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June 27, 2017
12:07 PM

What Every Second Grader Should Know...
2nd Grade Reading Skills

What Students Need To Learn In Second Grade

As children enter second grade, the teacher's principle goal is for them to understand that reading is central to learning. It should be a source of endless information and enjoyment. The teacher also wants each student to know that they can be a successful reader. The second grade curriculum is designed to ensure that every student will be able to:

·  Identify and use the title, table of contents, glossary, and index of a book.

·  Understand the roles of the authors and illustrators of the books they read.

·  Identify the setting, main characters, and plot of a story.

·  Be able to use context and word attack skills to decode the meaning of unknown words.

·  Locate words in a dictionary.

·  Predict outcomes of a story.

·  Read a variety of books in all curriculum areas.

·  Read restaurant menus, television schedules, and grocery store item labels.

It is also beneficial to parents and children to begin to collect books for a personal library at home, and to increase the time spent in silent reading. It can be fun for children to talk about or dramatize what they read, and to perceive connections between what they read and their own lives. Teachers will continue to read to children daily, using a broad array of children's literature.

Sight Words

Over half of all words used in school books, library books, newspapers, and magazines are in the Dolch Basic Sight Vocabulary of 220 words (preschool thru Grade 3).  The Dolch word list is made up of "service words" (pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and verbs) which cannot be learned through the use of pictures. The table below shows a collection of words appropriate range of words that every 2nd grader should know.

















































The Reading Process

The Reading Process consists of 5 critical components of reading:

  • Phonemic Awareness - to identify and manipulate the sounds of speech
  • Phonics – to decode words using the knowledge of phonics, syllabication,                          and word parts
  • Fluency – to read fluently
  • Vocabulary – the acquisition and use of newly learned words
  • Comprehension – to employ strategies to help comprehend the text

Vocabulary Development


The 5 elements of The Reading Process are integrated to promote a solid foundation of linguistic understanding for each student. Studying for spelling tests immensely help students with memorization and spelling patterns. The following concepts will help children acquire and assimilate the use of new vocabulary in relevant contexts.


  • prefixes such as, “un-“, “re-“, etc.
  • suffixes such as, “ful”, “ly”, and “ing”
  • common abbreviations such as”Mr.”, “Ave.”, “Feb.”, etc.
  • contractions such as, “don’t=do not”, etc.
  • compound words such as, “butter/fly”, “dog/house”, etc. 


Information About DIBELS Testing


The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development.

There are 7 tests that consist of:


  • Letter Naming Fluency - Concept 1: Print Concepts
  • Initial Sounds Fluency- Concept 2: Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonemic Segmentation Fluency - Concept 2: Phonemic Awareness
  • Nonsense Word Fluency - Concept 2: Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics - Concept 3: Phonics
  • Vocabulary - Concept 4: Vocabulary
  • Oral Reading Fluency - Concept 5: Fluency
  • Comprehension - Concept 6: Comprehension

 They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of pre-reading and early reading skills.


2nd Grade Math Skills

 In second grade, your child becomes a master of addition and subtraction skills which they begin learning in first grade. You can expect your second-grader to focus on understanding number relationships in addition and subtraction — first, using physical objects like rods or blocks, and later, with paper and pencil. They also start making the move to mental math, if they haven’t already, and can do simple problems in their head.

Second-graders continue their work with money, time and number values from previous grades. Your child will learn to add and subtract with money using the decimal point, solving equations such as $1.25 + $.30 = $1.55.

They will learn about place value in a three-digit number. For example, they will figure out that 879 is eight 100s, seven 10s and nine ones.

They will compare whole numbers using the words greater than, less than or equal to and the symbols >, <, or =.

Students should understand and use the concepts and skill learned in the previous grade level. New learning will build on these previously learned skills. Among the most important and vital are from Strand 1: Number Sense & Operations. The understanding and application of numbers in a variety of representations such as, counting money, identifying a collection of coins up to $5.00, whole numbers through 999, the place value of numbers, all should be mastered by the end of 2nd grade.

The understanding and development of numerical operations include the following:

  • the process of addition and subtraction (using manipulatives) with two digit whole numbers
  • the understanding and application of the symbols for plus, minus, divide by, equal to, not equal to, greater than, less than and percent.

Other concepts to be mastered during 2nd grade are estimation skills, data analysis, (or reading and understanding graphs, charts, and tables). In Strand 4: Geometry & Measurement, units of measurement focuses on the following:

  • telling time to the quarter hour with the use of analog and digital clocks,
  • the measurement of length in inches, feet, yards, and miles
  • capacity-volume in cups, pints and quarts
  • mass/weight-ounces and pounds


2nd Grade Writing Skills


The purpose of writing is to develop student writing skills across the curriculum and in specific content areas to increase communication skills. The following applications are from Strand 3: Writing Applications and are designed to reach across the curriculum and promote interdisciplinary connections.

