Reading Goals for Second Graders

At the second grade level, readers are starting to become more able to work on their own. They are exploring the use of the written word and know where to find answers to questions they might have about new words. Spelling word lists expand vocabulary as the child learns proper letter order. In-class reading and writing projects build many of the skills listed here. But you can help your child master these goals too, once you know what the goals are.

Alphabet-related goals.

  • Knows how to use phonics to help figure out unfamiliar words.
  • Spells words correctly.
  • Tries to spell words by the way they sound if the correct spelling is unknown.

Word Recognition goals.

  • Reads many sight words (words recognized automatically and pronounced without decoding the spelling, i.e. the, I, in, it).
  • Spells one- and two-syllable words.
  • Learns new words and uses them at home and in school.
  • Uses context clues and knowledge of word parts to figure out what a word means.
  • Increases in knowledge of synonyms and antonyms.
  • Learns new words through independent reading.

Reading goals.

  • Reads and understands second grade fiction and nonfiction.
  • Reads to answer specific questions.
  • Reads topics of interest.
  • Recalls details, main ideas, and information after reading.
  • Interprets information from graphs, charts, and diagrams.

Writing goals.

  • Writes for many different purposes (examples – stories, letters, lists, reports).
  • Chooses words and thoughts carefully when writing.
  • Revises and edits when writing.
  • Uses parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions) correctly.

Second graders show a great deal of curiosity about the world around them. If you haven’t already made trips to the library a regular part of your weekly schedule, this is a good time to do so. As they start to master early reading skills, children of this age relish lots of opportunities for independent reading. They explore whatever topic catches their interest, developing not only more knowledge, but also a love for reading. Additionally, the extra reading practice solidifies their growing reading skills and builds confidence.

Two other home activities which reinforce the skills being taught at school are having your child help you cook and help you navigate.

In the case of cooking, the child can read the instructions of a recipe aloud, help measure, and mix. Besides eating the delicious results, following a recipe develops the skills of interpreting information, paying attention to details, and translating written instructions into action.

In the case of navigating, children learn to interpret information from a map with its accompanying legend. They connect the real world with the symbols on the map. They also learn how to give clear directions, pay attention to street signs, plan routes between locations, and use a map to find places of interest. This technique is not limited to vacations. Use it around town for errands. Have them help plan the shortest route and then guide you as you complete your errand run.

A parent remains a child’s most influential teacher. You can help your child become their “best self” by nurturing their interests and providing them opportunities to contribute to your family life.

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