Language Arts and Arithmetic
Writing, grammar, and reading form the basis of the curriculum for the second graders. Children experience new stories focused on fables and heroic stories. The class reads from the board and class reader, individually as they are able, studies phonics, and works in small reading groups. Arithmetic builds on the basic processes with place value, carrying, and borrowing, multiplication table proficiency, number recognition, division with a remainder as the topics.
The study of history continues as in first grade using the stories of the Main Lesson curriculum to provide the children with an intuitive, age-appropriate window into the stories of the past.
Science and Nature
The children take many nature walks and participate in cooking and outdoor projects both with their class teachers and using the resources of the Place Based Education Program located at the Hawthorne Valley Farm directly across the street from the school. The second graders experience the seasons and forces of nature through walks and intuitively experience botany in that process.
Students explore the concept of time through calendar, clocks, and nature rhythms.
German and Spanish
In their second year of foreign languages, the children learn about their surroundings: colors, animals, nature, parts of the body, items in the classroom, and numbers. Songs, poems, games, stories, and fables are part of this learning process. The children act out many of the stories and poems, and they also draw pictures in their notebooks to reinforce what they learn. The students learn about different cultural customs and holiday celebrations through songs, poems, and stories.
In second grade, most children complete the knitted scarves begun in grade one. Crocheting is introduced. The various projects involve early geometry that is schooled by observation, and with each completed project, students’ confidence grows. The handwork experience is one of first doing, then recognizing, and finally contemplating one’s creations.
The class teacher works with the children on beeswax modeling and form drawing. Much of the content of the form drawings comes from the stories the children hear. Students also have opportunities to design their own form drawings this year, which is something they will do more of as they move through the grades.
Music class is introduced in second grade. The children sing songs in unison or in simple rounds, accompanied by guitar. Songs are selected according to the season. The students also work with pentatonic flutes.
Wet-on-wet watercolor painting provides an opportunity to expand on the color studies from first grade, as the students create works that include some shapes that are more distinctly formed. The children are still immersed in the medium and enjoy its fluidity.
Speech skills are practiced each morning, and the children learn poems, verses, and songs. The morning circle incorporates exercises to improve balance, coordination, and movement, and provides opportunities to practice language skills and multiplication tables.
The second graders learn to understand and move spatial forms in connection with poetry, stories, and music. Most of the time they move together as a group in one circle, since the circle still gives order and security to young students like a protective sheath. The lessons also include rhythm exercises, contraction and expansion, concentration exercises, harmonizing and calming slow walking, and other exercises for dexterity, flexibility, and coordination.
The second grade games activities regularly take place outdoors, weather permitting. Students play a variety of group and team games, as well as taking occasional walks and sledding in the winter.