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Class News

It’s been another busy two weeks in 2-312. Kids have been doing some thinking about work habits and setting goals for which ones they want to work during this first part of the year. Ideas included, making smart seating choices, trying hard when something feels difficult, and doing your neatest work. It was exciting to see your young learners take talk through what good work habits are and think carefully about which one they need to improve on most.

A few reminders for the coming weeks…
  • Monday, October 15, first visit to the library to take out books!
  • Tuesday, October 16, field trip to the Fulton Street station
  • Thursday, October 18, school pictures
  • Thursday, October 18, parent teacher conferences for 2-312 only
  • Tuesday, October 23, Family Morning, 8:45-9:15 in the classroom
  • Friday, October 26, October Birthday Party (parents with children born in October should use the Google Doc created by our class parents to sign up)
In reading, kids are learning about series books. They started off by reading series books and talking about things they notice (same author, same characters, different stories with different problems, different relationships between characters). Later on, we talked about character traits and how character in series books exhibit the same traits across books and how the those traits inform the type of problems the characters end up in as well as their actions. Next week in writing, kids will learn about book blurbs and how to write book blurbs for their favorite series books. Last week, they explored the writing process (planning, writing, revising, editing, and publishing) and talked about why each part of the process is important.
In math, we’re introducing new games and review games from last year to work on fact fluency. Having a strong command of small number facts help second graders become more efficient at computation and move toward using more numerical and mental math strategies. So far, we’ve talked about combinations of ten, doubles, and near doubles (5+5=10 so I know 5+6=11, etc.). Children are learning about landmark numbers (10, 20, 30, etc.) and where those numbers are various models such as the bead string and open number line. We’ve had some interesting discussions about how to place non landmark numbers on the open number line. For example, thinking about the 74, children reasoned that it would go almost in the middle of 70 and 80. This work will prepare our young mathematicians to use the open number line to add and subtract two-digit numbers.
Enjoy the weekend!
Thea and Gretchen

Class News

Happy end of September! We have been hard at work getting to know each other, exploring our academic skills, and forming a connected classroom that works well together and supports each other. From here on out, Class News will appear every other Friday on our website with an update of our shenanigans (some exceptions for extended holiday breaks). We began kindergarten buddies this week and got a chance to draw in response to a read aloud in their classroom.

  • No school 10/8 for Columbus Day
  • P.E. Tuesdays and Friday
  • 10/31 Halloween Parade
  • Turn in those blue library book forms if you haven’t already so that your child can take their library book home!
  • Stay tuned for subway trip dates!

In math we have been re-familiarizing ourselves with the bead string, talking about landmark numbers, and beginning our dive into splitting one number to add up in parts. Problem solvers have also been looking at combining and removing story problems to determine known and unknown information before solving. All students should be practicing their skills at home using DreamBox. Lessons are usually around 20 minutes and we recommend visiting the site 3-4 times per week.

In reading, we have organized and labeled our library and have been discussing what makes a book “just right.” Students have gotten a chance to book shop for a combination of “just right books” and “choice books.” Students began writing in their reading journals this week as they stopped to think about what they had read. At this point students should be reading “just right books” for 20 minutes every night at home. Reading aloud to your child, in addition to the 20 minutes of independent reading, is an excellent way to allow they access to books that might be too challenging for them to read right now (“uphill”) and to encourage a culture of reading at home.

We have launched our Subway Study. Researchers have talked about modes of transportation that can be found in our city and why we need the subway. We will be taking some trips in the near future to ride the subway ourselves.

In writing, we have talked about the writing process (plan, write, revise, edit, publish) and thought deeply about what writer’s write about and how they get their inspiration. Writers have been working on their own self-chosen writing pieces. Students get to share their work with the group to show the different ways that writers add on to their stories and nonfiction works.

Have a great weekend!

Thea and Gretchen

Welcome to Second Grade!

August 2018

Dear Families,

We are so excited to welcome you to second grade at Peck Slip! It’s going to be a fun-filled year of exploration and learning. We are busy planning our adventures for the year and filling our classroom with tools to help us along the way. This year you get two teachers, instead of one, as your new class is an ICT. That means even more teacher attention and small-group work. We can’t wait to come together in September and build our classroom community with you! Here’s a little about us:






Thea and family (left) and Gretchen and family (right)

My name is Thea (pronounced Tay-uh). This is my sixth year at Peck Slip and my 12th year as a teacher in New York City. I live with my husband and our three year old son, Quinn, in Brooklyn. We just moved into a new apartment in Kensington so we’re enjoying getting to know the local playgrounds and finding spots for iced coffee. We’ve had a busy summer full of car trips to the beaches of New Jersey and the Adirondack Mountains in New York. My favorite things to do when I’m not traveling are spend time with my family, eat out with friends, read new books, and watch movies.

My name is Gretchen. This is my sixth year at Peck Slip and my 18th year as a teacher. I also live in Brooklyn with my two kids (one sixth grader and one third grader), my husband, and our dog Chewie. This summer I have spent my time adventuring in NYC and upstate NY by taking the East River Ferry, going to the pool, Far Rockaway Beach, visiting museums, hanging out in swimming holes, hiking around, getting scared on roller coasters,  and seeing all the outdoor movies that I can. I love to visit Maine in the summer as well and to dig around in the tide pools…and eat the lobster! I also love to read as many books as I can (9 So far this summer!) and catch up on crafting tiny American girl doll treats with my sixth grader.

We are excited to be working together again this year after six successful years of collaborating. We are excited to meet you in September and show off our classroom. If you have any questions or concerns before then, please feel free to email us both (Gretchen: and Thea: We will begin checking email on 9/4/18. Have a great end to your summer and we will see you soon!

Thea and Gretchen