Second Grade Curriculum
The Judaic Studies program at The Hebrew Academy fosters excitement, love and security in the child’s identity as a Jew. It provides for the required skills, understanding and knowledge of how and why to live as a productive Jewish citizen in our society.
In order to strive towards these objectives, the curriculum is designed with specifications tailored and individualized for The Hebrew Academystudents. The detailed comprehensive curriculum is revised and updated each year to meet current needs, the advancement and growth of individual classes, and the unique strengths of its teachers.
The following represents a summary outline of the Judaic Studies curricula for Second Grade.
Chumash in the second grade begins with thejourney of Avraham to the Land of Israel in Parshas Lech Lecho, continues with the passing of Sarah and marriage of Yitzchak and Rivkah in Chayei Sarah, and the founding of the Twelve Tribes through Yaakov in Toldot. The stories of our forefathers represent the religious and cultural foundations of our people. They vividly demonstrate our ancestral heritage of Jewish values and our ancient bond to the Land of Israel.
Intensive study will begin with the portion of Lech Lecho, and continue through, Chaye Sarah and Toldot. They will learn to read and translate form the Chumash text and will develop an understanding and appreciation of our Torah and the values it teaches. Students will master (through use, review and reinforcement) the most frequently used words from the text. A particular emphasis is placed on the understanding of roots words and thre most common prefixes and suffixes. They will thus build a base of Chumash vocabulary that they will use as they continue to study Chumash.
The focus in the study of Chumash will be on the values taught by the Torah, knowledge of the P’sukim (verses) in their original Hebrew, the events and practices that make us a “Jewish People”, and our ties to the land of our forefathers.
Spoken Hebrew continues to be taught in Second Grade by natural methods. Children are exposed to the language as spoken by the teacher. They are expected to follow the teacher’s instructions, which are given in Hebrew. They learn to respond, request and inquire in Hebrew. From the very first days of the school year, classroom management and routines are conducted in Hebrew.
Class begins each day with a Hebrew conversation of a social nature. The children use the vocabulary, phraseology and sentences they had previously learned. They are regularly introduced to new vocabulary and forms, which they will continue to reinforce in their daily dialogues. The Yonai series, Sha-ah Shel Menuchah, and teacher created materials are used for language instruction.
Hebrew language will be studied with an emphasis on comprehension (oral and written) and conversation. Students will read and understand simple stories. Questions and answers about these stories will be in Hebrew, encouraging the students to use their growing base of vocabulary. Short compositions and stories will be assigned thus giving students the opportunity to use the grammar and vocabulary they are learning. Hebrew will be taught as a modern, living language with connections made to the Biblical Hebrew of our Chumash study.
Children will continue to learn that values are essential to Judaism. They will learn that sacred to the Jewish faith are such things as caring for and helping one another, sensitivity towards others, respect for parents and elders, and the importance of sharing our blessings with those in need.
Previously learned traditions and practices will be reviewed in second grade. Some will be studied in greater depth and new ideas, customs, and concepts will be introduced. Knowledge of the holidays and routine Jewish customs and traditions will be reinforced. Many of the traditions and customs discussed with the children will be rehearsed and practiced in the classroom.
For each holiday students will learn why we celebrate the holiday and how we celebrate the holiday. The prayers associated with each holiday will be practiced in class and recited in our daily Tefilla. The story, important personalities and foods associated with each holiday will be reviewed and discussed in class. Students will gain a deeper appreciation for our holidays and understanding of Jewish calendar and the cycle of the Jewish year.
Jewish Social Studies:
Learning about the Jewish People is designed to stimulate the children to want to know more about their identity as Jews. The children will listen to stories told about our heroes, past and present. They will role-play and dramatize some of the exciting events and narratives. They will learn to identify with our heroes as part of our greater Jewish family.
The portion of the week will be introduced each week on Monday. Students will learn the major highlights of each week’s Parsha. They will be able to identify the major personalities, locations and mitzvoth of each Parsha. Packets with highlights of the Parsha, questions and answers will be distributed and reviewed each week.
Hebrew is a phonetic language. In Second grade, therefore, there is a continued emphasis on mechanical decoding. This does not preclude the reinforcement of sight word recognition. As phonetics is important to correct pronunciation, so is sight word recognition important to fluency. Both complement each other in learning to read.
The children will read for comprehension and for recitation. They will use the Siddur, language texts and Hebrew language materials.
In grade two students daven together each morning. The Tefilla period is kept short in order to maintain interest and enthusiasm. Prayers introduced in Kindergarten and Grade one will be included with the addition of new prayers as they are discussed and practiced (for reading fluency) in class. Homework will include oral reading from the Siddur in order to enable students to maintain and build upon their level of reading fluency. Students will use their growing base of Hebrew vocabulary in order to understand the main ideas of the prayers they are reciting with their classmates each morning. Students will gain an appreciation for Tefilla. They will understand that our prayers are directed to Hashem and that our prayers include expressions of gratitude as well as requests. Holiday prayers will be included in our services several weeks prior to each holiday.
During the early part of the school year, the second graders will be doing numerous exercises to reinforce their writing skills. At this stage the focus will be on correct script and neatness. These qualities will then be expected throughout the school year.
Central to Hebrew language writing will be the ability to communicate; forming simple and then more complex sentences, combining sentences and telling a story. Telling about oneself, relating experiences and imaginative events, and creating a story after viewing a picture will practice creative writing in Hebrew.
Welcome to Second Grade! It will be a year filled with exciting and engaging activities that make learning fun. Our goal is to create an atmosphere where every child can experience challenge and success at their individual levels. Students in second grade learn to take responsibility for their learning as well as begin to demonstrate a greater level of independence as the year progresses.
