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Grade 2 Curriculum

Language Arts

The Colebrook Consolidated School's Language Arts program is based on the Readers' and Writers' Workshop developed by Lucy Calkins and others from The Reading & Writing Project at Teachers' College of Colombia University. The newest program designed by the project includes units aligned to the national Common Core Standards which focus on skills students must master to be college and career ready. Furthermore, the CCSS place an intense focus on non-fiction reading and writing. Students will be expected to read and write both fiction and non-fiction.


The readers' workshop is an integral portion of the second grader's school day. It is described here:

"Our work with reading begins with a deep commitment to giving students large chunks of time deeply engaged in reading books—ones of their own choosing, when possible, and always ones that they can read with fluency, accuracy and comprehension. Mountains of data confirm that in order for students to progress as readers, they must have abundant time to read.

Teachers begin the year by assessing their students to learn the level of text complexity that each child can handle and then channeling kids towards texts they can read. Most students select a small stack of books, keeping these close on hand in book bins or baggies, so they can progress from one book to another without a hitch. Students read in school and continue reading at home, carrying books between home and school. Most keep reading logs in which they scrupulously record the data on their progress through books and the moments spent reading, studying this data alongside teachers to ascertain patterns in their reading.

We also support explicit instruction in the skills and strategies of proficient reading, following the gradual release of responsibility model. Through studying performance assessments that differentiate student work along a continuum and through reflecting on adult proficient reading, teachers develop an understanding of the continuum of development contained within any one skill—say, within the skill of synthesis, of prediction, of interpretation. This knowledge helps teachers explicitly teach readers in ways that help them progress along a trajectory of skill development."


Guided Reading and Conferencing

Guided Reading and individual conferencing are integral components of the Reading Workshop in which students receive direct, supplemental support in small groups or a one-on-one setting with the teacher. Students are instructed at their instructional levels determined by various reading assessments. This type of instruction allows students to receive the individual support they need in order to grow as readers. Because all students advance at varying levels, groups are flexible and instruction is varied.


The Reading & Writing Project describes the writer's workshop here:

"During the writing workshop, students are invited to live, work and learn as writers. They learn to observe their lives and the world around them while collecting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing well-crafted narrative and expository texts. Students receive direct instruction in the form of a minilesson and a mid-workshop teaching point. The teacher explicitly names a skill that proficient writers use that is within reach for most of the class, then demonstrates the skill and provides students with a brief interval of guided practice using it. Students are also given time to write, applying the skills and strategies they've learned to their own writing projects. As students write, the teacher provides feedback that is designed to move students along trajectories of development. The feedback is given through one-to-one conferences and small group instruction, and includes instructional compliments and teaching. The teacher helps a writer imagine what the next challenge is, and equips that writer with the skills and strategies necessary to begin tackling that new frontier."


The genres studied in Grade 2 include: Learning from the Masters: Improving Narrative Craft, A How-to Guide to Nonfiction, Writing Like Scientists, Writing About Reading, and Poetry.

Word Work:

Students continue to build their vocabulary, word recognition, and spelling ability through a newly adopted program at Colebrook Consolidated School entitled Words Their Way. Specifically, students in second grade will be studying within word patterns. According to, "Students begin the within-word pattern stage when they can spell most one-syllable short-vowel words, and during this stage, they learn to spell long-vowel patterns and r-controlled vowels. They experiment with long-vowel patterns and learn that words such as come and bread are exceptions that don’t fit the vowel patterns. Students may confuse spelling patterns and spell meet as mete, and they reverse the order of letters, such as form for from and gril for girl. They also learn about complex consonant sounds, including -tch (match) and -dge (judge), and less frequent vowel patterns, such as oi/oy (boy), au (caught), aw (saw), ew (sew, few), ou (house), and ow (cow). Students also become aware of homophones and compare long-and short-vowel combinations (hope–hop) as they experiment with vowel patterns. Students at this stage are 7- to 9-year-olds, and they learn these spelling concepts:

  • Long-vowel spelling patterns
  • r-controlled vowels
  • More-complex consonant patterns
  • Diphthongs and other less common vowel patterns"


The second grade mathematics program is entitled Math in Focus: The Singapore Approuch (Grade 2) . This program is research-based and encourages students to learn mathematics in a systematic and hands-on approach. Students discover mathematical concepts with a real-world approach and learn to understand the importance of numbers, geometry, fractions, etc. in their daily lives.

The second grade mathematics units include:

Unit 1: Place Value of Number up to 1,000

Unit 2: Addition to 1,000

Unit 3: Subtraction to 1,000

Unit 4: Using Bar Models in Addition and Subtraction

Unit 5: Multiplication and Division Concepts

Unit 6: Multiplying by 2, 5, and 10

Unit 7: Metric Measurement of Length

Unit 10: Mental Math and Estimation

Unit 11: Money

Unit 13: Customary Measurement of Length

Unit 14: Time

Unit 16: Using Bar Models: Multiplication and Division

Unit 17: Picture Graphs

Unit 19: Shapes and Patterns


Unit 1: Nutrition

Unit 2: Properties of Matter

Unit 3: The Changing Earth

Unit 4: Plant Growth

Social Studies

The CT State Department of Education has defined the following topic for second grade study: "One’s town to expand knowledge of geography, history, human interdependence, etc. Include comparisons with another town or city in Connecticut." - CT Social Studies Curriculum Framework Grades PK - 12.

The following units have been designed to fulfill this standard:

Unit 1: Mapping our Place in the World

Unit 2: Exploring Communities

Unit 3: Our Working World

Unit 4: Colebrook: Past and Present

In addition to these units, students will study important holidays, people, and events in American history and culture as they fit into the context of curriculum or a specific date (i.e. elections in November).