Second grade is a special year because the children have gained a new awareness of themselves and each other. This awareness is followed by a heightened sense of responsibility and independence in our work and actions. Friendships are also very important now, and the children work through their conflicts carefully, with appropriate adult support.
In second grade, academic skills and fluency begin to bloom across the disciplines. Children develop as readers and creative writers. Mathematicians explore the landscape of their numerical world by solving real-life math problems and sharing their discoveries with their classmates.
The classroom is a place where the children gain independence and take risks, as well as a safe place to draw, build relationships, listen to stories, get to know themselves and the world around them.
The "EARTHLINGS" will often work with clay, paint, and their personal “toolbox” pieces that reflect different areas of curriculum study.
The theme of the EARTH Class is Change. The major projects include:
- Change Over Time: How and why have lifestyles changed over 100 years? How and why do people change? How and why do neighborhoods change?
- Lunar Growth: Why does the moon seem to change? How do plants change? What is needed to grow plants somewhere like the moon?
- Force, Motion, and Bridge Engineering: How do forces make things move? How can we design a bridge that is strong and stable?
- Ecosystems, Adaptation, and Evolution: How do plants and animals adapt to their environment? How does land change over time?
Project-Based Learning Spotlight: Force, Motion, and Bridge Engineering
In our Force, Motion, and Bridge Engineering project, students begin by studying the impact of different forces on structures. Through experimentation, observation of existing structures, and visiting experts, they learn that weight distribution, movement, erosion, patterns of use, and other forces all play a role in the stability and longevity of structures like bridges. They finish the project by building their own bridges and testing how they stand up to different forces.