Let’s Get Reading!

August Let's Get Reading - August reading plans for second grade

August is always the most exciting, overwhelming, and EXHAUSTING time of the year for teachers. So many mixed emotions.. but we don’t need mixed emotions about teaching. Teaching reading can be easy as pie. Read on to hear how I have always started reading in my second grade classroom.

With one caveat… go slow, be REPETITIVE and start EASY to establish strong routines to carry you through the year.

Anchor Charts for Short and Long Vowels - Second Grade Phonics sample pack

Phonics at first should be a review of what your kiddos learned in first grade. Remember, the summer slide is a real deal and you do not want to overwhelm students. I start with short vowels, and then move to BASIC long vowel patterns. Remember, you will dive deeper into these concepts later.

This should be a REVIEW and something you will continue to review. Students do NOT need to master these skills right away, but you want to address them at the beginning of the year so they are easier to readdress throughout the year.

Second grade phonics activities for short vowel sounds.

Activity Ideas:

Reading comprehension chart for the 5Ws - who, what, when, where, why, how.

I like to start EASY with comprehension. We start with a standard that most students master right away: the 5Ws. Who, what, where, when, why and how. Again, being consistent is best. I use the SAME graphic organizer ALL MONTH so that students know EXACTLY what I am expecting. We do the first few graphic organizers together, so that students know exactly what I am looking on later on in the month.

This is my FAVORITE time to read aloud the best back to school books. Some of my favorites include:

Back to School August Read alouds for second grade reading

I do NOT do any small group reading or comprehension for the first month. Instead, we focus on routines for independent work so that in September, we are ready to roll.

Instead, each day I alternate between reading a text aloud and working on oral comprehension for the 5Ws and then on the alternate day we fill out the graphic organizer (at first we do it together, then we gradually work toward filling it out on our own).

Anchor charts for second grade grammar skills involving nouns, pronouns, collective nouns and plural nouns.

To make students feel successful and learn routines, we start EASY with grammar. Are you noticing a pattern? Easy, repetitive and guided.

We start by focusing in on nouns.

Again, we are not focused on mastery of any topic in August. We are working on routines, setting students up for success and reviewing skills that should have been introduced in first grade.

Vocabulary posters for second grade reading

I keep my routine for vocabulary words the same all year. On Monday, I introduce the words. Students work on a graphic organizer Monday-Thursday to write the word, write a definition, draw a picture and add a sentence. On Thursday, we review multiple choice questions together. On Friday, they are tested.

During my whole group lesson each day, I ask students if they need any reminders on what the words mean. If they do, I have a different student define it for them. This ensures that words are kept in student friendly terms.

I start with 3 vocabulary words at the beginning of the year, and work our way up to six. If there are more than six words each week, students will not retain them in a meaningful way.

When the week is over, I add the vocabulary words to our word wall. Then, we add them to our writing or refer to them during read alouds throughout the year.

Sample of weekly tests for phonics, grammar and comprehension for second graders

I always do the first test with my students. That way, they are used to the testing format for the rest of the year. After the first test, we grade the second test together and it does not count. By the third week, they should be used to the format and routine and from then on, I count their work. I ALWAYS have my students grade their own work. You can read more about setting up a self-assessing classroom on my blog here.

Year long plan for August Let's Get Reading

Closing Remarks:
Did I mention the importance of things being EASY, repetitive and guided the first month? This is KEY for setting up your classroom to be a well oiled machine throughout the year. If you are changing up directions or routines too much, students will get confused and you will struggle to set up your small groups with minimal interruption in September.

Get my entire first week of plans, printable and materials FREE by clicking here. If you are looking for laid out plans, worksheets, assessments, anchor charts and games for the ENTIRE MONTH of August, you can snag those by clicking here.

What questions do you have? Drop them in the comments below. Happy Teaching!

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