Second Grade





Veronica Simms: “My students are challenged and are learning something new every day.”


Teaching has always been a love of mine. Children’s curious nature, insight, and excitement for learning have continued to inspire me every day. Using multiple approaches to teaching ensures that every student in my class will learn successfully. The small class sizes at The Academy allow me to meet the needs of, and create a meaningful relationship with, each of my students. My students are engaged, challenged, and are learning something new every day. I come to work looking forward to being part of such an amazing community of teachers, students, and families. It is every teacher’s dream come true!

In second grade, I challenge students to become more independent in a broad range of areas. I also emphasize improving my students’ problem solving and communication skills.

We will have many oral presentations and group discussions in second grade. Current event projects will provide a terrific opportunity for a presentation from one child each week. Every student will also present reading projects monthly. Other formal and informal presentations will occur throughout the year.

I hope to instill a love of learning in all children, and have fun along the way.


Language Arts


In my reading program I focus on fluency, comprehension, and critical analysis. The goal is for students to become more independent, fluent and thoughtful readers. We will be using many sources including short stories, poetry, informational texts, in addition to the following literature books: Love That Dog, Ramona The Brave, Thanksgiving on Thursday, The Christmas Puppy, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Harriet Tubman, Sarah, Plain and Tall, Skylark, The Legend of Blue Land, and The Mouse and The Motorcycle.


I expose my students to a variety of writing including: creative stories, expository, poetry, and an introduction to research and report writing. Students will take part in and become more familiar with the writing process through brainstorming (pre-writing), drafting, editing, publishing, and sharing. We will spend significant time in second grade emphasizing the concept of story structure.

Spelling is a part of writing. Each week, I introduce a new phonetic concept and spelling list. We then practice these concepts and words during class lessons. The homework I assign reinforces these concepts.

We also study phonetic awareness, including short and long vowels, consonants, blends, and digraphs. Some of the concepts we will be focusing on are compound words, contractions, suffixes, root words, synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms. These concepts will be covered in our spelling and grammar program too.

With respect to grammar, I use daily editing exercises to present and review capitalization and punctuation. I emphasize sentence and paragraph structure, and parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, and adverbs. I also teach reference skills such as using the dictionary, glossary, encyclopedia, and atlas.

Finally, we emphasize good handwriting. We will use D’Nealian Handwriting to learn cursive writing. The goal in D’Nealian Handwriting is legibility.


My goal this year is to have students develop a deeper understanding of place value addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers. I will also focus on learning basic facts, vocabulary, and developing a variety of creative and practical strategies for problem solving. We will be using the Houghton Mifflin text, Drops in the Bucket Review, Daily Tune-Ups, and Singapore Math, in addition to other resources.

The concepts we will be covering are:

  • Place value
  • Time
  • Money
  • Addition and subtraction up to 4 digit numbers with regrouping
  • Multiplication and division concepts and facts
  • Geometry and measurement
  • Fractions and decimals
  • Probability, graphs, and data

Social Studies

In our social studies units, we will learn about our community, local and national government, geography, history, immigration, and the westward expansion, to name a few. I also teach my students to connect the ideas and lessons we learn in social studies to our world today. I do this by assigning a current events presentation from a student each week.


Veronica Simms earned her B.A. and M.A. at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, specializing in clinical social work with an emphasis in child development. After working as a therapist with children for two years, she decided to teach abroad in Gallarate, Italy, as an English instructor with The British College of Italy. This experience reinforced her passion and love for teaching. She subsequently obtained her teaching credential from  Saint Vincent College, in Latrobe, PA. In 2004 she moved to the Bay Area and began teaching at The Academy.

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