Language arts skills are utilized in all subject areas, and specific skills are intentionally taught so that reading, writing, listening, and speaking experiences build a strong language foundation throughout the year. Critical thinking and comprehension activities are supported with rich vocabulary exercises and reflective discussions. Phonics exercises support reading fluency and spelling. Writing journals, listening centers, cooperative learning groups, computer-assisted activities, and library visits keep literature and expression at the forefront of every-day life in second grade. Themes enjoyed include sharing, kindness, look-again through exploration and inquiry, fossils, courage, our country and its people.
The second grade enVision math program teaches new content by connecting it to prior knowledge. Over the course of the school year students will work on twenty focused topics including adding and subtracting two- and three-digit numbers, geometry, fractions, measurement, time, and probability. Second graders work to master addition and subtraction basic facts, and they are introduced to multiplication and division. Students are encouraged to use various problem-solving skills and strategies such as looking for patterns, making organized lists, analyzing data found on graphs and charts, and detecting missing or extra information. The children not only experience whole class instruction, but also work independently and in collaborative groups to use manipulatives, play games, and solve problems.
In second grade, students learn more about plants, animal classifications, adaptations for survival, geology, rock types, fossils, erosion, solar system as it relates to day/night, phases of the moon, and seasons, physics, sound waves, light, heat, magnetism, senses, dental care, and nutrition. They visit the science lab every week, and have the opportunity to engage in collaborative experiments, lab challenges, and observations.
Second grade social studies offers students exciting geographic and historical topics to explore and research. Each trimester a specific study is presented which incorporates teacher-made materials, purchased texts, and technology. In the map skills study, students use physical and political maps, globes, and compasses to learn about neighborhoods, map symbols, continents, and oceans. Moravian Academy’s location is ideal for the second trimester study of Colonial Moravians. Stepping out the classroom door brings to life the world of choir houses and traditions dating back to the 1700s. The final unit, Japan, covers not only the country’s geography, but culture as well. The study culminates in a spring program in which the children speak simple Japanese phrases, sing Japanese songs, and display their Japanese art. Several of second grade’s field trips are centered around social studies: Philadelphia’s Japanese House and Garden, Moravian Museum, Burnside Plantation. Parent volunteers enrich the studies by visiting classrooms to share information about an area of expertise or travel.
Students in second grade focus on projects that introduce new art-making techniques and concepts, as well as delve deeper into previously presented ideas. Students are challenged to attain a higher level of craftsmanship, while creating artwork that embraces their creativity and personality. Second graders apply elements of design as they are introduced to design principles including pattern, unity, and movement. An exciting unit on Japanese art is a focus in the second grade curriculum, which is done in collaboration with their homeroom studies.
Second graders enjoy library once per week, and also keep a well-stocked classroom library with chapter books. They continue to extend their knowledge during a substantial unit. Students become familiar with various characters and stories from Greek mythology and ancient legends.
In second grade, students enjoy music class two days per week and the elements of music are found within singing songs and listening lessons. Reading, creating, and performing basic rhythmic notation are encouraged and explored. Work with the pentatonic scale links in with the classroom unit on Japan later in the year. Second graders continue to develop their love of music and skill while using Orff and percussion instruments, keyboards, and the music training software, “Music Ace.”
Second graders attend PE three times per week. Skills, activities, and concepts in second grade include those from first grade but are refined and improved. Critical elements are reviewed but specific activities to practice these skills may be more challenging and difficult in nature than that of first grade. Second graders learn the concept of pacing while running distances. Listening, cooperation skills, and positive social aspects of physical activities continue to be emphasized in second grade.
Understanding rules of games, acceptance of the outcomes, and being a positive member of a team becomes more apparent. Integration of interdisciplinary subjects that are in line with the second grade level continue to be a part of certain activities. Basic concepts of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are discussed at a level that second graders can understand.
In second grade, students have Spanish class every day for 15 minutes. Their native-speaking teacher comes to the classroom, and children sing songs, play games, color pictures, watch videos, and engage in lessons that are delivered in the target language, Spanish. Curriculum content includes counting to one hundred, learning the alphabet, spelling some words, calendar including months and days of the week, parts of the body, rooms and places in a house, family members, classroom items, meeting and greeting, colors, and weather. Culture is embedded into the daily learning as our teacher offers exposure to food, dance, and traditions.