Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Second Grade Reading: Part 3

Second grade is a pivotal year in reading. Once the basics are underway, students come back to a large quantity of new skills that build on what they learned the previous year and prepare them for the middle grades. Although states' expectations vary, some consensus has emerged in the form of the 2010 Common Core State Standards.

  1. Basic Reading Skills

    • To begin with, second-graders continue to work on phonics and decoding. Students at this level are expected to read one-syllable words with long and short vowels as well as two-syllable words with long vowels. They should recognize common prefixes and suffixes and about 140 "sight words"--common words that do not follow the phonics patterns they have learned. Their fluency should be developing; after practicing, they should be able to read aloud at a natural rate with appropriate expression. And they should have established the habit of self-correcting, using context to help correct miscues.
    • Comprehension of Fiction and Nonfiction

      • Second-grade reading begins to focus more on comprehension skills. Students should be able to retell stories, identify the main idea and answer questions of who, what, when, where, why and how. They have a basic understanding of characters, setting and plot, and they understand vocabulary and ideas in a nonfiction text such as their science book. (The Common Core standards especially emphasize informational text to prepare children for our information society.)

      Text Structure and Author's Craft

      • Second-grade students begin to learn about the different purposes and structures reading material can have. They look at whether an author is entertaining or informing and discover that stories have a beginning, middle and ending. They use features like headings, boldface words and the index to find information. (They often begin to learn computer conventions as well--if they don't already know them.) They look at the patterns in poems and rhymes.

      Connecting Information from Different Sources

      • Students in grade two are expected to use both text and illustrations to help them understand what they read. They should be able to interpret simple diagrams and the like. They also look at how information in a text supports other information (how details support main ideas and how reasons support statements an author makes). They begin to make comparisons between texts, such as similar stories or nonfiction readings on the same topic.
        By the end of second grade, students will be reading stories, poems and nonfiction text, approaching a third-grade reading level (determined by content, structure and language), with support on the more difficult texts.

      Read more: Important Reading Skills for Second Grade |


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