GRADE TWO CURRICULUM SUMMARY
All areas of the curriculum are developed and implemented in accordance with the Massachusetts Common Core State Standards, which may be found at www.doe.mass.edu/candi/commoncore/
The Scott Foresman Reading Street program provides a comprehensive research-based approach to reading and language arts instruction. The program draws from children’s literature organized around six themes: 1) Exploration 2) Working Together 3) Creative Ideas 4) Our Changing World 5) Responsibility 6) Traditions. There are equal numbers of fiction and nonfiction selections, and informational text supports both science and social studies. Skill instruction focuses on five core areas—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Student progress is monitored regularly and instruction is differentiated according to student needs. Key components of Reading Street include writing, spelling, grammar, and study skills. The writing component of Reading Street is used in conjunction with the Empowering Writers Program. Empowering Writers builds awareness of writing through reading experiences. The Empowering Writers Program encourages students to look with author's eyes at the elements in a story. Students begin to write simple narrative stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Elaborate Detail is developed as writing progresses.
Lively Letters, a phonics curriculum, provides powerful mnemonics (memory aids) through the combined use of pictures and imagery, humorous stories, hand cues and oral kinesthetic (mouth movement) cues. This is a fun, dynamic, teacher and student friendly program that uses lively letter characters with personalities that are embedded directly into the letter shapes.
Handwriting Without Tears is a researched based writing program that teaches writing in a developmentally appropriate, sequential format. Children master easier letters first and progress to the more difficult letters.
The enVisionMath Common Core edition 2012 has been adopted in all classrooms this year. This program was specifically developed to provide comprehensive coverage of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. During the year, sixteen different topics that reflect the focus and coherence of the Common Core State Standards provide in-depth instruction on the streamlined number of important content standards designated at each grade level in the new standards. The use of problem-based interactive learning, visual learning bridges (in both print and digital formats), differentiated instruction, and ongoing assessment are key features of this curriculum.
This program also contains opportunities in each lesson for your child to develop particular mathematical skills and habits of mind that are a critical part of the Common Core State Standards. These Standards for Mathematical Practice describe thinking habits, dispositions, and abilities of very good math thinkers. As new standardized assessments are being developed to measure mastery of the Common Core State Standards, the Standards for Mathematical Practice will be a key component in demonstrating mastery.
The Scott Foresman Science curriculum has been adopted to teach science concepts, vocabulary, and reading skills. Students progress through three levels of the inquiry process: developing process skills, participating in teacher guided activities, and conducting hands-on experiments. As scientists, the children are called upon to make observations, record data, form hypotheses, and draw conclusions. Instruction focuses on fundamental concepts of life science, physical science, earth and space science, and technology/engineering. The children explore units of study that include weather, seasons, the water cycle, living things, the life cycle, and properties of matter. The STEM lab further provides opportunities for students to enjoy hands-on learning tools that are engaging, challenging, and highly motivating.
Students receive technology instruction in the computer lab setting each week. Activities are designed to allow children to become familiar with the keyboard, engage in writing, drawing, and projects that are connected to classroom themes. All computers in the lab are Internet connected and topic searches are supervised. Technology is also integrated in the classroom to support learning. Students enjoy additional technology tools in the STEM lab where they can interact with the SMART Board, SMART Table and other digital technology.
A weekly library program offers initial exposure to library materials, authors, and resources. Children’s literature is selected from a variety of genres and supports and extends classroom topics. Research skills are introduced and applied to classroom projects. Students begin learning the Dewey Decimal system for classifying and locating library resources.
The Scott Foresman Social Studies program is designed to extend the reading curriculum. Reading instruction and content are combined in units of study entitled Where We Live, Our Earth, Our Country Today, Our Country Long Ago, and People and Places in History. Geography is a major unit of study and mapping skills are developed throughout the year. Children Discovering Justice is a literacy-based civics education program that teaches social studies and history through reading and discussion of high quality children’s literature. The second grade curriculum focuses on our country’s promise of equality and justice for all. Concepts of freedom, liberty, and equality are presented in the context of historical events and through fiction and nonfiction selections.
The Second Step program teaches social competency skills and core ethical values as the basis of good character. The program focuses on skills areas of empathy, impulse control, problem solving, and anger management. Lessons systematically and sequentially provide opportunities for students to develop positive social skills through appropriate modeling, role playing, and practice.
Music instruction includes singing a varied repertoire of music, reading and notation, and playing instruments. Activities provide opportunities for children to improvise, compose, and arrange music and students use music vocabulary to describe, analyze, and interpret music. Students enjoy performing for parents during the school year.
Students are encouraged to express their ideas and feelings through a variety of media, materials, and techniques. Children use visual arts vocabulary to interpret art and learn about the role of artists in history and culture. Learning experiences are connected to classroom curriculum themes.
A developmental approach incorporates age-appropriate skills and knowledge in the areas of games, dance, gymnastics, and health-related fitness. An equal emphasis is placed on each child’s personal and social development.
Health education topics during periodic units of study include safety and first aid, drug abuse prevention, transmission of disease, teasing and bullying, decision-making, growth and development, and nutrition. The health education teacher adapts curriculum topics to the developmental level of the students and works with the school liaison officer to support student learning around health and safety.