Grade 2

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Writing Continuum

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Literacy Statement

An effective literacy program offers a balance of challenge and support while building children’s confidence in their emerging abilities as readers and writers. Our goal is to develop fluent, capable readers who enjoy the process and learn from it, drawing from a diverse array of literature. Helping students become writers who can express their ideas cogently, clearly, and creatively is another important goal. We view reading and writing as a developmental process and understand that a child’s progress is seldom even or linear. It is common, for example, that a student’s leap ahead in learning is followed by a consolidating phase or an apparent plateau. We also find that students cannot be easily placed in a single category along the learning continuum. As such, our instruction is guided by regular formal and informal writing assessments.

While no two developmental journeys are identical, students often exhibit a range of skills and understandings. The following reading/writing continuum describes the basic path to literacy in the Beginning and Lower Schools.

 

Reading Continuum

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Literacy Statement

An effective literacy program offers a balance of challenge and support while building children’s confidence in their emerging abilities as readers and writers.  Our goal is to develop fluent, capable readers who enjoy the process and learn from it, drawing from a diverse array of literature.  Helping students become writers who can express their ideas cogently, clearly, and creatively is another important goal.  We view reading and writing as a developmental process and understand that a child’s progress is seldom even or linear. It is common, for example, that a student’s leap ahead in learning is followed by a consolidating phase or an apparent plateau. We also find that students cannot be easily placed in a single category along the learning continuum. As such, our instruction is guided by regular formal and informal reading assessments.

While no two developmental journeys are identical, students often exhibit a range of skills and understandings. The following reading/writing continuum describes the basic path to literacy in the Beginning and Lower Schools.

 

Mandarin Chinese 2

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In the second year of the Lower School Chinese program, students are expected to extend the number of vocabulary for topics they learned in the first year. They will also learn to understand and respond to short dialogues. 

Writing Continuum

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Literacy Statement

An effective literacy program offers a balance of challenge and support while building children’s confidence in their emerging abilities as readers and writers.  Our goal is to develop fluent, capable readers who enjoy the process and learn from it, drawing from a diverse array of literature.  Helping students become writers who can express their ideas cogently, clearly, and creatively is another important goal.  We view reading and writing as a developmental process and understand that a child’s progress is seldom even or linear. It is common, for example, that a student’s leap ahead in learning is followed by a consolidating phase or an apparent plateau. We also find that students cannot be easily placed in a single category along the learning continuum. As such, our instruction is guided by regular formal and informal writing assessments.

While no two developmental journeys are identical, students often exhibit a range of skills and understandings. The following reading/writing continuum describes the basic path to literacy in the Beginning and Lower Schools.

Writing 2

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Writer's Workshop

Writer's workshop emphasizes the importance of student engagement and the interaction between readers and text. It provides differentiated instruction in writing. Writer's Workshop focuses on the teaching of writing strategies. The purpose of Writer's Workshop is to foster a love of writing. Students develop an ability to write confidently in many forms for a variety of audiences and purposes. 

In the classroom this looks like a mini lesson devoted to one aspect of writing, followed by guided practice where the teacher works with groups of kids, and time for students to practice the skills independently.

Specific components of this grade level are described below.

 

Writing Mini-Lessons

During mini-lessons, the whole class meets and shares mentor texts written in a specific genre in order to tease out strategies and techniques specific to the genre, and work through the writing process to produce their own writing.  Through the study of these mentor texts, we are charting the writing techniques that we notice in the mentor author's work.  This documentation of our thinking guides our writing study.  

 

Shared Writing

Shared writing allows us to co-write a single peice as a small group or whole class.  It shares the responsibility for the pen between teacher and students alike.  We use this to practice specific writing strategies, revision techniques, and editing skills.  This shared responsibility allows us to live the idea that writing is never done, but an ongoing process of improving one's craft.  

 

Independent Writing

In second grade, we have placed an emphasis on students' ability to generate writing from within themselves and from their own experiences.  Students practice developing writing ideas, planning stories, creating drafts, revising, editing, and publishing. As we are encouraging students to concentrate on getting their ideas onto paper, we emphasize the use of “sound-stretching” where students try their best to sound out the spelling of words. Second graders are in the process of learning simple proofreading skills to help them spell unknown words accurately and use capitalization and punctuation correctly. Second graders are able to do specific work on editing such as punctuation, capitalization, spelling, looking at the content of their work and learning how to choose interesting and descriptive words.

 

Peer Conferencing

Peer conferencing is an integral part of the writing process.  Students meet with writing partners to share ideas and feedback on content.  The primary question asked of both the reader and writer in these confernces is, 'Does this peice of writing make sense?'  Students work with one another to practice how to give postive and constructive feedback.  Asking questions is an essential skill for both readers and writers and peer conferencing is a perfect venue in which to practice.  Feedback recieved during peer conferencing facilitates the author's revision.

Writing Conferences

Throughout the writing process, students meet one-on-one with a teacher multiple times.  This pracitce is meant to hone the writer's initial development of ideas, the writing craft, and the revision and editing processes.  Throughout the year we are engaged in publishing the work of student authors after students have gone through the entire wrting process.  Conferences in this form are always a final step before publication.

