Second Grade Curriculum Overview
Second grade students continue to polish their reading skills. The Scott Foresman Reading Street and Open Court Reading programs hone the skills they have already established in previous grades. Students explore a variety of genres such as folk tales, fantasies, realistic fiction, biographies, myths, and poetry from around the world through the Open Court series and a variety of class set literature books. American folk tales "Cinderella" stories from around the world are explored. Students also read about and celebrate the life of the pioneers through Little House on the Prairie day. Comprehension and thoughtful consideration of the deeper meaning in a variety of literature are stressed. Students learn to distinguish between the structural features of the text through literary terms such as plot, setting, characters, and theme.
In Second Grade, students read and write continually across the curriculum. Classroom assignments focus on the writing process of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and creating a final draft. Students learn to write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs with topic and supporting sentences that develop a central theme, as they consider their audience and purpose. A variety of writing projects are explored at this level: book reports, letter writing, personal narrative, folk tales, informational writing, descriptive writing, poetry, and creative writing. Research tools are introduced as aids in the writing process. Sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and grammar are stressed. Spelling and vocabulary are expanded through word studies and vocabulary-building exercises. Cursive writing is introduced, and by the middle of the year, students are writing in cursive on their daily work.
Students also learn speech techniques and begin to do formal recitations.
Using the Singapore Math curriculum, second grade students learn to count, read, write, compare, and order whole numbers to 10,000. They continue to work toward gaining automatic recall of basic math facts including multiplication and division tables. They learn how to calculate and solve problems using strategies, skills, and important concepts involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They estimate, measure, and describe objects in space and begin to understand the relationship between whole numbers and simple fractions. Introduced to very basic algebra and functions, students learn to select appropriate symbols, operations, and properties to represent, describe, simplify, and solve number relationships. They learn that math is built on patterns and learn how to use these patterns to help solve problems.
Throughout the second grade, emphasis is placed on the need to apply math in daily situations. Daily math games and activities, in both whole class and small groups, teach and reinforce important skills, such as strategy, problem solving, cooperative work, and logical and critical thinking.
Life science concepts covered in second grade include understanding the strategies for life in which plants and animals engage, including reproduction and life cycles. Earth science concepts are all about the water cycle and its affect on climate. Physical science engages children in experiments around energy - motion, current, sound, light, and heat. Additionally, students explore electromagnetism and alternative sources of energy. Hands-on experiments, projects, reading literature, and video clips are a regular part of the curriculum.
Second graders complete their Science Fair project together; the teacher helps them conduct most of the experimenting in-class, and all of the write-up is completed in school as well. Students explore the concepts of observation, prediction, conducting an experiment, recording data, analyzing results, creating a display, and presenting the material to others under the direct instruction of the teacher.
The Social Studies program strives to develop citizens who are knowledgeable, skillful, and have the civic values that they need in order to become active and reflective participants in a global world. Second Grade students study United States geography through an in-depth study of our country's regions, including its resources, states and capitals, major cities, land features, and its national and state parks. They complete state reports and learn to distinguish the different regions because of their geographic features, history, economy, climate, and culture. They conduct a year-long Flat Stanley project and continue to learn about their own community, its history, and its architecture. Second graders also study San Francisco history, taking many trips around the city to explore its rich history.
International Studies focuses on China, Japan, and India. Students explore culture, language, geography, climate, animals, resources, and history in preparation for their culminating International Fair presentations in June.
Students in Second Grade review and expand the basic vocabulary they have already learned in Kindergarten and First Grades using the Symtalk program (levels 3 and 4). They learn the calendar, numbers, clothing and accessories, foods, meals, and vocabulary related to health, animals, geography, and communities. Students have Spanish three times a week.
Students in Second Grade learn to recognize shape, mass, and line in art and everyday objects. They discuss different kinds of artwork, such as landscapes, abstract art, sculpture, and architecture. They continue to explore their abilities with hands-on projects in different fields of art, including pottery, weaving and sculpture. Students have art class once a week.
Second Graders increase their knowledge of the basic elements of notation, rhythm, melody, form, and timbre by applying them in vocal instruction and instrumental instruction on the flutophone and various percussion instruments. Second Graders learn to identify whole notes and rest, tempo markings, and the notes on the treble clef. Additionally, students learn to recognize brass instruments and how to read simple music notation. They continue their study of famous composers while focusing on Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Jesus Rubio. Students enhance their performance skills through participation in the Winter Fest and Spring Showcase. Students have music once a week.
The Physical Education curriculum for Second Grade increases students' basic knowledge and skills through individual skill development and sportsmanship through team work. They gain precision with increasing control and accuracy. Students have Physical Education 2 times a week.
In their final year focusing on the ipads, students create posters and presentations using Google Classroom. Students use ixl.com for supplemental Math and Language Arts practice.
Second Grade students enjoy weekly ethics class. They complete an in-depth study of Hilldale's monthly virtues, quotes, and villains. Additionally, they delve into Second Grade heroes. Second Graders explore teamwork, perseverance, and how to be a good member of one's own community. While working to practice the Kindness of the Week Challenge, students discuss the importance and aspects of friendship as well as how to have positive personal characteristics. Students practice their Hilldale Habits of Respect, Leadership, and Independent, Lifelong Learning on a daily basis. All students participate in Service Learning projects which help students understand their relationship and responsibility to the world at a young age. Students participate in the Peace First
curriculum designed to teach hands-on, social-emotional skills and nurture friendships. This year the focus is on building friendship skills.