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Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Power of Second Grade

Unless you have taught 2nd grade before, you don't fully realize that second grade can really pack a punch.  Second graders are cute and cuddly and such, but they can be a force to be reckoned with, too!  They aren't babies anymore but they aren't big kids either, so from time to time you are not sure which personality you are going to see from them! school has experienced a baby boom in Kindergarten and since we are an ESL school, that means that almost 1/3 of our Kindergarten speaks no English.  If you have ever been around on the first day of Kindergarten, you know that it is a zoo of clingy parents, crying students, and frazzled teachers.  Imagine what it would be like if you couldn't communicate with some of these same students and parents.

So, long story short, since our numbers were sort of low in second grade, one of our three teachers went to Kindergarten for a short stint this year.  We look for her to come back to our team for next year.  But for now.....there is just two of us.

Along with absorbing the fact that 1/3 of our brain power is gone <sniff> we have had to make some serious decisions on how to handle things this year.  Our classrooms went from about 15 students to 22 and 23 students.  I have the inclusion class, and let me tell you.....I am so thankful for the exceptional ed services that my kids get.  Having extra adults in the room has been a God Send!!  To say that I have a challenging group is an understatement.

So, another long story short, because of the challenges  (fully implementing Common Core) that we face, my teammate <bless her> and I decided to do a 'mini' departmentalization.  She is going to take on Math, Science, and Social Studies and I am going to take on Reading, Word Work, Writing, and dip in and out of Science and Social Studies through literature.  Our hope is that we can plan more purposefully, teach deeper, and see a better return for our time.

Meanwhile, trucking along with my Tie Dye/60's theme, I created this news letter so that we could communicate all of these teaching changes to our parents.  It is all ready to go and ready to be submitted for approval.  If you click on this, you can download a newsletter for any grade level K-6.  I hope it helps you!!


Before I go, I have to say thank you to my friends Arlene from LMN Tree and Yvonne from Mixminder for being guest bloggers for me.  I was busy all week trying to figure out what in the world we were going to do to survive!!!


  1. You had 15 students in the past??? I am SOOO jealous!!
    Our district decided that "class size reduction" wasn't worth the cost a few years ago. I've had 34 kids the past three years! I was kinder the first year of the change-I had 36 the first day! And our kinder is 90% ESL. Second is a little better with 34 kids than kinder was, but I dream of the days of having 20 again! I feel like a babysitter. And feel like only those who really fit the mold are able to learn. Any student that learns outside the box, has behavior or learning issues seem to slip through the cracks. I hate that!!! I try, but with so many, I just haven't found a way to truly be an effective teacher for all of my students! :-(

  2. I had 15 kids for 7 days! I now have 22. Bless your heart. Sounds like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. What state are you in? I can't imagine having 34 5 year-olds. I am assuming that is without an assistant, too. I hope you are relying on freebies on blogs or things you find on Teachers Pay least that is one way to reduce your workload. Do you do guided reading? How in the world would you ever fit in reading groups with that many kids? What are the test scores like?


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