Second Grade

At this age you can accomplish a great deal of learning as you go about your daily tasks.

How to Use the LEARNING STYLES Hints on the Charts

 

You will notice that the game charts have a column labeled LEARNING STYLES.  If you have read Discover Your Child’s Learning Style, you will understand what the notes mean.  If not, here is a brief key:

Modalities:

Print means that most content is in print.

Picture means there are a lot of pictures or other graphics.

Visual means that both print and pictures are used in the game.

Verbal means there is some to quite a bit of talking involved.

Listening means that listening is involved.

Auditory means that both Verbal and Listening skills are used in the game.

Hands-on means that there is significant hand movement of cards, pieces, etc.

Whole Body means that the whole body is moving.

Writing means that writing is involved.

 

Dispositions:

Move means that there is significant physical activity.  These games are great for the very active child who hates to sit still.

Produce means that there is a clear (to the student) and quantifiable learning objective.  These children like to have a game labeled “educational” whereas that adjective is the kiss of death to most of the other dispositions.

Invent or Discovery means that there is discovery and/or experimentation involved.

Interact means that there is significant social interaction.  This learning style enjoys most games so it is only listed it when the group interaction is above average.

Create means that the game requires significant thought and/or creativity.

There is another vital element of learning that is important in regard to physical movement or what schools like to call Physical Education.  This is explained in depth in Smart Moves by Carla Hannaford.  Therefore, we have included the notations Vestibular and Proprioceptive to help you pick out P.E. games and activities that give your child reinforcement  in these sensory areas.

Vestibular refers to awareness of body balance and movement.

Proprioceptive  refers to the relative position of different parts of the body and the strength of effort used in movement.

Most games combine multiple elements, so we listed only the salient ones.  Likewise, any one child’s learning style is far more complex than these simple definitions and each child’s personality includes a combination of several modalities and dispositions.  Watch for the elements in games that your child likes and look for those or similar elements in other games

MATHEMATICS

 

 Most children will easily learn the basic addition and subtraction facts if you play games every day and use numbers in your daily life.

NAME OF GAMENUMBER OF PLAYERSAGE RANGETIME OF PLAYEMPHASIS AND NOTESLEARNING STYLE
Math-It17-122-5 MinutesContains parent guide to teaching K-8 Math, contains four solitaire gamesPrint
Hand On
Discover
Match 'Em2-46-Adult10-25 MinutesAddition facts up to 14. Card GamePrint-Visual
Auditory
Interact-Others
Think / Create
Giant Dice2-45-1010-15 MinutesBingo Format
Addition
Subtraction
Multiplication
Print-Visual
Hands-On
Over and Out2-87 and above10-20 MinutesContinuous addition and subtraction card gamePrint-Visual
Think / Create
Quick Pix Math2-67 and above15-20 MinutesFast - No Turns
Addition and Subtraction Facts
Graphic Visual
Auditory Verbal
Hands-On
Fruit Salad2-44 and above15-20 MinutesBeginning Fractions
Visual Perception
Nice Graphics
Graphic Visual
Hands-On
Think / Create
Quick Pix Money2-67 and above15-20 MinutesFast, No turns
matching coins to prices
Graphic Visual
Move
Think / Create
Conceptual Bingo: What Time Is It2-366 - Adult20-30 MinutesThought Problems
Six (6) levels of play
from very easy to challenging for teens
Auditory
Print-Visual
Think / Create
Blink2-37 and above3-5 MinutesFast
No Turns
recognizing attributes
Graphic - Visual
Hands - On
Move
MADMath2-46 and above10-20 MinutesTwo (2) games
Addition or
Multiplication
Print-Visual
Think/Create
Mr. Super Mind 1+5-910-30 MinutesSpatial organization with colorful shapesGraphic-Visual
Hands-On
Think/Create
Addition Songs by Cathy Troxel1+5 and aboveVariesSing along with the addition facts.Auditory-Verbal
Subtraction Songs by Cathy Troxel1+5 and aboveVariesSing along with the subtraction factsAuditory- Verbal
Can Do Kids1+5 and aboveVariesSing and exercise the math factsWhole-Body
Auditory-Verbal
Visual
Move
100 Sheep Skip Counting1+5 and aboveVariesSkip count songs
Christian
Auditory-Verbal
Math Mat Challenge1+4-810+ MinutesWhole body activity
Four functions
Whole Body
Move

