Grade 2 Curriculum
Grade 2 covers every skill that is required by functioning adults to live a normal life. Though seemingly broad as an explanation, if you use math in the kitchen or supermarket, read road signs and recipes, participate in sports and the arts, it is a second grade level skill. If you, as an adult, know a skill, use it daily and teach it to your child, it is appropriate for 8-year old children.
EXAMPLE: Second graders will learn addition with carrying (currently called “re-grouping” in education); most adults do this in their daily life.
NON-EXAMPLE: Scientists use trigonometry in their careers; not all adults do this (but you still may choose to teach your child).
THE LONG VERSION
Grade 2 approaches curriculum with many years of experience working within the public education system. Our teaching philosophy tries to accommodate fleeting trends in education while still addressing what is appropriate for young learners.
“Contact boundary” is a term M. Chappell uses to describe relationships between people. The contact boundary informs the direction he will take where two or more people come into contact. Where a piece of wood has a natural divide, or grain, that allows it to be split, people have their nature that allows them to be part of a group. People have a “grain” that can be understood and respected. Another metaphor is the sculptor who produces a piece of art from stone. By respecting the grain of the stone, the artist explores the contact boundary of what stone will be removed, and that which will remain to be the final piece of art. Teaching is an art.
The contact boundary as it relates to a teacher and student relationship describes the balance of power in the classroom. The teacher maintains positional power (by law and by stature) in order to provide a learning opportunity. The student maintains personal power to make decisions that affect their learning. The teacher uses their power to provide the most appropriate learning opportunity by respecting the “grain” of the group or the individual in any given activity, at any given moment, and in the face of adverse teaching conditions imposed by outside forces, or in some cases, produced by the teacher him or herself.
M. Chappell establishes trust with the group and with individuals in the group by gently guiding activities that are intrinsically rewarding. By “gentle” M. Chappell contends that the group will be compelled to work cooperatively because the activity presented (working with a partner) is more rewarding than a given alternative (working by oneself). He will present a learning opportunity as a choice to learn and explains to students that he cannot force them to do anything. He will maximize instructional time by teaching students how to move efficiently between activities, by teaching students to be pro-active in extending the activity presented, and by teaching students that life is rich with opportunities to learn. Even (especially) at moments when we seemingly have “nothing to do” but wait in line, M. Chappell contends that boredom is a state of mind and that anyone can find discrete activities that will not distract others… try standing on one foot for more than five minutes—can you do it? Where the public education setting imposes limitations, M. Chappell will seek opportunities.
Fluency as it applies to learning is doing something at an appropriate speed, and doing so accurately. The concept of FLUENCY = RATE x ACCURACY is nothing more than “it is better to practice a little everyday than to practice a whole bunch once a week,” whether you are becoming more fluid in reading, better at taking shots in basketball, or more precise in your brush strokes while painting. Students will have the opportunity for regular practice in class. The homework program is intended to be simple, clear, and consistent. Homework is not intended to be an intense (new) learning experience. The homework routine should be easy for your child. Please ask for clarifications at any time. We will notify you if we perceive there is a learning issue.
Parents are welcome to visit anytime. If you stop by to visit, you will be recruited to help unless you let us know ahead of time that you are simply observing.
SPECIFIC VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
1. Continue to provide a great home environment for your child/ren (this helps!)
2. Continue to ask what you can do to help.
3. Sharpen pencils while you are waiting in the morning or ANY time.
4. Participate with reading groups in English, 8:45 to 9:30 daily.
5. Read one-on-one with students in French.
6. Help with the school garden. Ask M. Chappell for details.
The following is a brief overview of what students will be exposed to this year. This list is not exhaustive.
For information on specific statewide benchmarks, please visit:
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to follow teacher directions at a grade 2 level (as described by our current model).
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to articulate most of their needs in French.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to read at a grade 2 level (as described by our current model).
- Students will participate in cooperative learning activities that require authentic communication.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to do addition with carrying (re-grouping) and subtraction with borrowing.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to tell time to the five minute mark.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn basic shape names and attributes.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to measure length, weight, and distance.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn coin names and how to add money amounts.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn fractions.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to improve their fluency.
- Students will be exposed to a variety of reading material.
- Students will practice handwriting.
- Students will have an opportunity to learn all grade 2 writing traits (a full paragraph by the end of the year).
- Students will participate in three units on organisms, soil, and changes.
- Physical Education (in French class)
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to walk in rhythm.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to move to complex rhythms.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how hold their bodies during dance.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn appropriate behavior during social events.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn about health during activities.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to mix color.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn about color value.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn about perspective drawing.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to make 3 dimensional projects.
- Students will have the opportunity to learn how to respect art materials.