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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 enjoy hiking, rock climbing, paddle boarding, trying fun restaurants, and spending time with family and friends  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.



Hi 2nd Grade Families,

I just wanted to give you a few updates and reminders as we get close to the weekend.

  • Just a quick reminder that when it’s time for a Google Meet/Check In/Catch Up, please make sure you are near by to offer tech assistance, for safety purposes, and if I have a question for you, I can quickly get a hold of you. For safety reasons, we would like students to be seated in one place during office hours and although adults do not have to participate in the office hours, we do ask that you stay "in the area" so you are aware of your child being online. 
  • I’m going to roll out small reading group books that are geared towards your child’s reading level. I have organized students into their small groups they were in prior to us going on break and beginning distance learning. Not everyone is reading the same book but has a specific book assigned to them with a quick comprehension activity. I want to ensure they are still working on their comprehension at home with leveled texts that suit them. I’m giving more than a week to complete these and that includes weekend time. If this is just too much, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we can work something out. Again, your kiddo has more than a week to complete this.
  • Assignments will post on Sunday to help give you a jump-start on assignments. If this changes I’ll let you know ASAP.
  • We are alternating between DLI and other writing lessons to lighten the load.

That’s all for now!

Extended Break

Hi Everyone,
I hope this email finds you well. 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 is required while we are away. We do have options for you and your family to practice over the next two weeks though:
-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 analog clock.
-Practice counting money with bills and coins.
-Utilize your child's Freckle and/or Prodigy accounts.
-We also use at school. It is a great website to practice reading and research.
(UN: 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!
A Message from Mrs. Delaney (our librarian):
Here is a list of resources for families to access books during break. I will have this posted on the library web pages for ES, MS, and HS.  Thank you!

Scribd: $8.99 a month subscription gives unlimited access to over 1 million books, audiobooks, documents, magazines and comics. Try Scribd free for a 14-day free trial.

Audible with Amazon: $15 a month subscription gives access to over a million audio books. The books can be downloaded on an Alexa device or smartphone. There is a one month free trial offer.

Overdrive: A free resource for a ton of great books! Available for download on a smart phone or Kindle. Overdrive is used by libraries and users have access to the library’s collection of ebooks and audio.

Google Books: There are books that are free as well as for purchase. To see what books are available, users simply put in the book title as if completing a typical Google search.

This Week

Hi All,

Just a few updates and reminders about this week.

  • Students will be using Play-Doh in science lab so if they cannot use this, please reach out to me.
  • Students will be using pasta to demonstrate the life cycle of a butterfly so if they cannot touch pasta, please reach out to me.
  • During Westward Expansion Day, student will have the opportunity to have pretzels and root beer. If they cannot partake in this, please provide something they can have during that rotation. 

Again, please reach out if you have any further questions or concerns.  If I don’t hear back, I will assume we can go on with the activities.


Hello All,
I just wanted to give you a couple of updates and reminders as we press on into February.  
  • Monday Feb. 3rd is Class Picture Day.  I told the kids to dress in dress code or better. 
  • I sent home a parent questionnaire for conferences and I ask that you take a moment to fill that out and send it in to me.  
  • PALS and iReady data will be going home on Feb. 6th so be on the look out for that.  If you have any questions about the results, please feel free to reach out. 
  • Feb. 12th is when the kids will get to pass out their Valentine's Day cards.  Students do need to come in with a pre-made "mail box" and have a set of unlabeled cards to pass out.  
That is all for now.  I hope you all have a great weekend. 

