Grade 2

Language arts


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

  • increase fluency

  • build comprehension strategies to understand more complex text

Students in Grade 2 also 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.

By the end of Grade 2, we expect most children to be able to read at Fountas and Pinnell levels M-O and to be able to discuss text to show their understanding.


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, and we publish selected work, including a Grade 2 poetry anthology. Writing tasks are frequently integrated into other content areas.

Genres studied in Grade 2 include:

  • Personal narrative

  • Poetry

  • Informational: Lab reports and science books

  • 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:

  • Legibility

  • 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.

Social studies

Over the first six weeks of school, we spend time getting to know each other and building community in our classrooms. The rest of the time in social studies is spent thinking about My City’s Cultural Diversity. Students begin by thinking about their own cultural identity and continue expanding to think about the cultural identity of their family, school, neighborhood, and the wider community of London. Through interviews, classroom activities, and field trips, they learn that community is made of individual people, each with a unique history and culture that forms their personal identity. Each individual has a role and a shared responsibility to help the community in which s/he belongs. A city is made up of a variety of communities, each with its unique history and culture.  


Grade 2 science utilizes an innovative science and literacy curriculum called Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading. In Grade 2 science, units include Designing Mixtures and Shoreline Science. In the Designing Mixtures unit, students learn about mixtures, dissolving, and the properties of substances. Shoreline Science involves investigations on the properties of sand and other earth materials, erosion, organisms and the environment, and human impact on the environment.

Curriculum guides