Second Grade

Character Education

Second Graders learn about and practice The Core Virtues. Through literature connections, discussions, and guided instruction Second Graders study and practice seven Core Virtues: generosity, compassion, self-discipline, honesty, patience, perseverance, and responsibility. As part of Cornerstone’s mission to instruct the whole child-body, mind, and spirit- the Core Virtues are taught and explored explicitly as well as being implicitly embedded into the fabric of our school day.

Portfolios

Second Graders construct year-long portfolios. They work year-long to construct, sew, design, and illustrate individual portfolios to house cumulative work samples from the year. Students learn to value and cherish their work through creative, year-long effort, through the process of self-selecting work samples, and through self-reflection. They learn to cherish their work through the perseverance, creativity, and craftsmanship entailed in the portfolio process.

Longview Farm

Second Graders participate in outdoor education and environmental stewardship.

Second Graders participate in curricular extensions and outdoor education through established visits to Longview Farm. Students plant, harvest, participate in the daily life of animal and garden farm maintenance, as well as work on art, science, and theme- related studies—all in an outdoor classroom of 400+ acres of Native Florida habitat.

Community Service

Second Graders serve each other, their school, and their greater community.

Second Graders help each other and their classroom environment by sharing classroom jobs. Our inspiration to help others springs from the acknowledgment of the many ways we are helped. Second Graders volunteer from the “inside out,” learning to serve in our classroom, homes, neighborhoods, and increasingly outward to include our local, state and global communities.

Reading

Second Graders will be immersed in a language and literature rich curriculum that encourages children to investigate new reading strategies, practice decoding skills, and read for comprehension. Self motivation, joyful and informative reading experiences, and the opportunity to practice the refinement of key reading skills (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension) are the vital components of our classroom reading time.

Writing

At Cornerstone, Second Graders write for a purpose and an audience. Second Graders learn that writing is a way to communicate meaning and also that their writing is shared and enjoyed by others. Children use writing workshop as a time to pay attention to the details of their lives, learning to record and retell their personal stories and experiences. Second Graders share their writings with their peers during writing workshop, with other grades during special sharing times, and with their families through their end-of-the-year portfolio and writing celebrations throughout the year.

Science

Second grade scientists at Cornerstone Learning Community continue to refine their observation skills while developing skills for planning and conducting experiments. We begin the year by developing visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile vocabulary and by honing our observation skills as we write and draw in our science journals. With this expanded vocabulary students can begin to sort objects and materials– liquids, plants and animals, cultural artifacts– based on shared physical and behavioral properties.

As we explore a variety of subjects–our schoolyard, soils, archaeology, forces, position, and motion, and the properties of liquids– students develop familiarity with the practices of science and engineering. They develop questions, make observations, design tests, and analyze results. Scientific equipment such as dissecting microscopes, balances, aquatic dip nets, binoculars, and scientific safety equipment are used to examine the world about them. Students learn to differentiate between an observation and an inference. They practice constructing scientific claims and supporting them with evidence, and reflect upon their learning using scientific journals.

We aim to honor individual student interests and strengths by providing opportunities to write, draw, build, discuss, and perform in the course of their science explorations. An important goal for second grade science is that we retain a sense of joy and wonder while students become more skilled in science and engineering practices. To that end we collect their questions and wonderings and each year we allow space and time to follow the interests and strengths of the children.

Math

Second Graders use the Primary Mathematics curriculum.

Primary Mathematics (Standard Edition) is a complete program based on the highly successful Primary Mathematics series from Singapore. The program is designed to equip students with a strong foundation in math by focusing on mathematical understanding. Topics are covered in depth and taught to mastery. Instruction and activities help students develop logical thinking and critical lifelong problem-solving skills.

Social Studies

Second Graders study characteristics of their neighborhoods and history of their community. Second Graders investigate the activities of the people in their school community, neighborhood and city. They learn to consider the various roles and responsibilities of community members. They consider the rules, laws, and governments needed to organize communities and meet communities’ many needs. They investigate changes in their communities through historical time. Second Graders consider the many needs of consumers and the impact of the products they eat, wear and consume on their health and the safety of their environment.

Art

Second Graders attend  formal art classes each week. Students create projects using a variety of mediums and techniques. The work of master artists are discussed and used as models for students investigations, while students also create freely from their own imaginations. Second Grade studies are enhanced through art integration. Like all of Cornerstone’s arts-based classes, teacher collaboration promotes classroom studies that are enhanced and reviewed through art processes and projects.

Physical Education

Second Graders experience the physical and emotional benefits of physical activity. Through meaningful, appropriate games and activities, the elementary physical education program explores and promotes the development of skill and health related physical activities.

Music

Second Graders attend weekly music classes as well as participating in Cornerstone’s monthly All-School Community Sing celebrations. Second Grader’s weekly music class is taught by a professional music teacher. The class strengthens and integrates basic music skills such as singing and harmonizing, rhythm, reading, writing, and creating music and instrument playing. Instruction is hands-on and energetic, allowing children to develop enthusiasm for music as a means of artistic expression. Second Graders also learn active listening techniques as they listen to examples of traditional music from a variety of cultures.

Spanish

The Spanish Program in grades one through three is a conversational approach to language acquisition using thematic units, games, rhymes, movement and picture books. The focus is on listening to the language, developing good pronunciation and responding to Spanish commands or questions. The written language is introduced in third grade with labels, charts and “libritos.”