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madteaparty

What's your second grader reading, independently?

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Is it me or does it all seem too easy or too hard? She states she is reading Harry Potter but really  I know that one is too hard for her. She devoured One and Only Ivan in two days. She's not neccesarily a big reader, so I need to curate. She has been reading Nate the Great type stuff in school.

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Last year my 2nd grader read at least these independently, and probably a lot more:

-Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (and others of this style)
-Thorton Burgess books (The Tale of Sammy The Squirrel and so forth - short, not the long compilations)
-Wayside School books
-Mr. Popper's Penguins
-The Phantom Tollbooth
-Winnie The Pooh/House at Pooh Corner
-lots of picture books with full paragraphs (things like Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs)
-Flat Stanley
-Roald Dahl books
-Judy Blume (the Fudge series)
-The Littles
-39 Clues


I had mine join a book club.  This year he's in one for 2nd & 3rd graders combined over at the library where they are reading longer picture books and short chapter books like Mercy Watson.  At home I pick a book at a time for him to go through as well, and I use Lexile.com to find books within a range.  Like, there were some I definitely wanted to expose him to this year, so I made a list.  Next to each book I wrote the lexile score for it, and those that have a large jump from the others we take turns reading chapters of.  But I started with very easy (Charlotte's Web) and slowly am working him up to others like Paddington, Pinocchio, Narnia, and a few others.

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My second grader read all ten million Geronimo Stilton books. I was hoping she would pick up something I "strewed" but not until her aunt gave her Redwall for Christmas the following year did she read anything more challenging on her own.

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Mine just finished the second Harry Potter book. I saw he picked up the first 39 Clues to read next. His self picked reading stack includes The Littles, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and The Boxcar Children. 

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My second grader (by age) can't read any of the above and is still working through Fun with Pets! from A Beka Phonics 1. I am only posting this so no one else reads this thread and freaks out that their second grader is the only one not reading Harry Potter alone at age 7 and all is lost. You're not alone. It will be okay. They will read these eventually. 

Okay, everyone else can proceed with the thread. ?

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Mine has read several Roald Dahl.  She really liked The Witches.  She just finished A Place in the Sun and reads the books in mbtp la 7-9 independently.  Mostly though, she just inhales the Goosebumps books.

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Thanks everyone. Most of these (like, 90%?) we’ve done as read-aloud. Maybe I’m not picking my read alouds well either. The phantom toothboth is an interesting one. I’m pretty sure I ruined several books for DS bc I assigned them too early. phantom toothboth is one as is a wrinkle in time. I’m going to look into the Littles, thank you. I can’t abide Magic Treehouse and while we have laying around i can’t bring myself to ask her to look at it ?

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Here is what my son read to himself for school last year in second grade. He was 8 years old. It was a great mix, some picture books, some simple chapter books, some story collections and a few short but solid novels. 

  • Kingdom of Wrenly series
  • Zoey and Sassafras series (a huge favorite)
  • The Action Bible, OT
  • One Trick Pony (graphic novel)
  • Lego Shakespeare, The Comedies
  • Precious Ramotswe's Very First Cases series
  • Life Story, Burton
  • How To Be an Elephant
  • Pass The Energy, Please
  • The Life and Time of the ~ peanut; apple; honeybee; ant
  • Blood and Guts
  • Elson Reader book 2
  • The Hobbit, first half (we moved and he got interrupted. He worked on this one for almost the whole year, of his own accord. One page, or passage, at a time)
  • 4 of the I Survived books
  • Timothy of The Cay and The Cay
  • Grand Canyon, Chin
  • Island: Story of The Galapagos, Chin
  • Rags and Riches: Kids In The Time of Dickens (a Treehouse fact checker book)
  • The Whipping Boy
  • Togo
  • Abridged version of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Making of A Knight
  • Merlin and The Dragons
  • A Wrinkle in Time, graphic novel
  • The Cabin Faced West
  • Celebrating Massachusetts
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Mine is not a huge “read for fun” kind of gal. She got the Heidi Heckelbeck series for her birthday and has been reading that, though.

