Second & Third Grade

Aurora’s 2/3 classrooms each have a full time Lead Teacher and share a Teaching Assistant.


Tanya Grove

Lead Teacher, Room 1


Dana Culpepper

Teaching Assistant, Rms 1 & 2


Isaac Pasternack

Lead Teacher, Room 2


Children at this stage still need to feel safe and secure in their environments, and crave positive relationships and inclusion. It's a critical time for developing emotional regulation and empathy, as they begin to seek greater autonomy.

As with all students, Aurora’s staff pay attention to the whole child, cultivating their emotional growth as well as their learning process. We accommodate their desire for community and belonging with our Partner Pals program, where they are paired with older and younger peers for monthly projects, and they begin participating in clubs supervised by Aurora Middle Schoolers.

Social-emotional learning continues to be reinforced in Open Circle, where students talk about how to manage their emotions, strengthen their relationships, and solve problems in a positive way. Students are given the opportunity to explore this in morning meetings and other class meetings, where restorative justice models are used to teach conflict resolution.

To ensure that lessons aren’t repeated, our curriculum runs in a two-year cycle. Some subjects, like math, are taught by grade level.

Year A Topics
Social Studies Essential question: What is Oakland?
  • How did your family come to Oakland/East Bay?
  • What is Oakland’s history?
  • Who are the Ohlone people?
  • What communities live in Oakland?
  • What are some important landmarks in Oakland?
Possible Field Trips:
  • Peralta Hacienda
  • Oakland Museum
  • Know Your City walking tours
  • Sausal Creek Restoration Project
  • Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
  • Redwood Regional Park
Essential question: What is power?
  • Who has and who does not have power?
  • How can we use our power to make a difference?
  • How does using our power affect others?
  • Power of working together.
  • Power of sticking up for others
  • Power of making a difference
  • Power of knowledge
  • Power of self-expression
Reading To develop decoding and word recognition, students are given opportunities to:
  • Use letters, letter clusters and word parts to decode unknown words (e.g. word families, syllables, and prefixes/suffixes)
  • Read text out loud with accuracy and fluency, which is characterized by appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression
To develop reading comprehension, students are taught to
  • Make predictions
  • Visualize
  • Make connections
  • Generate questions
  • Identify and describe story elements
  • Infer information from reading
  • Retell and summarize texts
  • Distinguish the main idea and supporting details in text
  • Distinguish between literary genres
  • Personal narrative
  • Nonfiction
  • Opinion writing
  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Research report
  • Myths
During weekly handwriting instruction (Handwriting without Tears), 2nd graders study print, and 3rd graders study cursive.
Math & STEM Math is taught by grade level.
2nd Grade units:
  • Figure the facts
  • Place value & non-standard measurement
  • Addition & subtraction to 100
  • Measurement (standard)
  • Place value to 1,000
  • Geometry
  • Measurement (metric), fractions & multi-digit computation
  • STEM: Building marble rolls
3rd Grade units:
  • Addition & subtraction patterns
  • Introduction to multiplication
  • Multi-digit addition & subtraction
  • Measurement & fractions
  • Multiplication, division & area
  • Geometry
  • Extending multiplication & fractions
  • STEM: Building bridges
  • Pebbles, sand, and silt
  • Insects and plants
  • Motion and matter
  • Structures of life
  • Solids and liquids
  • Water and climate
Social-Emotional Learning Elements of the Open Circle Social-Emotional Learning Program::
  • Managing ourselves
  • Strengthening relationships
  • Problem solving
Other elements of the 2/3 SEL curriculum include:
  • Morning meeting (Responsive Classroom)
  • Class meetings (Positive Discipline)
  • All-school Community Creators
  • Partner Pals
  • Restorative justice
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