Kelly Mitchell

Dear Parents,             2017-2018

Welcome to Second Grade!  I am looking forward to a great year with your child.  I am excited to be working together with you to help your child be a confident leader and successful learner.  

Meet the teacher:

Kelly Mitchell:  I have a B.S. in Education from Howard Payne University.  I taught 1st grade for 14 years and this will be my 3rd year to teach 2nd grade.


Our School Day:
Class begins at 7:40 each morning.  Students can enter the classroom at 7:20.  The cafeteria will begin serving breakfast at 7:20.    It is important that your child is on time and present each day.  We have a great deal of learning that takes place each day and any tardiness or absence can put your child behind.  Thank you in advance for your help with this matter.  School is dismissed at 3:00 each day.  If you need to change the way your child gets home, please call the school office or send a note to the teacher.  We must have written or verbal permission from a parent to allow a student to change the way he/she gets home.

Homework:  Although we do the majority of our learning in class each day, it is necessary that your child practice his/her newly acquired skills at home.  Each week your child will bring Reading, Spelling, and Math homework home.  Each assignment is designed to reinforce the skills that we are working on in class that week.  Please work with your child to complete and return the homework.  If there is something on the homework that your child needs additional support with, we have a homework hub in the cafeteria in the morning. Students may go to the table for additional support with concepts, or make a note on the homework, and we will reinforce that concept with your child in the classroom. At the end of the six weeks, students that have completed all of their homework each week will be acknowledged for their effort of “putting first things first (Habit 4, Leader in Me)” in some way within their classroom.

Reading:  One of the major accomplishments we strive for in Second Grade is becoming a great reader.  Our school uses the America’s Choice Reading Series.  This is a wonderful program based on decodable books and great text excerpts from children’s stories.  Within this program your child will be studying words (the spellings, meanings, and how they relate to grammar), comprehension strategies (summarizing, clarifying, questioning, making connections, predicting, and visualizing), literature elements (setting, characters, plot, theme, point-of-view) and the metacognitive thinking processes that occur while we read. Regarding fluency, the end of year fluency goal for the second grade is 75 words per minute by the end of Second Grade.    
At the beginning of the school year, we assess all students using the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA2). The beginning of year expectation is that students should be at a level 16 or higher. At the middle of the year, the expectation is that students are reading at a level 20 or higher. At the end of the year, the expectation is that students should be reading at a level 28/30 or higher. This reading assessment includes decoding skills, fluency, and comprehension components. 

The Library:  One of our most valuable resources at Seven Hills is our librarian, Melissa Quisenberry!  You are welcome to visit the library with your child before and after school.  You can access the library website from our homepage.  Mrs. Q has placed links on the library page that are educational and kid friendly.  We will be teaching your child how to use these links during the year.  

Technology:  We will be learning a lot about technology in second grade.  Students will need to be able to key in their first and last name, use a mouse, and find things on our library website.  You can help prepare your child by getting them familiar with the keyboard.  Teach them how to type their name.  Guide them to get on the library website and allow them to use the resources that our librarian has provided links for you to utilize.  

Math:  Math is an integral part of 2nd grade.  Your child will be continuing to learn about important topics including how to add and subtract, make numbers up to 120, determine place value, skip counting, recognizing number patterns and learning to tell time among many others.  The state of Texas has updated their math standards for all students.  Our math program is called Stepping Stones.  Stepping Stones is a very exciting and hands on program.  It will require the students to not only know how to answer a type of problem, but to understand why they are doing what they are doing and be able to explain their thinking.  We want your children to fall in love with numbers.  Our days will be spent breaking numbers apart and putting them back together.  We will look for the math around us in our classroom and throughout the school.  Our goal is not just to become good at adding and subtracting, but to learn how to explain what we are doing and why we are doing it as well as use these newly acquired skills in their daily lives.  One of the best things that you can do at home is discuss math wherever you see it.  Ask your child how many of something they see.  Have them sort things into groups.  Point out shapes of objects that are around them.  By connecting math to the world around us, we will make it meaningful and fun.  

Writing:  Writing is integrated with the Reading, Science, and Social Studies programs in addition to a 60 minute writing block.  Your child will write in their journal daily.  As events occur with your child, please encourage them to think about how they might write about it in class.  Help them to gather ideas to write about when they get to class the next day.  One of the hardest parts of writing is getting started!  If you can help your child to think about everyday situations and events as ideas to write about; then, they will not have as much trouble getting started in class.  Our writing will not be sent home until the end of each six weeks, so if your child brings home a piece for you to look at, please encourage them to bring it back to class!

Discipline:  Good behavior is essential to creating a safe and structured classroom.  We expect each of our students to behave in a way that allows maximum learning for everyone in the classroom.  Your child along with the other students in the class will work together to create a set of rules that will guide their behavior this year.  By creating the rules, your child will feel more responsible for abiding by them; therefore, reducing behavior problems.  Please check your child’s binder each day for a note from the teacher on their Behavior Calendar and initial, so we know you have seen it. Our discipline program will not include a color change system. We will communicate your child’s behavior in several ways:
- A positive note, a situation that occurred, or a blank box. A blank box is an indication that your child had a good day.

Contact the teacher:  Although we have covered many of the policies and procedures for our classroom, it is impossible to include everything we will do this year in Second Grade.  As needed, I will be communicating with you throughout the year about your child’s progress and things happening in the classroom.  If you need to have a conference please feel free to make an appointment to meet during my planning period (2:00-2:55), you can contact me by email or you can call the front office (817-215-0700) and leave a message for me to call you back.

Email:
Kelly Mitchell KMitchell02@nisdtx.org


Phone Numbers:
Seven Hills Main Office – 817-215-0700
Kelly Mitchell – 817-215-0731

Facebook:
For updates and information for our campus “like” us on Facebook:  Seven Hills Elementary
For information on our Watch Dog program “like” our page:  Seven Hills Watch Dogs
For information from our PTA join their group on Facebook: Seven Hills Elementary Family and Friends

Twitter:  Follow us on Twitter:  @7HillsNISD
                  @7Hills_Mitchell
     

Volunteer Background Check:  If you would like to volunteer at Seven Hills please go online and complete the Volunteer Background Check application.

PTA:  We encourage you to join our PTA.  Membership is $7.00. Second Grade would like to have 100% participation. Dads, you are an important part of the Seven Hills Community. We encourage you to join our Watch Dog Dads Program if you have availability during the school day as well as join the PTA. For more information about our Watch Dog Dads Program, please contact Jennifer Morales at jmorales@nisdtx.org.

Photos:  We like to have photos of our families in our classroom, so please try to get a picture of your family to bring to school.  We will display the photos in our classroom.  You will get the photos back at the end of the year.

Snacks:  You may send an individual snack with your child daily or send a class snack for the class to share.
Some suggestions: Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, Club Crackers, Dry Cereal, Animal Crackers, Vanilla Wafers, Nutri Grain Bars, Cheez Its, Pretzels, Fruit Snacks, Plain Popcorn (already popped and in a bag).
*No snacks with peanut products.
*No snacks that need to be microwaved or refrigerated.

Lunch:  Lunch is 11:30-12:00.  Parents are welcome to join us.  Please sign in at the office.

Money:  If you need to send money, please send it in an envelope or baggie with your child’s name and what the money is for.

I am excited about working with you and your child this year.

Sincerely,
Kelly Mitchell
Northwest I.S.D. 
Second Grade Teacher
kmitchell02@nisdtx.org