Second grade is a time when students become more independent in their learning and application. It is the final year of the Blocks Program and is a year of exciting capstone projects, such as Permanent and Sustainable Cities, Shadow Puppet Plays, and the recreation of the Brooklyn Bridge. Students are supported with tools and strategies for them to explore and develop independence and individuality.
See what your child will learn in each of the following subject areas:
- Social Studies
- Social Emotional Learning
- Specials Classes
- Homework and Assessments
We use a balanced literacy approach, which includes:
- Direct reading instruction
- Independent reading
- Guided Reading Groups
- Shared Reading and Read Alouds
Second graders have a set amount of time each week dedicated to independent reading. Students read on their own or with partners from a wide-range of self-selected materials at their independent reading levels.
During guided reading, students are placed into small groups to read and discuss a particular book. Through guided reading, second graders delve into and gain a deeper understanding of texts. Children are supplied with reading strategies to help meet their individual needs. Second graders navigate through their literacy needs: accuracy, fluency, and comprehension, to appropriately engage and apply their higher order thinking to more challenging texts.
In second grade, we use the writing workshop model. Students are encouraged to write creatively while working through the Writing Process (planning, drafting, editing, revising, publishing) to help them publish carefully reviewed pieces of work. Children explore various genres of writing including persuasive, opinion, fairy tales, fables, and informational texts.
- Express ideas fluently in verbal communication
- Reading stamina
- Use of appropriate decoding strategies in independent reading
- Comprehension skills such as retelling, making predictions, and making connections
- Word patterns
- Silent E, GH
- Long vowels, short vowels, and vowel teams
- R-controlled vowels
- Spelling patterns
- Breaking words into parts
- Double consonants
- Consonant le
- Hard and soft sounds
- Endings: plural, double consonants, -tion,
- Punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and complete sentences
- Move through the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing
- Sequencing logical ideas
- Self-generating ideas
Units of Study
- Explore different genres
- Fiction: fables, fairy tales, realistic, fantasy, mystery
- Nonfiction: informational, biography, autobiography
- Move methodically across multisyllabic words from tip to tail
- Camouflaged consonants across words
- Read and write words by analogy using patterns and rhymes
- Persuasive and Opinion
- Fiction: Fairy tale or fable
- Shadow puppet play
Through an examination of the question “How and why do cities change over time?” second graders are asked to consider the ways in which cities change and how that is connected to the community at large. Throughout the process of urban planning, students discuss and expand upon the wants and needs of all types of urban inhabitants in order to better serve the community. Second graders explore the parts, purposes, and complexities of a city and develop an understanding of the interrelation of business and people in a community and the relationships of utilities, government, transportation, sustainability, and commerce.
- City planning (zoning, safety, the various types of industrial, institutional, and residential buildings)
- How and why cities change over time
- Age of Exploration
- Native American perspective of exploration
- Henry Hudson and his voyages
- Innovation and technology (bridges)
- Wants and needs of a city that change over time
- Mapping skills
- Research skills
- Creating and building realistic models
- Public speaking/presentations
- Collaborative work skills
Units of Study
- Permanent and Sustainable Cities
- Shadow Puppet Plays
- Recreation of the Brooklyn Bridge
Students follow the scientific method of scientific inquiry, hypotheses, experimentation, and evaluation of data.
- Observation and recording
- Application of concepts to projects
- Make meaningful hypotheses
- Record data
- Evaluate data to make a conclusion
Units of Study
- States of Matter
- Recycling and sustainability
- Tension and compression
- Engineering of bridges
Following the Singapore Math scope and sequence, students explore math manipulatives and unit blocks to learn mathematical thinking, concepts, and skills including number sense, place value, multi-digit addition/subtraction with larger numbers, measurement, geometry, money, graphing, and word problems. Students also develop skills to explain their mathematical thinking and reasoning.
Units of Study
- Mental Math Competency
- Solidification of number sense (the ability to use and understand numbers, knowing the relative value of numbers, using numbers in flexible ways while adding and subtracting, knowing how to use various strategies when counting and measuring)
- Counting by 2s, 3s, 5s, 10s, 100s and considering the most efficient way to count. The ability to skip count also lays the foundation for multiplication and division
- Greater Than, Less Than
- Expanded form place value (i.e. 123 can also be expressed as 100+20+3 and as one hundred twenty three)
- Place value
- Literacy and Math (Word Problems)
- Measurement (competence using various tools of measurement and understanding the differences between units of measurements)
- Geometry (continued study of shapes and dimension)
- Multi-Digit Addition and Subtraction (various ways to manipulate numbers through grouping and borrowing)
- Money (how we use in the community, how to manipulate money and how to make change)
- Time (digital clock, analog clock, elapsed time)
- Foundations for Multiplication (grouping, arrays) and Division (equal sharing)
Social Emotional Learning
Cooperation, mutual respect, and kindness are key components of the second grade social emotional curriculum. Every student is known and valued. In addition to striving to create a conscious community in our classrooms each day, Community Building takes place twice a week. Through reading, discussion, sharing, partner-work, and small group activities, students will cover topics such as mindfulness, identifying feelings, listening, empathy, respect, and identity.
World Languages: Spanish
Students continue their study of Spanish vocabulary, grammar, speaking, and listening through cultural studies of Spanish-peaking countries around the world.
- Animals’ movement
- Animals’ Characteristics (size, color, and body parts)
- Segment and combine syllables
- Present tense forms of the verb "mover"
- Identify words that name actions, persons, places, or things
- Recognize the sounds of J and R
- Adjectives to describe the speed of animals
- Map of Costa Rica, its flag and its capital
- Animals in Costa Rica
- What are the main indigenous cultures and languages in Costa Rica? Are there any indigenous cultures in United States?
- A recipe from Costa Rica
Homework and Assessments
Homework begins at Stevens in second grade. Students record their daily reading on a reading log, and they are expected to spend approximately 15-30 minutes a day on homework. Homework is intended to help students assume greater responsibility and to lay the groundwork for the homework they will complete throughout their time at Stevens. Homework will always be an extension of classroom activities, rather than exercises in unfamiliar topics.
In the youngest grades, assessment of young children's progress and achievements is ongoing, purposeful, strategic and reflective. Observation, documentation of learning moments, and conferencing with children individually offers them opportunities to engage in meaningful experiences where they are able to apply their knowledge and skills and share their thinking.
In addition to neighborhood walks exploring the community, students take a day trip to the Brooklyn Bridge as part of their bridge study, the Transit Museum or the Museum of the City of New York as part of their Urban Planning study, and the South Street Seaport Museum as part of their Age of Exploration study.