Prospect Ridge Academy

Skip to main content
Melissa Benson » Welcome!


Welcome to 2nd Grade!  My name is Melissa Benson and I've been at Prospect Ridge Academy, and taught second grade, since 2011 when the school began.  It has been an honor getting to see PRA grow into the great school that it is and to be apart of that growth.  As for a little bit about me, I got my Masters in Gifted and Talented Education, in 2016, and it has served me well.  I also got married in 2016 and we recently purchased our first house!  I look forward to working with you and your young learner this next school year and am excited to see wonderful growth during this next school year.


Recent Posts

New Resources and Expectations

Hello 2nd Grade Families,
We've added some helpful reading materials located in the Daily-5/Literacy Class of our website.  These resources are to help your kiddo work on their fluency and comprehension skills at home so you can see how your child is doing with grade level reading.  The tools available are not an expectation but simply to help your child grow and focus on their 20 minutes of nightly reading.
In other news, we have talked as a school and as a grade level about our homework policy. Here's what we are expecting come February:
-10 minutes a night of 0-20 math fact review - 5x's a week
(NEW: We will be sending home a menu of options each week in Thursday Folders that is due the following week to help our students practice their math facts in an authentic way and learn accountability by turning it in.)
-20 minutes a night of reading - 5x's a week
(Please  feel free to utilize Freckle and our resources on the Daily 5 class link to have your child read leveled readers and answer comprehension questions aligned to the story. Both Freckle and the leveled readers on our website provide "good fit" reading opportunities and will continue to help your child grow as a reader. The reading passages on the website are updated with different levels as our students become better readers. Freckle is directly linked to what your child reads and answers. It will automatically provide passages and questions according to how they are demonstrating understanding. Those resources are not required; just a tool to help with authentic reading at home.)
(Please continue to practice the green pattern and red words that come home at the start of the week and are written in their planners. It helps them learn accountability if you ask them to show you what they are in their planner. The green pattern and red words are also on our Daily 5 class link as a tool for you.)
Please reach out if you have any homework questions, or questions in general. The only real new homework requirement will be the weekly math menu sheet that will come home in folders starting in February. Thank you for all of the work you have done at home with your child so far this year. It really helps them grow as a learner.

Winter Break Is Here!

Hi Everyone,
Yesterday's party went really well and I'm so thankful to everyone who was able to help at the party and behind the scenes by bringing in supplies!  The kids had a great time and all I kept hearing was how much fun they all had and how it was the best day ever!  Thank you all for all your help!
On another note, I've updated some reading material for you to use over break.  I've also added some comprehension practice for your kids to work on.  Remember, this is not a must do but it can certainly help kids from developing a gap over break.  
I hope everyone is able to get some much-needed rest and relaxation over break and that it is filled with lots of peace, joy, and fun memories!  Have a Happy New Year!

Last Week Before Winter Break!!!

Season's Greetings!
We are approaching our last week of school before everyone goes off to enjoy their break and there is much to be done!  Just a couple reminders and things to consider:
  • PJ Day 12/19 and 12/20
  • Students will be working on some mid-year assessments so it is still very important to remind your kiddo to stay focused and use their work time wisely on this last week.
  • Food items that will be touched, or consumed, during the Thursday party:
    • candy canes
    • salami
    • cheese
    • Cuties (oranges)
    • carrots
    • chocolate covered pretzels with crushed candy cane
    • mini marshmallows
    • mini chocolate chips
    • apple sauce
  • If your child cannot touch or consume any of the above items, please feel free to provide another option for them.  Please review the signup sent out by our GLC to know when items will be used.  

Thank you!

Hi All,
I want to thank my chaperones who were willing and able to take on the GIANT task of helping out at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science!!!  I know it was a busy field trip but I truly am thankful to have had your support and extra eyes to look over my students!  Thank you!
On another note, I have finally been able to get Freckle set up but have not officially told the kids their login info.  If you have been patiently waiting to get that info for your kids to use at home please reach to me.  I would like to give the kids their information next week so they have it over the break.  
Lastly, this next week will be a review week, for my class, on all of the new OG concepts I have taught this year.  I would encourage you to have your child look through their planner, where they should be writing them down, and have them practice over this next week.  
That is all for now.  I hope you all have a relaxing, fun, and safe weekend!

Welcome Back!

Welcome back from break everyone!  We have about a month left of school until Winter Break so we talked as a class about making sure to keep pushing ourselves until our next break.   
For the next few weeks, we will focus on summarizing, sequencing, adjectives, adverbs, and writing quality paragraphs in Literacy.  We did also start subtraction within 0-1,000 without regrouping and the kids seemed to really enjoy it! 
I've also updated their new spelling pattern so check it out when you have a moment! 

Before Fall Break

Hi 2nd Grade Families,
Here are some quick updates for you to know!
  • I've updated some reading materials for you and your child to use over break.  It's not a must do, but it can help your child continue to grow over break and for you to see where they are in their comprehension and fluency.
  • I've updated the spelling list for your child to practice at home (new concept words and red words).
  • Kids will have a free dress day on 11/14 because they won the Miner Mania competition.  
  • K-5 students can participate in Crazy Hair day on Thursday 11/15 if they bring a dollar to support Student Council. 
  • Lastly, I hope you all have a lovely Fall Break filled with lots of great memories, fun family times, and relaxation!

