Second Grade - St. Joseph School Seattle
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Second Grade

Second grade students find the attention they need and deserve at this pivotal point in their learning careers. At the end of this year, St. Joseph second grade students are ready for challenges awaiting them in the third grade. They are able to do this by building a community within their classroom, with their grade level peers, and with the greater St. Joseph community.

St. Joseph School teachers follow the Common Core State Standards in math. Teachers have created focus standards for grades kindergarten through fourth grade that are essential for building a strong math foundation for middle school and beyond.

Utilizing the program GO Math that builds on the foundation outlined by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Each lesson is structured to develop proficiency in conceptual understanding and fluency with skills with a focus on problem solving. In addition, we use the MasterTrack program to ensure student progress and provide children with activities that focus on specific skills in need of practice or enrichment activities.

The following is a list of math skills to be addressed in second grade:

  • Determine the unknown number in a number sentence within 20: 8 + x = 20
  • Place value within 1,000 (hundreds, tens and ones)
  • Compare three-digit numbers using <, >, or =
  • Fluently add within 100 using a variety of strategies
  • Fluently subtract within 100 using a variety of strategies
  • Add within 1,000 using a variety of strategies 
  • Subtract within 1,000 using a variety of strategies 
  • Solve addition and subtraction word problems up to 100 using a variety of strategies
  • Fluently add within 20 (math facts)
  • Fluently subtract within 20 (math facts)

In second grade, we focus on developing foundational reading and language skills in the following areas: advanced phonics and word recognition, reading fluency and reading comprehension as well as conventions of standard English and vocabulary acquisition and use.

In grades K-4, we have adopted the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Program. This program is closely aligned with the Common Core State Standards and provides students with daily opportunities to engage in interactive read-alouds and literature discussions, shared and performance reading, differentiated guided reading groups as well as sustained silent reading and writing about reading. The Fountas and Pinnell rich collection of fiction and nonfiction books reinforces key vocabulary, has diverse content and serves as an essential tool to build our students' language comprehension.

As we develop skills to comprehend literature and informational text, we engage in three ways of thinking about a text while reading. Thinking within the text involves efficiently and effectively understanding what's on the page, the author's literal message. Thinking beyond the text requires making inferences and putting text ideas together in different ways to construct the text's meaning. In thinking about the text, readers analyze and critique the author's craft.

Our classroom teachers work in close collaboration with our Learning Resource specialist and Advanced Learning specialist to ensure that all students receive the support they need to become skilled readers.

At St. Joseph School, our goal is to develop life-long readers who can decode with accuracy and read at an appropriate rate with suitable prosody that leads to accurate and deep comprehension and motivation to read!

St. Joseph School follows the religion standards of the Archdiocese of Seattle. The standards are tied to the 6 tasks of Catechesis: 1) Knowledge of the Faith, 2) Liturgical Education, 3) Morality/Life in Christ, 4) Prayer, 5) Life, Community and History of the Church, and 6) the Church’s Missionary Life and Service. Core religion concepts taught in the second grade include; Sacraments and Mass - Essential questions include: What does God give you? What is God like? What does Jesus teach? Why did Jesus ask us to be the Church? What is the work of the Church? What is a sacrament? What does God want? Service is a big part of each grade-level at St. Joseph School. As a Jesuit parish school we teach our students about St. Ignatius and the Jesuits. We begin in kindergarten teaching what it means to be Open to Growth, Loving, Religious, Committed to Doing Justice, and Intellectually Competent.

The principal religious focus of the second grade is to celebrate and receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. This parish-led program highlights the wonder for all God's gifts and accepting these gifts with hearts full of thanks. We celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in gratitude of God's gift of mercy and love. The students' first Holy Communion celebrates the gift of Christ's love for us-given with the Holy Spirit, with new life, from the heart of God.

Through hands on learning students experience a wide range of topics that include: Air and Weather, Solids and Liquids, Forest Exploration, and Plants. Through experimentation and action students formulate questions, research the answers, construct, test and report their findings.

Students are introduced to individuals and events that have shaped our nation’s story. Through various voices students explore how a community has been built from a historical perspective while looking at how we can define what community means in our class, city, country, and world. During December students research winter holidays around the world and present their findings to their classmates.

To build strong communication skills, second graders practice speaking and writing for authentic purposes. Writing instruction aims to build greater independence using strategies from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Students build fluency and proficiency with daily opportunities to write for real audiences on topics that are meaningful to them. They explore the writing process in a community of writers that support and encourage their expanding ideas. Young authors study mentor texts and try craft moves shown by published authors. Children learn strategies and conventions in mini-lessons. Feedback and encouragement are provided in groups and in one-on-one conferences. Students use writing skills to record ideas about experiences and gather information as they answer questions. Students will be writing different genres: opinion pieces, informative texts, narratives and poetry.

Writers experience the writing process by rehearsing ideas orally and planning their writing. Students are encouraged to strengthen writing by revising and editing. Published writing is shared with classmates and community members in celebrations.

Students become familiar with IXL (Math) and Spelling City, MS Word, PowerPoint, internet research and other online programs, all of which support classroom reading, math and social studies curriculum.