Page 1

Class News

It’s been another fun and busy two weeks in 2-312. We went on our first field trip, starting new units in reading, writing, and math, and celebrating lots of birthdays!

A few reminders…

  • Please return permission slips and trip fees ($12) for our November 20th trip to the Tenement Museum
  • Family Morning is Thursday, October 19, 8;45-9:15, in the classroom
  • Photo day is October 20, our class will visit in the morning

In reading, small group work is up and running. Kids are reading with a teacher and a few classmates to work on decoding and comprehension strategies. Your child has a book bag that should go to and from school each day. We’ve talked lots about how to shop for books and how to choose enough to bring home. If your child needs extra help with remembering to bring home varied books or shop for new ones, write a note and we’ll help. Also, if a book with a glittery star sticker comes home, be sure it makes it back in. These are supposed to stay at school.

In writing, kids are reading books and writing book blurbs to entice a reader to choose the book. After reading the book blurbs real authors had written, writers decided that book blurbs should include an introduction to the characters, a little bit about the story, a hint at the problem, and a “hook” to get the reader interested. So far, “hooks” have been commands (“Read this book to learn more!”) or questions (“Will Fly Guy survive?”). Next week, they’ll write more blurbs and have a chance to edit and revise their work.

In math, second graders are learning about how mathematicians record their thinking behind problem solving using pictures, numbers, and words. They decided representations should be organized and that the answer should be circled to make it clear. Later in the week, they learned about the “Magic Pot” which comes from an old Chinese folktale. When something enters the “Magic Pot” – it comes out doubled! We spent time noticing patterns with doubles and kids solved their own “Magic Pot” problems.

Some ideas for Math at home…

  • Count by tens forwards and backwards (ex: 20, 50, 100)
  • Count by tens forwards and backwards from a non-landmark number (ex: 12, 25, 31)
  • Practice making doubles and noticing the patterns (ex: doubles are always even, though the numbers being doubled can be even or odd)

Enjoy the fall weather!

Thea and Gretchen

Class News

It’s been a busy few weeks in 2-312! Kids and teachers are settling into routines, building community, and learning new things. A few reminders…

  • Permission slips for our neighborhood walk went home today – please sign and return them promptly
  • There is no school Monday, October 9 (Columbus Day)
  • School pictures will take place on October 19 & 20
  • Our first Family Friday is scheduled for Friday, October 20, 8:45-9:15, details to come

Subway Study is off to a strong start. Second graders are thinking about transportation in NYC and why so many New Yorkers use the subway. Next week, we’ll be taking a neighborhood walk to observe modes on transportation in lower Manhattan and to visit a real subway station.

In math, kids have learned several new games aimed at developing efficient addition strategies. This work has continued in number strings during morning math time. Kids are working on using facts they know (tens, near tens, doubles, near doubles) to find sums. They’ve noticed that if you know 5+5=10 you can use that known fact to figure out 5+6 or 5+4. At home, you can practice our game Add ‘Em Up! using a deck of cards. Draw 3-6 cards (however many feels “just right” for your mathematician) and add them using mental strategies or pencil and paper.

In writing, kids are using “heart maps” to choose topics and writing about what they love or know a lot about. They’ve learned how to add details and dialogue to make their writing more exciting. In small group, they’re getting ideas from one another as teachers share student work. It’s not too late to send in photos for your child to decorate his/her writing folder! These pictures can help your child generate new ideas for writing.

This week, teachers had a chance to read with each child individually and get a sense of their strengths and areas to work on in reading. Next week, we’ll get started meeting with small groups and kids will begin bringing home “just right” books. “Just right” books are those your child is interested in that they can read easily and fully understand. In second grade kids are taught to choose books that are “just right” with less guidance from teachers. In the classroom, kids are able to choose “choice books” as well. These books can be “uphill” or “downhill” giving young readers a chance to explore a broader range of books in our library.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thea and Gretchen



Welcome to Second Grade

Dear families,

We are so excited to welcome you to second grade at Peck Slip. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome in some new and familiar faces! It’s going to be a fun-filled year of exploration and learning. We are busy planning our learning 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 to create our classroom community with you! Here’s a little bit about us:



Thea (left) and Gretchen (right) meeting up for lunch on the beach in Kennebunkport, ME

My name is Thea (pronounced Tay-uh). This is my fifth year at Peck Slip and my 11th year as a teacher in New York City. I live with my husband and our two year old son, Quinn, in Brooklyn. 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 fifth year at Peck Slip and my 17th year as a teacher. I also live in Brooklyn with my two kids (one fifth grader and one second grader), my husband, and our dogs Humphrey and Chewie. This summer I have spent my time adventuring in NYC by taking the East River Ferry, going to the pool, Far Rockaway Beach, visiting museums, hanging out in Coney Island, 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 and catch up on crafting tiny American girl doll treats with my fifth grader.

We are excited to be working together again this year after five successful years of collaborating. We can’t wait 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 9/5/17. Have a great end to your summer and we will see you soon!

Thea and Gretchen