The 2nd Grade year is full of experiential learning with a focus on community.  Teachers begin to work with students to hone their organizational skills.
Second grade is a pivotal year for our students as they begin to explore the world around them and the influencers that created it. In Reader's Workshop, students critically analyze more advanced books to understand the author's unique perspective. Second grade students also study and perform music on the violin like "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Ode to Joy" while learning about the childhoods of the great composers Mozart and Beethoven.
The highlight of 2nd grade is Family Celebration, a longstanding Carlthorp School tradition. Family Celebration is an extended international research and study program that gives students the opportunity to choose a relative to interview, after which they write and illustrate a “book” about their heritage. Students also dress a teddy bear in the traditional costume of their country of origin. Finally, after learning songs and dances from around the world, the children perform for their families, a celebration of the things that unite us as humans and an homage to the similarities and differences in our heritages.
An experiential field trip to a senior living facility follows Family Celebration, solidifying the concepts they were taught throughout the project. Students have another opportunity to perform songs that they have learned as well as interact with members of another generation. Many of the students use the information they learned through their research projects as conversation starters with the senior residents. The field trip is followed up with a letter of gratitude to their new senior buddies drafted and finalized in writing class.

Public Speaking

In addition to the excitement about the Family Celebration social studies program, 2nd Graders continue to focus on developing academic and social skills. Public speaking skills are further enhanced and every student is invited to present the Code of Conduct to the entire school at Flag Line at least once during the year.

Meet the Team

List of 4 items.

  • Cori Snelson

    Second grade is excited to welcome Cori Snelson to its faculty team. Cori’s move to 2nd grade follows her roles at Carlthorp in the P.E. Department and, most recently, as a kindergarten homeroom teacher. With nearly two decades of experience at the elementary school level, Cori works to foster a positive learning environment where her students’ academic, social, and emotional needs are met.

    Cori grew up in Rochester Hills, Michigan. She graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in Elementary Education.  After college, she taught grades 1-4 in Atlanta, where she received her master's in Early Childhood Education and became a member of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Since moving to Los Angeles, Cori has worked as a go-to specialized reading and math tutor in grades K-6. In her spare time, you may find Cori training for running races, hiking, or Facetiming with her nephews.

  • Kristen Gregory

    Ms. Kristen Gregory is entering her sixth year as a 2nd grade teacher at Carlthorp School. Kristen has a passion for teaching young children with a focus on their social and emotional well-being. With a degree in art education from the University of Vermont and a master's in curriculum and instruction, Kristen loves using creative ways to teach our 2nd grade curriculum. Ms. Gregory loves being a part of the amazing Carlthorp School community. Prior to living and teaching in Los Angeles, Kristen taught for three years in Brooklyn, New York. As a Bostonian, Kristen appreciates the sunshine and beauty of Santa Monica! When not teaching, she is likely hiking, at the beach, biking, or spending time with her family, especially her six beautiful nieces and nephews. Kristen is looking forward to another incredible year in 2nd grade!

  • Kate Cushman

    Ms. Kate Cushman is entering her 22nd year at Carlthorp and her 26th year of teaching. Growing up in Michigan, Kate received her B.A. from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She has a master's degree in education from Pepperdine University and completed the Gifted Students certification program at USC's Rossier School of Education. Kate is a certified yoga instructor and Social Emotional Learning Facilitator. She has a passion for integrating mindfulness and yoga into the classroom.

    When Kate isn't teaching, she loves to spend time with her husband, family, and apricot poodle, Scully. Being active — hiking, running, biking, and yoga — is also a big part of Kate's life. Inspiring students to be their best selves and being a part of the CS community brings so much joy to Kate's life!

  • Elizabeth Worrell

    Elizabeth grew up in Wisconsin and attended Concordia University in Chicago, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She continued at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she completed a Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Literary Studies. Throughout her graduate program, she focused mainly on identifying and overcoming the social constructs that may cause boys to develop early and negative attitudes towards reading. Elizabeth has acquired a broad range of teaching experience in both elementary and middle schools. Her first assignment was in suburban Chicago teaching 2nd grade. After moving to California, she spent eight years teaching 7th and 8th grade students at Venice Lutheran, an independent school just down the road from Carlthorp. While there, Elizabeth started an astronomy partnership with a local university, helped rethink the school’s reading curriculum, directed and co-directed numerous theatrical productions and incorporated many forms of educational technology into her classroom. In her free time, Elizabeth is an avid reader who is always on the lookout for high interest books to add to the 2nd grade library.