 

Science 2

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For a Lower School Science overview, start here:

www.catlin.edu/classroom/lower-school-science

For the second grade science classroom page, start here:

http://www.catlin.edu/classroom/lower-school-science/second-grade-science

Science 3

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For a Lower School Science overview, start here:

www.catlin.edu/classroom/lower-school-science

For the third grade science classroom page, start here:

www.catlin.edu/classroom/lower-school-science/third-grade-science

Reading Continuum

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Literacy Statement

An effective literacy program offers a balance of challenge and support while building children’s confidence in their emerging abilities as readers and writers.  Our goal is to develop fluent, capable readers who enjoy the process and learn from it, drawing from a diverse array of literature.  Helping students become writers who can express their ideas cogently, clearly, and creatively is another important goal.  We view reading and writing as a developmental process and understand that a child’s progress is seldom even or linear. It is common, for example, that a student’s leap ahead in learning is followed by a consolidating phase or an apparent plateau. We also find that students cannot be easily placed in a single category along the learning continuum. As such, our instruction is guided by regular formal and informal reading assessments.

While no two developmental journeys are identical, students often exhibit a range of skills and understandings. The following reading/writing continuum describes the basic path to literacy in the Beginning and Lower Schools.
 

Reading 2

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Reader's Workshop

Reader's workshop emphasizes the importance of student engagement and the interaction between readers and text. It provides differentiated instruction in reading. Reader's Workshop focuses on the teaching of reading strategies. The purpose of Reader's Workshop is to foster independence among readers.  

In the classroom this looks like a mini lesson devoted to one aspect of reading, followed by guided practice where the teacher works with groups of kids, and time for students to practice the skills independently. 

Specific components of this grade level are described below.

 

Read Aloud

Second grade is an exciting year of school because the children are at a point where they can bring together all of their reading skills from first grade. Children no longer have to put all of their energy into learning to read words (decoding), instead they are able to concentrate on meaning making. As children are reading more complex texts we put an emphasis on “Reading is Thinking.” Children learn how to capitalize on thinking strategies to improve their reading comprehension.  We use read-alouds as a way to practice the following thinking strategies: Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing and Using Sensory Images, Inferring, Determining Importance, and Synthesizing.

Shared Reading

Shared reading happens occasionally in second grade wherein the reading practice and responsibility is shared between the teacher and students.  We use this as a time to practice and model reading fluency skills including pace, phrasing, and intonation.  This allows for the rereading of familiar texts to promote the connection between reading fluency and reading comprehension.

Guided Reading

Guided reading groups are small groups formed around commonalities amongst various student needs and readiness. Guided reading groups are less than 6 students at a time meeting with a teacher for direct instruction.  This process allows for a high degree differentiation and individualized instruction on the growing of decoding and comprehension strategies.  Throughout the year the groups are flexibly formed and will inevitably changed depending on growth and development as well as the teaching point required by the unit at hand.

Independent Reading

Independent reading is crucial to the practice of comprehension strategies.  SInce the mental energy is beginning to shift from decoding to comprehension strategies, the children are able to sustain reading of longer texts for up to 20-30 minutes at a stretch.  Students are always working on tracking their thinking while reading a Just Right Book.  Books are sometimes selected by a teacher but are often chosen independently by the students.  This is also an opportunity for students to practice comprehension strategies by responding to their reading in writing.  Children are often engaged in independent reading while teachers are meeting with other Guided Reading groups fostering self-direction. 

Reading Conferences

In this practice, students are meeting with a teacher one-on-one with their independent reading books.  This is an opportunity for highly individualized instruction and assessment of a student's progress.  This is a rich opportunity to discuss metacognition strategies and the language of thinking about one's thinking.  During this time students work to improve their metacognition skills by learning how to make their thinking visible (through reading responses), identifying when meaning is breaking down, and honing their ability to select a strategy to fix-up the break down in meaning. Students will become more reflective readers as they work to ensure they are reading across a variety of genres and improve their ability to set literacy goals.

 

 

 

 

Music 2

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The second grade music program is based on the Orff-Shulwerk model of music education. Experiences in speech, movement, dance, song, instrumental work, listening, improvisation, and critiquing lead to the development of increasingly sophisticated skills and concepts through the child’s experiences as performer, composer, critic, and listener. This structure for learning music has at its roots active participation by all. The literature for Schulwerk comes from Music for Children as the foundation for instructional sequence.
For students to be fully engaged in the music program in the Lower School, they need to participate in ensemble through instrumental work, singing, drama, dance, creative movement and improvisation. Through these experiences students develop an increased understanding of the elements of music. It is the blending of all of these areas that creates an increasingly sophisticated ensemble experience for students. Experiences in the first curriculum maintain an experiential focus. Experiences in the second – fourth grade curriculums maintain an experiential and conceptual focus.

Core to the curriculum is music which is drawn from a world perspective. Exposure to music from many cultures gives students a window into the understanding of how music reflects the lives and values of other people. Through music, participants harmonize into a single expression which facilitates relationships and strengthens community.