Grade 2

About your teacher

Mrs. Bessette has been teaching second grade at St. Mary- St. Joseph School since 2012. Before coming here, she taught first and third grades at St. Mary School in Putnam, CT. Mrs. Bessette attended Eastern Connecticut State University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree, in Children and Youth Psychology and Early Childhood Education.

Mrs. Bessette feels that being part of a Catholic school means being part of a tightly-knit community. She feels that St. Mary-St. Joseph School encourages close relationships among families and among teachers, which are both important to her. She also loves reading, knitting, traveling, and spending time with her family.

In Second Grade your child will study:


The second grade religion curriculum is focused on preparing the students for the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. Religion class stresses the importance of God’s personal love for each person. The students learn about the church, church calendar, Bible, Commandments, and understanding the meaning of sin and sacraments. Students study mass preparations, Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Text: Christ Our Life, Loyolla Press

· Prepare for the Sacraments of First Penance/Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

· Understand the meaning of the Mass, its different parts and how to participate

· Recite Prayers:

· Attend prayer services, and Mass

· Participate in school service projects


Second Grade mathematics continues the development of addition and subtraction skills. Number sense and place value concepts are continued to the thousands place. Two-dimensional shapes, time, money, and graphs are also studied.

Text: Progress in Mathematics

  • Addition and Subtraction Strategies
  • Place Value to 1000 and Money
  • Mental Math: Addition and Subtraction
  • Two Digit Addition and Subtraction
  • Geometry and Fractions
  • Time, Data and Graphs
  • Measurement and Probability
  • Numbers to 1,000
  • Addition and Subtraction of 3 digit numbers
  • Understanding Multiplication and Division

Reading & Language Arts:

Students in second grade build their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students will continue to learn and practice rules of phonetics while also learning to think about what they read and expressing their ideas through writing. Included in Language Arts is foundational skills that foster students’ understanding and knowledge of concepts of print, the alphabetic principle, and basic conventions of the English writing system.

Text: Story Town by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Our Language Arts Curriculum consists of:

  • Guided Reading
  • Spelling and Grammar
  • Writer's Workshop
  • Independent Reading

Reading, writing, spelling, and grammar are interrelated to insure maximum reinforcement of the skills and concept required at this stage of language and reading development.

To insure more individualization and practice, we provide a variety of independent reading opportunities at all levels. This includes follow up activities as a means of assessment.

The Language Arts skills & concepts in the second grade curriculum include:

  • Reading (for example: compare and contrast, draw conclusions, making inferences)
  • Writing (for example: personal narrative, persuasive letter, fictional narrative)
  • Spelling (for example: prefixes and suffixes, long and short vowel patterns, compound words)
  • Grammar (for example: sentence structure, nouns and verbs, adjectives and adverbs)


Text: Zaner Bloser

In the second grade, students master manuscript writing. Mastery of manuscript letter formation and spacing is key prior to moving on to learning the alphabet in cursive. The Zaner Bloser handwriting book gives students the opportunity to trace models first, before writing on their own. Students also practice their writing directly beneath a model, which is easy for both right- and left-handed children to see.


The science program, provides a process of investigation of the biological and physical world. Students are encouraged to think and act like scientists. Instruction uses a hands-on, exploratory approach so students are active participants in instruction. Science continues to build on your child's curiosity. The focus is on observation, questioning, and data collection.

Text: Nancy Larson Science 2

· Investigate the Simple Properties of Matter

· Observe Rocks and Minerals

· Investigate Forces and Work

· Examine Simple Machines

· Explore Sound and Light

· Investigate Birds

Social Studies

In Grade 2, students will learn geography, how we interact with the environment, and movement of people to the United States and our history of the United States.

Text: People and Places: Scott Foresman

Topics include

· Unit 1: Where we live

· Unit 2: Our Earth

· Unit 3: Working Together

· Unit 4: Our Country Today

· Unit 5: Our Country Long Ago

· Unit 6: People and Places in History