What You Should Know About Your Second Grader
When I asked my second grade class what grown ups should know about second graders this is the list they came up with:
We have lots of energy…We are smart…We are silly…We are exciting…We are good readers…We talk too much!
All of these are incredibly accurate statements. Second graders are working on understanding themselves and figuring out their place in the world. They are becoming increasingly confident in their skills as well as finding their footing socially. Second graders are in a transitional stage between dependent little kids to independent big kids. They still enjoy the fun parts of school without feeling like they need to be “too cool”.
Many seven and eight year olds are naturally curious. You might even feel like you’re back in the toddler stage with all the questions you get! Encourage your second grader to research the answers to questions they have. Check out non-fiction books from the library or guide them to safely use the internet to find the answers they are seeking.
Language Arts: In second grade many kids transition from learning to read towards reading to learn. They typically know sight words and have decoding strategies for unfamiliar words. This is the perfect age to begin really increasing their comprehension skills. Dig deeper than having them just sequence a story for you. As your discussing a book with them ask them to reference back to the book and provide reasons for their answers. This helps them to begin to deepen their understanding and will be a strategy they’ll continue to utilize as they go through school.
Questions to ask after reading a book:
How did the character feel? How do you know that’s how they’re feeling? What events in the story helped the character to change how they feel? Did the character change from the beginning of the story to the end? Why?
What is the author’s purpose for this text? Why did an event happen? What is the lesson you’ve learned from the story?
How does this story remind you of something that has happened to you? What would you do if you were this character (or in this situation)? How is this book similar or different from another book you have read?
Don’t forget the importance though of just reading for fun. It is always preferable that a child enjoys reading, even if the book happens to be above or below their reading level. Reading together, reading independently, and listening to reading are all beneficial to second graders becoming fluent and competent readers. Books on tape are a great way to get some reading time in while you’re stuck in the never-ending Charlotte traffic.