By the time a child reaches the 2nd grade, traditionally, the child has a pretty good grasp on the concept of independent reading. However, this independence should never be mistaken for mastery. Children this age still need help to further develop their reading skills.
In Kindergarten and 1st grade, reading is more about decoding words and building up the child's index of sight words. Around the 2nd grade, reading takes a hard turn towards comprehension. By the end of this grade level, a child should be able to read a lengthy passage and be able to answer questions and expound on what they've read.
2. Story Dissection
A child around this age should also be able to dissect the stories they read. For instance, the child should be able to recognize and distinguish the intro from the plot. Story dissection is helpful because it equips children with the planning strategies necessary to develop stories of their own. A large part of developing this skill builds upon the child's ability to comprehend what they are reading.
3. Word Patterns
It's also helpful for a child to be able to recognize word patterns and also understand what these patterns mean. Prefixes are a good example of word patterns. Take the prefix un, for example. If a child is able to identify this prefix, the child will also find it easier to determine the meaning of words like undone or unknown, since they will understand how to apply the context of the prefix to the rest of the word.
4. Context Decoding
Reading skills are developed throughout a child's educational years. Context decoding is a skill children of all ages should have, but it is especially important during these years. With context decoding, the child should be able to look at the other words in the sentence to decipher what the word means. This skill is critical for improving reading comprehension skills.
5. Improved Spelling
The link between reading and spelling should not be minimized. As the child's reading abilities increase, so should their ability to spell the words they are reading. Since children in the 2nd grade begin to take on more writing assignments, it's important that they are also provided with a curriculum that supports good spelling strategies.
A solid 2nd-grade reading curriculum program can help children develop these skills, so look for a program that aligns with these concepts.