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Taryn Saylor » Welcome to 2nd Grade!

Welcome to 2nd Grade!

Hi Everyone! I am so excited to start another school year here at PRA! This will be my ninth year teaching 2nd graders and my ninth year at PRA! It has been such an awesome experience to be here since day one! Teaching 2nd graders has been so fun and I cannot wait to see all of the growth our kiddos are going to make this year! :)
I grew up in Southern California and have wanted to become a teacher since I was little. It is such a privilege to be able to do what I love! I graduated with my BA in Elementary Education from Chapman University and decided I wanted to pursue my graduate degree. I thought it would be a fun experience to leave California and earn my degree in another state. I have always loved visiting Colorado, so it seemed like the perfect place to make that transition. I earned my MA in Curriculum Studies from the University of Northern Colorado and then started teaching at PRA. I am so happy that I decided to try a new place. Colorado has become home now. :) 
When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my fiance, family, friends, and adorable dogs. :) I also love hiking, exploring, and traveling to new places. 
Here's to a wonderful year of learning and fun!


Happy Summer Vacation!

Hi Families,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for an incredible year together! I have truly loved getting to know your child! Your kids are funny, kind, compassionate, hard working, and so so special. Thank you for letting me be part of their journey this year. It is always very bittersweet ending the school year, but I know they are going to do incredible things in 3rd grade and beyond. Thank you for all of your support and dedication this year, especially during distance learning. You all are awesome parents and I could not have done it without you. I am attaching our summer resources (which will also be up on Google Classroom all summer long) and a welcome letter and video from the third grade team. I hope you all enjoy a much needed fun, relaxing, and rejuvenating summer break! I will see you around in the Fall. :)
Taryn Cross

Week of 5/18-5/21

Hi All,
Happy last week of 2nd grade! It is crazy to think that we are just about done with the school year. I have truly enjoyed getting to know you and your families this year. This class is incredible and I wish that I would have had more time with them! Thank you for ALL of the hard work you have done over the last few months with distance learning. I could not have done it without you! I am so proud of the class and all of the learning that they were still able to accomplish. 
This week we will not have any assignments to turn in, except our star student compliments. Everything else that is posted on Google Classroom is just for fun. :) Our focus will be catching up on missed work and trying to "see each other" every day. 
Here are the social events that we will be doing:
Monday - Class Lunch Bunch 
Tuesday - Movie (Magic School Bus) and a Snack
Wednesday - Weekly Office Hours
Thursday - Last Day of School Assembly 
*I will be sending out an email to everyone with the specific Google Meet links for each of those events. I will also have every link posted on Google Classroom each day. I really hope to see your kiddo! I know our classmates would love to see them, too. :)
Lastly, we will be providing further information and resources about how to continue learning over the summer in a separate email.
Thank you for a wonderful year!! Please reach out with any questions or concerns that you may have. :)

Week of 5/11-5/15

Hi Families,
Thank you for another great week of distance learning! I appreciate how hard you are working to help your kiddo accomplish their assignments and end of the year tests. I have been keeping an eye on their iReady assessments and they are doing an incredible job! If your family has not started them yet, please start working on them when you can. We have until Monday evening to finish the reading and math assessments. I will be sharing their results with you after that. :)

This week is another regular week of distance learning. We are trying to wrap up all of our units so we can focus on fun supplemental activities for our last week of school! 
I will still have our weekly office hours and small groups this week. We are coming to the end of 2nd grade and I would love to see your kiddo, and I know their classmates would, too. :)
We are at the final stage of our insect project as well. The kids have chosen, researched, and created a poster about their insect. They will need to present their information in a video format. They can upload it to Flipgrid, through email to me, or on Google Classroom. More information about project specifics will be in Google Classroom this Sunday.
Thank you for another great week of learning! Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you may have.
Taryn Cross

