PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 2 Week of 9/25/17

Hello Families,

We have a very busy week ahead. Here is a quick look into it.

In Writer’s Workshop, we discovered the importance of having rich details in our writing, and have begun to explore ways to add on to our work. The students learned that while reading a story you should be able to close your eyes and imagine all of the things the writer is explaining to you. We are trying to make that happen for our readers as well! By using carefully chosen and precise nouns, adjectives, verbs, onomatopoeias, and more our students have brought their work to life. We are also adding action, dialogue, and feeling to the most important parts of our pieces. Here is a chart from 201 showing how they are adding details into their stories:


In Reader’s Workshop, we have officially opened our class libraries! Our students are getting in the habit of choosing books that are ‘Just Right’ for them. A ‘Just Right’ book will feel comfortable for your child to read. They will be able to decode most of the words and have a deep understanding of what they are reading. They will be able to make connections between characters, the characters and themselves, and the outside world. It is important when reading with your child to question them to foster their deeper thinking about the text. Here are some examples of questions:

  • How did that make you feel?
  • Why do you think the character feels that way?
  • What makes the character/s feel that way?
  • Cause/Effect or problem/solution questions

Your child should be reading at home for 15-20 minutes a night. While reading at home they can read whatever genre they prefer, but should try to reach a variety of genres over time. We are beginning our formal reading assessments in class, and if your child is reading below grade level we will be reaching out via email with ways to help.

In Math Workshop this week, we are continuing our focus on math routines and expectations as we work independently, in partnerships, and as a whole group. We are working on listening to and understanding other ideas and strategies. We have also begun our story problems unit, in which we will focus on how to interpret the action of the problems and how to communicate our thinking clearly both in writing and orally. We have begun assessing mastery of basic addition facts as well, which are all of the single digit addition problems. Once we have completed the assessment with your children, they will bring home a bag containing a set of facts they know, and a set of facts they are working on. These fact cards should stay at home. Please practice the facts at home 2-3 times a week. Encourage your child to use strategies to help them with the facts. For example, knowing that 8+3 = 3+8 can help. Knowing 10+7 can help with 9+7. We will be reviewing these concepts in class as well.

In Social Studies, we have become cartographers! We are making a map of our classroom, which will come in handy if we have a new student or substitute teacher visit our class. We began by learning about cardinal directions and intermediate directions. We used a map to pretended we were walking through a community, and followed directions to help us get to specific places. Some new vocabulary words we are learning are cardinal directions, intermediate directions, compass rose, map key and more. Here are some pictures of your kids at work:


Science will be conducted in the classroom this year and we are kicking it off with a great unit in which we will be observing rocks and seeing how the environment affects them. We will need some help from you! Please send your child into school with a small bag of rocks or pebbles that they have found outside. It is imperative that each student has a bag with just a few rocks (3 or 4) so that they participate in our investigations. Please send the rocks in as soon as possible.


  • Scholastic book orders will be placed by the end of the week.
  • We will be sending home a Scholastic News Magazine weekly and a Scholastic Science Magazine monthly. These nonfiction magazines have an article we will study together in class. Please keep the magazines as we will be using them and periodically may have homework assignments from them. In order to cover the cost of the subscription, we are asking all families to send in $6.50 as soon as possible. Thank you!
  • We will be sending home permission slips for our first trip to The Staten Island Museum. The trip is October 16 so please send them back as soon as possible.
  • Class 202 has a class parent! Many thanks to Maryana Sigalova (David’s mom) for volunteering.
  • Class 201 still needs one or two class parents. If you are interested please email Ms. Mathis at We would like to begin to think about setting up our birthday celebrations.

Thanks and have a great week,

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Anne