The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Primary School

Grade Two

Grade Two

In second grade, teachers continue to foster children’s intellectual, social, and emotional growth. The academic program focuses on solidifying foundational skills while challenging children to think critically and creatively about their learning. Students continue to work in small groups and one-on-one for reading and mathematics, and they become increasingly responsible and independent as they work on individual and group assignments. As the oldest students in the Primary School, second graders begin to emerge as leaders and become more confident advocating for themselves in friendships and social situations. By the end of second grade, students are ready for the transition to third grade and the new challenges of Lower School.

List of 10 items.

  • Mathematics

    In second grade, the goal of the mathematics program is for students to become increasingly fluent in operations and problem solving: they learn to make sense of problems and persevere as they apply quantitative and abstract reasoning, use modeling to solve logic problems, and defend and describe their thinking. Through discussion and hands-on activities, the spiraling curriculum increases in complexity throughout the year.
    Students who successfully complete the grade two mathematics program will be able to fundamental understanding of topics in the following categories:
    Number and Operations
    • Adding and subtracting to 20
    • Demonstrating understanding of multi-digit addition and subtraction
    • Skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s
    • Understanding the base-10 system and using multiple models to represent place value to 1000
    • Comparing numbers using ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’
    • Creating and solving addition and subtraction story problems
    • Showing readiness for multiplication and division
    Fractions, Decimals, Percents
    • Beginning understanding of equal groups and fractions
    • Representing and comparing 1/4 , 1/2, 3/4, and whole 
    • Measuring using standard (cm, in, ft) and non-standard units
    • Telling and writing time to the 5 minute with digital and analog clocks
    • Understanding coin values and making equivalent coin exchanges
    • Applying attribute rules to classify shapes
    • Identifying and classifying 2D and 3D shapes
    • Recognizing symmetry in objects shapes 
    Data Analysis & Probability
    • Organizing, representing and analyzing data
    • Discussing events related to ‘likely’ and ‘unlikely’
    Algebraic Thinking
    • Completing, identifying, and analyzing repeating and growing patterns
    • Devising and communicating mental math solutions
  • Language Arts

    In grade two, the goal of the language arts program is to foster a love of reading and help students develop the routines and strategies to become confident, independent readers. Second graders participate in guided reading in small and large groups with a teacher and incorporate the Daily Five, which includes reading to themselves; reading with a partner; listening to books; responding to reading and word work; and writing stories, poetry, plays, and oral presentations. Students practice basic reading skills, build comprehension strategies, and develop fluency through exposure to a wide range of reading materials, oral discussions, and regular one-on-one conferences with a teacher. 


    In grade two, students focus on the writing process as they create their own stories, journal entries, friendly letters, poetry, and nonfiction informational writing. Students have frequent opportunities to reflect on their writing and revise their work with regular teacher conferences. Students also build vocabulary and grammar skills, focusing on sentence structure, punctuation, and parts of speech. In grade two, students continue to build on word skills and habits of mind introduced in Kindergarten and grade one. Second graders continue to review and practice phonics skills introduced in first grade and incorporate new ones such as magic e, bossy r, dipthongs, contractions, root words, suffixes, and syllable division. Sight words, leveled appropriately, enrich each student’s lexicon as their reading skills expand. Although students still use inventive spelling for more complex words, they are expected to apply the phonics skills taught to their daily work and master the sight words as introduced. Students continue to explore the structure of more complex words and prepare for the phonics work presented in the Lower School program.
  • Social Studies

    In grade two social studies, students learn about the world beyond Fay School and Southborough and focus on the geography, history, and culture of Massachusetts. In preparation for the transition to Lower School and the study of the United States in grade three, students review the geography of Massachusetts and examine the history and culture of indigenous peoples and present day inhabitants. Students answer the question, “What is the geography, history and culture of the state of Massachusetts, and how did it become the community it is today?”

    Students who successfully complete the grade two social studies program will be able to:
    • Demonstrate their understanding of community
    • Identify similarities and differences among individuals and groups
    • Distinguish and make connections between the past and present
    • Apply basic map skills and correctly use related vocabulary
    • Use research skills to gather information from nonfiction texts
  • Science

    The Primary School science curriculum is inquiry-based and project-based. Its practices have been adopted from the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012). Students who demonstrate success in primary school science courses will be able to:
    • Ask questions that encourage further investigation
    • Record observations and ideas using pictures, numbers, & writing
    • Share observations and ideas with peers
    • Compare and sort objects according to similarities and differences
    • Follow oral instructions for explorations
    • Recognize that scientists work in groups
    • Use tools appropriately to observe, draw, and describe objects
    In grade two, students discuss properties of matter, bees, earth and space, ecosystems, and plants. They observe motion, explore balance, and experiment with simple machines. Building upon the skills introduced in previous years, students work independently to record, evaluate, and communicate data.

