Teachers: Kathy Oldenburg, Julie Chudada
Second Grade at DRLS: The education the children receive in second grade at Divine Redeemer Lutheran School has at its core the belief that each child is created by God the Father to accomplish His plans throughout the life of each individual. Therefore, we know that ALL children are capable of learning and growing in their knowledge of this world, as well as developing an understanding of themselves and what they can contribute to this world as God’s precious children. Since our Lord created each child to fulfill a unique plan, it therefore follows that among these children there will be varied personalities, learning styles, and interests. As the teachers of second grade, we strive to provide a safe, caring, and stimulating environment where this learning can take place. Lessons are taught with a variety of approaches to embrace the many learning styles within the classroom. Total participation techniques are used throughout the day within lessons so that all the students are actively engaged. We believe it is critical for each child to be treated with respect and with a loving firmness when needed. This, in turn, presents an example as to how they should treat one another. Each child is God’s very own, and it is our prayer that He uses us as His instruments to teach His children in the way they should go.
1) There are some very special units the children enjoy in second grade. In the fall, our study of the Native Americans is always a favorite. Through videos, crafts, and discussions, we learn all about the way these amazing people adapted to their environment to survive and thrive. We even taste some of the most popular foods from the four regions we study.
The winter season brings the joy of the birth of our Savior. The second graders study the Christmas traditions of five different countries. We enjoy participating in some of the activities that are unique to each country. This includes having our very own Swedish St. Lucia Day parade, getting in costumes for our Mexican posada, receiving visits from Befana of Italy and from Pere Noel of France, tasting some special Christmas treats of each country, making our very own yule logs, and more!! Most importantly, although the traditions are different, we see how children all over the world hear the same true story of the birth of our Savior. Spring is the season for new life, and in second grade that includes raising our own butterflies. Each child receives a caterpillar to observe. We watch as it goes through complete metamorphosis and becomes a beautiful butterfly. The children learn all about the anatomy and behaviors of these miraculous creatures. The unit ends with a butterfly release.
2) Field trips can vary from year to year. During recent years our trips have included attending one or two plays, Lake Geneva Animal Gardens, Maple Sugaring, Old World Wisconsin, and the Milwaukee Public Museum.
3) ~Bible Study – Our curriculum begins with God’s creation of the world and takes the children through all the major events of the Old Testament. By mid-year we enter the New Testament and see the Old Testament prophesies and promises fulfilled through the birth of our Savior Jesus. We follow His life and ministry to His death and resurrection. We close the year by studying the Apostle Paul’s ministry and the formation of the early Christian church.
Each year, the second graders also present a musical chapel service to the student body. This service focuses on a specific area of faith development.
~Reading – The reading program in second grade is very diverse. Every effort is made to cover all skills and strategies appropriate for the second grade level. Phonics skills which were learned in first grade are reviewed and mastered. Strategies including vocabulary development, characterization, story elements, referencing the text, genre recognition, and many others are introduced. In addition to the basal series, four trade books are also included in this curriculum. Comprehension is stressed throughout the year with each basal literature selection and each trade book. (Text: Houghton/Mifflin Harcourt Journeys enhanced with supplemental trade books)
~English – To support our reading and writing, we have a separate English curriculum that covers parts of speech and proper grammar and usage. Mechanics such as capitalization, abbreviations, punctuation, and sentence building are taught and practiced. Composition skills are also stressed in various creative ways. (Text: McGraw-Hill Language Arts)
~Spelling – Through the second grade spelling program students become more accomplished spellers and develop their vocabulary. Word lists are organized so students can see the relationships among words, learn frequently used spelling patterns, and become familiar with common spelling rules. With daily practice, regular testing, and writing, the children become more proficient spellers. (Text: Zaner-Bloser Spelling Connections)
~Math – The math program in second grade enables all the children to develop a solid foundation in the language and the basic concepts of all areas of mathematics. Basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts are drilled daily. The math concepts are integrated and regularly reinforced throughout the year rather than taught in isolated units. Through the use of manipulatives, practice, homework, and assessments the children are introduced to and master many math concepts and skills including the counting of money, time-telling, addition and subtraction with regrouping, patterning, counting and skip counting, graphing, measuring, estimating, mental computation, problem solving, exposure to geometry and algebra, math application to daily life, and more. (Saxon Math – third grade level)
~Social Studies – The second grade social studies text covers units focusing on communities, history, our government, our Earth, different cultures, and economics. Two major teacher created units are also taught – “Native Americans” and “Christmas Around
the World”. Various skills are taught within these units as well, including graphing and map-reading skills. (Text: Macmillan/McGraw-Hill People and Places)
~Science: The second grade science curriculum is teacher-created and exceeds all required standards. The units include studies of plants, animals, human body, space, weather, and butterflies. A STEM unit on matter is also an important part our curriculum.
4) The second grade classroom is equipped with Ipads which are often used for Accelerated Reading testing and other skill-building activities. Our classrooms are equipped with a Promethean boards as well, which gives us access to a variety of visuals and participation activities that stimulate and engage the students.
5) Second graders grow in other areas of learning through our “specials” programs. Physical education, art, Spanish, music, and choir are all learning experiences taught by teachers who are trained in those specific subject areas.
6) Electives and Choices - n/a
7) Extra-curriculars - n/a
8) Lunch for the second graders is at 11:50.
9) The second grade enjoys two outdoor (weather permitting) recesses – one follows the lunch period, and the other is at the end of the school day. Both are approximately 25 minutes long.