Second Grade Curriculum
Our second grade curriculum stretches students’ thinking as they transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Our teachers provide students with a literacy rich environment that focuses on grammatical skills, handwriting including instruction in cursive, more complex comprehension and inferences strategies, as well as the mathematical operations of addition, subtraction and multiplication. Social-emotional development is an important keystone in second grade with increased opportunities for student centered group work, multiple presentation opportunities Second grade students also transition out of general music classes and select between band, strings and chorus as their musical preference for the year.
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Foreign Language
- Physical Education
The Language Arts program utilizes a balanced approach to literacy. Within the Language Arts block are the components of reading workshop, writing workshop, and phonics.
Our approach to reading instruction enables children to build and hone skills they need to succeed in becoming powerful independent readers. Explicit reading strategies are taught in a mini lesson format, followed by both small group and individual instruction. We assess each child individually in order to determine his/her instructional reading level at various times throughout the year to provide continued differentiated instruction. Genre book libraries are organized in each classroom and children choose texts at their “just right” level, which they keep and read independently both at home and school.
In second grade our goal is to continue to develop lifelong readers. Using a workshop format, students receive critical instruction in decoding and comprehension strategies. Children read various genres of literature in shared, independent, read-aloud, and partnership formats. Each child progresses at his/her individual pace through our balanced literacy program.
Students will learn to recognize and understand important words, common plot lines, implement critical decoding strategies, and interpret and analyze information presented in a story read-aloud as well as in written text. The development of good listening skills parallels and reinforces the development of independent reading skills. Students learn to draw on a wide variety of strategies to interact with and understand a range of texts, both fiction and nonfiction.Students will learn to use context clues to determine the meaning of a word, term, or phrase.
- Students use explicit details from a passage to contribute to discussions and provide answers to "who,” “what," “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” questions about the text.
- Students learn to use explicit information to determine the main idea or primary purpose of a text.
- Students learn to use implicit information to make inferences about the moods and motives of characters to increase their understanding.
- Students learn to draw connections between and among various kinds of text and real life.
- Students learn to synthesize explicit and implicit information to make predictions or draw conclusions.
- Students begin to analyze and evaluate the texts they read.
As authors, our second graders become more self-confident as they develop the skills and craft necessary to “publish” pieces in a variety of genres. The workshop setting enables our children to work in partnerships and learn organization as well as routines necessary to meet our writing goals. Our students learn to observe, collect, draft, revise, edit and publish well-crafted writing pieces. They also learn to conduct research to aid them in writing informational texts. In addition, they are exposed to the examples of authors of fine literature and poetry throughout the day; these texts can be used as mentor texts. Genres studied in second grade include: informational texts, personal narrative, realistic fiction, opinion writing, and poetry.
- Students learn the importance of developing a foundational understanding of language conventions and mechanics as they move from writing sentences to composing paragraphs. Grammar is integrated every day within all academic areas, introducing and utilizing basic grammar principles.
- Students learn to recognize correct and incorrect capitalization, capitalization of proper nouns, and the first word of a sentence.
- Students learn to use proper punctuation of dialogue and letter-writing, correct end punctuation, correct use of commas within lists, and the correct use of the apostrophe in contractions and possessives.
- Students learn to apply the rules of English diction and grammar, specifically the correct use of pronouns, including pronoun-antecedent agreement and rules of diction within the context of a sentence. Students will also learn correct verb form and tense, including subject-verb agreement. Students will learn how to understand the correct use of contractions and what they mean as well as the ability to recognize compound words.
Word Study and Spelling
The Project Read phonics curriculum is a total Language Arts program, putting phonics into action by integrating phonics with reading comprehension and written expression. Sound/symbol knowledge is critical, as it is the foundation of our spoken and written language. Project Read uses four principles of instruction: direct concept teaching, sequencing concepts in dependent order, targeted multi-sensory strategies, and application. The Project Read program arms students with independent skills and strategies in order to develop active, thoughtful, purposeful readers and writers who interact with text.
Students in second grade apply correct letter formation. Cursive handwriting is introduced during the second semester of second grade.
