Second grade at ACS is an exciting time of learning for children. Students are ready to grow in many areas of school life, including academically, emotionally, spiritually and socially. There is a higher level of independence learned in second grade. Reading is now used for gaining knowledge, as well as developed for a lifetime of reading enjoyment. Basic skills taught in first grade are expanded and enriched in every area. Students move on to higher levels of thinking, while using concrete and abstract thinking skills. Faith and their role as a disciple are developed to share in the lives of friends and family at home and at school.
Bible: The second grade Bible curriculum, with Christian Schools International, is focused on Walking With God and His People. The faith we seek to encourage in students involves learning with their head, their heart, and their hands. The stories involve the students in a way that they can learn and then apply it to their own lives. Bible memory verses are learned to enable students to share their love for Jesus with others.
Reading: We will be using the Daily 5 reading workshop framework. This model fosters literacy independence in the elementary grades. Skills are taught and practiced until behaviors become habits. Daily 5 fosters community, builds stamina, and enables teachers to monitor progress with each child. Students encourage each other in their reading. The Daily 5 workshop is a student-driven management structure designed to fully engage students in reading and writing. We will also begin to use chapter books to form reading groups to instruct and challenge students. All of the experiences help children to develop a true love for reading. In all of our reading experiences, we strive to see God in the people, places and events we come in contact with. God’s love and power is evident in each and every story.
Writing Workshop: We use writers workshop as our model for our writing time. This model provides direct instruction through mini-lessons teaching skills and strategies. Then the students get to write! Teachers confer with students individually and in small groups. The students practice writing techniques and strategies before using them in a draft. Students revise, edit and publish at least once per unit. Assessment is not limited to the final published piece. Students are taught to write, not create a “perfect” piece. Good writing is about making decisions about meaning.
Spelling: Our spelling curriculum is called Words Their Way. This is a word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction. Student’s learning of phonics, spelling, and vocabulary is based on each child’s developmental or instructional level. Students learn their way—building from what is known about words to what is new. Word study encourages active exploration and examination of word features that are within a student’s stage of literacy development. Spelling inventories are given to the students to obtain a general picture of their development. The students are then grouped according to their needed instruction. The students will also be learning to spell and recognize basic sight words important for reading and writing.
Math: Math Expressions, from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is a comprehensive mathematics curriculum that offers new ways to learn mathematics. Instruction implements state standards as well as the best of traditional approaches. We use objects, drawings, conceptual language, and real-world situations to help students “do” math that makes sense to them. Additionally, specific support for intervention is provided for every lesson, as well as differentiated learning to support classroom needs. While learning various math concepts, children will better understand the way that God designed the universe. They will come to see their Creator as a God of order and precision. Second grade concentrates on addition and subtraction, measurement and shapes, story problems, time, and geometry. Homework and memory activities are included in daily practice to involve interaction with parents and children and math experiences.
Handwriting: In second grade, we use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. The first semester is spent reviewing the printing style of writing, with the second semester beginning to focus on learning the lowercase cursive alphabet.
Social Studies: The Social Studies curriculum in second grade is based on the theme, Local Communities, developed by the Michigan Citizenship Curriculum Collaborative. The curriculum addresses concepts in geography, history, government, and economy through the lens of the local community. Students examine what a community is, how citizens live and work together in community, how communities change over time, and the role of citizens in a community. Activities include literature use, hands-on experiences, partner observations, and local community activities. The students see how God has worked throughout history, and how Christians are called to make a difference in their communities.
Science: ACS uses FOSS Science units in elementary grades. “FOSS Next Generation puts the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into practice by integrating all three dimensions: the Disciplinary Core Ideas, the Science and Engineering Practices, and the Crosscutting Concepts, all within our classroom-proven tools and strategies to engage students and teachers in enduring experiences (hands on!) that lead to deeper understanding of the natural and designed world. FOSS engages all students with meaningful active learning experiences, prepares all students to succeed with the NGSS performance expectations, integrates robust reading and literacy strategies to support the ELA standards for all students, and utilizes technology to deliver learning experiences and provide teachers with excellent management resources.” (FOSS website) Teachers will focus on how great our God is and how His hand is the true guide and science is study of God’s handiwork.
Physical Education: Second grade students receive two one-half hours of PE instruction each week. Students are learning to understand the role their heart and other muscles play in physical activity. They know the importance of keeping active and use many different activities and games to try and achieve mature form in loco-motor movement and basic manipulative skills.
Art: Second grade students receive forty-five minutes of art instruction each week. In second grade students continue to explore and experiment with different art mediums while continuing to study the Elements of Art.
Music: Second grade students receive two-one half hour classes of music instruction each week. The mission of the music program at Allendale Christian School is to allow students to discover and develop the musical gifts that God has given them through an appreciation of, enjoyment of, and success in music. Through movement activities, composition, improvisation, singing, and the use of instruments, second graders will develop the following musical skills: performing with a steady beat, reading basic rhythms, matching pitch, reading melodic patterns, and performing harmonies as a class.
Computers and Technology: Second grade students receive two one-half hour sessions of computer instruction each week. Students learn more advanced skills in the Microsoft applications. They also build on classroom learning by doing research using World Book Online Encyclopedia. Websites, paint programs, and Microsoft applications are used to reinforce classroom instruction and show creativity and problem solving.