Sierra School

sierra School

Second Grade Program

Second Grade Program – Second grade at Sierra is an exciting and productive year. Here at Sierra, we challenge the students’ abilities, and foster their curiosities while providing a fun and caring learning environment. By the end of the second grade each student will be writing in cursive, and using their strengthened phonics and decoding skills to improve their fluency in reading. They will know their basic addition and subtraction skills, begin multiplication, use time and money properly, and study fractions. Each student will be exposed to various enrichment activities such as art, music, Spanish, and physical education.

Language Arts (includes Reading, Spelling and Writing)

Our language arts program is a comprehensive, whole language approach to learning. On a regular basis, the individual needs of a student are stressed. The assessment results in an individual reading plan, as each student is unique. Students continue to develop phonetic awareness, decoding, comprehension skills and strategies, information and study skills, writing, grammar usage and mechanics, spelling, vocabulary, and speaking skills. They expand upon their knowledge of phonetic awareness and decoding by working with short and long vowels, consonant clusters and digraphs, vowel pairs, contractions, and base words with common endings. Their comprehension skills and strategies are developed by identifying story structure, predicting outcomes, making inferences, drawing conclusions, and making generalizations. Information and study skills are developed by learning to use diagrams and graphs, taking notes, and identifying the parts of the book. The students’ writing skills continue to be developed by more complex independent, shared, and coached writing activities. Grammar usage and mechanics are developed by understanding parts of a sentence, writing a paragraph, using exact nouns, understanding the difference between sentences, and combining sentences. Vocabulary and spelling are developed with the use of rhyming words and sentence writing. The students begin to develop their speaking skills by group discussions, retelling of stories, and giving presentations. The second grader will be exposed to an array of culturally diverse literature, poetry, and classic sayings and phrases. Instruction takes place on an individual, small group, and whole-class basis.


The second grade math student is a diverse learner with distinct learning modalities. Our individualized approach to learning helps to ensure that each student will progress at his or her ability level. Students continue to develop an understanding of numbers, mathematic operations, geometry, measurement, data analysis and probability, algebra, and mathematical processes through a multi-sensory approach of fact strategies, fractions, time, counting, place values, graphs, monetary transactions, measurement and probability, three-digit calculations, and beginning concepts of multiplication and division. They develop a positive attitude towards math by incorporating activities which introduce math concepts into their daily activities. If a student masters the concepts, he or she is encouraged to work ahead while being guided by the teacher. Our individualized instruction keeps the students focused, motivated, and proud of their own accomplishments.

Social Studies

Students continue to develop an understanding of citizenship, history, geography, economics, and culture through literature, illustrated narratives, activities and assessments. They expand their understanding of citizenship by appreciating different ways to resolve conflicts and make group decisions, as well as work in a group to complete a project. Their history knowledge is developed by identifying historic events and individuals and visual clues to locate an event in time. An understanding of geography is developed by identifying ways the Earth’s physical features change over time and use charts and graphs to collect and organize geographic information. Their understanding of economics is expanded by identifying goods and services, various forms of exchange, and classifies natural and human resources in a community. An understanding of culture is developed by identifying cultural unity and diversity and comparing traditions and customs between cultures.


Second grade students look forward to their science lessons and exciting experiments. Students continue to develop their understanding of physical and life sciences through the use of visual resources, literature, and teacher directed experiments. The students develop an understanding of life sciences by exploring plants, animals, earth’s land, air, water, weather and seasons, fossils and dinosaurs. They expand on their understanding of physical science by exploring the properties of matter, energy, forces and motion, and sound. They explore space and technology by understanding earth and space as well as technology in our world. Using the scientific method, the class performs science experiments, which develop conceptual understanding. The second grader learns a great deal and has fun through our small group instruction.


Enrichment activities bring balance to the curriculum and help students become well-rounded individuals. Children will sing songs both familiar and new to them to help develop their sense of pitch. Movement is also introduced to help children with coordination skills. Music and drama are great tools for helping children to build self-esteem. Students are exposed to the concepts of music, the family of instruments, the beginning written forms of music, and the components of the orchestra through practice and the continued exposure to important composers and musicians. Each month, students learn about a famous composer or musician, including artists such as, Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Johann Sebastian Bach. They continue to develop a positive attitude for music through the active participation of singing, clapping, rhythms, playing instruments, and listening to a wide range of music. Students also love to participate in the Sierra choir. Each semester students present a program for parents, friends, and teachers.

Visual Arts

In second grade, students continue to develop an appreciation for the fine arts. Painting, drawing, collage, and clay projects are examples of projects that provide students with opportunities to express their ideas and emotions. Students continue their exposure to the elements of making and appreciating art by developing their knowledge of the quality of the lines, shapes, forms, spaces, light, textures and colors of artwork through observations, discussion, and modeling of landscapes, abstract art and architecture. Artists and sculptures such as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, El Greco, Henri Rousseau, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and March Chagall are introduced.


We at Sierra are aware of the importance of knowing a second language. Therefore we have a dedicated Spanish teacher on staff. Students expand their understanding of Spanish and the Hispanic culture through speaking, grammar, writing, listening, reading, music, stories, videos, and games. They continue to develop an understanding and vocabulary which is expanded to include numbers through 100, basic math operations, telling time, introductions, starting and making conversations, asking questions, punctuation marks, the classroom, singular and plural nouns, colors, shapes and sizes, pets, animals, South American animals, the calendar, going places, and Hispanic holidays. Spanish instruction is twice a week for 45 minutes.

Physical Education (PE)

Students continue to develop an understanding of physical activity, team sports, and sportsmanship through a variety of individual and group activities, games and organized sports. The students develop coordination, grace and control along with a sense of fair play and cooperation. They are provided opportunities in planning, organizing and leading sports activities.


Students continue to develop their typing skills by utilizing the Disney Interactive Software, and reinforce their reading and math skills through the use of specific classroom software. In addition they develop an understanding of technology and it’s usefulness in the classroom through individual activities and programs.

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