“I really want students to enjoy reading and to feel successful in school. I want my classroom to be a safe place to try new things and for students to work together to help each other and be respectful and acknowledge each other's differences.”
~ Debbie Jenkins
GOALS & EXPECTATIONS
Second grade is a year in which your child will become more independent and responsible for him/herself. There will be much academic learning mixed in with fun activities and projects. We are looking forward to working with your child next year. Students will be expected to write down homework each day and have their planners signed by a parent every night. This helps students become responsible for their own homework and assures that a parent is checking that everything is completed for the next day. Second graders also have tests in religion, science, and social studies. Study guides will be sent home and/or accessed online to help children get into good study habits. In partnership with parents, we encourage the children to be responsible for their things, establish time management skills for completing tasks, and be a good listener without interrupting while others are speaking. These three goals are valuable lessons for all of us in life!
Religion is a very important part of second grade. Students receive their First Eucharist in the Spring. Preparation begins in January with student enrollment at a Sunday mass. Throughout their preparation, students learn about the parts of mass, how and why Catholics participate in the ways we do. In addition to First Eucharist, students participate in prayer circles, keep prayer journals, learn about Jesus, saints and living their faith.
Students read a variety of materials to increase reading fluency and comprehension. Comprehension strategies include drawing conclusions, inferencing, predicting, and identifying story elements. Students participate in small and whole group instruction to teach key skills and practice comprehension strategies. Trade books and the National Geographic Reach Reading program are a regular part of reading instruction. Reading each day helps reinforce reading and language development. Students work on the Lexia Reading Program 4 days a week to reinforce phonics and comprehension skills. Language, spelling, and writing skills are important as students grow in their ability to communicate in writing. Grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure are taught in lessons which come together in student writing. Students keep a journal for daily writing and publish a Young Author’s book. Spelling tests will be given weekly with around 15-20 words each week. Cursive writing is taught in second grade. We begin around Christmas. Please let us introduce the correct way of making each letter first in school. It is much easier for students to start by teaching the basic strokes rather than trying to break habits that have already been established.
Students are expected to master basic addition and subtraction facts through 18 by the spring. Math homework is given every night to help with math computation skills. Students utilize SplashLearn, an online mathematics program which allows students to practice skills. Basic concepts in math that will be taught this year are place value to hundreds, telling time to 5 minutes, counting money up to $1.00 and making change, strategies to solve word problems, geometry with 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional figures, and solving addition and subtraction problems with 2 and 3-digits.
Our 2nd grade uses the Stemscopes program and includes physical science on the building blocks of matter, life science on animal and plant dependence, and earth science on changes to our land. We include lessons and experiments in our classroom as well as assignments for students online. The program is a web-based program and students have a science journal for each unit of study.
We have adopted a Kids Discover program that includes student magazines. The main ideas of this program are leaders and government, determining a location using map skills, the study of North America, different communities and caring for our resources, and family histories. This program is available online for students and parents.
In this class students learn more about the elements of art and how to turn them into symbols that have meaning or a recognizable composition. They learn how shapes and colors become important to various cultures, tribes and groups of people. All students should know the primary and secondary colors as well as the basic shapes and 3D form counterparts (square = cube).
Students learn about the layout of the library (how books are classified and sorted). They build on skills from pervious school year. There is more in-depth discussion about the authors, illustrators, and their jobs. Genres are introduced such as fiction, non -fiction, and bibliographies. Students participate in various activities building alphabetical order skills. Mrs. Graas reads to classes weekly from a variety of books. Students ask and answer many questions about the story to build and practice comprehension skills.
In 2nd grade students go a little more in depth into music theory.They start off with reviewing note names and rhythms and then get into instruments and the orchestra. The students get to hold and see instruments from the orchestra and talk about the different orchestra families and then they make their own instruments. They also participate in a Christmas program with 1st and 3rd grade.
Second graders work on basic gross motor skills, manipulative skills (throwing and catching, bouncing, kicking, dribbling, etc.), teamwork, cooperation, and sportsmanship. They also do a variety of sport related skills that apply to sports such as volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, etc., as well as lifetime skills such as jump rope, bowling, and fitness exercises. Lastly they participate in a variety of cooperative based activities such as; parachutes, noodles, and holiday themes games. Each student is given points based on effort, participation, and sportsmanship.
The Spanish curriculum is taught in a cross-curricular way, supporting learning in other subjects through the Spanish language and culture. Literacy: Students learn greetings, numbers from 0- 20, Spanish vowels & ABC’s phonetics, colors, shapes, animals, fruits/vegetables, and classroom commands. Religion: The sign of the cross and Guardian Angel prayer Cultural: Holidays vocabulary as Easter, Halloween, Three king’s Day & Valentine’s Day.
Typing skills are introduced in second grade. They also start basic skills in Word, as well as search skills in Google.
- SAFETY CITY: This field trip teaches the students safety rules for home, school, public places, and on the road. Students will practice these rules as they walk and drive around Safety City.
- NATURE PROGRAM: This program teaches the students about Native Americans and their history. It includes a play in which the children take part, a craft that explains the value of taking care of the land, and artifacts for the students to view and learn about the Native American heritage.
- PRETEND MASS: This day is devoted to helping the children learn the parts of the mass. Each child has a part and prepares for that part during the first part of the day. We then put on a “pretend mass” with parents and grandparents as part of our congregation. A special stained glass window project is the focus of the afternoon as a remembrance of this special time.
- FIRST EUCHARIST: Children prepare for making their Eucharist during our religion classes from January to April. They will make their First Eucharist at Sunday mass in April.
- YOUNG AUTHORS: Students follow the Writing Process to draft, revise, edit and publish their very own book, which will be entered into the Young Authors competition for the Archdiocese.
- PARENT LUNCH: Parents come eat lunch with their child.
Second Grade Teachers
At a recent professional development day, St. Martha faculty got to share with one another…
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