Ms. Kniefel's 2nd Grade
My name is Ms. Tiffany Kniefel and I am a 2nd Grade teacher at Raven Stream Elementary in New Prague School District. For the 2023-2024 school year this will be my 7th year of teaching. I've taught as a Title 1 teacher, one year of 1st Grade, and this will be 5th year teaching 2nd Grade!
Education Background: I graduated with my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2015 and graduated with my Masters Degree in Education with a Reading emphasis in May of 2020. I also hold my K-12 Reading License. I absolutely love learning!
Hobbies: Outside of work I enjoy anything that has to do with the outdoors! Hunting and fishing are my favorite past time activities! I also enjoy going hiking, exploring, four-wheeling, driving the golf cart around, camping, kayaking, grilling, cooking, baking, playing sand volleyball, attending races, and spending time with my boyfriend, family and friends. This spring I planted my first official garden and have had so much fun watching things grow and doing canning this fall.
Few of my Favorites: sprite, hot chocolate, spaghetti and garlic bread, steak and baked potatoes, the dollar store, Horse & Hunt Club, Target, and my 2nd grade team!!
I'm looking forward to the school year and can't wait to meet you!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me via email at [email protected] or by phone 952-758-1533.
Here is a brief description of the core second grade subjects:
READING: We have two new types of reading curriculums that we use on a daily basis. Fundations is the phonics piece that we use that focuses more on phonemic awareness, spelling, and spelling rules used in words. We also have Teacher's College "Units of Study" curriculum where each unit focuses more on the comprehension side of reading such as teaching students how to read more fluently, think deeper about what they are reading, etc. Second grade students receive more individualized practice & skills during small group with their teacher on a daily basis as well as conferring during independent reading.
SPELLING: With our "new to us" reading curriculum called Fundations, it does not include spelling words & a spelling test each week like your child may have been used to in 1st grade. I have hopes of creating a list of words to practice at home, but there won't be a specific spelling test every week. The spelling words for each unit focus more on a spelling skill such as blends, digraphs, vowel teams, etc. There is a fundations test that students take after each Unit that consists of sounds, words, and sentences.
MATH: Our math program we use is Everyday Mathematics. It is a spiraling curriculum, so the students will be continually exposed to the concepts throughout the school year. On top of using Everyday Math Curriculum we also focus on one 2nd grade math standard each week. The following is a basic list of what to expect your second grader to be learning in Math this year, however, there is much more...
• adding/subtracting basic math facts up to 20 • reading/writing numbers up to 1000 • place value (ones, tens, hundreds, thousands) • identifying and counting coins up to $1 • 2D & 3D Shapes • using calculators • basic fractions • non-standard units of measurement • using a ruler • telling time (to the quarter hour) • greater than, less than, equal to • number stories • graphing, etc!
HEALTH: Our health curriculum is based on our body. We talk about the outside environment and what is good and bad for our bodies. We even touch on how to make good decisions on things we put in our bodies as well as how to treat others and be respectful.
SCIENCE: We learn about living and non-living things, rocks, forces of motion, life cycles, habitats, weather and more. We have lots of experiments that we get to do!
SOCIAL STUDIES: The social studies curriculum deals with places around the world, cultures, holidays, and people in our community.
SOCIAL SKILLS: We have a social skills curriculum called Second Step. Social skills is something I truly believe is so important at this age for students. I want my students to work hard in school focusing on academics but I think it's also just as important to learn how to be a good person, a good friend, having empathy, showing kindness and learning how to deal with their emotions and feelings. I have many, many read aloud books to help with different social skills and lessons.
Teachers tend to spend SO much money on their classrooms each year, and I'm one of them! The money I spend doesn't go to waste and is used to further each child's learning here at school.
If you are willing to donate items to our classroom, the following is a small list of items that are needed for upcoming lessons, art projects, and everyday classroom essentials to help my students grow as learners! I will update this list as the school year goes by; adding or deleting items. If you have any questions please reach out to me for clarification.
- Art Supplies (colored paper, envelopes, stickers, stencils, twist up crayons, smelly markers, etc)
- Scholastic Books "Wish List"
- Blue Painter's Tape
- Black Sharpie Permanent Marker
- Extra Snacks: students forget to bring a snack with them every once in a while. I keep an extra supply in my closet for those days that students forget! (Ideas include goldfish crackers, animal crackers, fruit snacks, granola bars, pretzels) ** Individually wrapped please if possible!
- Gift Card to Amazon (to buy items off of my Teaching Wish List!)
- Gift Card to the Dollar Tree -- this is where I get a lot of supplies for my classroom, especially holiday specific activities, art supplies, etc.
There is a number of items on my Amazon Teacher's Wish List that gets updated regularly: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/29BAKH5N5Z4XR?ref_=wl_share
** There are many items on here that include classroom teaching supplies, math manipulatives, free choice items, and a handful of books that I'd like to add to my classroom library. I will add and delete items as needed throughout the school year. If you do purchase, please note who it's from so I can give you the proper thank you for donating to our classroom!
Daily Schedule (Updated for the 2023-2024 School Year!)
