Our C-STEM curriculum encourages cooperative and problem-solving strategies to thrive in an ever-changing world. It allows students to use their natural curiosity to learn more about their world while becoming more independent thinkers and learners. C-STEM curriculum is integrated throughout all subject areas. This curriculum lends itself to engaging and exciting learning experiences.
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 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.
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.
The curriculum is enhanced through working on the Lenovo tablets 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. Students also get to explore robotics through Sphero robots. Tablets 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 as well as using Tinkercad to design 3D objects. 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.
Elementary level students receive a Phonics-based instruction to learn reading and spelling. We are partnered with Groves Academy and the Believe and Read initiative through the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence to ensure that all students reach their reading goals. The Groves Literacy Framework, which was developed at Groves Academy, uses an Orton-Gillingham-based curriculum and is rooted in decades of literacy and brain research. We believe that students learn best when instruction is direct, sequential, multi-sensory, and addresses individual strengths and challenges.
2nd graders also learn with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys, 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, and oral reading fluency each week.
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 the 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 the study of the continents and how communities and people are different in various parts of the world.