The Park School second grade teachers have worked together to align our curriculum with the Common Core standards. 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 Common Core standards emphasize three writing types: narrative, informational and argument. During writing workshop we focus on where writers get ideas; the craft authors use to write in a particular genre; how to read like a writer; finding writing mentors (author studies); how to structure texts in interesting ways; punctuation; word choice; revision; and more.
The children spend time writing at least four times per week. We teach a minilesson (key idea) from the unit of study and then the students write. While the children write, we confer in small groups or individually. Students also share their pieces in the author’s chair. During the unit of study, students will be asked to incorporate what they have learned into their writing. We will have celebrations by sharing our pieces with different audiences throughout the year.
Spelling patterns are taught and practiced throughout the week. Additional time is spent on word study. Students are expected to spell high-frequency words correctly. To promote fluent writing, students underline words that they think are misspelled.
Second grade readers learn to read closely and become thoughtful readers who know how to talk about books. Children read fiction, nonfiction and poetry in second grade. Children learn strategies while reading books at their “just right” level. Each workshop includes a mini-lesson, independent reading, small group work, individual conferences and partner time. Big ideas this year include: orchestrating strategies for unknown words, developing fluency, building big ideas, using comprehension strategies, exploring authors' craft, understanding figurative language and working in partners and book clubs, We have an interactive read aloud time for children to “turn and talk” or “stop and jot” about connections, questions, predictions, or inferences within the text. (The read aloud books are at their comprehension level, but not necessarily their individual reading level.) Along with reading 20 minutes each night, reading homework will include asking the children to use the strategies in their “at home” reading. Students will take books home each week from the Park School Book Room.
Our math curriculum covers the various strands of math including representing and solving problems involving addition and subtraction, understanding place value, measuring lengths, working with time and money, representing and interpreting data, and reasoning with shapes and their attributes. We teach the mathematical practices laid out in CA Common Core Standards. We use real life situations to encourage problem solving and logic. We also encourage a positive mindset in math which include the messages that mistakes are valuable, questions are important, math is about making connections and making sense, everyone can learn math to the highest level, etc.
We will be teaching the Next Generation Science Standards. Within each unit, we will use real world phenomena to start the inquiry process...then the children will ask questions, design a plan, try it out and share out results of science experiments. Our units of study are matter, geology, and life sciences, focusing on plants. We will be using our new fabulous garden to help us with this. Thank you PTA!! The second grade Oceans curriculum focuses on the coral reef and we will perform our second grade play Goin' Fishy based on our science research.
In social studies we will be working on helping our students develop global competence by investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas and taking action. We will be asking such questions as: How do families remember their past? Why do people move? What makes someone heroic? Various projects will be worked on at school and home throughout the year.
Here’s to a great year in second grade with lots of learning!