2nd grade is the stage when most young readers begin moving beyond the basics of decoding text into reading fluency and comprehension. 2nd grade reading comprehension is an important hallmark in their learning process since it determines whether they will be successful in their subsequent learning activities or not. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your child has a strong background so that they can seamlessly and effortlessly tackle other learning activities that heavily rely on reading comprehension. And here’s how.
But First and Foremost, What is Reading Comprehension?
Well, in simple terms, we can define this as the connection to reading. I mean, reading comprehension is gaining and decoding meaning from what they read. Though it is an intricate and convoluted process, most children from a very early stage in life can read and understand what they’ve just read. However, for this to be possible, they have to turn on their minds and reflect on the meaning of what they are heading and this requires teaching, guidance, and most importantly practice.
The Goal of 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension
The goal for second graders is to ensure that they comprehend the text they have and what is read to them. They should not only be able to answer questions about the story or text but also pinpoint the evidence by perusing the pages to back their answers. They show that they have understood by retelling the story in their own words, understanding the characters, setting, and important events in the story or text. Reading comprehension for a 2nd grade can be achieved by incorporating a set of activities during the reading process. These include:
Reading at Home Everyday
Reading aloud or independently at home for enjoyment is perhaps the most effective daily routine to help your child strengthen their comprehension abilities. This reading should be closely monitored and after every session, the tutor or the parent needs to ask simple questions about the setting and characters in the story. This should also include discussing the most interesting parts of the story with the child to help them make connections of what they have read with real-life situations.
Ask Open-ended Questions
It is not uncommon to get trapped into asking simple and straight forward questions that elicit one word or single phrase answers. Instead, ask them more complex questions to expand their thinking capacity and allow them to express their feelings freely. For instance, you can ask them if they agree with the characters did or let them explain in their own words what the story is all about. This is a trait that could carry over from 1st-grade reading skills and engages high-level critical thinking which deepens their critical thinking whilst giving you a window into what they are thinking.
KWL charts are very effective tools to grab the attention of second-grade students to get them thinking of the story or text they just read. This method is ideal for non-fiction text which deals with facts. And you do not have to write everything down. Questions can be posed to the child as they read. Though it is easy and quick, it will help the student delve deeper into the text or story they are reading.
Keep it Light
For a second grader, reading should be all fun and games. And asking for correct answers right after they have finished can suck the fun and joy from the whole experience. Therefore, focus on asking questions from a curiosity point of view in an effort to understand what the child is thinking as they read the story or text. By so doing, they will feel that their thoughts and feelings are being appreciated and it will help them understand what they are reading better.
Identify different Ways to Read
With no doubts, text, and storybooks are the most effective tools to expose and introduce your kid a higher level of thinking and new vocabulary. However, reading by themselves is not the best way to get gain this understanding and build their vocabulary. Audiobooks and read-alouds will come in handy and also provide the kid with lots of enjoyment.
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Another way of building comprehension skills is using magazines or books then asking them questions of what the stories are all about. And it doesn’t have to get complicated. Simple questions such as what happened to a character will go a long way to help your child build strong comprehension skills. Sometimes, worksheets can seem meaningless and potentially take the fun out of the reading. To avoid ruining the allure, design simple and concise worksheets geared towards helping your child understand what they read better. If you are using them and the child seems bored or shows no interest, try injecting some fun into the process and take regular breaks.
2nd grade reading comprehension is all about helping the child make connections of what they read and real life. This not only sharpens their focus but also deepens their understanding which will come in hand throughout the entire learning process. Therefore, teach them how to establish connections and if they are finding it hard to read, don’t hesitate to use other methods and reading materials such as audio books and read alouds. And since they have already developed some reading comprehension skills in first grade, this process should not be as hard as it seems. Success boils down to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the child then capitalizing on them to help them understand and read fluently.