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    Second Grade Curriculum
    English Language Arts
    The District uses a Balanced Literacy approach to the teaching of reading and writing. In this approach reading and writing are not compartmentalized but are combined to support student learning comprehensively. Literature is the mainstay of the reading program. Students read fiction and nonfiction materials that encompass all content areas. Instruction occurs in whole class, small group and individual settings.
    Reading instruction is based on assessment information. The District uses the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) as its primary assessment tool. The information from various assessments helps the student and teacher to identify the level of reading material that is "just right" for the student and the skills and strategies that the student needs to work on.

    While differences may exist from class to class and grade to grade in the reading materials that are used, the primary elements of the reading program remain the same in all classes and include: Read Alouds, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Literature Study, Independent Reading, and Word Study.
    The District uses a workshop approach to the teaching of writing. The model helps to build a community of writers in which individuals are supported by the teacher and by other students in the classroom. This approach allows students to write about topics of their own choosing, to experiment with their writing style and to practice their revision and editing skills.

    Like the reading program, differences may exist from grade to grade and class to class, but the primary elements of the writing
    program remain the same in all classes and include: Shared Writing, Interactive Writing, Guided Writing, Independent Writing, and Word Study.
    Second Grade Reading

    Decoding Including Phonics and Structural Analysis
    • Identify and produce all letter-sound correspondences, including consonant blends/digraphs and vowel digraphs/diphthongs
    • Blend sounds using knowledge of letter-sound correspondences in order to decode unfamiliar, but decodable, multisyllabic grade-level words
    • Decode by analogy using knowledge of known words in word families to read unfamiliar grade-level words (e.g., given the known word boat, read coat, moat, goat)
    • Decode grade-level words using knowledge of word structure (e.g., roots, prefixes, suffixes, verb endings, plurals, contractions, and compounds)
    • Check accuracy of decoding by using context to monitor and self-correct
    Print Awareness
    • Identify parts of a book and their purposes including author, illustrator, title page, table of contents, index, and chapter headings
    • Sight-read automatically grade-level, common, high-frequency words
    • Read grade-level texts with decodable and irregularly spelled words at appropriate speed, accuracy, and with expression
    Background Knowledge and Vocabulary Development
    • Study antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms to learn new grade-level vocabulary
    • Study categories of words (e.g., transportation, sports) to increase new grade-level vocabulary
    • Study root words, prefixes, suffixes, verb endings, plural nouns, contractions, and compound words to increase new grade-level vocabulary
    • Connect words and ideas in books to spoken language vocabulary and background knowledge
    • Learn new words from reading books and other print sources.
    • Use a dictionary to learn the meanings of words
    Comprehension Strategies
    • Read grade-level texts with comprehension and for different purposes
    • Use comprehension strategies to monitor own reading (e.g., predict/confirm, reread, self-correct) and to clarify meaning of text
    • Work cooperatively with peers (partners or groups) to comprehend text
    • Organize text information by using graphic or semantic organizers
    • Compare and contrast similarities and differences between characters and events across stories
    • Compare and contrast similarities and differences in information on same topic from more than one informational text
    • Comprehend and interpret information from a variety of graphic displays including diagrams, charts, tables and graphs
    • Ask questions when listening to, or reading texts
    • Answer literal, inferential, and critical/application questions after listening to or reading fictional and informational texts
    • Summarize main ideas and supporting details from fictional or informational text, both orally and in writing
    • Support a point of view with information from text
    • Lead or participate in discussion about grade-level books, integrating multiple strategies (e.g., ask questions, clarify misunderstandings, support point of view, summarize information)
    • Demonstrate comprehension of grade-level text through creative response, such as writing, drama, or oral presentation
    Motivation to Read
    • Show interest in reading a wide variety of grade-level texts, including the genres of historical fiction, science fiction, folktales, fairy tales, poetry, and other fictional and informational texts
    • Read for own purposes and interests
    • Show familiarity with the titles and authors of select grade-level books
    • Read independently and silently
    Second Grade Writing
    • Use capitals consistently for people, places, days of the week, months,  holidays, book titles and movie titles
    • Use periods, exclamation points and question marks as appropriate
    • Recognize and begin to use quotation marks to indicate dialogue
    • Use commas in a series, in the date and between city and state
    • Use apostrophes in contractions
    • Begin to learn a variety of sentence types, such as statements, questions and exclamations
    • Use conjunctions
    • Write compound sentences, connected with a conjunction
    Parts of Speech
    • Identify nouns, verbs and adjectives
    • Distinguish between singular and plural nouns
    • Spell correctly previously studied words (e.g., grade-level multisyllabic, decodable words; irregularly spelled content and high-frequency words) in writing
    • Use spelling patterns (e.g., word families) in writing
    • Represent all the sounds in a word when spelling independently
    • Write in response to the reading of imaginative and informational texts
    • Write a variety of compositions with assistance, using different organizational patterns (e.g., informational reports, such as compare/contrast, and sequence of events; correspondence; and imaginative stories)
    • Write original text using the writing process (e.g., prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, editing)
    • Make judgments about relevant and irrelevant content to include in writing
    • Write sentences in logical order and begin to use paragraphs to organize topics
    • Vary the formality of language depending on purpose of writing (e.g., friendly letter, report)
    • Begin to convey personal voice in writing
    • Participate in writing conferences with teachers and peers to improve own writing and that of others
    • Use legible print for all upper case and lower case letters
    Motivation to Write
    • Choose to write to communicate ideas and emotions to a variety of audiences
    • Choose to write for various purposes (e.g., tell stories, share information, give directions)
    • Share writing with others (e.g., participate in author’s circle)

