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Even though we don't want to admit it, summer is winding down. Some of my teacher friends are already in full “back to school” mode. Well, I might still be in denial, but I thought now was the perfect time write about everything you should know this year if you're going to be a second grade teacher. I remember transitioning to second grade and thinking “oh no!” I was worried I wouldn't know the curriculum, or understand the students. You might be in the same position this year. No fear! I'm here to let you in on all the second grade secrets!
I truly believe there is something so magical about second graders. They are starting to become independent and they still love their teacher and school! If you're a new second grade teacher this year, or even if you're a veteran, I hope this post will help you as you gear up for the new school year.
Give them responsibility
Second graders are definitely able to take on more responsibility, and they want to! Make sure to assign classroom jobs. In my classroom, I like to allow students to have the same classroom job for two weeks before rotating. This allows them time to get into the groove of their job and it helps when we have short weeks for holidays or days off. We also have classroom discussions about why it's important to take responsibility of our classroom and learning. Students learn the importance of taking responsibility of their classwork and it helps to lay a great foundation for future years.
Create student buy-in
Creating student buy-in is essential in your classroom. You might have some students that don't automatically want to contribute. Second graders are beginning to develop personalities and it's important to show them they belong to a community and it's important to be a contributing member. Give your students a voice when making decisions. Allowing students to vote on different activities is an easy way to allow them to feel like they are in control. Be sure to check out my Create Student Buy-In post if you're looking for some more tips and tricks on this topic.
In second grade, we are really honing our reading skills and deepening our comprehension. Students are ready to be challenged as they're reading and utilizing new math skills. You will be surprised how ready second graders are to demonstrate an understanding and they want to take control of their learning. I encourage you to provide them with rich learning experiences that challenge them and watch as they rise to the occasion.
Lay the foundation
In my district, second grade is the first grade that they receive a number or letter grade. For many students and parents, this is new and often confusing. It's important to take time to explain to both parents and students what the grades mean and how they can earn great grades. In addition, assigning some light homework is a great start this year. Students will learn responsibility and the value of dedication to their school work.