Phone: (330)653-1236 ext 1424
Degrees and Certifications:
Undergraduate ~ The University of Akron Masters & Reading Endorsement ~ Kent State University
Mrs. Dennis Room B~14
This page of Room B-14's website is an overview of basic information to get us started on our way to a great year!
Please feel free to call me at school 330-653-1236 ext. 1424 or drop me a note with any concerns or questions you may have. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please realize that I only check email in the morning and at the end of the day, and sometimes email is not functioning. *Because of these factors, this is not an acceptable way to communicate any change in transportation for your child.*
The classroom discipline in Room B -14 is one based upon Foster W. Cline, M.D. and Jim Fay’s Love and Logic. Our school library and Guidance Counselors have many resources that are available for parents.
The classroom expectations for the students are as follows:
* I will treat you with respect, so you will know how to treat me.
* Feel free to do anything that doesn’t cause a problem for anyone else.
* If you cause a problem, I will ask you to solve it.
* If you can’t solve the problem, or choose not to, I will do something to solve it.
* What I do will depend on the special person and the special situation.
* If you feel something is unfair, whisper to me, “I’m not sure that’s fair,” and we will talk.
Ellsworth Hill Expectations
At Ellsworth Hill we expect:
- Kindness and respect toward everyone
- A good citizen with a positive attitude
- Responsibility for materials and people
- Good team work: Be fair and trustworthy
- 100% participation
- The 3Rs: Be Ready, Be Respectful, Be Responsible
Breakfast and lunch will be FREE for students again this year. Extra milk is $.50.
Be sure to check the menu!
Reader's Workshop and Language Arts
Reading and Language Arts will be taught, in part, through the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project literacy program. It is a complete literacy program that combines research-based instruction with classroom practices that work. This program connects whole class, small group, and independent instruction through common comprehension strategies. This program links literacy skills to standards-based science and social studies content through the use of fiction and nonfiction texts and themes. This program provides and supports early literacy instruction that aligns with scientifically based research. The program was written to include a systematic, focused approach to instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, decoding, vocabulary, and the writing process.
Writing and Writer’s Workshop
Writing needs to be taught like any other basic skill, with explicit instruction and ample opportunity for practice. This year we will be implementing Lucy Calkins’ Writer's Workshop curriculum. This model creates a learning environment that encourages independence and gives the young writer a high degree of choice. Writer’s workshop possesses a framework and procedures that are consistent for both materials and movement. The workshop model and its environment encourages writers to take risks and learn their craft while providing a scaffolded support system to all writers. It gives students frequent response to their writing and has a regular and predictable amount of time to write. Writer’s workshop gives students direct instruction in writing by different methods: whole class, small group, individual and uses literature (mentor texts) to teach students the craft of writing.
Lucy Caulkins Units of Study in Phonics is a Research-Based Curriculum widely supported by an enormous body of research including the work of Bear, Beck, Blevins, Cunningham, Fountas, Pinnell, Rasinski, and others. These units have grown out of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s decades of research and practice in the teaching of reading and writing. This phonics curriculum draws on broad, deep, applied knowledge of how students develop as writers and readers, speakers and listeners.
Bridges in Mathematics, second edition, is a comprehensive K-5 mathematics curriculum that equips teachers to fully implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in a manner that is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all learners. The curriculum focuses on developing students’ deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel problems. Bridges blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration. The program taps into the intelligence strengths of all students by presenting material that is as linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich as it is mathematically powerful (Campbell, Fisher, Frykholm, Jefferis & Matassa, 2013).
There are many foundational math skills learned in math during the second grade year and knowing math facts is one of the most important areas for fluency and accuracy. These math skills will be built upon in the years to come, so my goal is for your child to feel confident in working with addition and subtraction facts before entering third grade.
ST Math is a PreK-8 visual instructional program that leverages the brain's innate spatial-temporal reasoning ability to solve mathematical problems. Its patented approach provides students with equitable access to learning through challenging puzzles, non-routine problem solving, and informative feedback. Students build deep conceptual understanding through an engaging and fun platform.
The children will be learning about groups of people. They will discover groups they belong to and then investigate other continents to see how other groups of children live. As they investigate the Masai of Africa and the Inuit of the Arctic, they will see how cultures develop in unique ways, in part through the influence of their environment. They will also use maps and symbols and landforms to answer questions and locate information.
The students will also discover information about the past and about American Heritage in a study of Colonial Williamsburg. We will also study an Americana unit featuring biographies of famous Americans. We will be using timelines, maps, photographs and other artifacts to show how people and their actions have shaped our world.