We chose Math-It as a foundational product for The Game Curriculum for several reasons.  It contains a parent guide, which outlines the usual scope and sequence for learning math through 8th grade.  The guide also explains how to teach arithmetic in a way that is much easier and less error-prone than many math textbooks.  It may take a little studying on your part to learn the techniques in Math-It, but you will find it well worth your while.  There are four solitaire games in Math-It, which will help your child master the basic math facts.  These will be received well by many children, but others, with a different learning style, will not happily do them often enough to learn the material.  We learned this from our own daughters, one of which enjoyed the Math-It games while the other did not, probably because she is a very social person and always wants other people involved in her activities.  This is not a problem.  You can substitute many other games for the Math-It solitaire games and know the material just as well.  I taught many of the techniques in Math-It to my second graders when I taught school.  They loved the clever “tricks” to find the answers in math.  (If you don’t choose to learn the Math-It techniques, you may want to use Dr. Ruth Beechick’s little guide-book, The 3 R’s to give you a guide for grades K-3.)

Because children have different learning styles, we have included many other games, which will help your children remember the math facts and put them to use.  You can choose the ones that are most helpful to you.  Once the basic math facts are mastered (games and activities will do this), only about 15 minutes of practice a day will give your child fluency with paper and pencil math.   If you choose not to use Math-It, you may still want to purchase the Parent Guide Book, which is sold separately.

Most children will easily learn the basic addition and subtraction facts if you play games every day and use numbers in your daily life.  If your child has great difficulty and you do not feel you can be relaxed enough to wait another year or two, we recommend the Bornstein Addition and Subtraction Memorizer kit.  It taps into several learning styles and gives children mental pegs in the form of stories and pictures to hang math facts on.  Continue to work on math with hands-on and practical situations to help your child develop a better concept of math facts beyond mere memorization.

The kitchen is a great math lab.  Let your children help you as you cook.  It takes longer, but the rewards are great.  Children learn fastest when math is meaningful and cooking is one of the best ways to do it.  I cooked every Friday with my first grade classes.  The children had practice reading the recipe, measuring ingredients, learning about temperature, etc., etc., etc.   This is so easy (but messy, I admit) at home.  You have to cook anyway.  Why not make the most of it?  By age 8, Tylene could bake cookies and brownies on her own without a mix. You get lots more measuring (math) practice when you don’t use a mix but if you are a novice and are afraid of a recipe, go ahead and start with mixes.  You can graduate to real recipes later.

Using an abacus or Cuisenaire Rods® can be very helpful, especially at this age. Although many children seem to take to numbers naturally, others do not.  Having something concrete to work with is very helpful for those who do not immediately grasp the abstract concepts in math.

The abacus we sell has beads in two colors on each row: 5 yellow and 5 blue.  This helps your child begin to visualize items in groups of 5’s and 10’s.  Once your child can “see” groups that add to 5 or 10, he will find math operations much easier.   Another terrific tool is Cuisenaire Rods®.  These wooden or plastic sticks can be used to do almost any math operation.  They help a child make concrete sense of numbers, which are very abstract and difficult for many children.  I found Cuisenaire Rods® very, very helpful in explaining math concepts to Tylene and she was able to use them to work her math problems until she thoroughly understood each operation or concept.

We recommend that you allow your child to use the abacus or rods as he does his math work.  This will solidify the concept in his mind.  He will not continue to use them forever.  Once he has become proficient in the task, he will discontinue the use of them on his own.  You can use games to practice mental math.  Children are willing to work much harder when they are having fun than when the task is boring and unrewarding.

If your child can count backwards from 20 with his eyes closed while tying his shoes, he is ready for Math It.  If he is not ready at age 7, don’t despair; give him a little more time and go play some games.  Even if he is not ready for several more years, when he is, he will master all the operations very quickly.  The key is to develop understanding of the underlying concepts of numbers and how they work and that comes with practical use of numbers.