Week of 5/4-5/8

Hi All,
I hope you are doing well and are ready for May! I can't believe we are in our last month of 2nd grade. I have loved getting to work with and know your kids and families this year. We are in the final push for distance learning and I can't thank you enough for all of the time and support you have put in to help your child succeed. We have some important updates this week, so let's get started:
-We are posting assignments in Google Classroom this week for the kids to work on and complete. The workload will be lighter due to our iReady and writing assessments.
-I have included directions on how to successfully login to iReady on Google Classroom and on the previous post as well. The testing window will be open from 5/7-5/11 for iReady reading and math. 
-When the kids are taking their iReady tests please help them login but not assist them during the test. We want to see what they can do independently to better support them in the Fall. They do not have to start and finish the test in one setting. They can work on it over the course of those few days. It will automatically save all of the work that they have completed. There are also "brain breaks" built in to help them focus on the test. Finally, please encourage them to do their best and show what they know. They have worked extremely hard all year and this is an opportunity to showcase what they've learned. :)
-I am also assigning our end of the year writing prompt through Google Classroom. I have a video explaining the directions for the kids. They will need to handwrite their essay (they only have 30 minutes to work on it) and then I will need your help taking a picture and either emailing it to me or uploading it onto Google Classroom. I will be sharing their essay with the 3rd grade teachers so that they will know how to best support your child in writing this upcoming Fall.
-I will also continue to have our Wednesday office hours and Thursday small groups this week. The links will be posted on Google Classroom for the kids to access on those days. 
Thank you for your help in administering our end of the year iReady tests and writing test as well. This information will be a great tool in helping your kiddo in the Fall. Please reach out to me if you have any questions at all. I am happy to help! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. :)

Week of 4/27-5/1

Hi All,
I hope you all are doing well! We had another great week of distance learning and I cannot thank you enough for all of your support. The kids are really getting the hang of Google Classroom and turning in their assignments. They are doing a great job!
We don't have anything too out of the ordinary this week. The only thing to keep in mind is our PJ birthday celebration on Wednesday, the 29th. We would love to virtually celebrate our March and April birthdays in our PJs. :)
I will also continue to have our 3:00-4:00 Wednesday office hours and small group Google Meetups on Thursday this week. I will email you the links and post them directly onto Google Classroom prior to the start time both days.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I hope you all have a safe, restful, and rejuvenating weekend. :)
Take care!

Week of 4/20-4/24

Hi All, 
I hope you've had a great week! Everything seems to be going smoother and the kids are getting into the rhythm of distance learning. Thank you for all of your help and guidance! I really appreciate it. :) We don't have anything new coming up this week but I wanted to quickly highlight changes from last week:
-All academic postings will be on Google Classroom by 5:00 pm on Sundays. I'm so happy to hear that that has been so helpful!
-I adjusted the weekly learning log so that the class only needs to answer two of the questions, not every question. They can answer each one if they want to. It just needs to be submitted after they have completed and turned in their other assignments.
-We had our first "small group" meet up this week. It was so fun to see the kids! I will continue to send a sign up link at the start of the week for Thursdays from 12:00-1:30ish. I will also include the direct Google Meet link on Google Classroom on Thursdays so the kids can click from there directly when it's their time slot. This is not required, just an optional time to see them. :)
-Lastly, I sent an email and posted the directions on Google Classroom for Flipgrid. This is not a required website/app but it is a fun way for the kids to stay socially connected by posting videos. I have LOVED watching the videos that have already been submitted! I'm sure your kiddo would love to see their classmates if they haven't already done so.
THANK YOU for another great week. Please reach out to me with any questions that you have. I hope you and your family enjoy a restful and rejuvenating weekend!

Week of 4/13-4/17 (Please Read Thoroughly)

