**PART 2: Language Structures, Developing Number Concepts and Money**

Japari offers seven excellent years of schooling beginning in Grade 1. We prepare our students to do well at high school.

The Foundation Phase is pivotal to successful schooling. We have looked at pre-school milestones that need to be in place before starting Grade 1 at Japari. We have three articles that cover the progress that student’s will make in their first year at primary school.

Last month we began to look at milestones that Grade 2s will achieve in their second year at Primary School. This month we will finish off their required language structure skills and use. We will then begin considering the mathematical skills that second grade develops in its learners.

These surveys of milestones are not exhaustive. They will, however, give parents a good idea of the progress that should be seen each year.

**Grade 2 Learning in context: Understanding and Using Language Structures**

By the end of Grade 2, children will be able to understand between one thousand and two thousand words. This is building on the 700 – 1000 words that they had learned in Grade 1. They will know what these words mean and use them correctly in context.

Grade 2’s begin developing understanding of language structures. These are understood and used in both written and spoken language.

The simple past tense is understood and used. For example, “I went to the shops.” Time connectors such as before, after, then, first, next are used with understanding.

They can use question forms, for example “Why did you?”

Pronouns (he, she, they) begin to be used correctly. Second graders acquire a larger range of adverbs and adjectives.

Grade 2s begin to use the grammar that they were taught in Grade 1 with more confidence. For example, they can use the simple present tense, as well as the progressive present tense. They use “may” and “can” verbs in the right way.

Prepositions (under, next to, on top of) are understood and begin to be used correctly.

All of these language conventions are seen to develop in Grade 2. They begin to use these language structures and more in both written and spoken language.

**Mathematics in Grade 2 – Everything Counting**

Progression in mathematics has three components. There is an increase in the range of numbers grasped and utilised in calculations. New types of numbers are introduced. Different ways of doing calculations are developed. These three components ensure that the mathematical relationships, operations and number sense develop each year.

**Developing Number Concepts in the Second Grade**

Calculations should become more efficient as the number range increases. From counting on fingers, for example, learners should begin to do calculations in their heads. These calculations will be simple at the grade 2 level. But the process should be beginning. Finger counting will still be helpful for children.

Using contextual mathematical problems will be done at the grade two level this year. These sums will take into account students’ appropriate levels of competence. The number range will also be suitable for the grade.

**The counting of concrete items and increasing the range of counting forwards and backwards**

Second graders will be able to count up to and down from at least 200. They will be able to begin counting from any figure they are given. This counting is in any direction.

Grade two is when children learn to count in various multiples. The multiples that they learn to count in are: 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s and 10’s.

Grade 2’s will be able to make estimate to the figure of 200 as well. Their estimation and counting will be reliable. As the year progresses, counting by grouping is encouraged.

**Number reading, recognising, and identifying in Grade Two**

Second graders will be able to order and compare whole numbers. They can also describe them. The number symbols they will be able to recognise are all of the figures between zero and 200. They will be able to write the characters of each of these numbers.

They also learn to read and write the numbers out in words. This is up to one hundred.

This year grade 2’s begin to learn the ordinals of numbers. These are “first”, “second” and so forth. The children will be able to go to at least twentieth place. In this way the students will be able to show position, place and order.

**Number orders up to 99: Describing and comparing in Grade 2**

Whole numbers up to 99 can be described accurately. Second graders can explain whether a number is greater, smaller or equal to other whole numbers.

Students will also be able to order numbers up to ninety-nine. They can either put them correctly smallest to largest, or vice-versa.

Two-digit numbers up to 99 can also be deconstructed. Grade 2s will be able to identify the multiples of ten and single units of any number.

For example, 36 will be three 10’s and six ones. 89 will be eight 10’s and nine 1’s. Each digit’s value can be identified and stated accurately.

**Problem solving in context**

Second graders learn to explain solutions to problems. They can tell others how they arrived at the correct solution. There are various approaches to problem solving. One way to solve problems is to use a number line. They will be able to double and halve numbers.

Grade 2s can also use physical apparatus such as counters to solve for problems. They will be able to draw out the simple word problems to help them find the correct answer. As we have seen, they can break down and build up numbers to get to the solutions.

Up to 99, addition and subtraction word problems can be done in grade two. Very importantly, the learners can explain their solutions to the problems they are solving.

Problems that involve equal sharing and grouping can be done up to 50. The answers can include remainders. For example, if there are three friends and they have ten sweets, how many will each get? A grade 2 will be able to work out that they each get three sweets, with one left over. As the year progresses, the answers can include unitary fractions.

The students also learn to work out answers that use repeated addition or multiplication. These are also up to 50.

**Grade 2’s and Money Sums**

Second graders learn to recognise South Africa’s bank notes and coins. These are all the rand coins (R5, R2, R1) and our cents coins (50c, 20c, 10c, 5c). Money calculations up to a total of R99 and 90c can be performed by the end of the year.

**Enjoying the second Grade at Japari**

Japari has small classes. Depending on the grade, there are between 10 and no more than 15 students at a time. This ensures that as they are learning these key concepts they have the attention they require. It is in the foundation phase that the keys to academic success are laid.

Students who grasp the concepts quickly will have the support to practise and improve their skills. Students who need more support and time to learn these ideas as they need it.

Contact us to day to make an arrangement to come and our first class facilities. We love seeing our students thrive.

We will continue with context-free problem solving in our next article.

**Bibliography/Further Reading**