Second Grade Curriculum
Reading lessons are conducted in small groups with the teacher. The mental imagery skills developed by the Carden Reading Method prepare students for increased comprehension of facts that must be inferred from each text-only story in the Grade Two Carden readers.
Workbooks provide independent practice with the words introduced in these readers, and extend their understanding of syllables and homonyms. The Bluebird Workbook is integrated with its reader and enables the child to improve their independent work habits while adding to their knowledge of the life cycle of birds.
Rhythmic reading is a vital part of the Carden Reading Method. The students are divided into reading groups according to the children’s ability. In the group, the children read individually or in unison. Expression and tone quality are blended skillfully to attain a smooth and fluent performance. Observance of punctuation secures the desired tempo. Children learn to pull thoughts and phrases together in order to read ideas rather than words.
Group reading benefits many individuals. A child may display timidity and uncertainty when performing alone, yet may demonstrate confidence and assurance when working with a group. The jerky reader learns to level bumps. The oral reader, who is too fast, learns to control his speed for comprehension. The slow reader is pleased and encouraged with personal support and help that make successful reading attainable. Reading in a group enables the teacher to see that each child is making a contribution to the whole and not just riding on another child’s attainments. If a child is having difficulty reading, they may be given double reading time. This means that the individual child with the teacher will go over the same lesson done earlier with their group. In this way the child is already familiar with the material and gains confidence. It is handled with loving care so as not to bring attention to someone’s level of ability in reading.
A Single-Subject Math teacher teaches Math daily. Mrs. Brunasso is enthusiastic and engages every K-3rd student in active lessons that build sequentially from hands-on to written problem solving.
- A proven world-class curriculum that emphasizes developing a concrete understanding of math concepts by first using manipulative materials and hands-on SMART board exercises, followed by word problems, written exercises, and independent practice to solidify problem solving and computational skills.
- Accurate computation skills are integral to cognitive progress in Math so math facts are drilled and tested in all grades.
- Unique pedagogy emphasizes a Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach to build understanding of “why” before proceeding to the abstract “how.”
The students are taught all of the multiplication tables from 2 through 12. They are responsible for learning and memorizing these multiplication facts. Parents can help with this at home.
The FOSS (Full Option Science System) program is taught three days a week in the science lab by Mrs. Stone, a single-subject science teacher. FOSS science includes hands-on learning activities most days.
Second Grade units include: Balance and Motion, Insects and Plants, Pebbles, Sand, and Silt.
Students research a science experiment and then present it to the class in Carden Scientists: always an eagerly anticipated activity.
Students respond in words or drawings in their science notebooks about each investigation to learn the steps of scientific inquiry.
The text for geography is National Geographic Map Essentials.
An essential milestone of the Second Grade is in perfecting control over consonants, blends, and vowel combinations. These are used in listening, reading, spelling, and writing. We review and reinforce First Grade techniques during the first quarter. Repetition ensures mastery and mastery inspires confidence. Rapid growth in comprehension occurs because of continuous development of concepts and skills.
At the beginning of the school year in Second Grade, each child is given a spiral notebook. This notebook is called the Log. Just as the captain of a ship keeps a daily log of everything that happened with his ship, our children keep a log of their cumulative work. The titles in the Log are “Fact,” “Sound,” “Rules,” and “Homework.” The fact, rule, and sound should be reviewed each evening in addition to the stated homework. The Log goes back and forth between school and home so that parents can follow each day’s work. If the child has trouble doing their homework, please write a note in the Log for the teacher. The teacher can then spend extra time with your child explaining the work. Sometimes a child may feel that they understand an explanation that was taught in class, only to forget how to do the lesson when they get home.
Homework should only take about fifteen minutes to accomplish. If your child spends longer than that, please contact the teacher.
The Daily Drill consists of penmanship first. Each day during the Daily Drill the children are taught how to properly form the letters, upper and lower case. Proper holding of the pencil is encouraged along with neatness and care in writing. Following penmanship, sounds from the Carden Sound Chart are dictated. This refreshes the child’s knowledge of letters and blends. The children offer words that explain how a sound is made, i.e. a+ (cape), a (cap), ce (face), -a- (separate). This dictation is keyed to the spelling lesson for the day so that it makes logical sense for the child.
The meaningless memorization of spelling words and drills are not present in a Carden spelling lesson. Words are not to be memorized. They are to be learned by the sounds the letters make and the spelling rules that apply.