BOOKS THAT ARE HELPFUL IN DEVELOPING MATH CONCEPTS:

You may want to investigate the Life of Fred math series.  It is a highly creative math curriculum, which teaches using a very gentle and engaging format.  It is very popular and fits well with the Game Curriculum because it teaches conceptually and explains math in a very concrete way using a story format.

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Learning to read is extremely easy when the student is ready and it is extremely difficult when a child is not ready.  Just because your child is smart, does not mean he is ready to learn to read. 

NAME OF GAMENUMBER OF PLAYERSAGE RANGETIME OF PLAYEMPHASIS AND NOTESLEARNING STYLES
Phonogram Fun Packet2+4 and aboveVaries10 games for phonics and spellingPrint
Auditory
Relate
Discover
Scrabble Junior2-45 and above15-25 MinutesTwo (2) Levels
Reading and
Spelling
Print
Relate
Discover
MY WORD! GAME2-67 and above10-30 MinutesSpellingPrint
Relate
Discover
Triple Play: Rhyming Words2-44-910-20 MinutesThree (3) games
Matching
memory
go-fish
Visual
Auditory
Relate
Discover
Green Alligators2-44 and above10-15 MinutesDescriptive language
Nouns
Verbs
Visual
Auditory
Relate
Discover
JINGO Rhyming Words2-305-910-30 MinutesVisual matching
auditory discrimination
Picture
Relate
Discover
Jingo: Fairy Tales and Fables2-305-910-30 MinutesVisual matching
verbal clues
Picture
Relate
Discover
Twister Story Starter1+6 and above5+ MinutesCreativity
Story Telling
Writing
Auditory
Relate
Create
Quiddler Junior1+6 and above40 MinutesEasy Spelling GameVisual
Relate
Create

You don’t need all of the above to teach reading and spelling.  Choose what you want or need to get the job done.  Learning to read is extremely easy when the student is ready and it is extremely difficult when a child is not ready.  Just because your child is smart, does not mean he is ready to learn to read.  If you get massive resistance even with games, your child is probably not ready.  Read Better Late Than Early by Raymond and Dorothy Moore (out of print-order from a used bookseller online).  Children’s eyes are not fully developed and ready for a lot of close visual work until they are about eight years old, so many are not ready to focus on printed matter for any length of time until after age 8.  That is why so many children balk at seat work or have very limited endurance times for close visual work.  In school, these children are called ADHD when the real problem is developmental and/or visual.  Games that use large letters can help you give your child the basics of phonics so that when the time comes, reading will come easily.

You may also want to see a Developmental Optometrist to make sure your child does not have a visual problem that the “eye chart” test missed.  There are many vision problems that can cause difficulty for a child with 20/20 eyesight.  Our daughter was one.   You can call the Optometric Extension Program Foundation, Inc. in Santa Ana, CA for a referral: (949) 250-8070 or go to http://pavevision.org/and click on find a doctor.  There is a great deal of information on that site as we

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

 

Be sure to get plenty of physical exercise.  This cannot be overstated.

NAME OF GAMENUMBER OF PLAYERSEMPHASIS AND NOTESLEARNING STYLE
Jump Rope1 or moreRhythm, agility, coordination, strength, aerobicMove
Relate
Whole Body
Chinese Jump Rope3 or moreRhythm, agility, coordination, strength, aerobicMove
Relate
Whole Body
Ball Games1 or moreStrength, Hand -Eye and large muscle coordinationMove
Relate
Visual
Whole Body
Hop Scotch1 or moreBalance, Agility, Eye-Hand CoordinationMove
Relate
Visual
Whole Body
Jacks1 or moreHand-Eye Coordiantion
Rhythm
Move
Relate
Visual
Hands-On
Can Do Kids1 or moreRhythm, Balance
Coordination
Aerobic
Move
Listening
Visual
Whole Body
Ring Toss1 or moreHand-Eye Coordination
depth perception
Muscular/Sensory Skills
Move
Visual
Whole Body
Sky Saucer Swing1 or moreVestibular stimulation body awarnessMove
Whole Body
Double Maze Board1Balance
Agility
Planning
Move
Discover
Visual
Whole Body
Be sure to get plenty of physical exercise.  This cannot be overstated.  Children will do this naturally if not distracted by television and video games but sometimes you can’t get out, so we included a great exercise video by Can Do Kids, which teaches math while you exercise!  You will find that your children learn much faster when you keep “lessons” short (10-20 minutes) and allow LOTS of unstructured playtime.  Far from being a waste of time, unstructured play develops children’s brains in many ways.  Dr. David Elkind explains this in The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally.  We highly recommend this book. It will help you understand why you shouldn’t try to structure everything your children do.

