# Getting the most out of 2nd grade

Based on Common Core Standards
Written by Brian Galvin, MEd Chief Academic Officer

#### Key Takeaways

These are the most critical skills a 2nd grader should master before entering 3rd grade:

Math:
2. Shapes
3. Counting & The Number Line
4. Measurement

English Language Arts:
1. Reading to Determine How Characters Respond to Events
2. Compare and Contrast Versions of Stories
3. Use Context Clues to Determine Word Meanings
4. Understand and Comprehend Text

Find out which 2nd grade skills your student needs to work on by taking our learning assessments:

2nd grade is a foundational year for building core math and reading skills upon which upper elementary school classes will build. This scholastic checklist will help you ensure that your second grader is proficient in the critical path skills that will determine 3rd-grade readiness, as well as provide a summary of all the skills your student should feel confident in upon completion of 2nd grade.

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## Critical Skills for Math

Before leaving 2nd grade, a student should be comfortable adding and subtracting numbers up to 1000; adding up to four two-digit numbers in one problem; and mentally adding and subtracting numbers up to 20. 3rd grade will expose students to multiplication and division, plus rely on strong addition/subtraction skills for word problems and other applied math usage, so an incoming 3rd-grader should feel confident with addition and subtraction.

Shapes
Before leaving 2nd grade, a student should recognize and understand the fundamental properties (e.g. the number of sides and angles) of triangles, rectangles, squares, and circles, as well as be familiar with more complex shapes such as pentagons, octagons, and cubes. Students should also be able to partition circles, rectangles into rows and columns of equal size, and then determine the total number of segments. 3rd-grade geometry coverage will build upon these partitions and general shape knowledge to begin teaching the concepts of area and perimeter.

Counting & The Number Line
Before leaving 2nd grade, students must have a firm understanding of number names and relationships with each other (i.e. which values are greater or less than one another). Students should also be able to determine if a group of objects is odd or even in number, and be able to skip count by 5s, 10s, and 100s. 3rd grade will introduce students to concepts like rounding and numerical comparisons - of both integers and fractions - so a sound understanding of where numbers lie in relation to one another is critical.

Measurement
Before leaving 2nd-grade students should be able to tell and write time from analog and digital clocks, identify the value of coins and paper money, and use their values to add and subtract. They should also know how to measure objects to the nearest inch, foot, and centimeter, and determine how much longer one object is than another. These skills are critical as 3rd grade presents new challenges in geometry problems - such as area and perimeter - multi-step word problems, and unit conversions.

Our smart learning system can assess your student, identify their strengths and weaknesses in a subject, and recommend learning tools to help them improve their mastery.

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## Critical Skills for English Language Arts

Reading to Determine How Characters Respond to Events
By the end of 2nd grade, readers should be ready to begin processing cause-and-effect relationships in text, and a central component of that for the grade level is recognizing how characters respond to events in a story or narrative. In 3rd grade, readers will need to synthesize multiple events in order to determine the main ideas of texts and to be able to describe characters, so this ability to determine and discuss how characters in a story respond to their events is an important skill to build upon at the next level.

Compare and Contrast Versions of Stories
An important component of reading critically for a 2nd grader is the ability to compare and contrast different versions of similar stories. This demonstrates the capability to recognize and synthesize details, and in 3rd grade and beyond these skills will be important as reading for details and comparing more narrative texts become prized abilities.

Use Context Clues to Determine Word Meanings
As students begin reading longer books with more nuanced themes and more advanced vocabulary, it is quite important that they are able to rely on context to understand the roles of words that they do not know. This aids not only in vocabulary development but also in a student’s ability to confidently read more challenging books and articles.

Understand and Comprehend Text
By the end of 2nd grade, readers should be able to ask and answer important questions such as who, what, where, when, why, and how to understand key ideas and details in a text. In 3rd grade and beyond, students will be presented with longer, denser texts and be asked to understand and synthesize written material at a deeper level, so these core comprehension skills are critical in the reading development process.