If you have a child who is in second grade, congratulations! They are now reading at an intermediate level. This means that they are able to read and understand texts that are more complex than those found in early readers. They are now picking up chapter books and reading literature longer in length. (Hopefully.) However, there is still more for them to learn in order to become proficient readers.
In this blog post, we will discuss the reading goals that your child should be striving for in second grade, and ways that you can help them achieve these goals. Build their foundational skills and by the end of second grade you will be genuinely impressed with their progress.
Improve Reading Fluency and Expression
I love to hear my daughter read aloud to me. Listening to her read with fluency and expression is one of the great joys of parenting. When she first started reading, her words would come out choppy and robotic. Now, she flows through the text effortlessly, making inflections and using pauses for emphasis. This dramatic improvement did not happen overnight–it took months of practice. From 1st grade to 2nd grade, she began to really soar and enjoy reading aloud.
If you want to help your second grader improve their reading fluency and expression, there are a few things that you can do:
Find a Just Right Book
-Be sure to choose a grade-level text (Just right book)
To be a confident reader, it is important for kids to read on their independent reading level. Scholastic is a great resources for parent/teachers. They have information to help you find the right level by grade level.
-Read aloud to them every day. Model the appropriate rate of reading.
-Choose texts that are at their level so that they can follow along easily. As they listen to you read, they will begin to pick up on the rhythm and flow of the language.
-Record them reading aloud a chunk of the book and play it back ( Be sure to compliment their expression rather than overcorrect them.)
-Have them read aloud to you as often as possible.
-Help them to break down two-syllable words as well as multi-syllabic words
-Develop phonemic awareness by modeling sounds and blends when your child is having difficulty decoding a word
-Allow for self-corrections
Improve Reading Comprehension
One of the goals for second grade is to improve reading comprehension. This means that your child should not only be able to read the words on the page, but also understand what they are reading. There are a few ways that you can help your child gain a deeper understanding:
-Read 20+ minutes daily (Reading for sustained periods of time is key.)
-Talk about the book before they start reading. What is the main idea?
-Ask them questions as they read (e.g., What do you think will happen next?).
-Ask general reading comprehension questions:
Who was in the story?
Where did the story take place?
What was the problem in the story?
What was the solution?
-Ask your child questions to determine if they have an understanding of key details, if not
-After they finish reading, ask them to summarize what happened in the story. You could also have them retell the story from a different character’s perspective.
-Encourage them to make connections between the text and their own life experiences. We call these Text to Self connections in the classroom.
-Have them imagine what is like to walk in the main character’s shoes
-Remind your child to speak in complete sentences when retelling the story
-Explore a variety of genres until you find what piques your child’s interest
-Follow different authors or series.
Make Inferences About the Text
When second-graders are reading, they should also be making inferences. This means that they are using clues from the text to make predictions about what is happening. For example, if a character is feeling sad, your child might infer that something bad has happened to them.
I often paint a picture for the kids. Imagine you see a dog sitting at the door barking. What conclusion can you draw based on what is happening and what you know about dogs? We can infer that the dog needs to go out and do her “business” by what we are observing and our background knowledge. We remind students to be detectives while reading and put together the pieces. Inferencing is an important skill. This is a skill for second grade level and higher.
You can help your second grader with this skill by:
-Pointing out when you are making an inference while you are reading aloud.
-Ask your child to make inferences while they are reading.
-Help your child to draw conclusions based on their own experiences.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to help..
Determine The Meaning of Specific Vocabulary Words
One second-grade reading goal is for students to be able to determine the meaning of specific vocabulary words. This can be a tough one because often times second graders will encounter words that they have never seen before.
A great way to help second grader readers with this is by using context clues. Context clues are pieces of information from the text that can help you figure out what a word means. There are four different types of context clues:
-Definition: The author directly defines the word.
-Example: The author uses the word in a sentence and then explains it.
-Restatement: The author uses different words to explain the word being defined.
-Inference: The reader has to use background knowledge and what has been read
Vary the text you read with your child. Try narrative text, informational text, fairy tales, graphic novels, short stories, magazines. Exposing your child to different genres at a young age will help them to reach all the specific reading goals you are setting for them.
Your 2nd grader is going to take off as a reader. They will grow leaps and bounds this school year. They will receive direct instruction in the classroom, but you can also be their teacher at home. Literacy skills develop best when there is a strong home school partnership. In fact, many struggling readers don’t even have access to books at home. If you are working with your child on reading at home, that is awesome!
Second grade is an important time for kids to learn how to read fluently and with expression. Building reading comprehension skills, making inferences and determining the meaning of vocabulary words will help set them up for success in third grade and beyond.
I hope that this post has given you some ideas of ways to support your second grader at home. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to help!
Remember you always want to make reading fun! Second grade readers rock!
Here a few of my previous posts that may help you teach your child how to read: