What We Are Learning in Second Grade

2nd Grade Academics: What To Expect

by Patti Ghezzi

The 2nd grade is a year of transitions and curriculum milestones. In language arts, kids spend less time learning to read and more time reading to learn. In math, they learn to count money and tell time, skills that translate to daily life. It’s a year in which learning becomes more nuanced and students are expected to be more independent.

For language arts, children will be expected to read with expression and to predict the outcome of a story based on the text as well as pictures. They will learn to pull out the main ideas and supporting ideas. Parents can help their 2nd grader by encouraging her to read aloud every day and asking questions about the story.

Math lessons are challenging and may include patterning, graphing, basic geometry, fractions, measurement, and two-digit addition and subtraction, with students learning to “carry” numbers. Students will get more experience with word problems and will be expected to explain how or why they arrived at their answers. Today’s teachers are less likely to dictate one way to solve a problem and more likely to give children room to find their own methods of getting the right answer.

Writing is a major component of 2nd grade. Some teachers may require students to keep a journal; many teachers suggest that parents have their child write every day, starting with just one sentence. Teachers will be tougher when it comes to spelling and expect students to use capitalization and punctuation correctly. Many 2nd grade teachers will introduce the writing process of brainstorming, writing, revising, and editing.

Parents can further encourage reading and math fluency by including their child in trips to the grocery store. Kids can help make the shopping list, read through sales circulars, calculate how much the groceries will cost, read labels, and compare prices. “The supermarket is a wonderful educational place,” Rudman says.

As parents of 2nd graders review the curriculum online or listen to teachers on curriculum night, it may be easy to get overwhelmed. Teachers set big goals for 2nd grade; with support from parents, kids are more than capable of reaching those goals.