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Sarah Olson » About me

About me

I am so happy to be back at PRA for the 19-20 school year! This is my 9th year of teaching.  I started at PRA the first year they opened way back when they were in a strip mall.  I taught 3rd grade for four years and then spent the next three years as the elementary math specialist.  Last year my husband and I moved to Eagle where I was the only 3rd grade teacher at a very small charter school.  We decided that mountain living just wasn't for us and I'm so happy to be back here and part of the 2nd grade team.  I also have a Master of Social Work and was a healthcare social worker for several years prior to going back to school for my Master of Education degree. 
I am married and have two dogs, Avery (3 y.o chocolate lab) and Izzy (2 y.o yellow lab).  I sit on the Board of Directors with Safe Harbor Lab Rescue as well as oversee the foster program.  A few times a year we also take in a foster of our own and this summer fostered #28.  In my free time I enjoy doing home renovation, baking, reading mysteries and gardening.  We love to travel and have been everywhere from French Polynesia to the Faroe Islands.  


Distance Learning!
Hello students and parents.  I will be using Google Classroom for all instruction, lessons etc. during the time that we are distance learning.  I will be posting extension activities on my website that you may go to if you are interested but it is not required. 

To login to gmail: (use Chrome if available but not required)

1.  URL:

2. username:


3. Password: 8 digit birthday-  example- 01041990

Now to join Google classroom:

Go to the 9 squares in the top right corner, click classroom, click the + sign, join a class and type in the code for my classroom: avlz7cv


Thank you!

2nd grade information

Hello parents,
As you know, we are going to be on an extended spring break starting Monday, the 16th. The second grade team will not be sending home additional school work that your child will be required to do while we are away.   However, we do have options for you and your family to practice over the next two weeks. 
-Reading for at least 20 minutes a day. Many additional resources have been added to our "reading comprehension class" link on our website.
-Practice our 2nd grade red words and green patterns. All red words and previously taught green patterns are on our "OG and red word class" link.
-We are sending home our 2A math workbook. (The front office will have your child's workbook on Monday if they were not at school today). Take a little bit of time each day to work through and review what the students already know. Many additional resources have been added to our "math class" link on our website.
-Practice telling time with an analogy clock.
-Practice counting money with bills and coins.
-Utilize your child's Freckle and/or Khan Academy accounts
-We also use at school. It is a great website to practice reading and research.
(PW: read)
-The district also sent out a link to tons of online resources. Take some time to work through those.
Please check your email for communication from PRA Administration going forward.
Thank you for your flexibility. We hope your family time is safe and relaxing. 


Spring Fever has definitely hit second grade.  This was a bit of a rough week.  Please remind your child that they are here to learn and that in order to learn they need to be focused and respectful to their classmates and teacher. We wasted a lot of time this week with much of the class talking and ignoring my instructions or lessons.  We will spend time next week reviewing the expectations I have for classroom behavior during active teaching time and independent work time.  We have a Positive Discipline saying about "flipping our lid" when we are feeling upset or angry.  The students know that I flipped my lid this morning and while the afternoon was better, we are all hoping for an even better Monday and next couple weeks until a well deserved break. 
Coming up:
Math- we are finishing up the unit on time and will take the show off what you know.  Our next unit will skip to unit 17- Data and Graphing.  This is always a fun unit for students.  At home make a point of searching for data and graphs in magazine and books that you read. 
OG-  new spelling patter is -igh as in night and sight.  Red word is their.
Science- we are continuing with the cycles in life, specifically about the water cycle.  They will learn more about evaporation, condensation and humidity.
Social Studies-  The Civil War.  Lessons on Clara Barton and Abraham Lincoln.
Writing- We have finished our how-to essays and will spend a couple days drafting friendly letters. After that students will write an informational essay on a topic or person of their choice.  I am hoping that this will be completed prior to Spring Break so we can work on narrative writing after that. 
Have a great weekend!


