I’m going to begin this by saying what all 2nd grade teachers know is true: 2nd grade is the BEST grade to teach.
It is truly the sweet spot in elementary! Students are fairly independent. You don’t spend recess tying shoes. Students still love coming to school each day, and they understand humor much more than they used to! They’re also moving from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” and their math brains grow substantially during 2nd grade and it is so fun to be part of that growth!
If you’re a new teaching 2nd grade, welcome! As a former 2nd grade teacher, I have 3 important tips for all new 2nd grade teachers!
What do all 2nd grade teachers need to know?
Tip 1: Get to Know Your Students
During your first few weeks of school, be sure to include a variety of reading, writing, and math activities that will help you get to know your students’ strengths and weaknesses. Take formal and informal notes on your students – even simple notes like, Claire read all the Elephant & Piggie books in 1st grade. These types of notes will help you connect with your students and help you create guided math and reading groups when the time comes!
If you need more formal data for creating your guided math groups, start with these math snapshots!
Tip 2: Hold High Expectations for Centers & Small Groups
2nd graders aren’t brand new to the school routine. They are fully capable of working appropriately during centers so that you can pull small groups. However, you MUST be intentional about the expectations you’ve set for that time. Don’t expect students to be able to jump right into centers without sufficient modeling. This may take the entire first month of school, but once your students fully understand these center expectations, your guided math and guided reading time will run so smoothly!
If you need help getting started with guided math, be sure to check out this post!
Tip 3: Read Aloud Every Single Day
Choose a time of the day when students can sit and simply listen to you read from a chapter book. Yes, they’ll hear all kinds of stories during ELA, but find another time when you simply read aloud from a chapter book for 10-15 minutes. The sole purpose of this reading time is for students to enjoy listening to you read quality books to them.
Not sure which chapter books to read to your 2nd graders? Click here to see my top 5 favorite chapter books to read aloud!
Resources for 2nd Grade Teachers
Whether you’re a brand new teacher or just new to 2nd grade, it’s crazy hard! That’s why we’re going to end this post with a round-up of FREE resources for 2nd grade teachers!