A major part of the reading program in Grade 2 involves the building of independence and how to choose a “just right” book. Students are encouraged to make and refine their independent reading choices, exploring books in a variety of genres. We expand and further develop the fundamental skills introduced in earlier years and focus on reading for information and reading for pleasure.
We use a Reader’s Workshop approach in Grade 2. Reader’s Workshop includes whole-group mini lessons, guided reading groups, and individual conferences. The goals of reading instruction in Grade 2 are to:
continue to build on decoding strategies learned in Grade 1
build comprehension strategies to understand more complex text
Students in Grade 2 participate in small, guided reading groups using leveled texts. Students read a variety of materials, including non-fiction and fiction, and learn to distinguish the characteristics of both genres. Instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of every child. Sessions last 15-20 minutes and begin with introducing the book, eliciting prior knowledge, and building background. Teachers monitor and guide the reading of each child as needed. Discussion of the book follows, and the child keeps the book to reread, sometimes as a part of Home Learning. This approach recognizes that a wide range of reading ability exists with any grade level or age group, and that reading at the appropriate level promotes success.
Students in Grade 2 participate in the writing process daily through the Writer’s Workshop approach. Initially, students learn to generate ideas from their own experiences and think about purpose and audience when choosing a topic to write about. Through a daily mini lesson, students learn skills and strategies to develop their ideas. These may include craft lessons and grammatical lessons. Prior to publishing their work, students learn to revise and edit their writing. We endeavor to make writing purposeful by providing opportunities for the students to share their writing with an audience. Writing tasks are frequently integrated into other content areas.
Genres studied in Grade 2 include:
Narrative: Small Moments
Informational: Animal reports
Opinion: Writing about Reading
The spelling goal for Grade 2 is to guide the child from invented spelling towards conventional spelling through daily writing, reading and spelling activities. Word relationships, spelling patterns, word meanings, spelling strategies, sight words and syllable types are emphasized in group and independent activities. Children are expected to spell grade-appropriate high frequency words correctly in their written work.
Speaking and listening
Grade 2 students are given many regular opportunities to express themselves orally. Weekly activities such as morning meetings, sharing and class discussions allow students to feel at ease in front of an audience. Participation as an audience is also developed through these activities as well as attendance at assemblies, special events, field trip presentations, and professional performances.
In Grade 2, we continue to build on the work in Grade 1 regarding correct letter formation. We stress:
Proper pencil grip
Ease of writing
Neatness and organization on various types of paper
The lower school math program is based on the Common Core Mathematics Standards, which call for students to develop conceptual understanding and skill proficiency in number, operations, measurement and geometry through engaging problems and activities. Students are presented lessons that provide learning experiences toward meeting grade-level math standards, and problems to solve in a small group and independently. Throughout the year, parents receive information about the mathematical content studied in each unit. The grade-level math standards can be referenced for more detail, but instruction time focuses on these four critical areas:
Operations and algebraic thinking
Fluently adds and subtracts within 100 using various strategies based on place value and properties of operations
Fluently adds and subtracts within 20 using mental strategies. (By the end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers)
Uses pictures, words and numbers to represent solutions to problems within 100.
Number and operations in base ten
Counts by 5s, 10s and 100s to 1,000
Reads, writes and models whole numbers up to 1,000
Identifies place value in numbers up to 1,000
Compares two three-digit numbers using place value understandings
Adds and subtracts within 1,000 with concrete models or drawings.
Data and measurement
Represents and interprets data in graphs and charts
Measures and estimates length in standard units
Works with time and money
Relates addition and subtraction to length.
Identifies and compares fractional parts of a shape
Identifies and describes attributes of most 2-D and 3-D figures
Recognizes and draws shapes having specified attributes, such as number of angles and sides.
In the Grade 2 community building unit, students and teachers develop connections and a sense of belonging and significance in their classroom communities. Students learn routines and build classroom agreements that help them feel safe, respected and responsible. Students learn about ASL's core values and how we can 'live' our core values in our classroom community. Students learn that conflict can arise in a community and there are ways to diffuse and solve conflicts peacefully.
Following that, students engage in Welcome to My City: London. Through geography study and field work, students explore what physical and human features can be found in communities and how these can be located using maps. They also explore, compare and contrast different types of communities. After creating a shared class map of their city, student teams each create maps that document a different geographic feature (e.g. places to play, places to be in nature, places to shop, places to see art, places to learn about history, etc.). As a final project, students create a guide for newcomers to London.
The final unit is My Community and the Economy. Students investigate the difference between needs and wants and determine how they can be fulfilled through different goods and services. Students learn how families need to make choices about how to best meet their needs and wants. Students then work to understand how, through businesses and community resources, a community meets the needs and wants of its people.
Grade 2 science focuses on:
- Physical Science: Matter and Materials
- Life Science: Animal Adventures
By the end of Grade 2, students will be able to:
- Make predictions
- Ask questions
- Determine how to answer questions
- Make careful observations
- Use tables to record evidence
- Make explanations based on evidence
- Share information from investigations with others