Orange Cluster (Grades 2-3)

Welcome to Orange Cluster from Mrs. Anne Granick and Ms. Tracey Maye!


Whoever wants to understand much must play much.

Gottfried Benn
German physician


The theme of Orange Cluster this year is:

Toys and Games – Exploring Design and Strategy

The building blocks of play - curiosity, discovery, novelty, risk taking, trial and error, games, social etiquette, strategic planning, and logical thinking- are concurrently the building blocks of learning. We play to learn, to create, to feel challenged, to calm and focus ourselves, to win competitively, to cooperate, and for the sheer joy of it. 

Play teaches children perseverance. The rewards of learning a new game, teaches them that perseverance is worthwhile. Play makes them happy as it triggers creativity and innovation, encourages teamwork, and helps children see problems in new ways.  n play, children are doing things they are interested in so they have a natural motivation to learn. They develop concepts and skills together. They learn from other children and they develop many kinds of skills including problem solving, negotiating, taking turns, and learning to play by the rules.  Research shows that active, creative play benefits just about every aspect of child development. In Orange Cluster, toys and games will provide a framework for everything we study.

In social studies, we study and play as we learn about Toys and Games from Around the World. We study the Chumash and the way they played games. We compare and contrast games and toys today with those of an ancestor.  The students also create an interactive computer game for other children to play. In science, we study the physics of toys through the forces of gravity, balance, magnetism, and air resistance. At the end of the unit, each student builds an original toy. We also study the properties and states of matter through hands on experiments and investigations. Students learn how atoms affect their various states of matter as well as how energy can change the matter. In math, games will provide a starting point to develop the students’ number sense foundation. They will develop strategies and use logic to help strengthen their problem solving skills. The games will enhance their understanding of the concept focused lessons as well as their math skills. Our language arts program is well balanced. We provide the students with lots of opportunities to grow as readers and writers through Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop, word study, poetry, spelling, and read alouds. In Orange Cluster, we will play & learn & play some more. Come play with us!          


Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.

Abraham Maslow
American psychologist

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Monthly News (Article)

Submitted by Orange Teacher on Apr 7 (last updated Apr 7)

April News

April 7, 2017



Word Wall Lists should be on display in your home! Please have it available as a resource for your child as they write at home. A lot of families like to have it at the homework table or on the fridge. At this point in the year, if a word is spelled correctly on the paper or in the Scholastic News or they could readily find it on the walls of the room, we expect them to spell it correctly.

Classroom Update:

March News (Article)

Submitted by Orange Teacher on Mar 7 (last updated Mar 7)

Monthly News




Conferences: We look forward to seeing everyone for spring conferences and setting new goals with your child. We do run on time. Please check the sign up genius link for your conference time:

Monthly News (Article)

Submitted by Orange Teacher on Feb 10 (last updated Feb 10)

February News




Thank you to all of our volunteers who contributed their time and taught our class about their culture and family traditions on Open Day: Victoria, Aunt Heather, Maria, Kathleen, Nesima, Dena, Tina and her mom, Vicky.  Thank you families for sending in a delicious savory dish from your culture or family. What a fun day!!

Dec./Jan. News (Article)

Submitted by Orange Teacher on Dec 5 (last updated Dec 5)

Orange Cluster Monthly News

December 5, 2016

Welcome back! We hope your Thanksgiving break was restful and full of family time. We are grateful for our supportive and enthusiastic families!


Holiday Program – Wed., December 14th 8:45am, 11:00, & 1:10pm

Orange’s Winter Party – Thurs., Dec 15th 1:00 – 2:15pm

Debbie Allen’s Hot Chocolate Nutcracker Field Trip – Dec. 16th  (all full for chaperones)

Last Day of Instruction in 2016 – December 16th

First Day of Instruction in 2017 – January 9th

Orange Cluster Monthly News (Article)

Submitted by Orange Teacher on Oct 7 (last updated Oct 7)

October News




THANK YOU: Thank you to all of you who have made time to volunteer in the classroom and/or donated supplies! It helps our class so much. 

PARENT CONFERENCES: Almost everyone has chosen a time for parent-teacher-student conferences. If you haven’t yet, please do so as soon as possible by visiting the schedule at:

Orange Cluster Monthly News (Article)

Submitted by Orange Teacher on Sep 9 (last updated Sep 9)

September News



THANK YOU:  First and foremost, thank you for such an amazing start to what we are sure will be a great year. Your generosity of time, wish list gifts, and spirit has really touched us.  It was lovely to meet so many of you on Back to School Night, and thank you in advance for signing up to volunteer and to donate needed items. We truly appreciate your support. It takes a village!

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