Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

It is my pleasure to welcome you to second grade. It’s going to be a wonderful year filled with new experiences! Our theme for this year is Challenges, Conflicts, and Changes. We will be weaving this theme throughout three units of study: Early Americans (Native Americans and American Pioneers in the 1800s), South America, and Early Earth. Each unit will last about three months.

Our first integrated unit is focused on Early Americans. Students will be studying how Native Americans and American Pioneers helped develop our country. We will be practicing the thinking skill of finding patterns. This skill will help students discover patterns in both reading and mathematics. We will also look for patterns in Native American arts & crafts as well as in pioneer quilts. Please help your child develop awareness of the patterns in their lives (i.e., fabrics, nature, and daily routines).

In the area of literacy, we will be reading a variety of Native American legends and pioneer stories. Students will be learning about story elements, such as characters, setting, problem, and solution. You can help your child develop a deeper understanding of the different parts of the story by asking the following questions:

  • Who are the characters in the story?
  • Where does this story take place?
  • What events took place in the story?
  • What was the problem in the story?
  • How was the problem solved?

 In the area of science, we will be learning how the Early Americans used simple machines to overcome challenges and to fulfill their basic needs. Students will participate in hands-on activities in order to explore how simple machines make our work easier today. The six basic simple machines are levers, pulleys, wedges, wheels and axles, and incline planes. Be sure to point out examples of simple machines to your child as you see them in use.

The students will make connections by practicing the skills of community contributors and self-directed learners as they identify similar characteristics in the Early Americans. If you have resources or artifacts that might enrich our unit, we would appreciate having you share them with us! Thank you in advance for your support.

In two shakes of a lamb’s tail (“in little or no time at all”) your child will be experiencing a time of exciting academic, social, and personal growth. One way to provide strong lines of communication between home and school is through email. You may reach me during school hours by using the following email address cpeerenb@tahomasd.us .

 I feel honored to be able to fulfill the important role of your child’s second grade teacher this school year. I look forward to seeing your child on Tuesday, September 1st – the first day of school!

                                                                Sincerely,

                                                            Cheryl Peerenboom  

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