2nd Grade News

Literacy Block

Literacy Block is an approximately 90 minute time period that occurs daily. During this time the teacher works with students in a small group and conducts Guided Reading. While the teacher is working with the small group, the other students are engaged in literacy-based centers. We call these centers the Daily 5.

Guided Reading

What is Guided Reading?

Guided reading is small-group instruction for students who read the same text. The group is homogeneous: the students read at about the same level, demonstrate similar reading behaviors, and share similar instructional needs. The small groups are temporary; they change as you assess your students’ growth and needs. -from Guiding Readers and Writers: Grades 3-6 by Fountas & Pinnell

Within these groups, students are reading books which they can read with 90-94% accuracy and 90% comprehension. The teacher’s focused instruction is provided as support to allow students to gain the skills necessary to move on to the next reading level.

Why Use Guided Reading?

“…the first step toward fluent reading involves making sure kids have books they can actually read accurately and with comprehension.” (Proven Programs, Profits, and Practice –Allington)

When students are reading books above their instructional level, it causes them to read word by word with little comprehension causing learned dysfluency and reducing motivation. (What Really Matters for Struggling Readers—Allington)

Normal Park has employed the Guided Reading model since the school’s inception. Teachers are trained in best practices by Jan Richardson, a leading expert in the field. New teachers are mentored by experienced teachers and all of our students receive the highest quality reading instruction.

Literacy Centers

Literacy centers (known as the Daily 5) offer students the opportunity to independently practice literacy-based skills. The students are expected to complete:

Read to Self:

Students practice increasing their stamina by reading independently each day.

Read to Someone:

Students read books with a buddy. Students may take turns reading the same book, or they may even take turns reading two different books!


Students listen to a recorded reading. This helps to increase their fluency.

Word Work:

Students practice their spelling words in a variety of ways each day.


Students will continue to work on stories they have started in Writer’s Workshop.


One of our top priorities in 2nd grade is to help your child learn all of their addition and subtraction fast facts. This means they should be able to mentally compute all addition and subtraction facts from 0-30 by the end of 2nd grade. This means that we need your help in practicing these facts at home. Our students love using flash cards, playing computer games, and any other creative ways that you can think of to help your students become successful in these mental math strategies. In 2nd grade, your child will spend a great deal of time on adding and subtracting with regrouping. Having a solid foundation in fast facts will help your child tremendously when we move on to more difficult math concepts!

Key Math Topics:

Number Sense and Place Value

Addition and Subtraction





Data Analysis


Normal Park is a unique place! We combine our Science and Social Studies curriculum into modules utilizing the UbD method of planning. Each nine weeks your child will be introduced to his or her performance task. At the end of each quarter student created pieces will be displayed on exhibit night.

Module Units of Study:

1st Quarter: Normal Park School of Rock

2nd Quarter: Native Americans

3rd Quarter: Government

4th Quarter: Oceans

Learning Expeditions

Learning expeditions are a key component of our module studies. Each quarter we will visit our partner museums with a specific learning goal in mind. These trips are designed to provide our students with a meaningful learning experience. These trips also demonstrate to our students that learning happens everywhere!

At the beginning of each quarter you will receive a permission slip that must be signed and returned prior to the first learning expedition. Students are not allowed to call for permission the day of the expedition. We will do our best to send extra slips home if one has not been received 2 days prior to the expedition.

On the permission slip there is a place where parents can volunteer to accompany their child on the learning expedition. We love parent chaperones! Please sign up for as many as you can attend. We want to make you aware that when you attend you may be placed with a group of students. Please refer to your Student Handbook for the specific expectations for parents that accompany their children on learning expeditions. You will receive volunteer hours for attending and you will share a memorable experience with your child!