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Laura  Calfee Staff Photo

Welcome To Our Class 

Dear Students and Families,                                                     

Welcome to second grade! I’m excited about the opportunity to get to know each student, and looking forward to a happy and productive school year.


About Me

I have been married since 1986 to Ron, a local dairy farmer. We have one daughter, Miranda. I began my career at McDonald Elementary in1987 teaching first grade. I have been at Black Fox since the two schools merged in 1995. I taught third grade for twenty-one years before beginning my new adventure with second grade. My time in third grade made me uniquely aware of what skills your child will need to master this year in order to be successful next year. My teaching philosophy is to treat each of my students just as I would want my own daughter treated. I feel teaching is a calling. It is my responsibility to not only educate your child, but to help build their character as they grow into productive members of society. I have high expectations of my students. This includes always giving their best effort, using good manners, being kind to others, and being responsible and accountable for their actions. If there is ever a problem or question, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I want us to maintain good communication so that your child’s experience is a good one.


Our Classroom

As the year progresses, you may notice that our classroom doesn’t run like other classrooms. We will be learning through Whole Brain Teaching, a research based system that utilizes all areas of the brain, keeps children engaged throughout their lessons, and helps them retain much more information than the standard lecture-discussion model. Whole Brain Teaching is a highly interactive form of instruction that delivers information to students in short “chunks.” Kids then teach what they have just learned to their partners, using hand-gestures to help remember specific vocabulary. While students teach each other, the teacher walks around the room to discover who understands the lesson and who needs more instruction. Research shows that children retain more information when they have an opportunity to put it into their own words and use gestures to emphasize key instructional units …plus, it’s amazingly fun! For more information about Whole Brain Teaching please contact me, come by for a classroom visit or visit



My homework policy is as follows: Structured homework will be sent home on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students will also have special projects throughout the year that they are expected to complete. After Christmas, homework will be sent home each evening. I try to make assignments shorter on Wednesday since it is a church night for many of you. Of course, if a student does not complete daily assignments, they are expected to take it home for homework and return it the next day.


School Day/Attendance

Our school day begins at 7:45. Please have your child here at school between 7:30 and 7:45 to avoid being tardy. Students begin their bell work promptly at 7:45. Attendance and lunch count is also taken during this time. Five tardies are counted as one unexcused absence. Please remember a note must be sent with your child following any absence explaining why they were not here at school. If a note is not sent, the absence is marked unexcused.


Daily Communication/The Jedi Folder

I would like to remain in regular communication with parents throughout the year. The best way for us to communicate is through your child’s folder. A great deal of time has been spent preparing these folders with the hope it will help create a partnership between the two of us. Inside the folder you will find a letter with further instructions. Students should have it when they come home each evening and return with it to school each morning. I cannot stress the importance of this routine enough. All notes, work, etc., will be sent through this folder. Student work and notices will be in the back pocket of the folder. In the front pocket, you will find a signature sheet. Please sign this sheet each evening so that I know you have reviewed your child’s folder and its contents. I also encourage you to use the school’s website, in particular our class webpage ( for current announcements and information. From the homepage, select “school staff” then my name.



Many parents ask to send in cupcakes or cookies for their child’s birthday. School policy requires that all party foods be store-bought and include a list of ingredients. This ensures the safety of students with food allergies.



If you are interested in volunteering, I would love to have your help! Let me know what kind of job you are interested in. In the past, I have had parents and grandparents make copies, laminate and read with students. Please let me know if you would like to volunteer.


Accelerated Reading

Our AR theme this year is Star Wars. Each grade will represent a different Star Wars character.  Second grade is representing Yoda. Students may earn AR points for trips and fun items from the AR store with their points. Students will also be rewarded weekly for their reading progress.



The following school supplies will be needed:

          24 count crayons                                     1 pkg. #2 pencils (plain yellow)

          Pack of glue sticks                                   1 pkg. pencil top erasers

          Scissors (Fiskar’s brand is best)             Spiral bound composition book

          1 pkg. page protectors                             Clipboard

          2 highlighters                                          1 folder with pockets

          School box                                                Wide-ruled notebook paper

          Disinfecting wipes                                   Antibacterial hand gel

          Kleenex                                                     Paper towels

          $7.00 for class shirt                                 Skinny, black Expo markers

          No other markers please!


Please make sure your child’s name is clearly written on all school supplies.



Boxtops/Labels for Education

Once again we will be collecting Boxtops for Education and Labels for Education. Please take the time to clip these from participating products. Encourage friends to contribute theirs as well. These items help us get free items for our school.



If you have questions or concerns; or, if you would like to visit our classroom, schedule a conference, or volunteer to help out, you can contact me at 478-8800. If I am unable to take your call, please leave a message with Mrs. Pearson and I will contact you as soon as possible. You may also e-mail me at


Once again, welcome to second grade. Let’s work together to make this the best year ever!