The units of study for Social Studies are created with essential questions that drive instruction. We believe that students learn best through inquiry. Students ask the essential question and lead their own inquiry, thoughtfully facilitated by their teachers. Based on questions, goals, understanding, and evidence, a learning plan is established using project-based learning that often employs technology. Second grade essential questions include:
- Who are we as a classroom community?
- How do rural, suburban, and urban communities depend on one another?
- What kind of community is Naples?
- Where in the world is Naples, Florida?
- How did we get here?
- What is government?
- How has Naples changed?
In second grade, the objective of our mathematics program is to develop thinking skills, build proficiency, and produce confidence while promoting a love of mathematics. Basic facts and skills are solidified and many new concepts are introduced. With each new concept, students first work concretely with manipulatives and pictures, and then move to an abstract, symbolic representation and use of the concept. In second grade, math activities foster an increasing competence in place value, addition and subtraction (with and without regrouping), addition and subtraction with money, multiplication, geometry, time, measurement, fractions, and data analysis. Curriculum is further enhanced each day during calendar activities. Teachers frequently monitor progress, which provides critical feedback that helps guide instruction for remediation, intervention, and enrichment. Placement tests, topic tests, benchmark tests, basic timed fact tests, daily review, free response evaluations, and daily interaction are tools used to determine how to meet each of the students' needs. It is our expectation that the students end the year with a firm grasp of their addition and subtraction facts. Pearson's enVisionMATH, technology, including XtraMath and IXL, and a variety of other resources are used to enhance each child's understanding, as well as help develop fluency.
Students will engage in problem solving, communicating, reasoning and connecting to the following:
Number Sense and Operations with Whole Numbers
- Use place value, including how to read, write, and compare whole numbers to the hundred-thousand place
- Use models to represent numbers, and write six-digit numbers in standard and expanded form
- Add and subtract six-digit whole numbers with and without exchanging
- Multiply single-digit numbers quickly and accurately
- Know the language of addition, subtraction and multiplication, and understand the relationship between the operations
- Use estimation to solve addition and subtraction problems
- Understand the properties of addition and multiplication including the identity, commutative, associative, and zero property of multiplication
- Solve real-life problems involving number operations
- Identify, count, and write the value for a collection of coins and dollars
- Identify, model, compare, and order fraction terms
Geometry and Spatial Sense
- Identify basic geometric figures up to decagons and describe their attributes
- Identify and describe geometric, 3-dimensional figures including cone, sphere, rectangular prism, cube, pyramid, and cylinder
- Understand the basic properties of figures, including closure, number of sides, faces, vertices, and angles
- Identify and label lines as intersecting or parallel
- Identify relationships between figures and images under transformations
- Identify lines of symmetry and the effects of combining, subdividing, and changing basic shapes
- Know the approximate size of customary and metric units to measure length, weight, and capacity
- Measure the perimeter and area of closed figures
- Tell time to the minute
- Solve real-life problems involving money, elapsed time, calendars, temperature, weight, and distance
Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability
- Read and interpret various types of tables and simple graphs, including bar, line, circle, and pictographs
- Investigate probability
Patterns, Functions, and Pre-Algebra
- Recognize and use patterns to solve problems
- Skip count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s
- Introduce skip counting by 3’s, 4’s, 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, and 9’s
In second grade science, our goal is to excite the students through self-discovery and hands-on activities, thereby producing lifelong lovers of science. We use Discovery Science as a resource to support units of study for second grade in physical, earth and life sciences. STEM units are integrated throughout the year.
Our science curriculum also emphasizes the process skills of science by using a leveled, hands-on inquiry approach to science. The students begin with guided inquiry and move on to open-ended inquiry. Students learn that science is a way of knowing and is empirically based and consistent with evidence. Students also learn that science knowledge is subject to change when new evidence presents itself, and is inherently a creative process.
Second grade science topics include:
- Forces and motion: An object’s position, an object's motion, changing position and motion, gravity.
- Sound and light energy: Forms of energy, sound energy, behavior of light.
- Plant diversity: Needs of organisms, physical structure of plants, behavior and senses, life cycles of plants, heredity and environment interactions of plants.
- Earthly Materials: Earth/Atmosphere materials, soils, surface changes, rocks.
- STEM: LEGO robotics, bridge building.
