Second graders are able to solve increasingly challenging problems, explore mathematical ideas in a variety of ways, and consider multiple strategies for solving problems. They begin to evaluate their own thinking as well as that of others in the mathematics classroom.

The second-grade learning environment should reflect developmental changes of students while focusing on the need for fundamental mathematics, interactive exploration, reflection, and justification of findings. Students reason and prove their findings, make connections between real-life experiences and mathematics, and communicate their mathematical understanding to others. They present ideas, with and without physical models, and use mathematical tools to aid their thinking. Students’ knowledge of mathematical concepts is enhanced through participation in extended project investigations.

Content standards for second grade are designed to allow students to learn mathematics concepts with understanding. Learning with understanding makes subsequent learning easier as students are better able to connect new knowledge to existing knowledge. Learning with understanding also allows students to enhance problem-solving skills and become more adept in computational skills. According to the NCTM, development of a balance of and a connection between conceptual understanding and computational proficiency is necessary for students to achieve computational fluency.

Second-grade content focuses on number and operations, algebra, and measurement. Algorithms for addition and subtraction are formally introduced. Additionally, concepts such as using standard units of measure, creating and extending patterns, describing attributes of plane shapes and solid figures through geometry, and collecting data are addressed. These foundational skills prepare students to succeed as they begin to engage in more rigorous mathematical processes in future grades and everyday life.

*from the 2009 Alabama Course of Study: Mathematics, p. 14*