In second grade, we learn in a hands on, experiential manner, embracing the curious nature and the fun, joyful spirit of seven year olds. C-STEM learning allows us to explore, investigate, and be amazed by the world around us. The second graders gain independence in their learning as they expand on previous learning and tackle more difficult challenges. This magical year is highlighted by receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time.
In second grade, our major focus is getting closer to Jesus through receiving His graces in the Sacraments. We prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist during the year and receiving these sacraments for the first time is a major highlight of our year.
Our curriculum is the Alive in Christ program by Our Sunday Visitor with support from the Blessed program through Dynamic Catholic. Students will participate in prayer, liturgy, rosary, and service experiences throughout the year. We will also learn about the Saints and have an introduction to the Bible.
The overall theme for second grade Science is Investigating changes.
During our weather unit in the fall, we observe the changes in the weather. We discover what instruments are used to measure weather, and explore different weather concepts such as wind, rain, temperature, and clouds. We even try our best at forecasting! A field trip to Lowry Nature Center also enhances our weather curriculum.
In our next unit, we observe changes in states of matter and explore mixtures, solutions, and chemical changes. We make predictions, develop hypotheses, and do many experiments. We even experience food science with some edible investigations.
Dinosaurs are our next topic. The second graders experience a small dinosaur dig, put together a dinosaur skeleton, and do a report on a dinosaur among other dinosaur adventures.
Our spring unit involves observing the life cycle of a butterfly. We experience the changes as we watch the butterfly larva go through its stages, transforming from larva to chrysalis, and finally to adult. Our butterfly release is always an incredible experience.
Curriculum is enhanced through working on the i-pads and time spent in the technology and smart labs. The second graders learn general computer skills with our technology coordinator. Students collaborate on technology projects in smart lab. I-pads and computers are used to show mastery of skills and to work on research or projects that integrate with our Science, Social Studies, and Faith curriculum.
The second graders spend time in our Smart Lab twice a week. They engage in the engineering process through projects where they design and build products using various materials and/or the computer. The engineering process is also used in the regular classroom when doing design projects that integrate and expand on curricular topics in Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Math Expressions uses objects, drawings, conceptual language, and real-world situations to help students understand math. Second graders explore math skills and concepts through hands-on activities. Critical thinking skills and mathematical concepts are developed and mastered through guided practice, collaborative group work, and technology.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys is a comprehensive language arts program that integrates the communications skills of speaking, reading, writing, spelling, and thinking. The second graders will read a wide variety of literature, including non-fiction, fiction, and poetry selections. Students will work on vocabulary skills, comprehension, phonetic skills, and oral reading fluency each week. Skills are also reinforced through technology. Students read for enjoyment as well as develop beginning critical reading skills used when reading for information. Sentence writing and learning the parts of speech are also a major focus. The second graders experience creative writing situations as well as writing short reports based on research they have found on topics. Students practice manuscript handwriting and learn cursive writing techniques using the Zaner Bloser style of handwriting.
Second grade social studies involves looking at various types of communities and neighborhoods. We learn we are a citizen of a community and how communities are run by government at the city, state, and federal levels. We learn how communities have changed throughout history, from our own community to our country as settlers went on the Oregon Trail in westward expansion. We learn about consumerism through our study of needs, wants and how jobs and businesses provide products and services to our community. Our global learning is expanded through study of the continents and how communities and people are different in various parts of the world. Concepts are reinforced with writing reports, art projects, and field trips to the Carver County Historical Society and Klein Bank.