Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

 Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

If your soon-to-be Second Grader’s vocabulary & reading skills have progressed over the summer, pat yourself on the back because those daily reading sessions have worked. Even s/he is surprised (YAY for the Family Literacy Circle !).

Now……How are those Writing Skills coming along ?

Unless your child LOVES to write…..prepare for a Super-Sized learning curve with Super-Sized expectations in your Second Grader’s Writing Workshop.

Got your Family Literacy Circle Writing Center ready?

Here are some suggestions for your young author’s Writing Space:

Home Wtg Space Checklist

This is Part Five :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

Your Second Grade Writer

Sometime this summer, inventory the following Writing & Spelling Skills with your soon-to-be Second Grader:

  • Writes last name with accuracy
  • Writes messages using phrases & sentences
  • Writes simple stories with a beginning, middle & ending
  • Recognizes & uses print conventions when writing:  end punctuation, grammar, nouns/verbs
  • Spells common grade-level words with accuracy
  • Locates known & unknown words in a picture dictionary
  • Recognizes & uses phonetic rules to spell unknown words
  • Understands & identifies the differences between a noun & a verb
  • Can write a simple, complete sentence
  • Understands compound words
  • Identifies some prefixes & suffixes
  • Identifies regular & some irregular plurals
  • Understands the meanings of synonyms & antonyms

Yeah! And there will be MORE  to learn in the Writing Arena throughout the year….

Oh ! A quick word or two about Handwriting…..

The Labors of Legible Handwriting

Picking up a paper using those fine motors skills is easy compared to the complex set of muscles (brain included) needed to write thoughts, grasping a #2 pencil onto that piece of paper in a clear, readable way.

Those skills ~ still growing and developing~ can be “nurtured” in several ways. Seemingly, “mindless” practice is one of them, but they are part of your Second Grader’s Writing Skills.

Click on this link to access a Resource on Fine Motor Skills from BLB’s Library :

Fine Motor Skills Resource Sites: Activities & Exercises for Ages 4~6

Here are a few other Handwriting~specific sites :

https://flintobox.com/blog/child-development/improve-handwriting-child

 https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-improve-kids-handwriting-4108552

https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/fun-handwriting-activities-for-kids/

Writing & Reading Together

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. ~ Toni Morrison

Writing Dreams-MysticArtDesign
Writing Dreams-MysticArtDesign

Is your child choosing to use reading and writing for different purposes without your input?

BLB’s Library has a Resource List of books about writing for your hesitant writer. Just click on the link below:

Reading About Writing: 15 Books to Encourage Your Young Author’s Writing Skills

Engaging your child to draw pictures of the words s/he is reading can be a stepping stone into the Writing Process. S/he may decide the story should be written differently and will “edit” the text (YAY!) in a creative way.

Using Dialogue clouds in those character  pictures is definitely writing. Think comic books and cartoon strips.

Here are some book title ideas in this little freebie~ Read, Write and Draw Books :

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts

You can, also, find additional RW&D books in BLB Shop. Here’s the link:

I CAN READ, WRITE & DRAW THESE BOOKS, TOO!

Or, maybe, “reading” some Wordless Picture Books together may inspire a story or five. BLB’s Library has a Book List Resource for you:

More Wonderful Wordless Picture Books for Readers, Ages 5~8

Time to Make A Book ?!?

Yes, You Can Be A Bookmaker!

Record your child’s imaginings & help him/her write it/them down on pages to be bound into a book, using card-stock, paper & binding materials. Here are a few DIY bookmaking sites:

http://www.makingbooks.com/families.shtml

https://growingbookbybook.com/making-books-with-kids/

If you & yours want a “serious” book-bound presentation, this website can help you with that:

https://studentreasures.com/

Engaging your child in the fun and creative process of story telling is a very productive way to inspire writing. However, your Second Grader’s Writing Skills will include learning and mastering many other writing elements this year

Second Grade Writing Expectations & Objectives

If your campus follows the Common Core, there are two major components of the Writing Process: Language, or Standard English Conventions, and the actual Writing Purposes.

Here’s a General Overview, listing the Second Grader’s Writing Skills Expectations for Language Usage & Composition:

2nd grade ELA Writing CC

You may want to check out this ELA Common Core PDF link for Parents:

 https://www.cgcs.org/cms/lib/DC00001581/Centricity/Domain/36/ParentGuide_ELA_2.pdf

I’ll get into a little (haha) more detail on these 2 HUGE topics, beginning with Standard English, or Grammar.

