In second grade, our language arts time consists of four main components: shared reading, guided reading, writing, and word study. During whole group reading, students learn a variety of comprehension strategies in fiction and non-fiction texts, decoding techniques, vocabulary, and dictionary skills. Second grade reading curriculum also focuses on reading a variety of texts beyond classic story books, such as pamphlets, recipes, websites, magazines, map directions, and more. In small group reading, students have the opportunity to apply these strategies with developmentally appropriate texts. Students also partake in writing exercises in the form of journals, reading responses, and formal writing lessons. In the second half of second grade, students are taught cursive penmanship. The word study program is utilized for phonics and spelling instruction.
In second grade, the goal of math instruction is to develop number sense and mathematical relationships in order to apply that knowledge to problem solving situations. In order to achieve this goal, we implement daily calendar math, spiral review, ongoing word problem practice, fact fluency (becoming efficient in knowledge of the basic math facts), and number-talk. We also practice concepts with manipulatives and utilize interactive games to reinforce instruction. Some of the components of our math curriculum include: measurement, geometry, place value, patterns, and computation.
Second-grade students are introduced to the heritage and contributions of ancient civilizations across the world, Native Americans, and famous Americans. Students also develop map skills and demonstrate an understanding of geographical skills and basic economic concepts. The students identify selected American individuals who have worked to improve the lives of American citizens. We also focus on what it takes to be a good citizen and a contributing member to our community. The students recognize that the United States is a land of people who have diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions, and who are united as Americans by common principles.
Second-grade science curriculum is focused on using a broad range of skills in understanding the natural world. Making detailed observations, drawing conclusions, and recognizing unusual or unexpected data are stressed as skills needed for using and validating information. Measurement in both English and metric units is stressed. The idea of living systems is introduced through habitats and the interdependence of living and nonliving things. The concept of change is explored in states of matter, life cycles, weather patterns, and seasonal effects on plants and animals.