Second Grade

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


Students are acquiring new skills while solidifying and becoming fluent and confident in the application of existing skills. Science units include studies of Plants and Pollinators, Properties of Matter, Land forms & Bodies of Water, and Diversity in Habitats. Social Studies units include communities, the history of Seattle, and Global Studies. Service-learning projects include working in the Tilth gardens, neighborhood clean-up, and a collaboration with Washington Green Schools. Cross-disciplinary explorations encourage students to integrate their reading, writing, mathematical, and social skills to deepen and share their understanding.


Social Emotional Learning (SEL) guides second graders to be contributing members of their community, at a classroom level and beyond using Social Thinking and Social Emotional Learning. Cooperative learning across the grade level is a part of many projects. Students are expected to demonstrate conflict resolution skills and show empathy and respect for others, with teacher guidance and modeling. Service-learning projects include garden work with Seattle Tilth and fifth grade “buddies,” community service in the neighborhood, and collaborating with local organizations that support various communities in Seattle.

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 an 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 in differentiated groups to support students in their math needs.

Social Studies first appears as a study of communities and neighborhoods as we establish our own community in the classroom. We then delve into the history of Seattle. Students look back at the city in the 1800s, creating timelines and biographies from their research. We visit Pike Place Market and MOHAI to have an authentic experience with our learning. 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. Second graders discover how agents of change make an impact within that region and around the world. We end the year learning about World Music as we prepare for our musical performance with Ms. Kister.

Life Science: In our Plants and Pollinators study, students develop understanding of the life cycle of a plant as they care for and collect data on Wisconsin Fast Plants (Brassica rapa). Visit the Science Lab to learn more>

Physical Science:  Science and writing combine in second grade’s Properties of Matter unit. Visit the Science Lab to learn more>

Earth & Environmental Science: Students explore the different shapes of the Earth by investigating bodies of water and land forms.  Visit the Science Lab to learn more>

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