Mosaic Room: Second Grade 

 

In the classroom, students’ ideas and interests are respected and included in the daily routines as much as possible. Most of the structure and routines of the day have been influenced by student ideas and suggestions. Here, they feel empowered, respected, and an integral part of the learning process that happens on a daily basis. When students enter the classroom they begin their morning routine. This includes unpacking, doing a morning job (if they have one), starting morning work, and reading quietly once they are finished. Next we go over our morning work. We usually focus on the 3 or 4 problems that seemed to be the most challenging. Next, our student of the week will organize and lead the class with 15 minutes of Yoga.

Below, is a brief description of each subject area. Each subject is listed in the order it would occur in our daily schedule. 

 

Literacy

We use the Daily 5 Sessions and rotate through the 5 choices throughout the week. They are as follows:

Word Work: Students choose from a variety of hands on tools to practice vocabulary words.

Read to Self: students read to self independently from self-selected books in their book baskets.

Read to Someone: Two students choose a book to read together. They take turns reading and they check for understanding as they read. 

Listen to Reading: Three students at a time use their headphone to listen to and follow along with a story on CD.

Work on Writing: During this time students have the choice to write a letter to me, or a friend about a book they are reading. They can also create or extend a new story of their own. This is a time when they can continue working on their pieces from writer’s workshop as well.  

 

Guided Reading Groups 

Students are grouped for a small part of the time according to their instructional reading level. They are taught word study concepts, comprehension skills, and word attack strategies using authentic literature. Read aloud reinforces comprehension, accuracy fluency and expands vocabulary. Each student checks his or her choice off of a class list. Once they have visited every daily 5 choice, their name is highlighted, and they are free to repeat centers. 

 

Mathematics

Math in the classroom, as with all other subjects, stems from student interests as much as possible. We work in small groups, as a whole group, or individually depending upon the student’s needs and progress. Students are allowed to work at their own pace and up to their maximum potential, even if it means working on concepts above their grade level. During math work time, we explore topics such as patterns, measurement, geometry, probability, time, math words, and many more. Developing confidence to find their way around and how they connect and know what to do improves the ability to remember facts and procedures. Math facts are incorporated throughout the week individually or in small group instruction. The students keep a math journal and document investigations. The journal is an assessment tool. It is evidence of their process and proficiency and helps to build mathematical understanding that is more in-depth and engaging.

 

Spelling

We start our weeks by creating our individualized lists. These lists consist of 10 words that have sounds or patterns in them that the children need more practice with. The 11 word is a theme word that goes along with what we are learning or studying. 

 

Writing

Writing is taught through a Writer’s Workshop approach. We begin with a group meeting and mini lessons to learn about concepts that apply to all students. Some of the concepts that have been taught this year include steps of the writing process, forms of prewriting, putting voice into your writing, using “muscular verbs”, basic grammar, mechanics, and dictionary skills (among others). Students spend the majority of their time writing, but are also allowed to discuss their story with other students for ideas or to request a teacher conference. Students are encouraged to try various forms of writing. When the publishing process is complete we read the written pieces to the class or invite others to hear the stories and applaud their work.

Handwriting Without Tears techniques are incorporated into the writing process and consistently reviewed as they advance in the curriculum.

 

Subject Studies

Students work on projects related to their own interests and the science and history concepts from our curriculum are integrated into their studies. Researching, writing a story or report, or just reading about the subject that interests them most are activities students do during this time. The first study that emerged focused on volcanoes. We spent several weeks learning the layers of the earth and what is found in each layer. This led us to the study and creation of different types of rocks. We use a high amount of hands on activities to deepen our knowledge.