First Week Back

Welcome back!
It was so good to see the kids on Assessment Days.  I felt I was able to reconnect with them and find out how their break went.  With this first week done, the kids are definitely in need of a long weekend to recover from all the iReady testing.  I'm proud of their progress and so are they!  I shared, with them, their scores so they could be aware of their growth and to set some personal academic goals.  As we approach Student Led Conferences, I'm going to continue having those goal-setting conversations to encourage them to stay as focused, on their studies, as much as they possibly can.  
Here are some quick updates and reminders as we move forward...
  • Please remind your child they need to keep track and bring their planner to school.  The lack of planners was a theme this week.
  • Continue to remind your child that class time is a time to learn and not socialize with friends (that's why we have recess).  
  • We will be focusing on money this next week so, for some extra practice, have your child count up any spare coins or dollars you have.  This real-world practice will help ensure further growth in their math skills.
  • Although we had a review week with /ir/, /ur/, and /er/, we will continue that review for next week so their spelling test will be next Friday.  If they brought their planner, they have some practice words to focus on, including their red words.
That's all for now!  Here we go.... 

Winter Break

Hi All!
The Winter Party was a huge success and all the kids seemed to have a ton of fun!  Thank you to all the parents who were able to help behind the scenes and all who were able to come in.  I'm sure with all the rush and excitement of today everyone will have a more relaxed and quiet evening.
Just a couple of things...
  • We will be testing kids, using PALS, the week of the 6th so it is important that my students read during their break.
    • To help with the reading, I've uploaded some new texts onto the Comprehension Class on my website, along with questions.
  • Remember, on Assessment Days, the kids are here for only a couple of hours; not the whole day unless they are in Mesa.
I hope you all have a wonderful break filled with lots rest and relaxation!  Happy Winter Break!


Hello Everyone,
It's good to be back and it was really nice to see all the kids this morning!  They were all so kind and made a Welcome Back poster for me and it really made my day!  Overall, it sounded like all went well during my absence and we can continue with our regular schedule.
I just want to give a friendly reminder that next Wednesday is our PJ Day since it is the week before Fall Break.  
That is all for now and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Thank you!

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to thank everyone who was able to meet with me, on Thursday, for P/T Conferences!  I know you all have busy schedules so I greatly appreciate your extra time and effort to meet with me.  I feel we were able to get on the same page and determine some areas of focus for the remainder of the semester.  Please keep in mind, in February, we will have Student-led Conferences and I devote that time for your kiddo to have an honest conversation with you in regards to their academics and social/emotional growth.  However, until then, I'm working with your kiddo so they develop the skills they need in order to have that conversation with you.  
Some other topics/ideas to keep in mind:
  • We begin our new OG pattern this week: /ay/ as in play.
  • Please start bringing in your pillow cases for our Ancient Greece Day on the 31st.  They are due no later than the 25th (a parent volunteer will be collecting them on the  25th to prep them for our fun day of celebration).
  • Pajama Day is on the 30th.
  • Ancient Greece Day is on the 31st.
  • I will be out of town from Nov. 4th-14th.  Mrs. Wade will be my sub during that time. 


Hi Everyone,
Hopefully you have had a chance to sign up for conferences, or are planning to sign up soon!  I wanted to let you know I sent out a gold-colored conference questionnaire, yesterday, and would really appreciate you help by filling it out and having your kiddo return it to me.  I want to make sure I address the questions you have and discuss with you any concerns you have.  
On another note, I added a sheet you can use in case you are running out of ideas on helping your child practice their green and red words.  I've attached it to the O.G. class so look there when you need new ideas.  
That's all for now!  I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

This Week and Next

Hi All,
This week was fun with all the tie-dye conversation and seeing the kids make them!  Today the kids are coming home with their super cool shirts so I hope they enjoy them over the weekend!  
Next week we will continue to focus on adding with regrouping followed by our unit assessment.  We also will begin our next science unit on the human body.    
Just a quick reminder: Next week is a short week since there is no school on Friday for students.  
That's all for now and I hope you all have a nice weekend!

Next Week!

Thank you all for helping your kiddo bring in their money and shirt for tie-dye on Monday.  It's going to be a fun day and the kids will have a fun time!  Just a heads up, I'm working on reaching out to my list of volunteer chaperones for our field trip on October 8th.  I want to try and give a fair chance to everyone who signed up so please be aware of that.  Please be on the look out if you signed up to volunteer as a chaperone!  Thanks and have a nice weekend!