The major themes of the second grade are people and place.
Reading and writing are thoroughly entwined in our curricular framework. Students use examples of good literature to inspire their writing. Although second graders read and write at various levels, they are able to have conversations around a common theme and practice reading and writing strategies.
Through direct teaching and looking for examples in our own writing and in the writing of the authors we love, children are exposed to grammar, including sentence structure, parts of speech, punctuation, and word choice.
Our goal in word study is for children to develop a deeper understanding of spelling patterns, connect spelling to reading, and transfer words learned into daily writing. Through our
Children explore the patterns and underlying structure of words through daily word study activities. Second graders also learn a set of sight words that are phonetically irregular and must be memorized.
As the year progresses, students consider the following reading strategies:
Second graders practice their writing on both assigned and student-chosen topics. Students explore different types of writing including personal narratives, nonfiction, poetry, and persuasive writing. They are encouraged to see writing as a work in progress as they share their writing, get input from other students, and learn to revise their work. Sharing their writing helps children internalize questions and anticipate what their readers need to know. Through feedback and revision, students learn to make judgments about what to include or leave out of their compositions.
As the year progresses, students develop and incorporate the following writing tools:
Park’s math program allows for an open-ended problem-solving approach, development of real enjoyment working with numbers, and understanding based on the discovery of relationships. Using the math curriculum, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space, supplemented by units from Contexts for Learning Mathematics, teachers emphasize the learning process, thinking flexibly,
How does change happen? How do scientists organize and carry out investigations to measure change? These are two of the big questions
In second grade, many technology skills revolve around writing, editing, and formatting. Second graders use Kidspiration software to organize and plan writing.
The concepts of people and place are introduced and revisited throughout the year. Through at least one creative, interdisciplinary project each year, students research and explore community, culture, geology, and geography. Examples of these projects include:
Students create their own maps and read a variety of nonfiction. They learn about landforms and explore the many types and applications of maps, and display their knowledge by making 2-D and 3-D maps of imaginary islands. Their skills of persuasion and descriptive writing are put to use in writing and illustrating a travel brochure that extols the beauty and wonder of their islands.
Classes take imaginary trips to Peru, discuss and research the country, and learn the note-taking process. As time allows, children research a country independently, investigating its culture, food, plants, animals, and landforms. As a record of their work, students create scrapbooks with pictures, postcards, and suspenseful letters about their adventures.
In this integrated math and social studies project, students work together to build a community. Their work includes planning buildings and neighborhoods, assessing the community’s needs, and responding to the demands of the environment. In past years, we have started the project by playing outside by our stream and discussing the ways in which a group of people can live and work together successfully, then made a model to scale of our riverside community. Other years we have created model rainforest communities in the classroom. There is a great deal of cooperative