The second grade program focuses on building independence, while encouraging responsible practices. At the end of the year, students present their first cross-curricular research project which incorporates technology, and an oral presentation. In addition to the core subjects, all students participate in a theatrical performance, emphasizing teamwork and friendship. These social skills are also developed at other junctures during the day. The ultimate goal of the second grade is to prepare responsible citizens for the final year of primary elementary.
Reading, Phonics, and Vocabulary. In the reading program, instruction takes place through flexible small groups and centers, as well as whole-group discussions. This is the first year in which students are engaged in novel units, as the focus of instruction moves from strengthening decoding skills to introducing more comprehension strategies and exploring different types of literature. Students also continue to build their reading fluency and use of expression. In addition to weekly reading comprehension tests, second graders begin to work on their public speaking and are introduced to new vocabulary studies through the novels they read.
Writing and Grammar. Writing and grammar are taught together using a unique study model. Emphasis is placed on students’ understanding of main ideas and supporting details, to reach the goal of writing one paragraph independently by the end of the year. Students begin to understand that writing is a process, and the separate steps of the writing process are reiterated, to strengthen their writing. Second graders focus on the personal narrative genre, but are exposed to numerous other and varied genres. One writing project includes students participating in a proprietary STEM project utilizing recyclables, and introducing communication through “marketing.” Cursive is introduced in the second half of the year.
Mathematics. The math program continues to place a strong focus on establishing a basic understanding of the foundation of numbers and critical thinking skills. Key concepts are covered as mathematics continues to be taught using whole-group and flexible-ability learning groups. Using manipulatives and inquiry learning, these groups are differentiated to meet the needs of students. There is an emphasis on creating an independence in thinking as students begin to learn strategies to evaluate their own work for accuracy.
Science. In science, students utilize the Scientific Method as they are challenged to predict, analyze, collect data, and formulate conclusions. Second graders learn about the world and their environment through varied topics addressed through whole-group instruction, hands-on experiments, and manipulatives. Students enjoy cross-curricular projects and game creation. A major highlight of the program includes a specific campus day which engages students and their community in the discovery of focused concepts.
Social Studies. Students take a trek across the five regions of the U.S. and study myriad aspects and facts to gain a better understanding of the beginnings of our nation and its rich history. The trip begins with a unique, early “journey” simulation, and continues across the U.S. Abundant engaging experiences and places are highlighted along the way. Students gain insight through whole-group instruction, books, reenactments, videos, and journal writings.