2nd Grade

Academic Growth Chart

Benchmarks

2nd Grade Academic




What You Can Do To Help Your Student

  • Math:

    Math Tips

    Make Math “Hands On”

    Helping your 2nd grader with math means helping him understand the meaning of mathematics concepts, not just the procedures of doing a written problem. Making math as "hands on" as possible is the best way to ensure that he will develop an understanding of concepts and number sense. To help your child really grasp the math that he needs to master, keep the learning simple, use real tools and everyday objects, and make it fun. Just call your learning activity a "game" and you can guarantee you will have your 2nd grader's attention!

    Speak Positively About Math

    Speak positively about math and reward effort rather than grades or ability. Think about how important reading is and how we are told to model this behavior for our children. We need to place math in the same category. Don't discount the importance of math by saying, "I'm not a math person, I was never good at math." Help your child read books that incorporate math, such as Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag, or On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey, by David Schwartz.

    Cement Addition and Subtraction Relationships

    To help your child build number sense, have him take several small objects (beans, pennies, etc.) and count out a specific number., starting with a smaller number. Then take your hand (or a cup or small bowl) and quickly cover some of the objects. Ask: "How many are under my hand?" He should be able to figure it out by counting those remaining. So if there are 5 objects and you cover 3, your child should see the 2 remaining objects and determine that 3 are covered. Do a variety of different combinations of objects covered using the same number of items. Then try it with more items, up to twenty. Your child will get practice seeing the addition and subtraction relationships between numbers.

    Use Food to Demonstrate Fractions

    Your child is beginning to use unit fractions, like 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 in 2nd grade. Cutting up sandwiches, fruit, or pastries into equal pieces and counting the fractional parts is one way to reinforce fraction identification.

    Read Math Problems Out Loud

    If your child is struggling with math problems, have him read each problem out loud slowly and carefully so he can hear the problem and think about what is being asked. This helps him break down the problem and come up with problem-solving strategies.

    Use Real Money

    Children become so accustomed to seeing adults pay with credit and debit cards that counting actual money can be an unfamiliar practice. Engage your child in the transaction of buying things at the store, allowing him to pay with cash and to count the change. This will help not only with his math skills but will foster an understanding of the concepts of saving and spending.

    Combine Analog and Digital Clocks

    To practice telling time, have your child draw an analog clock and a digital clock and put the same time on both. You want to help your child count time in 5-minute increments. Give your child a specific time on a clock and ask questions such as "What time was it two hours ago? What time will it be in a half hour?" Take a look at a calendar. Ask your child questions about the days and dates, such as "What day is the 5th of this month? How many Tuesdays are in the month? What date is the 3rd Friday of this month?"

    Use Cooking to Explain Time

    When cooking or baking, think about the time required for your recipe. Ask your child to help you figure out if a meatloaf takes about 45 minutes to bake and the vegetables you'll be having with it take 30 minutes to cook, how many more or fewer minutes than the meatloaf do the vegetables need? Which do you need to start cooking first?

    Work on Sequencing and Patterns

    You can build sequencing skills by asking your child to try to name his classmates in the order in which they sit in their classroom. Or have him outline the steps required to make a particular dish or meal. He can also put math information into patterns. Your child can learn the names of shapes with increasing numbers of sides by arranging sticks into a triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, etc. in order and saying their names as he points to them.

    Explore Fractions

    Since children are most familiar with the fraction 12, as in "Can I have half a glass of milk," the unit is a strong base from which to start exploring fractions. Comparing half a glass of water to a whole glass, half a cookie to a whole cookie, half a book (opening it to the middle) to a whole book. Encourage your child to show you when he sees or hears fractions used in daily life.

    Play Family Math Games

    Plenty of family games incorporate math. Tic tac toe, Connect Four, and dominoes are just some of the many games that help build strategic thinking and math skills.

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  • English Language Arts:

    English Language Arts Tips

    Continue Reading with Your Child

    Your child's reading skills are improving steadily and he can now read on his own, but continue to read aloud with him regularly. As you read, stop to discuss what you've read and ask him questions about the content. Don't ask him obvious questions that are spelled out explicitly in the text, such as what color shirt a character was wearing. Instead, prompt him to think about the reasons behind the action. Ask him why a character did something specific? Ask him what he thinks the lesson of the story is so far? These aren't necessarily questions with wrong or right answers. The most important thing is to prompt him to think analytically about what he is reading.

