Welcome to Grade 2/3 with Teachers Erin and Joanne
In our classroom, we strive to work in harmony with each other by doing our individual best in the context of community. We each enter the classroom with our own gifts and challenges, special interests and dislikes, and a lifetime of experiences that make us who we are. Each school day, we work to honor our own unique nature and needs, while respecting the needs of everyone else to create a synergy in our classroom that fosters robust learning and builds a healthy community.
Young friends enter the second and third grade instilled with a love of reading. In our classroom, we build from this foundation to strengthen our reading independence, deepen our understanding of who we are as readers, and develop life skills for continuing to love reading. We are a community of readers, and we are able to share and discuss what makes a book “good.” Furthermore, we learn to be discerning readers, being able to detect beautiful use of language, recognize an intriguing plot, and connect with events and characters in stories. Equally important, we transition from learning to read to reading to learn, developing skills for drawing important information from texts. To facilitate this transition, we take a rigorous look at the patterns in words using the curriculum, Words Their Way. Learning to recognize patterns in the English language helps us be better decoders as we read and better spellers as we write.
What we read informs our writing. We learn from the authors who penned our most adored books, and sometimes, the books we have a hard time appreciating teach us very important lessons. From our reading experiences and by practicing distinct skills, we learn to get our point across in writing. This year, one of our focuses has been writing poetry. Poetry is a fabulous medium with which to practice choosing potent words and creating vibrant images with words and to gain experience moving through the writing process to publication. Children also write stories of their choice, including all kinds of fiction and nonfiction writing. We continuously hone our editing, handwriting, and spelling skills. Most importantly, we write frequently and for many reasons.
Our math curriculum is The University of Chicago program, Everyday Mathematics. Each grade’s curriculum is organized into six mathematical strands that cover a number of skills and concepts. Everyday Mathematics places an emphasis on establishing links from past experience, discussing and sharing ideas, using and comparing equivalent expressions, expressing numbers in context by including units, and learning about the reversibility of most things. These ideas gradually shape students’ ways of thinking of mathematics and foster the development of mathematical intuition and understanding.
In theme study (science and social studies), our primary goal is for students to gain perspective on the world and their place in it. In the fall and early winter, we explored our theme of time by wrapping our minds around the enormity of the geologic timeline and exploring paleontology. Recently, we’ve been taking a look at aspects of geology that help us understand the changing Earth. In the remaining months of the school year, we will explore ancient civilizations, most likely focusing on ancient Egypt and Greece. Also in the spring, as is the Friends School tradition, we'll be preparing a play for the school and going on a variety of field trips, including an extended-day field trip to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.