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Second Grade Curriculum

Language Arts:

Students in second grade continue to hone their reading and writing skills by reading and responding to more difficult text at a more detailed level. Using the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project from Columbia University, students engage in conversations about books, learning to respond to reading both orally and in a written format. Reading instruction and writing instruction are integrated throughout the day and across subject areas. Whole class, small group and individual reading and writing activities are conducted in the classroom. Each unit of study provides young writers with multiple opportunities to move through the different stages of the writing process to take their pieces from draft to publication. During mini-lessons, students are taught strategies that will help them expand their writing pieces and move independently through the writing process. Over the course of the year, second graders write small moment stories about their lives, information books, realistic fiction books, poetry and science books. The Words Their Way program is a strong focus on continuing phonics, word analysis, and spelling skills. Handwriting continues to be practiced with students merging writing more into the everyday learning than a separate subject. The Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System provides an assessment to monitor the growth of students and to match reading levels to individual readers.


In second grade, the Everyday Mathematics program continues to build on core standards and practices, maintaining and teaching skills. Real-world examples to teach higher-order and critical thinking skills are included. Content area subjects are integrated into the mathematics learning through daily routines, cooperative and partner learning, practice through games, ongoing review, mental math, sharing ideas through discussion, and the home-and-school partnership. Learning is connected to, and built upon, existing knowledge. Differentiation, providing multi-teaching strategies, provides a variety of ways for all students to learn. Ongoing, formative assessment provides a balanced and complete picture of each child. Multiple assessment options are used, including paper and pencil activities, oral response, activities, games, observation, slate answers, drawing, and one-on-one assessments. Summative assessments are also varied and provide a measure of students’ growth and achievement through the academic year. Key learning also occurs and subtraction, including two and three digits, place value, measurement, time, money, graphing, problem-solving, fractions, and geometry.


In second grade, students are natural scientists with boundless curiosity for the world around them. Through scientific inquiry, students explore each topic learning through investigation, problem solving, observing, evaluating, and communicating. Students follow the steps of the Scientific Method as they conduct each experiment. Lessons of scientific learning include the topics of Earth, space, human body, weather, and nutrition.

Social Studies:

Second-grade students expand their knowledge of self and community through understanding their responsibilities. Students have a widened understanding of cause and effect and relationships. Students are able to express their understanding through projects, drawings and writing. Second graders explore units in geography, local and state government, economics and Native Americans. Students also learn about inventors, heroes, “then and now,” transportation, communities, and people/events that changed the world. Students can explore current events around the world and appreciate the American holidays.

Jewish Studies:

The goals of second-grade Jewish Studies is to develop a love of Torah study and to relate daily experiences to issues that emerge from the Torah narratives. Second graders learn selections from Torah portions in the Books of Genesis and Exodus. Themes discussed include the values of faith in God, generosity, hospitality, justice, compassion, and strong family relationships, as well as the mitzvot (commandments) of tzedakah (charity), hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests), brit milah (circumcision), and bikkur cholim (visiting the sick).

We aim to provide students with the language and opportunity to express their spiritual needs and relationship to God. Children learn to recite and understand selected prayers and to develop kavannah ( connection to the spirit of the prayer experience). Second graders assume greater independence as hazzanim (prayer leaders) and enrich their repertoire of prayers with additions such as the blessings before and after the Shema as well as the Gevurot and Kedusha blessings of the Amidah.


Our second-grade students continue to expand their skills in Hebrew reading, comprehension, and oral and written expression through songs, games, pantomime, and puzzles. Students in this grade level use the book series published by the Tal Am program, which has colorful visual appeal and presents the Hebrew language through descriptions of everyday activities and events. The Hebrew language is also learned through the routines of working with the daily calendar and schedule. Grammatical concepts covered include present tense, infinitives, roots, noun-adjective agreement, and subject/verb agreement. Children write sentences on topics such as their families, seasons, and holidays.