Second grade is a wonderful year! It is often called "an extension" of the first grade year because it is a great opportunity for those who need more time to understand a concept. Many concepts will be revisited. It is also an opportunity for those who need challenges as they will be provided throughout the curriculum. My teaching philosophy is to help each child reach his/her full potential in a fun and interesting learning environment by using problem-solving and critical thinking skills. It is my goal that students learn to use 21st century skills to become life-long learners.
I have been teaching in the Oakland Diocese for many years. Teaching in a Catholic school is definitely a calling. To teach how to learn to live as Jesus did, to know Jesus and make Him known to others, is such an important part of the whole child. I love second graders' enthusiasm and joy of learning. I love that they are becoming more independent yet still need to ask questions. It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to guide the students as they grow and develop throughout the year.
My goals for each year extend across the curriculum. No matter what the subject is I would like the students to be able to: communicate effectively through their written word, problem solve using a variety of methods that include critical thinking skills, and read for comprehension with enthusiasm and fluency. In religion the primary focus is on the Sacraments, especially Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, and in learning to live as Jesus taught us. In language arts, we concentrate on writing to communicate. This is done through a well-written story, one with a set beginning, middle and end-the rudimentary beginnings of a paragraph. We learn about different types of sentences by modeling and brainstorming. Writing cannot be a effective communication tool without correct spelling. So phonics and vocabulary building are both a large part of the curriculum. In reading, the primary focus is to read for comprehension and to understand the author's message. We accomplish this by learning how to not just read the lines but by learning to read "between the lines" as well. The skill of learning how to answer questions is also an important part of the reading curriculum. In math, to help understand concepts successfully, the primary focus is on problem-solving, applying skills, and critical thinking. We all process math differently, and it is important to be able to explain how we arrived at an answer. In science and social studies, the students learn about their world-past, present and future. They experiment to find out how and why. Our heritage is a learn part of the curriculum. The Heritage Doll project is a favorite to explain culture. Many of the class field trips are based on concepts studied in science and social studies. We visit the pumpkin patch. community theatres, museums, etc.
Second grade is a very full and rewarding year in the life of a St. Joseph Elementary student!
Please click on the Second Grade Homework and Weekly Syllabus and Spanish links in the left hand menu above for important information.