Good Grief, Grammar !!!

No one is perfect ~ that’s why pencils have erasers. ~ Wolfgang Riebe

I Got, I Mean, I Use Good Grammar ! -Elementus
I Got, I Mean, I Use Good Grammar ! -Elementus

Informal speech, also known as slang, colloquialisms, street talk, jargon, lingo and, even, dialect, can make learning “proper”, or Standard English confusing. Heard in peer groups, media and read in “literature”, expecting your child to use good grammar while speaking can be frustrating.

And in writing….oh my…..

Here are a few of my Freebie Helpers with a BLB’s Shop Product:

NOUNS:    Collective Nouns 

 Choose A Category : Sorting Words Into Different Groups

VERBS:    One Frog Hops

CAPITALIZATION: Make That Letter A Capital

I, also, created a 100+ page Grammar Handbook that includes lots of activities for learning & practicing Good Grammar with a Sentence Builder component, using Adjectives & Adverbs. You can preview it in my TpT Shop. Here’s the product link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Please-Practice-Good-Grammar–4711045

And, although Vocabulary is listed as more of a Reading Skill, I’d like to chat a little (again, haha) about it’s significant role in writing ~ choosing the exact words to express exactly what you want to say.

Here’s What I Want to Say…..

My Vocabulary -SharonAng
My Vocabulary -SharonAng

Although reading plays a large role in Vocabulary Acquisition, knowing which words you want to use in your writing, how to find them, and how to spell them correctly definitely takes some practice. It is a skill good writers learn through lots of repetition and review.

Using a Picture Dictionary is more appropriate for Second graders than teaching the actual Dictionary skills. Even my Third Graders found learning how to use a dictionary challenging. Again, practice, practice, practice. 

Click on the link below for ideas and games to help teach your Second Grader how to use a dictionary:

 https://www.theschoolrun.com/teaching-children-to-use-dictionary

Synonym, Antonym, Homonym Lists can help as well as Adjective & Adverb Lists. Here are a few sites with Primary Level Words:

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-antonyms-synonyms-and-homonyms-for-kids.html

https://freelanguagestuff.com/antonyms-and-synonyms/

I have several products available in my BLB Shop:

PREFIXES & SUFFIXES:     WORD FIXES: Contractions, Prefixes & Suffixes Literacy Activities

COMPOUND WORDS:  COMPOUND WORDS CONNECTIONS: Ten File Folder Games

VOCABULARY:  WOW WORDS in Second Grade: 25+ Learning Games & Activities

I, also, have a few SPELLING Freebies:

Spelling Activity Ideas  &   ABC Order 

Yes, ALL of this in a Written Expression or Ten….yes, at least 10 by the end of Second Grade…..

The Storyteller Becomes The Author

Write the kind of story you would like to read. ~ Meg Cabot

Writing to Read-Pexels261967
Writing to Read-Pexels261967

Your youngster has been inventing & writing stories since Kindergarten. This year those stories will be following certain guidelines to meet Expectations. Her/his editing skills, as well as, paragraph construction play heavily into meeting those expectations.

Believe it or not, within the first few weeks of school, your Second Grader’s Writing Skills will help him/her produce more complex and interesting stories, opinions and reports.

Does s/he keep a journal or diary at home ?

S/he will probably be excited about an upcoming Research Project (aren’t you?). YAY! It’s Our Family Tree Project !!!

And, yes, there’s more….

The Second Grade Writing Experience

Writing About This & That!-SarahJane
Writing About This & That!-SarahJane

There are more than a few writing assignments s/he will be given during Second Grade. Here’s a list of Written Expressions (with some helpful Resource links  ) your child will be composing this year:

  • The 5~Sentence Paragraph Formula ~ topic sentence, 3+ topic-supporting sentences, and a conclusion sentence, which re-states the beginning topic sentence

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Paragraph-Planner-A-Literacy-Tool-for-Primary-Writers-4735915

  • Narrative, or story ~  real, imagined real-life and/or total fantasy

Seasonal Story Starters

PRIMARY STORY SEQUENCE STARTERS: Pics & Sight Words Helpers

  • Informative, or report ~  nonfiction, singular topics supported with specific  facts and/or details relating to the topic

I Understand Informational Text Features

  • Persuasive, or  opinion ~ feelings about a specific subject with details to support the specific feeling

Opinion Wtg K-2

  • Research ~ group, partner and/or independent projects involving the use of several resources to support a nonfiction Main Topic

Upgrading The FLC with Your Second Grader’s Research Project Skills

  • Letters ~ recognizing & using the specific parts of a letter

It’s in the Mail

  • Journals ~ a daily free-write, usually, for expressing thoughts on a variety of subjects, including reading responses, math problem solving & science observations

INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

  • Poetry ~ identifying & selecting some of these styles for composition : acrostic, limerick, concrete (shapes), sensory, haiku & cinquain

50 Beginning Rhyming Words

Poetry Collections for K~5

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/grades-1-2-poetry-lessons/

Your child’s teacher may introduce the Explanatory, or How-To form of Writing. Directions and recipes are examples of this type of writing.

