All instruction in the second grade is designed to differentiate for learning styles and ability. Teaching strategies include the use of choice menus, small group instruction, music, dancing, using gestures, mnemonic devices, storytelling, field trips, role playing, and making real-world connections. Student work and learning centers are geared as enrichment, as well as an extension of the curriculum base. It is our goal to help each second grader obtain literacy skills, gain knowledge necessary for a successful life, and see learning as a joyful and rewarding experience.
Second grade is the first year that students receive letter grades. They are also very excited to learn cursive. Students become a little more independent and are given more responsibility.
In our second grade Reading curriculum, comprehension, oral reading, word knowledge and meaning are stressed. We focus on literacy units and author studies. Students work in small groups to ensure they are reading on their skill level. Teachers instruct students using a variety of genres. Choice boards and menus are used to offer students multiple ways to show what they have learned. Second graders also participate in the Accelerated Reader Program. This program allows us to help track the individualized comprehension and vocabulary skills of our students. Each student is assigned AR goals according to their reading ability to ensure that they are progressing at an individual pace. These goals are assigned according to the findings of the STAR reading assessment.
In our English Language Arts curriculum, we are able to cover all areas of ELA (spelling, phonics, reading, and writing). Daily practice in manuscript and cursive enables students to write neatly and legibly. Writer’s Workshop is an exciting writing program that allows our students to learn the writing process while writing on topics that they choose. This highly individualized method allows students to work at their own level and pace while using writing conventions, practicing spelling strategies, and showing their creativity. They learn about peer editing and have individual conferences with their teacher. They also share their work and learn to give and receive feedback. Students are taught to distinguish parts of speech, write friendly letters, write and identify complete sentences, use correct capitalization and punctuation draw conclusions, and identify main idea and details. These skills are the main focus of many objectives in the second grade.
Part of our ELA program includes the Words Their Way curriculum, where students learn in small groups to build skills. Teachers incorporate “making words” activities and lessons as a way for students to connect sounds and build words. Instruction is differentiated as teachers provide activities that appeal to the learning styles and needs of all students.
In Math, there is a short review of addition and subtraction facts, place value, ordinal numbers, and other cumulative skills they were taught in first grade. Teachers progress to addition and subtraction with regrouping with multiple addends, measurement, time, money, fractions and basic geometry skills. Multiplication and division concepts are also introduced. Learning centers are a large part of the strategy used to make math meaningful and fun for students. Manipulatives are available to help reinforce math concepts. An emphasis is also placed on solving word problems, with multiple strategies being taught to solve them. Students work in small groups for additional teacher support and to ensure appropriate curriculum pacing.
Star Math is a supplemental assessment used to help assess, set, and track students’ individual goals. Accelerated math is the supplemental tool that allows us to set objectives for each student based on the Star Math assessment. In addition to daily math instruction, students are able to move forward if they are ready or they are able to receive remedial help where needed using Accelerated Math.
In Social Studies, students are taught an integrated blend of Louisiana geography, economics, civics and government, and history. Geography skills and Scholastic News are covered on a weekly basis. Students learn about current events and practice reading non-fiction to look for meaning and information. Units integrated with the reading curriculum help students learn about national holidays, world celebrations and cultural differences. The study of people is incorporated using oral biography presentations and research on presidents.
Science in second grade includes an overall view of animals and plants, the weather, human body, states of matter, and various other topics in earth, health, and physical science. Instruction includes many hands-on and guided lessons. Emphasis is placed on units of study in the areas of earth science. A special unit deals with the study of the pond biome and its surrounding environment. At EDS, we have a pond with a waterfall, indigenous iris, cattails, pond lilies, tadpoles, and fish forms that are the basis of the second grade unit of the pond biome. It is nestled between the music building and the middle school building. Having a permanent pond feature on site allows our students to observe seasonal changes in the pond biome. The fragile balance of this pond is explored and it allows the students to see first-hand how important water quality is and how the animals and plants work together to form this unique water environment. We conclude our pond unit in the spring with a fun trip to a real pond for our Easter egg hunt and party!
All of these units encourage interaction within different environments using field trips and outside resources. In the past, students have:
Toured the Port of Lake Charles during the study of Louisiana waterways
Had a boat ride through the Atchafalaya basin during the study of Louisiana Wetlands
Visited Vermilionville for its rich Louisiana culture and history
Enjoyed various off-campus theatrical productions
At EDS, we not only pride ourselves on our ability to provide academic excellence in the classroom, but we also feel that is important for our students to have empathy for others and give to others who need our help. Each year in the second grade, our students “adopt” a family who is in need of our financial and spiritual support. Students earn money by doing chores or good deeds at home. Teachers collect the money and integrate technology by having an online shopping trip for our angel tree family. We sincerely hope to foster in our students, an awareness and compassion for people who are less fortunate that will carry on into their adult lives.
Enrichments are an exciting time for our students. Second graders attend Spanish, Art, Computer Technology, Library, and Physical Education as part of our broad curriculum.