Institute of Reading Development
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Program Goals

During second grade, children build on the phonics and decoding skills learned in first grade and learn new word-attack skills. As children become stronger independent readers, they move toward fluency in Easy Reader books (books written with a controlled vocabulary and simple sentences).

The first goal of this program is to build the strong phonics and word-attack skills children need to achieve fluency. The program integrates in-class skills instruction with independent reading practice that gives students a chance to apply these skills under the teacher’s guidance. Students also use a self-paced workbook and audio program to learn advanced phonics and word-attack skills, including contractions, compound words, syllables, and prefixes and suffixes.

The second goal is to develop students’ fluency and comprehension. Fluent readers read words easily and accurately, without having to sound out each word. They are able to devote their full attention to the story itself, so fluency leads directly to stronger comprehension, as well as a love of reading. In class, children practice independent reading in carefully selected books and participate in comprehension-building class discussions and fluency-training exercises.

Children this age need to read extensively in order to strengthen their reading skills and achieve fluency. The third goal of the program is to guide students’ reading in books at the appropriate level of difficulty and provide support to help them experience success and confidence as readers. The teacher gives parents a Book-Level Recommendation to guide their selection of books for their son or daughter throughout the upcoming year. This recommendation works hand in hand with the booklist in the Program Guide, which contains hundreds of good books divided into levels of difficulty.

Reading gives us a sense of the richness and diversity of human experience.