Our second graders have grown up tremendously since first grade, yet these boys are still a young group representing a variety of learning styles and levels. In the second grade at Fessenden, teachers monitor each student as he maneuvers his way through this vital year, gradually increasing his responsibilities as appropriate, and creating opportunities for class collaboration. Often in the second grade, a teacher demonstrates an activity or solves a problem first to set an example, then a boy tries it out on his own, then he works with a group, collaborating with his peers for deeper understanding.
In second grade, many boys begin to discover a sense of self and continue to learn what it means to be a good friend. During a run across campus at recess or while huddled over a group math problem, boys’ friendships add new levels of fun to the day. In fact, friendship is woven into the curriculum—boys reflect, write, and read about it, and they collaborate with new friends on projects. When young minds are inevitably faced with disagreements, we encourage boys to make the positive choices to resolve conflict.
Detailed and personalized reading comprehension and skill assessments at the beginning of the year give our team a roadmap for the months ahead. We continue to focus on literacy and math, “specials” (such as art and physical education), and group project work, taking a hands-on and multi-sensory approach. Lessons are brought to life when boys come to school dressed as famous historical heroes, or when they build a 3D model of a Boston landmark to complement a presentation. Guest speakers, current events, tech resources (including iPads), programmable robots, and literature assist in enriching the learning experience. We also invite parents to join the action, partner with us in the classroom from time to time, and accompany the class on field trips.