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Dd2 last year read Paddington, Ginger Pye, and several other chapter books. Her reading level was/is above grade level. My older two were still below grade level at that age and didn't read much of anything on their own at that point.

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7 hours ago, madteaparty said:

Thanks everyone. Most of these (like, 90%?) we’ve done as read-aloud. Maybe I’m not picking my read alouds well either. The phantom toothboth is an interesting one. I’m pretty sure I ruined several books for DS bc I assigned them too early. phantom toothboth is one as is a wrinkle in time. I’m going to look into the Littles, thank you. I can’t abide Magic Treehouse and while we have laying around i can’t bring myself to ask her to look at it ?


I was thinking over what ds gravitates to vs. what I pick for read alouds.  He still enjoys books with pictures.  If it has at least one per chapter, he's happy.  If there are more, he's happier.  So most of his independent reads are this style, and often quick reads that he can toss aside in a stack.  He reads for hours, but doesn't always want to focus on one story for the whole time.  It's easy for me to find books for him at the library if I take a quick glance inside - and authors who have a wide range are often welcome.  Jon Sczeiska wrote picture books AND chapter books, so after introducing the first I'll throw one or two of the others in his stack.

For read alouds, I try to focus on quality literature that is well illustrated.  Once I've read it to him, it goes on his shelf and he will gravitate back to it and pick it up again and again to read on his own.  We have ended up with a lot from Candlewick Press and others that do the classics very well.  I want the language and sentence structure to be above what he is reading independently so when he picks these up again, he's stretching a bit out of his comfort zone but not too much.

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My 8 yo likes Magic Treehouse, Greetings from Somewhere, Dragon Masters, and super hero books. He still reads picture books as well. I am currently reading the first Harry Potter aloud. He frequently reads a little ahead. It is slow going for him, and I am sure he doesn't get every word. But he's understanding enough to tell me things that will be happening. I am just starting to think about assigning him things to read.

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My 2nd grader is reading early readers like Hop on Pop, all the old Berenstain Bear books (before sister bear was born and they got wordy), Bob Books, and his math word problems. He silently reads the Dog Man and Captain Underpants books over and over and over (there’s no accounting for taste ?), and is now following along with the Henry Higgins series as he listens to Neil Patrick Harris read them aloud. His 2nd grade reading ability is very different from his older brother’s at that age. 

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My second grader has recently read several Ronald Dahl books, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, The Wizard of Oz and The Jungle Book independently.

 My third grader, on the other hand, rarely reads outside of required school reading at all, and when he does it's Magic Treehouse or Lego books.  Just throwing that out there for all of the moms reading and comparing with their kids.  Each kid is so different and has their own pace!

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On 10/24/2018 at 11:21 PM, texasmom33 said:

My second grader (by age) can't read any of the above and is still working through Fun with Pets! from A Beka Phonics 1. I am only posting this so no one else reads this thread and freaks out that their second grader is the only one not reading Harry Potter alone at age 7 and all is lost. You're not alone. It will be okay. They will read these eventually. 

Okay, everyone else can proceed with the thread. ?

 

This is where my young fellow is as well.  

For my older kids (both girls), that was a bit of a tricky time.  A lot of the books that seemed easier were a little dumb, like the Captain Underpants kind of thing.

Sone things we had luck with were The Littles, Jacob Two-Two, Naughty Little Sister stories, and quite a few illustrated story books were actually about right.  Enid Blyton worked really well, books like Noddy, or even things like Winnie the Pooh.  

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Kids vary *widely* in reading ability and *interest* in reading from ages 4-9, so it's really hard to compare.

One thing, if you are concerned about your early elementary student reading "below grade level" for solo reading -- reading lots of "series" books and books that are *below* actual reading level is very helpful for increasing ease of reading, as well as fluency and comprehension. Series can be great, because they follow a predictable "pattern" that makes reading easier and provides confidence to young readers.

