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The Important Things About Grade 2

On the last day of school, I asked my students to contribute a line for a class piece on the important things about grade 2. We modelled this piece on The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown Although I might have highlighted different important things, I took heart at the fact that several lines addressed our classroom community in some way. Since this was a major focus of our learning this year it was encouraging to hear the children's learning expressed in this way. This is what they said:

The important thing about grade 2 is that you learn to read more challenging books.
It is also true that you learn to listen a lot.
And that you make lots of friends.
And that you learn to write lots of stories.
And that your classmates and your teacher are important.
And that you work as a team.
And that you have opportunities to work with different things.
And that you have fun.
And that you learn to write long and big sentences and stories.
And that you respect people.
And that you have a great teacher.
And that you learn a lot.
And that you learn to use class expectations and the school motto.
But the important thing about grade 2 is that you learn to read more challenging books.

Note: The class expectations mentioned above are school wide expectations. They include the following: listen to adult instructions the first time; keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself; walk in the school. Our school motto is take care of ourselves, take care of each other, take care of our school.
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No answers. 

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(1) What purpose do math stations serve in my classroom?

(2) How can I continue to engage writers without overwhelming them or me?

(3) How can I determine if my tangled readers are learning to be better readers from the books they choose to read?

(4) How can I strike a balance between student choice and making sure my students learn what they need to learn at any given time?

(5) Am I demanding too much from my students?

As I find responses and solutions to these issues, I will post some ideas on my blog.

Any thoughts are more than welcomed!