Miner Mania

Hi All,
Just a quick update, if you haven't heard, 2nd graders get to wear their tie-dye shirts for Miner Mania this Friday.   They will also need a sack lunch for the day and perhaps some extra snacks and water for the day.  It's going to be an exciting and energetic day!  Thanks!

Pillow Cases

Hi All,
Just a friendly reminder that our Ancient Greece party is just around the corner and students need to bring in a white pillow case before the event.  We will have some snacks so please read up on the list of food options and if you feel your child should not partake, please reach out to me and/or provide a snack they can have in place of what will be served.
Here are the options just as a reminder:
Pomegranate seeds
Vanilla Greek yogurt
Cheddar and Colby-Jack cheese
Bottled water


Hello 2nd Grade Families,

The 2nd Grade Team wanted to inform you about the conference agenda.  Please know that we would like to go over your questions and concerns in regards to this semester.  From there, we would like to focus on what we see happening in the classroom rather than fixating on iReady and PALS.  Following that, we would like the opportunity to problem solve, as a team, areas of growth we have observed academically or behaviorally with your student.  We also want students to have the experience of explaining to you the choices they are making in class and the results of those choices.  Having students take accountability over their learning is paramount to the rest of their academic career.   This is just a reminder that this is an opportunity for our students to develop more of a growth mindset and own their learning. 

Please remember that the time we have for all parents is crucial and we ask that you are mindful of the time we have.  Please make sure to double check your conference time and to arrive promptly.  If you are late, unfortunately, that is time lost for us to meet.  Thank you for your understanding and respect for all conference times.


Just a reminder....

Students are being assessed on their mastery of specific second grade standards on each assignment or assessment. Their work is not scored out of a certain point total but rather on their mastery of the content. 

4=Students were able to take the content and apply it in different and unique situations. They are able to dive deeper and think bigger in regards to the content. It is real application and synthesis of the content taught. Students who get 4s show this thinking all on their own, meaning I am not showing or asking them to complete assignments in a certain way, they are doing it of their own accord. 4s are not common in second grade and not all assignments can produce 4s. Think about the higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.

3=Students meet the standards and content. Students are able to show and use the content taught consistently. They are able to complete assignments independently and follow all directions stated. The students' work is also neat and shows effort in its completion.

2=Students who receive 2s on assessments and assignments, demonstrate partial understanding of the second-grade standards independently. They can show their understanding with the help of a teacher and sometimes independently; they are inconsistent in showing what they know. Student may not have read all the directions or completed everything the task was asking. Their work may be rushed and/or may not have reviewed their work.

1=Student has limited/no understanding of the content and standards. They do not meet the expectations of assignments with help. 


Please know that quite a number of skills students are learning in second grade are skills we hope to see mastery by the end of this school year.  All year, students are building their foundation of knowledge and are gathering skills and tools to help them the remainder of their educational career.  You may see 2s more frequently and this is normal.  We want to see where they are in class and what they can do independently.  We continually assess their abilities to measure the growth they have made since starting a new unit and skill.

Grades and Other Things

Hi 2nd Grade Families,
I hope everyone has been doing well while we are adjusting back into the school year!  Just a couple of things I want to go over with you...
  • If you have noticed a two coming home from time to time, have your kiddo take the time to fix his/her mistakes.  Having him/her take the time to do this can still help them to grow and learn from their mistakes!
  • Please remember that we are going to tie-dye shirts on Monday the 24th so please make sure your child has brought in their money and shirt to me no later than this Thursday (the 20th).
  • Tomorrow (the 19th) is September birthday celebrations and pajama day!
  • Some of you have expressed interest in helping as a chaperone for future field trips...thank you!!!  Please know, my team and I are in the process of planning the field trips as the unit approaches and will reach out as soon as we know the dates and times.
That is all for now!  Please reach out to me if you have any questions!


Hi 2nd Grade Families,
I've uploaded information on our tie-dye event!   You should also receive a copy in your child's Thursday Folder.   Please read through it and email me if you have any further questions.  

Getting into the Swing of Things

It's been a great week as we've been getting into our regular schedule and expectations.  We are continuing to remind ourselves, and our peers, on how to treat others and show the PRA Way.  
Next week, we will continue to add in more content and practicing that content with in the schedule we have set up.  

First Week

We made it through the first week of school!  Yay!  Just a quick recap on some skills we are going to continue to practice:
  • Showing the PRA Way and what that means (prepared, respectful, and accountable)
  • Showing active listening skills
  • Keeping voices off during someone else's time to talk
  • Raising our hand
  • Keeping ourselves to ourselves
 In other news, we have started getting into a routine with certain subjects such as Daily-5, Math, and Core.  Although it is not a well-oiled-machine, the kids are well on their way to settling in and showing more and more that they are ready to be in school.  Next week will help solidify the routine and expectations I'm trying to establish.  

1st Day of School

We made it through our first day back!  Congratulations!  Over this next week, we will work on getting use to a schedule and get in the routine of  being in school again.  This means students will be working on building stamina with their writing, reading, and other thinking skills.  Much of this week is learning a practicing routine and class expectations so the rest of the school year can be smooth and successful.  The top rules/expectations we decided as a class to follow were to:
  • Follow the PRA Way
  • Have fun
  • Look out for each other
  • Be kind
  • Follow the Golden Rule
  • Listen to the teacher(s)
I would encourage you to have conversations with your young learner and discuss what this looks like in class to ensure they follow through in the classroom.  Thanks for all your support!