Second grade is a consolidating period of growth. A balance between external guidance and self reflection in second grade produces a sense of competence in children, setting the stage for greater self-direction and independent thinking.
Second graders' bodies are bigger and their motor skills are more refined than in previous years. Children in second grade take more risks to explore social structures, to get engaged in physical activities and to pursue academic interests.
In second grade, children are redefining their social construct. Their focus is less egocentric and more democratic. Social interactions continue to evolve as play becomes more complex. Children test their role in relationships, seeking acceptance and definition. Second graders participate more independently in problem solving, begin to appreciate differences of opinion, and are more willing to make compromises.
Second graders begin to understand their personal history with greater depth and show increasing interest in the world around them. They apply knowledge of prior experiences making connections to present learning and future predictions. They begin to recognize personal strengths and areas of weakness to set individual and academic goals. Second graders pursue academic learning with greater purpose and intent. They deal with concepts of time, space and quantity with increased sophistication and are increasingly able to represent their understanding symbolically in writing and drawing. They can make academic choices and pursue their work in more detail. Second graders begin to recognize their role in a community and get invested in the structure and routines of school.
Second Grade Language Arts
Reading is part of a continuum that begins with the earliest life experiences of discriminating between visual and auditory patterns. As children grow and mature they are exposed to and introduced to the graphic representations of these patterns, in the form of print, in numerous ways. One of the most important is being read to by caring adults. This process continues at school with children looking at books, reading to themselves, and sharing experiences that include being read to by teachers, teacher led reading groups, and partner reading. All of these experiences work in concert to lay a foundation for success in learning to read and for enriching students' understanding of the value of reading. Our goal is to foster in children a love of reading, along with an interest in books and their infinite variety.
Second grade children come with a developmental range of skills, abilities and experiences in reading. Early in the fall we evaluate each child's understanding of reading, interest in books and willingness to engage in the reading process. The goal is to help children read independently at or above the second grade level by the time school ends or to be engaged in appropriate outside reading help.
Decoding Skills include:
- use of contextual clues
- sentence structure
- use of picture cues
- use of sight vocabulary
- decoding skills
- asking for help when needed
- self-correcting when the meaning of a passage or sentence has been interrupted
- making predictions and inferences about the text
- engaging prior knowledge
Comprehension skills include:
- learning to retell what is read
- learning to express the main ideas
- recalling specific facts
- learning to form and support opinions about what is read
- beginning to synthesize information
- learning to discuss and write about what is read
- learning to read expressively
- self-correcting when the meaning has been interrupted
- engaging prior knowledge
- learning to read and interpret written directions
Range of materials
- introduction to a variety of genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, folktales, legends
Affective approach includes:
- enjoyment of reading
- feeling confident about reading ability
- ability to read silently for an increasing length of time
- ability to read clearly with flow and expression
- ability to make connections between reading and writing
- ability to read for a variety of purposes
In second grade classrooms children are taught to write to communicate, to express ideas creatively, and to develop more independence as a writer. The initial focus is on the content of their writing, the thoughtfulness of their ideas, and their use of descriptive language. As this process evolves, children are encouraged to integrate expression of ideas and complete thoughts with eventual attention to details and standards.
- learning to put a complete thought into writing
- applying their creative voice to their writing
- learning to develop a sense of writing for others to understand and appreciate
- learning to write for a variety purposes, fiction and non-fiction.
- learning to edit
- use of developmentally appropriate spelling
- correct spelling of high frequency words
- how to find and use resources for spelling help
- how to find and use resources for writing ideas
- mechanics which incorporate:
- using punctuation properly ( . / ? / ! )
- using capital letters for names and beginning of sentences
- printing legibly
- spacing between words
- using lower and upper case letters appropriately
The goal for second graders as listeners and speakers is for them to be able to listen and talk with each other and their teachers, attentively and respectfully.
- remembering and following verbal instructions
- asking for help when it is needed
- participating in small group discussions
- learning to formulate information in order to form and/or support opinions
- enunciating clearly
- using appropriate volume, tone and pitch
- sharing ideas and opinions
A variety of activities and materials are shared at the second grade level. The following is a list of activities to which all second grade children are exposed.
- small group reading instruction
- teachers reading aloud
- library story
- use of multiple copy literature
- silent reading
- writer's workshop (illustrating, journaling, fiction and non-fiction, poetry)
- assigned writing
- spelling instruction
- group meetings
- group discussions
- cooperative work
- field trips ( apple-picking, beach, plays, etc.)
- life cycles ( butterflies, garden, calendars )
Lower School Mathematics
Philosophy and Goals
"Mathematics is the study of quantities and relations through the use of numbers and symbols." Classroom practices are organized so that students have many and varied experiences with numbers and symbols. The development of a sense of number is part of the daily discourse and woven into the fabric of each classroom. Number sense can best be described as "good intuition about numbers and their relationships." It develops overtime with opportunities to explore numbers, to visualize them in a variety of situations, and to relate them in ways that are not limited to traditional algorithms. Number sense builds on students' natural insights and helps them understand that mathematics makes sense, that it is not just a collection of arbitrary rules to be applied.
