Building Blocks for Grade Two Reading Success
To help children achieve grade two reading success, consider these points:
- Provide a quiet place for your child to read and do homework. This means no TV or music playing. No matter what they say, parts of their minds are listening to something else, and some important focus is being lost.
- Your child should read aloud to an adult (or a considerably older sibling, if knowledgeable and kind) for at least 10-20 minutes daily. Encourage accurate decoding of most words. If too many words are miscalled, the meaning of the sentence is destroyed. Don’t let this become a bigger headache in the future by nipping it in the bud now, but with gentleness and understanding. Students are developing fluent, accurate decoding at this level. Reading accuracy will ensure reading success in grade 2 and beyond. See our free tip about ways to compliment: Praise Brings More Than Smiles.
- If your child miscalls or hesitates over too many words, the text s/he is reading may be too difficult. Our easy-to-use QRLE (Quick Reading Level Evaluation) might help. An explanation about how to use it can be found in another free tip: Choosing Books.
- Most children learn about long and short vowels in Grade 1. Extra practice in these skills can be provided with Reading Spotlight’s Reading Tutor Packet Level 1 (Short Vowels) or Reading Tutor Packet Level 2 (Long Vowels). We also have separate Word Searches and Bingo Games for short and long vowels to provide the extra and fun practice that some students need. They are especially effective with students who have been unsuccessful with traditional phonics instruction. Find them all in the Reading Spotlight Store.
- There are about 100 very common, but irregular words that often confuse children who are trying to learn the rules of decoding in English. The 100 high-frequency words of our Sight Word Kits include the most important words that need to be memorized. (Check out our Sight Word Kit A and Sight Word Kit B.) Don’t overload their memories with too many unimportant sight words to commit to memory. These are the most important undecodable words they need to know!
- At this level most children should have mastered blending long and short vowels into words, but second graders often need help in mastering irregular vowel patterns and other difficult clusters. Reading Tutor Level 3 covers these irregular English patterns in a way that helps those who are unsuccessful in phonics. We also have phonics pattern Word Searches, and Bingo Games that provide extra enjoyable practice. You can find them all in the Reading Spotlight Store.
- Basic literal comprehension (Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?) is still important as children move to higher level comprehension skills such as main idea, making inferences, sequencing, predicting outcomes, categorizing, drawing conclusions. Ask all kinds of inferential questions every chance you get, in reading, in watching TV, and in daily life experiences.
- Do not worry that a book is too easy. Easy reading at this level builds confidence and makes the child want to continue reading. Remember that many picture books for children have high reading levels and are meant to be read by an adult to a child. Your child needs to practice his or her reading skills on reading materials at appropriate reading levels. Explain this to the librarian, and ask for help.
- Books and magazines make great gifts, but, for the amount of reading practice most kids need at this level, use of the library is much better. Many of the mail order books and kits are not worth the money; they are ill-conceived and boring. You can bring home 5-10 library books, and, if your child doesn’t like a couple of them, no harm done. Just go back and pick out something else. If you spend a lot of money buying books, and then your child doesn’t like them, this makes reading associated with guilt and unhappiness, instead of fun, interest and excitement.
- Children learn to read by reading. The more they read, the better they become. Parents can help a great deal by providing good conditions for practice. Insist that your child read every day. Most of them watch TV every day, and daily reading practice at this level will reap immeasurable rewards later in their school lives.
Reading Spotlight 2020