    Second Grade Listening and Speaking

    • Listen attentively to speakers and ask relevant questions to clarify information
    • Follow, restate, and give oral instructions that involve a short related sequence of actions
    • Share information and ideas that focus on the topic under discussion, speaking clearly at an appropriate pace, using the conventions of language
    • Work productively with others in teams
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussion, including listening to others, speaking when recognized, and making appropriate contributions.
    • Determine the purpose(s) for listening such as to gain information, to solve problems, and to enjoy and appreciate
    • Respond appropriately to directions and questions
    • Participate in rhymes, songs, conversations, and discussions
    • Listen critically to interpret and evaluate
    • Listen responsively to stories and other texts that are read aloud, including selections from classic and contemporary works
    • Identify the musical elements of language such as rhymes, repetition, or onomatopoeia
    • Audiences/Oral grammar
    • Choose and adapt spoken language appropriate to the audience, purpose, and occasion, including use of appropriate volume and rate
    • Use verbal and nonverbal communication in effective ways such as making announcements, giving directions, or making introductions
    • Ask and answer relevant questions and make contributions in small or large group discussions
    • Present dramatic interpretations of experiences, stories, poems, or plays
    • Use vocabulary to describe ideas, feelings, and experiences clearly
    • Clarify and support spoken messages using appropriate props such as objects, pictures, charts
    • Retell a spoken message by summarizing or clarifying
    Inquiry is an essential component of teaching and learning that empowers students to follow their sense of wonder into new discoveries and insights. The empowered learner calls upon information/inquiry skills to connect with what he or she knows, to ask intriguing questions about what is not known, to investigate the answers, to construct new understandings, and to communicate those understandings with others.

    A collaborative approach by the librarian and the classroom teacher is the most effective way to teach information fluency skills and strategies; students need to use the skills of inquiry to learn essential content and to construct new meaning. Instruction, designed around an inquiry framework, generates active learning and the formation of new understandings.
    The information fluency skills required for independent and lifelong learning must follow a coherent developmentally appropriate continuum of instruction and practice throughout grades K-12 and beyond to enable all of our children to succeed in our fast-paced, information glutted world.

    The information-fluent student in second grade is developing the following skills:
    • Wonders ("I wonder" questions during research)
    • Follows steps of inquiry process modeled by teacher and/or librarian
    • Uses online resources with guidance
    • Identifies the "big picture" idea
    • Uses simple note-taking strategies
    • Compares new information with prior knowledge
    • Recognizes the purpose of a table of contents, chapter headings, and an index
    • Credits sources by citing at least the author and title of books used during research
    • Identifies books at his/her reading level ("just right" books)
    • Chooses a variety of fiction and non-fiction
    • Begins to explore various literary genres
    • Compares characters and plots from different stories
    • Participates in discussions and listens well
    • Demonstrates respect for others' ideas


    In second grade, students learn:
    • numbers and place value to 1000
    • addition and subtraction with and without renaming
    • methods of mental addition and subtraction
    • measurement concepts of length, weight and capacity
    • multiplication and division
    • fractions - halves, quarters and fractions of a set
    • time - elapsed time and intervals
    • tables and graphs
    • geometry - composing and decomposing shapes
    • money - addition and subtraction
    • beginning algebra - finding unknowns

    Living Environment
    Throughout the year, students enhance their knowledge of animal habitats and adaptations.   They form an appreciation for the amazing biodiversity of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals through up-close encounters with these species at the Bronx Zoo.  During the Butterflies unit, students observe the life cycle of a butterfly.