This program is intended to develop listening comprehension and verbal skills in Spanish. Total Physical Response (TPR) Storytelling is an instructional strategy developed by Blaine Ray, which is based on Stephen D. Kristen and Tracy D. Terrell’s work in developing The Natural Approach and James Asher’s work in developing Total Physical Response. The goal of both of these strategies is to allow students to learn a second language in much the same manner as they learned their first language—through the senses and comprehensible sensory input. TPR Storytelling provides students with the following:
- Active language learning which is meaningful and context-driven.
- TPR (Total Physical Response) cues which allow for immediate comprehension.
- Appealing stories rich in comprehensible input, which is easy to internalize.
- Multiple opportunities to prove comprehension and to feel successful.
- Long-term retention of language.
Students in second grade will be expected to:
- Tell short stories using the vocabulary learned.
- Realize that cognate words (Spanish words that sound almost the same as English) enhance comprehension and can add more details to their short stories.
- Refining their pronunciation and knowledge of the language.
- Use the language to create imaginary situations.
- Present information about the target language and culture to others.
- Write and illustrate stories to present to others.
Students in second grade attend a general music class once each week, and also choose between Chorus and Strings for their focused music lessons twice each week.
Second grade students focus on new song and instrumental literature, matching pitches, reading melodic and rhythmic patterns and practicing performance skills. The role of music in various cultures and traditions is explored through song, instruments and listening selections. Students interact with the technology of Smartboard and iPads.
In Chorus we begin exploring choral singing. Each class begins with solidifying musical fundamentals with a theory and ear training lesson, followed by basic vocal technique exercises. We then move into learning and rehearsing our performance repertoire, reading from printed choral octavo as well as by rote. The class culminates with two end-of-semester performances.
Second grade Strings class is a beginning class for students electing to learn violin, viola, or cello. All three instruments are taught in the same class. Students learn basic positions, bow grip, how to read music for these instruments, basic rhythms and beginning ear training. The class performs twice per year at school for parents, family members, friends and fellow students. Students are required to rent or buy an instrument to take this class. CSN provides assistance and information for the rental process.
The Visual Arts program is based on a framework that allows students to investigate, create, and critique artwork in meaningful ways. The program is designed in a way that allows students to gain enduring understandings that are transferable to other disciplines and areas of their lives.
Students learn how to assess their own work, as well as the work of others, by using problem-solving and decision-making skills. As part of the program, students are introduced to a variety of skills, techniques and processes, allowing them to strengthen their ability to remember, process, and sequence information. Through practice with different media, art students learn to manage, master, and refine simple and then more complex skills and techniques. The program provides a balance between guided instruction where students learn to master a skill, and independent practice where students apply new skills and techniques in creative ways and learn to become innovative thinkers. The creation of innovative thinkers is part of the mission of the CSN. By looking at the work of famous artists and artists from other cultures, students gain an understanding of how the arts document historical and cultural trends and foster an appreciation for differences between our culture and other cultures.
Big ideas covered in second grade art include:
- Critical Thinking and Reflection
- Skills, Techniques, and Processes
- Organizational Structure
- Historical and Global Connections
- Innovation, Technology and the Future
With those ideas in mind, the students will learn about and/or implement:
- Use of warm and cool colors.
- Artwork as a way to tell stories about the past or to predict the future (When I Grow Up Painting).
- Art-related vocabulary (line, texture, space, color, shape, pattern, balance, value, form, symbols, movement, unity, rhythm, movement, emphasis, depth, contrast, balance, negative space, positive space).
- Working as part of a team to collaborate on art projects for the community and to raise awareness of events.
- Artists appreciation and inspiration from cubist artist Pablo Picasso and American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
- Large-scale works.
- Participate in student-taught art lesson.
- Clay construction using slab method and glazing.
- Use measurement and symmetry to complete half of a face by using value, shading, highlight to create more realistic portraits.
- Color theory.
- Composition and cropping.
- Apply art techniques to other subjects.
- Create art from recycled materials.
- Learning how to critique others by using constructive criticism and the “You might think about” approach to criticism regarding changes in artwork.
- Developing fine motor skills through knot tying, working with weaving tools, and creating a woven basket.
- Art connections to other cultures (Native Americans).
- Understanding the idea that creativity cannot be stifled by limited resources; thinking outside of the box and using photography as a means to preserve perishable artwork.
