Second and Third Grade
Through traditional and hands-on learning experiences, second and third-grade students are encouraged to take the academic, creative, and social risks that foster deep learning. In the process, students grow in their curiosity, self-motivation, and personal responsibility. They learn how to learn and students are urged to think critically about their roles as friends, advocates, mediators.
In second and third grade, students begin to make the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Books, articles, and poetry are actively incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum. While continuing to promote a love of literature, information gathering, and storytelling, students are encouraged to think more deeply about their ideas and questions. During daily Fundations lessons, 2nd and 3rd graders secure their foundational reading and writing skills. This work is supplemented by Guided Reading sessions each day. These small, individualized groups led by a teacher allow students to explore texts in exciting and meaningful ways at their “just right” level.
Social and Emotional Learning
Students deepen their ability to take care of themselves. Using the Responsive Classroom and Zones of Regulation curricula, students are taught to identify their emotions and develop strategies for managing them. Students deepen their ability to care for each other. Collaboratively, students create an agreement at the start of the year that describes how we will treat one another— in a word, with kindness. Students deepen their ability to care for the wider world.
Second and third graders work deliberately to explore informational tools, organize their thoughts, and express themselves clearly. They begin to develop their “writer’s voice”, formulate and share their own opinions, listen to others, analyze data, and interact thoughtfully. Students also spend a considerable amount of time working through the complete writing process. Theynot only learn techniques for writing but come to think of themselves as authors. They are introduced to a wide range of genres, including journaling, personal narratives, informational paragraphs, and poetry. Our writing curriculum helps students understand the craft of writing, find their unique writer’s voice, and develop a rich pool of information and ideas about which they have something to say.Students develop their mental math abilities and number sense as they explore mathematical patterns, manipulatives, and real world problems. Using the Math in Focus curriculum as the framework, students undertake problem-solving in fractions, data analysis, geometry, and more. Verbal and written communication help students connect previous learning to new concepts. Math games and the use of manipulatives provide an engaging context for employing newly acquired math skills. Mathematics increasingly becomes a tool for solving problems of quantity in a more generalized interdisciplinary way.Students come to appreciate the nature of science and are excited to question and understand the natural world around them. The curriculum provides opportunities for communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. Scientific and technological literacy are promoted. Important skills include record keeping, observing, measuring, hypothesizing, experimenting, analyzing and drawing conclusions.
Students expand their understanding of themselves and the world around them. Students begin to examine hard questions about fairness as it is manifest in the way we share (or not) the resources and stories of our world. Along with this, they are introduced to the need to assess the veracity and validity of their sources. Students study the compelling stories of people who were important agents of change and growth in our history and consider how they, too, can be changemakers.