My name is Laura McKinley. I have been teaching second grade in Catholic School for a long time, but this is my sixth year teaching in this unique setting: St. Theresa Catholic School is a Classical Catholic School. I have always loved teaching second grade, and I have a deep love for preparing children to receive Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion. Each year I enjoy the pleasure of entering into rich discussions with the students on the topics we are covering in our religion classes. The children know their Catechism well, and so they are able to articulate their ideas in our discussions with a rich and knowledgeable vocabulary which provides for fuller discussions. In addition, we also learn a virtue each month through stories, poetry, and quotations which we then try to put into practice.
While St. Theresa’s Catholic School enjoys uniformity in the methods we have adopted to teach the Diocesan Curriculum, i.e. Riggs Language Arts, Singapore math, the Baltimore Catechism, daily lessons in poetry, geography, history, Latin, music, and PE, and science, second grade is a year where foundations built in Pre-K, K, and 1st come together and the students are able to apply their skill to the next level. In second grade students use their growing proficiency in spelling and vocabulary and apply it to their writing and to group Socratic discussions about literature they read together. In math students learn to problem solve and practice mental math through the regular use of manipulatives. Religion lessons in second grade are special since students are preparing to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion with true understanding of these Sacraments.