Lower School Curriculum » Second Grade

Second Grade

2nd Grade Art

“How very drab the lives of our children would be
If they looked, but did not see
Touched, but did not feel
Listened, but never took a curtain call.”
Wilson Riles

Art concepts taught at the Solomon Schechter School of Queens, consist of: Line, shape, form, color, pattern, texture, space and composition.
Introduction to Art begins with drawing lines to form a turtle and a school bus. The children transpose their drawings to clay, where it becomes a three dimensional piece of art. From kindergarten through the 8th grade, drawing continues, consisting of gesture, contour drawing of heads, hands and body, one point perspective to optical illusions.
Throughout the grades, students will be exposed to painting, paper mache, collage, wire sculpture and clay. All children will view the art of the following artists: Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro and Henri Rousseau.
2nd Grade Computer Science

All classrooms are equipped with multiple computers and a printer. Most of our classrooms have a Smartboard, an interactive whiteboard that turns your computer and data projector into a powerful tool for teaching and presenting.

The library has a computer center which allows our students the ability to do research through the software on the internet, create signs and write reports.

Our Computer Lab is equipped with twenty-seven flat screen multi-media computers, a printer and a scanner. Through the generous contribution of the Gruss Life Monument Fund, our students are able to have access to numerable enrichment materials in Math and English.
2nd Grade English Language Arts

Language Arts - Literacy in second grade encompasses reading, writing and oral communication. Students are given opportunities to express their thinking and ideas in a small group setting, whole classroom, and on a one to one basis with their peers as well as their teachers.

Writing - Using the Writing Workshop Model, students are shown that writing is a multi-step process. They learn to generate their own ideas through brainstorming and journal writing. The students will then compose a “sloppy copy” of their writing, and using peer editing and conferencing time, they will make corrections to their piece. Throughout this process, the students develop editing and revision skills, and when the piece is corrected, they will publish their writing for their final copy. Students are then given the opportunity to sit in the Author’s Chair and read their work aloud to their peers. The students keep their work in a portfolio that they keep throughout the school year. At the end of the year, the students choose their favorite piece of writing to submit for publication in the school magazine.

Reading - Once the students’ reading levels are established, the students read and interpret various types of literature. The students will not only develop a basic understanding of the piece, they will make deeper connections to the text and a better understanding of it by making text to self, text –to-text, and text-to-world connections to the literature. In addition to this, students are asked to make predications, draw conclusions, make inferences, and set a purpose for the story.
2nd Grade Judaic Studies

Hebrew Language Arts - In second grade the children continue to learn the basic fundamentals of the Hebrew alphabet, including both reading whole words phonetically and with select sight vocabulary in context. Their vocabulary expands as they are exposed to learning themes combining vocabulary associated with nature, family, household terms, foods, etc. By the end of the year they have improved and expanded the first grade skills to include proper use of pronouns, infinitives, prepositions, select adverbs.
Chummash - In the second grade children begin learning the Torah starting at the story of creation, from the original text of the Bible. Their learning includes learning the relevance of the stories. They participate in exercises and activities in simple Hebrew coordinated with the vocabulary they have learned thus far. During the second half of the year they study the story of Noah.

Towards the middle of the year the children present their learning accomplishments at a Chummash Celebration which tells the story of creation in prose, song , and dance, for their proud families. They receive a boxed set of the Chummash – Five Books of Moses – which they themselves have decorated.

Holidays - Second graders review and learn more about the holidays and the traditional customs. They are taught basic vocabulary and expressions associated with all the holidays from Rosh Hashana through Shavuot, together with special blessings associated with each holiday, the significance of different holiday names, such as lighting Chanukkah candles and Passover Seder melodies, and the basic story line of the historic holidays. Judaic themes like Jewish identity, freedom, and Torah are introduced. General themes are integrated when relevant, such as the names of types of trees and the parts of trees at Tu Bishvat time. A model Seder celebration is one of the highlights of the curriculum.

ISRAEL - A special unit on the ongoing significance of the land of Israel for Jews is taught, leading to the establishment of the state of Israel, with a review of the flag and Hatikvah.

