As readers, second graders have a repertoire of comprehension strategies to access deeper levels of meaning in fiction and non-fiction books and become confident using tools to navigate the writing process with increased independence. The development of decoding and comprehension skills is closely monitored and intervention provided for students who need additional support.
After fundamental deep learning in first grade, second graders focus on reading comprehension. The emphasis is on comprehension strategies, such as making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, determining importance, and synthesizing. They improve their understanding by practicing fluency skills including pacing, phrasing, and intonation. They become more reflective readers by reading across a variety of genres and setting their own literacy goals.
Second graders learn to read nonfiction books and how to find the information they need, including how to use a table of contents, captions, a glossary, index, and other features of nonfiction texts. During Literacy Workshop, students participate in read-alouds, shared reading, and practice reading independently. They develop specific strategies in guided reading groups, which are composed of four to eight children reading at a similar level.
Second graders write every day. They learn how to write from their own imaginations and experiences, and write in several genres including personal narrative, poetry, and nonfiction. During each genre study, they learn the conventions and strategies specific to the genre, study mentor books for inspiration, and learn how their favorite authors write. This enforces the connection between reading and writing. Students generate writing ideas, plan stories, create drafts, revise, edit, and publish.
Phonetic spellers (those who understand that letters relate to sound) and transitional spellers (those who experiment with spelling patterns) begin to use conventional spelling and learn to identify misspelled words in their writing. The Words Their Way study program is integrated into the literacy curriculum, with customized word study activities that fit the needs of each child. Rather than memorizing a list of unrelated words, word study teaches the patterns of English language; the curriculum spirals and builds as students develop.