One of the highlights of second grade is always the reading of Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Reaching across subjects, Mr. Popper is not only a great reading activity, but provides opportunities to discuss Mr. Popper and his penguins in both science and math curriculum. The children celebrate with a Black & White Ball at the end of the book.
In science we discover nature and study insects and bugs as we observe the life cycle of painted lady butterflies,
visit Filoli Gardens and lovingly tend and care for marigold seedlings.
In Social Studies, students discover what our heritage means to us and learn about meaningful community symbols. Students enjoy a visit to City Hall. Earlier this year, members of our second grade class saw government in action when they were invited by the Saratoga Library to accept a proclamation on the library's behalf from the Mayor of Saratoga celebrating the Month of the Young Child.
The performance of "Turkeys on Strike" is a very memorable occasion as students impressively sing, dance and act out this delightful and charming Thanksgiving tale.
Our second grade students continue to develop their skills in phonics, word structure, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, grammar and spelling using our language arts program Imagine It! Themes such as Kindness, Let’s Explore, Around the Town, Look Again, Courage and America’s People are investigated.
The writing process is emphasized and students become confident with paragraph writing. Students brainstorm their ideas in a bubble diagram, write a rough draft, edit and publish their work in a final copy. Our students really begin to understand paragraph writing and the need to start with a strong topic sentence, middle and concluding sentence. Cursive writing is introduced. Their mastery of these skills is clearly evident in the book report “What’s Inside My Egg?”. This includes extensive research on creatures that hatch from an egg and students write a three-paragraph story on their creature. They use resources such as the Internet, encyclopedias and books as basis for their work. This project is also integrated with their technology studies.
In second grade, students master their addition and subtraction facts to 20. They practice addition and subtraction for 2 and 3 digit numbers with and without grouping. This is reinforced with rigorous mental math drills. Furthermore, basic multiplication and division are introduced. Writing and solving number stories using these concepts are also introduced. Students review solid figures, plane shapes and fractions. They study money, length and capacity, weight and temperature. Students are introduced to probability. The concept of time is reviewed and students become confident at presenting data on pictographs, bar graphs, lines plots and coordinate grids.
In Social Studies, students are encouraged to conduct in-depth research and report independently on their family history and heritage. The study of ancestors also allows cultural traditions and values to be explored. Many important and meaningful symbols such as the Statue of Liberty and the United States Flag are also researched. In addition, students trace the journey of goods and services from the field, to the factory and ultimately to consumers.
Students discover the complex diversity of plant life. They use microscopes to observe the structures of plants and successfully practice plant propagation. The needs of growing plants are thoroughly investigated through controlled environments and the life cycle of a plant is described.
Insects and bugs are another fascinating topic. Students explore the structure and behavior of insects, their life sequences and the stages of metamorphosis. Finally, students take a close look at the past and find out as much as they can from interesting collections of rocks and fossils.
Second grade religion class includes the study of Bible stories and stories of faith from other traditions. We use storytelling, dramatic presentations, crafts and songs to give students the opportunity to connect the stories with life situations. We discuss how century-old teachings are as relevant today as then through our discussions of the Character Counts! Six Pillars of Character.
Students begin learning through the Orff-Schulwerk Approach of music education which uses everyday activities such as dancing, clapping, signing, chanting poems/rhymes, in the purpose of music creation by
children. This includes singing in groups and performing voice instrumental music, rhymes and playing instruments such as the metallophone, xylophone, glockenspiel, and other percussive instruments. The music generated is largely improvisational and original tonal constructions and this builds a sense of confidence and interest in the process of creative thinking. Children also make music together in a group and hence realize the joys of group co-ordination and cohesion.
Second Grade students learn how to use technology in responsible
and innovative ways, while creativity is encouraged in a safe and
structured environment. Students are taught correct posture and behavior
in the computer lab. They also learn basic word processing and
Visiting the library in second grade includes learning the different sections of the library. Whether fiction, non-fiction, reference, magazines or audio books the children will learn where to find specific books and media and their purposes. They will be introduced to the use and organization of our reference books. Saint Andrew's second graders also discuss book awards such as the Caldecott, Newbery and Coretta Scott King.
In Lower School Physical Education Class, students learn about their bodies through exercise, games and movement. Classes emphasize the development of healthy bodies through early introduction to nutrition and physical wellness. Through distance running and games involving ropes, hoops, balls and ladders, children develop cardiovascular endurance, strength, agility and flexibility.
Art is about exploring and learning new techniques. Students work with paints, color theory and color mixing. Among other activities, they use molds to make papier mache masks.