Welcome to ASFM, and in particular, to Second Grade!
On behalf of the second grade team, I would like to congratulate you on choosing to come to ASFM. Our team is composed of eight homeroom teachers and a Resource teacher. When you arrive in August, you will be joining a positive, collaborative, and enthusiastic group of teachers. As a team we are an eclectic bunch of Canadians, Mexicans, and Americans, each of whom is dedicated to providing the best instructional opportunities for our students. Our team benefits from varying levels of teaching experience and years at ASFM.
Second Grade Curriculum:
Under the guidance of our K-2 Assistant Principal, second grade teachers have implemented a Balanced Literacy Program in our classrooms. Teachers create reading unit plans based on grade-level outcomes and work together to plan teaching points, instruction, and assessments. Some units include, Story Elements, Nonfiction, Character Study, and Poetry. The daily Reading Workshop consists of a whole-group mini-lesson, followed by independent reading and small group instruction while students participate in literacy centers. We have adopted the Writing Workshop model and Units of Study made popular by Lucy Calkins. Units include Small Moments (personal narratives), Authors as Mentors, Nonfiction, and Poetry. Principals for literacy provide extra professional development to help familiarize new teachers with the literacy curriculum.
We teach math using the Everyday Math curriculum. Students also learn different problem solving methods and practice math facts several times a week. All materials, including math manipulatives and a number line, will be provided for you.
For Science and Social Studies, second graders study Diverse Communities, Economics, Communication, Solar Energy, Plants, Water Cycle, and Dinosaurs during the year. Each unit plan outlines essential questions, lead-up activities and assessments, as well as a culminating task. You will be provided with rubrics to help you assess your students and be able find all needed materials on the school’s server. We also use the Second Step program to support the social/emotional growth of students.
Students receive one hour of Spanish instruction a day in addition to another specialist class (Art, P.E., Music, and Computers). Students have a 15 minute morning recess and a 30 minute lunch period. The school also offers a popular after-school sports program.
ASFM has purchased many materials over the years to support classroom instruction. The school has also dedicated money to improving our classroom libraries, including adding leveled books to the collections. Because of this, new teachers to the school shouldn’t feel that they have to bring many books or materials with them. In general, bring what you know you will use. This might include favorite read-alouds, special activities, favorite decorations, etc. Your classroom will also include an overhead projector, LCD, listening center, and an assortment of all needed desk supplies. You will have a telephone and computer with email and internet access in your classroom. There are a lot of opportunities for integrating technology. Computer labs can be signed-out by homeroom teachers to support the curriculum.
In addition to a wealth of classroom and technology resources, we’re also fortunate of have a beautiful facility. This past fall we moved into a new, state-of-the-art elementary campus.
If you have any questions about what to bring or to leave at home, please contact us. We will gladly answer any questions you have, no matter how small.
A summary of a few recommended items (see recommendations on what to bring and what to know for a more comprehensive list):
- Bring the books you like to teach with. Your favorite picture books and your favorite professional resources that you know you will USE! Our library has a very good collection, but we do not always have the resources that are available to you in your home countries. We recommend you check the library’s online catalog before you pack any books.
- art for your walls
- pillows, duvet
- throw rugs (the floors are tile and can get cold in the winter!)
- warm clothes and warm blankets for the wintertime.
- medicine that you depend on at home.
Please feel free to contact us at any time. Ask lots of questions and browse through the website to see what a wonderful school you are joining! The link below will lead you to the webpages of each current second grade teacher. Teachers update these periodically (some weekly with their newsletters and pictures). Please view these pages to get a sense of our curriculum, students, and energy. This is a hard-working, fast-paced, incredible school and staff and I am sure you will love your time here. I look forward to hearing from you soon!