Concepts and vocabulary about economics will be practiced in a hands-on way as the children work to produce a good decided upon by the class. They will need to consider resources, product cost, profit margins as they set-up their "company". We will sell the product at the high school and the students will make choices about saving, spending, and sharing the profit to help others.
The children practice personal accountability in making choices, taking responsibility for personal actions and respecting others. We use the "7 Habits of Happy Kids" book as well as the Leader in Me resources to help the children understand that they alone are responsible for the choices they make and actions they take. We also focus on identifying how different rules are used depending on the setting.
Life Sciences- Interaction within Habitats
This unit focuses on how ecosystems work by observations of simple interactions between biotic/living and abiotic/nonliving parts of an ecosystem. Just as living things impact the environment in which they live, the environment impacts living things. We will use a study of the soil (worms) and composting, activities about the rainforest, and fossils to explore the interactions.
Earth and Space Science - The Atmosphere
This unit focuses on air and water as they relate to weather and weather changes that can be observed and measured. We will be exploring air, observing weather, exploring wind and looking for changes as we collect data.
Physical Science - Changes in Motion
This unit focuses on observing the relationship between forces and motion. We will do a variety of investigations about pushes and pulls, ways objects move, magnets, and motion. This unit utilizes a guided inquiry model which allows the students to question, set-up experiments to test their hypothesis and reflect about what happens.
The children will learn about making friends, making good choices, nutrition and safety as they explore these topics through literature.
Dear Family Letters
The children will be writing letters to their family on Fridays. The letter will include some things they learned that week or something special that took place. The letters will come home in the take-home folder most Fridays and the children are encouraged to read it to you. You, in turn, are encouraged to write them a small note in return if time permits that weekend. If not, please make sure to sign the letter in the space provided so that I know the children shared it with you. We will compile these as a nice scrapbook of what the children learned this year.
Thanks for helping your child remember to share the letter with and return it to school on Monday! Thank you for your help in developing the writing process.
Each evening second graders will be expected to read silently or with someone for at least 15 - 20 minutes. (See Home Reading section for other details.) Some nights the children will have math homework related to the unit they are studying. Occasionally the children will have other homework or other assignments related to the read aloud or the science, social studies, or health unit we are studying. The directions and details will accompany these projects.
The first school day of each month the children will bring home a ‘home reading’ coloring sheet. The children color sections to show minutes read at home. This reading may be completed independently, with a parent or with a sibling. The sheet, signed by a parent, is due the last school day of each month.
Reading aloud to the children is a very important and fun aspect of second grade. We will read and celebrate many special books. After reading the book to the students, we usually celebrate with a special day. This special day usually includes seeing the movie version of the story, comparing/contrasting the book and the movie and other fun activities involving writing, language and math. Some of the books read aloud include: Charlotte’s Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The B.F.G., Gooseberry Park, My Father’s Dragon series and various versions of modern and classic fairy tales. The children do not need a copy of these books, but may bring in a copy to read along if they wish.
At the beginning of each month, a newsletter will be posted on Room B-14's website highlighting our areas of study. You can focus your questions to the specific areas of study, as well as help your child with extra reading or investigating the topics.
Each month the children will be given book club order forms. To place an order, please return the book order form and a check made out to the company in an envelope by the due date. Book orders are a great way for the children to choose their own books and get excited about reading. Ordering from the book clubs also helps us earn free books and materials for the classroom. On occasion there will be a software order form attached so that the children may get computer activities to use at home.
Toys, trading cards, DS, Webkinz, Silly Bandz etc. are a distraction to learning. Please help by being sure these items stay at home.
Whose is this?
PLEASE label your child’s possessions with at least his/her first and last name. Don’t forget to label coats, boots, hats, and lunch boxes. You would not believe what ends up in the lost and found!
Any and all medicines must go through the office/school nurse.
Any change in bus routine at the end of the day will require a note from you (please date it). If your child is in Brownies or something similar you may send one note listing all the dates that there is a change in transportation. Please do not rely on email as I often do not get to check my mail until after the children have gone home!
Ways Parents Can Help
- Check daily for mail in your child’s take home folder. Help return any forms, homework, and the Home Connections book.
- Be positive and quickly reassure your child to ease anxieties.
- Review the class expectations should a problem arise. Remind your child that he/she has choices.
- Help with any corrections (marked with “Please Fix”) on papers brought home.
- Help your child dress for the weather. We will go out for recess even when it snows!
- Help practice spelling words, math facts, etc. Let your child do his/her homework, but reassure him/her that you will check it.
- Play the math games that are sent home. Repeated practice helps to reinforce the concepts we are working on at school.
- Foster the joy of reading!
I am looking forward to a year filled with a lot of learning, growth in organizational skills, development in responsibility, a true appreciation for reading, and of course, tons of fun!