In the second grade, the focus of reading instruction shifts from seeking accuracy and fluency toward reaching meaningful understanding. Writing expands in order to communicate more complex ideas, and students shift from inventive spelling to conventional spelling. Math develops from learning basic calculations to using those calculations to solve problems. With support from their teachers, second graders become increasingly responsible for their own interactions and work patterns. More of their learning takes place in small independent groups, and children are given a greater role in the conduct and management of their classroom life.
The second grade reading program continues to use Readers and Writers Workshops to help children build on the decoding strategies that they learned in previous years by using class-wide lists of high-frequency words and new knowledge gained from word study, expanding their comprehension strategies, making inferences from the text, predicting, summarizing, asking questions, and making connections. As the children gain more experience with factual texts, they learn to make use of captions, headings, sidebars, index, table of contents, and glossary.
Elements of the reading program that support the attainment of these goals may include independent reading, paired reading, reading from a script (“Reader’s Theater”), guided reading in groups, author studies, and exploring the nonfiction genre deeply by writing a non-fiction text.
By second grade, children are becoming more independent in their writing and can appreciate that writing is a process and that finishing a first draft is only one step on the way to completing a piece of writing. Personal narratives, poetry, factual writing, and fictional narratives are among the genres in which they gain proficiency.
Direct instruction in the elements of writing is conducted through our Handwriting Without Tears program, Writing Workshop, and Word Study. Children learn to notice and think about words and their components, such as vowel patterns, prefixes, and suffixes. They also focus on other grammatical constructs, such as contractions and plural endings. These experiences enable children to become more skilled and independent spellers.
As students transition into the second grade, the Singapore Math curriculum approach becomes more fully established. One of the chief principles of the Singapore method is achieving mastery and ensuring the student’s deep understanding of math concepts so that they will be able to attack more challenging problems with greater confidence. The second grade math program continues to rely on both mental math fluency and pictorial rendering of arithmetic, algebraic and complex word problems. The foundation for multiplication begins in the second grade; moreover, breaking down whole units into sub-parts, such as creating equal parts of a square or rectangle, is just one of the avenues to further the students’ facility with division and fractions. The practice of estimating solutions, graphing real world data, and understanding equivalencies gives second graders the foundation for strong aptitude when it comes to taking their initial ERB exam at the third grade level. As in all Elementary grades, second grade math is taught each day, both in the scheduled math class time but also during transition times and during segments of the day that yield the teachable moment.
The second grade social studies program concentrates on the study of the following units: Maps and Globes, Native Americans, and Communities and Community Jobs. We also cover both national and Judaic holidays as they occur throughout the year. Some, such as President’s Day and Election Day include more extensive units, giving the children a sense of pride and confidence as an American.
In science, students will begin the year using their investigating and reasoning skills by learning more about the various tools that scientists use in the field and in the lab. They will learn more about what scientists actually do, how to classify matter, how to identify and harness different forms of energy such as wind, electricity, and magnetic force, and about earth and space. Finally, they will end the year on life Science as the plants begin to sprout and the insects begin to repopulate in the Spring. Through these different units, students will make observations, develop hypotheses, collect and record data, and learn the basics of experimental design. Students will be able to log into our science curriculum through the STEMscopes website to further and enhance their learning at home.
Focus is on proper fingering and accuracy.
Students are shown how to save files and retrieve files.
2nd-grade students engage in many research projects through the year. They are given many opportunities to do research on the computers. 2nd-grade is guided to appropriate sites for their given topics. They are guided through how to find information through the formulation of directed/targeted questions.
Office Productivity Suite
2nd-grade students use Word and Power Point. Throughout the year, they complete a variety of projects on both. In Word, students are able to change fonts and color, insert pictures and shapes. By the end of the year, students are able to add transitions and animation, choose layouts and add slides and change the color and font of their text. Students are also able to insert pictures from clip art and from outside files.
Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Second graders continue to learn Hebrew using Migdal Or, reading centers and other tools. Second graders participate in the weekly Shabbat program. They are eligible for Mensch of the Week awards during that service, and they take home the Shabbat box during the year. Students participate in community service as part of the values-based program.
The highlight of the year in Judaic Studies is the Friday-night Kabbalat Shabbat service and dinner that second graders lead at Congregation Beth Yeshurun. At this event, second graders receive the Shabbat and holiday siddurim they will use on those occasions.