    Animal Classification and Habitats: Classroom Zoo
    • Observe birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles at the Bronx Zoo
    • Describe different groups of animals and how they are adapted to survive in their environment (i.e. camouflage, defense mechanisms, hibernation, migration, etc.)
    • Understand how environmental conditions influence some animal behaviors (i.e. nest building, hibernating, hunting, migrating, and communicating)
    • Investigate the properties that animals share as living things and classify them according to their differences
    • Observe, describe and record all stages of a butterfly's life cycle (egg, larva, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult)
    • Predict, compare, and discuss the larva's appearance and changes over time (drawing, written, oral)
    • Relate observations of the butterfly's life cycle to students' own growth and change

    Physical Setting

    Students will develop a growing curiosity and interest in the motion of objects.  The Balance and Motion unit explores dynamic equilibrium and motion.  During the Magnets unit, the students will conduct hands-on investigations to form a better understanding of magnetic properties.

    Balance and Motion
    • Investigate balance, rotation and movement of objects 
    • Explore the concepts of balance, counterbalance, counterweight and stability
    • Discover different ways to produce rotational motion
    • Investigate the properties of magnets
    • Predict and classify objects based on whether or not they are magnetic
    • Observe magnetic interaction
    Weather, Water and Air: Water Cycle
    • Understand the effect of temperature on phases of water (solid, liquid, gas)
    • Understand the movement of a water droplet through the water cycle
    • Graph, observe, record, and predict weather patterns

    Social Studies

    My Community and Other United States Communities

    Major Understandings:
    • A community is a group of people that live, work, and help each other to meet their wants and needs
    • There are rural, urban and suburban communities in the United States and each type of community has similarities and differences
    • I live in a suburban community
    • Each type of community is influenced by geographic and environmental factors
    • Each type of community provides facilities and services to help meet the wants and needs of its residents
    • Citizens have roles and responsibilities in their communities
    History and Culture:
    • What is a community?
    • What are the characteristics of suburban, urban and rural communities?
    • What type of community is Scarsdale? What is the history of Scarsdale?
    • How do communities change over time?
    • What events, people, traditions, values, beliefs and places make my a community? 6. How are these events, people, traditions and places different in suburban, urban and rural communities?
    • What are roles and responsibilities of the people that live in a community?
    • How and why do people in communities develop rules and laws to govern and protect community members?
    • How does our local community elect and appoint leaders who make, enforce and interpret rules and laws?
    • How can citizens in my community participate in decision making and problem solving?
    • How is the flag of the United States a symbol of citizenship? What is the flag’s significance?
    • What is a map and what is a globe? (Review)
    • What is the purpose of a map and a globe? (Review)
    • What are the features of a map? (Title, key, labels, symbols, colors - Review)
    • Where are the important services in Scarsdale located in relation to a point of origin? (Is the post office east or west of Chase Park?)
    • How are symbols used on a map? (Review)
    • Where is our country on a map of the world?
    • Where is New York on a map of the United States?
    • Where is Scarsdale on a map of Westchester? Where is my home located on a map of my community?
    • How are Scarsdale and the lives of its inhabitants influenced by its geography?
    • How are suburban, urban and rural communities influenced by geography?
    • What are wants and needs? (Review)
    • What are goods and services?
    • What is a public service and what is a private businesses?
    • What are needs and services all communities have in common?
    • How do rural, urban and suburban communities provide for the wants and needs of the residents that live there?
    • How are rural, urban and suburban communities interdependent?
    • What are taxes and how do the taxes collected from residents provide for local services?
    • What are the goods and services the Scarsdale community provides for its residents?
    • People in rural, urban and suburban communities must make choices due to unlimited needs and limited resources (scarcity): For example, why do we recycle? Why do people live in apartment buildings in New York City? Why does the price of fruit increase in the winter?

    Creativity and Innovation
    • Use technology to express ideas using different media elements such as text, images, sound, and voice to express knowledge and to entertain
    • Begin to locate, select and use appropriate images to enhance curriculum projects
    • Introduce image-editing techniques such as selecting and resizing
    Communication and Collaboration
    • Use computers to type stories, poetry, or research reports related to curriculum using shift key to capitalize letters and using simple punctuation
    • Use the computer to develop a multimedia presentation through a sequence or storyboard
    • Contribute to team projects.
    Research and Information Retrieval
    • Use teacher-selected Web sites to locate and access information related to curriculum
    • Introduce basic keyword search techniques
    • Introduce the concept of taking electronic notes to enhance research
    • Introduce concept of citation of sources
    Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making
    • Introduce strategies to collect information, solve problems and complete projects
    • Use the computer to explore math concepts such as grouping, dividing, and understanding of geometry through a combination of shapes
    • (P) Introduce basic programming commands
    Digital Citizenship
    • Respect others' account privacy and work
    • Practice safe and responsible use of online resources
    Technology Operations and Concepts
    • Login to network and enter password independently
    • Use two hands on the keyboard most of the time. Introduce "home row" position
    • Locate, open, print, and save files (with appropriate filenames) with minimal assistance