Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader
You may have noticed a BIG difference in your soon-to-become-a-Second-Grader’s speaking, listening & reading skills over the summer.
Not only is s/he listening for the meaning of discussions & conversations, s/he is, also, participating with his/her ideas clearly expressed in complete sentences AND is following multi-step directions with accuracy.
These are some of the “perks” her/his progress with reading comprehension skills : Main Ideas, Details, Sequence.
S/he is very excited about his/her ability to read some text independently.
And, although, s/he wants to transition from an Emergent/Beginning Reader into an Independent Reader, s/he still LOVES your time together reading together, especially those wonderful Chapter Books.
This is Part Four :
Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Reading Skills
Your Second Grade Reader
The more that you read, the more you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go. ~ Dr. Seuss
Here’s a brief checklist of other Reading Skills your child is preparing to use in Second Grade. S/he can:
- Recognize & understand new words by using phonics & context clues
- Use a basic sight & high frequency words vocabulary with accuracy
- Speak the beginning, middle & end sounds within a word
- Add, omit or change sounds in a word to make a different word
- Read & make words in word families
- Read some compound words & contractions
- Understand & interpret stories or short passages
- Answer the 5 Ws & How questions accurately
- Retell the Main Idea, Characters, Setting & the Sequence of Events with accuracy
- Use a story’s elements to make a plausible prediction
- Follow simple, written directions correctly
Your child will continue to develop and extend these skills during Second Grade as well as adding just a “few” more….
How’s your Literacy ~ Rich Home Environment coming along?
From Playroom to Study Nook
Is there a place in your home, near the “library ” bookcase for bean bags & large floor pillows?
If your child has a bookcase in his/her nook, make sure to include other reading materials besides fiction & nonfiction books, like pamphlets, catalogs, comic books, magazines.
You may want to set up a special “display” area for current study materials as well as a calendar/schedule on a cork board.
Include infographics, labeled/captioned posters, and/or maybe an “anchor chart” regarding specific skills ~ your child’s teacher may help with that resource.
Here’s an I AM A READER Poster you can make with your soon-to-be-an-Independent-Reader : I Am A Reader poster
Oh, and a dry erase board with multi-colored dry erase markers is a great tool for planning, vocabulary word of the day, graphic organizers, and, of course, a brain-break doodling session.
Need some other ideas?
Check out this Resources in BLB’s Library :
And here’s A Materials & Activities List Freebie to download & print:
Your Home is your child’s first classroom and can continue to provide an on-going Literacy Space. It will encourage and build her/his academic success with Reading accuracy as its foundation.
Second Grade’s Reading Expectations
Reading becomes more complex in its vocabulary within much longer content. The words have more syllables, common prefixes & suffixes, irregular spellings & complex phonetic rules. Synonyms, antonyms, compound words & adjectives are part of word definitions.
The variety of fiction & nonfiction genres as well as poetry types expands into:
- Traditional: Folklore, Fables, Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, Legends & Myths
- Sensory & Shapes
Story Structure (beginning, middle & end) with its Elements (Main Idea, Character, Setting, Problem/Solution, Lesson) are explored in greater detail. Emphasis of comprehension can be done by comparing & contrasting similar stories, characters’ response, and cultural definitions. Why the author wrote the story is, also, part of the comprehension discussion.
Nonfictional reading is used for Research Projects with attention given to text features such as labels, caption, diagrams, glossaries, indexes, etc. Click on my previous post for A LOT more info:
So ~ reading at grade-level includes word recognition accuracy at a steady pace with expression. Using Comprehension strategies to locate evidence and self-correction skills are benchmarks for your Second Grade reader.
Here’s a List of the Reading Literacy Terms such as Decoding Skills & Fluency Rate, your child’s teacher will be using during The Conference : Literacy Terms
Let’s Begin At The Beginning
You and your child have been “working” on Word Attack Skills since, really, s/he was in-utero. Letters, sounds & their combos are the building blocks of beginning to read ~ think the hearing & speaking skills of Phonological Awareness to Phonemic Awareness and, now, Phonics ~ the written version.
Second Grade currently introduces more of those Phonetic structures to increase your child’s ability to Decode all those BIG, unknown vocabulary words s/he is experiencing while reading more complex content.
Along with blending 2 or more consonant sounds together at the beginning and/or ending of a word, here are some other graphemes (written letters) & phonemes (spoken sounds), your child will be learning this year:
- Consonants Digraphs: ch, sh, th, wh, qu, ng
- Hard & Soft c & g
- Silent Consonants: wr, kn, lk, mb
- Long Vowels: silent e & teams
- Vowel Patterns: igh, y
- Diphthongs: ou, ow, oo, aw, au, oi, oy
- R-controlled Vowels
- Inflectional Endings: s, es, ies, ves, ed, ing
BLB Shop has TONS of games for teaching some of these specific skills:
Here’s a short Parent Guide with Verbal Prompts to use while listening to your child read until s/he needs to Decode:
Malia Hollowell from Playdough to Plato created & shared several Reading Roadmap “Sheets” for meeting some of readers’ challenges. Among her suggestions are:
- Does that sound in the word: Make sense, sound right, look right?
