Term II

2nd Grade

In Open Court reading, students focus on two major units, Look Again and Fossils. Look Again emphasizes animals and camouflage. The students study animals’ various forms of camouflage in their natural habitats. Students also learn that not all animals camouflage themselves in the same way or for the same reasons. Next in the curriculum is the study of Fossils. This unit explains how fossils are discovered, how they vary in appearance and formation, and how paleontologists find information about Earth and its life forms.  New vocabulary words are introduced, and students use them and are assessed in a variety of ways each week.  Parts of speech, fact and opinion, contractions, classifying, and figurative language are also taught. Many trade books are incorporated into the thematic units. Creative writing includes informal and formal portfolio pieces. Grammar, punctuation, penmanship, and careful spelling are more extensively encouraged. Self-editing and critiquing goals are established for each child and are developmentally appropriate. Handwriting Without Tears is used to encourage careful letter formation in all areas of the children’s written work. Planning and prewriting for Writers Guild publications also occurs second term.

Second grade students are intrigued and challenged in our Everyday Math program with many new concepts during second term. Students receive practice adding and subtracting two-digit numbers. Arrays, symmetry, three-dimensional shapes, median numbers, multiplication, and division are also explored.

Continuing work on timed addition and subtraction facts is supplemented by practice on multiplication facts. Word problems are used often to enhance reading and math skills.

In December, the theme of holidays around the world is a collaborative effort with parents helping students gain an appreciation for different multicultural celebrations. An extensive unit on Antarctica is very exciting for the children. Climate, explorers, and the effects of Antarctica on the world are the topics of lively discussions. How surprising it is to learn that Antarctica is a desert, and it has a volcano! The topics of endangered animals and space are helping students become more aware of ecological and global connections.

The Lexington School’s “Guidelines for Success” are continually used to strengthen interpersonal relationships and social skills. Guidelines are discussed and modeled in group and individual situations. Morning meetings and various forms of literature help reinforce the lessons.


During the middle term second grade students learn the art of making duplicates.  Stamps, mono printing, and etching techniques are a few of the ways they learn to make duplicates.  The students use these techniques to create a holiday card for the winter solstice.  In January students work with clay and build on concepts taught in the past to create penguins.  Students begin to grasp the concept that all forms are variations of cones, cubes, cylinders, spheres, and pyramids.  The final products are displayed in the art wing gallery.  In February the students master the basics of the art of weaving using looms.  Art classes are filled with exciting and informative projects, which are often displayed in the fine arts wing gallery.


The goals for improved speed and accuracy in keyboarding are the cornerstones of the second grade computer curriculum.  Using the software program Typing Instructor, students work on proper hand position while working toward the goals.  Students become proficient in saving and retrieving documents on the network and use the cut, copy, and paste commands to edit their work.


During November and December, the second graders read stories about the Caribbean, as they learn more about the holidays and culture of the Hispanic countries.  In addition to read aloud, the second graders participate in a Skype call with a Peace Core member from Costa Rica with opportunity to ask her about the holidays in the Caribbean.

During the months of January and February, second graders hone their OPAC and research skills.  These useful tools aide our young readers in their research efforts not only now, but also for years to come.  This tool opens not only our library to them, but to every library that they visit.  Families and students can access our library’s OPAC online.


The second term in music begins with intense preparation for the Holiday Concert.  The second graders’ positive participation at the Holiday Concert is noteworthy.  Singing a wide variety of songs, following multiple verses of songs, and round singing are important components of the second grade music program.  Expanding on music notation and sight-singing, is the addition of the Kodaly hand sign “do” while reviewing sol, mi, and la.  The music history focus is on an in-depth study of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his life and music.  (Recommended listening:  Eine Kleine Nachtmusik).


Students are learning how to dribble a basketball with their heads up and to make sure they “reach into the cookie jar” when shooting.  Reaching into the cookie jar reminds the students to follow through with their shots and extend their arm.  This will allow their shots to be strong and full of arch rather than short and flat.  Learning to make good bounce and chest passes are essential to the game of basketball.  Students will be practicing to push the ball with both hands and to hit their partner in the chest and/or waist.  This will allow the student to catch the ball and be able to shoot, dribble or pass again during a game.

Students are learning to balance and to control their bodies during second term.  Balance is very important when playing any sport.  We are practicing our log rolls and our cart wheels and also the proper way to do a forward roll.  Students really enjoy getting to show off their gymnastic skills.

During the term students are being introduced to more words in the Spanish language.  Students receive commands in Spanish and then are reinforced in English.  Students are encouraged to use Spanish when playing games.  All stretches are led in Spanish.  During each unit we are adding more words and numbers to our Spanish vocabulary.  I am very impressed with the way the students are picking up on the new words.


At the beginning of the second term the second grade students complete their unit on reptiles and amphibians.  The majority of their time will be spent studying the sub-groups or orders Squamata and Crocodylia including snakes, lizards, and of course, the amazing crocodiles.  The second grade students will examine a variety of species both alive and extinct and use this information to further their understanding of animal classification.  Building on previous units, they will next turn their attention to a variety of marine animals.  Mammals such as whales, dolphins, and sea lions will be their primary focus, but they will also review a few species of reptiles, birds, and fish.  The second term ends with a look at the environment and the impact that humans are having on the natural habitats of many of the creatures that they have learned about.              


Second grade Spanish students explore la familia (family) and la ropa (clothing) during the second term. Students make and label a family drawing for the unit on la familia. Moving on to talk about clothing, students work on the ¿Qué lleva Froggy? (What’s Froggy wearing?) project. This project has students dressing Froggy with winter clothing that they decorate, while generating sentences detailing what Froggy is wearing. Students continue to warm up for class with songs and chants and expand their repertoire to include La tía Mónica (Aunt Monica), Tortillitas (Corn Tortillas), Cinco muñecos de nieve (Five Snowmen), El burrito enfermo (The Sick Little Donkey), Gorra, camisa, pantalones, zapatos (Hat, Shirt, Pants, and Shoes), and La araña pequeñita (The Itsy Bitsy Spider). For story time, students read Isla and Froggy se viste.