Guided Reading, Self-Selected Reading, Writer’s Workshop, and Working with Words represent the four different approaches to our Language Arts program. Guided Reading lessons focus on comprehension, fluency, and strategies for decoding. Self-Selected Reading focuses on helping create an appreciation of literature and independent reading. Writer’s Workshop is practiced for the application of concepts learned in other blocks, the joy of writing and sharing a story, editing, and spelling high frequency words. Working with Words is designed to enhance phonics, patterns, and spelling word wall words. Second grade students will use Language for information and understanding, for literary response and expression, for critical analysis and evaluation, and for social interaction.
In 2nd Grade Math, we use math games, mental math exercises, cooperative learning activities, thinking stories and mastery checkpoints to enhance our daily lessons, practice and review skills, develop problem solving skills and reinforce concepts. Our goal is for students to be proficient with multi-digit subtraction and addition by the end of second grade. We work extensively with fractions and measurement in both the metric and customary systems. There is a great deal of emphasis on whole number place value that will extend to later work with decimals. Students will also be introduced to multiplication and division and content that continues to enhance their skills in data analysis and probability. They should have basic facts through 10 + 10 and the corresponding subtraction facts committed to memory by the end of the year.
This year Social Studies is rooted in the study of geography and the United States. The year starts with a review of all the continents before narrowing down to the continent of North America and then the United States.
The United States is broken into 5 regions. The students “travel” through the country by learning about each region. We spend about 1 to 1 1/2 months learning about each region. We expose them to the region’s climate, geography, and interesting facts. They draw and write about this information throughout the year.
Basic map skills are also part of the year’s Social Studies exploration. The students use, read, and create maps throughout the year. Geographical features are also a part of the year-long study. Students will be able to identify and create the geographical terms introduced throughout the year.
The focus of study for the Second Grade is on the life sciences. Through a study of plants and their parts the students learn about the importance of plants to life on Earth. To further emphasize the role of plants in their lives, the class learns to identify the many different types of trees within the forest on campus. To give them a more global perspective, a study of the tropical rainforests and all its inhabitants is the next topic to be covered. The year concludes with a study of the human body where its systems and organs are introduced.
The Music class explores singing and classroom instruments through an integrative arts approach. Songs are interwoven with creative movement, artwork, and stories, thus creating depth of understanding and connection to the songs we sing. The Second Grade Music class learns several songs in a variety of styles. We learn and compose pattern pieces with simple rhythm, including whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and rests. Pitch and rhythm syllables are introduced as precursors to standard notation. Active listening, music games, and in-class performance are all be a part of learning developmentally appropriate music concepts.
In our class, students begin their adventure into the elements of design and the classical arts. This is done first subtly by using the language of art and then a bit later by actually studying the color wheel, mixing colors, painting, using clay, printmaking, collage, etc. Some of their art work is done solely to learn the different mediums and some of it is done in conjunction with their classroom studies.