The Class 2 child sits on the cusp of dreamy, childhood consciousness. Events and experiences of the outside world are filtered through the child’s imagination and rearranged to accord with the child’s world perception. Typically they develop an appreciation for humour and enjoy being in the elements; the class studies Celtic tales to compliment these moods. Children continue to benefit from rhythms and movement during the school day.
The Main Lesson
Main lesson is a uniquely immersive, thematic and interdisciplinary academic lesson led by the class teacher. Main lesson subjects are studied in “blocks” of time from three to four weeks. At the end of a “block” of study, the subject rotates so that the block functions as a magnifying glass on a given subject over a period of time. This pattern of rotating main lesson blocks continues throughout the year.
The class teacher guides the learning of the main lesson content through a variety of activities that allow time for in-depth study and absorption of the material.
During the main lesson each child will create a guided written and artistic record of the content in a bound book, called the “main lesson book,” that can be used for future reference and is forever treasured by the children.
The main lesson bookwork itself constitutes a robust learning experience. In scholarly fashion, teachers and students work with original source materials instead of textbooks. Students learn to think and express themselves in a multitude of ways. They gradually learn time management, reflection, comprehension, synthesis, critical thinking, and disciplined recall.
Academic subjects that are not the focus of the main lesson block are maintained through study during the instruction periods that follow the main lesson. Instruction is always ongoing in reading, writing and mathematics.
Some of the main lessons in Class 2 include:
Fables – Moving from a simple trust in the wisdom and authority of parents/guardians and adults, the child gleans an awareness of the range of human characteristics from the wise to the unwise, from the virtuously inspiring to the ethically questionable.
In second grade children listen to stories of fables and legends and through their imagination, the children arrive at the important life lessons contained within these stories.
Second graders practice and expand skills in retelling of these stories and fables in sequence. The children practice handwriting and are introduced to spelling and punctuation as they write summaries of these stories in their own Main Lesson Book.
The stories of the Celtic tradition contain a blend of the everyday realities of the natural world; into which the growing child is now moving, that parallel the mystical and magical themes of dreamy childhood.
This main lesson works to build on their understanding of number through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Number stories and rich images from the story material for the year provide engagement as children explore and discover a variety of strategies to solve problems.
Number pattern discoveries are deeply satisfying at this age and factors, common multiples, and prime numbers are explored preparing for the understanding of fractions in fourth grade. Circle games and exercises help the children learn and remember their multiplication tables.
Language Studies- Irish and French
Irish and French Language Studies are further developed with reading and writing in both languages.
Music studies are built upon and expanded. Class 2 students continue with the Recorder in music notation, and ensemble playing.
The Primary School classes also follow the rhythm of the year and are filled with seasonal songs and games.
Sessions run five days a week from 9am – 2:40pm