Discovering personal greatness in pre-school through grade 8 students - Burlington, Vermont

2nd Grade

Mathematics

My Math, published by McGraw-Hill, is the text used to support the second grade math curriculum. This text correlates with the Common Core. The primary focus in second grade includes: addition and subtraction concepts; number patterns; adding/subtracting two and three digit numbers; place value; money; data analysis; time; metric lengths; and geometric shapes.

Science

Second grade science covers topics related to the human body, physical science, life science, and earth science.  Topics may include: five senses, health, and disease; force, motion, gravitational force, and heat energy; energy flow in an ecosystem, habitats, and food chains; seasons, rocks, and soil.  The students learn through observations, asking questions, and investigations.  They are also exposed to a number of topics through the Four Winds Program.  MCS is fortunate to have the program organized and taught by a group of our parents.

English Language Arts & Literacy

In second grade students use the Readers Workshop program which exposes them to a variety of literature genres and styles.  The workshop approach is a method of teaching children to read that uses books and activities in a sequence in which each book or activity is designed to build on the skills learned previously.  The approach creates and builds on a foundation of basic skills.

Second graders use Writers Workshop to focus on three strands of writing: narrative (personal and fairy tales), opinion (persuasive), and informational. Students experience mini-lessons focused on particular strategies.  They have independent writing time (journal entries), conference with the teacher and have an opportunity to share their work through published pieces of writing. Every morning students need to complete their Daily Language Practice (DLP).  The questions are used to test their prior knowledge, reinforce focused lessons on vocabulary, spelling, sentences, parts of speech, capitalization and punctuation.

Second grade students use  Words Their Way to focus on spelling.  They have weekly spelling tests. At the beginning of the week the students are given a pretest and at the end of the week they are given a post test.  The days in between are spent practicing how to spell, learning the meanings of words, and learning spelling patterns through different mental exercises.  Students are also required to study their spelling words each night for homework.

Handwriting

Second graders are introduced to cursive handwriting by using the the Zaner –Bloser handwriting series starting in the month of October.  They start by learning all the lower case letters and then all the upper case letters.  When all the letters have been introduced they are expected to write their name in cursive on all their work.  It is important to remember not to introduce cursive handwriting until it is introduced in school.  It is very hard to unlearn one style of cursive handwriting while learning the style that is expected at school.

Social Studies

The second grade social studies curriculum is all about the word community. The students learn how people and events from the past shape our community. They learn why people remain in or leave a community. Second graders also learn what influences the geography and culture of a community over time.

French

Students begin the year by refreshing their French with greetings, then they move on to use common phrases and expressions to tell the date, describe the weather, and identify family members. Students will also learn the different meals and have the opportunity to taste some delicious French food as we learn new words. Students will name their favorite food. They will sing a lot of new songs for the alphabet or the days, and some others from the French heritage. They will use new courtesy words to ask something or to greet. During the French celebration days they will learn about French traditions and celebrate these holidays like a French student.

Religion

The religion curriculum in second grade prepares students for the sacraments of Reconciliation (First Pence/Confession) and Holy Eucharist.   Students learn how Jesus is the inspiration and foundation of the Catholic Church. Catholic students make their sacraments in their own parish.  At the end of the year second graders prepare a celebration mass for the entire school that celebrates all First Communicants.  In addition students focus on prayer and the seasons of the Church. God’s Gift published by Loyola Press is the main text used. The Circle of Grace program is also used to educate and empower the children to be safe participants in their environment.