We have adapted five general goals from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. The intent of these goals is to develop mathematically literate individuals who understand the role of mathematics in our daily lives. We want our students to be skillful in the application of mathematical concepts as they relate to the occupations that fashion our world and our lives. We also want them to be appreciative of mathematical principles where they are manifested in the arrangement of the petals of a sunflower, the ebb and flow of the tides, and the creation of beautiful music.
- Students learn to value mathematics. Students' mathematical experiences should be frequent and related to other disciplines whenever possible.
- Students become confident in their own abilities. Mathematical experiences should enable students to make sense of new problem situations in the world as they encounter them.
- Students become mathematical problem solvers. Learning to solve problems individually and cooperatively is a primary goal of our mathematics instruction.
- Students learn to communicate mathematically. Students learn to use signs, symbols, and terminology in problem situations so this language becomes natural and logical.
- Students learn to reason mathematically. Students' ability to make conjectures, gather evidence, and build supporting arguments is a primary goal of our mathematics instruction.
Second Grade Math
I. Numbers, Numeration, and Place Value
Skills and Goals
- working on counting forward and backward 1-100 and beyond, beginning at any number
- working on skip counting by twos, fives, tens, hundreds
- working on recognizing, locating, and placing numbers in sequences and patterns
- working knowledge of significant personal numbers (address, phone number, birth date)
- working knowledge of odd/even numbers
- working on place value
- working on fractions
- exposure to number systems other than Arabic
- patterns number line
- fractions 100+ number grid
- equal parts counters
- half calendar
- fourth (quarters)
Skills and Goals
- working knowledge of addition and subtraction facts to 20 through such things as story problems, objects, number lines, and calculators
- working on 2-digit addition and subtraction
- writing story problems and generating algorithms
- selecting appropriate operations
- working on mental calculations; estimation/approximation/rounding
- working with money: identifying penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, one dollar bill, five dollar bill, ten dollar bill; exchange values; working on making change
- working on money notations as decimal fractions ( 1.00, .50, .25)
- working knowledge of relational signs <,>,=
- exposure to algebraic/missing term problems
- introduction to intuitive multiplication and division
- addition/subtraction coins
- exchange value bills
- multiplication/division calculators plus/minus
- twice as much
- relational signs(>, <, =)
Skills and Goals
- working on spatial concepts with geometric manipulatives
- working on the identification and reproduction of basic two-dimensional figures
- working on the identification of basic three-dimensional geometric figures
- exploring symmetry
- introduction to line segments and points; drawing with straight edges
- circle cylinder
- square pyramid
- rectangle cone
- triangle prism
- hexagon templates
- parallelogram pattern blocks
- polygon straight edge
- cube geometric solids
- line segment
Skills and Goals
- working on measuring with standard and non-standard units
- linear measure
- mass (weight)
- working on recording information using appropriate symbols for measure in both the U.S. and metric systems
- working on associating significant time periods within the context of a whole day
- working on cyclical natures of time, seasons and months, calendar years, etc.
- working knowledge of calendar activities including the names and sequence of the months and days of the week and numerical date notation
- hour hand yard/meter sticks
- minute hand tape measures
- second hand ruler/straightedge
- hour/half hour scales
- minute/second bath scale (lb, kg)
- A.M./P.M. spring scale
- inch/centimeter pan balance
- foot thermometers
- yard/meter digital clock
- mile/kilometer analog cloc
V. Collecting, Organizing and Recording Data
Skills and Goals
- working with tally marks, graphs, charts and tables
- working with calculators and computers
- monitor disk
- keyboard calculators
- disk drive tally
Lower School Library
Philosophy and Goals
The lower school library program is designed to nurture children's love of literature and their enthusiasm for investigating the existing body of knowledge on any given subject of interest.
The program builds skills incrementally over the years, giving students the ability to independently use and enjoy library resources. While the ability to use the library independently is encouraged, support from librarians is always available. Knowledge and skills gained through the program help to form a strong foundation for lifelong learning.
The lower school library program also provides support to classroom and special area teachers and attempts to integrate library goals and objectives with their curricula when possible.
Independent use of the library:
- To support the intellectual curiosity of our students
- To teach the difference between fiction and non-fiction
- To provide an understanding of the organization of fiction and non-fiction books in the library and their call number arrangement on the shelf
- To develop the skills needed to look up materials on the computerized library catalog and then to locate them independently
Awareness and Appreciation of Literature:
- To impart an awareness of a wide variety of available fiction and non-fiction literature
- To develop children's appreciation of language and story
- To give students basic tools to critically review literature
Classroom teacher support:
- To add resources to the collection which are useful across the lower school curriculum
- To assist individual teachers in locating library books which are supportive of their classroom goals
- To provide assistance to children working on classroom assignments which require library research
- To provide assistance to children working on classroom assignments based on library resources, such as genre specific readin
Second Grade Literature Appreciation
Over the course of the second grade year, children generally move from reading relatively short, easy to read books into the world of chapter books. Library sessions provide an introduction to a cross-section of appropriate literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and folklore. Methods include but are not limited to read-alouds and book talks. Storytelling continues on a weekly basis for second graders.
