Second grade is a year of transition between the more activity-based learning of first grade and the more solidly academic learning of third grade. In first grade, the child is learning to read; in third grade he or she is learning to read and interpret novels, linked to social studies and science themes. In second grade, the transition is made between learning to read and reading to learn.
Second grade is a time of learning organizational skills not only practically, but also in one’s approach to writing and mathematics. Considerable emphasis is placed upon organizing one’s thoughts: graphic organizers are used in pre-writing; diagrams are presented for the four number operations. A solid groundwork is laid for several foundational skills upon which one’s education will be built.
Instruction is tailored to the students’ various learning styles and abilities. A number of teaching strategies are used to help each child learn to the best of his or her ability including small groups, the class as a whole, partnerships, one-on-one instruction, and independent work. The classroom as a community with rules and expectations of social consideration is emphasized. Differentiation and meeting individual student needs is the norm.
The Language Arts program exposes students are to a variety of genres of literature. They develop their reading fluency, expression, and interpretation, and discuss texts. Writing is developed through the use of paragraphing, and the evaluating and editing of them. Cursive writing is mastered, and vocabulary words are studied. The use of dictionaries and thesauruses is introduced, and with guidance, a first book report is written. Basic grammar and punctuation are taught, along with how to plan an assignment using a graphic organizer. Students experience their first debate on a topic of interest.
The Mathematics program is based on the AERO standards using materials from a wide variety of sources. The Math program combines a traditional approach to the teaching of math, as well as a conceptual theme-based program. This combined approach provides the students with concrete and abstract methods for the development of computation skills, and problem-solving abilities. Units taught are: numeration and place value, numbers and number operations, number patterns and number theory, money, statistics, fractions, geometry and symmetry, measurement, and probability.
The Science units capitalize on children‘s natural curiosity and inquisitiveness by allowing the students to explore with hands-on activities. The curriculum stresses the acquisition of basic skills that are so important to the students‘ future academic success. Second grade students learn about weather and the water cycle, balance and motion, as well as looking into our solar system.
The Social Studies units include the Age of Exploration and a study of the westward expansion of the United States. A theme on understanding maps and globes gives the students an intriguiging study of the topography of the world. Skills for creating and reading maps are developed.
Using the content of the themes, research skills are incrementally developed throughout the year.
The following classes are taught to JAIS students by specialist teachers: physical education, music, art, Spanish or French and swimming.
Click HERE for a link to the JAIS curriculum.