Second and Third Grades

How do you build a hexagon house?


Real-world problem solving

Second and third grade students transform into architects and urban planners as they build GeoMetro City in math class.To plan their cities, they must calculate area and perimeter; they have to figure out how to make a flat piece of paper fold into a three-dimensional shape. Working together, they use geometry and multiplication instinctively and authentically. 

In the Lighthouse, our second and third grade classroom, students look beyond the walls of their classroom to engage with the world, reading and writing nonfiction books, solving real-life math problems and mapping the Bay Area. These students are eager to experiment, to consider new ideas and new skills.

Connected and capable students 

Small classes create personal relationships between students and teachers. Lighthouse students know they are trusted and respected. That’s why they feel safe enough to take risks and stick with challenges until they succeed. Second and third graders thrive, both academically and emotionally, in a caring and challenging community.

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Language Arts

In second and third grade language arts, the classroom becomes a community of readers and writers. Students work directly with the teacher, in small groups, and as individuals. Lessons reinforce strategies and skills in reading, writing, and word work, while read-alouds and shared reading provide opportunities for interpretation and discussion. Students craft their own personal narratives, learning to use detail and description. In a unit on non-fiction, each student researches a topic, ranging from chickens to chess, and as the class expert, presents findings through diagrams, writing, and public speaking.


Math in second and third grade uses real-world problems to build mathematical thinking and reinforce skills. Differentiated instruction groups students so that every child is challenged appropriately. Topics are introduced visually, verbally and numerically to engage students in multiple modalities of learning. Hands on projects supplement problem solving sessions and small group work to keep students engaged and excited. 


Second and third graders explore the concept of systems—how many things come together to form a complex whole. From the solar system to the circulatory system, students explore the natural world. A unit on ecosystems demonstrates the ways that climate and geography effect plant and animal life. Using their science journals, students research, experiment, record data and reach conclusions.

Social Studies

History begins to come alive through explorations of California and the Bay Area. From the California missions and the Gold Rush to immigration and industry, second and third graders examine the communities that have shaped and built our state and city. Local fieldtrips bring the history of the Bay Area to life.

Social and Emotional Learning

In class meetings, second and third graders discuss and practice the skills strong communities need:  empathy, responsibility and respect. As they work together to learn the basics of conflict resolution, they learn to listen, to seek others’ perspectives, and to create compromise.