Second graders use the skills mastered in first grade to open the door to increasing independence and an ever-expanding mastery of skills and concepts. Seven and eight-year-olds want to grow up and assume the roles of older children. Therefore, self-reliance and responsibility are encouraged in second grade. Second graders like order, they zero in on what they are good at and like to practice it over and over. They are industrious and driven by curiosity and they love to discover and invent. They take great pride in their accomplishments.
However, they like order and structure in their day. Mixing individual activities, group discussion, and group activities works well for this age group as long as there is the comfort of structure guiding the development of individual responsibility. Small group cooperative activities are provided in a variety of ways from "center areas" located at different areas of the classroom. Students may access materials and activities in these centers during free time and continue work begun during scheduled independent exploration periods.
The language arts curriculum encompasses balanced literacy experiences with an emphasis on phonics skills and the use of context clues for decoding words as well as writing. Second graders build on their literacy skills fostered through the use of the Reader's and Writer's Workshop model which combines whole group, small group, and individual instruction. Building vocabulary, understanding main ideas, details, sequence, making predictions, and developing conclusions are all important skills and understandings for second graders. Creative writing assignments provide a variety of writing experiences that introduce children to the various domains of writing and explore literary genres. Writing is exciting for eager-to-learn second graders.
The Singapore Math method of teaching math continues in second grade with the progression of concrete, pictorial, and abstract understanding being applied to new concepts. Beginning model solving strategies are applied to word problems. Mathematical concepts are particularly accessible at this age, with increasing ability for students to infer, predict and estimate as they look for patterns and solve problems. A mastery of addition and subtraction facts by second semester frees students to develop this ability. Building an understanding of multiplication and division continues at this grade level. Children also learn concepts in geometry, time, measurement, and money.
Technology education is embedded into the content areas and students have access to their own iPad through our one-to-one program. There continues to be a focus on the Next Generation Science Standards to extend learning in the area of science as well as to feature experiments using the science lab to enhance science education. Mystery Science units of study include: Animal Adventures, Plant Adventures, Work of Water, and Material Magic.
Specialty teachers provide instruction in Art, Music, Physical Education, Spiritual Nurture, and Spanish and a variety of field trips are taken throughout the year.
Second grade is a balance between hard work and reflective self-assessment. This produces a sense of competence in students, which sets the stage for greater independence and self-direction in the following grades