There are 3 things to know about Second grade! Second graders are very eager to please the teacher yet they still need to hold your hand which can require a lot of attention. Second, most second graders can do many things like log in to their own computer, walk in a straight line, and generally still love school! Finally, since most can read and work independently, centers work wonderfully with this grade!
All of those tips and tricks are great but what THREE things do you really need to know about Second grade in order to have a successful classroom –
- Know your Standards
- DATA – Get your hands on it and figure out how to use it as fast as you can.
- Don’t Do This Alone! – Read blogs, get on social media, & call on your coworkers.
Know your Standards
So what are you going to teach? I went to the state education site and downloaded all the standards and then to our county website for curriculum maps. They, fortunately, provided calendars that showed what standards were to be introduced and taught in which quarter and that was so helpful.
I had the luxury of being on a team for several years and we would alternate writing plans for different subjects. This was great because all of the work did not fall on any one person. Of course, we always had one or two who slacked off and we had to pick up their slack, but that’s life!
I have heard it said that “In first grade, students dip their toes in the water. In second grade, students go swimming.” I think this is very true. They definitely come out of their shell more! Shortly before or after Christmas, it is like a mature classroom comes in attendance.
How To Teach Second Grade
The best advice I can give you is to get your hands on student data and figure out how to use it as fast as you can. It took me several YEARS to get a handle on DATA. We would do reading fluency checks, comprehension checks, and math screeners, but I was clueless about how to actually use the data. ASK QUESTIONS! Do not waste that precious data.
Ultimately you are using this data to identify which students might need additional interventions through RTI (Response to Intervention). The goal is to find students who are failing or at-risk of failing to make adequate progress and are most commonly administered for reading and math. I have another blog post to help you figure out what to do with the data!
Second Grade Teacher Blogs
The internet can become your best teacher-friend if you know where to look! I turned to so many blogs during my first few years of teaching (2010-2012). Amy Lemons was a wealth of knowledge, as well as Sunny Days in Second Grade. I would read about what they were doing, look at the pictures, and copy them in my own classroom. I even had another blog of my own back in the days! I was not regular in posting and did not have a clue what to post!?
You are not meant to do this SOLO! Get on Instagram and search #iteachsecond #secondgradeteachers and start reading! I strongly believe we should jump off from where someone left off! Learn from each other! I cannot tell you how many times I put my standard in the google search bar with the words “lesson plans” and waited for something to popup! It is out there! It may not be original but it will get you started and you can make it your own!
I have the majority of my lessons from second and third grade on Teachers Pay Teachers. I have small units and large bundles of resources. If I used it in the classroom, it is in my store! I know it works and want to share them with you! I also have another post on assessing student data that is a great read.
How about a freebie to finish this year out! I have 24 awards for Honors Day that are easy to print and hand out! There are 10 pages filled with super fun ways to celebrate your students!
You are going to be a great Second Grade Teacher!