With a zest for learning, Second graders awake in their relationship to their world. Strength in their bodies makes space for feeling capacities. They interact socially with greater sensitivity, acutely sensing joy and wonder, sadness and remorse. Often in stark opposites, they show immense concern, then very little at all. In fairy tales, they are ready to move from characters playing a structured part, to tales showcasing varied aspects of humanity. Stories about animals and nature illustrate the foibles of social interactions. The children observe human qualities from a safe perspective. Stories of saints and heroes show how to rise above foibles yet also console and reassure. 2nd graders have a strong judging sense; the child is guided by example through story.

2nd graders have a strong judging sense; the child is guided by example through story.

Writing now stands on its own. The students write and illustrate stories, often with a concentration on a particular letter sound. Children have both a sense of the whole and the particular phonics, understanding different letter and combination sounds. In 2nd grade, the students begin to read others’ words in their first reader. Speech work continues during morning circle, and through the day in verses. Clear daily articulation develops rhythms, enunciation, public speaking; plays and presentations at weekly assemblies build joy and confidence.

In mathematics, the four operations become more complicated. With clapping and movement, the children learn multiplication tables. Beauty appears in the details of patterns. Imaginative stories illustrate new concepts, such as place value, regrouping, and renaming. The students build self-confidence in learning their tables, offering correct answers. 2nd graders often make calendars.

Music permeates each day with pentatonic flute playing, singing in the mornings and music class during many afternoons. The children breathe deeply, opening their voices to the world. In solo moments, they honor their unique offerings.

The teacher directs painting, creating a mood, sometimes with color, sometimes building a story around a figure. Flowing colors enrich a child’s feelings and expression. With beeswax or clay, they create beautiful 3D objects. Forms emerge from animal and saint tales. The children often first move to a form, walking or running the shape. Then they draw it, achieving an inner sense of balance and a sensitivity to space. Nature walks and stories focus on animal behaviors and seasonal change: the children relate to the outdoor world.

In Handwork, 2nd graders perfect their knitting skills and learn the purl stitch. They take pride in carefully done work and complete lengthy projects. In Spanish, the students play games and sing songs, learning basic vocabulary and customs of Spanish speaking countries. In Movement, children play games to work together and recognize the importance of each class member: jump roping, hopscotch, and tag games.