Harvey Archibald - Year-End Report, 2nd Grade

A look at some of what Harvey did during his 2016-2017 school year.

beginning the year


In math this year we worked on different strategies for adding and subtraction, including partial sums, open number line, and regrouping; Harvey added and subtracted numbers up to five digits. We continued to think about place value, and practiced rounding to the nearest ten, hundred, and thousand. Harvey worked extensively on problem-solving with word problems (including problems using measurement, time, and money), identifying the missing information and translating a question into mathematical language. We talked about multiplication strategies and introduced multi-digit multiplication. We introduced the concept of area, and Harvey practiced finding the area of rectangles, right triangles, and composite shapes. We touched on fractions and started to think about how to add and multiply them.

word problems, June 2017

Other Math Work Samples


Over his second-grade year Harvey became a fluent reader and spent a great deal of time reading a variety of longer books. Over the year he read, among many others, some of the Magic Tree House series, Stone Fox, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Ribsy, the first Warriors series, Catwings, and Matilda. We spent a little time talking about some his reading—plot, character, and setting. He also worked on gaining information from non-fiction texts. Harvey very much prefers to read privately, but this year developed more confidence in reading aloud.

Harvey wasn't interested in doing much writing this year, and we saw little advantage to pushing; his storytelling is strong and his verbal organization for factual information is improving. Instead we focused on removing barriers to writing in the future, practicing handwriting and talking about spelling rules.

We did a unit on poetry that included a variety of poems from picture books and anthologies. We talked about the features of poetic language, and compared different poetic forms and styles. We also worked at noticing poetic language in prose.

respons to prompt, "write a story", February 2017

rhyming handwriting, May 2017


Harvey observed, described, and drew natural phenomena (plant parts, bread mold, birds nest). We practiced identifying wild and garden plants, as well as types of trees. We thought about living and non-living things, and, connected to that, about seeds and propagation. We experimented with yeast and observed its reproduction and respiration under the right conditions. Over the year we also talked about a wide variety of topics as they came up: weather patterns and seasons; bacteria, infection, and immune response; heat transfer; weathering and erosion; and gravitation and black holes.

(rhyming) science work, June 2017

Social Studies

Besides our usual history Study, which focused again on Colonial Settlement and the American Revolution, we also spent some time learning about maps. We talked about general map features, and worked with examples of maps at both a global and neighborhood scale.

Physical Education

Harvey is an accomplished hiker and cyclist, easily able to go several miles on foot and 10+ on his bike. He is growing more confident in his catching and in throwing overhand, and is able to run consistently, if not particularly quickly, while playing soccer. In the spring he learned how to swim well enough that we don't worry about him in the pool; he's still developing a stroke for efficient movement through the water.


We listened to lots of music: jazz, classical, opera, bluegrass, pop, and hip hop. In the spring we focused on musicals and listened to a variety of them, from Anything Goes to Hamilton; Harvey and I talked about the development of the form and compared the styles across the decades. We also taked about what makes good music in any particular genre.

Harvey had plenty of chances to sing; he can match pitch well but isn't in total command of his voice all the time. He can keep a steady beat and improvise drum patterns over someone else's beat, and keep time to trade 8s around a circle. He started learning piano and recorder; on the recorder he is fairly confident between E in the lower octave and D in the higher and he learned a few songs.


Harvey is confident in his ability to draw whatever he wants to in his own idiosyncratic style. He prefers to experiment with whatever medium he's working with and see what comes out, rather than trying to achieve a specific result. Over the first half of the year we took time to draw every day, but we moved away from that schedule in the spring. Harvey is interested in comic strips and drew several of them throughout the year.

mixed media, March 2017

comic strip, April 2017