In second grade the child seeks new challenges and the tone of the classroom changes to meet their new capacities. Work expands from the base that has been established in first grade, the pace quickens, and the school day becomes longer. Core curriculum in second grade is reading; writing (introduction of independent composition); arithmetic; multiplication tables. The motif of the second grade is fables from around the world, and legends including stories of saints and heroes. The fixed, predictable qualities of people portrayed in fables contrast with the high level of selflessness and courage revealed in the legends of saints and other important historical figures. Beyond the curriculum carried by the class teacher, second graders also receive instruction in Spanish, German, handwork, eurythmy, games and movement, gardening, and music.
Writing continues in main lesson studies, with content from the legends and fables as well as from nature studies. By second grade, the students read printed material together as a class and in reading groups. Children copy the teacher’s writing as a model and also construct sentences in group work as a class. They also begin to compose sentences individually. A strong emphasis is placed on letter formation and handwriting practice.
In math, the students continue to work on their times tables, alternating factor multiplication and division sequences. Arithmetic lessons include regrouping multi-digit numbers for borrowing, and carrying and division with remainders. The children work with the four operational processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), exploring the relationships between the processes. The approach continues to be multi-sensory and based on solving problems introduced through stories and practical applications, including manipulatives.
Detailed nature stories reflect the child’s growing awareness of the world. Children begin to participate in the gardening program, and the seasons and the calendar are introduced.