GILMOUR ACADEMY LOWER SCHOOL C U R R I C U L U M S P E C T RU M SECOND GRADE
Educating the Mind and Heart Gilmour Academy 34001 Cedar Road Gates Mills, Ohio 44040 (440) 473-8160 PHONE (440) 473-8157 FAX
Brother Robert Lavelle, C.S.C. Headmaster Dr. Monica M. Veto Director of Lower School and Montessori Preschool Program
MATH To begin the school year, students learn new concepts and review previous ones through the graphing unit. They interpret and construct various graphs through independent work and team-building activities. Students work with money and coin combinations. To further understand the concept of money, they use real-world applications such as menus, newspaper ads, and catalogs. These resources integrate addition skills with regrouping, subtraction with borrowing, and researching prices and meal menu values. Towards the end of the school year, we begin our study of multiplication. The students understand the concept of multiplication through visual representations, arrays, and hands-on exploration. They then concentrate on fact families specifically examining patterns found in the different fact families. With the study of probability, they learn how cueing words affect the meaning of sentences.
SCIENCE The students begin the year by classifying and organizing data and materials. They also study plant life and the necessary condition for plants to survive. The class dissects lima bean seeds and is required to locate parts and describe their functions. Students also spend time working with leaves during the fall sorting and classifying leaves, making detailed descriptions, and exploring the reasons leaves change color. Students use their observational skills to categorize different types of habitats and examine environmental concerns such as conservation and recycling, and ways to protect different habitats through public awareness. Second graders study different animals in various habitats and conclude the year studying dinosaurs, categorizing them according to differences and similarities in size, defenses, and diet.
Megan Marrie Director of Lower School Admissions (440) 473-8165
LANGUAGE ARTS Second graders are immersed in a language and literature-rich curriculum that encourages children to take chances and motivates them to continue to practice and refine their skills. One of the primary goals of the program is to stimulate interest in books and to foster a love of reading. Students are introduced to an array of literary genres while learning the characteristics that differentiate them. Through these sources, they learn to extract information, both explicit and implied; to predict reasonable conclusions; and to organize and summarize a sequence of events. They develop their own reading skills through direct instruction, silent reading, and reading in small groups or literature circles. Students continue to learn the fundamental rules of phonics and their application to spelling, reading, and writing. Phonemic awareness and word recognition is reinforced. Students utilize the dictionary and thesaurus as they expand spelling and vocabulary and become familiar with synonyms, antonyms, and homophones. Lessons are based on the premise that students can be educated in the strategies that support them in understanding written text and the dynamics involved in applying these skills to meaningful text. We continue to employ the Six Trait + 1 writing program as a common language and tool for revision. The Six Trait + 1 writing program consists of ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, conventions plus presentation and is used throughout the year to develop writing skills. Composition work includes response writing to literary selections, a given topic or situation, and various types of poetry. Sentence organization and word choice are areas of application. Emphasis is placed on proper punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling. Students utilize print and nonprint sources to complete guided research to acquire specific information on a topic.
LOWER SCHOOL CURRICULUM SPECTRUM • SECOND GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES Social studies is integrated in our reading and writing workshops. The purpose of the curriculum is to introduce the concept of communities, which is defined as a collection of families and individuals who work, live, and play in a particular region. Students learn to compare the different local communities they learned in grade 1 with others throughout the United States and the world. The goal is to develop a profound, rich network of understandings interrelated to the world. Students read and study about the shapers of America. We examine the rights and responsibilities of individuals in relation to social groups. In our readings, we stress the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups. The function of rules and the purpose of self-direction in tasks within a school community are emphasized. Students are encouraged to make comparisons, use analytic and critical thinking skills, and to nurture good citizenship and respect for others. They gain knowledge that individual and collective action can make a difference in the lives of others and in the existence of their community. They study significant U.S. landmarks and symbols, and scrutinize how symbols articulate the ideas of freedom and liberty. Students discover the different ways in which citizens get involved with their government, how we elect our leaders, and the changes our country has endured over the last 200 years. They research a famous American and show the individual’s importance to our country’s history. In our map studies, they learn about a multitude of symbols, map keys and legends, the world’s continents and oceans, and the different types of land formations.
MUSIC Second graders become familiar with music notes on the treble and bass clefs in the “C” position playing CDEFG on the keyboard, using both hands, and reading notation. They examine reading rhythms using quarter, eighth, half, and whole notes and corresponding rests in 2/4 and 4/4 meters. They sing alone and with others, producing a light, clear sound while focusing and developing appropriate singing posture. Students are taught to sing rounds and two-part harmony. They produce two musical plays to build confidence, practice projecting their voices, learn songs, and integrate choreography. They also learn to wait patiently while others are speaking and to respect and cooperate with each other.
ART The year centers on achieving a basic understanding of the role and practice of formal composition and the ways in which the elements of design are arranged within every kind of visual to communicate meaning and elicit emotional response. In addition to learning the theory and technique
of composing imagery and applying it to their own work, students consider the basic science of color and its role in the visual arts. This focus not only provides an understanding of an important and exciting facet of artistic production, it illustrates how to use a specific element and how it is employed by visual artists. This provides an exciting basis for hands-on exploration of a general theme.
RELIGION Students examine the practice of prayer and the life and teachings of Jesus as a means to broaden their relationship with God and deepen their spirituality. They also explore the concept of celebrating one’s faith by studying the Sacraments, culminating with preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist and receiving these Sacraments. Throughout the year, students experience the meaning and importance of the different Liturgical seasons through daily prayer, reflective thinking, and celebration of the Liturgy. The different ways other classmates celebrate their faith practices is an important part of discussions as our children prepare for the Sacraments.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION In grades 1 and 2, students participate in four 30-minute periods plus two 25-minute recess exercise periods each week where they engage in team games and physical activities, and in one 90-minute physical education class weekly. Phys Ed rotates among sports, strength and conditioning exercises, swimming, and ice skating each for one quarter during the school year. Students develop skills in volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, lacrosse, T-ball, and baseball. In their strength and conditioning program, students work at stations using equipment such as run out bands, rock and flex, and others. These activities improve agility, speed, endurance, balance, hand-eye coordination, and upper and lower body strength. Their progress is documented and analyzed. The objective of the ice skating unit is to teach students fundamental movement skills on skates to improve balance and technique, so they will enjoy skating and incorporate it into a lifelong activity. They learn edge control; to stand and sit on the ice; and to move forward, glide, and come to a snowplow stop. At the end of the skating unit, students complete a short program that encourages creativity, self-expression, and skill performance. In swimming, students work toward feeling safe and comfortable in the water, build endurance, and gain an understanding of water safety. They learn to kick, with or without flotation aids, for one length of the pool; swim underwater for five yards; float on their stomachs and backs; and change direction and position as they swim.