This is the one area of the curriculum that I spend the most time on each day. At least two hours each day is spent working in this content area. We work on many different activities which follow the Four Blocks Framework.
Within the umbrella of Language Arts is reading, spelling, writing, grammar, and mechanics.
After reading the weekly story in our basal reader we would do a story map. Students would have to fill out the following frame:
A mini lesson on some part of the writing process that I feel the students need development in. For example, I may give a mini lesson on adding to a piece that they've started. This mini lesson is just that, only 5 to 10 minutes in length. Then students practice for 20 minutes what I demonstrated in the lesson.
For weekly spelling words, the students practice on their own when they have completed their required assignments. They all have their own cubbie with a notebook, a weekly spelling list, and a weekly assignment sheet with a different spelling practice activity for each day of the week.
When we work on sight words, we work with a word wall. Each week I add 5 sight words to the wall and we do a brief activity to help the children spell and remember how to spell the new words. This is done each day during the Working With Words block within the Four Blocks framework.
Usually manipulatives are used to help illustrate the concepts we are working on. We first explore the new concept with the manipulatives in small cooperative groups. Then we discuss what we found, what patterns we saw, etc. Finally we would practice the new concepts on paper with the aid of the manipulatives as needed by individual students.
These are the math resources I use in my classroom: Investigations and Scott-Foresman Math.
When a new concept is introduced in Science, we do what is called an explore activity (I like to do these on Mondays). Small cooperative groups are given materials to explore the current concept. For example, when we began the matter portion of our Science journey, the groups were given a balance and various objects to compare their masses. Following this, students wrote about what they discovered during the activity.
Reading in the text about the new concept is the next step, usually done during the rest of the week with a short quiz on Fridays.
Here's more information about our Science series.
Early in the year I focus on map skills and neighborhoods & communities. The students make maps of our classroom, the school yard, and the immediate neighborhood. We also read the Weekly Reader to discuss topics in Social Studies.
This is the book we use.
For more information on the concepts covered in second grade for all content areas click here.