SCIENCE

 

Harness the natural curiosity of children to direct your study of science!

GAMES FOR SCIENCE

NAME OF GAMENUMBER OF PLAYERSAGE RANGETIME TO PLAYEMPHASIS & NOTESLEARNING STYLES
Somebody2-46-1020-30 MinutesLearn the names and functions and locations of major body parts.Picture
Relate
Butterflies of the World Playing Cards2-84 - adultvarieslearn about butterflies as you play your favorite card games.Visual
Relate
Discover
Professor Noggins Farm Animals
2-87-Adult10-20 MinutesEverything from fertilizer to farm animals, two levels of playVisual
Listening
Relate
Discover
Professor Noggin's Card Game Insects and Spiders2-87-Adult10-20 MinutesTwo levels of play, learn interesting facts about spiders and insectsVisual
Listening
Relate
Discover
JINGO: Creepy Crawly Critters2-305 and up10-20 MinutesLearn about creeping crittersPicture
Listening
Discover
Relate
Nature Bingo2-65 and up10-20 MinutesPictures and information about naturePicture
Listening
Discover
Relate
FARMING GAME KIDS2 or more5-Adult10-20 MinutesThree levels of play in three languages. helps develop skills in addition, subtraction, counting money,Visual
Relate
Explore Photo Safari2 or more3 and up15 MinutesThe fastest one wins! With the help of clues, you must be the first player to find animals all over the world.Visual
Relate
Discover
Go Fish for Wildlife: Mammals2 or more5 and upVariesDiscover 36 wild mammals as you play 4 favorite card gamesVisual
Discover
Relate
Professor Noggin's Card Game Reptiles & Amphibians

2-87-Adult10-20 MinutesTwo levels of play, learn about reptiles and amphibians.Visual
Listening
Relate
Discover
In addition to the games, there are many wonderful animal picture books, “how to draw” books and nature coloring books.  You can find a good selection from a variety of publishers on our web site: www.excellenceineducation.com.  Don’t forget to get outdoors to observe birds, bugs and other animals in your area or go to a zoo, aquarium, lake, beach, river, park, farm or whatever wild area you might have near you to see real animals relatively close up.  These are prime places to learn.  The books and games will back up and reinforce what you actually see in the real world.  You can also get a book of flowers, trees, birds or whatever interests your children to take out with you to identify things you run across.  We also suggest place mats with animals, insects, etc.  Be sure to check the recommendations for Kindergarten and 1st grade too as many will also be appropriate for 2nd grade as well.

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

 

At this age, children really enjoy learning about the United States with games.

EMPHASIS: U.S. HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

NAME OF GAMENUMBER OF PLAYERSAGE RANGETIME OF PLAYEMPHASIS & NOTESLEARNING STYLES
Sequence States and Capitals2-127 to Adult20-30 MinutesLearn the states and capitals with a fun strategy gamePicture
Listening
Discover
Relate
Geo Cards USA1-46 and older10+ MinutesLearn U.S. States and CapitalsPicture
Relate
USA Placemat1AllUse as a map, game or placematPicture
GeoPuzzle US and Canada1 or more4-1215-30 MinutesLarge puzzle with state shaped piecesPicture
Relate
Discover
Americana Art Bingo by Lucy Hammett2-67-Adult15-20 MinutesThis full color bingo game contains 6 bingo cards and 42 colorful and informative calling cards.