    Take Turns Reading Through a Book

    Your child can practice shared reading with a parent, sibling, or friend. The child reads one page and the partner reads the next page. The goal here is to take turns and help each other with words the reader may not know. Each reader must follow along while the other one is reading. This activity helps build fluency, which is very important to becoming a strong reader.

    Play Audiobooks in the Car

    If you're planning a car ride of more than a few minutes, consider playing a CD of an audiobook. Children model their tones while reading aloud based on the ways in which they hear adults read, and oral fluency is an important skill that begins to develop very early in a child's literacy development.

    Encourage Questions!

    Encourage your child to ask for help when he doesn't understand a word and help him to try to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words. If a character in a story is described with words that your child does not recognize, work with him to figure out their meaning from other clues in the text, rather than simply providing him with a definition. Children are praised and rewarded so much for showing off what they know, so make sure to praise him for asking about things he doesn't know. Show him that you also don't understand all the words you come across and demonstrate how you figure out the meaning of an unfamiliar word.

    Explore Different Writing Styles

    Encourage your child to develop his writing abilities and to tailor his writing to different purposes and audiences. Demonstrate how you do this in everyday life. Explain what you're doing as you write a work-related email, reading aloud as you write it and explaining how you're going to use capital letters and be a bit formal in your style. Or, if you’re just jotting a quick reminder note to your spouse to leave on the kitchen counter, explain why you're taking a much more familiar tone.

    Incorporate Non-Fiction Books

    Make sure to incorporate non-fiction books into your child's reading list, such as books about how plants grow or how machines operate, depending on his interests. If he's interested in dinosaurs and other animals, appoint him the family "animal detective" and have him present a new animal to the family every week.

    Use Writing Skills for Birthday Invitations

    Birthday parties can be a wonderful occasion to make writing fun. Your 2nd grader can join in the festivities by creating his own invitations to send to friends and family. With your help, he can draw a picture and write the important information about the party: Whose party it is, where and when it will be held, and how to RSVP. Pick out some paper together and either print out the invitations on a computer or make handwritten versions. And don't forget to add stickers and glitter! Your child will love being part of the action.

    Encourage Creative Writing

    Encourage your child to get creative with his writing. Suggest that he write a short play, story, or comic book. This helps nurture your child's creativity and also fosters writing ability.

    Play Word Games on the Go

    Word games are a great way to help your child appreciate the magic of language, and playing with language can start him on the right path toward good writing. Here's one idea to try with your 2nd grader: When you're driving in the car, taking the bus, or walking in your neighborhood, ask your child what he sees. Beginning with one of his words, try adding another word that starts with the same letter, like "ferocious fire hydrant" or "tiny tree." See if you can expand by adding more and more words, like "twenty-two tiny tulip trees."

    Play Letter Match

    Another easy word game to play at home, in the car, or even just waiting in line is "letter match." Select a category, such as animals, foods, or places. Call out a letter of the alphabet and give your child 10 seconds to think of an item in that category. It's then your turn to think of another item in the category that begins with the same letter. Keep going until one of you misses. So if the category is "animals" and the letter is B, he might guess bear, then you might guess beaver, then buffalo, and so on. This is a great game for siblings to play with each other. This not only helps your child learn words and think quickly, but also helps condition him for the pressure and anxiety he will experience during timed testing.

    Make a Game of Using New Words

    Make a game out of broadening your child's vocabulary. Choose five unfamiliar new words for your child to learn each week and see how often everyone in the family can use those words in everyday conversation. This will help improve your 2nd grader's vocabulary, reading comprehension, and speaking skills.

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    TEASER Your 2nd grader will be learning to understand and discuss information from a range of sources and she will also begin learning to express herself effectively in writing. She’ll continue to build upon the math skills she learned in 1st grade.
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There are many more additional resources that parents can consult when seeking support and guidance. Included here are some links that may be helpful.

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Elementary school is when parents are most likely to attend conferences, and these meetings will lay the foundation for your attitude and form your impression of conferences in the future. 

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