Reading and writing in second grade classrooms have undergone a dramatic change in the past ten years. Teachers are trying to increase their repertoire beyond basals and story starters; replacing them with meaningful, authentic, and developmentally appropriate tasks is an exciting daily challenge. This text captures and explores the spirit of the new second grade.

The authors view second grade as a dynamic year full of change. As teachers hand the responsibility of choice and participation to their students, something almost magical develops. This book brings the reader into this world by providing specific details of activities, projects, and materials that attract and engage the second grader and transform the classroom into a more meaningful place for the learner. This book includes discussions on:
  • Reading and writing from the developmental point of view
  • Organizing and setting up the classroom
  • Putting rituals in place that help the classroom run smoothly
  • The importance of talking and listening to the thinking and learning of young children
  • Ways to involve students in their evaluation through reference charts and portfolios
  • Developmental characteristics of seven- and eight-year olds
  • Samples of classroom charts
  • student writing samples