Second Grade

Busy and engaged with their many commitments and responsibilities, Second Graders are at the midpoint of the journey through Lower School. Their classrooms are warm and welcoming places where children build confidence and competence. Each day begins with a morning meeting that gives children a sense of belonging, significance, and fun while building life-long social skills. 


Deepening foundational skills

In Second Grade, children increase their fluency and comprehension, continuing to build their sight-word base. Each day brings time for guided reading, silent reading, read-aloud, and word work. Children work in groups differentiated based on ability, readiness, and interest. They build foundational skills such as understanding figurative language, pondering the author's intent, or establishing reading goals for themselves. They begin to read more non-fiction, and in conjunction with guided reading, develop their spelling skills via a multi-sensory approach to phonics instruction. 


Many kinds of expression

Second Graders are truly beginning to see themselves as writers, exploring a wide range of topics and styles of expression. They write about narratives in their own lives in the "small moments" unit and learn to formulate and express an opinion in a formal debate with classmates. They write poetry and also delve into informational writing, describing an area of their own expertise. Second Graders practice nature writing throughout the year, spending time in nature on Outdoor Ed trip or on campus as they focus on describing the world using their five senses. 


Seeking solutions

The basic foundational skill of computational fluency becomes even more important in Second Grade, as math concepts become more complex. Children learn important strategies that develop their flexibility (different ways of adding and subtracting), accuracy, and efficiency (figuring out the best strategy for a given problem). They integrate algebraic thinking (recognizing patterns and organizing them) and practice measurement, telling time, working with money, and exploring geometric shapes (includes fractions). Students work on these units and skills through mental math activities, math games, and hands-on projects.


Thinking Scientifically

Second Grade Science focuses on: plants and trees, balance and motion, endangered species, and environmental stewardship. Students develop basic research skills to take a deep dive into specific areas of interest. Students work both independently and in groups to puzzle through various challenges and to construct meaning of more abstract concepts. 

Social Studies

Around the World

In Second Grade, students increase their understanding of their place in the world with attention to geography and different cultures. They participate in Traveler of the Week presentations and the International Day of Peace. An economics unit introduces them to important concepts of "needs vs. wants" and entrepreneurship as they create their own businesses to sell products or services at a classroom Economics Fair. They also study food, shelter, religion, and they conduct an individual research project on a country of their choice.

World Language

Deeper into the dictionary

Continuing with either French or Spanish for a full year of language study, Second Graders add to their vocabulary by focusing on food and plants. They also deepen their word base in categories that are already familiar. Students also learn more common phrases and commands and learn about heritage as part of their culture study.


What's inside the box?

Second Graders use technology as a resource to expand their creativity and problem-solving skills. Students implement sequential thinking while learning to code on the iPad and desktop applications with Kodable and Scratch Jr. Second Graders use technology to practice their typing skills and complete projects in other subjects. Throughout the year, students use various programs to develop perseverance and creativity to solve problems using technology.


NEw tools & skills

Second Grade students work on drawing from observation and combining different shapes to create their drawing of a fun Frankenstein in chalk pastels. They develop sewing and tying skills in a colorful tapestry project while learning about the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. Students use recycled materials to create sculptures that demonstrate their increasing understanding of how patterns, lines and shapes create art. Students also have the opportunity to practice public speaking as they present their original artworks to their classmates.


Expression through Song

Second Grade build and refine their vocal range and strength as they sing both solo and choral music. Sings and activities are coordinated with the content they are learning in the classroom. They continue to build on their knowledge of Kodaly, Dalcroze, and Orff techniques, also learning basic notation. The winter Holiday Sing practice gives every child an opportunity for solo and group expression. 


Enchanting performances

Second Graders learn about William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and perform this play in the Lower School Shakespeare Festival. Each class session includes exploratory activities such as movement games, guided imagery, improv, and focus and concentration games.

Physical Education

Energy in motion

Second Grade students engage in a variety of games and skill building to promote a healthy lifestyle and a sense of fair play. Children develop gross motor skills through as they build spatial and body awareness. They learn proper techniques for throwing, catching, kicking and hitting balls. All the activities help build teamwork and confidence. Highlights of the year include canoeing on the ponds and skiing with classmates.

Outdoor Education

Take it to the top

Second Graders camp at Lincoln Creek in the fall, and the highlight of this trip is summiting of a peak near the top of Independence Pass. This hike is challenging and often offers students the opportunity to learn how to hike responsibly in unpredictable weather. They always experience a sense of accomplishment at the summit. In the spring, Second Graders travel to Utah for their first desert experience. They spend three days near Moab. Students hike through canyons and scramble over boulders as they become more at home in the desert.

Signature projects & traditions

interested and aware

Second Graders are buddies with the Sixth Graders, often joining up to read, cook, or tidy up the campus together. Second Graders throw themselves into their many projects and presentations with a passion characteristic of their age. A morning at school may find them measuring objects in their classroom for a math project, intensely reading a chapter book aloud, or working in a small group on a business plan for their economics unit. Click here for a video about this exciting hands-on project: Economics

Aspen Country Day School
85 Country Day Way Aspen, Colorado 81611
Phone: 970.925.1909
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