In second grade, we build on the skills learned in Kindergarten and first grade. Our goals at this age are to foster natural curiosity and creativity to problem solve across subject areas, to engage in active listening and respectful conversation skills using Positive Discipline strategies, to expand complex vocabulary through challenging narrative and informational text, to increase stamina and engagement in reading and writing across all genres, to problem solve and use inquiry-based learning using STEM-based projects, and to heighten awareness of the world around us and learn to be proactive citizens who see and understand the importance of all races and cultures.
Students in second grade grow tremendously as mathematicians. Using the Bridges in Mathematics curriculum, our students engage in mathematical conversations and a hands-on learning approach to support their understanding. Students are taught a wide variety of skills such as 2 and 3 digit addition and subtraction, telling time to the near 5, 10, and 15 minutes, counting money, understanding fractions, and graphing--just to name a few.
Students are encouraged to think critically and use problem-solving strategies to complete their assignments. The program allows for differentiation and enrichment opportunities to support their math needs. Math is integrated into all subject areas supporting authentic learning and connecting math in daily life.
In second grade, literacy is integrated into the majority of our daily activities. This year their comprehension, fluency, and accuracy really take off. Students are taught reading to learn vs. learning to read. We also work on building up the students’ stamina and choosing a “just right” book.
Using the Reader and Writer’s Workshop strategies, students are exposed to a wide variety of genres and are taught to read and respond to literature using different forms of writing including narratives, poetry, lab reports, and opinion pieces. Students work on revising their work and understanding the difference between a first draft and a final draft.
At Westside, we use Words Their Way for phonics instruction which consists of differentiated spelling groups based on patterns and skills at their reading level. Students are taught grammar skills such as when to use appropriate end marks, quotation marks, and how to structure a sentence and a paragraph.
Science in second grade consists of a variety of exploration and hands-on experiments to deepen their understanding of the world around them. Our lessons involve different areas of life, physical, and earth sciences.
We incorporate STEM-based projects into our curriculum teaching inquiry-based learning and fostering their natural ability to question how things work and create their own methods for figuring things out. In second grade we discuss life cycle, sounds through physics, and ecosystems, including an extensive unit about Salmon.
Students continue to work on the scientific method in second grade, as well as going through all of the steps in order to carry out an experiment. Students create lab reports and work collaboratively with their peers to gain results and understanding.
Social Studies in second grade involves many project-based learning opportunities. We begin the year by learning about the community around us and how to be proactive in helping ourselves and others be good citizens.
By taking part in a community project, students are able to apply the knowledge they have learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. Using Scholastic News, we learn about current events and discuss how these events affect our family and our world.
We learn about our global family, where we live in the world, and how different cultures shape our lives and make our community, city, state, and country a better place. By reading and discussing historical events, we teach the importance of understanding social justice and respecting and learning from other races and nationalities.
There is a big focus on Social Emotional learning in second grade. Using the Positive Discipline curriculum, we meet daily as a class to discuss important topics such as: how to be a good friend, what to do when we get angry/sad, how to self-regulate our emotions, etc. We also give students the opportunity to lead Class Meetings when a problem may arise in the classroom, on the playground or in the cafeteria and the ability to be able to address and converse with their classmates on how to solve a problem.
In second grade we are very excited to have the Roots of Empathy program with us at Westside. Roots of Empathy is a classroom program where infants are brought to visit elementary schools in order to allow the schoolchildren to observe the infant’s development and emotions. Our students sit around the parent, baby, and instructor and observe the baby's development and growth but also how the parent and baby interact. The instructor asks the children to reflect on their own feelings and on their classmates' displays of feeling.
Students in second grade each have their own iPad and keyboard when it is time for them to use it. The apps we use on the iPads are Epic, RazKids, IXL, Google Classroom and Osmo. Students are introduced to researching skills, creating documents and slideshow presentations and become more accurate typers.
"Our child loves Westside. She is in a happy and safe environment that enables her to fully engage in learning."
Our application deadline for the 2023-24 school year has passed. However, we will continue to accept applications for select grades. For information on availability and options for a late application, please contact our Director of Admissions, Ted Holmes email@example.com.