A regular week here in room 1134.  Spring fever is starting but for the most part we are able to keep learning happening!
Next week:
Math- we are starting our unit on time. In second grade student learn to tell the time to every five minutes after the hour, be able to show and tell time in hours and minutes, use AM and PM and order events, and determine how much time has passed (elapsed time).  
At home it would be helpful to enforce telling time at home (anyone have an analog clock :-)) and asking your child "how long until......" or "how long did we......"
Science-. Continuing with cycles- this week is the water cycle. 
At home you can examine water in different states (frozen, liquid, steam)
Social studies-  Continuing with the Civil War.  This past week we learned about one of the causes of the Civil War (slavery) and the important historical figure, Harriet Tubman and her experience on the Underground Railroad.  I was amazed at some of the thoughtful comments and questions the students have.  I am really having the most fun with this class during social studies this year!
Next week we will be studying, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Clara Barton.
OG-  green word pattern is /ou/ as in couch, slouch, found.  Red words are sound, these, around
Writing-  we will continue to work on the how-to essay with plans for a finished product by Friday.  DLI this week is a review of complete sentences and that they have two parts. 
Just an FYI:
Monday is Dr. Suess Day.  There are no special plans but students are welcome to wear Dr. Suess costume/t-shirt etc.  They will hear a Dr. Seuss read aloud in library. 
Have a great weekend and Leap Day!


Westward Expansion day was a lot of fun.  The students had a great time doing to the different classrooms for the different activities.  Finding gold on the playground was definitely the highlight!  Thank you to all the parents that donated supplies and came to help out.  We couldn't have all the special events without you!
Next Wednesday is PJ day for February birthdays.  Students may wear PJ's and bring a small stuffy.  
  • Math- continuing with customary measurement in inches, feet and yards.  The assessment will be on Thursday or Friday.
  • OG-  green word pattern is /ow/ as in owl or cow.  Red words are oil, great, show
  • For Daily 5 comprehension we will learn about the difference between a main topic and main idea of multi-paragraph text. 
  • Science- continuing with lifecycle.  This week is is lifecycle of a chicken.
  • Social Studies- Westward Expansion assessment on Tuesday and we will begin the Civil War unit on Wednesday.  In 2nd grade they will learn some basic ideas for the start of the Civil War (slavery), differences between the North and the South and some key figures such as Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln. 
  • Writing- we have had fun with the start of our informational/how-to writing. Students will be working on their own how-to organizers, rough drafts and final copy. 
Have a great weekend!


Thank you so much to all the parents that took the time to come and support your child for conferences.  It was great to be able to talk about your students successes this year and areas for growth.  
This week:
Math- we are starting a unit on customary measurement.  Students will be measuring and exploring inches, feet and yards.  They will be able to identify which unit is most appropriate to use to measure various objects.  Practice these skills by having you child measure different object around the home. 
OG- we will not have any new green words this week.  We will have new red words- ghost, knock and door and the spelling test will be on Friday.  I will be adding in 7 other red words from first and second grade for the test to see what students remember. You can practice previous words but reviewing the words on my website (under Classes- OG) or look though past weeks in your child's planner.
Reading- Main Idea vs. Main topic of multi-paragraph non-fiction.
Science- Life Cycle of a Butterfly. 
Social Studies-  Westward Expansion.  Students will be learning more about the Native Americans experience during Westward Expansion.  Friday is our Westward Expansion day and student may dress up.  Think western wear or Little House on the Prairie dresses. 
Writing- we being our expository/informational writing unit.   To begin this unit students will discover just how much information goes into explaining how to do something.  A fun thing to do at home would be to ask them to explain how to make a sandwich and actually do what they say.  
Have a great long weekend!


Happy February!
I-Ready and PALS reports went home today.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  
We are at the point in the year when a few supplies are starting to get low.  The students would appreciate getting more Kleenex and glue sticks.  We go through a lot of both!
I talked with students about being diligent about hand washing with some of the sickness going around.  Kids are funny and as soon as we had the conversation I had a number of girls suddenly get stomach aches and were convinced they had the virus. :-)  I think that we got things under control and knock on wood my classroom has been healthy. 
We are at the time of year where we may have indoor recess more than we'd like.  If the weather hits 22 degrees we will go outside. Please make sure that your child is prepared with a coat, hat, gloves etc.  Also, I do remind students to stay away from the snow if they are not wearing snow boots.  However, they are ultimately responsible for making this choice.  The natural consequence may be wet shoes, socks and pants.  We don't have extras on hand so if you know your child tends to make the choice to play in the snow please send them with another pair of socks, shoes or pants or make sure that they have snow boots.  
Coming up next week:
No new OG or red words.  We will practice red words from this year as well as first grade words.
Math- continue with subtraction practice.  The goal is that students are correctly using the algorithm for solving multi-digit problems by the end of the year. 
Reading- I am meeting one on one with students to complete a DRA assessment. 
Science- Life Cycles
Social Studies- continuing with Westward Expansion
Upcoming important dates:
Wednesday- Valentine's exchange at the end of the day
Thursday- Student led conferences
Friday- PD day- no school
Monday, Feb 17- President's Day- no school
Have a great Friday and weekend!


