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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November/ December Monthly News (Article)

Submitted by Orange Teacher on Nov 26 (last updated Nov 26)

November/ December Monthly News

November 26, 2017

THANK YOU! As we wrap up the Thanksgiving break, we wanted to thank all of you for attending your child’s conference. It was great to see you again and to watch how well the students led their conference. We greatly appreciate all of your support. When we work together, your child is the beneficiary of our teamwork and they will continue to blossom. Again, thank you!


Thanksgiving Holiday: November 20th – 24th

Orange Cluster Monthly News: September & October 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Orange Teacher on Sep 28 (last updated Sep 29)


THANK YOU:  First and foremost, thank you all 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 your time and expertise.  We truly appreciate your support.

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