The theme in Grade 2 is Creating from Inside Myself. The children increase in awareness of art as a highly individual creative process and nonverbal form of expression. They recognize that their art is formed from their own thoughts and imagination and value their own efforts to think creatively. The students are introduced to local artists, and they identify and discuss how art is used in events and celebrations in various cultures, past and present. The children grow in the value that people have varying creative expressions.
Grade 2 language arts integrates numerous methods. Students continue the study and spelling of word parts and how they change the meaning of words. They also begin the study of conventional spelling and have spelling tests each week. Students continue to read in small Guided Reading groups four days a week where they work on word attack, fluency, and comprehension with the teacher in increasingly difficult texts as they progress. As authors, second graders practice narrative writing, opinion writing, scientific writing, and poetry. Their study of grammar and usage extends to include noun types, adjectives, and adverbs; capitalization of proper nouns; comma use; and apostrophes. Students continue honing their handwriting skills using Handwriting Without Tears.
In Grade 2, students continue in the Singapore Math Program with increasingly complex concepts. The emphasis on understanding “why before how” continues as students build number sense while adding and subtracting whole numbers with regrouping up to 1,000, learning to use the vertical algorithm, and learning introductory multiplication and division. Students write equations and solve one-step word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.
Students in Grade 2 work to further develop rhythmic concepts; they learn about quarter, eighth, half, and whole notes. Students learn to play on Orff instruments and sing a pentatonic scale. Vocal improvisation and instrumental composition begins using four beat patterns. Students also perform rhythmic patterns with unpitched instruments and body percussion. They perform in winter and spring musical concerts.
Building on foundational motor skills, children learn more advanced games using balls and other sports equipment. Cooperative games such as netball, kickball, and t-ball are introduced and taught beginning with the basics. Swimming is a part of the curriculum as well. Students in Grade 2 swim twice per year for at least five weeks per term. Two certified swim instructors teach everything from beginning swimming to advanced strokes.
Grade 2 religion emphasizes developing a spiritual center through prayer, the sacraments and the stories of the life of Jesus, and his miracles. The focus is on Jesus’ compassion. Students are encouraged to put their own compassion in action in relation to one another and through service projects. Catholic students in Grade 2 are invited to prepare for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion.
Grade 2 students continue meaningful, hands-on science using the Full Option Science System (FOSS) program. Students have opportunities to study science units including Insects and Plants; Pebbles, Sand, and Silt; and Balance and Motion. As the year unfolds, students have opportunities to study life cycles of mealworms, brassica plants, painted lady butterflies, and silkworms. They investigate the properties and uses of various rocks. Students study how things move and what affects their motion. Students have the opportunity to construct various experiments and to write about them using the scientific process.
In Grade 2 social studies, students dig deeply into the concept of community using the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI) program. They ask and answer the questions: What is a community? and How are communities different? They discuss and study where and how people live, their jobs, and the goods and services they use. Students select a business to develop and present at their Entrepreneur Fair. They also study maps and geography.
Entrepreneurship is the focus in Grade 2. Using Google Apps for Education (GAFE), students increase their understanding of word processing, presentation, and spreadsheets. As they design business models, they improve keyboarding, personal expression, and problem solving skills. Students create innovative slide shows and movies with sound, transitions, and graphics. The program offers a variety of gadgets and equipment for students to research, prototype, and build.