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Goals for Second Grade: Transitional Reading and Writing

Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In second grade, children begin to read more fluently and write various text forms using simple and more complex sentences. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support second grade literacy skills.

In second grade, children begin to read more fluently and write various text forms using simple and more complex sentences.

Children can:

  • Read with greater fluency
  • Use strategies more efficiently (rereading, questioning, and so on) when comprehension breaks down
  • Use word identification strategies with greater facility to unlock unknown words
  • Identify an increasing number of words by sight
  • Write about a range of topics to suit different audiences
  • Use common letter patterns and critical features to spell words
  • Punctuate simple sentences correctly and proofread their own work
  • Spend time reading daily and use reading to research topics

What teachers do:

  • Create a climate that fosters analytic, evaluative, and reflective thinking
  • Teach children to write in multiple forms (stories, information, poems)
  • Ensure that children read a range of texts for a variety of purposes
  • Teach revising, editing, and proofreading skills
  • Teach strategies for spelling new and difficult words
  • Model enjoyment of reading

What parents and family members can do:

  • Continue to read to children and encourage them to read to you
  • Engage children in activities that require reading and writing
  • Become involved in school activities
  • Show children your interest in their learning by displaying their written work
  • Visit the library regularly
  • Support your child’s specific hobby or interest with reading materials and references
Excerpted from: Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children, part 4: Continuum of Children’s Development in Early Reading and Writing. (May, 1998) A joint position of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children position statement (full-text PDF) (opens in a new window).
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