Second Grade

Second grade is a time of increasing independence, growth, and accountability.


2nd GradeStudents are acquiring new skills while solidifying and becoming fluent and confident in the application of existing skills. Science units include studies of weather, sound and plants. Social Studies units include Seattle History and Global Studies. Place-based educational units include forestry and our study of the city of Seattle. Cross-disciplinary explorations encourage students to integrate their reading, writing, mathematical, and social skills to deepen and share their understanding.


Character education guides second graders to be contributing members of their community, at a classroom level and beyond. Cooperative learning is part of many projects. Students are expected to demonstrate conflict resolution skills and show empathy and respect for others. Service learning projects include garden work with Seattle Tilth and fifth grade “buddies,” community service in the neighborhood, and student-initiated projects.

Literacy takes advantage of second graders’ increasingly functional skills to use reading and writing for comprehension, communication, expression, and presentation of information and ideas. Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, word work, poetry, research writing, Content Literacy and reader’s theater all help students build vocabulary, deepen comprehension, and develop their voice as speakers and writers. Listening and speaking skills are further developed through morning meetings, sharing and reflections, and presentations.

Math offers clear and precise definitions so that students can have a depth of understanding and value of mathematics to apply to their own lives. Through the Bridges in Mathematics curriculum, our students develop further understanding and acquire proficiency through hands on explorations and a variety of resources to support their learning. The students are provided with the necessary learning experiences beginning with the concrete and pictorial stages, followed by the abstract stage to enable them to learn mathematics meaningfully. This approach encourages active critical thinking process, communication of mathematical ideas and problem solving. This helps develop the foundation students will need for more advanced mathematics. Most math activities and problems are multi-step and require students to apply knowledge to new situations rather than following a procedure. Our program includes challenging questions and activities for enrichment and discussion as well as math investigations that require teacher involvement.

Social Studies first delves into the history of Seattle. Students look back at the city in the 1800s, creating timelines and biographies from their research. Next, the scope broadens to Global Studies, encompassing one broad region of the world each year in a school-wide investigation of how where and when you live affects how you live. During the course of the year, students will study forests and discuss the role we play as stewards in the conservation effort.

Earth Science: Our study of weather builds upon children’s’ innate curiosity about the world around them. In this Earth Science Unit, students learn that the water cycle (condensation and evaporation), clouds, precipitation, wind, and temperature are features of weather. As well as using their senses, students learn to use scientific tools to measure the temperature, wind, and rainfall. Students explore the material properties of air and the fact that though they can’t see it, it surrounds us and takes up space.

Physical Science: As part of our sound unit, students work closely with their peers to learn about the properties of sound waves by experimenting and building models utilizing a variety of sound producing devices such as tuning forks, slide whistles and strings. Through these physical science investigations children learn that sound is produced by vibrations within objects and columns of air. Two main ideas that are covered are pitch and volume. By the end of the study they know how to alter pitch by changing the frequency of the vibrations and the volume by adjusting the amplitude of the vibrations.

Life Science: In our Plant Growth and Development study, students develop sensitivity to the needs of plants as they care for a Wisconsin Fast Plant (Brassica rpa) Students record their observations of the stages of plant growth from seed germination to plant maturation. They also gain an awareness of the interdependence between bee pollination and plant fertilization. They will learn firsthand that one seed results in one plant and that one plant results in many seeds allowing them to witness the continuity of the lifecycle.

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