The second grade language arts curriculum includes reading, writing, spelling and hand-writing. It is integrated through all core subjects. Children move from learning to read to reading to learn. During reader’s workshop, the children select, read, discuss, and write about the books that they have chosen. This fosters independent reading through book talks, mini-lessons, and guided reading. The children learn how to use reading strategies to insure success. Mini-lessons reinforce strategies and areas of focus. Genre is taught and explored through reading and writing. Through conferences, small group and large group reading and discussions, the children are supported as they move toward fluency. The writing program also utilizes a workshop approach that includes grammar, the mechanics of writing, writer’s skills, creative thinking, strategies for organizing and sequencing written material, and the writer’s voice. We explore mentor texts, fairy tales, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biography. In handwriting, we directly teach and review printed letters and the mechanics of writing before beginning cursive writing instruction mid-year. Spelling is woven throughout our curriculum and directly taught at each child’s level.
Students explore ways that math is used in daily life through the Everyday Math Program. Their understanding of math equations and problems is enhanced through daily practice, number games and explorations of math concepts. Second grade math skills and content are: Numbers and Numeration (reading and identifying place-value of whole numbers into the thousands; comparing numbers; working with fractions; using money to develop place-value and decimal concepts); Operations and Computation (recalling addition and subtraction facts to 12; working with fact families; adding and subtracting using regrouping into the hundreds; making reasonable estimates; using repeated addition and subtraction to solve multiplication and division; calculating values of coin and bill combinations); Data and Chance (using graphs, number stories and charts to solve problems); Geometry (classifying polygons and constructing 2 and shapes); Measurement and Reference Frames (using tools to measure length and temperature, using U.S. customary and metric units to the half inch and centimeter; using clocks and calendars); Patterns, Functions, and Algebra (exploring number patterns, rules for number sequences, and relations between numbers); Process and Reasoning (solving non-routine problems, justifying their solutions, and comparing solution strategies). Students use a combination of reading, analysis and application throughout the math program.
Our science curriculum is called FOSS Next Generation. FOSS stands for: Full Option Science System. Our study is divided into 3 units: “Solids and Liquids,” “Sand, Pebbles, and Silt,” and “Plants and Insects.” The program includes a wide range of experiences that help build student understanding of science concepts and scientific habits of mind. Students are actively engaged and have ownership of their learning in everything they do. They will learn to ask questions, gather information, test ideas, watch carefully, record data and communicate discoveries. As part of our investigation of seeds and plants we invite our student’s parents to celebrate with our annual Guacamole Party. These units are engaging topics that will provide a connection to the natural world that the students experience every day.
In second grade, the students broaden their sense of place. Students gain insights into their communities and make meaningful connections to the larger world. The students learn about the location of St. John’s and their homes in relation to the bigger community including our city, state, country, and world. A main aspect of our curriculum remains our global project with a school in New Brunswick, Canada. Students examine landforms and consider how they influenced where various Native American tribes settled and used the land’s existing resources.
In second grade Spanish, the objective is to build students’ confidence via speaking and listening while further developing their reading and writing skills in Spanish. Students read and write simple phrases while responding orally to phrases and questions in the target language. Through answering warm-up questions, listening to stories, playing games, singing songs, responding to listening activities, completing written work, and performing skits, students will interact with the instructor and each other by using the target language to communicate.