Second Grade Curriculum Overview
Second grade is a time when students become more independent in their learning. In addition to being the final year of the our blocks program, 2nd grade is full of exciting capstone projects including Permanent City, shadow puppet plays and the Brooklyn Bridge study. Students are supported with tools and strategies for them to explore and develop independence and individuality.
Explore what your child will learn in each of the following subject areas:
- Social Studies
- Social-Emotional Learning
- Specials Classes
- Homework and Assessments
In 2nd grade, our students build upon their strengthening fluency skills as they become more efficient and flexible word solvers. They explore how reading has the ability to take them on adventures, explore unique places, and teach them about new and exciting nonfiction topics. Students begin reading to learn and begin to think more deeply about text as they gravitate toward favorite characters, authors, and book series. Phonics instruction expands in second grade and students learn a variety of strategies for reading and spelling multisyllabic words, how prefixes and suffixes impact word meaning, and how to figure out the meaning of new and interesting words.
All of these skills are reinforced in Writing as students learn to include more descriptive words and complex ideas in their writing. Second graders continue their work of writing across genres with additional focus on writing within the curricular areas. Curricular projects such as the Brooklyn Bridge study and Shadow Puppet plays encourage students to write about their research and experiment writing within new genres. They become authors of their own fables and present their published pieces to the school community.
Focus Areas of Instruction:
- Spelling and Decoding of MultiSyllabic Words
- Word Study & Morphology
- Genre Exploration
- Fiction: fables, fairy tales, realistic, fantasy, mystery
- Nonfiction: informational, biography, autobiography
- Writing Across Genres
- Fairy Tales
- Stages of the Writing Process
- Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing, and Publishing
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, multiplication, foundations for division, measurement, geometry, money, graphing and real-world problems. Students also develop skills to explain their mathematical thinking and reasoning.
- Solidification of number sense
- “Greater than” and “less than”
- Standard form, word form and expanded form place value
- Place value
- Word problems
- Multi-digit addition and subtraction
- Time (digital clock, analog clock, elapsed time)
- Foundations for multiplication (grouping, arrays) and division (equal sharing)
- Mental math competency
- Skip-counting and considering the most efficient way to count
- Using and understanding numbers, knowing the relative value of numbers, using numbers in flexible ways while adding and subtracting
- Manipulating money and making change
- Reading clocks and calculating elapsed time
- Collecting data and graphing (tally charts, picture graphs, bar graphs and line plots)
- Measuring and understanding the differences between different units of measure
- Understanding shapes and dimensions
Students follow the scientific method of inquiry, hypotheses, experimentation and evaluation of data to explore electricity and states of matter. Students are introduced to structural engineering and design through an investigation of different types of bridges.
- Observation and recording
- Application of concepts to projects
- Make meaningful hypotheses
- Record data
- Evaluate data to make a conclusion
- States of Matter
- Recycling and sustainability
- Tension and compression
- Engineering of bridges
Through an examination of how and why cities change over time, 2nd graders consider the ways such change affects the different communities that live in them. Students become urban planners, discussing 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. Additionally, through the study of the Age of Exploration, students begin to explore the effects and perspectives of European explorers and indigenous peoples.
- City planning (zoning, safety, the various types of industrial, institutional and residential buildings)
- How and why cities change over time
- “Wants” and “needs” of a city and how they change over time
- Age of Exploration
- Native American perspective of exploration
- Henry Hudson and his voyages
- Innovation and technology (bridges)
- Mapping skills
- Research skills
- Creating and building realistic models
- Public speaking/presentations
- Collaborative work skills
- Permanent and Sustainable Cities
- Shadow Puppet Plays
- Age of Exploration; Henry Hudson’s Ships
- Recreation of the Brooklyn Bridge
Cooperation, mutual respect and kindness are key components of the 2nd grade social-emotional curriculum. Every student is known and valued. In addition to striving to create a conscious community in our classrooms each day through reading, discussion, sharing, partner-work, and small group activities, students will cover topics such as mindfulness, identifying feelings, listening, empathy, respect and identity.
Second grade topics include:
- Active Listening
In 2nd grade music, students develop an appreciation of music through listening, composing, playing and performing. In vocal studies, students learn to warm up the vocal cords and use the voice properly when singing. During singing, the students use some vocal percussion and sound effects to add character and depth to themed songs. Students add actions to songs to help memorize the lyrics and add depth of performance.
Students begin storytelling with music using sounds made by everyday objects. The students study “Stomp” and other examples that explain the use of everyday objects making sounds. They then prepare songs, incorporating homemade instruments and everyday sounds into songs.
Units of Study:
- Vocal Technique
- Musical Literacy
- Music Appreciation
- Keyboarding and introduction to using a trackpad
- Introduction to using a Chromebook responsibly
- Expressing ideas through stop-motion animation
- Computational thinking through block-based coding and robotics
- Digital citizenship
- Media balance and well-being
- Privacy and security
- Digital footprint and identity
- Relationships and communication
- Cyberbullying, digital drama and hate speech
- Media literacy
In 2nd grade, students apply their understanding of art to expansive creative projects. Capstone projects like Permanent City and the Shadow Puppet Play invite flexible thinking and creative problem-solving, such as the best way to use found materials to produce a collaborative class presentation. In these long-term projects, an interdisciplinary approach weaves cultural and social learning, scientific content and language arts with tactile problem-solving skills working with mixed media. Students continue to have experiences with a range of artistic processes, including clay sculpting and printmaking, and are introduced to dynamic artistic movements like Pop art.
Units of Study:
- Curriculum developed in conjunction with the Social Studies curriculum and includes Permanent City, Shadow Puppet Play and the Brooklyn Bridge Mural
- Paper sculpting
- Tunnel Books
- Figure in motion
- Clay sculpting
- Pop art
Beginning in 2nd grade, students experience Spanish for half the year and Mandarin for the other half, gaining exposure to two world languages. At the end of 4th grade, students select Spanish or Mandarin and continue as their world language through 8th grade. Students continue their study of Spanish vocabulary, grammar, speaking, and listening through cultural studies of Spanish-speaking countries around the world.
- Animal movement
- Animal 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
- Cultural backdrop: Costa Rica
- 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 the United States?
- A recipe from Costa Rica
Second grade is the year Stevens students first experience homework. 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.