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The Common Core & Second Grade

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a group of national learning goals outlining what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. They were adopted for English/language arts and math by the state of Wisconsin in 2010. (Previously, Wisconsin only had standards outlining what students should know for grades 4, 8 and 12.)

These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills needed to be successful, while helping families understand what is expected of their students. It’s also important to remember that the CCSS are not a curriculum; they are standards that establish what students need to learn, but don’t dictate how teachers should teach. 

In Shorewood, we are aligning to the Common Core Standards, but are not formally adopting them. This gives our staff more flexibility when designing curriculum, while ensuring our students to be better prepared for the content they’ll see on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (which will begin replacing the WKCE during the 14-15 school year), without drastically changing our curriculum.

Our District and teachers will work together to decide how to best help students reach the standards. Differentiation will still be available for students, meaning students that need extra challenges will receive them, while students that need extra assistance will receive help.

Second Grade Math

One of the most important outcomes for second graders is to add and subtract two-digit numbers quickly and accurately (eg 77-28). Another important goal is to understand what the digits mean in a three-digit number like 463 (ie four hundreds, six tens and three ones). Second graders also build expertise with solving addition and subtraction word problems. Mastering addition and subtraction are important for second graders so that students do not need to review and repeat this material in 3rd grade, when multiplication, division and fractions are introduced.

Second Grade Math Skills:

  • Represent and solve problems in involving addition and subtraction, including one and two-step word problems 
  • Add and subtract within 20
  • Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication
  • Understanding what the digits mean in three-digit numbers (place value)
  • Measuring and estimating length in standard units
  • Work with time and money
  • Building, drawing, and analyzing 2D and 3D shapes to develop foundations for area, volume and geometry

Second Grade Math Practices:

  • Make sense of problems and perceive 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

Second Grade English/Language Arts

In second grade, your student will continue to learn and practice rules for matching sounds to letters that make up words and learn new concepts-- such as words that share the same root (ie- add and additional) that help them figure out the meanings of new words. Writing will become an exciting way for your child to use newly learned words and phrases to express ideas. As they write and speak, second graders will become more attentive to the formal and informal uses of English and will spell most words correctly in their writing.

Specific Skills:

  • Pay close attention to details to answer who, what, where, when, why and how questions
  • Using text features (ie bold text) to locate key facts or information efficiently
  • Write an option about a book he/she has read, using details to support it
  • Determine the meaning of an unknown and multiple-meaning words/phrases
  • Take part in conversations by linking comments to the remarks of others; asking/answering questions to gather additional information and deepen understanding
  • Retelling key information or ideas from media or books read aloud
  • Producing, expanding and rearranging sentences (ie “The boy watched the movie,” “The movie was watched by the boy”)
  • Capitalize holidays, product names and geographic names
  • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives
  • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (ie cage --> badge)
  • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs ( ie- sat, told)
  • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns ( ie- feet, children)
  • Determine the meaning of new words formed when a prefix is added
  • Use glossaries and beginner dictionaries to determine/clarify the meaning of words
  • Distinguish shades of meaning among closely related verbs and adjectives


As part of the shift, students will take part in a new system of assessments. As second graders, students will take one or two tests. Specific information about the tests can be found below:

ExamGradeExam Info

Access 2.0
(one hour
to administer starting
15-16 school year)

(ELL students only)

• Elements of CCSS embedded
• Screens & provides an annual summary
• Computer adaptive

(20-30 minutes 
to administer)

• Useful for helping to identify students in need of 
additional help and as a source of formative data

District Calendar

    • TueApr24 Lake Bluff Linkage 5:45 PMSHS Conference Room #116
    • TueApr24 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay08 School Board Town Hall 5:45 PM to 6:45 PMSHS Library
    • TueMay08 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay22 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

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