Second grade is a dynamic year of physical and mental growth, in a word, mini-miracles. In reading, we ask young readers to respond to literature by reading for a variety of purposes. Reading is more than a period of time in the school day. It is a way to discover fascinating information, travel to other worlds, or spend time with a character who becomes a friend. Writing plays is a large part of our language arts activities. We write in journals daily, and we write our own folktales, spooky stories, poetry, and autobiographies. Book reports take various forms and subjects each month. Learning to write in cursive is a highlight of the year.
In math, we learn to regroup in addition and subtraction, tell time to five minutes, measure using inches and centimeters, decipher charts and diagrams, and begin multiplication.
We use our wonderful outdoor classroom in conjunction with our science program, create science experiments, and study amazing close up observations with stereomicroscopes. Our world expands through social studies and science with map and globe skills and current events through Scholastic News. In the fall, we study Native Americans and U.S. history through the second grade play, The Thanksgiving Story.
Often, one can spot second graders by their smiles. A gap in the front signals new growth, shared adventures, and a wide open window to the world.
Second graders continue to develop phonemic awareness.
Vocabulary focuses on sight words, compound words, inflectional endings, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, antonyms, multiple meaning words, and context clues.
Comprehension skills include inferences, sequence, predictions, story elements, fantasy and reality, cause and effect, drawing conclusions, comparing and contrasting, main idea, summarizing, and generalizations.
Manuscript skills are refined and cursive writing is introduced. Students learn to write paragraphs, book reports, stories, and letters.
Spelling involves using initial, medial, final, and consonant cluster sounds, short, long and variant vowel sounds, homophones, and singular and plural nouns. Students learn to spell irregular and sight words, and spell derivatives by using the correct spelling of the base word.
Our Language Arts curriculum is individualized through SRA Reading Laboratory and Accelerated Reader. SRA provides individualized skills instruction, permits independent work, promotes students' sense of responsibility, and lets each student move at his/her own rate according to individual ability. Accelerated Reader is a computerized program that enables assessment of student comprehension of "real" books. Students select their own books and read at their own pace and level.
Math concepts from previous years are reinforced through the use of manipulatives and problem solving. Math skills include problem solving, adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit numbers with and without regrouping, understanding multiplication as repeated addition, division as repeated subtraction, multiplying one digit numbers, simple fractions, mental math and counting strategies, fractions, measurement, time, elapsed time, estimation, money, and interpreting graphs. A solid understanding of concepts is developed through real world experiences.
Read It, Draw It, Solve is a unique problem solving program created to increase young children's understanding of mathematical concepts through direct visual involvement. For each problem in the program, students demonstrate their understanding of the concept by creating a drawing before providing the answer. Students become confident in their reasoning abilities and are able to communicate easily their understanding of mathematics. When young children work with illustrations they have made rather than abstract symbols, they learn to think of mathematics as problem solving rather than rote learning. They learn to reason rather than simply react, and they develop a better understanding of what they are doing.
Exemplars is a math supplement with monthly problems allowing students to communicate mathematically by sharing their thinking progress verbally and in written form.
Accelerated Math, a computer generated math program, individualizes mathematics practice and testing. Accelerated Math motivates every student to succeed. The program prints individualized practice assignments and tests for each student.
Geography skills include map and globe skills, directions, map symbols, continents, oceans, and landforms. Civics focuses on government and government officials, rules and laws, and citizenship. Cultural activities study Native American Indians and contributions of significant individuals through biographies.
History concentrates on American symbols and heroes and historical events in US history, and Thanksgiving.
Sociology introduces students to types of communities, community leaders, and natural resources and conservation.
Economics teaches second graders about goods and services, needs and wants, products made from natural resources, and occupations.
Plants and animals live in land and water habitats that help them meet their needs. Land habitats include woodland forests, rain forests, deserts, and the Arctic. Water habitats include fresh water and salt water. We can help protect these habitats.
Earth and Space Science introduces students to seasons, properties of air and water, weather, erosion, sun and season, day and night, planets and stars.
Physical Science focuses on heat, light and sound, magnets, force, machines, properties of matter, and gravity.
Second grade art is an introduction to the elements of art, art appreciation, art history, and studio techniques. Students are introduced to drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, ceramics, and sculpture, as well as the use and care of art materials. They create art using a variety of styles and media. Students view art from a variety of artists and learn to express opinions about art.
Students learn seasonal and fun songs that illustrate basic music concepts, and they learn songs for the Second grade play and the Christmas program. They work on singing with good tone and accurate pitch. Students learn songs and folk dances with movements that reinforce the concepts of beat and rhythm. Students accompany songs on the rhythm instruments and practice keeping the beat, playing simple rhythm patterns and starting and stopping together. Listening experiences include the music of the Nutcracker Ballet, a review of instruments of the orchestra, and listening to identify vocal sounds. Creative activities include creating movements to music, and creating accompaniments to songs on the rhythm instruments. Pre-reading concepts covered are pitch, melodic movement, tempo, identifying the sound of the major scale, dynamics, and playing simple rhythms.
Basic LAN and word processing skills (basic formatting techniques, saving in and retrieving from a specific folder) are continued. Students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and learn to work with a partner to complete a task. Math, science, and reading skills are reinforced through age appropriate computer programs.
Spanish skills introduced are greetings and introductory remarks, alphabet and vowels, general commands, gender of nouns with definite and indefinite articles, numbers 1-20 by 10s, 5s, and 2s, colors, phone numbers, addresses, prices, days of the week, months of the year, items in the classroom, parts of the body, clothing, our community, directions, home, telling time, foods, family, description of self or friend, professions and occupations, descriptive adjectives, possessive adjectives, weather, seasons, Spanish speaking countries in South America (geography, foods, cultural facts), and holiday celebrations in Latin America and Spain. Second graders concentrate on listening, oral and some written expression.
Skills presented in previous grades are reinforced. Students learn to identify nonfiction and fiction. They learn to use spine labels to find fiction and nonfiction books, short story collections, and biographies in both E sections and upper level sections. Second graders begin to read more difficult chapter books from the upper level sections, and continue taking AR tests on those books. They become nearly proficient in their use of the automated card catalog in order to find chosen books. They must find the selected book and use the call number to go to the correct shelf. Second graders also do an in-depth study of periodicals (magazines) and a basic report on a magazine article. They discover atlases, almanacs, and some folk literature and mythology.
Students continue mastering the previously learned skills in first grade. However, focus is on the specific aspects of each skill. Not only are skills evaluated individually but more group activities such as four square, ball handling stations, Newcombe, and Ralleyball are introduced with an emphasis on teamwork and cooperation. Students participate in a pre and post physical fitness test called Fitnessgram.