Second Grade Experience
Curriculum at a Glance
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- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Physical Education
- Modern Languages
- Design Lab
- Fine Arts
Using a workshop model, teachers build classroom communities of readers and writers who love books and see purpose in their reading and writing. Classrooms are full of high quality literature, and students explore a variety of genres, topics, and audiences in both reading and writing. Explicit, systematic instruction also focuses on phonological awareness, word recognition, phonics and decoding, spelling, and grammar. In both disciplines, teachers model the skills and strategies that skilled readers and writers use. Language arts instruction is highly differentiated with students working in small groups, partnerships, and 1:1 with teachers.
Units of Study in Writing
- Nonfiction information writing
- Opinion—writing about reading
Units of Study in Reading
- Taking charge of your reading—figuring out hard words and big ideas
- Reading Nonfiction—books as teachers
- Studying characters and their stories
- Amping Up Reading Power—building fluency and comprehension
- Book Clubs—studying author’s craft
Country Day’s math program is designed to build fluent mathematicians, skilled and perseverant problem solvers and creative thinkers. Our teaching is based on the Math in Focus curriculum, and the core focus in the Lower School is on building a deep understanding of number sense, operations, and computation. Our students learn not just how to solve rote problems, but how to think mathematically and tackle real-world, rigorous mathematical problems.
Skills and Concepts
- Counting by 1s, 10s, and 100s to 1000
- Identifying, counting, and making combinations of coins and bills
- Adding and subtracting within 100
- Multiplying and dividing with 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10
- Applying mental math strategies
- Describing, modeling, drawing, and adding fractions
- Describing, extending, and creating patterns
- Identifying, describing, sorting, and classifying 2- and 3- dimensional shapes
- Measuring length, mass, and volume
- Telling time to 5 minutes
- Interpreting and representing data in simple charts and graphs
The Lower School social studies program focuses on the study of people in relation to their past, present, and future, their environment, and their society. Our curriculum encourages curiosity and helps students develop an understanding of a rapidly changing world. Students become aware of their personal and cultural identities, and they acquire the skills and knowledge needed to actively participate in their classroom, school, community, and world.
Units of Study
- Unit 1: Civic Ideals and Practices
- Unit 2: Locating Ourselves in the World and Our Environment
- Unit 3: Native American Groups and Cultures
- Unit 4: Migration and Immigration
- Unit 5: Symbols
Lower School science focuses on engaging in investigation and discovery through the scientific method in Country Day’s state-of-the-art science lab. An integrated STEM program brings together engineering and inquisitive minds to design innovative, sustainable solutions to real world problems.
In second grade, students practice observing, predicting, inferring, data collection and analysis, and developing the design process. They cover the physical, life, and earth sciences, specifically the states of matter, animal migration, and landforms and paleontology.
The physical education curriculum focuses on the physical, mental, and social emotional growth of our students. The curriculum focuses on developing and maintaining a physically active and healthy lifestyle in addition to developing gross motor, body control, and spatial awareness skills. Students pursue personal fitness goals and an understanding of skills, strategies, and rules of individual and team sports and activities. Problem-solving strategies, leadership, and sportsmanship are developed through an environment of cooperative learning.
Our goals in Lower School are to expose students to language and culture, instill a love for the language, develop an appreciation for the larger world, and build cultural competencies. Students are exposed to French and Spanish in JK through first grade. In second grade, students choose one target language with the goal of developing a Novice Low proficiency level (based on ACTFL Standards) by the end of fourth grade.
Second graders begin to develop their vocabulary on different topics of interest and age appropriate, through the four language skills: listening, reading, pronouncing, and speaking while learning the basics of writing skills. Students communicate using memorized sentences and dialogues and are encouraged to communicate in the target language during class.
Technology is a tool used to help students deepen their learning and go from consumers of information to creators.
Technology is a tool used to help students deepen their learning and go from consumers of information to creators. Students gain a solid foundation of skills and habits of mind that transfer from device to device and program to program. They also learn how to be critical consumers of online information and good online citizens!
Using both Mac computers and iPads, second graders build on skills introduced in first grade as they expand their experience with basic keyboarding and word processing, and begin to proofread and edit their work. Students create graphs to compare data and start to become comfortable using programs to display learned information and document thinking.
The Design Lab supplements our curriculum by allowing students to engage in age-appropriate problem-solving, collaboration, and design thinking. Students take ownership of their learning in a very genuine way to design and build solutions to real-world problems.
Through the library curriculum, we strive to instill the joy and value of reading, provide access to diverse information and ideas, and equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to access, evaluate, and apply new learning in both personal and academic pursuits. Students receive whole-class, small-group, and one-on-one instruction and practice their skills through authentic activities and research.
In second grade, students learn how to:
- Independently select “just right” books
- Use call numbers to locate books and use the online catalog
- Effectively research topics of interest using the research cycle
- Read a database or book for evidence
- View information critically
- Use primary sources for research
- Record learned information
- Recognize different genres, and
- Communicate their understandings
Students are immersed in art, music, and drama every week. Our goals are to instill a love of arts in our students, to build design-thinking skills, and to find joy in the creative process.
Second grade artists continue to grow their confidence using materials and techniques taking inspiration from art history as well as the world around them. The exciting fine art crafts of weaving and clay provide a rich hands on experience.
Second graders learn the skill of pantomime in drama class and their production shifts from a music-review to a plot-driven story centered around the theme of resiliency. Students learn class and grade level songs, choreography, and even have the opportunity to volunteer for individual speaking lines. The second grade works together to tell the tale of how to keep going even when you experience challenges in life!
Second grade students explore music by practicing steady beat, repeating rhythm patterns, singing solfege patterns, composing rhythms, playing unpitched percussion and Orff instruments, learning music theory, and singing fun songs.
In This Section
Second Grade Highlights
- Choose between learning French or Spanish.
- Learn cursive writing.
- Serve a local Soup Kitchen.
- Participate in the "Big Dig."