Term I

2nd Grade

In language arts, each unit of stories in Open Court reading centers on a theme. The first themes are Sharing Stories and Kindness. The first unit of the year shows students how reading allows us to share stories with others. The students meet fictional and nonfictional characters that, in one way or another, cultivate the joy and adventure of reading. These themes will continue to be read, reinforced, discussed, and reflected upon during the language component.  Classes participate in trade book discussions and activities such as The Magic Tree House series, Flat Stanley, and others. These literature activities, partnered together, provide a strong foundation for more learning to follow this year! Creative writing includes journal writing, fiction and nonfiction stories, and portfolio pieces. Penmanship and careful spelling are encouraged.
Everyday Mathematics provides a realistic approach to problem solving in everyday situations and helps build skills based on each student’s prior knowledge. During the first term students review several of the concepts introduced in first grade such as: displaying number patterns, measuring time by displaying digital-clock notation, and completing calendar activities involving months, weeks, and days. Students demonstrate knowledge of place value in 2-digit and 3-digit numbers and coin values. Accurate recall of basic math facts 0-18 are practiced and alternative strategies are introduced. Students begin to recognize that numbers have equivalent names and can compare them by using <, >, or = symbols. They learn to create, represent, and solve addition/subtraction number stories, read/display temperatures, collect /analyze data. Everyday Mathematics offers multiple opportunities for students to build their math knowledge and broaden their ability to think mathematically.   
The focus in social studies is on map skills, USA geography, and the exploration of other cultures. The children visit three continents (Australia, Africa, and Asia) via exchanges with the three 2nd grade teachers. They experience the culture and crafts of other nations. November is dedicated to Native American studies. Exchanges allow the teachers to specialize in different geographical areas and offer the children a broader spectrum of understanding.
The Lexington School’s “Guidelines for Success” are used to strengthen interpersonal relationships and social skills. The guidelines are discussed and modeled in groups (such as Morning Meeting) as well as individually.


Second grade art students begin the year by reviewing color theory, design, and composition.  The beauty of fall inspires the students to create compositions of overlapping leaves outlined with black colored glue.  They paint the leaves with soft coloring, which results in neutral tones of rust, olive, gold, and brown.   During October second graders work on paper maché mask projects.  The class makes props for Boo Sing with the mask by adding them to monsters, bats, and pumpkins.  These projects will hand in the theatre for the Boo Sing performance, and the props will set the tone for a fun filled Halloween morning.

The art classes collaborate with the core teachers during a Native American art unit.  The second grade build totem poles, sand paint, and paint dioramas.  The first semester is packed with exciting and informative art projects.


The second grader students spend much of their time in computer class working to improve their keyboarding skills. They are taught the proper hand and body positioning. They become proficient in using the mouse to highlight words on their papers. They learn to change font style, size, and color and to correctly align their work. The second graders master the use of edit/undo and copy/cut and paste when working on a document.  The students’ typing skills will increase dramatically in the first term of second grade.


Beginning in second grade, students are given the opportunity to check out two books per cycle and are responsible for bringing both books back on their due date.  Building upon their previous library experiences, second graders continue to refine their book-selection skills as they learn more about the library and the different book locations.  During the first term, they hear from a longer read-aloud chapter book titled, Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, and learn how to use the online library catalog to look up their own books.  Students are encouraged to use the online catalog outside of class to increase their familiarity with the library tool. 


Music time is just too short for the enthusiastic second graders.  Students warm up their voices and learn to use good vocal technique on the American folksongs as well as songs from around the world.  The students play metallophones and other percussion instruments to distinguish the beat and form of the music.  The second grade music curriculum also includes S.Q.U.I.L.T (super quiet uninterrupted listening time).  A featured composition comes from Africa and demonstrates many of the instruments used in music class.


Second graders start the year by getting back into the swing of things, and that includes using Spanish in PE.  Students use Spanish exclusively while stretching.  Students also learn to count as high as 40 (cuarenta) when warming up.  The beginning of the year is always a fun time because it starts with the most popular sport in the world, fútbol, or soccer as it is called in the US.  Students practice using only their feet to touch the ball, strike it to a teammate, or to score a goal.  During the last month of the term, students begin using their hands (manos) and arms (brazos) to toss (tire) and throw.  Students enjoyed opportunities to practice tossing and catching.


The second grade students begin the school year with a thorough study of the human skeleton.  Using technology and the Internet, students learn the names and positions of over 20 major bones in the human body as well as the structure and movement of ball-and-socket, hinge, and gliding joints.  They also learn about growth plates and the fusion of certain bones as children grow into adults.  Following the unit on the skeletal system, students begin a unit on reptiles and amphibians.  Second graders start by comparing reptiles to other animals previously studied and continue on with amphibians in order to gain a deeper understanding of how animals are classified into different groups and sub-groups.


Second grade Spanish students begin the term with an introduction to los saludos (greeting), los números (numbers 1-30), los colores (colors), and un viaje a Costa Rica (a trip to Costa Rica) where students explore different animals of the rainforest and some delicious looking fruits. To help reinforce vocabulary and warm up for Spanish class, students start with several songs and chants, including Buenos días (Good Morning), ¡Barquito! (The Little Boat), Los Colores (Colors), El tren de los días de la semana (Days of the Week Train), Los elefantes (The Elephant Song), La víbora de la mar (The Sea Serpent), El juego de cumpleaños (Birthday Chant) and Que llueva (Bring the Rain). The students take part in numerous listening activities that require them to respond to verbal and written instructions by drawing, through movement, or by verbal response. They also receive a visit from an old amigo, Paco, who still likes to ask the question ¿Cómo te llamas? (What is your name?). For story time, students read Margaret and Margarita, ¡Quiero mi plátano!, ¿Quién es la bestia?, and El loro Tico Tango.