In order to reach our goals of successful learning for each child, various strategies are implemented. Those activities are center based, technology based, cooperative, individualized, and hands-on.
For second graders the world of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, art and all the other formal parts of school are still very new. However, they have begun the journey. They are comfortable with how days are scheduled and have begun learning how to organize themselves, their belongings, and their work in school. The range of achievement in second grade is very broad, and this is entirely normal. Many can read, write and do mathematics, while others are struggling for fine motor control and the patience to sit still.
They often separate into boy-girl gatherings, but when prompted, they play and work happily across gender groups. They are still learning to work cooperatively and may often need encouragement, but second graders also enjoy sharing information and learning from others. These students are very concrete in their thinking, so they enjoy hands-on projects. They have a strong sense of justice, usually grounded in the idea of equal treatment, consequences or rewards. Second graders enjoy being part of their class and thrive on the feeling of belonging to a special group.
Basic art and design principles form the core of the second grade art program and provide second graders with enjoyable, hands-on, experiential ways to learn about art. They use many different media, including crayons, markers and construction paper. Student work is displayed often, and children are encouraged to use art in their classroom projects. When reading about nature, second graders make Nature Journals in the art room. They create calendars and work with scratch art to illustrate stories that they have read. The second graders also are involved in various art projects for Jewish and secular holidays.
Using computers is an important tool for learning for second graders. They come to the computer lab with their classroom teachers, and work with computer lab instructors. They learn problem solving, using "Thinking Things 2 & 3." and other programs. Word processing skills such as centering, changing fonts and saving are acquired through drawing and writing exercises.Students also have use of computers in their classroom.
The goals of the second grade language arts program are to have students develop strong writing, reading, spelling and listening skills, and to employ these skills with success and enjoyment. We teach phonics skills that apply to their reading and writing. We also use many modalities including visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile to support the learning process.
While immersed in a rich literature program our second graders use decoding strategies and phonics to develop reading fluency, and they use contextual clues to build vocabulary and overall understanding. They learn to re-read for comprehension, identify elements such as character, plot, conflict and resolution as parts of a story, and respond to questions through writing and discussion.
Students use singular and possessive nouns, verbs, and adjectives, as well as standard abbreviations like Dr. and Mrs. They learn to write sentences in logical order, to develop a topic, and begin writing in paragraph form. They create characters, write about personal experiences, check written work by reading it out loud, and practice revising and adding details.
They continue to learn spelling through theAddison Wesley's Everyday Spellingprogram as well as through their reading and writing activities. This program teaches children to use correct, conventional spelling, and includes phonetic and multi-sensory strategies, visual memory and saying words aloud.
Second graders are very concrete thinkers. They enjoy mathematics and its logical structure. They work with whole numbers, concepts and operations, such as place value to 1,000, reading and writing three-digit numbers, adding and subtracting with regrouping. By using coins they learn the basics of decimals. Also, we introduce division and multiplication facts.
Students work at pattern recognition, utilizing shape, size and color. This is an important skill that is applied in geometry. They also work at mathematical operations and problem solving. To develop their number sense, they practice estimating and doing mental math. Students examine relationships such as more than, equal to, less than, and they count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s and 100’s. Making and using bar graphs and working with money are also second grade skills.
Learning to use different types of measurement is important to second graders. Because they think concretely, it involves working with real objects. They use customary and non-standard units to measure and estimate length, weight and capacity. They use calendars and schedules and tell time to the quarter-hour. By writing a problem to match a number sentence, the second graders explore the beginning of what will become work in algebra.
Our goal is for second graders to become accurate, confident mathematicians who are able to use their newfound math skills in interesting ways.
The PE program for Grade Two encourages students to build healthy living habits, and stresses the importance of getting regular exercise. We teach good sportsmanship and honest effort as underlying values. The curriculum highlights mastery of many skills such as jumping, hopping, skipping and running. Eye-hand coordination is built using balls and lummi sticks. Strength, balance and flexibility are developed through gymnastics. Movement awareness is taught, including awareness of personal space, identifying boundaries, and exploring ranges such as high, low, far and near. Second graders enjoy their own growing sense of competence as well as cooperating with their classmates.
Science for second graders places equal emphasis on capturing their interest and exciting them about science, as well as giving them specific information or teaching scientific techniques. The children are encouraged to speculate, question and explore without being afraid to be wrong or slow. Students meet once a week with a science specialist in a science room. Frequent use is made of posters, scale models and scientific instruments such as magnifying glasses, microscopes and magnets. They develop the ability to sketch and record information at a beginning level. Observation skills continue to be strengthened, with concentration on local plants and birds.
Our students begin recording observations in a spiral notebook, the precursor to a laboratory notebook, in which they make written observations as well as sketches and drawings. Individual interests are encouraged through discussion and science show and tell. We introduce major topics through the year that may include astronomy, weather, acoustics, chemistry, simple machines and linguistics.
Second grade work in social studies focuses on understanding how people interact and depend upon each other. Study units are theme-based and integrate many skills. The units cover topics such as pets, nature, and friendship, and are coordinated with the reading program. When learning about reducing pollution, for example, second graders talk about the need in society for self- control, responsibility, respect and rules. They acquire map skills throughout the year, and they have a unit on Israel. They learn about travel, including a simulated airplane trip involving passports, tickets, packing, safety, and a two-week itinerary. We address citizenship through studying Jewish and American holidays, symbols, celebrations and participating in mitzvah projects.