Grade 2

Course Outline


FM Virtual University® uses the Balanced Literacy Approach to best address the needs of all students. This approach involves mini lessons about key reading skills, frequent and in-depth discussions, exposure to high-quality literature and nonfiction texts, and the reading of books at each student\’s own level. Somerville’s classrooms also use the curriculum in grades K-2 to build phonemic awareness and phonics skills, as well as the handwriting without Tears Curriculum to teach handwriting skills.

Reading – During the year, students will be working on:

  • Using multiple strategies (visualizing, making connections, predicting, using background knowledge) to read and understand fiction texts.
  •  Demonstrating an understanding of the characters, setting, and plot through retelling the story
  •  Understanding the problem in the story and what actions the character takes to solve the problem.
  •  Recognizing differences in the points of view of characters
  •  Asking and answering such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how as part of reading texts
  •  Using multiple strategies (asking and answering questions, previewing, using background knowledge, predicting, tracking thinking) to read and understand a nonfiction text.
  •  Understanding the difference between the topic and the main idea
  •  Identifying the main idea and key details in nonfiction texts
  •  Using various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes) to find information.
  •  Noticing that poems use beat, rhymes, and repeated lines to create rhythm and meanings.
  •  Comparing multiple texts on one topic to get information and explaining what they\’ve learned in their own words.
  •  Retelling stories from diverse cultures along with the lesson the story teaches.
  •  Telling how two versions of the same story are alike and different (for example, Cinderella)
  •  Using multiple strategies to figure out unknown words (phonics skills through Foundations, context, illustrations, re-reading)
  •  Reading stories and poems aloud fluently, without pausing to figure out what each word means.
  •  Participating in conversations and discussions by following rules (for example, speaking one at a time, listening to others), building on other\’s comments, and asking questions for further clarification

Writing -FM Virtual University® \’s writing program emphasizes giving students many opportunities to write each day across subject areas. As they write during the year, students in second grade will be working on:

  • Writing a paragraph that introduces an idea and supports it with details.
  •  Writing ideas in an order that makes sense to the reader.
  •  Using time words to signal event order (during, meanwhile, before, soon, after)
  •  Using adjectives to make writing clear and interesting to the reader (for example, enormous, foggy, challenging)
  •  Starting sentences in different ways
  •  Connecting two ideas in one sentence (compound sentence) using and, but, or so
  •  Using commas to separate words in a series.
  •  Making sure that nouns and verbs agree (for example, the dog is sitting on the bed; the two dogs are sitting)
  •  Correctly spelling grade level words using resources if needed.
  •  Capitalizing proper nouns (for example, Somerville, John)

Over the course of the year, students will complete three types of writing: narrative (story), informative, and opinion. Examples of these in second grade could include: Writing a book about a family member, writing an opinion about a character in a story, or writing a different ending to a folktale.


During the year, students in second grade will be working on:

  • Counting by 5s, 10s, 100s
  •  Figuring out whether a number is even or odd.
  •  Solving challenging addition and subtraction word problems with one or two steps
  •  Quickly and accurately adding with a sum of 20 or less (e.g., 11 + 8)
  •  Quickly and accurately subtracting from a number of 20 or less (e.g., 16 – 9)
  •  Understanding what the digits mean in three-digit numbers (place value) – (e.g., 857 is 8 hundreds + 5 tens + 7 ones)
  •  Comparing three-digit numbers using <, >, and =
  •  Mentally adding or subtracting 10 or 100 to a number (e.g., 757 + 10, 837 – 100)
  •  Using understanding of place value and different strategies to add and subtract up to three-digit numbers (e.g., 811 – 367)
  •  Solving addition and subtraction word problems involving money or length
  •  Estimating the length of objects using inches, feet, centimeters, and meters
  •  Using rulers to measure objects by centimeters and inches.
  •  Telling and writing time to the nearest 5 minutes
  •  Recognizing a variety of 2D and 3D shapes (triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes) and explaining what makes them different (for example, number of sides, faces, angles)
  •  Drawing a simple bar graph or picture graph and solving a problem by reading a graph
  •  Breaking down circles and rectangles into equal halves, thirds, and quarters

During the year, students in second grade will be learning:

  •  That different types of materials have different properties and can be classified by their texture, hardness, color, or flexibility.
  •  That when a chunk of material is cut or broken into pieces, each piece is still the same material, however small each piece is.
  •  That some changes to materials can be reversed by heating or cooling, while some cannot be reversed.
  •  How different plants and animals depend on their surroundings and other living things to meet their needs in the places they live.
  •  That different kinds of animals and plants live in different areas.
  •  How to map the shapes and types of landforms and bodies of water in an area
  •  How blowing wind and flowing water can move Earth materials from one place to another and change the shape of a landform.
  •  To compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

During the year, students in second grade will be learning:

  •  About citizens\’ rights and responsibilities
  •  To locate and name the continents, oceans, major rivers, and major mountain ranges.
  •  Map and globe skills
  •  To locate continents, regions, and countries from which students, parents, grandparents, and ancestors came
  •  To find examples of traditions or customs from other countries found in America today.
  •  About individuals recognized for their achievements in all fields

The elementary years are an important time to nurture social-emotional competence and develop foundational learning skills. The FMVU uses the Second Step curriculum, an evidence-based program that includes everything schools need to integrate social-emotional learning into their classrooms and school-wide. The curriculum is designed to promote school success, self-regulation, and a sense of safety and support.

Classroom teachers are responsible for implementing the Second Step. Schools\’ guidance counselors and other support personnel assist teachers and students to work toward attaining curriculum goals. Staff at your child\’s school can give you more detailed information about the sequence of skills taught and how social/emotional skills are taught.