Welcome to our class website! I’m excited to begin second grade. Check back here throughout the summer to get a sneak peek at some things we’ll be working on this year. Look for the ‘Sign me up!’ button on the right side of this page and enter your email address to be notified when I post updates. See you soon!
We will be reading a lot this year. Second grade is the beginning of the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. One of the ways we check for reading fluency is with one-minute reads. Students are given a grade-appropriate passage to read aloud for one minute. At the end of the minute, their score will be the number of words they read correctly. Speed is a good general indicator of a student’s reading skill, but it is not the only factor. The girl in the video below is a very fast reader, but speed alone is not our goal.
We also want students to read accurately. Students who try to read too quickly may begin to trip over their tongues and miss words. The one-minute reads will also give us an accuracy score. If a student read to the 85th word of the passage, think of it as an 85-point test. If she missed 20 words, her words-per-minute score would be 65. Her accuracy would be 76%. But, as with speed, accuracy alone is not enough for true fluency. Below is a video of the Kindle e-reader text-to-speech feature. The reading is very, very accurate, but I’m guessing you’ll find it’s not very pleasant listening.
So what is the last piece of fluency? We’ve covered speed and accuracy, but we also want students to read with expression. We want to hear changes in their voices as they read…changes in punctuation, emotion, and character. The last video is Jim Dale, who recorded the Harry Potter audiobooks. Before he begins reading, he takes a moment to talk about the value of listening to books as well as reading them.
Speed, accuracy, expression. All of these come together to make a good reader. How do we achieve this? Practice, practice, practice. We will read. We will read fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We will listen to reading. We will listen to the teacher read, we will listen to our classmates read, and we will listen to books on tape. We will think and talk and write about what we have read, and share our favorite books with others.
Everyone can be a reader, some just haven’t found their favorite book yet!