Courtney Farr


    • 8:20 First Bell
    • 8:25 Reading
    • 9:50 Recess
    • 10:05 Math
    • 11:35 Lunch
    • 12:05 Lunch Recess
    • 12:40 Science / Writing
    • 1:20 Spelling
    • 1:55 Pack-up
    • 2:10 Specialist
    • 2:50 Dismissal

Professional Biography

    • BA in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University 1995
    • Masters of Arts in Education from Lesley University 2001
    • Leadership Team
    After graduating from Northern Arizona University, I got married, and my husband and I moved to Olympia, Washington. I got my first teaching job with North Thurston Public Schools district in 1996 and I have been here ever since. I have taught kindergarten, first, and second grade. My favorite is second grade!

    When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and I have two children. My son is seventeen, in his third year in high school and my daughter is fourteen, in middle school. We love to travel. Our favorite spot is Maui where I love to snorkle and soak up the sun. At our house Friday night is movie night. We rent a good movie, pop some homemade popcorn, and snuggle up. I have also gotten into crochett and card making in the last few years. My daughter enjoys making her own projects, as I work on mine. I hope we continue to share that time as she grows. Lastly, I like to sit, relax, have a latte, and pick up a good book when I get the chance, which as many of you know when you have growing, busy children that is not always easy. I have a teen driver but I am still a taxi mom.

Class Information


    • To respect each child and their differences.
    • To provide a learning environment that allows children to grow and discover.
    • To be there for the children and to guide them through the learning process.
    • To help them become more independent learners who are capable of making responsible choices and learned social skills.
    • To foster a desire for life long learning.


    Students will participate in Readers Workshop. During Readers Workshop, students will have the opportunity to Read to Self, Read to a Partner, and work on Word Work.  While Readers Workshop is happening I will have the time to work with small groups and/or individuals on skills that are individualized to each student.  As the school year begins, much time is spent supporting the students as they learn expectations that a necessary to make Readers Workshop a success for all.  Some of the expectations I will teach them are learning to pick good fit books, building up their reading stamina, and problem solving reading strategies.  Once these concepts are understood I will go deeper still and support students with comprehension skills, accuracy/phonic skills, fluency and expanding vocabulary skills needed in second grade and beyond.


    This year I will be using the “Words your Way” spelling program which is developed to support students at their own level of spelling. A test will be given at the beginning of the year to learn what spelling concepts they already understand so that they can build from there.  Students will be given weekly lists in which they will practice throughout the week through word sorts, repeated practice, and spelling games.  Assessments will be given often to monitor their growth and make any needed adjustments as they progress.  At times I will change the spelling to a word list and words to practice as directed.  Please support there spelling by taking ten minutes with them during homework time to work on their spelling sorts at home.  This will help deepen their phonemic awareness, phonics skills, as well as spelling. 


    Second graders are learning how to be more independent as writers. Their increasing knowledge of phonics supports them as they expand their repertoire of writing and strategies.  Your child will learn writing skills from master authors and practice modeling their strategies while incorporating their own imaginative ideas.  We will weave narrative, informative, opinion, and poetry styles into each quarter.  My hope is that they will grow more confident in who they are as writers while practicing the multi dimensional aspects of writing that also include handwriting, spelling, and conventions.


    I strive to help the children understand the connection between math and the real world, by providing various experiences with the use of manipulatives, games, and everyday problems. Mathematics is synonymous with problem solving.  I try to take every opportunity to ask rather then tell and to guide rather than direct how they come up with answers.  “When immature thinking is not accepted, students sometimes lose confidence in their own ability to solve and understand problems.”  (Kathy Richardson, Mathematician and Author)


    Through the year the class will explore Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science and Engineering. During these times I will encourage you to talk with your student about these ideas.    For Social Studies we will talk about communities.  I will have a guest speaker come in to talk about how our community works including different jobs, how our taxes support community, and how people work together.  Community will also be explored in the aspects of how pioneers lived more than 100 years ago.  This is commonly when we take our fun class field trip to Pioneer Farms.


