• English Language Arts and Literacy: K-5

    The North Salem Central School District curricula are based on the current New York State Next Generation Learning Standards.

    Pequenakonck Elementary School is committed to using a balanced literacy approach as our instructional model for students to develop skills and strategies in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  

    Students engage in a comprehensive literacy program which includes the following components of effective instruction:

    Reading Instruction 

    Reading Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent reading
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction (guided reading and strategy lessons)
    • Read Aloud

    Shared Reading

    Close Reading 

    Fundations (K-3)/Word Study – phonics, spelling, and vocabulary     

    Writing Instruction

    Writing Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent writing
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction
    • Share

    Shared and Interactive Writing Mechanics, spelling, grammar, and punctuation

    Our reading curriculum includes a balance of literature and nonfiction/informational texts.  Students read daily to improve their fluency, comprehension, and stamina. The level of text complexity increases throughout the K-5 years and assessments are used to match students with appropriate texts.  Additionally, students are taught how to self-select texts for identified reading goals as well as enjoyment. Explicit instruction focuses on foundational skills, fluency, and comprehension.

    The writing curriculum includes three main types of writing:  narrative, informational, and opinion. Students write daily to improve their stamina, volume, and craft.  Writing occurs across the curriculum and for a variety of purposes. Students engage in both the writing process and on-demand experiences.  

    Speaking and listening are also important components of the literacy program.  Students are taught how to effectively communicate with each other, engage in opportunities to think critically, and talk with each other about content, strategies, and original ideas.

    Second Grade Overview


    Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

    Students in second grade gain more skills in reading, writing, and listening to help them become more independent problem solvers and critical and creative thinkers. Students learn how to use word parts and context to figure out how to decode and figure out the meaning of words. Second graders work to improve their fluency and comprehension when reading.

    In writing, second graders study how authors write to persuade, inform, or tell a story to entertain an audience. Second graders then try these techniques in various genres by applying their learning in their own writing.

    To provide systematic and explicit instruction in word knowledge, we use a program called Fundations. Second graders learn more about word structures (vowels, consonants, blends, digraphs, digraph blends), syllable types, vowel teams, base words, suffixes and multisyllabic words to help them spell and more accurately. Second graders build on their high frequency word bank, develop their vocabulary, practice reading with expression and practice rules for grammar.


    Some of what your second grader will be learning include:

    • Noticing details, including illustrations and graphics, in text to answer who, what, where, why, and how questions
    • Using text features (captions, bold print, table of contents, indexes) to locate key facts or information efficiently.
    • Determine the main idea of a story using key details to identify what the author wants to answer, explain or describe
    • Summarizing a story verbally as well as in writing to show understanding of the story
    • Determine the meaning of a new word when a prefix/suffix is added to the word
    • How to write to persuade an audience
    • How to write a story  with dialogue showing character thoughts, feelings and actions
    • How to write to inform a reader using informational text features to organize the writing to inform the reader
    • How to write a story to show the character's point of view (using dialogue, thoughts, feelings and actions)
    • Asking and answering questions to gather information or deepen understanding of a topic


    Pequenakonck Elementary School has adopted the hands-on and minds-on K-5 Math Curriculum, enVisionmath2.0, as the instructional resource to use within our math workshop model. Students explore grade level concepts with engaging materials, manipulatives, videos, online access and interdisciplinary activities that support student learning. The program is organized to promote focus and coherence each day. Assessments provide meaningful feedback to support student learning. The comprehensive program focuses on Common Core Clusters, develops understanding, and most importantly, connects mathematical content and processes. Learning is also supported through small group and collaborative activities. 

    We use enVisionmath2.0 as the instructional resource to use within our math workshop model. The program focuses on developing understanding, and connects mathematical content and process. Students learn through investigation, small group instruction and class discourse around problem solving and mathematical concepts. The four major domains include: Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Numbers and Operations in Base Ten, Measurement and Data, and Geometry.

    Guiding Principles:

    Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them 

    Reason abstractly and quantitatively

    Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

    Model with mathematics

    Use appropriate tools strategically

    Attend to precision

    Look for and make use of structure

    Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning


    Some of what your second grader will be learning include:

    • To fluently add and subtract within 20
    • How to use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract
    • To represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction
    • To measure, compare and estimate lengths in standard units
    • To represent and interpret data
    • To reason about shapes and their attributes
    • To tell time to the five minutes and to identify and count coins

    Social Studies

    Second graders study these for major units: Active Citizenship; Rural, Urban, and Suburban Communities; Geography of Communities, and Changes and Interdependence.

    • Develop questions about the community.
    • Recognize different forms of evidence used to make meaning in social studies (including sources such as art and photographs, artifacts, oral histories, maps, and graphs).
    • Identify and explain creation and/or authorship, purpose, and format for evidence.
    • Identify the arguments of others.
    • Recognize arguments and identify evidence.
    • Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
    • Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.
    • Seek to understand and communicate with individuals from different cultural backgrounds.
    • Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
    • Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.


    We use Science 21 as our instructional resource for teaching science. The science program is an inquiry based program. Second graders use critical and creative thinking skills as well as problem solving skills to learn about the following topics of study: Structure and Properties of Matter; Earth’s Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth; and Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.

    The Framework in which your second grader learns about science concepts is by:

    • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
    • Developing and Using Models
    • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
    • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
    •  Using Math, Computer Tech, and Computation
    •  Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
    •  Engaging in Argument Using Evidence 
    • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information


    The health program, The Great Body Shop, is designed to promote decision-making and behaviors that foster better health. Though students study similar topics at each grade, the depth of content and complexity of ideas builds from grade to grade. All students study growth and development, nutrition, safety, illness prevention, substance abuse prevention, personal safety, family life, and community health.

     Second Grade Topics include:

    •  Let’s Stay Safe
    •  How You Think 
    • The Wide World of Food
    • Your Heart, Small But Strong 
    • When I Feel Afraid 
    • Babies … and How You Grew
    • Drugs Are Dangerous
    • Germs! They Make You Sick 
    • Me and My Skin
    • Muscles in Motion