SHABBAT - A special Shabbat unit includes the theme of light and candles, as well as select Shabbat prayers like Lecha Dodi, Shalom Aleichem, Kiddush, and Havdalah, and an introduction to the concept of Oneg Shabbat and the traditional three Shabbat meals,
2nd Grade Mathematics

The students continue to develop a foundation for their mathematical understanding in Grade 2 through the content strands of numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability. The students will gain mastery of their addition and subtraction facts, develop a deeper understanding of place value (up to the hundreds place), and develop their vocabulary of mathematical words and concepts. Students will enhance their comprehension of time and money, as well as their ability to recognize similarities and differences in geometric shapes. Students will also use manipulatives (when appropriate) to help them with their problem solving skills. Patterns, measurements, and collecting data are also concepts explored by the students, and they are given a variety of opportunities to show their mastery of them through the use of standard and alternative assessments.
2nd Grade Music

The Music Curriculum combines Hebrew/Israel and American songs while learning the fundamentals of music theory, musical instruments, and musical compositions. Many of the vocal selections are integrated with the holiday curriculum.

In the Second Grade the children continue learning Hebrew and English songs centering around the holidays. A portion of the music curriculum is dedicated to the preparation of the Chummash celebration. Additionally, the children learn note values including whole, half, quarter and eighth notes. They play rhythmical patterns on percussion instruments and learn to identify high notes and low notes and the major scales, integrating the rhythm with bodily motion and comparing them to the voice tenor of different animals.
2nd Grade Physical Education

Physical education continues to be a favorite of all our students. The PE program is designed to develop lifetime activities in order to keep their bodies strong and healthy. Social skills, positive self concepts, cooperative and team play all provide a strong basic foundation. The 2nd grade PE curriculum introduces students to basic activities and skills which include; movement/body/spacial awareness, basic motor/manipulative skills, good sportsmanship/teamwork, and fitness/aerobic exercises. Lead up activities to a variety of sports include; track and field, soccer, basketball, kickball skills and games. This foundation allows our students to go forward with confidence in their future athletic endeavors.
2nd Grade Science
The goal of the Solomon Schechter School of Queens science program for all grades is to utilize children’s natural curiosity and excitement about the world to encourage the development of scientific thinking, exploration and discovery.  The curriculum is designed to develop science literacy by merging science content and concepts with science processes (questioning, communicating, gathering and making sense of data). 
The science specialist provides children with a wide range of scientific experiences and opportunities to help them develop their skills in using scientific tools/technologies and scientific processes.  In our newly constructed state of the art science laboratory, children are involved in hands-on activities that expand their knowledge of scientific methods and concepts, as well as develop their science inquiry skills such as:
  •         Making careful observations
  •         Hypothesizing
  •         Developing appropriate tests and understanding variables
  •         Recording observations and data
  •         Evaluating data
The science laboratory is equipped with a Smartboard which is utilized to enhance and bring to life the science specialist’s lessons and experiments.

In grade two, the students continue to explore the world around them through observation, experimentation and discovery. The science specialists build on their mastery of concepts and skills learned in kindergarten and grade one.
The following topics are studied in grade two:

• The needs of living things, habitats
• Plants and animal adaptations to various habitats
• The effect of living things and natural forces on environments

• How germs cause illness
• How illnesses spread
• Prevention of illnesses and injuries
• How to stay healthy

• Characteristics of light
• Measuring motion
• How forces affect motion
• Sound waves, pitch, volume
• Heat energy and uses of natural resources for heat

• Properties of solids, liquids and gases
• The changing of materials from one state to another

• Utilizing scientific tolls such as funnels, scales, microscopes, rulers
• Understanding weights and measurements
• Utilizing computers and Smartboards
2nd Grade Social Studies

Students engage in a variety of experiences to examine the community around them and begin to see themselves in this setting. They read about the communities through the use off trade books and text books, as well as the use of currents events materials such as Scholastic News and newspapers. Students begin to develop an understanding of their community and all the parts of it that are needed to make their community successful. The students learn to access information on their own, through a variety of resources.
Students are introduced to world maps and globes. They learn to identify the continents, and oceans, and can locate them in the correct hemisphere. They are introduced to cardinal directions and the use of symbols on maps. Reading a map key and looking at how colors are used to express ideas on a map are also explored.

Holidays and special days are also discussed and the students develop an appreciation for the importance of these days. Their learning is also enhanced through the use of plays, skits, games, music, and field trips that provide the experiences of new events.