• ABC’s of Second Grade


    All about Mrs. Shepard  


    Bachelor of Arts in Education and Psychology, Monmouth University

    Masters of Science in Education,Concentration in Reading and Literacy, Walden University

    Teaching Experiences (all in Morris Plains)

    Second Grade Teacher  2015-present 

       First Grade Teacher 2004-2015

    Kindergarten Teacher 2000-2004

    Instructional Aide 1998-2000


    I live in Florham Park with my husband, Jeff, and three daughters, Morgan, Sydney and Camryn.  We spend all of our free time giving the girls lots of fun experiences and memories they will have forever!   Isn't that what it's all about?


    Birthday We will celebrate your child's birthday on or near his or her special day.  This will include a birthday crown, singing and a special book made by the class.  You do not need to send in anything for your child as food is not permitted for birthdays.   

    Book Orders will be available almost every month through Scholastic. This is an affordable way for you to add to your child’s home library and give him or her opportunity to practice newly acquired reading skills.  The class also earns points toward free books and tapes for the classroom for every dollar you spend.  If you are interested in ordering please send the orderslip with a check in an envelope marked with your child’s name by the stated due date.  Online ordering is also available and very easy! This is optional and you are not obligated in any way to order. 

     (One check to Scholastic covers all of the Book Clubs if you order through mail.) 


    Box Tops-Please send in your Box Tops for Education! Let’s try to win an ice cream party from the HSA for having the most for a marking period!  Urge relatives to save for you!  We want to win!



    Communication: Please address any concerns to me immediately by calling, sending a note through your child’s folder or email.   I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.  I feel that it is imperative for us to keep in regular contact so your cooperation and support is greatly appreciated!                                                                                  
    School-973-538-0339    ext 6                                     

    D:    Don't hesitate to email  if you have any questions or concerns!! 


     E:even if you think it's a silly question

    Folders are to be taken home daily and returned to school the next day.  In it there will be notes, graded work, homework and anything else that needs to come home.  Please empty this folder nightly and keep all graded work and notices at home.   

    Field Trips: TBA

    Guidance:  Miss Goodman, the school guidance counselor, will be available for students as needed.  

    Guided Reading Once students are settled into their Work Board Stations I will begin pulling reading groups. This way I will be able to work with students on their instructional reading level.   Students will be put in group that will change periodically.  This is called Flexible Grouping.  Although students may not be reading the same books the skill is the same. For example, a skill one week is “main idea”.  All students, regardless of level, focus on finding the main idea of a story.


    What is Guided Reading?

                *Teacher working with a small group

    *Children in the group are similar in their development of the reading processand are able to read about the same level of text

    *Teachers introduce the stories and assist children’s reading in ways that help to develop independent reading strategies

                *Each child reads the whole text

                *The goal is for children to read independently, fluently, and silently

                *The emphasis is on reading increasingly challenging books over time

    *Children are grouped and regrouped in a dynamic process that involves ongoing observation and assessment.


    How are reading levels determined?

    In September I will administer Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) to determine each student’s instructional level of reading.  A student’s instructional level is when they read a text with 90% accuracy.  A student’s independent reading level is reading with 95%+ accuracy.  Frustration level is reading below 90% accuracy.

    Grading Report cards will be distributed four times in Second Grade. 


    Homework i

    The purpose of homework is four-fold:
    1.      It provides extra practice of a specific skill that has been taught in school.
    2.      It gives parents insight into how their child approaches and completes assignments.
    3.      It teaches responsibility.
    4.      It connects home and school.


    Invitations for birthday parties will only be passed out at school if the whole class is invited.  A listing of the names of the students in this class with addresses and phone numbers will be sent home once all families have given permission to do so.   


    Journal writing will take place every day.  There will be a prompt on the smartboard and children have to copy it and then add to it.  One Mondays, students write about what they did over the weekend.   In order to assist in this please have a short discussion Sunday night or Monday morning with your child that reviews their weekend.   When asked what they did over the weekend children sometimes answer “nothing”.  Therefore, by giving them specific suggestions or reminders on Sunday or Monday morning they will be ready to write about it.  These papers are kept in a file and will be made into a book at the end of the year!  It will really show the progression in your child’s writing ability over the course of second grade.  In September, for example, students usually write one or two words/sentences but by the end of the year they are writing several pages. 


