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Class News!

Hey there parents! This is the first month we are posting the newsletter onto SeeSaw and maybe the last month that we will also post it onto the website. If you know someone who has been having a hard time with SeeSaw, or if you yourself have been relying on the school’s website for class news, please reach out to us with any concerns!

Here are some important dates to keep in mind for the remainder of November and for December

  • 11/26/18 library (it’s been forever!)
  • 11/30/18 our field trip to the tenement museum (we still have PE this day so wear sneakers)
  • 11/30/18 November Birthday Celebration
  • 12/6/18 Transit Museum trip
  • 12/10/18 library
  • 12/14/18 December Birthday Celebration
  • 12/18/18 family morning
  • 12/20/18 class trip to ride the J train over the Williamsburg bridge
  • 12/24/18-1/1/19 no school


This month in math, we have been exploring problem solving with a story. Sometimes these are straight forward, but sometimes there are missing parts. Second graders have worked hard to think about what they know, what they need to figure out, whether it will be addition or subtraction and then matching an equation to the problem before beginning to solve. We have also been digging deeper into how numbers are composed and using that information to split apart one addend, or just the subtrahend (second numeral in a subtraction equation) in order to compute with more efficiency. Mathematicians have been using equations or a number line to solve. Try out this classroom morning math game to help solidify quick addition skills that focus on place value: catch and add/catch and subtract: Pick a landmark number (10, 20, 30…) first and toss your child a ball while saying another number. They have to add/subtract the agreed upon number to the one you said when they catch the ball. (ex: if we have agreed that we are playing catch and subtract 20, and I toss you a ball and say the number 54, you would say 34 when you catch the ball). It’s your child’s turn when they toss the ball back.


In writing and reading, we are culminating our deep look at series books. We have learned about characters, their traits and how those traits influence the types of situations and problems that they get into. We have spent time noticing and wondering about series books that we have read and looking for patterns in character behavior that might give us an idea of the author’s lesson or purpose. We have developed our own characters with traits and used series books to determine what parts and crafts are included in the beginning, middle and end. By the end of this month your writers will have written 2 series books and had time to confer with teachers and peers about how to add more meaningful detail to their work.

In content study, we have had a chance to interview a station agent, and a track worker. Our operator is proving trickier so if you know anyone who drives a train, let us know! We are beginning to talk about what NYC was like before the subway in advance of our trip to the Tenement Museum to learn a bit more about what it was like back then.

Thanks everyone!

Gretchen and Susan (and Thea!)

Class News

Happy Friday. As many of you have noticed, we have started to post photos on SeeSaw. We will continue to post class photos and information about what we are up to on SeeSaw on a weekly basis and therefore will be switching to a one time per month newsletter on the class website.

Important dates and info:

  • Please send in your permission slips and trip money for the Transit and Tenement Museums. If you are having concerns about the trips or the ticket fee please reach out and let us know!
  • Thea is here for another week! Hooray. Baby Sachs will have to stay put another week so her mom can hang with 2-312 a little longer.
  • Susan is joining us full time starting 10/29! The kids already love her as do we!
  • Library is on 10/29 so send in the library books if they are at home so your child can take out a new book.
  • November 6th: no school (It’s Election Day: vote!)
  • November 15th: half day
  • November 20: family morning from 8:45-9:15
  • November 22, 23: no school
  • November 30th: Tenement Museum trip

In reading we have been thinking hard about series books, their characters and traits, and how the problem in the book is closely tied to the character’s traits. Kids have been stopping to notice and wonder during read alouds, and have read their own series books at their “just right” level to journal about their thoughts.

Kids have been writing and writing and writing. By studying the book blurbs on our classroom library books, they have thought about what a good book blurb includes, and have begun to write their own. Those blurbs have gone on our classroom library books so keep a look out for books coming home with 2-312’s book blurbs. Soon we will move on to studying and writing our own series books. Stay tuned!

Your mathematicians have been thinking deeply about efficiency and starting to consider matching the way they attack a problem to the type of problem. This can look very different child to child. Some ideas they have been exploring are finding fast facts to add first (tens facts, doubles, near doubles…), splitting one or two numbers, or thinking about what they know about jumps of tens from a non-landmark number. We have also introduced the idea of the open number line and how one might figure out where to place a number on it.

Content study is starting to heat up. We have had our first trip to view the signs and maps at Fulton Street station. Kids thought about the types of signs they were seeing, what they were for and why they were important. We sorted signs into those used for safety and those used for information. We have begun to talk about subway jobs and are looking forward to meeting our first subway workers. If you happen to know someone who works for the subway system please let us know! Some of our best interviews have come from Peck Slip parent connections!

Have a great weekend!

Gretchen and Thea

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