Second grade students are excited about school and eager to learn about God's creation and their relationship to the world around them. This is an important foundational year; one that builds and expands on the basic skills taught in first grade in an exciting, nurturing environment.
The language arts curriculum in second grade continues to develop skills in vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. Children have opportunities for reading and responding in a large group, small groups, or independently. Vocabulary development includes teaching phonetic and decoding skills. Children practice comprehension strategies that include summarizing, identifying the main idea, sequencing, making predictions, and reading for specific detail and drawing conclusions. Children also learn to listen and retell stories. Children are encouraged to express their ideas in written form, utilizing the basic steps of the writing process. Children write in a variety of curriculum area. Beginning mechanics of writing and language usage are introduced and practiced within the context of daily writing activities.
Second graders focus on computation and mathematical communication. The children have real-life math experiences in order to practice problem solving and build a true understanding of the mathematical concepts they need. Hands-on activities and math games are used to review and learn extended addition and subtraction facts. Students become familiar with arrays, which serve as the foundation for multiplication and division fact families. Money becomes a basis for many math skills in second grade. Graphing, calendar skills, geometry concepts, and telling time are taught throughout the year.
The second grade science curriculum covers three units of study in life and physical sciences: Plants and Animals, Balance and Motion, and Pebbles, Sand, and Silt. In the life sciences, students are introduced to the concept of life cycles by investigating various animal lifecycles as well as plant lifecycles. To augment this lesson, second graders spend extensive hands-on time in the School Garden, exploring the flora and fauna of our local community. Using Balance and Motion kit students are introduced to such concepts like push-and-pull force and linear and rotational movement. Students learn to demonstrate their understanding of balance, stability, and counter weighting. In the Pebbles, Sand, and Silt unit students explore rocks in many forms along with studying rock transformations. They also explore how rocks are used.
The social studies curriculum in second grade focuses on the concept of community and includes a study of Novato, past and present. Students gain knowledge about their community's history, government, economics, and geography, while learning problem solving and study skills. Students compare their own community with others around the country and world, discovering similarities and differences. Second grade students continue to explore the core democratic values.
Field trips change from year to year, but typically include visits to farms, various museums or performances, and hikes through China Camp learning the history of the land. Each trip is desitned to build on and enrich our classroom learning. Second grades also spend a lot of time in the School Garden throughout the school year as a part of the Outdoor Education curriculum.