Each picture card comes complete with an entertaining, scientific description.
Picture
Listening
Discover
Relate
STATES AND CAPITALS KIT CD1+All AgesVariesLearn the states and capitals in song.Auditory
Perform
Create
The Scrambled States of America™ Game2-48 and older15 + MinutesStates, capitals, nick names and locationsVisual
Listen
Move
Discover
Relate

At this age, children really enjoy learning about the United States with games. U S A Geography Jingo is a bingo style game with enough cards for everyone in the neighborhood. It has several levels of play.  At this age, we recommend just calling the state and holding up the card so the children can match the shape of the state. It helps to also have a U.S. Map where the players can see it. Playing this way, younger children (non-readers) can play too.

Those of you who enjoy the popular game Sequence can now introduce your children to the new Sequence States and Capitals.  Puzzles are a great tactile-kinesthetic-visual way to learn.  They also take a little time, which gives your brain a chance to really imprint the information presented.  Children usually enjoy the challenge of a puzzle over and over.  The more you do map puzzles, the better map you have in your brain.  There are many wonderful puzzles available and we believe the GeoPuzzle USA is one of the best.  The pieces are cut in the shape of the states and provinces to help children remember them better.

States and Capitals Songs Kit contains a CD with the States Song, which takes you along each border as you sing the states as well as the States and Capitals Song, which teaches the capitals in the same manner.  This is by far the easiest and most enjoyable way to learn our states and capitals and their placement on the map.  The kit comes with a giant black and white map for coloring or otherwise decorating.  This is another great resource for the car.

We added the American Art Bingo for a little variety.  History and Geography actually encompass art, music, science and much more.  Take a cultural plunge with your children and begin to learn about American art too.

HELPFUL BOOKS: (read aloud and easy readers)

  • United Tweets of America                                                                                                             
  •  Missionary stories from around the world by Dave and Neta Jackson (multiple titles)
  • Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas
  • America’s Paul Revere by Esther Forbes
  • Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow                                                                                               An American Army of Two by Janet Greeson
  • The Back of Beyond: A Story About Lewis and Clark by Andy Russell Bowen*                                        Buttons for General Washington by Peter Roop
  •  If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern
  •  If You Grew Up With George Washington by Ruth Gross
  •  If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution by Elizabeth Levy                                              Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
  • The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki
  • The Statue of Liberty (Step Into Reading Level 2)
  • The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh                                                                                                   Wee Sing America by Pamela Conn Beall (Book and CD)

*Although out of print, this book is easily found either online for a very low price or at your library.   This book was one of the Creative Minds Biographies series of several dozen informative and inspiring books, which gradually went out of print after their publisher, Carolrhoda Publ. was purchased by a larger company. They are short (about 60 pages) and meant for about 4th to 6thgrade.  They were sold mainly to libraries and schools, so you may find this one in your library.

Products highlighted in blue available through us, otherwise check out Amazon.

BIBLE AND RELIGION

 

NAME OF GAMENUMBER OF PLAYERSAGE OF PLAYERSTIME OF PLAYEMPHASIS & NOTESLEARNING STYLES
Jewish Bible Sequence2-66 and above20+ MinutesJewish symbols and Bible events
Strategy
Picture
Discover
Relate
Create
Bible Bingo2-66 and above20+ MinutesBible events
Strategy
Picture
Listening
Dicover
Relate
Noah's Big Animal Adventure Game2-64-1020+ MinutesBoard Game
Creation to the Flood
Picture
Auditory
Discover
Relate
Bible Sequence2-66 and above30 minutesBiblical knowledge, characters
Board game
Picture
Discover
Relate
Create
Read the Bible or a Bible storybook with your children.  When you play the games discuss the pictures or the events that you come across.  You could also begin to memorize some of the verses in Noah’s Big Animal Adventure.  These games are a way to reinforce the Biblical knowledge and concepts that your children are learning.  If you want to give them an incentive to remember verses, you could award an extra turn for a well-recited verse.  Be creative and enjoy learning about God.