.
3rd Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, students in the third grade will be focusing on maintaining a steady beat, but what changes in the third grade is that students will now have to pay attention to a time signature, which tells you how many beats are in a musical phrase or measure. Not only will they have to watch for how many beats are in the measure, but they will also have to know which of those beats are strong (louder) and which are weak (softer). Students will also review past rhythms, and incorporate this idea of strong and weak beats into their performances.
4th Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the fourth grade will put to use their skills in maintaining a steady beat and use it to perform Native American percussion music. While learning and performing Native American music, the students will also be practicing traditional notations such as quarter notes and eighth notes, eventually leading to notes of different timings (whole notes, and dotted quart notes).
5th Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the fifth grade students will begin by practicing steady beat, which will then lead to learning new rhythms. These new rhythms will feature sixteenth notes, one step up from eighth notes (instead of two notes to a beat, there will be four notes). These new rhythms bring about a new term called syncopation, which is a skill every musician should know how to perform.
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER SCIENCE NEWS
As we get ready to say goodbye to summer, I look forward to another "sciencesational" year with my super scientists. Both Pre-K classes will be having Science this year. As kindergarten scientists are using their "detective" skills to collect clues, first grade scientists are going on a treasure hunt to gather recyclable objects for our treasure box collections. Grade 2 scientists will be recording observations and learning how to collect data and draw conclusions. Grade 3 chemists will be creating "top secret" formulas, while fourth grade ecologists begin a unit on animal studies. Grade 5 chemists will be concocting mysterious mixtures and solutions and working on spectacular lab experiments. We say hello to Autumn on September 22nd with some "cool" fall activities. Please feel free to contact me, if you have any questions or concerns. I can't wait to work with you and your child during this upcoming school year.