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Second Grade Curriculum Information
Park School Second Grade Curriculum
The Park School second grade teachers have worked hard to align our curriculum with the new Common Core standards. We’re excited about the new standards and look forward to the opportunities they present for the children and the Park School staff. You can view the standards at http://www.cde.ca.gov. The following is a brief overview for you to see how we have organized the standards into a dynamic and exciting year for your child.
The new Common Core standards emphasize three writing types: narrative, informational and opinion. In second grade, our units of study include small moment personal narrative writing, all about books, lab reports, and opinion letters about books, authors and characters. We will also learn how to write letters, poetry, use authors as mentors, and write nonfiction narrative pieces during our coral reef unit of study. Within these writing projects we focus on where writers get ideas; the craft authors use to write in a particular genre; how to read like a writer and write for the reader; finding writing mentors (author studies); how to structure texts in interesting ways; punctuation; word choice; revision; and more.
The children spend time writing in a workshop format. The workshop begins with a mini-lesson (teaching point) from the unit of study and then the students write. While the children write, we confer in small groups or individually. This allows us to differentiate our instruction and meet individual needs. Students also share their pieces with a writing partner during the workshop. During the unit of study, students will be asked to incorporate what they have learned into their writing. Student work is kept in a writing folder. We will have celebrations by sharing our pieces with different audiences throughout the year.
Word Study is a time we teach spelling. Spelling patterns are taught and practiced throughout the week and are integrated into our reading and writing programs. Students are expected to spell high-frequency words correctly, as well as long and short vowel spelling patterns.
Second grade readers learn to read closely and become thoughtful readers that know how to talk about books. Children work with both fiction and nonfiction in second grade. Students learn strategies for what to do when they come to a word they don’t know (or understand), as well as strategies for comprehension. Children read books at their “Just Right” reading level. Like writing workshop, we teach reading with a workshop approach. Each workshop includes a mini-lesson, independent reading, small group work, individual conferences and partner reading. We have an interactive read aloud time for children to “turn and talk” “turn and act” or “stop and jot” about connections, questions, predictions, or inferences relating to the text. It is expected that children in second grade know how to discuss fiction with responses that include: understanding figurative language, the setting of stories (time and place), the characters, the problem and solution (plot) and the theme of the books they read at their “Just Right” level. In nonfiction texts, we expect children to be able to retell the main idea with supporting details.
Our math curriculum covers the various strands of math including place value, measurement (including length and time), geometry, graphing, beginning multiplication, and addition and subtraction over 100. We use real life events to encourage problem solving and logical thinking. We teach the children to solve problems in more than one way and ask them to support their thinking with evidence. We often begin the math period with a “Number Talk.” Here, we discuss different strategies for decomposing numbers, adding, subtracting and using place value. In addition, we expect that by the end of 2nd grade the children know their addition and subtraction facts to 20. We will expect the students to know multiple strategies for adding and subtracting by the end of second grade.
The (new) Next Generation Science Standards in second grade help students formulate answers to questions such as: “How does land change and what are some things that cause it to change? What are the different kinds of land and bodies of water? How are materials similar and different from one another, and how do the properties of the materials relate to their use? What do plants need to grow? How many types of living things live in a place?” Students are expected to compare the diversity of life in different habitats, as well as have an understanding of observable properties of materials through analysis and classification. Students learn to apply their understanding of the idea that wind and water can change the shape of the land to compare and design solutions to slow or prevent such change.
We incoprate our wonderful garden and study of oceans into our science curriculum. Our musical, We Are Coral began as a science unit. We now integrate the musical into reading, science, social studies and the writing curriculum.
Our units of study include: Mapping, Day of the Dead (a comparative culture study of Mexico), Family History, Immigration, Biographies of Important People, and Producers/Consumers. We spend a great deal of time learning about social issues at school, mindfulness and working together. Teamwork is expected and taught. We will incorporate global studines into our curriculum as we teach these units. This is a focus for the Mill Valley School District.