Second Grade Course Listings
The second grade year is designed to allow students to grow in responsibility and social skills in a nurturing atmosphere that encourages inquiry-based learning and critical thinking.
Students in second grade develop skills in perception and recognize simple characteristics of space and distance. They sharpen observation skills as they investigate and describe their environment. Second graders develop ideas by using inventive combinations of line, form, and color. They explore spatial concepts in drawing, painting, and printmaking. They make monochromic works and collages. Fibers are explored by weaving paper or fibers on simple looms. Children make three-dimensional works by modeling with clay and constructing various materials. By viewing and discussing the works of others, students discover that artists have expressed similar ideas differently in different times, places, and cultures. Students discuss a variety of art professions. Second graders continue to evaluate personal artwork in class.
Second graders begin the year with a unit on respect and how it is demonstrated within the classroom setting. Throughout the year students study several Old Testament stories like Moses and Joshua as well as the Books of Deuteronomy and Numbers. The New Testament studies include the miracles of Jesus and the armor of God. Second graders spend the entire year corresponding with children in Honduras who are sponsored by the second grade classes. Class service projects center around the work in Honduras.
All skills at expected grade levels are a continuum from the previous grade. Students will learn advanced mouse skills (right clicking), work with two pieces of software open simultaneously (minimize one while switching to the other and split screen format) to create projects and reports in Word and Power Point. Students will learn to copy pictures from pre-screened internet sites and paste them into their project. Appropriate use of the internet for research will be emphasized.
The second grade math curriculum incorporates explicit problem solving strategies. Math instruction is implemented through the use of centers, worksheets, and manipulatives, challenging each student to work independently. Accelerated Math and the use of Math Clubs give students individualized instruction opportunities. Students continue with addition and subtraction from first grade, learning to rename and regroup. Concepts of measurement, money, time, geometry, graphing, place value to 1000, estimation and probability are explored, and problems using these concepts are solved.
Second grade students engage in a variety of activities, including development of the singing voice. The Orff approach to music education is used to develop rhythmic abilities through use of body percussion and instruments. Students also learn note values and how to write rhythms. Students listen to classical music and learn about the lives of composers. Movement is used through singing games, following a leader, and creative expression. Children perform twice a year as an ensemble.
- Language Arts
The second grade language arts curriculum is a balanced literacy program which incorporates a center-based approach with guided reading at its core. Guided reading is supplemented by shared reading, grammar, phonics, creative writing, handwriting, and Accelerated Reader. Dictionary skills are particularly emphasized. Language Arts is allotted a protected block in the schedule lasting approximately two hours each day. Second graders present original poetry at the annual Poetry Coffeehouse and enter a writing contest held each spring.
- Physical Education (PE)
DLES has a lifetime fitness-based curriculum. An emphasis is placed every week on cardiovascular and strength exercises to improve psychomotor and cognitive skills while incorporating healthy nutrition habits throughout. Students will experience a series of fitness tests and sports-related activities and games, preparing them for individual and team-related sports while teaching them teamwork and sportsmanship. They will also participate in a charity activity (Jump Rope for Heart) and a Physical Skills Day.
The science curriculum incorporates hands-on experimentation with particular emphasis on individual projects. As part of the Green School requirements, second graders study “Clean Air.” Other topics include weather, habitats, rocks and minerals, states of matter, and sound. Science and social studies units are integrated when appropriate to maximize student learning.
- Social Studies
The second grade social studies curriculum incorporates the study of Colonial America, American Presidents, and citizenship in the local and international community. The study of oceans and continents is integrated with the science units about habitats. Social studies projects such as Trade Day, Passport to the World, the Living Museum and various field trips supplement regular classroom social studies instruction.
Second Grade learns more advanced greetings, numbers 0-35, colors, how they feel, days of the week, the alphabet, how to read the story of creation, ordinal numbers 1st-7th, special holidays, family, simple commands, Three Clever Goats, more body parts, foods, and simple expressions such as “I’m sad,” and “What is it?” They learn to express being cold, hot, sleepy, hungry, thirsty, and to say how old they are. All grade levels learn Christian songs.