Grades Two, Two-Three, and Three Flex Model
Second and third graders join together in our Flex Model by way of a grade 2 class, a grade 2-3 class and a grade 3 class. While students will still advance in a traditional grade-to-grade sequence, this new model will allow for the three sections to establish themselves as cohesive homeroom classes, while promoting a variety of intra-grade and grade-specific regroupings.
In forming homeroom classes, placement is based on students’ social-emotional needs more than academic needs, while ultimately striving to promote cohesive classroom communities and, just as importantly, a team of homeroom teachers, classes and students. Through varied hands-on, thematic units, students will access overarching questions at their level of ability and interest. This model allows Berwick to build a stronger, larger learning community, yet provide more opportunities for differentiated instruction as well as collaboration and innovation within the respective classrooms.
Mixed-age grouping is very powerful for social and emotional learning. Younger children benefit from the positive modeling they witness from their older peers, and older students have the opportunity to be role models and to take on leadership roles. The social and academic flexibility that this model provides allows children to develop their self-awareness, confidence, and risk-taking abilities.
In this Flex Model involving second and third grade students, the morning schedule typically involves homeroom morning meetings (in the three different sections), leveled literacy classes (with second and third graders combining, as appropriate, based on reading levels), and grade-specific math classes. Conversely, the afternoon schedule typically involves a combination of homeroom and grade-level writing classes, social studies classes, and Exploration (special subject) classes.
Theme: Time and Space
What is necessary for humans and animals to grow and survive in their environment?
What are the benefits and challenges to humans and animals when they seek out and adapt to new environments?
How can we describe the vast differences and similarities found within the United States and its regions?
Skills and Enduring Understandings:
Second and third grade students at Berwick explore living and survival patterns of humans and animals through the lens of nature, geography, and immigration. Students, as they further transition from the process of “learning to read” to the process of “reading to learn” become immersed in literature and integrated activities that encourage a sensitive appreciation for the human condition, past and present. Students also continue their growth as enthusiastic writers and readers, competent mathematicians, inspired participants within Exploration classes, and respectful friends within the second and third grade classrooms and throughout the Lower School.
Social studies is a key subject area within the second and third grade program, as the students build their knowledge and understanding of the United States throughout the school year. We travel through the five regions, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West and Southwest, and learn about each state within each region. We study capitals, mountain ranges, large rivers, landmarks, foods, climate, and more, in addition to learning a variety of interesting facts about each state within a region. We also begin to better understand the vastness of our country and how regions differ from each other. This is an appropriate foundation as the children prepare for fourth grade and their study of the thirteen colonies and early American history.
Beyond the social studies content material and project-based assignments, the Math in Focus program, various literacy class sessions, social emotional learning activities and the Exploration classes all round out an impressive second and third grade curriculum and collaborative focus.