Second Grade Teaching Resources?
July 15, 2011 7:21 AM   Subscribe

I'm used to fourth graders - what are the best resources to prepare for my first time teaching second grade?

I’ve just found out I’ll be teaching second grade next year – YAY! The only problem is that most of my experience is with older children (fourth grade especially). I want to be as prepared as possible; what are the best resources for understanding second graders and planning the year? I’m looking especially for things related to daily routines/activities but would also appreciate suggestions related to academics, child development, ways of communicating - anything regarding kids in this age group (NOT general teaching resources; I have plenty of those). In addition, this is in a very low-income area so if there is anything that will help me with younger kids in a “high needs” school (urban, not rural) that would be great. Thank you!

Also, if you could direct me to an easily printable version of the Common Core State Standards that would be awesome; I can only find them broken up into four or five fifteen page documents for each subject.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to Education (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I meant to add, I'd also really appreciate suggestions for how to set up a second grade classroom and what to have on the walls.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:36 AM on July 15, 2011

I was recently directed by Ramo on AskMe to the Times Educational Supplement fora. I found several questions like yours on the site - here's one about moving from year 6 to year 2. Not sure how useful these questions will be given the UK context, but perhaps there is an American equivalent?
posted by paduasoy at 12:52 PM on July 15, 2011

I was a second grade teacher in the Bronx from '07-'10. Remember that some of the kids may not have attended kindergarten or preschool, so they may only have one year of school under their belts. You'll be really surprised at how dependent they are on you compared with your fourth graders. Many/most will do weird things. They bite, they have accidents in their pants, they steal without feeling guilt, you can't reason with them very well because their little brains are still so undeveloped. Some may not even know their letter sounds, but some may be near-fluent readers. Assess them right away.

They respond really, really well to praise and hugs and stickers and songs and glitter and high fives and rhymes and dancing and silliness. If you're enthusiastic, they're enthusiastic. They're really demonstrative and that's one of the best things about second grade. You'll notice a huge difference between them and the third graders. They'll leave your class acting so much differently. Don't let your lessons last more than 10 or 15 minutes--those little boogers get so squirmy! Keep things moving. Give them a lot of opportunities to move around. Repeat your routines over and over again in the first few weeks of school because they CAN NOT SEEM TO REMEMBER ANYTHING. Everything has to have a routinized because they can't figure out things for themselves at that age. Seriously, assume they can't do anything for themselves in a common sense manner. They don't have common sense yet.

They aren't nearly as cynical as fourth graders (hey, everything's relative). When kids are that little, it's tempting to be overly sweet and cheek-squeezy with them, but the same rule applies with second grade as with every other grade: start the year off being strict.

Second graders are So! Much! Fun!
posted by HotPatatta at 2:00 PM on July 15, 2011

Number sense. Work on that a lot. In second grade, students need to be able to recognize patterns in numbers, balance algorithms and manipulate numbers in ways they've never been introduced to before. Every morning or whenever, practice counting forward and backward by 1s, 5s, 10s, 7s, 16s, whatever. Put up a huge number line. Have them work with it everyday and acquaint themselves with how to use it to skip count, add, and subtract.

Spend a lot of time on long vowel spelling patterns, digraphs, and word families at the beginning of the year. The morning meeting time lends itself to all this review-type stuff very well, but so does after lunch when you need to harness their energy and refocus their attention away from the playground and onto you.

Tattling is major at this age and establish a no-tolerance policy for it. Tattling is when you're trying to get someone into trouble and that's not appropriate, you can say. It's only appropriate when they're trying to keep someone out of trouble or safe. I had a "notes to teacher" book and they wrote all their little tattles in there at the beginning of the year. We went over each one as a class and discussed whether it was considered tattling or not. This really helped cut down on the problem. They stopped tattling in the book and eventually learned to use it as a way to communicate issues of concern with me.
posted by HotPatatta at 2:43 PM on July 15, 2011

Those are super, SUPER helpful, thank you!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:54 PM on July 16, 2011

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