The second grade math curriculum is based on the Engage NY program. Each student is assessed and then placed in an optimal learning group. Students participate in an exploration of mathematical concepts by engaging in daily hands-on activities, whole group discussions, partner collaborations, and independent exercises. Concepts are then applied to demystify and solve relevant real-life problems. Students are challenged to persevere in problem solving and clearly articulate thier strategies. They are encouraged to recognize thematic connections throughout units of study which include place value, adding and subtracting within 1000, measurement, time, money, geometry, multiplication and division, graphing, number patterns and comparisons.
Reading Groups: Groups meet three times per week and receive small group instruction in reading and reading analysis. Students read fiction and nonfiction books that provide enrichment to subjects studied in other areas of the curriculum.
Writing is incorporated into various subject areas (i.e. math, science, reading, social studies, etc.) In addition to cross-curricular writing opportunities, students are instructed in the mechanics of writing through grammar and writing lessons, journal writing, and Writer’s Workshop.
Journal Writing: Students have frequent opportunities to write in their interactive journals. This is a special place where they record memories, thoughts, ideas and feelings. During journal writing, the emphasis is not on perfect spelling and punctuation. Instead, students are becoming proficient in expressing themselves on paper.
Grammar: During grammar lessons the students learn the mechanics of writing using a grammar workbook as a guide. Students are given weekly editing skills activities in which they make appropriate corrections to incorrect sentences. The entire class discusses the corrections that were made.
Writer’s Workshop: Students engage in “process writing” two days a week. Students study the steps of the writing process. They pre-write, draft, revise, edit and publish several pieces of personal writing throughout the year. At the beginning of the lesson, the teacher presents a mini-lesson on an aspect of writing that the students will focus on in their writing.
Literature Response Activities: Students respond to story elements such as character, setting, plot, language or illustrations. Children make connections between one work and another, compare books by an author, contrast versions of a story, or relate a story to their own lives.
SPELLING & HANDWRITING
Students engage in word pattern sorting activities and games. Students keep a spelling journal in which they record their word studies and discoveries. Students practice the basics of cursive handwriting.
Students participate in four major science units throughout the year. Each unit allows children to take part in an abundance of hand-on activities, set up experiments using the scientific method, and conduct and present research.
Plants: Students learn the importance of plants in our lives while embarking on an exploration of their parts, functions, needs and life cycles. They also learn how plants are adapted to live in vastly different climates.
Our Planets, Our Universe: This ever-expanding unit begins with a study of our solar system, its components (planets, moons, asteroids, meteoroids, etc.) and their movements. After establishing our solar system’s location in the Milky Way, we continue outward, examining stars, galaxies, comets, black holes, and other exciting phenomena of the known universe along the way.
Oceans: Students learn about our local, Monterey Bay ocean habitats; kelp forest, open ocean, rocky shore, sandy shore, and deep sea. We take several field trips including; Monterey Bay Aquarium, Long Marine Laboratory, Natural Bridges Tide Pools, and Save Our Shores beach clean up.
Birds: Students learn what separates birds from other vertebrates. They will engage in several activities which help them understand how birds are adapted to live in various ecological niches. We study nests, eggs, and migrations patterns. Each student researches and becomes an expert on a particular local bird.
SOCIAL STUDIES & GEOGRAPHY
Students learn about their own culture as well as other cultures as they study countries around the world. The countries studied depend on the background and interests of each individual class. We look for cultural similarities while gaining an increased awareness and respect for differences. The students learn the continents and countries within our cultural studies. Students work on mapping skills throughout the year.
Conversational Spanish is encouraged in an informal environment. Vocabulary and grammar are introduced and then reinforced through conversation, games, and music.
All students have weekly classes in Life Lab, art, drama, music and physical education.