Mrs. Karen Sandhurst
Welcome to Second Grade!
Welcome to an exciting year at St. John Vianney! The Second Grade is a busy group, and we manage to have loads of fun along the journey!
The rules and expectations are quite simple in the Second Grade classroom. There are four guidelines we follow: 1) Act in a safe and healthy way, 2) Take responsibility for your learning, 3) Treat all property with respect, and 4) Respect the rights and needs of others. Every second grader is expected to learn and be successful. The classroom environment is one of encouragement and respect for each other.
Our Second Grade day is quite busy. We learn about our faith in Religion. We use a variety of prayers, learn about the Bible, the Trinity, the Mass, liturgical year, and we also prepare for and receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist. We’re also involved in planning and leading several masses during the year. In Math we add, subtract, multiply, and divide by the end of the year. Our Math curriculum includes geometry, fractions, time, and money. In Reading we are introduced to a variety of genres – realistic stories, fantasy, poetry, folk tales, nonfiction, and plays. This includes performing a classroom play to which parents are invited in late fall. Our Reading program is enhanced by the VoWac phonics program. Our Spelling lists correlate with our Reading skills and we have weekly Spelling tests on 15 words each week. In Language we are introduced to nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, statements, questions, commands, and exclamations. We learn about synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, multiple meaning words, and contractions. Our Science book is divided into three sections – Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. It includes chapters on plants, animals, habitats, landforms, stars and planets, the sun, heat, light, sound, electricity, simple machines, and magnets. Our Social Studies book includes chapters on U.S. history, government, cultures, transportation, holidays and customs, famous landmarks, and famous people. We also work on reading maps in a special map booklet. Handwriting begins the year reviewing manuscript letters and we start learning to write in cursive after Christmas. We create projects from a variety of media in Art that help us to experience and develop in the elements of art – line, shape, space, color, form, and texture. The Second Grade is also involved with standardized testing three times a year by taking the NWEA’s for Reading and Math on computer.
Second graders have many fun events throughout the year. We celebrate special days like Johnny Appleseed Day, Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Presidents’ Day. We have classroom parties for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. We take field trips to The Lutz Wing at the Fairmont Hospital three or four times a year to sing or play Bingo. We also do one field trip out of town with the Kindergarten and First Grade each spring, as well as doing a very educational tour of the Fairmont Hospital. Probably the highlight of Second Grade is Holy Week. It is during this special week that we lead the school in a Stations of the Cross prayer service, bake our own homemade bread, and also re-enact the Last Supper.
All of this activity and learning makes for a very full school year. It is quite a journey in faith, learning, and friendships. I feel quite blessed to work with second graders – I can fully understand why Jesus said, “Let the children come to me!”