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2nd Grade Team Page

Second graders at Blood Brook

Second graders exploring Blood Brook.


English Language Arts

The English Language Arts program at Marion Cross School seeks to create a community of learners immersed in reading, writing, speaking and listening throughout the curriculum. Through engagement with a variety of developmentally appropriate literature, students develop fluency, exercise analytical skills, build vocabulary, practice comprehension strategies, and make meaning. Across grade levels, ongoing writing instruction and practice provides opportunities for students to develop confidence and skills as they generate ideas, draft, revise, and edit original works in a wide range of genres. Discussion-based classrooms, project based learning, and presentation opportunities, within and beyond the classroom, encourage students to develop and hone communication skills, promoting active participation in the school community and larger society.

The second grade English/Language Arts program uses a balanced literacy approach. Foundational skills are taught directly using the Fundations Program that enables children to both read and spell and internalize the rules for our language using sight words and decoding skills. Students begin reading in small groups using some controlled readers, but move at a steady, individual pace to reading literature and trade texts across many genres. Students develop writing skills by writing daily. Writing is integrated into the curriculum through science journals, research reports, use writing skills to address social studies topics, write fables, poetry and fiction. Students write narratively to retell personal stories. Once a writing piece is finished, children revise and edit with adult guidance. In addition, children are challenged to independently write to a prompt. Reading comprehension skills are addressed during reading groups as well as during read aloud times. Both fiction and non-fiction books complement our units of study. Second graders enjoy many books including the works of Cynthia Rylant, David Adler, Arnold Lobel, many classic fables, and Caldecott books.


Numbers and Numeration

  • Count, read, and write numbers by 1’s to 1000
  • Skip count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s to 100
  • Define and label odd and even numbers
  • Recognize and repeat patterns
  • Understand and use place value
  • Review and expand knowledge of fractions

Computation and Estimation

  • Recognize and use math symbols (+ , - , < , >)
  • Add and subtract up to 3-digit numbers without regrouping
  • Add two 3-digit numbers with regrouping
  • Know math facts to 20 (+/-)
  • Fill in missing numbers in equations
  • Use computation skills to solve story problems
  • Recognize, name, and identify value of coins
  • Count money and make change


  • Measure using appropriate units (inches, feet, yards, centimeters, meters)
  • Expand knowledge of money (value of coins, adding amounts up to $1.00)
  • Name days of week, months of year, and seasons
  • Read a thermometer in Celsius and Fahrenheit
  • Tell time to quarter-hour


  • Recognize and name common two and three- dimensional shapes
  • Learn and apply geometric terms: open/closed, line, point, perpendicular, parallel, symmetrical, area, perimeter

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Collect and organize data
  • Make and read bar graphs, line graphs, pie graphs, and pictographs

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Communication

  • Approach problem solving systematically and creatively
  • Apply problem solving strategies to more complex problems
  • Practice spatial problem solving

Patterns, Functions and Algebra

  • Represent a concrete model of a pattern symbolically
  • Classify, sort and order objects


Process Skills

  • Explore and observe, describe, measure, sort, compare, classify, collect information, record, graph, communicate


Physical Science: Electricity

  • Simple circuitry
  • Magnetism

Life Science: Streams

  • Habitat (Riparian Zone)
  • Life forms and adaptations
  • Stewardship

Earth Science: Polar Regions/Weather
  • The effects of extreme climate adaptations in polar regions
  • The light/darkness cycle

Health: Overview of Human Body

  • Healthy, unhealthy foods
  • Food groups
  • Balanced diet

Social Studies

Polar Regions

  • Geography and ecology of the region
  • Culture and art of the Inuit people
  • Adaptations to the Arctic, Antarctic
  • Related literature


  • Geography and climate of the region
  • Culture and art of the people of Mexico
  • Introduction to Mayan history
  • Related literature


  • Compare/contrast past to present
  • ”Melting Pot” discussion
  • Immigration - family history


  • Map skills (drawing simple maps, map key, cardinal directions, locating places on globe/maps)
  • Grade-level land and water terms

Social Skills

Civic and Social Responsibility

  • Work independently
  • Work cooperatively


  • Wait to speak
  • Use appropriate, clear voice

Personal Development

  • Be a good sport
  • Respect space of others
  • Try new things


The aim of the art program at the Marion Cross School is to provide children with specific skills and varied media, at every grade level and every ability level, to enable them to express their unique responses, ideas and reactions within a basic artistic framework. Art education does not stand alone. It blends with, augments and enriches the total school curriculum.

