Welcome to 2nd Grade!
Second Grade is a year of great change, great learning, and great experiences! We work throughout the year on creating a respectful, caring, classroom community, where every child feels safe to learn, think, question, and have fun! As children now have the developmental skills to look out for themselves to others, they are ready and eager to participate in our character-rich curriculum. Using a Responsive Classroom approach to teaching, children grow during Second Grade in independence, responsibility, empathy, and self-control; all skills that in turn help them to have greater success academically. Using techniques in Mindfulness, students also acquire needed strategies for managing the stresses that are a part of everyday life. It also helps the second grader socially by offering space between conflict and response.
Second graders enter school proud of having “learned to read” and being ready to “read to learn”. Following the reader’s workshop model, students engage in both fiction and nonfiction literature, through mini-lesson activities, guided reading groups, independent application of strategies, and partner sharing. Decoding strategies are re-introduced, as well as literal comprehension skills such as main idea, sequencing, cause and effect, and comparing and contrasting. The big leap is into exploring and practicing metacognitive skills, such as predicting, summarizing, questioning, inferring, and synthesizing. In writing, we follow the writer’s workshop model. Students are exposed to the three types of common core writing: narrative, informative, opinion as well as poetry. All workshop models begin with a mini-lesson, followed by active engagement, independent work, and a share. The three-tier program, Words Their Way, helps second graders solidify their word skills of spelling, phonics, and vocabulary, which adds depth to their writing work and clarity to their reading.
The second graders follow a Math Expressions program that combines elements of standards-based instruction with the best traditional approaches. Through drawings, conceptual language, and real-world examples, it helps students make sense of mathematics. The second-grade social studies program follows an integrated Social Studies/English Language Arts curriculum. These units begin with specific ideas and questions based on the overarching understandings and essential questions, and then focus on what evidence will show that students have mastered the material. Second graders will cover the following units: Family Heritage, Active Citizenships, Rural, Urban and Suburban communities, Geography of Communities, and Change and Interdependence. In science, second graders explore their world through the lens of tools, and how they help make our world easier. From measuring, to energy and diversity of living things, children learn about their world in a hands-on, experiment-based manner. Maintaining a vegetable garden becomes the real-life application of our classroom learning, and helps to tie into our school-wide work on Environmental studies. Rounding out our year is the opportunity to deepen all curriculum areas with cultural enrichment. The interdisciplinary experience of these trips and consultants helps second grade to be a year of great memories, side by side with strong learning.