In Second Grade, the class moves from fables to folklore. The students read a variety of books that come from numerous countries and cultures. The class will develop comprehension skills as they predict, make connections, and ask questions about these stories. There will be opportunities for students to be a part of this oral tradition as storytellers. Students also practice phonics and decoding strategies through guided reading. Spelling lists are distributed each week. The lists include words that the children misspell, words that are relevant to a topic or theme, and words from the books they are reading.
Second graders begin working on the writing process: drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Lessons focus on craft, mechanics, and strategies to strengthen writing. Students begin writing about what they know best – themselves. Using a graphic organizer, students will map out their personal narrative.
Mathematics (Kindergarten – Grade 4)
Our students learn to see math in everyday life, searching for patterns, mathematical processes, and numbers in the world around them. At all grade levels students learn that math is not an isolated subject and recognize connections between all their other classes.
Students begin exploring numbers and mathematical ideas with concrete materials, progress to pictorial representations, and finally, reason abstractly with symbols. Our classes are structured in ways that encourage the use of a variety of manipulative materials, age-appropriate technology, and games for students to construct their own meanings of key mathematical concepts. Through flexible grouping and differentiated instruction, we ensure that each child feels both competent and challenged during their elementary math classes. Students and teachers recognize that enduring learning takes time and practice but work together to efficiently master basic numerical facts to prepare for success in middle school mathematics and beyond.
In second grade, students strengthen their understanding of addition and subtraction facts while working with two- and three-digit numbers. Knowledge of these concepts is deepened through the introduction of grouping and regrouping up to the hundreds place. Doubles and near doubles facts are applied to greater numbers using base ten concepts, and equal groups of objects are introduced to students to help them develop foundations for multiplication and division. Students study basic fractions and geometry, as well as analog and digital time. Second grade math concepts build on previously learned topics including time, money, and measurement as students begin to recognize these as representations of fractions in the real world. Second grade math concepts support other curriculum areas through spelling, vocabulary, and money study. Students continue to apply algebraic understanding by relating arrays and skip counting to graph and data analysis.
Students are introduced to general science topics in units:
- Life Science—Students learn what it means for something to be alive and what living things need to survive. Students begin to develop an understanding of the world's animal biodiversity. They explore animal classification and the traits that define each group. Students then turn their focus to habitats and how the surrounding environment affects what organisms live in a particular environment. In addition, explore the needs of plants through hands-on investigations. They explore why and how plants disperse their seeds, what those seeds need in order to grow, and what the adult plants need in order to survive and thrive.
- Physical Science—Students explore the properties of materials and matter! They describe and classify different types of materials by properties like hardness, flexibility, and absorbency, and they investigate how those properties are useful in meeting basic human needs (such as clothing and cooking). They also investigate how heating and cooling affect the properties of materials.
- Earth Science—Students explore how water shapes the Earth's surface. Students construct and use models of mountains to demonstrate that water flows downhill, and in the process, transforms huge rocks into the tiny grains of sand we find at the beach. Students also construct and use model hills to determine the causes of erosion, and to design solutions to problems caused by erosion.
In Second Grade, the class studies how to make a better world, a world of respect and equality. Children embrace democratic values, community values and cultural diversity. Students develop critical thinking, problem solving, and communicating skills for engaged civic life.
The year concludes by learning all about national landmarks, including the American flag, the White House, The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, The Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Rushmore.
Second grade students will begin learning fundamental music theory, being reinforced though piano skills. Piano is an instrument that reads from left to right, like a book, and provides the students with a literal map of musical notes. Students will be able to play simple melodies from popular songs as well as learn to make music of their own.