Not that comparison means much, but in case it helps: in 2nd grade, our very average reading DSs were doing the following: 

solo (independent) readers (books a bit below reading level)
- stepped readers (kinder/1st grade level)
- Magic Treehouse series
- Commander Toad series
- Nate the Great series
- Jigsaw Jones series

free time chose of books (note: other than at bedtime, they rarely chose reading as a free time activity until after about 5th grade):
- "search and find" books (I Spy, Where's Waldo, etc.), and other visual picture puzzle types of books
- exploded view illustration books and books with lots of illustrations and just small snippets of text
- Ranger Rick and other children's magazines (heavy on illustrations/photos, with short paragraphs of text)
- Calvin and Hobbes comic collections

assigned school reading (done "buddy reading" style -- "you read a page, I read a page") -- books at or just a bit above reading level:
- books like Clyde Bulla books, Henry Huggins, etc.
- early chapter books from booklists of "good books" or "living book" curricula

read-alouds -- listening to me read to them from books above their reading level, but within their interest level/comprehension level:
- books like The Hobbit (Tolkien) or Five Children and It (Nesbit) or Knight's Castle (Eager)
- books listed as readers from grades 4-8, from lists of "good books" or "living book" curricula

Edited by Lori D.
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On 10/24/2018 at 1:02 PM, HomeAgain said:

... I use Lexile.com to find books within a range...


Kids Book Series is another website that's handy for ideas, and you can sort by age, grade level, Lexile, genre, and a few other ways as well.
 


I was thinking over what ds gravitates to vs. what I pick for read alouds.  He still enjoys books with pictures.  If it has at least one per chapter, he's happy.  If there are more, he's happier.  So most of his independent reads are this style, and often quick reads that he can toss aside in a stack.  He reads for hours, but doesn't always want to focus on one story for the whole time...
... It's easy for me to find books for him at the library if I take a quick glance inside - and authors who have a wide range are often welcome...


Very similar with our DSs. Stepped readers were great at this age -- illustrations every page, short paragraphs of text, could be finished in one sitting, all of which really kept alive an enjoyment of books/reading, and provided a lot of practice and confidence in reading. Also, there are tons of nonfiction titles in the stepped readers, which our DSs were esp. interested in.

They also enjoyed book series a lot in the 1st-3rd grade years -- Nate the Great, Commander Toad, Riddle series (Hall & Eisenberg), Magic Treehouse, Jigsaw Jones (or, for girls: Cam Jensen). Check out the Kids Book Series link for ideas, if your child likes reading through a series of books by the same author.

We were at the library every week, getting an armload of stepped readers, easy readers, and early chapter books, as they were often reading through several of the shorter books each day. And the slightly longer early chapter books we would "buddy read" as assigned school reading.

Oh! Almost forgot -- a book DSs both *loved* reading along about this age is The Robinson Crusoe Reader (Cowles) -- shipwreck survival, easy to read language, and with illustrations! (:D

 

23 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

...He reads for hours, but doesn't always want to focus on one story for the whole time...


He might enjoy a magazine subscription for variety and short articles. Or, this series that I remember loving as a young child: ________ Do The Strangest Things (Hornblow). Each book is a series of 1-page or 2-page spread, each spread on a single creature, with color illustrations. Titles include insects, animals, fish, birds, reptiles, plants, prehistoric "monsters".

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On 10/25/2018 at 5:27 AM, madteaparty said:

Thanks everyone. Most of these (like, 90%?) we’ve done as read-aloud. Maybe I’m not picking my read alouds well either. The phantom toothboth is an interesting one. I’m pretty sure I ruined several books for DS bc I assigned them too early. phantom toothboth is one as is a wrinkle in time. I’m going to look into the Littles, thank you. I can’t abide Magic Treehouse and while we have laying around i can’t bring myself to ask her to look at it ?

I loved The Phantom Tollbooth, but even my older elementary kids didn’t appreciate it. There’s a difference between understanding a book, the plot, etc. and appreciating it. I would have like to go deeper with TPTB, but the kids just didn’t get it deeper than the basic plot. I think sometimes we think that because a kid can understand the plot or language the understand the underlying themes, etc. of a book. There are a lot of good children’s books that are better than Magic Treehouse, that actually have a theme and discussion points, butnon a level that is more appropriate to discuss with younger kids. For example, Charlotte’s Web has friendship, loyalty, death... all deep issues, but are more concrete and I think more appropriate for younger kids to study, given their life experience and developmental level.