Hi Families,
Thank you for a great week of distance learning! It was our first full week and we are still working out kinks and trying to make this as successful as possible. I can definitely see a lot of improvement from our first week and feel confident that we will get into a rhythm. :) Thank you again for all of your support! This would not be possible without you! As we enter into another week, here are some things to keep in mind:
-All assignments will now be posted on Sunday evenings by 5:00 pm. We want you to have extra time to see what is expected for the week and to come up with a schedule that works for your family.
-I am also going to be posting a weekly overview and video for the class at the start of each week (Sundays by 5:00 pm) so they can see what our big ideas are and get more prepared for the week ahead. This will be directly posted onto Google Classroom every week for the kids to read and view.
-We have talked with our administration and will only be asking for TWO sentences on our weekly learning log instead of every question filled out because we recognize that typing for 2nd graders is tough. We can see what they have been working on all week in Google Classroom. So, they can choose their favorite two activities to reflect on and write a sentence about that. If your child wants to answer every question, they are welcome to do so! It is no longer a requirement though. Hopefully that alleviates some stress at home. Also, I will not be grading that assignment. It will be used as another piece of data to track attendance going forward.
-Please know that there is a Friday deadline goal for all assignments on Google Classroom, however, I will still be checking and grading anything turned in on the weekends. I understand that this is a very challenging situation and it is hard to work and co-teach your child at the same time. 
-As a reminder, everything in Google Classroom can be typed on and turned in. So, when students have google docs or google slides to type on that will still be available to them. If that is too difficult to do, please print off the assignments and have your child write their responses and upload it back onto Google Classroom. These are the best solutions that we have at this time. 
-We have many external websites that we incorporate in our assignments to help reinforce concepts for the week (Epic, BrainPop, etc...) so it is important to keep passwords and logins in one place. On my website under the Distance Learning tab, I have included a document that has a table with our class codes that can be filled out with your child for their own individual accounts. If you have not looked at that I would encourage you to do so. Many families have found that very helpful.
-I am going to be sending our Weekly Office Hours out through Google Classroom every Wednesday (and to your personal emails just in case). Your child can look on Google Classroom right before 3:00 pm each Wednesday and join our office hours directly from there. 
-I am also going to try to schedule "small group" meet ups with the kids every week. I would love to aim for Thursdays in 15 minute increments to make sure I am "seeing" everyone. I would love your feedback to see if that is something you think would work for your family. 
-Finally, I will be sending a separate email about another account (that is completely optional) called Flipgrid. This will be another way to socially interact with each other every week. Please be sure to read that email and let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you again for all that you have been doing to help your kiddo be so successful this week! I am so proud of them and all that they are accomplishing! As always, please email me with any questions or concerns that you have. I am here to problem solve and continue working toward a positive experience for you and your families. :)
Thank you again for all of your patience. We are continually growing, learning, and trying to navigate this online learning together in order to create the best learning experience for your child! :)
Take care,
Taryn Cross

Week of 4/6-4/10

Hi All,
Thank you for helping support your child during our first week of distance learning! This is a challenging and difficult experience that we are all trying to navigate together. I really APPRECIATE you and all of the guidance and teaching that you are doing. 
As we head into our second week, I want to share some thoughts that are hopefully helpful:
-All of your child's required assignments will be on our Google Classroom account. You will see that the other second grade teachers are posting assignments for your child to do as well. They need to work on those activities and turn them in. I will be able to see their work regardless of which teacher is sending it out.
-Your child is not expected to be working on Freckle, iReady, or Prodigy. Those accounts are completely supplemental. I am only going to be focusing on what they are turning in through Google Classroom.
-As teachers we are trying to make sure that everything we assign in Google Classroom is completely digital. All your child will need to do is click on the activity/assignment and type directly onto that. 
-I will be sending a link to your email and your child's PRA email every Wednesday around 2:45 for our weekly office hours. This is a completely optional time to ask questions and catch up with our class. 
-Finally, your child has other teachers (Science Lab, Library, Art...) that have directions on their websites about how to get connected with them. I would encourage you to look at their PRA website and sign up with them. They are providing weekly lessons that are not part of our 2nd grade Google Classroom.
Thank you again for jumping into this new experience with me and doing an incredible job guiding your child. Please let me know any feedback that you have so that we can continue to grow and make this a manageable and positive experience for your family. 

Distance Learning Starts Tomorrow! 4/1/20

Hi All!
I hope you are doing well! I have sent a personal email this afternoon and created a separate "Distance Learning" tab here on my website. Please read through the email and distance learning tab and let me know if you have any questions. 
I look forward to working with your families very soon!
Take care!