Second Grade Curriculum
In second grade, students are more independent and collaborative, and are ready to expand their skills and knowledge in all subjects. The STJES Success Traits are incorporated into classroom activities to encourage students to reflect and grow in character.
In Second grade, reading, writing, spelling, listening, and speaking are interconnected and children are provided many opportunities for strengthening each skill. Phonemic awareness, decoding skills, reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and fluency are the five major areas of reading focus. Our goal for Second graders is to develop a love of literature as well as read and comprehend texts from various genres.
Language Arts (Grammar, Writing and Spelling)
Students in Second grade engage in a variety of writing genres, addressing multiple audiences. Writing includes journaling, personal narratives, informative, descriptive, and persuasive writing. Grammar instruction is included as part of daily writing activities, and students apply learned grammar skills to their written assignments.
Students continue to practice and refine their D’Nealian manuscript as well as learning to write using cursive.
Students learn strategies to help them spell using phonemes as well as pattern detection, looking for words within words, recognizing prefixes and suffixes, and using known words to spell the unfamiliar. Words also are derived from curricular content areas.
Students learn and develop their math skills using the Savvas Math program. The curriculum combines problem based and visual learning, with content that focuses on the development of conceptual understanding, procedural skill, fluency and application. Students learn to compute numbers, use manipulatives, and employ higher-order thinking to build a foundation for more abstract reasoning.
Through experimentation, students determine what plants need to grow and how plants depend on animals for seed dispersal and pollination. Students learn to compare the diversity of life in different habitats. An understanding of observable properties of materials is developed by students at this level through analysis and classification of different materials. Students are able to apply their understanding of the idea that wind and water can change the shape of the land to compare design solutions to slow or prevent such change. Students are able to use information and models to identify and represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area where water is found on Earth.
Students learn geography, history, economics, government and civics, and cultures. The social studies program helps students develop competencies needed as citizens in a diverse, changing, and interdependent world. Current units include American Symbols, Early America, Christmas Around the World, Famous Americans, and Washington, DC. Each year, second graders participate in the International Festival. During this time, children are immersed in the study of the selected country, with all classroom activities, literature, and projects centering on that country.
In Second Grade, students learn about the use of greetings, farewells, introductions, and other common everyday expressions. They review the pronunciation and writing of the Spanish alphabet. They learn vocabulary related to the calendar, fruits, vegetables, numbers (1-40), communication, city, farm, house objects, areas of a house, transportation, sport, places and people that work in the community, and opposites. Students also learn basic Spanish verbs in the infinitive form. They are expected to be able to respond to teacher directions, commands and answer basic questions.
In second grade, students continue to develop an age-appropriate understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. By the end of second grade, we expect St. John’s technology students to be able to work independently in all programs we use throughout the year including operating the related peripherals, tools, and menus on their Chromebooks. Units continue to complement and reinforce academic concepts taught in the classroom. There is also a focus on creating original work using different online programs. Students continue to work on keyboarding skills and coding and they are also introduced to Google Docs.
In second grade, students continue to enjoy Read-Aloud time, extension activities, and picking out books of their interest. Read-Alouds consist of picture books and short chapter books of different genres. Stories with an emphasis on our Traits of Success are also read. Book Talks of chapter books are given to interest and motivate students to explore new reading material. Students also continue to learn about how and where to find books of their interest in the library.
Second Grade artists further develop their artistic skills and gain a better understanding of more advanced art techniques. Through drawing, painting, and other artistic mediums students demonstrate their creativity and display their unique artistic style. Process demonstrations, group work, and verbal check-ins are given to students to assist in their understanding of project guidelines and the artistic processes.
In Lower School, students explore four key areas of development: music performance, music literacy, music appreciation, and classroom and global connections. Students sing, dance, and play instruments in their performances, and acquire and apply music literacy skills through development of musical vocabulary. They listen and respond to music from a variety of cultural and historical sources as well as make connections between music, their world, and the greater global community through their singing, dancing, listening, and playing. Students have many opportunities to connect to and demonstrate the Traits of Success particularly Courage, Persistence, Positive Attitude, and Attentiveness as they study and perform music.
Lower school religion is a hands-on and tactile learning experience. Children move, sing, act, write, create and most importantly enjoy their time learning about God. In Second Grade, students continue to learn about and to recognize God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and His abiding love through Godly Play, a program of Biblical stories and hands-on experiences that support children in developing their connection to God on their own level. They are greeted at the door on their level. They open with a song in English, Spanish and Sign Language. They hear and respond to a Bible story using manipulatives and art. They participate in a discussion surrounding “wonder” questions which stimulate critical thinking.
In Second Grade, students build on activities from last year and work to refine basic motor skills and coordination of the major muscle groups. An emphasis is placed on space, pathways, and changing direction quickly. Students are challenged to copy, remember and repeat simple skill actions with control and coordination. Flexibility is introduced and a greater emphasis is placed on kinesthetic awareness. Students are encouraged to interact with others in groups of all sizes, as well as to work independently. A greater emphasis is placed on individual effort, cooperation, and social awareness as we encourage the students to emulate the traits for success. The children learn many games throughout the year and during holiday times that encourage teamwork, cooperation, following directions and rules, and playing safely.