And just like that, January is done.  Hard to believe!
A few reminders of upcoming events:
1.  Class pictures are on Monday, February 3rd.  Student's should wear dress code or better.  Please remember to follow some basic guidelines- no spaghetti straps unless a sweater is worn etc.  If your child is getting a re-take of an individual picture they must have the order form with them on Monday.
2.  Student will have a free vision screening on Tuesday, February 4th.  This is non-invasive with students simply reading a chart.  The results will be sent home by Nurse Francis.
2. Valentines Day will be celebrated at the end of the day on Wednesday, February 12th.  This is not a party, just a Valentine exchange.
3.  Conferences are on Thursday, February 13th and are student led so your child must attend.  
Information for you to complete about your child went home in this weeks Thursday folder. Please complete and return.
Next week:
-Math- We have finished our unit on Fractions and I'm taking some time to do some inquiry based math exploration with the skills addition and subtraction of multi-digit numbers.  Freckle has a great resource for this and I'm excited to introduce it to the students.  
-Social Studies- Westword Expansion- Pony Express and Trail of Tears
-Science- Seasons- animals and how they adapt
-OG-  /or/ as in corn
-Red words- weren't, don't, almost
-writing- working on skills, such as, expanding sentences, using adjectives to make our sentences more interesting and writing Team Complete sentences (capitalize the first letter of a sentence!!!). We will begin expository writing after conferences. 
Have a great weekend!


Thank you to everyone who was able to stop in at Core Knowledge Night!  I hope that you had a lot of fun.
We are rolling along here in 2nd grade and I am amazed at the growth I am seeing from students, not only academically, but with their social/emotional growth as well.  I would appreciate your support in talking with your child about why they are at school.  I know that their friendships are important but those should not interfere with their learning in class.  We've had a couple days this week where I've had to talk to the class as a whole about feeling disrespected about their talking while I'm trying to teach.  Hopefully we will get back on track soon. 
Next week:
Math- Fractions
Science- Cycles in Nature- Winter and Spring
Social Studies- Show off what you know on Wednesday about the War of 1812 and start of Westward Expansion.  Westward Expansion day will be on Friday, February 21st so be on the lookout for that information. 
Reading-  elements of poetry and finding the plot in a story
OG- /ar/ as in star
Red words they're, you're, we're
DLI is on forming plurals by adding -s
In writing we have spent a lot of time working on Team Complete sentences and using an organizer to help us with our writing.  This time has been very important but has delayed the completion of our first official writing unit.  Opinion writing will be finished next week and we will move on to information writing.  


We had a great first full week back to school.  I really feel like the students are maturing and growing as second grade students!
They completed the iReady testing for math and reading and reports will be sent home by the school in the next few weeks.  I was blown away by the growth that the students showed in both math and reading.  More importantly, their whole attitude and behavior regarding test taking was fantastic.  They took it seriously and I know that regardless of their score they did their best.  I sat down with each student and went over their results and talked about areas or growth and areas to focus on.  I really enjoy this time I get to spend with the students to help them be aware of their performance and set goals for themselves. 
  • In math we started the unit on money, specifically being able to identify and count coins and bills. 
  • In social studies we started a short unit on the War of 1812.  We will finish this next week and then move on to Westward Expansion.
  • In science we started out new science unit on cycles in nature, learning specifically about seasons and why they happen.  
  • We are starting a short unit on poetry in reading.
  • OG was a review of /er/, /ir/, /ur/ with the red words- by, always and above.  (we will continue to review and then test on these next week)
  • In writing we are continuing to learn how to plan and edit our writing.  Their first opinion piece will be completed soon. 
Coming up next week:
No school Monday
Math- Will finish the money unit with an assessment on Thursday.
Science- cont. with cycles in nature
OG-  /or/
Red words- they're, you're, we're. ***. change in the plans- due to the iReady testing, student absences and the short week we will put this off for another week.  Spelling test for /ir/, //ur/, /er/ will happen on Friday, the 24th. 
Social Studies-  War of 1812
Thursday is Core Knowledge night from 5-7:30.  Hope you can come!
Thank you and have a great weekend!

