Second Grade Curriculum
Second grade is a special sacramental year, and a time when students grow in confidence, skills and self-awareness.
The second grade math curriculum uses the Houghton Mifflin math series, which incorporates a variety of ways to teach, practice, and review concepts including direct instruction, partner work, games, technology, and small group activities. Hands-on activities and math games are used to review and learn addition and subtraction facts, money and making change, telling time, geometry, measurement, data and graphing, and double digit addition and subtraction with regrouping. The curriculum emphasizes problem solving and challenges students to be able to “explain their thinking” as they complete various math challenges. Teachers address the needs of diverse learners through reteaching, enrichment materials, and added teacher support.
Reading & Language Arts
The Guided Reading program in second grade is focused on meeting the needs of all students and their continued literacy development. Students are assessed throughout the year and are placed into small groups with instructional texts. Second graders are provided with appropriate mini-lessons and teacher support. They participate in the Daily 5 activities, which include: independent reading with self-selected appropriate texts, buddy reading, word work, work on writing, and listening to reading. These opportunities for reading practice come in addition to guided reading groups with teachers and peers. Reading instruction is focused on comprehension strategies, accuracy, fluency, and vocabulary development. The curriculum also includes a wide array of interactive read-alouds, monthly author and genre studies, book reports, and book club discussions.
Second grade language arts and writing are taught using a “Writing Workshop” approach. Young writers are provided with instruction and adequate time to develop habits that nurture independence. Students learn to write for a variety of purposes using The Six Traits of Writing, which are used to teach and assess writing. This framework is focused on traits that define strong writing, including conventions, organization, ideas, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, and presentation. Published writing pieces include journals, friendly letters, narrative, persuasive, how-to writing, and poetry. Students begin to use the writing process and use pre-writing strategies, drafting, proofreading, and editing. Students conference with the teacher and publish pieces to share aloud in our Author’s Chair.
The second grade spelling curriculum is based on Words Their Way, which uses differentiated weekly spelling lists that address the developmental needs of all students. Students study short and long vowel patterns, consonant blends and digraphs, compound words, contractions, homophones, prefixes and suffixes, as well as common sight words. This program supports students and their continued reading and writing development.
Second grade is an important year in the spiritual lives of our students. A large portion of the school year is spent preparing for two important sacraments: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Through study of the Ten Commandments, students learn how to love God and others, and they learn about and develop a closer relationship with God. They also study the seven sacraments, special holy days and saints, and how to be followers of Christ in their daily lives. In preparation for First Eucharist, students learn about the parts of the Mass and the importance of prayer, faith, and service. Students take turns leading daily prayer. Every K-8 grade at SFX School plans and leads several all-school liturgies each year, and students attend Mass every week in the church.
The second grade science curriculum focuses on investigation and hands-on scientific inquiry. Students develop critical thinking skills and are introduced to the scientific method. Major topics covered include plant and animal life and their respective habitats; health and germs; color, light, and shadows; and prehistoric life with an emphasis on the study of dinosaurs. Students learn to apply their scientific knowledge and inquiry to their daily lives and begin to make connections across other content areas.
The second grade social studies curriculum is focused on children and the study of their families, communities, and government. Students extend their understanding of community to the level of state, country, continent, and world. Second graders also learn about the history of our nation, which includes a focus on our capital and the United States Presidents. Students study our country’s past through historical events and learn about significant people and holidays celebrated as a nation. Investigation of their own families and cultures allows students to begin to understand the cultures and traditions of diverse populations through social studies units such as Communities, Christmas Around the World, Immigration/Our Country Long Ago, and the Flat Stanley Project.
In Spanish, students begin the year with a review of basic greetings. They learn how to ask and answer addition and subtraction facts in Spanish. Students are also introduced to the different habitats and animals that belong in each corresponding environment. In second grade, there is a focus on Mexican culture which includes how to make piñatas, a review of various foods, and cultural celebrations. Additional topics include the identification of various class objects, the five senses, and the uses of yo estoy (I am) and yo tengo (I have). We also discuss family members and learn what he/she likes to do in Spanish.