Second grade is the year that students truly begin to sound like great readers. Their fluency, or how smoothly they read, takes on a more confident tone and begins to have emotion and intonation that matches the meaning of the sentences they read. Though spelling was a key part of first grade, it becomes even more important in second grade as the students are learning to identify a wide range of spelling patterns. In addition to spelling, grammatical structures become a strong focus as kids move from emergent writers into independent writers. Students are expected to write complete sentences with details and be able to combine them into paragraphs. Though they won't be expected to master their multiplication facts until third grade, second graders are introduced to the concepts of multiplying and dividing while also expanding their adding and subtracting speed and accuracy. With their stronger reading skills, story problems are practiced extensively. Students explore concepts in the life sciences, physical sciences, and earth sciences that can easily be seen and found in the world around them. For history and social sciences, they are introduced to very basic concepts about government and economics while also developing map skills.
Below is a brief list of Key academic skills that students are expected to have mastered by the end of second grade. For a complete list of the California State Standards for Education, follow this link to the California Department of Education's website.