- Technology integration as a way to communicate ideas about artwork (artists' statements).
The physical education program provides a variety of learning experiences by offering an array of age-appropriate activities aligned with the NASPE standards. The goal of the physical education program is to help each student reach his or her optimal physical, mental, emotional, and social development.
Proficiency in movement skills is developed through a variety of activities in which the emphasis is on experimentation, discovery, practice, and decision-making about enjoyable activities. Physical activity will provide opportunities for self-expression, social interaction, enjoyment, challenge and fun. As a result of active participation, students will begin to actively pursue lifelong physical activities that meet their needs. The more activities students are exposed to and experience, the greater chance they will discover activities of high interest and better the chance of remaining active throughout their lifetime.
The physical education activities can vary widely from basic locomotor movements such as walking, running, skipping hopping, jumping, leaping, galloping and sliding, to non-locomotor movements such as bending, swinging, turning, twisting, pushing, pulling, chasing, and tagging. Manipulative activities such as throwing, catching, kicking and striking are also introduced. Emphasis is placed on having a positive experience.
The ever-increasing impact of technology on teaching and learning is an important consideration in education at all grade levels in the Lower School. Our curriculum encompasses the use of a wide range of digital tools, media and learning environments for teaching, learning and assessing. Technology provides opportunities for the transformation of teaching and learning and enables students to investigate, create, communicate, collaborate, organize and be responsible for their own learning and actions.
Through the use of technology, learners develop and apply strategies for critical and creative thinking, engage in inquiry, make connections, and apply new understandings and skills in different contexts.
Weaving technology into academics happens every day in second grade. Each classroom is equipped with a SmartBoard, and students use both laptops and computers in the classroom, enabling them to take steps into the world outside of CSN.
In second grade the students will learn:
Basic Computer Literacy Skills: review key computer hardware and peripherals, learn the proper use of the mouse, learn appropriate use of the computer and lab equipment, navigate within the operating system environment to locate programs, open, exit, and maximize the size of programs as they appear on the screen, open and save a file, print a file from within a program, work with two programs simultaneously.
Keyboarding Skills: learn, identify and properly use the major function keys of the computer including the space bar, enter key, back space key, control (ctrl) key, alternate (alt) key, delete (del) key, and shift keys, learn proper key strokes, utilize proper touch-typing techniques, use proper finger positioning and techniques that coincide with touch-typing
Word Processing: learn about the blinking cursor and how to move within the body of a document to type text into a document, utilize the backspace and delete keys to correct text errors, highlight text using the mouse, format text including font sizes, font style, bold, underline, and italics to learn about grammar and spelling error prompts, learn new formatting skills such as changing font color and font alignment, select a word by double-clicking on it rather than highlighting, right-click spelling correction, learn keyboard keys Tab and Caps Lock.
Creativity Programs: use programs to create and present their learning including iPad apps, iMovie, PowerPoint, and Keynote.
Telecommunications: use the school email programs, email and Internet safety including:
- Understand viruses and opening email from unknown individuals.
- Comprehend the concept of “inappropriate” email.
- Learn procedures for handling pop-up windows.
Internet Research: learn appropriate Internet usage to comprehend the layout of a browser and focus on key areas such as the back button, address bar, home button, etc. to conduct simple Internet searches, learn to find images, locate, isolate, and save pictures use a search engine to find and collect information from the Internet.
The second grade digital citizenship curriculum is designed to cover:
- The ways in which secure passwords keep our private information private online.
- The do's and don’ts of creating strong passwords.
- Only sharing our passwords with parents and teachers.
- What it means to go online and use the Internet.
- The ways in which the Internet allows us to connect to family, friends, and our greater community.
- The differences between our in-person and online community.
- How some websites’ true purpose is to sell a company’s products.
- Different tricks - such as videos, games, and activities - websites use to encourage us to buy the products.
- How products are advertised on product websites.
- How to engage in a respectful conversation using email or texting.
- The importance of rereading our messages before we send to check that the tone we use is respectful.
- How to appropriately use capital letters, punctuation, and emoticons to convey meaning in our emails and text messages.
- The meaning of and permanence of a digital footprint (the information about you on the Internet).
- Appropriate vs. inappropriate information to put on the Internet.
- Keeping our digital footprints small, as the Internet is a public place.