8:50 - 900 -- Arrival
9:00 - 9:15 -- Breakfast & Morning Work
9:15 - 9:30 -- Morning Meeting (Pledge, Greeting, Sharing, Activity)
9:30 - 10:30 -- Reading Block (Includes Phonics, Whole Group Instruction, Writing, Small Groups, Independent Reading & Conferring)
10:30 - 10:55 -- Writing Block
11:00 - 11:50 -- Specialists Time (Day 1: Art, Day 2: PE, Day 3: Media, Day 4: PE, Day 5: Music)
11:55 - 12:25 -- WIN "What I Need" Time: Mini Lesson Practice with Independent Reading and Small Group Lessons!
12:30 - 1:10 -- Lunch & Recess
1:10 - 1:30 -- Quiet Time
1:30 - 2:40 -- Math Block
2:40 - 3:00 -- Snack
3:00 - 3:30 -- Social Studies/Science/Health/Social Skills Lessons
3:35 -- Cleanup and Packup
3:45 -- End of Day Dismissal
Second Graders will have two types of homework to work on each week! The first one is a homework packet. This homework packet will be placed in your child's take-home folder & includes a due date for the following week. This homework packet ties to what we are learning in Fundations (phonics) and includes a spelling list of words that follows a specific spelling skill. Along with that spelling skill and words, students have a couple pages of reading and math review. These concepts have all been taught in the classroom so your child should be able to complete it independently or with minimal assistance from parents/siblings at home.
Along with these homework packets; Second Graders should also be reading at least 20 minutes per night. I no longer send home reading logs but I do challenge students to read at least five days out of the week. As a class goal in the classroom we are practicing stamina while independent reading and your child should be able to sit for the full duration while reading for 20 minutes, uninterrupted and be engaged in their book(s).
Other than reading minutes and homework packet, you child will have very minimal homework unless there is some work that was not finished in class.
Thank you for being a positive and active part of your child's education!
Reading is SO important at the second grade level.
Scholastic Book Orders are sent home monthly in your child's take home folder. Please take the time to look through the book orders and think about purchasing books in order to build your home library. Book prices are cheaper on their website and purchasing is easier when ordering online. I'll make sure to send a note home along with the book orders.
Scholastic Book Clubs Website: https://clubs.scholastic.com/home
Remember to use our class code & pay attention to the awesome deals they offer each month!
Class code: TL44D
At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year I reached out to friends and family members of my own to see if they would be willing to sponsor a student in my classroom for $20 for the school year. I was successful in finding a sponsor for every single one of my students this school year, which I am so grateful for.
What does that mean and how does it work?
Each month scholastic has books that are on special for only $1 or $2 and my goal is to make sure each one of my students get to bring a book home for free each month to add to their library at home. I was successful in finding sponsors for each one of my students, and look forward to sending a book home with each student each month during the school year. The books that get sent home will have a label from me inside the front cover!
When placing an order of your own, please use our class code found above. I earn points for each order that are put towards books to build our classroom library. Once you have signed into Scholastic website (it is free to sign up!) you will also see a classroom wish list of books that we'd love for our classroom. If this is something you'd like to donate to, wonderful, but please don't feel obligated to.
Snow Day: Blended Learning!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As winter approaches, we must think about inclement weather and the potential for school closings. We all have childhood memories of snow days, building forts, sledding, and drinking hot cocoa after shoveling. There is value in these experiences, but snow days can add up quickly and learning opportunities can be lost. For this reason, Raven Stream Elementary, along with all schools in the district, will use Blended Learning in the event of school closings. Here are some important points about our Blended Learning Days:
1. The first school day cancelled will remain a “traditional” snow day. Assignments will not be given.
2. The second and following school days cancelled will include “Blended Learning” where students complete lessons at home.
3. Lessons may have a “blend” of online or traditional paper/pencil activities. Online activities may be available as a choice or option, but not as a requirement.
4. Blended Learning provides continuous and meaningful learning opportunities. Students will not have to make up any snow days in the Spring.
5. Teachers will include Blended Learning activity sheets in students’ folders, passports, or planners. Links to the activity sheets will also be available on your teacher’s website.
6. Teachers can be reached via their school email between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Our mission at New Prague Area Schools is, “To engage and support everyone in high levels of learning.” Our vision is, “To be a premier school district that models excellence and embraces the challenges of the 21st Century.” If we hold true to these statements, we must create innovative solutions to promote student learning. We are excited for the opportunities Blended Learning Days will provide for our students.
Jeremy Engebretson, Principal
Raven Stream Elementary School
** You will receive an email through Infinite Campus that shows what your child's blended learning day activities are by clicking on the correct school & grade level.
A few notes about spelling....
- I will mark reversals wrong....so if your child's b looks like a d... it will be considered incorrect.
- I will write over the top of capital letters but I will not mark it wrong. I do want students to make a habit of writing their words in lowercase letters unless it is a proper noun such as a persons name, month of the year, or Holiday.
- It is important to be neat. If I can't read the word, it is difficult to correct. Now is a great time to start the habit of being neat. I tell my students they should be proud of their handwriting.
- Don't get discouraged if they get a lot "wrong" on the pretest on Mondays. It doesn't count! It's a practice test! : )
- Think of other words with the same spelling rule for the week. Each week the list of words is based on a specific spelling rule. I will add two extra words to the spelling test that incorporate the same spelling rule.
- Try to study every night. Use chalk on the sidewalk. Take a paintbrush and a bucket of water and "paint" your words on the driveway. Write your words in sand or flour in a cake pan. Type them on the computer. Write the words on flashcards - make 2 of each word and play "Memory." Make it fun and practice every night. Start the habit now. : )