Ms. Kelli Barnett, Home


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Class of 2015-2016  

Welcome Second Graders!

Welcome to the second grade website!  This site is built for student use in the classroom, as a tool for parent communication and as a "window" into our world for our ETSU College of Education friends.  Look around to see what the world of second grade at University School is all about. 
Ms. Kelli


Welcome to second grade!  I have a few announcements for you. 

  • Every Friday (beginning tomorrow) a weekly newsletter about our week will go home in your child’s folder.  It will include what we have been up to in second grade, what we will be doing next, announcements, and questions you can ask your child to help you have meaningful conversations about the week at home. 
  • I will contact you via email at times with important information.  Please email me at with one or more email addresses that I can add to our class email list if you have not already done so.  I will respond when I get an email from you and have it on the group list so if you haven’t heard back from me yet then resend it just to be safe.  I will use email for important reminders, announcements that can’t wait until Friday and other things as necessary.  It is my goal to keep you informed about your child.  Email is a good way to contact me as well because I can answer it before school, during planning times, or when school dismisses. 
  • I will also post weekly newsletters, websites we use at school, and photos of our class in action on our class website.   I have left up last year’s website for you and your children to check out.  That will begin to be adjusted for this year next week so check it out now for an idea of what second grade was like last school year.  You can access our class page through our school webpage at
  • Second grade homework will begin next week.  Your child will begin bringing their folder and planner home every day starting today.  Today and tomorrow there are only announcements, but beginning Monday your child will write their homework in their planner and bring it home along with their folder.  Both the planner and folder should go back and forth from home to school each day.  You can place anything you need to send to school in your child’s folder and we will check that each morning as they arrive. 
  • A “WELCOME” letter went home to each child at the end of last school year.  It included parent homework for the beginning of school and our school supply list.  If you have misplaced this letter or don’t recall ever seeing it please send me an email and I will email you a digital copy.  We would like to get all these things in by Monday if possible.
  • In our “WELCOME” letter I told you Ms. Bettina Chirica would be our classroom instructional aide this year.  However, Ms. Bettina was hired as our interim 5th/6th grade Social Studies and Math teacher this year at University School.  We will miss her and wish her well as she begins a new journey.  We are very happy to welcome Ms. Chun Thomas back to second grade as our instructional aide this year.  Ms. Chun has been teaching your children Mandarin Chinese for a couple of years so they are familiar with her.  She has also worked in our classroom before and has a lot of experience with second graders. 

Thanks so much!


Some General Information About Our Classroom:

Second Grade Curriculum Overview

The second grade curriculum is based on Tennessee State Board of Education Curriculum Standards as well as Common Core Standards.  Our social curriculum is based on the Responsive Classroom approach to learning.  For mathematics we use the best of a combination of programs with the primary focus being on the new enVision Math program by Pearson along with many teacher created activities based on the needs and learning styles of our classroom community.  Our language arts program is individualized for each student and based on Guided Reading by Scholastic and work by Irene Fountas, Gay Su Pinnell, Lester Laminack, Sharon Taberski, and Katie Wood Ray. Social Studies and Science curriculum is taught using a thematic approach with strong ties in mathematics and language arts. 

This year our K-2 focus is shifting from primarily focusing on Tennessee State Standards to focusing primarily on Common Core National Standards.  Thematic learning units will shift this year to facilitate this change in focus.  The following is a list of thematic units from the past, but please keep in mind some of these topics will shift this year.

Second Grade Thematic Units:

All About Me

Maps & Globes



Long Ago

Rocks & Soil

Government & Citizenship


Native Americans


The 50 States

World Cultures



Life Cycles (primary focus on Painted Lady Butterfly)

Student Assessment

Second graders at University School are not assigned letter grades, however assessment is an integral part of our curriculum in order to assure student success.  Students are continually assessed to assure that they meet performance expectations and to provide information on how best to help each student grow as an individual learner.  Student assessment comes in many forms including pre and post authentic assessments, anecdotal notes, digital photo documentations, video documentation, reflective writings, individual interviews, rubrics, observations, self-assessments, peer evaluations, running records, and tests or as I like to say, "show you knows."  In the area of language arts we use the Benchmark Assessment System by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas to gauge our student performance and inform instruction.  Each quarter parents will receive a summary report outlining classroom goals and student progress in relation to these goals.

Responsive Classroom

Grades K-5 at University School operate under the Northeast Foundation for Children's Responsive Classroom Model.

Key components of the Responsive Classroom Model are morning meeting, rules and logical consequences, classroom organization, academic choice, guided discovery, and assessment and reporting to parents.

Results of the Responsive Classroom Model include a balance of teacher-directed instruction and child-initiated learning, student responsibility for work and environment, caring behavior, problem-solving ability both socially and academically, and parental involvement and understanding.

For more information visit the Responsive Classroom website:

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