Second graders are problem solvers. They engineer, build bridges, and use their reading and writing skills to reach out beyond our neighborhood to the five boroughs of New York City. Second graders want to make a difference, and with adult guidance and support, they learn to use their voices to advocate for themselves and others.

List of 6 items.

  • Reading

    Cathedral second graders use guided, independent, and shared reading for whole-class learning activities. They learn how to incorporate student reading logs into their reading routines and learn how to pick their “just right” books. Through practice, second graders develop comprehension skills by making connections, visualizing, questioning, predicting, and inferring. The curriculum continues to use Fundations®, which focuses on decoding strategies to help young readers improve. Students also investigate non-fiction, in addition to a wide variety of fiction texts.
  • Writing

    Second graders write constantly. They use shared class writing to model good practices, keeping student journals and participating in group and individual projects. There is a focus on story elements, sentence structure, adding detail, and conferencing in Writer’s Workshop, which supports independent use of editing skills and writing mechanics. The second grade’s developing writers build their skills through the exploration of different genres, including varied styles and forms of poetry. Spelling is strengthened through the study of spelling patterns, vowel combinations, and high-frequency words.
  • Mathematics

    Students master addition and subtraction facts from 0-20 and focus on problem-solving strategies, explaining mathematical thinking, and developing strong number sense, or “mental math.” They investigate place value, addition and subtraction with regrouping, graphing, money, time, and geometry. The second graders are also introduced to concepts of multiplication and fractions. Class time includes group-oriented math games, hands-on activities, and integration of math skills into daily routines to reinforce learning. Class time is also spent on individual practice and drills.
  • Social Studies

    In second grade, students investigate maps and the role they play in our society, explaoring cardinal directions (north, south, east, west), keys and legends, and the creation of and use maps. This investigation leads to a study of New York City’s physical and cultural characteristics: the five boroughs, neighborhoods, landmarks, city government, transportation, and bridges. Students examine their role in the city and the communities that exist within its borders through discussion of identity, social justice, and character education. Field trips to city landmarks complement and strengthen the curriculum. Classwork teaches students correct note-taking and technology skills through group projects. Throughout the year, students complete individual and group projects, as well as presentations for class and Friday morning Assembly.
  • Science

    The students spend the second grade year focusing on the theme of form and function in natural and human made structures. The class studies animal and plant adaptations to better understand how an organism’s physical features can help it better survive in its environment. Students also compare adaptations that exist between different animals. They study the form and function of human-made structures such as boats and bridges and learn the engineering process to design and build models of their own.
  • World Languages

    Spanish language instruction is a key component of the second grade year. The students are introduced to vocabulary and common phrases such as greetings, expressions of courtesy, numbers, family members, colors, personal interests and hobbies, and the months of the year. Spanish speaking, listening and writing skills are cultivated through songs, games, conversations, and hands-on activities. Finally, the students explore cultural traditions and celebrations of Spanish-speaking countries.

Curriculum in Action

Transportation and urban planning are focuses of the second grade’s social studies curriculum, and the interdisciplinary STEAM curriculum takes inspiration from that study for its second grade Bridge Project. After the students take a five-borough tour of the city’s bridges, they turn to engineering and design to build their own. Using examples from New York’s bridges–suspension bridges like the Brooklyn Bridge or Calvert Vaux’s decorative arch bridges in Central Park–second graders work as partners to create their own bridge designs, which must conform to a budget and engineering specifications. They build their designs and then use a weighted car to test their bridge’s performance.
1047 Amsterdam Avenue   |   New York, NY 10025   | P:  212-316-7500   | F:  212-316-7558