The goal of second grade is to enable students to become confident, independent thinkers while building and expanding basic skills that have been previously acquired. During the year, children work on personal growth in resourcefulness and self-motivation. Students gain confidence in problem solving in all areas. Second graders learn to express their ideas clearly in writing and discourse. Active listening, critical thinking, and organizational skills are taught and practiced. Students behave with consideration and respect for others in the social arena; second graders learn to appreciate differences. Through partner and group work, second graders practice cooperating to achieve common goals. A vibrant strand of outdoor education permeates the second grade curriculum. The lessons of the natural world are observed, explored, and integrated in science, math, art, history, and language arts.