Second Grade

Grade 2 StudentsAt the Haggerty School, our second graders are immersed in a rich curriculum. Please read about each of the subject areas below to explore our academic program!

Science
“As students grow in their ability to speak, read, write, and reason mathematically, they also grow in their ability to grapple with larger systems and the parts that make them up….” In the Earth’s Surface unit students “learn that water is found everywhere on Earth and takes different forms and shapes. They map landforms and bodies of water and observe that flowing water and wind shapes these landforms.” Students then “use their observation skills gained in earlier grades to classify materials based on similar properties and functions. They gain experience testing different materials to collect and then analyze data for the purpose of determining which materials are the best for a specific function. They construct large objects from smaller pieces and, conversely, learn that when materials are cut into the smallest possible pieces, they still exist as the same material” in the Materials and Their Uses unit. …

Finally, “students start to look beyond the structures of individual plants and animals to looking at the environment in which the plants and animals live as a provider of the food, water, and shelter that the organisms need” in the Plant and Animal Survival unit. Taken together, these units allow students to investigate cause and effect and subsequently systems in later grades. (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 32)

Social Studies
Second graders study Native American Tribes of North America. We will continue to explore various tribes (before European contact) from the North and Southeast, Plains, North and Southwest regions of North America. We will explore the kinds of housing used and its relationship to geography and climate, foods available from their surrounding resources, roles of adults and children; community values; education; and important rituals and beliefs. Occasional homework may be assigned.

Last year we began a new and additional unit to our social studies curriculum: Discovering Justice. This unit meets the state standards and “allows very young children to explore how and why they are enforced, which rules may be fair or unfair, and the appropriate ways to challenge and change rules. It helps children understand that there is a structure to society, that they have responsibilities as members of society, and that they are not alone in being responsible for their own safety and well being. The children learn about values the system protects such as freedom of speech, liberty, and equality.”

Literacy
We offer a balanced literacy program consisting of two research-based programs. 

Read First
Read First, “is a statewide initiative for comprehensive reading instruction that is grounded in research and informed by assessment data so that all children become successful readers. 

Harcourt Reading Program
The Harcourt reading program that our primary grades use is aligned with this initiative. Additionally, we support our students with a large selection of leveled-reading* trade books purchased over the past few years by our Early Childhood Resource Specialist as well as selections from the Houghton-Mifflin Literary series, offering a rich selection of multi-cultural fiction and non-fiction stories second graders enjoy reading.

Writing Workshop
students_working.jpgWriting Workshop is held three times a week to provide opportunities for second graders to write in varying genres: non-fiction/fiction stories, reports, journals, poetry, letter writing, etc. 

Mini lessons instruct and model such techniques for good writing. A variety of skills are visited and revisited during this time: brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, publishing, sentence building, capitalization, punctuation, using dictionaries, and other resources. We introduce and practice both written and oral presentations. Children draft three stories/pieces before selecting a favorite to publish. 

Math
In Grade 2, instructional time focuses on four critical areas:

  • extending understanding of base-ten notation;
  • building fluency with addition and subtraction;
  • using standard units of measure; and
  • describing and analyzing shapes.

Visit the District Math Department web page to learn more >>

Specialist Curriculum
Great Body Workshop: Health
Students will explore and discuss several heath-related topics that include nutrition, safety, healthy heart, germs, skin, and the brain during read-aloud times. Each topic provides a take-home pamphlet. We ask that each pamphlet be reviewed and discussed at home, since limited time in the classroom prevents us from incorporating it fully into the daily schedule.

Brain Gym
A few times a week students will spend 2 or 3 minutes performing Brain Gym activities—exercises that help with growth and development. Second graders enjoy participating in these exercises. Ask your child to demonstrate a few!

Social Curriculum
To support the above curricula we have adopted two social curricula: Tribal Rhythms, a program designed to build community with children, and Responsive Classroom, a program designed to build a learning community where high social and academic goals are both attained. Responsive Classrooms is built around several components that integrate teaching, learning and caring in the daily program in “the context of commonly shared values, such as honesty, fairness and respect. These components are implemented through the development and strengthening of social skills, such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self control”.

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