    Keep a homework routine this year.  The good habits you start will payoff in the future.


    Lunch:   Lunch can be purchased every day from our food service. (Only bagel bags or muffins on halfdays)  You may pay daily or you can prepay and your child will receive a lunch ticket in the lunch room to be checked off each day they use it.  Once the card runs out you will be sent home a reminder form to reorder.  Lunch counts are taken each day by 9:00 so if your child comes to school after that time please tell the office if you will be ordering lunch for that day.  



    Moms:   Our class moms are                   They will be contacting you throughout the year to help with classroom parties and chaperoning.  

    Notes:  I must have a note when there is a change in your child’s daily dismissal routine. Please try to send the note in your child’s folder as I fill out the “bus changes list” by 9:00.
    Organizationis key!   Help your child stay organized by packing folders and a good lunch and snack each day.  Developing good organization skills is a key ingredient for success in school and in life.  Although some people by nature are more organized than others, anyone can put routines and systems in place to help a child “get it all together”.  Here is a list of strategies that you can use to help your child get and keep his life under control.  

    1.  Use Checklists- Help your child get into the habit of keeping a “to-do”list.  You can use check lists to post assignments, chores or other reminders about what to bring to class.  Crossing off items on the list will give your child a sense of accomplishment.                                                                                    

    2.Organize Homework Assignments-Before beginning a homework session, ask your child which assignment they want to complete first.  Some children like to get the harder assignment out of the way while others want to save it for last.
    3.Designate a homework space-Your child should do homework in the same place every night.  This can be anywhere in the house that is free of distractions. 
    4.  A“Homework Box with school supplies should be nearby.  Doing homework at the same time every nightwill help with a routine.  The best timeis usually not right after school.  Most children benefit from time to unwind first. 
    5.  Keep papers organized- Help keep track of papers by organizing a three-ring binder to store past assignments.  Dividers can separate the assignments for future viewing.
    6.  Conduct a weekly clean-up- Encourage your child to sort through backpacks and folders on a weekly basis and clean out old snacks, garbage or papers they no longer need.
    7.  Create a household schedule- Try to establish and stick to a regular dinnertime and regular bedtime.  This will help your child fall into a pattern at home.  Children with a regular bedtime go to school well-rested.   Try to limit television watching and computer play to specific periods of time during the day.
    8.  Prepare for the day ahead- Before your child goes to bed, he or she should pack  schoolwork and books in a backpack.  The next day’s clothes should be laid out with shoes, socks and accessories.  This will cut down on morning confusion and allow your child to prepare quickly for the day ahead. 
    DISCLAIMER:  I'm a parent!  I know some of these things, although a great idea, don't happen every night!  We can only do the best we can! 

    Photos: I love taking photos and will post to our private facebook page.

    Quality work is always expected so your child can be the best he or she can be! Please encourage neat writing and coloring on homework!  

    Recess: The children will be going outside for recess daily unless it is raining or extremely cold in which case we will watch an age-appropriate movie in the library.  Please keep this in mind when selecting clothing for the day.   

    Specials: (40 minutes each)

    Day 1  

    Day 2  

    Day 3    

    Day 4  


    Shepard Singles: Students can earn Shepard Singles for doing homework, showing great citizenship or getting “caught” doing something great.  They will lose a Shepard Single on occasion as well; moving a behavior stick, not doing homework, no name on paper 3 times.  On Friday, students can shop with their money. 



    T  is for TEAM!  Let's work together to have a successful year!


    Use Back to School Night as a chance to: 

    *Signup for a Parent/Teacher Conference in November



    Vacations: If you are planning a family vacation please let me know several weeks in advance and I’ll do my best to gather some review work for your child.


    Writing:  We use the Writer's Workshop Model that includes daily structrued writing time, explicit instruction and exposure to models of good writing. Students select their own topics to write about. Students are encouraged to take risks as they develop their own writing style.


    Website:  Be sure to visit our website at:



    X”tra:             Second grade is X-tra X-citing!  


    You are welcome to be a Guest Teacher  

      Do you have a special skill or talent that you'd like to teach or share?  Let me know and we would love to have you come in our classroom.  


    Zero In: I will zero in on your child’s positive traits and praise him or her as much as I can!