Second Grade


Building on the skills taught in first grade, the second grade program continues to emphasize a hands-on approach to learning, while moving students toward a more independent model.

Children are encouraged to take more responsibility for their learning and to be problem-solvers, even as they work to strengthen their abilities to collaborate. Writing is also a significant piece of the second grade curriculum, and students explore and gain comfort with the written word through Writers’ Workshop.


The second grade reading program continues to be taught in flexible ability learning groups to enhance students’ understanding of more advanced decoding skills, including vowel combinations and digraphs, as well as syllibication. Comprehension skills are expanded to focus on identifying the main idea, recalling important details, sequencing, summarizing, comparing and contrasting, analyzing cause and effect, predicting, and inferring. Second grade children read a literature-based anthology and a variety of novels, and they utilize skill-building materials to enhance their comprehension, vocabulary, phonics knowledge, and spelling. To boost their oral language skills, the students recite poetry, retell stories, participate in readers’ theater, and present book and research reports. In addition, they hone their listening and auditory skills through discussions and other activities.


The writing program emphasizes the importance of constructing a comprehensive paragraph with a topic sentence and supporting details. Mid-year, students are introduced to multi-paragraphing, using transitional words and phrases, and they also develop literary book reports and creative stories, while reading in-class and individual novels and poems. Various forms of poetry are also explored, including haiku, cinquain, and free verse. Furthermore, students are introduced to more complex spelling patterns through our structured, linguistic program, where, each week, they take spelling and dictation tests. At the end of the year, the second graders begin to learn cursive writing. They also become increasingly familiar with the standard rules of grammar and punctuation. 

Our second grade students continue to participate in the Writers' Workshop program at least three times a week. The goal of the program is for children to write what they know by selecting topics that are personally meaningful and relevant to them. Through focused mini-lessons and individual conferences with the teacher, students will enhance their craft as writers and become independent authors of a variety of literary pieces. At the conclusion of each instructional unit, students will publish a piece of their work and share it in celebration with the rest of the class.  


Singapore Math

The Singapore Math program enhances students' higher-level thinking and understanding of real-life mathematical concepts, including measurement, patterns, estimation, time, money, charts, graphs, and simple fractions. Working in small, flexible ability groups, the children further focus on place value and regrouping with addition and subtraction. Practical application and problem solving are especially valued, and students use manipulatives and math journals to help them be authentic mathematicians who, as second graders, develop a basic understanding of multiplication and division and gain a greater comfort with math facts.

Social Studies

In social studies, students benefit from an interactive, online social studies program that extends their understanding of family history, mapping, heroes and heroines, and African-Americans’ contributions. In an economics unit, the second graders work in cooperative groups to plan, create, and run their own class store. Other units of second grade study include food production and agriculture, rural and urban life, and geography, with specific attention paid to the continents and oceans. Moreover, second graders, through song, dance, and music-making, develop an appreciation for community in preparing for their Brotherhood performance, a beautiful celebration of friends, family, the holiday season, and their sister country, Japan.

Character Education/Service Learning

Students make a difference in the lives of others through their participation in our acclaimed Character Education/Service Learning programs. In years past, they have raised money for natural disaster victims through a chore-a-thon and visited the Jewish Home for the Aging, bringing cheer to seniors' hearts.


The second grade science program involves the study of earth materials, living things, our solar system and space, health, and how things move. Children learn about the world around them, while studying our interactive curriculum, discussing their findings with other students, experimenting, and working on projects at school. The young scientists will explore plants, animals, the earth’s natural resources and recycling, motion, force, and the planets.

Our state-of-the-art science lab and outdoor ecosystems and gardens provide wonderful places for students to engage in many hands-on learning opportunities. Science-themed field trips further enhance our children’s learning by providing them with real-life, science-centered experiences upon which to draw.

Global Education

As part of our Global Education program, students act as pen pals to like-aged peers in Japan—exchanging letters, photos, and emails and completing interactive projects. Sometimes, they send their buddies poetry, other times, their friends send them videos of their classroom happenings, and occasionally, both groups of children interpret each other's drawings.

Buddy Program

Second graders' social/emotional growth is fostered through our Buddy program, where they are mentored, through regular, meaningful, social interactions, by older students at the school; on occasion, they even get to “buddy up” for special picnics or desserts! It is truly a “treat” for our young children to see just how much they are cared for!
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