What Students Should Know By the End of Second Grade?

The fact of the matter is that the various learning requirements and guidelines for second grade can vary greatly from one state to the next, one school district to the next, one school to the next, and even from one teacher to the next. Having said that, there are certain things that it is reasonable to think that students should know by the time that they end their second grade year. In particular, there are several things in the area of language arts and literacy, as well as in the area of mathematics, that you can expect students to know by the time that second grade is over with.

Reading and language arts is one area that is almost universally taught in second grade. During the second grade, students will have all sorts of reading opportunities, whether reading by themselves, reading with a partner, reading in groups, or being read to by a teacher. By the end of second grade, students should be able to read relatively well. They should be sounding out words that they do not know and, while they won’t recognize all of them, they will recognize many of them. In addition, students should be able to write by the end of second grade. This writing may or may not be cursive, and it is very likely that their penmanship will still have a long way to go, as the students continue to develop their motor skills.

In terms of math, second graders should know a few basic concepts. They should be able to do single-digit addition and subtraction, for example. They should be familiar with the concept of comparing numbers, as in greater than, less than, and equal to. They should probably have been exposed to fractions, but will not have mastered them yet. By the end of second grade, those second grade students should know how to use a number line also. The particular mathematics skills that students should know by the end of second grade beyond these fundamentals will probably vary quite a bit from one mathematics curriculum to the next.

If you are concerned that your student is not keeping up with what she should know by the end of second grade, you should talk with her teacher. The teacher may be able to help you determine whether or not the student is behind, and may be able to help make a plan to help her catch up.


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