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. Students engage in hands-on learning that gives them the opportunity to apply conceptual understanding to a wide range of topics and issues. Interdisciplinary 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. 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. Students actively participate in Student Council where they are encouraged to share their ideas to better our school community.

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, Wired for Reading, research writing, poetry, 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. 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 identity of self and those around us, and the celebration of our individuality. Students reflect on stereotypes and how they can impact the community around them. This unit is then followed by the start of our taking action in the community unit. This is a year-long overarching focus on how we can better service those in need in the Seattle area. We then delve into the history of Seattle. Students look back at the city in the 1800s, creating timelines and becoming experts from their research. We visit Pike Place Market, Seattle Underground, and the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) to connect authentic experiences with our learning. Next, the scope broadens to agents of change, researching how people are making an impact around the world. We end the year reflecting on self, our role in the world around us, and how we can inspire others as agents of change.

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).

Physical science: Science and writing combine in second grade’s properties of matter unit.

Earth and environmental science: Students explore the different shapes of the earth by investigating bodies of water and landforms. Visit the Science Lab to learn more>

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