  • Expressive writing: personal narratives that include main idea, characters, and sequence of events.
  • Expository writing: thesis style based on research
  • Functional writing: relating to “real world” tasks, friendly letters, following directions, maps and graph reading skills
  • Literary response: the writer’s interpretation to literature such as book reports that include character, setting, main idea and sequence of events.
  • Research writing: this style of writing has a topic sentence or question that is answered in an organized fashion that included a title, main idea, and supporting details.

The Six Traits of Writing

The Six Traits of Writing are not new. A trait can be defined as a quality or characteristic critical to successful performance. Just as there are traits for good ice skating, like balance, grace, technical skill and so on, there are traits for good writing. The traits for good writing include: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. Traits give the writer a clear picture of what to do to revise their writing.

The purpose of using The Six Traits at Desert Winds is to give teachers, parents and students the same language and expectations of writing. We want students to transfer the writing skills they have developed in their language arts classes to writing whenever it is used, and not just within their language arts experience.

The ideas are the heart of the message, the content of the piece, the main theme, together with the details that enrich and develop that theme. A paper with good ideas is clear, focused, and holds the reader’s attention. Ideas are the

heart of the message. They are the reason we are writing. Parents can suggest that their children ask the following:

·         Is my message clear?

·         Do I know enough about my topic?

·         Is it interesting?

·         Is my topic “small” and focused?

·         Did I show what was happening?

Organization is the internal structure of the piece of writing, the thread of central meaning, the logical and sometimes intriguing pattern of the ideas.

Organization gives direction to all writing by drawing the reader in. It enhances and showcases the central theme or storyline. Everything fits together like a puzzle, leaving the reader with something to think about.
Parents can suggest that their children ask the following:

·         Does my paper have a good opening that captures the reader’s attention?

·         Are my ideas in the best order?
Does my paper have a strong ending?

The voice is the heart and soul, the magic, the wit, along with the feeling and conviction of the individual writer coming out through the words. Voice gives writing personality, flavor and style. In a paper with strong voice, the writer speaks directly to the reader and is sensitive to the reader’s needs.
Parents can suggest that their children ask the following:

  • Does this writing sound like me?

  • Did I say what I think and feel?

  • Does my writing have energy and passion?

  • Is it appropriate for my audience and purpose?

Word Choice
Word choice is the use of rich, colorful, precise language that moves and enlightens the reader. Word Choice enriches our writing and makes it almost come alive. Precise words add energy and clarity. Words convey the intended message in a clear, interesting and natural way. Parents can suggest that their children ask the following:

  • Will my reader understand my words?

  • Were my words accurate, original, and just right?

  • Did I use energetic verbs?

  • Did I use language that painted a picture?

Sentence Fluency
Sentence fluency is the rhythm and flow of the language, the sound of word patterns, the way in which writing plays to the ear—not just to the eye. Sentence Fluency gives our writing rhythm with an easy flow when read aloud. Sentences are well built with strong and varied structures. Sentences are clear and powerful. As our writing skills grow, we learn new ways to “sculpt” our writing.
Parent Suggestions:

  • How does my writing sound when read aloud?

  • Do my sentences begin in different ways?

  • Are some sentences long and some short?

Conventions are the mechanical correctness of the piece—spelling, grammar and usage, paragraphing, use of capitals and punctuation.


Positive Behavior Support

Positive Behavior Support Program

At Desert Winds we basically have three rules under what is known as “Positive Behavior Support” plan. That is “be safe”, “be respectful” and “be responsible”. Most children understand these simple rules and will try their best to follow them.

For students who have trouble following these rules or by interrupting classroom learning will be given a “Think Time” pass. They will exit the classroom and visit a neighboring class where they might contemplate which rule was broken and record it on a Think Time Behavior Debriefing Form. When the student returns to class they will hopefully display the correct behavior. If undesirable behaviors continue to disrupt the flow of classroom learning the student will then be sent to the principal’s office with a behavior referral, which is used a last resort.

Classroom rewards and social behavior expectations may vary among classroom teachers. However, social expectations may consist of “compliments” which can be observed by any classroom teacher or staff member at Desert Winds. The compliments are received by those students who are “caught being good” and are read by the principal during morning announcements. Students receive the compliment form from the office along with a “bee sticker” for their classroom behavior “bee chart”. Bee stickers are given as a token for following the three rules; “be safe”, “be respectful”, and “be responsible”. When the students fill up their bee chart, they win a small classroom prize.

Overall behavioral and social expectations are established by each classroom teacher. However, some of the following are common classroom expectations.

  • raise your hand to ask a question or make a comment
  • work co-operatively with your classmates
  • be tolerant and accepting of peer diversity