Second grade is a year of expansion and change. Students become less dependent upon teachers as teachers place more academic responsibilities on students. Students become independent workers. They are conscientious about their work and begin to evaluate it in a constructive way. Students enthusiastically attempt to complete assigned tasks, but teacher guidance is still necessary to help students organize their work. Students formulate a value system and try to incorporate it into their daily lives. They are better able to handle day-to-day conflicts and interactions although teacher direction and modeling cues are still necessary to monitor the problem-solving process. Maturity levels increase, and students now work together effectively in group situations. Students in second grade are a constant source of energy and light.
The program in language arts provides a variety of experiences for students. Small group instruction is utilized during reading to provide differentiated support and is intended to be more focused on each child’s specific needs. Reading comprehension skills such as making connections, asking and answering questions, visualizing, inferring, and transforming are taught through whole group activities and applied throughout each day. Writing assignments using the Six Traits Program provide opportunities to enhance paragraph writing and poetry. Other assignments include descriptive writing, persuasive writing, and creative writing. Phonics instruction is taught using the Wilson Fundations Program which provides a systematic and explicit approach to reading and spelling with phonics. Spelling tests occur every two to three weeks at the end of each unit. The tests include specific trick words that may be studied and general phonics skills that may be applied to any given word. Grammar skills are taught daily, and lessons are incorporated into written work.
The program in math uses Math in Focus, a focused, coherent curriculum for deep understanding. An equal emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding and fluency with skills. A use of concrete and pictorial representations helps students with multi-step and non-routine problem-solving. First, concrete concepts are explored, using manipulatives to explain abstract mathematical concepts. Then, pictorial concepts are explored, using pictures, models, and diagrams to present examples with solutions. Once students are familiar with abstract representation, abstract concepts are introduced, using only numerals, mathematical notation, and symbols. Concepts and skills develop through hands-on instruction and practice.
The social studies program allows students to be active participants as they experience social studies through innovative teaching practices that include dramatic role-playing, creative simulations, dynamic group projects, and writing activities. Throughout the year, an interdisciplinary approach is followed. It not only places emphasis on geography and history, but also correlates the areas of economics and civics.