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Jumping into Education!
Jumping into Education!
Pamela Campbell
Monday, October 08, 2018

Hanging on to the screen for dear life, the praying mantis slowly made its way up towards the top.  Rather than walking through the foliage, this praying mantis was in the sun seemingly asking to come into the house.  I wondered what the mantis was thinking, if a mantis indeed thinks about anything, and just then it just hopped away!  Thinking about the mantis reminded me of how our elementary students sometimes start slowly and then when they get excited about learning, jump into an educational experience! 

At this time of the year our elementary students have just finished reviewing mathematics from last year and now are beginning to learn new information from their teachers.  If your budding mathematician is in second grade, he or she is learning to convert word problems into mathematical sentences.  Your child will learn to take information that describes everyday life and use it to form addition and subtraction problems.  Similarly to the way the praying mantis suddenly jumped from the screen, our second graders will leap into learning about fractions. 

While mathematics may be your child’s favorite subject, your second grader will also learn that reading takes first place in their classroom.  Reading is fundamental for learning.  It is the basis for science, social studies and much of mathematics.  Your second grader should be reading a minimum of 30 minutes each evening.  Second graders will enjoy reading more if they understand all the words in their books so helping them with their vocabulary is essential.  The more your child reads, and works on his or her vocabulary, the stronger their foundation will be as they gain more skills as a writer.

Writing is an important part of second grade.  Your second grader will work on proper sentence structure, capitalization and punctuation.  Your child’s teacher will be able to recommend some good techniques if you are interested in helping your child excel in writing.

Just as the praying mantis initially walked slowly up the screen, some second graders will seemingly start out slowly.  At home they may be easily distracted by television, video games, or their sister.  To help your second grader become successful, you will want to minimize the distractions and help your child focus.  While it may not be the most fun aspect of having a second grader, there will be times when you will want to sit next to him or her and patiently listen to questions and help to redirect his or her attention to his or her school work.  

Your child will watch and emulate you when it comes to learning activities.  Your enthusiasm for school and learning opportunities will help to energize his or her passion and willingness to spend time doing his or her school work.  Columbia Elementary School often has extended learning opportunities in science, mathematics and reading.  You will want to pay close attention to the school’s website and to newsletters and notes your child brings home in his or her backpack for opportunities to participate in learning activities.

If you are interested in learning more about your child’s grade level and the requirements, you may contact your child’s teacher or principal.  You may learn about registering your child for Columbia School District by calling me at 517-592-6641 or email me at