Second grade is the time to extend and strengthen concepts and skills that have already been mastered as well as learn new skills and strategies. By introducing more complex and challenging material and by encouraging independent learning, our students develop initiative and confidence in their growing skills.
Reading continues to develop in second grade as students strengthen their ability to decode (read) and encode (spelling) multisyllabic words while increasing fluency and efficient expression, which results in greater comprehension of the material. At the close of second grade, students shift from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” in third grade. Guided reading provides time for direct skill instruction while the students will develop their facility in the application of reading strategies to the self-selected and appropriately leveled books in their book box. Our Charlotte’s Web unit is well loved and is always one of the highlights of the year!
In a writing workshop format, children begin to express themselves through the written word. A creative writing journal is introduced. Students work on organizational structures, grammar and the mechanics of writing skills. They also learn to apply their spelling and vocabulary skills in all subjects. In addition, cursive (script) writing is taught and used for the first time.
The development of essential study and research skills commence in second grade. Some special monthly highlights are: oral and written book reports, a "family feather” for Thanksgiving, January research projects focusing on important historical figures, and a Charlotte’s Web diorama giving students the opportunity to put their communication skills and creative talents to use.
As students develop their mathematical thinking, the Math In Focus: Singapore Math program introduces second-graders to bar modeling, a critical tool used throughout the remainder of the program to analyze and create a visual model of how to interpret and solve a presented math problem. In addition, students begin to learn multiplication, division, graphing and real-world problem-solving involving multiple steps.
Students in second grade truly enjoy and thrive with hands-on learning experiences as they begin to study new content in science and social studies. They study the concept of “community” and what that means. They also learn about important historical figures and events. Here, the first concepts of geography are introduced by studying maps, continents and world cultures. Science is inquiry based, providing students opportunity to explore activities and seasonal themes that focus on plants and animals, heat, light, sound, machines, magnets, electricity, air, water, engineering and the mechanics of the human body. Students begin to develop an understanding of the components of the scientific method.
Technology plays an important role in the second-grade program. The use of computers and other technologies as tools for learning is project based. Students learn to use various tools to acquire knowledge or to express their learning. Therefore, word processing is strengthened to aid students in transferring their thoughts onto the computer, which provides for efficient editing and revision. Ipads offer opportunities to strengthen skills in all content areas.