Social Studies

    There are five essential questions that are part of our second grade social studies program:  What does citizenship mean?  How does geography impact the life of a people?  How do people support a community:  How does history influence the people?  What are the lessons that can be learned from current events?Second graders will learn about communities and ancestors. They will also learn about our country: American symbols, patriotism and good citizenship, and customs and traditions of our diverse country.  Throughout the year they will also learn about the geography of our world and about careers. Our Scholastic News subscription helps make connections to current events. Our Second Step program helps children develop and practice social skills and problem solving strategies that the children can use in school, at home, and in their community. For more information about the elementary-level social studies program, click here.




    Math is ‘everywhere’ and Council Rock School District’s mathematical goal is to create a positive awareness and understanding of numbers and their relationship to problem solving and critical thinking.  Number sense is a key ingredient for all students to grow mathematically and gain confidence in their ability to analyze and solve problems. 


    In addition, children will be encouraged to use the proper mathematical vocabulary when writing or discussing mathematical concepts and process.  These words will be introduced throughout the year as part of  math literacy’  and  number sense’ development.


    A great way to engage your child at home is to visit the enVision Math. You can log on to review our day's lesson or study a topic, explore enVision games, quizzes, homework differentiation and interactive videos!  Also, visit Council Rock’s Math Moments/ Untangling the Mathematical Web Math Moments found at the district’s website for more math resources.   
    It is very important for second graders to be proficient with basic addition and subtraction math facts. By the end of the year, students will be expected to master the basic addition and subtraction facts to 20. 
      They will practice solving the facts quickly and accurately, which will help them when we begin more challenging math.  Ongoing reinforcement and review at home using flash cards and studying the following fact strategies will equip each child with the necessary tools to achieve ‘computational fluency’.
    •  Turn around facts
    •  Doubles & doubles plus one
    •  Finding 10
    •  Counting on & counting back
    •  Adding & Subtracting zero
    •  Related facts
    •  Making 10 when adding 6, 7, 8


    Language Arts


    Language Arts Program: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys

    Journeys is a language arts program designed to meet the diverse needs of all students.  Phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, fluency, reading comprehension, and writing are skills children will learn and develop through using this balanced literacy approach. 


    Some of the different types of reading instruction will include

     - Read aloud - the teacher reads to the students exposing them to various types of literature and develop reading strategies.

    -Shared reading - children participate in reading with the teacher and classmates and learn critical concepts of how print works.

    -Guided reading - students are reading independently at their instructional level while discussion is facilitated by the teacher.

    -Independent reading – student  read “good fit” books by themselves



    The students will be given a spelling list with each new reading unit.   The spelling words are based on phonetic word patterns taught in conjunction with the reading selections.  Our goal is to have children learn and apply various word patterns when they read and write.  Numerous activities will be done in the classroom to support the understanding of these word patterns. The lists will be sent home for your reference so you may practice the words at home as well. 



    The children are involved in many writing projects.  They are using their writing rubric to help them develop quality writing pieces. Second graders explore their own ideas for writing, but they also learn writing skills by exploring the style of a variety of published authors. 


    Correct letter formation and neatness are stressed.  Cursive handwriting will be introduced during the second semester.



    Second grade has three science kits this year:  Insects, Solids and Liquids, and Balancing and Weighing.  The children are sure to enjoy the hands-on activities included with each kit. For more information about the elementary-level science program, click here and follow the elementary link provided.


    Responsive Classroom
    From the Responsive Classroom website, www.responsiveclassroom.org
    The Responsive Classroom is an approach to elementary teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The goal is to enable optimal student learning.  Created by classroom teachers and backed by evidence from independent research, the Responsive Classroom approach is based on the premise that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills. The approach therefore consists of classroom and schoolwide practices for deliberately helping children build academic and social-emotional competencies.

    Guiding Principles
    Seven principles, informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers, guide the Responsive Classroom approach:
    • The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
    • How children learn is as important as what they learn: Process and content go hand in hand.
    • The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
    • To be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
    • Knowing the children we teach-individually, culturally, and developmentally-is as important as knowing the content we teach.
    • Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children's education.
    • How the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community.

    Since 1981, thousands of classroom teachers and hundreds of schools and school districts have used the Responsive Classroom approach to help create learning environments where children thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. In urban, rural, and suburban settings nationwide, educators using Responsive Classroom practices report increases in student learning, motivation, and responsibility, and decreases in problem behaviors. Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, is the developer of the Responsive Classroom approach and offers professional development services and publications for educators.


    Classroom Practices
    At the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach are ten classroom practices:
    • Morning Meeting - gathering as a whole class each morning to greet one another, share news, and warm up for the day ahead
    • Rule Creation - helping students create classroom rules to ensure an environment that allows all class members to meet their learning goals
    • Interactive Modeling - teaching children to notice and internalize expected behaviors through a unique modeling technique
    • Positive Teacher Language - using words and tone as a tool to promote children's active learning, sense of community, and self-discipline
    • Logical Consequences - responding to misbehavior in a way that allows children to fix and learn from their mistakes while preserving their dignity
    • Guided Discovery - introducing classroom materials using a format that encourages independence, creativity, and responsibility
    • Academic Choice - increasing student learning by allowing students teacher-structured choices in their work
    • Classroom Organization - setting up the physical room in ways that encourage students' independence, cooperation, and productivity
    • Working with Families - creating avenues for hearing parents' insights and helping them understand the school's teaching approaches
    • Collaborative Problem Solving - using conferencing, role playing, and other strategies to resolve problems with students
    Schoolwide Practices
    School implementing the  Responsive Classroom approach schoolwide typically adopt the following practices:
    • Aligning policies and procedures with Responsive Classroom philosophy - making sure everything from the lunch routine to the discipline policy enhances the self-management skills that children are learning through the Responsive Classroom approach
    • Allocating resources to support Responsive Classroom implementation -using time, money, space, and personnel to support staff in learning and using the Responsive Classroom approach
    • Planning all-school activities to build a sense of community - giving all of the school's children and staff opportunities to learn about and from each other through activities such as all-school meetings, cross-age recess or lunch, buddy classrooms, and cross-age book clubs
    • Welcoming families and the community as partners - involving family and community members in the children's education by maintaining two-way communication, inviting parents and others to visit and volunteer, and offering family activities
    • Organizing the physical environment to set a tone of learning - making sure, for example, that schoolwide rules are posted prominently, displays emphasize student work, and all school spaces are welcoming, clean, and orderly