Programs
Academic

Second Grade

About Second Grade

Second grade at Open Window School intentionally builds on students’ emerging sense of self and connects the individual to the larger community. Second graders continue to build a strong classroom community through various activities and structures, including a daily morning meeting. Moving beyond the classroom, second graders also learn about their larger community, culminating in the creation of a fictional community where each student takes on the role of a community member. Continuing to expand students’ understanding and empathy, second graders also create a toy company, designing and building custom toys for their kindergarten buddies. Through processes like these, students not only learn the design process through an authentic project, but they also deepen their ability to listen to others and understand their needs. Second graders continue to develop autonomy and self-reliance as they learn to recognize when they need help and when they can accomplish tasks on their own. As with all grades at Open Window, second grade provides an intentional, age-appropriate learning progression that focuses on social and emotional learning and development. 

List of 5 items.

  • Language Arts

    As a part of Open Window School's program, the reading curriculum is accelerated by one year. As second graders working a year ahead, students continue to focus on the reading comprehension strategies which research shows good readers use to make sense of texts. During second grade, students are formally taught or informally experience using their schema and making connections, visualizing, wondering, and questioning, using text features, making inferences, determining important ideas, analyzing text structures, summarizing, and synthesizing. They explore and practice these strategies at an appropriate level of complexity, both in terms of the reading level of the texts and the types of problems and dilemmas dealt with in the texts. This happens both through shared text that is read as a class and through individualized daily reading. Students also responded to literature through writing, art, and small group discussions.
     
    In writing, students review writing complete sentences with a subject and predicate. Other grammar lessons include end punctuation and the rules for using capital letters within sentences. Second graders write personal narratives in journals, craft creative stories, and use the writing process to publish paragraphs on a single topic. Weekly word study lessons consist of phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction. Students learn how to break apart word patterns and features to help with reading and understanding more difficult words.

    As students work together, they develop caring and respectful relationships, creating a safe and supportive classroom community conducive to sharing their thinking. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and to be aware of the effect of their behavior on others. Throughout the year, students think about and act on five areas: responsibility, respect, caring, fairness, and helpfulness. Additionally, students explore other values that arise in shared texts such as courage, perseverance, gratitude, and compassion. The social skills students learn as a part of the language arts instruction help them to act on these values intentionally.
  • Math

    As a part of Open Window School's program, the math curriculum is accelerated by one year. As second graders working a year ahead, students' mathematical thinking and reasoning abilities are developed through appropriately leveled problems and investigations in the areas of number, operations, algebraic thinking, measurement, data, and geometry. Some of these problems and investigations grow out of ventures into everyday life—reading stories, playing games, drawing pictures, building structures, making collections, and conducting simple hands-on science experiments—while others delve more deeply into the world of mathematics itself. Students are encouraged to explore, develop, test, discuss, and apply ideas: to see mathematics as something fluid, vibrant, creative, and relevant.
     
    This year, students focus intensively on four critical areas of mathematics: 1) developing an understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100; 2) developing an understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with 1 as the numerator); 3) developing an understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of the area; 4) describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.
  • Science

    Second graders work collaboratively in teams to plan and conduct investigations. Learning how to make keen observations and construct an argument with evidence to support a claim, are examples of skills that are taught and practiced. The topics of magnetism and electricity, rocks and minerals, and taxonomy, are used to plan and conduct investigations and to develop models to represent patterns in the real world. These topics are integrated with homeroom projects and activities.
     
    Devoted strictly to kindergarten through fourth grade learners, the Open Window Lower School Science Lab offers inquiry based, hands-on experiences for young students. Capitalizing on the natural curiosity and zeal for learning of gifted students, the lower school science curriculum develops not only a solid foundation of science skills but a passion for all things scientific. Scientific investigations cover four domains over the course of kindergarten through fourth grade: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and applications of science.
  • Social Studies

    The focus of second-grade social studies is communities. Teachers use a story-based approach to social studies instruction. Setting, characters, and plot organize the social studies lessons into meaningful and memorable learning experiences. The story structure enables students to become active participants in a problem-based situation resulting in deep involvement and creative exploration of social studies concepts. History, civics, geography, economics, and citizenship are recurring strands throughout the year-long study of communities. Second graders also learn about the history of Open Window School and the surrounding community. 
  • Spanish

    The Lower School’s exploratory Spanish program aims to inspire an early passion for learning language. It introduces students to important vocabulary and fosters awareness and appreciation of Spanish-speaking cultures with authentic stories, songs, and games. The curriculum includes themes that relate to students and their surroundings, reflecting their needs, interests, and everyday life and provides the opportunity for students to begin developing the speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills necessary to communicate confidently and proficiently in Spanish.

    In second grade Spanish, students strengthen and expand their language skills as they engage in thematic units related to nature, community places, and traditional toys and games. The primary focuses are on understanding, speaking, and reading as students become more familiar with Spanish letter sounds.

Second Grade Teachers

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Laura Hange

    Laura Hange 

    2nd Grade Teacher
  • Photo of Jenna Spadoni

    Jenna Spadoni 

    2nd Grade Teacher
  • Photo of Caitlin Ambler

    Caitlin Ambler 

    Associate Teacher, 2nd Grade
  • Photo of Kyle Hicks

    Kyle Hicks 

    Associate Teacher, 2nd Grade
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.