In second grade, students are introduced to the foundations of library skills that will allow them to be independent library users:
- Learn to differentiate between fiction and non-fiction.
- Learn the parts of a book: spine, title page, table of contents, etc.
- Are introduced to the macro-organization of library, the location of major groupings of books in the library: picture book section, ABC section, chapter books, non-fiction, magazines, biographies.
- Are introduced to library organization within each major section: picture books by author, non-fiction by subject.
- Are introduced to the concept of "call number."
Second Grade Art
Second graders become increasingly aware of their world and need a context in which to express their inherent curiosity about the world in which they live. They also need to express the magical qualities of imagination and play within a developmentally appropriate setting. Exploration is the key to this process. Self-expression within a group project defines these goals. A sense of cooperation within the group dynamic develops through this process.
The second grade art curriculum is structured to introduce and broaden understandings of art as having a function in societies, beginning in prehistoric times. It also directs students through age-appropriate goals to achieve independence in the various creative media with a sense of clear purpose and the ability to express ideas clearly in a visual format.
As a means of keeping the curriculum fresh and vital, a variety of new projects are created each year and some changes are often made on the established projects as each individual group of students approaches the task to be achieved with new and different points of view.
- Visual communication - Introduce art as a means of communicating and expressing ideas, feelings, and historical information recorded through visual observation. This concept is illustrated with Art History, appreciation of artists' work and interpretation.
- Ability to complete ideas - Develop an understanding of the process of creating a work of art through various steps of investigation, invention, and working through a variety of materials to achieve a completed project.
- Visual vocabulary - Learn the language of art, such as:
- Color: Primary, secondary, intermediate
- Scale: Size comparisons
- Line, shape, texture and pattern
- Knowledge of materials - Develop motor skills (hand and eye coordination/dexterity with tools) and craftsmanship with a variety of materials. Students are expected to handle materials in a safe and appropriate manner as well as be responsible for their upkeep and clean up.
- brushes of all sizes tempera
- scissors watercolors
- student made tools (brushes, drawing papier mâché
- sticks and files) different types of papers
- rulers cardboard
- low-temperature glue guns mixed media
- materials found in nature
- variety of glues and tapes
- vine charcoal
- color pencils
- chalk pastels
- block printing
Modes of expression covered:
- Drawing: preparation and investigation sketches as well as drawings as final art work, drawing from imagination, introduction to drawing through imagination.
- Sculpture: papier mâché, mixed papers and cardboard constructions, sculpture emphasis on "volume versus flat" and issues of balance.
- Collage: simple shapes, patterns and texture with sand, fabric and a variety of papers.
- Painting: imaginary landscapes, still-life and storytelling (narrative) pictures
Lower School Physical Education
Philosophy and Goals
The physical education program is designed to offer a wide variety of experiences and exposure to many activities for its participants. The focus is on success, a high level of participation, enjoyment and the development of cooperative skills to enable our students to work well with others and to achieve group goals. As children move into third and fourth grades sportsmanship and cooperative learning are stressed.
Students participate in a wide variety of activities from individual manipulative skills to team sports. It is hoped that these activities will help develop the health and vigorous energies of the students. Social and emotional development is recognized as being an important adjunct in the educational process. A main concern is to instill a love for physical activity along with an understanding of the health benefits to be gained from involvement.
The goals for the Physical Education Department are student-centered. The emphasis on each varies from one grade to another and from teacher to teacher. In general, students are expected to develop:
- Physical status - which will enable them to function more effectively in all activities.
- Neuromuscular skills - with which they can perform more competently in all activities. Specific activity skills are stressed so that coordination patterns will develop and carry over into many activities.
- Social interaction - to help them participate more effectively in group situations. Stress is placed on such qualities as cooperation, leadership, team play, and sportsmanship. Safety awareness receives emphasis at all levels.
- Interest - in physical activity so that satisfaction, fun, and a feeling of well-being results from learning and playing. Opportunities for self-expression and creativity are inherent within the curriculum.
- Knowledge - of physical activities so that they may participate more intelligently, and of the health benefits well associated with being active.
Activities for first and second grades include:
Fundamental movement I, II, III, manipulatives I, II (nets), III, rhythms I, II, gymnastics, tennis, batting
Lower School Computer Department
Skill Development for Grade 2
- Basic word processing skills
- Development of critical thinking skills through simulations, problem solving, and drawing conclusions
- Introduction to software media representing different subject areas
- Introduction to the server
- Introduction to desktop management
- Mouse manipulation
- Drawing, painting, and desktop publishing
- Introduction of hardware and software terminology
- Introduction to working with two documents at one time
- Introduction to geography software using maps and legends