Editor, Please!

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story. ~ Terry Pratchett

Editor Time-MasterStudio
Editor Time-MasterStudio

The Writing Stages usually taught in the classroom are :

  • Pre-writing~the brainsorm & research
  • Organizing~thoughts & sequence
  • Sloppy Copy~ the first draft
  •   Revising~ sentence building

and then, the tiresome, but, oh so necessary,

  • Editing~ grammar, punctuation, capitalization,  & spell check for accuracy

All these steps are taken BEFORE a piece of Writing is ready to be published into ~ The Final Copy.

Need a few suggestions ?

BLB’s Revise & Edit Resources

Here are some Resources to help your Second Grade Writer with the Revising & Editing Processes:

  • Sentence Builders:

Asking & Exciting Beginnings

Words Can Make Sentences: Lists, Labels & Love Notes as Writing Literacy Tools

2nd grade HFW Lists & Games

WOW WORDS in Second Grade: 25+ Learning Games & Activities

COMPOUND WORDS CONNECTIONS: Ten File Folder Games

WORD FIXES: Contractions, Prefixes & Suffixes Literacy Activities

  • Editing Tools:

Choose A Category : Sorting Words Into Different Groups

One Frog Hops

Collective Nouns

Make That Letter A Capital

Spelling Activity Ideas

ABC Order

To the FINAL COPY & PUBLISH !!!! Share with your family, share with your friends, share with your cuddlies, share with your class ! And take a BOW!

A Definite Call to Your Family Literacy Circle 

You  encourage your Second Grader’s Writing Skills when s/he sees you :

Everyday Writing
Everyday Writing

You, also, encourage those rapidly growing memory skills, which are engaging her/him in thinking with more complexity and depth. Check out this Growth Mindset Tools Chart:

If you are participating in an Interactive Journal (see link above), you are already seeing lots of growth in your Second Grader’s writing skills.

If your child writes~and mails~ Thank You notes, greeting cards, and friendly letters to others, s/he is experiencing a personal sense of pride in her/his writing abilities.

Have the two of you created a story book together?  How about an alphabet book on animals, plants, foods, toys, etc?

Do you know how your child feels about writing ?

A Writing Attitude Survey

If your child is a Reluctant Writer, you may want to have an informal “writing attitude survey” chat with him/her.

Have this list of statements in front of you so you can record his/her responses, like never, sometimes, and/or always.

A “Sometimes” response might need some clarification ~ does it depend on the day, the subject, some hand cramps, rather doing something else, etc.

  • Do you think you are a good writer ?
  • Do you enjoy writing at school ?
  • Do you like writing at home ?
  • Is it easy to think of things to write about ?
  • Do you like to write about real-life or make-believe ?
  • Do you like to read your writing to others ?
  • What do they think about your writing ?
  • How do you feel when it’s time to write ?
  • Which do you like better : reading or writing ?
  • How do you feel about editing your work: grammar, spelling, etc ?

And now for a few more FLC Writing Resources…

Home Writing Helpers

BLB Library has an Inquiry Resource:

Inquiry Investigations: Authors, Books & Websites for Your Child’s Exploration & Discovery

And some Freebies:

KQRL Template

Home Research Projects

Kris Bales of Thought Co’s Second Grade Writing Prompts

My Checklist for Perfect Writing

With several BLB Shop Products:

MEETING PRIMARY LEVEL’S WRITING EXPECTATIONS

OH YAY! A RESEARCH PROJECT!: Processes, Templates & Resources

Plus, a Homework Hotline Helper resource from BLB’s Library:

Your Homework Help HOTLINE : Parent Involvement Strategies

So, that concludes the FLC’s Second Grade Series.

I have a new & exciting Series in the Vault ready to be released. I created it for the Independent Third Grader and above. However, your Second Grader might enjoy  these activities as well.

Hope to see you then! Thank you for reading!

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