- Skip the word & come back to it during the re-read
- Stretch out the word slowly; then saying it again fast (kids love this one & it can be very effective)
- Make a good guess
Decoding Skills go hand-in-hand with the speed & flow of your child’s reading.
The Ebb & Flow of Fluency
Fluency, or Fluent Reading is the ability to read without stopping to decode words. Decoding occurs in a quick, mental, self-check way.
Speed, Word Recognition Accuracy, Comma Pauses, End Punctuation Inflections, and Expression are all components of Reading Fluency.
Getting stuck can be disruptive to his/her thought process & comprehension, although, it doesn’t always affect understanding.
For example, a child may read the words accurately without stopping in an even pace, but NOT understand anything s/he read. Just as another child may read and decode more slowly, but understands exactly what s/he read.
Click here for a Parent Guide on Fluency :
Malia Holloway ( The Reading Roadmap) and Emily@ Education to the Core along with her Facebook Group Teachers shared these suggestions for building Fluency:
- Model a comfortable fluency pace with your daily read-aloud.
- Make sure your child is choosing a just-right book to read.
- Create some flash cards with short, silly sentences or phrases, using Sight & High Frequency words.
- Use poetry as an effective way to teach & improve fluency.
- Speak with different voices for different characters.
- Monitor punctuation pauses : short for comma / longer for a period / voice up for a question / excitement for an exclamation.
- Remember informational, or nonfiction text is usually read more slowly that fiction.
And, speaking of Sight & High Frequency Words…..
Words, Words & More Words
Memorizing Second Grade Level Sight Words & High Frequency Words can definitely improve your child’s Fluency Rate.
I combined Dolch’s Sight Word List with Fry’s High Frequency Word List as your Second Grader will view them from the beginning of the year onward. Here’s the List with some Activities:
Here’s a great site for DIY Sight Word Games including links:
And, it’s not just Sight Words & High Frequency Words your Second Grader is learning…..
WOW! Those Are Really BIG Words!
Using those Decoding Skills to read those BIG, new Vocabulary words can, also, help with Fluency and, more importantly, Comprehension.
Hopefully, my Freebie Parent Guide can shed some light on this Word Study subject : Solving the New Vocabulary Words Mystery
I, also, created a few Noun/Verb Freebie Games for you & yours to play:
One Frog Hops uses Sight Words for matching Plural Nouns and their corresponding Verbs.
Collective Nouns includes picture/word matches for groups of living & nonliving things.
BLB Shop has more than a few Games & Activities to engage your Second Grader in Word Study:
Finally, I organized my Reading Strategies into a Mini-Poster & Flip Cards Sequence Guide ~ Ready To Read ~ for your Second Grade Reader when solving the “I’m STUCK on this word!” dilemma : Reading Success Sequence
The Vocabulary in the MANY different books s/he is reading this year is GINORMOUS!!!
So, What Books Are on My Second Grader’s Level?
A book is a dream you hold in your hand. ~ Neil Gaiman
Before I get into actual Reading Comprehension Strategies, I thought I’d go on a bit more about the “newer” book genres your child will be sharing with you from the classroom (according to the Second Grade Core Expectations).
Within the Fiction Genre, there is an emphasis on stories created that could happen in real-life, have a historical basis, contain mysteries to be solved as well as inventive futuristic stories and imaginary fantasies. Books & stories about the Creative Arts can be very engaging to your aspiring artists.
BLB Library has a Book Resource for you & yours:
S/he will be reading a large selection of Traditional Literature, which are 100s-of-year-old tales passed from one generation to another. BLB Library has a Book List Resource : https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/fables-folktales-from-around-the-world-k3-book-lists-websites/
Exploring the many types of Poetry is another on-going genre in Second Grade. Here’s BLB’s Library Resource link for this genre:
You may have noticed your child’s developing sense of humor. Funny chapter books are a wonderful way to read-aloud while guiding & sharing & laughing out loud:
And, yes, BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:
Don’t forget Joke & Riddle Books, too.
Now for the NOT funny side of your Second Grader’s reading experience….
Although these books may not be as entertaining as fictional reads, they will capture your child’s fascination for the real world and all it real-life wonders.
BLB’s Library has a Resource to help meet those Informational Text needs:
Oh, BTW ~ Research Projects are an on-going part of Second Grade….. So, here’s a Freebie to help your child learn about those Informational Text Features :
BLB’s Shop has a few products to help you & yours with this huge step, well, written step that is now an, again, on-going part of her/his academic life.
Here are five sites with fiction & nonfiction Book Lists, summaries, opinions & locations collected by teachers, librarians, parents & kids:
There’s A LOT to understand…..
YIKES!! That’s A TON of Text to Understand !
Comprehension Skills can be mastered by using a variety of Reading Strategies.