    Please help your child remember to bring their folder to school everyday – we send home notes, important school information, and daily reports which should be signed weekly. It’s one way for me to communicate with you and vice versa. 
    Try to read together. It can be something from the newspaper, a magazine, or a book.  I consider this daily homework.  Enjoy this time together.  Use it to help build confidence and a positive self image.  Remember it is still good to read to your child even as they have developed their skills, and have them spend time to read to you or themselves as well. 


    They should read 20 minutes a night. A reading recording chart is added to the Soaring slip for you to sign nightly.  Each week will look a little different; they may have math, writing, reading, or something specific.  Please support your child by providing a quiet space for them to work and establish a regular time to complete homework. Homework should not be more than 15 minutes not including reading.  If it is taking longer, please let me know so that we can make some modifications.


    Each afternoon, the students go to the Art, Library, Music, or P.E. Specialist for a forty minute period. Good shoes are always helpful on P.E. days.  Our class can check out new books on any library rotation day once their previous two books have been returned.  Please help them to keep track of library books.  Sometimes a special shelf or cubby for books and school stuff helps them to stay organized. 


    There are several Wednesdays designated as Early Release Days. On those days school will dismiss at 1:40.  Please consult the NTPS calendar for exact days.


    I am looking forward to meeting with you individually on October 22th to 26th in order to discuss your child’s progress in second grade.  Please note the changes to conferences days and times.  During conference time students will attend a half day with a release time at 11:25, and teachers will hold conferences times in the afternoons. If there is a particular day or time that is especially inconvenient for you, please let me know.  I am always open for notes and phone calls if you need to speak with me before or after this time.  One other conference will be held later in the year.  Grades are based off a 4 point system:  4 above standard, 3 meeting standard, 2 approaching standard, 1 below standard.


    Each day a soaring slip of paper will be in your child’s folder, indicating the type of day he or she had. Each day they start on READY.  When student displays Positive, Responsible, Respecting things in class, they can move pin up to GOOD, GREAT, and then OUTSTANDNG.  If they reach OUTSTANDING they get a treat from me.They can also move their pin down.  Down can lead them to OK, OOPS, and maybe CRASH LANDING.  These will mean a loss of recess time or other appropriate conscience.  If necessary, additional information will be included by me if needed.  Please sign this slip weekly.  The school has changed their behavior forms also.  We are focusing on the positive behaviors that our students can do.  If seen being Positive, Respectful, and Responsible, they may receive a stamp on their earn and return cards.  Once they have ten stamps they will earn a prize.  However, sometimes students will need more corrections, so depending on the offense, your child may also receive an FYI (for your information) form.  Is so, please sign and return.  A copy will then by given to you afterwards.   Serious offenses will receive an infraction slip.  If you have questions about their day, write a note or give me a call and I will be happy to speak with you about it.  This communication tool will also help us tract their behavior if needed.  (It is important for them to have their folder EVERY DAY!) 


    Students should not bring mp3 players, CD players, or video game devices to school. If they are seen they will be confiscated and you will be asked to pick up the item. Cell phones should not be used during the school day and are to remain off during school hours.  The students will have toys and play time in and out of the classroom during the day and week.  It is sad when a student has lost, broken, or has a toy stolen so please keep all toys from home at home.  On that same note, the students may have the privilege of having a show and tell time.  If this is the case, toys should remain in their backpack until their sharing time and then return if to the backpack for the remainder of the day.  


    I try to send a book order home each month; they are strictly optional, but are an excellent way to collect inexpensive books that are of good quality and appropriate interest to a 7 or 8 year old.  As you all know, the best way to stimulate the desire to read is to have many available books and spend time reading together.    You may send check made out to Scholastic Books or order online using our class code DWJL9.  PTSA Book Fairs are also held here at the school during conference times.


    We will celebrate a few of the major holidays in class.  You will get letters home asking for volunteers to send items in during holiday seasons.  I happily allow students to bring in treats for their birthday celebrations in class.  I like healthier items; however cookies or cupcakes are OK.  No cake please.   We will celebrate summer birthdays at the end of the year. 


    As you know allergies has become a known threat to children and adults. Please take this into consideration as you pack your child’s lunch and when you send in items for special events. 


    We love volunteers. A volunteer form has been sent home in addition to this information, if you are interested in coming in to help. Thank you.