  • World Languages: Spanish and French

    Fay’s Primary School World Language program is based on F.L.E.X. (Foreign Language Experience) approach. Students study both French and Spanish, each for half of the school year.

    In grade two, students continue to build upon the basic skills and knowledge acquired during their first years of language study. Students participate in considerable review, combined with more challenging, age-specific vocabulary and expressions. Specifically, second graders become familiar with the richness and diversity of the Spanish-speaking and Francophone worlds through the Fay Passport project. For each country studied, students practice vocabulary related to geographic location, modes of transport, and basic personal information. Students also learn vocabulary related to and complete projects based on the cultural traditions of the countries they study. By the end of the year, students are comfortable with a range of commonly used vocabulary and expressions, can participate in brief dialogues, and are familiar with the cultures of many Spanish-speaking and Francophone countries. By the end of second grade, students are ready to select a single world language to study throughout their Lower School years.
  • Music

    Fay’s music curriculum is based on the philosophy of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály. Grade two music students review all grade one concepts and learn new skills, including identification of steps and skips and leaps (intervals) in various patterns (including the so mi la so mi pattern); identification of half notes; identification of four-beat meter; identification of the tone re; identification of known solfege tones in the basic pentatonic scale; singing and speaking in canon; performing rhythmic and melodic ostinato; improvisation, identification of sixteenth notes; and learning the absolute letter names of the lines and spaces of the treble staff. Students are also exposed to a variety of musical styles from folk songs to masterworks.
  • Art

    The goal of the grade two art program is to develop an appreciation for visual art as a creative means of expressing knowledge and ideas. Students learn to use and maintain high quality tools and materials. There is an emphasis on craftsmanship, and students evaluate their own work through both individual and group assessments. Students are encouraged to develop unique solutions to each assignment and feel supported to develop skills at their own pace. In grade two, students are introduced to a variety of artists and artistic styles and begin to develop the vocabulary necessary to describe and interpret works of art. Students explore art forms of various cultural groups as they are related to the social studies curriculum.

    Students who successfully complete the second grade art program can:
    • Follow oral instructions for projects
    • Use materials and tools appropriately
    • Interpret project directions
    • Complete class work
    • Explore the use of line, shape, pattern, color and texture
    • Use art terms correctly to discuss artwork or techniques
  • Library

    In their library classes, second graders explore language through books, stories, poetry, and song. Group read-alouds bring stories to life as students experience the feeling of connectedness to a community of readers. Second graders explore self-expression as they write poems and stories, and they participate in creative hands-on projects and art experiences in response to the books and ideas that they share. Second graders also begin to learn about the research process by accessing resources in the library. The library is not only a place where students discover the great ideas of others; it is also where they have time and space to create their own.

  • Physical Education

    The second grade physical education program emphasizes physical activity and personal fitness. Daily lessons feature continuous movement and appropriate physical challenges. Second graders practice gross motor skills by throwing, catching, kicking, and dribbling (foot and hand) for control using a variety of objects, such as balls and balloons. Students practice striking using a variety of implements, such as short-handled paddles and bats. By the end of second grade, students can demonstrate the correct form for rolling and throwing a ball for distance as well as demonstrate more control using other motor skills.

  • Wellness

    Mindfulness is the focus of wellness education in second grade. As a group, students participate in discussions about feelings, emotions, socializing, and conflict resolution. Students learn how to become more aware of their feelings, use calming activities to focus their attention, and slow their bodies down. Students who successfully complete the grade two wellness program will be able to:
    • Advocate for themselves and show self control
    • Identify and communicate emotions
    • Begin to decipher when adult intervention is, and is not, needed in peer conflict
    • Show empathy by responding compassionately to others’ struggles
    • Recognize and appreciate that differences such as race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual and gender orientation make a community stronger, not more divisive
    • Understand that people have differences of opinions and views on a variety of topics
    • Use mindfulness to regulate emotional and physical response to environmental stimuli, both positive and negative