Second graders begin the year by contributing a piece to the all-school collaborative art project that celebrates our coming together to become a school community. In second grade, students go on to learn about the Elements of Art of line, shape, color (selection, balance, mixing), composition, proportion, pattern and repetition. They do this through a variety of projects including the following: sunflower paintings, ceramic bowls/vessels, “stream” grass weavings, cornhusk people, haunted house neighborhood collage, star books (folded paper), positive/negative designs, Valentine wood magnets, spiders and web construction, tissue paper flowers, God’s Eye mobiles, fruit and vegetable prints, paper making, color mixing, Inuit/Arctic projects (scrimshaw, shaman masks, Inuit yo-yos), ArtStart, and LEEEP art books (streams).


The school counselor, Katie Cormier, visits each second grade classroom weekly. We continue to use the Second Step Social Emotional Learning Program to increase students’ school success and decrease problem behaviors by promoting social emotional competence and self-regulation skills. There are four units in the curriculum: skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and friendship skills and problem solving, and the skills are honed and practiced at a deeper level at this grade level. In addition to Second Step, our amazing local resource, WISE, comes to conduct Care for Kids lessons, which is a health-based early childhood healthy sexuality and abuse prevention curriculum. Mr. Minelli, MCS’s technology teacher, also comes in to co-teach for two lessons with Katie on internet safety based on common sense media’s digital citizenship program. There are also supplemental lessons focused on kindness, being an upstander (anti-bullying). Puppets, songs, and movement are all used to help practice these skills.

Information Technology

Best practices in education indicate that technology is best incorporated into a student’s education as an embedded “tool” used to support learning in the major curricular fields. This means that tech isn’t something just to “do” for students; rather it is used where appropriate to help students succeed in their other subject areas.

Toward those goals, 2nd grade students at MCS regularly use the iPads for various learning opportunities, including as a literacy station in their classroom. This includes several different apps that help with phonics and improving reading skills. We also have a wide range of apps that help with things such as math skills, learning to tell time, and exploring parts of the human body. MCS uses the assessment software, Track My Progress, and 2nd grade students are testing 4 times per year in Math and ELA using a computer adaptive test that can help teachers and parents understand the student’s strengths in various areas of these subjects. 2nd grade students also are using Symphony Math to help improve their math concepts and understanding and are given subscriptions to iXL mathematics to improve their math skills. Along with Katie Cormier, our school counselor, we also use a select group of lessons with 2nd grade students about the topic of safe computer use. These include such areas as computer safety, privacy, and the prevention of Cyberbullying. The lessons come from the highly regarded I.S. site, Common Sense Media.

Library Skills

The main objectives of the library program in 2nd Grade are to:

  • focus on what makes a quality picture book by discussing the traits of the text and illustrations in the ten Red Clover Program nominees and the Caldecott Award books chosen for best illustrations
  • conduct a short research project on an Arctic Animals in conjunction with the classroom Polar Regions unit
  • learn how to navigate the PebbleGo! online database, finding specific information
  • learn how to prepare a slide presentation using the web tool Haiku Deck which incorporates text and photographs
  • learn why it is important to tell where they got their information and how to cite this in a basic form
  • appreciate literature by listening to and discussing stories related to classroom topics, holidays, seasonal, folktales, humorous and other quality literature


The Marion Cross community sings. We sing silly songs and mundane songs, great classics and new “pop” songs with surprisingly profound meanings, songs written by the students and songs in other languages from across the world, and just about everything in between.

MCS students learn all about music in other ways, too. They listen to it, talk about it, write about it, move to it, and dance to it. They learn it “by ear,” they read it on the staff, and they write a fair bit of it on their own, too. They learn to play instruments in the school’s chamber orchestra, band, and electives.

Music in Second Grade

The students and I spend most of our music time learning new songs, exploring their budding voices, dancing, and playing circle games set to music. They learn to sing, but they also to express themselves in music and be part of a musical community. Along the way they learn to read more and more rhythm patterns and all seven Curwen hand signs.


Second graders students start the week with a joyous Sing-Along held by our multi-talented principal Mr. Bill.


Second graders also write their own music. Each class works together to create an original Animal Facts Rap; each student gets a chance to set an animal Haiku to music and hear it performed by their classmates.


The main objective of the physical education program for Grade 2 is to encourage all children to enjoy and participate in physical activities by building on the interest and enthusiasm created in kindergarten. First and second grade activities expand upon all of the activities explored in kindergarten. Games and activities become more organized or challenging, skill work is introduced, and classes become more formal and organized but follow the same specific objectives.