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Orientation Booklet

Parent Information

Second Grade  2018-2019


Dear Parents,

            Welcome to Second Grade!  It is going to be an exciting school year.  I look forward to getting to know and working with each of you.  I would like to share some classroom information and procedures of which you should be aware.  Please keep this information handy, and refer back to it, as needed.



I expect all students to be respectful to staff and other students at Pine Ridge Elementary.  I like to have good listeners and students who are willing to work hard throughout the entire school year.  To monitor our behavior throughout the day, we use a behavior Clip Chart.  Each child has a clothespin and starts the day in the middle of the chart on the green level labeled “Ready to Learn.”  Throughout the day, your child will have the chance to either move up the chart for positive behavior and/or move down for negative behavior.  The three levels above “Ready to Learn” that reflect positive behaviors are “Good Day”, “Great Job”, and “Outstanding.” The three levels below “Ready to Learn” that reflect negative behaviors are “Think About It”, “Teachers Choice”, and “Parent Contact.”  Students’ clips can move up and/or down the Clip Chart throughout the day.  Hopefully, this will stop the negative behavior and reinforce the positive behavior.  If your child is repeating negative behavior and not following school and classroom rules, he or she may have to sit in detention during recess time.  If this happens, a “detention slip” will be brought home that explains the incident and will require a parent’s signature.


Students are welcome to bring in treats to celebrate their birthdays!  Please bring in enough for the entire class.  There are 22 students in our class this year.  If your child has a summer birthday, please send me a note when you would like to celebrate his or her birthday! We are encouraging healthy birthday treats this year.



Report cards are distributed every nine weeks.  Students will be graded on tests, quizzes, and daily work.  Students receive grades in the following areas:  Reading, Language Arts (writing, phonics, grammar, and spelling), and Math.  They will receive credit in Science, Social Studies, P.E., Art, and Music.  In the middle of each grading period, a Progress Report will be sent home to notify the families of where their child stands at that time.  These, along with report cards, will need to be signed and returned to school.


Student Planners:

In second grade, we have an agenda/assignment book.  Each day, the students will write their homework for that night.  Also, the agenda/assignment book needs to be signed or initialed by a parent or caretaker every night. If the book is not signed the student will move his/her clip down the clip chart.  If the assignment book is signed the student will move his/her clip up the clip chart.Reading:

For Reading we have set aside a 90-minute Reading Block in each day.  During this time, students are working on comprehension, fluency and reading strategies.  Each full week of school we will cover a new reading story.  With each reading story, we will learn a new phonics concept, a new reading strategy, and a Focus Skill for the week.  Each Friday your child will have in their homework folder a “Home Letter”.  It will give you a preview of the following week’s Reading vocabulary, skills, spelling words and strategies along with activities you can do at home.

On Thursdays we will have a Grammar test and a Spelling test.  On Fridays we will have a test over vocabulary and comprehension questions from that week’s reading selection. 


Language Arts:

The students will receive a grade in Language Arts as well.  This will include Writing, Grammar and Spelling.  The material that I use for Grammar comes from our reading series.  Each week there will be a new grammar skill being taught.  Grades will be taken on classwork and occasionally on tests.


The introduction of our spelling words will be the Friday prior to the test.  Our Spelling test will be on Fridays.

Phonics is also part of our Reading Series.  We will do daily activities to improve our Phonics skills.  These activities will come from our reading workbooks, as well as other outlets.


Our Math series is “Ready Math.”  It moves at a much slower pace.  It is designed to promote a much greater depth of understanding of math.  That is the reason that each of the students is expected to know their basic addition and subtraction facts upon entering second grade.  There will be a great deal of learning for both the students and myself this year.


Social Studies/Science/Handwriting:

All three subjects will be covered at various times during the week.  Most of the work for these subjects will be taken care of in class.  Students will not receive a letter grade, but credit will be earned for these subjects. 

For Science & Social Studies we will be switching classrooms with the other second grade class.  Students will be with Mrs. Mercker for Science and Mrs. Wells for Social Studies.  If you have any questions throughout the semester about Science or Social Studies, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher. For handwriting, we will start with a review of the D’Nealian printed letters.  Students will be bringing home practice papers if they are unable to print their letters neatly.  Later in the year we will start D’Nealian Cursive.



Please check your child’s homework folder each and every night!  When work is assigned in class, it is placed in the Homework Folder on the “Return to School” side.  I expect it to be completed and returned to school the following school day. There will be very little if any homework on Fridays.  I will not send homework that cannot be completed independently; although I encourage parent support.  If your child is absent from school, please let us know how to get work sent home when you call in the absence.


Accelerated Reader:

Second grade is the first year that students are held accountable in this program.  Accelerated Reader is considered part of the student’s Reading grade and will be recorded as one test score. 


2nd Grade Point Level Goals:

1st grading period – 5 pts.

2nd grading period – 5 pts.

3rd grading period – 6 pts.

4th grading period –6pts.

Students are encouraged to read books and then test themselves on their comprehension of what they have read.  Also, at the end of the year, the top 10 readers per grade level will receive an achievement medallion.


Lunch Money:

Please place your child’s lunch money in an envelope with his/her first and last name on it.  If paying by check, please make it payable to:  Southeast Dubois Lunch.


Release Time:

Release Time (Religion) will take place on Wednesday mornings.  If your child is signed up, please make sure he/she attends.  We have had problems in the past with the Religion teachers thinking your child is with us, and we think your child is with them.  It is a safety issue.


Scholastic Book Orders:

At times throughout the year, I will send book orders home.  The orders may be placed on the order form, or through the Internet.  Information will be sent home for online orders.  Please know that you are not required to place orders.  They are just for you to use if you choose.  If you want to place an order, please make your check payable to:  Scholastic Book Club.


Miscellaneous Information:

  • If you come to school during school hours, please check in at the office and sign in.  You will be given a badge to wear.
  • If you are picking up your child early or dropping him/her off late, you will need to sign your child in/out.
  • We strongly recommend that no flip-flops are worn to school.  This is to avoid any injuries when running around at recess or P.E.
  • Please have your child keep toys and trinkets at home.  Besides them being a distraction in class, we would hate for them to get broken or taken away at school.



Please keep the lines of communication open.  If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to share them with me; we need to be on the same page.  My email address is patty.mercker@sedubois.k12.in.us .  To contact me by phone, dial:  812-817-0900, and put in extension code 3133.  If you do not reach me, leave me a message at my extension 3133, so that I can return your call.  The school’s answering system will forward the message to me.  I’m looking forward to a fun year in second grade and hope that you and your child are too!



Patty Mercker