Team Carter

Second Grade Science Newsletter

Welcome to 2nd Grade Science!

First of all, thank you for sharing your children with me! I am so excited to see their smiling faces and have the opportunity to teach and watch them grow this year. I am looking forward to exploring many exciting science topics with your students as we observe, investigate, and make conclusions.

Team Carter Learns Science!

This year in Science we will expand our knowledge by investigating many BIG IDEAS as set forth by the Virginia Standard's of Learning curriculum framework and the Project 2061 Nature of Science Benchmarks. The Project 2061 Benchmarks were developed as a guideline for scientific knowledge students in grades K-12 should master. The VA Standards of Learning reflect the knowledge provided in these benchmarks. The Nature of Science Benchmarks is comprised of 3 Sections that focus on different areas of the study of science: scientific inquiry, scientific worldview, and scientific enterprise. We will be exploring components of each of section throughout the year. We will also put on our detective hats as we dis spell many of the common MYTHS of science!

What's the BIG IDEA?!

We will expand our knowledge by investigating many BIG SCIENTIFIC IDEAS and answering many BIG QUESTIONS. We will learn through inquiry and let our natural curiosity guide our study of new material. We will use our natural inquiry to observe and gather information using our senses- hearing, touching, and smelling.

Here are a few of the topics we will dive into and BIG QUESTIONS we will answer!

  • Force, motion and energy: How are these elements connected and how do they help us today? VA SOL 2.2
  • Matter: What are the different phases and how to we use them in home and at school? VA SOL 2.3
  • Life Cycles: How are life cycles of plants and animals similar and different? VA SOL 2.4, 2.5
  • Weather and Earth Systems: How does weather affect our daily lives? How might we impact weather? VA SOL 2.6, 2.7
How To Be A Scientist - SciTunes #10


We will use The Four Question Strategy to investigate phenomena and drive our experimental design and investigations. This strategy allows students to "think through" ideas and observations and will allow them to develop their inquiry skills. We will use The Four Question Strategy to create a higher level of thinking and understanding that will guide how we design our experiments and investigations. This strategy really puts the student in the driver's seat and gives them control over their learning. When students are responsible for their own learning, they develop a deeper understanding of subject matter and make greater connections to new material.

Below is an example of how we will use The Four Question Strategy to generate experimental ideas from a general topic (plants):

Q1: What materials are readily available for conducting experiments on plants?

Q2: How do plants act?

Q3: How can I change my materials to affect the action of the plant?

Q4: How can I measure the changes I observe?


We will use our investigations, experiments, and study of SCIENTIFIC BIG IDEAS to make sense of science and our world. We will make connections to everyday life and discuss the application of science in the real world and make science stick! We will compare and contrast scientific ideas and really focus on how science affects us.
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Our assessment of our learning will be ongoing and continuous. I believe in focusing on student selected product or performance assessments to gauge understanding and mastery of material. To assess learning, and we will demonstrate our knowledge through creating products and performing tasks. By giving students multiple assessment methods from which to choose, we allow them to express their knowledge using their individual strengths.

We will work as a team to develop grading criteria and rubrics that focus on specific achievement goals. Involving students in the assessment process helps them to take ownership of their learning and clearly focus on their objectives.

As we learn new material we will often stop and self-assess our understanding using the "SELF CHECK STOPLIGHT". Students will use red, yellow, or green circular stickers to gauge their understanding. We will use this information to guide instruction and activities.



We will be incorporating our skills from other subject areas into much of our scientific discovery. We will use our reading and writing skills to formulate hypotheses, plan investigations, and publish our findings. We will use graphing and calculation skills from Math to record and analyze the data from our investigations. We will even incorporate Healthy living practices into our experimental design!
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There are so many fun, engaging resources for students to use at home to extend their understanding of material we learn in the classroom. Here are a few apps you can download to keep those second grade science wheels-a-turnin'!

  • Maggie's Earth Adventures
  • WaterLife: Where Rivers Meet the Sea
  • BrainPOP


Cothron J. H. , Giese R.N., & Rezba R.J. - Students and Research: Practical Strategies for Science Classrooms and Competitions.

How to Be a Scientist by Coma Niddy