Welcome back!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful and restful holiday break.  My husband and I fostered a 2 year old lab over break so three dogs under the age of 4 kept us busy.  
Now that we are halfway through second grade my expectations for students will increase.  Classroom routines and behavior expectation are known to them and it's time to get ourselves back into a routine.
Just a few things for the upcoming week:
  • Please remember to sign up for assessments.  These days are set aside so that I don't have to take instructional time to do the one on one reading assessments with students. 
  • I-ready math and reading will be the week of January 13th.  These will be done in the classroom via computer.  I have gone over the beginning of the year I-Ready scores with all of the students.  They were able to see the areas of success and the areas for growth so they know when to really focus their attention.  My expectation for them is to take it seriously and do their best. 
  • I will be sending home a more detailed email later this week regarding accounts I have set up for all the students on Kahn Academy.  I'd like to give another option for math homework and this is a program that for some I believe will be more educational and helpful than Freckle.  
  • Content wise we are finishing up the Simple Machines science unit and will move into Life Cycles (seasons).  In social studies we are studying the War of 1812.   In math we are learning about money, reading is about plot, characters and settings and in writing we will be wrapping up our first  writing unit on opinion writing.  
Here is to a successful start to the second semester!!


Whew!  What a week.  
We finished up our US constitution unit, did some math review and the students were able to grade themselves to see how many 2nd grade red words they remembered.  I was impressed!!
We ended the week with some holiday celebrations and an elementary school sing-a-long which was a great way to send everyone off for the long holiday break.  
A couple of reminders. Grade will be posted by noon Friday and at some point report cards will be sent home.  Please remember that we are only halfway through the year and it is not unusual for many students to have a 2 in some or all subjects.  
My email will be set to vacation mode after 12 noon on Friday and I will respond to emails when I return on Monday, January 6th.    Don't forget to sign up for an assessment slot on Tuesday or Wednesday the 7th/8th.
Have a safe and happy holiday!!


Hard to believe that this was our last full week before break. I've reminded the students that we do have 3 full days of school next week so hopefully they are able to hold it together for just a little longer :-)
We finished our math unit on the metric system and are spending time doing review of place value, addition and subtraction.  I'm spending some one on one time with all the students to go over their beginning of the year I-ready in math and reading.  Middle of the year I-Ready will take place the week of January 13 and I want them to know about the areas that they can show growth in. 
We are finishing up the Constitution and will be taking the "show off what you know"  next week. However, due to some differences in 2nd grade class  timelines and the end of the semester grades quickly approaching I will not be entering this as a Q2/semester grade.  It will be entered in Q3. 
Next week will be finishing up last minutes assignments, doing some review and having some fun. 
December 17th-  second grade red word test.  I made a list and it went home in this last Thursday folder.  
-US Constitution test
December 18th- PJ/stuffy day for December birthday's
December 19th- Second grade celebrations.  Holiday Sing-a-long is at 10:30. Dismissal at 11:20
Have a great weekend!


The first week back from Thanksgiving was a busy one.  The excitement of the season is definitely upon us but for the most part the students are doing well with remembering that they still have a job to do.  
During this time before winter break we are doing the following:
Math-  measuring in meters and centimeters
Social Studies- The US Constitution
Science- finishing Simple Machines
Reading- non-fiction text features, main idea and details
OG- er, ir, ur 
Red words for next week- brother, family, love (we will have a spelling test over all the 2nd grade red words learned so far during the week of 12/16)
Writing- putting our plan into an actual opinion essay
A reminder that it is cold and we do go outside.  Also, after snowy days the students love to play in the snow during recess but many do not have appropriate footwear.  Poor choices are made which leaves them with wet shoes and sock.  Please help in reminding your child that they should wear snow boots if they want to play in the snow. 
Upcoming reminders:
Friday, December 13- PJ or Holiday sweater day-  $1 or bring in a pair of new socks to donate to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
Wednesday, December 18-  December birthdays- PJ and stuffy day
Thursday, December 19-  Holiday parties and school sing along.  Dismissal at 11:20-  No lunch being served today. 
Have a wonderful weekend!