Second graders are well on their way to becoming driven readers, researchers, and independent thinkers. They build critical reading comprehension and mathematics skills, conduct research, and write chapter books on topics of passion and new expertise!
Judaic Studies are seamlessly integrated into our second graders’ days. With time for tefillah in the morning, brachot before meals, and joyous school-wide holiday celebrations, second graders learn the importance and beauty of their Jewish identity and heritage. As they explore the parasha of the week through a variety of exciting multimedia activities and gain fluency in Hebrew, they excitedly bring their studies home to their families – and proudly take their place in our Jewish community.
During small group learning sessions guided by attentive teachers, second graders become voracious readers.
In guided reading groups and teacher-facilitated read alouds, students interact with dozens of fiction and nonfiction texts, building on the skills they developed in first grade to improve their reading fluency and comprehension. Teachers focus on fluency, decoding, and comprehension during small group instruction. In these groups, students learn to analyze texts and express well-developed thoughts about a story’s characters and their feelings, thoughts, and actions, as well as a story’s plot and setting. In whole class discussions, students learn to employ text-based evidence to support their thinking.
Building on their fluency and decoding skills, students continue to engage in systematic phonics instruction through Fundations, a multisensory phonics, spelling, and handwriting program. As in first grade, we measure each student’s progress and guide our instruction by administering the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment several times a year. This helps us to carefully monitor student growth over time, making changes to instruction and groupings as needed. Our second graders benefit from NSHA’s exemplary Learning Lab and reading specialists as well.
In dynamic, engaging lessons, second graders deepen their understanding of addition and subtraction, and develop strategies for solving problems while articulating their mathematical thought process.
Second graders continue to build on their math skills, focusing on number sense to 1,000, two-digit and three-digit addition and subtraction, geometry, and fractions. They learn to tell time to five minutes; calculate elapsed time; and measure length in centimeters, meters, inches, and feet; and learn to identify and count U.S. currency.
Second graders learn to write for the real world as they explore a variety of genres and audiences. Guidance and feedback from teachers on their writing craft and mechanics help each student progress and develop a strong creative voice.
Our students begin the year by studying mentor texts for author’s craft moves – like cliff-hangers, comparisons, flashbacks, personification, foreshadowing, and more – and writing personal narratives using the moves they have identified. Next, students pivot to informational writing, where they pen chapter books on a topic in which they are well versed. Following this unit, students learn to write about their reading. They write letters to recommend books to their friends and book nominations, and share their thoughts and opinions about books they’ve read. Students finish the year by returning to informational writing – this time by researching an animal and creating a nonfiction book about this animal, incorporating everything they know about the genre and its features into their writing.
Second graders continue their exploration of the Hebrew language using iTalam’s interactive platform to broaden their vocabulary and their grammar fluency. The introduction of Biblical Hebrew adds a new layer of complexity to students’ appreciation and comprehension of the Hebrew language.
The iTalam library books allow students to master entire books that they share with their families at home. Teachers from our Hebrew Learning Lab work with students in small groups of two to three with those who want and need extra support.
Chumash and Parashat HaShavua
Using a variety of engaging multimedia materials, students begin their study of the parashiyot of Sefer Bereshit, focusing on Bereshit, Noach, and Lech Lecha. Students review the weekly parasha using a variety of materials, including iTalam. Each Shabbat, they are eager to share their new knowledge of the parasha with their families. This excitement enhances their appreciation of Torah and its lessons.
Shabbat & Chagim
iTalam’s Shabbat Shalom and Chaggim Sheli veShelanu books deepen students’ knowledge of Shabbat and our annual holidays.
Books cover topics and vocabulary that include preparing for Shabbat, Erev Shabbat, the day of Shabbat, and Havdalah. Students learn about each chag in advance of the holiday through hands-on activities facilitated by our student programming team and our Bnei Akiva Shlichot. They share their diverse cultures and customs with one another, learning about and contributing to the beautiful mosaic of culture that is NSHA.
Second graders deepen their relationship with modern and historical Israel, its people, and its customs through iTalam’s virtual tours. The presence of our Bnei Akiva Shlichot adds to our students’ understanding and appreciation of Medinat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael, as students experience a variety of informal activities throughout the year. Our love for Israel culminates each year with a full day celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut typically led by our Shlichot and has included events such as visits to different cities in Israel, a NSHA shuk, IDF bootcamp relay races, chagigot, daglanut, special performances, BBQ and more.
One of the highlights of second grade is the Chumash Celebration, during which each student receives a personalized Chumash Bereshit for their use in school and at home, inscribed with a message from their parents. The Chagigat HaChumash represents the beginning of our students journey becoming scholars of the Judaic texts which form the foundation of their heritage.
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