You have been teaching your child many of these during your read-alouds with him/her throughout the years. You did this by:
- pointing out specific details & key ideas/facts in the illustrations on the Picture Walk and throughout the story (click on this link for the Parent Guide to the Picture Walk : Going on A Picture Walk)
- asking & answering the 5 Ws
- defining time & place regarding present, past ,future & fantasy vs reality
- retelling the story by including important details, such as the characters, setting & plot (click on this link for the Parent Guide to Tell Me A Story : Tell Me A Story Abt the Story Read)
- using descriptive language & lots of expression
- explaining new vocabulary words
- making personal connections to the story
- discussing lessons & morals of the stories
- sharing both fiction & nonfiction books
Your child’s teacher uses similar strategies during read-alouds to encourage comprehension.
Guided reading promotes an effective way to teach how-to-understand-the-read strategies during one-on-one time.
Guided Reading Comprehension Strategies
In Second Grade many of the following Story Elements Comprehension Questions are discussed orally with maybe a short prompt or two for written responses.
However, as the year progresses, written responses to these questions begin to occur more frequently. This Comprehension Q & A can help your child understand & answer those questions with accuracy: Primary Rdr’s Comp Q & A
Filling in Graphic Organizers (Click on this Reading Graphic Organizers link: K Rdg Comp GOrgs ) are easy ways to engage your child’s understanding of texts read. Here’s a Comprehension Freebie example using Aesop’s fable ~ “The Crow and the Pitcher” : I Understand the Story
Take a breath ~
Although your Second Grader may feel overwhelmed at certain times, s/he is totally capable of learning all these things AND MORE!!! You and yours have got this!!!
OMG!!!! How Can I Help!?!?!
Now that you’ve taken a deep breath…or several….
Remember, there are several ways you can help your child read and listen to stories with a purpose in mind, which you have probably been doing for years.
Dr. Michael Gurian, a brain scientist, family therapist & author of the book, Nurture the Nature, offers these suggestions:
- Engage discovery in nature
- Encourage imagination with physical & mental play
- Include morals & values in family discussions
- Foster positive relationships with peers
- Show support of the school environment
There are many DIY Comprehension games you can make together & play with your child to keep learning fun. Here are a few links:
Keep reading anything everywhere with your child everyday and encourage her/him to read to other children. Listen to books on tape while driving. Record your child reading a story. Act out stories.
And… if your child struggles with reading…….
Teaching Your Child to Read WITHOUT Words
For some children Reading is a challenge…..for a number of reasons.
Does your child “freeze” at the sight of words on a page you are not reading?
Wordless Picture Books are not just created for “babies”. They are, also, “written” for older children ~ like me ~ and may be the way to actually engage your child into reading. Really….
They can inspire your child’s creativity & imagination while building reading comprehension skills, vocabulary AND critical thinking.
Nicole Clevenger@playfullearning.net and I have some suggestions for fun activities with Wordless Picture Books:
- Use Post It notes to write down thoughts or dialogue of the characters & place them directly on the book pages beside them.
- Use Post It notes to write down observations, questions, predictions, and/or inferences about what’s happening in the illustrations.
- Ask your child to write a book review that includes the story elements: Main Idea, Characters, Setting, Problem/Solution.
- Encourage your child to create a Wordless Picture Book and narrate it as it is being read. Write down those thoughts & attach them to the backs of the illustrations. Hopefully, your child will want to read those words.
I, also, compiled a Wordless Picture Books list for older children:
Please know ~ it’s not that s/he can’t read or doesn’t want to read. S/he may just not be ready to read.
Well…S/He Can Read…. A Little…..
Check out this little Freebie: Help! My Child Hates to Read
A few questions, regardless of your child’s reading level:
- Is the reading material interesting to your child?
- Are you reading together & talking about what’s being read?
- Is your child tracking the words as s/he reads?
- Does s/he use the pictures in the story to help?
- Is your child trying to sound out unknown words with some accuracy?
- How many sight words can s/he read quickly?
- Can your child retell the story accurately?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, keep doing what you’re doing with lots of repetition & review. Soon, his/her reading level will increase.
Here are some other Resources in BLB’s Library I hope will help:
And a little follow-up Freebie to go with Repetitive Readers : I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts .
A more in-depth approach to this reading strategy can be found in BLB’s Shop:
One more VERY effective Reading Strategy for engaging a Reluctant Reader is Partner, or Paired, Reading ~ usually with a peer, friend or slightly older “mentor”.
I used this reading strategy every year with my struggling readers and found this approach to be highly effective for building confidence, improving reading skills, and encouraging a love for reading ~ for pleasure. A definite Win ~ Win ~ Win !!!
Click on this Reading Rockets link below for more information:
And now with summer coming….
Your Summer Reading Program
Reading……a vacation for the mind. ~ Dave Barry
No, I’m not talking about Summer School….more like a Summer Camp….with an emphasis on Reading.
I’m creating a Summer Literacy Handbook, so stay tuned…..
SO~UPDATE~ here’s the link to my TpT shop where you’ll find, among other freebies & products ~ my Summer Literacy Camp Handbook:
In the meantime, here’s a few suggestions to Encourage Reading for Pleasure :
If you’re still reading this post, Faithful Reader ~ thank you !!!
Hopefully, you have read some useful information regarding your child’s Reading Literacy.
Part Five on Writing Skills is my next & final post on the FLC’s Second Grade Series.
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