Speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills grow with language development. Mastery of language is a continuum that extends over a number of years and happens for children at different ages depending on their maturation, experience, and language background. Seven-and eight-year-olds vary in their rates of language development. The reading and writing curriculum adapts to individual needs that range from early reading to relatively advanced comprehension and vocabulary.
A set of B- Grade VIII standards provides the framework for our work in language arts. Below are listed some of the goals we have for Second Grade students in Language Arts over the course of the year. These are by no means all of the topics we cover, but rather an overview of some of the skills we expect children to master by the spring.
Knows all regular letter/sound correspondences
Decodes phonetically regular one and two syllable words
Knows common word endings (ed, ing, plurals) and uses them to decode/use words in context
Reads at least the first 500 words from the high frequency word list accurately and automatically
Reads grade level text aloud accurately
Reads with comprehension
Generates ideas for writing
Forms printed letters from top to bottom
Sequences stories in an organized manner
Rereads own writing to others
Includes details in her/his writing
Spells at least 130 of the most frequently used words conventionally
Uses terminal punctuation and basic capitalization
Reading: Reading is taught through guided reading in small groups, through the use of decodable and authentic texts. Through genre-specific reading units, children learn the elements of fiction and nonfiction texts, study specific authors, and develop comprehension and inference skills by reading early chapter books. During small group reading instruction, children practice decoding unfamiliar words, as well as reading for fluency and expression and critically evaluate content. Teachers read aloud stories, poems, and factual books both to expose children to a variety of genres and to foster a love of books and reading.
Writing: We strive to help children use writing as a powerful means of communicating their ideas, imagination and feelings. Children write on a daily basis in a variety of forms. Each child maintains a writing folder to promote the organization of ideas and technical skills. In Writers’ Workshop, children explore topic selection, descriptive detail, character development and the components of story. They engage in the writing process: drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Throughout the year, students practice these skills through three primary writing units: personal narrative, nonfiction animal research projects, and poetry writing.
Phonics, Spelling, and Handwriting: The students participate in Fundations, an integrated multisensory program, each day for thirty minutes. The daily lessons build on the students’ prior knowledge while encouraging the growth of their skills in the areas of phonemic awareness, word study, vocabulary, handwriting, spelling, fluency and comprehension.