Blog Post Written By: Ms. Heidi Donner, Second Grade Teacher
A second grader's day at MELA is filled with love, learning, and lifelong skills. This year has focused on relationship building and giving our scholars the tools to be successful throughout their education. Not only has our learning been about academics, but it has also focused on relationships and how to navigate disagreements in a healthy way.
At MELA, we recognize and follow the expectations of being mindful, empathetic, leaders, and accountable. Here are a few of the ways we address and celebrate social-emotional learning:
**Calm Connect our mindfulness program, is a patented system used around the world that contains dozens of short digital sequences designed to calm the nervous system and build a bridge to the social world quickly and effectively.
**Mindfulness with Justme is a series of seven mindfulness videos that are able to be applied to real-world situations. The skills our second graders learn have helped them during stressful times.
**Celebrate Student of the Month and Most Improved every month. The Student of the Month and Most Improved students get to sit at a special table in the lunchroom to celebrate!
**Students can earn MELA Tickets by showing mindfulness, empathy, leadership, or accountability. One MELA ticket winner each month gets an ice cream treat and celebrates with the class!
Students acquire a wide range of phonics skills in the Groves Literacy Framework through explicit phonemic awareness, letter-sound, and formation instruction. This curriculum was developed at Groves Academy, uses an Orton-Gillingham-based curriculum, and is rooted in decades of literacy and brain research. Most importantly, our instruction is culturally relevant; students can see themselves in the stories we read and the activities we do. Second grade is the first time our scholars get to dive into cursive! Not only is it important for students to be able to decode cursive, it also provides practice for fine motor skills.
Bridges in Mathematics
Students gain a deep understanding of concepts, proficiency with key skills, and the ability to solve complex problems. The curriculum is composed of three distinct but integrated components: Problems & Investigations, Workplaces, and Number Corner. Students practice the skills they learn in math lessons during the math workplace games that they play during centers. In addition to Bridges, we have tailored small group lessons to help target students learning individually. We believe learning should be tailored to each student to provide the best instruction possible.
Using the knowledge they acquire from our Literacy Instruction, second graders plan, write, and edit their writing. Second graders are focusing on using more complex language in their writing and learning about different writing structures to deepen their understanding.