The initial experiences of the 1st grade are deepened and enhanced in the 2nd grade. This time is used primarily for practicing and developing all the new skills from the previous year. To assist the children with their growing polarity, the second graders explore the landscape of personality traits through fables and stories of noble historic figures: the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. This is a transformative year and the students should feel that they have experienced a rite of passage when graduating, having solid academic skills and a well-rounded general picture of human life and the universe.
Much of who the child is in first grade continues on in second grade, but now with more form and ability. The events and experiences of the outside world are filtered through the child’s imagination and rearranged in accord with a child’s perception of the world. The second grader is still connected with the world as a whole and sees themself as part of their community. As the year progresses, however, this wholeness gives way to a growing polarity. The child begins to vacillate between being saintly and “naughty” or courageous and “whiny”. The second grader explores one’s own inner life and how it relates to the greater world.
Our second grade curriculum builds on all basic academic skills including independent writing and reading. In language arts and history studies, children explore traditional fables, stories of people striving to be their highest selves, grammar, punctuation, handwriting and introduction to cursive.
Mathematics lessons include the sequence and patterns in numbers, continued work with the processes and the introduction of place value as an antecedent to carrying and borrowing.
In science, students will continue their experiential exploration of the world of nature through observation and stories. Spanish, pentatonic flute playing, crocheting and knitting, watercolor painting, crayon drawing, eurythmy (movement) and Cooperative Games (physical education) are offered in the second grade Waldorf curriculum.
Second grade is a time when a child’s sensory-motor system, a foundation for all higher learning, culminates its most intense growth period. As such, students receive a 2nd grade assessment in Spring to provide a better understanding of each child’s strengths and challenges in the areas of fine and gross motor development, balance, bilateral integration, body geography, spatial orientation, dominance, visual and auditory processing, reading, writing and arithmetic. By observing these, we are better able to assess a child’s readiness to take on more complex and challenging academic work and further support the student in the classroom and at home.
Grade 2 – Manzanita Trees
Eloise Gelber is a graduate of the Pasadena Waldorf School and Highland Hall High School. She recently completed her teacher training…