Bear Creek’s philosophy is to do what is best for kids. We strive to meet individual needs and create a sense of community among all students. We encourage students to be independent learners and responsible for their own behavior. Communication between school and home is a priority.
Reading and Writing
Our focused literacy block is 90 minutes each day. We use a variety of resources to teach reading including Lucy Calkins Units of Study Teaching Reading, Words Their Way, novel sets, and Houghton Mifflin Anthologies. We reinforce phonics, comprehension, dictionary usage, and a wide range of skills appropriate for 2nd graders. Expository, Persuasive and Narrative writing are explored throughout the year. We focus on non-fiction topics when we read Weekly Reader magazines and also during our science and social studies units. Additionally, students participate in the Accelerated Reader program which reinforces fluency and comprehension. Second graders check out 7 books each week from the library to encourage independent reading practice at home. Literacy is integrated throughout our entire day in Bear Creek!
We use the Bridges in Mathematics curriculum for our Math instruction. We have flexible and fluid groups in math so that each student can make a year’s worth of growth starting at their own individual level. The focus in math in second grade is not only to be able to solve a problem, but to be able to explain one’s thinking and process in solving the problem.
Science and Social Studies
Our FOSS Science units are Balance and Motion, Plants and Animals, and Air and Weather. These are highly interactive units with hands-on activities and science notebooking to record our learning. In Social Studies, we learn about different types of communities, Economics, Global Communities, Geography, and Endangered Species. We frequently lead the students in Project Based Learning in order to reinforce our Science and Social Studies concepts.
Beyond the Basics
Across disciplines, we teach the students to use a variety of tools to think more critically and with more depth. We use Thinking Maps to plan and organize our thoughts in all subject areas. This district and school-wide resource gives a common language for students to use throughout their education in Cherry Creek. Students are also taught to use Depth and Complexity icons to enrich their thinking. These icons encourage us to dive deeper than surface level understanding across subject areas. In addition, we incorporate Kagan learning structures to get kids up and moving and interacting with each other while they learn.
We believe that learning should be fun and meaningful. Students develop a growth mindset by trying, sometimes failing, and then trying again until they succeed. Our second graders learn to succeed independently and within a community of supportive learners.