The spelling words are dictated in a story form to the children. By hearing and repeating orally the spelling story while writing the word, each student is helped to a thoughtful study of their spelling words. This method helps the student pronounce and spell words correctly. When the child comes into class the following day, they recall the words of the previous day through the repetition of the story. They are not graded on this work. It is to be a happy challenge of seeing how many they can remember from the previous day. Then the class repeats all the previous words with the children making corrections where needed. This is done in a stress-free environment.
Following the spelling lesson, language with “Questions Answered” is done. The teacher dictates a sentence from the spelling book. The children write it down on their Daily Drill. As the teacher asks the questions, who, doing, what, etc, the children reply with the appropriate words from their sentence. In this manner children learn about periods, commas, question marks, and quotation marks. They learn the use of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. They develop an understanding of fundamental questions for comprehension: who, what, when, where, how, and why. The phrase is introduced in this manner.
Language is reinforced through the Language Workbook in which the students underline the nouns and adjectives while they are reading and learning about Johnny Appleseed and many varieties of fruit. The Daily Drill is done each day throughout the year.
With self-confidence arising both from mastery of phonics, word structure, grammar and from success in word grouping for comprehension, these young ones are fully equipped to begin the work of the Third Grade the following year.
In the Second Grade book reports consist of reading a book and then picking out a favorite sentence in it. The sentence is copied on a piece of paper and illustrated. The sentence should show what idea the child enjoyed in the book. Twenty of these should be done in a school year. In the second semester some children may do the teacher-directed long-form book report. The teacher can decide what is best for each student’s vocabulary level.
There is a reading list of books that children may read for themselves. The list also includes books at a more difficult level that the parents may read to their children. Parents are encouraged to read to their children every day. In this way a child’s vocabulary and comprehension continue to be developed. It also enables the parent to share ideas with their child. Reading lists may be picked up from the school office.
- The Story of Ping
- Old Mother West Wind
- Old Mother West Wind’s Children
Each story is read to emphasize rhythmic reading and word grouping for comprehension. Enrichment books are given to children who are advanced and include The Story of Dick Whittington, A Chat with Regina, and Miss Pearl, Her Own Story. These books are completed independently. All of the Thornton Burgess books may also be read by the children on their own.
The teacher reads a classic book that is appropriate for Second Grade each day. One book that is introduced at Easter time is The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes.
The children are taught an appreciation of poetry on a daily basis. They will commit to memory and recite fifteen poems over the course of the school year. These poems are selected by the teacher from Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry and My First Poetry Book. These are the golden years of memory when students add to their general knowledge of beautiful literature. What they learn during these years will stay with them through their life.
The Second Grade students are expected to dress for sports in their sports uniform each day. If they forget to bring their uniform, they are given a “non-dress” mark which counts against their quarterly sports grade.
The goal is to help them prepare for a better quality of life by developing a solid athletic foundation and a good sense of sportsmanship. This is achieved by experiencing many different sports activities. Each day our thirty minute session begins with a warm-up consisting of stretching and running, followed by one skill, and then a game to use what the students have learned.
Various sports include soccer, football, baseball, track, and volleyball. Sports skills are developed throughout the year. In the second semester we also participate in our National Presidential Physical Fitness Award Testing, which includes Sit and Reach, Sit Ups, Pull Ups, Shuttle Run, and Mile Run.
Rhythm instruments and beginning Ukulele are taught. Music notes are written and played. The lives of the great composers are taught and relived through their works which are played for the children. Singing and reading of notes continues. In January they learn the words to a musical and interpret the story. Students participate in the holiday program and the Spring Sing. Love of music and rhythm is a priceless gift for the students.
Art & Art Appreciation
The Second Grade curriculum includes one hour of hand-on art instruction each week. Students are taught Chinese Calligraphy as they learn about China when they are reading Ping. Drawings of Chinese New Year animals become beautiful props for Friday recitation. Architectural drawing is introduced. Landscapes are produced by drawing from nature. The Thornton Burgess books offer inspiration for illustration of forest animals. Watercolors, clay work and other media are explored.
In Art Appreciation the students study the French artist Chardin. Some of the paintings they view and discuss are “The Soap Bubble,” “The Girl with the Shuttlecock,” “Saying Grace,” and “The Card Castle.” Art appreciation adds to the children’s ability to be observant and helps to develop an appreciation of the finer things in life.
In the Second Grade, students apply their knowledge in desktop publishing, graphics, databases, spreadsheets, multimedia, and word-processing by working on different tasks. Students complete different projects after they have learned the basics. Students continue with touch typing and are introduced to Internet research.
The teaching of French in the Second Grade includes vocabulary development, learning the nouns and the correct form of adjectives. The students write sentences and change them into questions in French. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, the class learns songs, performs plays in French for our assemblies, and develops the correct pronunciation of the language.