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32 minutes ago, KrissiK said:

I loved The Phantom Tollbooth, but even my older elementary kids didn’t appreciate it. There’s a difference between understanding a book, the plot, etc. and appreciating it. I would have like to go deeper with TPTB, but the kids just didn’t get it deeper than the basic plot. I think sometimes we think that because a kid can understand the plot or language the understand the underlying themes, etc. of a book. There are a lot of good children’s books that are better than Magic Treehouse, that actually have a theme and discussion points, butnon a level that is more appropriate to discuss with younger kids. For example, Charlotte’s Web has friendship, loyalty, death... all deep issues, but are more concrete and I think more appropriate for younger kids to study, given their life experience and developmental level.


Totally agree -- about this particular book, and about the broader idea that Krissi is raising.

So often, I see parents totally missing the window  of opportunity for books that are ideal for certain ages, because the parents feel they have to *only* do read alouds that are more advanced (multiple grade levels above their child's age/grade), or *only* hand their child books to read that are at or just above the child's reading level to "stretch" the child. Which is exhausting for the child to always be reaching while reading, rather than ever getting to read for relaxation. But it's even more problematic if the child is reading above grade level, as now the child is missing out on the lovely books they would enjoy that are right for their emotional/developmental age, having to read works that would be better enjoyed by the child several years down the line.

Whether it's for readers or for read-alouds, I think it is absolutely critical to take into consideration the "whole child" when coming up with book lists -- i.e., not only look at reading level, but also consider this individual child's interest and emotional maturity level, and critical thinking level.

 

On 10/25/2018 at 5:27 AM, madteaparty said:

...Maybe I’m not picking my read alouds well ...
... I can’t abide Magic Treehouse and while we have laying around i can’t bring myself to ask her to look at it ?


Feel free to ask for ideas if your DD has some particular interests, or if you'd like more ideas than just Magic Treehouse for readers. (:D 

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My DS 10 is dyslexic, so we are constantly on the hunt for books that are timeless stories interesting to many ages, but not overwhelming reads. Three books he recently gave "amazing book" ratings for are

White Fur Flying, Patricia Maclachlan (I would recommend many of her books)

The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes

The Cats of Roxville Station, Jean Craighead George

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I'm also finding it tricky to choose books for my 2nd grader. He was 8 in August, and is only just starting to handle chapter books. Independent reading for him has been:

National geographic readers. He loved these.

Hey Jack books. Twaddle and easy but it got him over the 'long book' hump.

Pirate tales by Terry Deary (this was great because we had read about Sir Francis Drake in history)

3rd grade detectives books.

Beast Quest books

And yes, magic treehouse.

He's a struggle to choose for, if a book is too thick or the pages too lexically dense then he'll find it difficult. Using a kindle so he can make letters bigger helps too. 

My older two were reading Dahl et al at (younger than) this age and it has been an experience for me to try not to panic...

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2 hours ago, LMD said:

I'm also finding it tricky to choose books for my 2nd grader. He was 8 in August, and is only just starting to handle chapter books. Independent reading for him has been:

National geographic readers. He loved these.

Hey Jack books. Twaddle and easy but it got him over the 'long book' hump.

Pirate tales by Terry Deary (this was great because we had read about Sir Francis Drake in history)

3rd grade detectives books.

Beast Quest books

And yes, magic treehouse.

He's a struggle to choose for, if a book is too thick or the pages too lexically dense then he'll find it difficult. Using a kindle so he can make letters bigger helps too. 

My older two were reading Dahl et al at (younger than) this age and it has been an experience for me to try not to panic...

 I think several of these will be great for my ds in the coming months.  I hadn't thought of using a Kindle to make the letters bigger. That's a great idea! 

 

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My 7 year old is reading Frog and Toad.

My oldest at 7 was reading all the Warriors books. And The Hobbit.

My DS at 7 only read encyclopedia entries (with lots of pictures) - refused all fiction.

My middle dd at 7 just wanted Berenstein Bears.

They are all doing great.  Finding reading materials can be hard, especially with precocious readers who may not have the maturity for some harder books.  Some of My Best Friends are Books is a nice guide for helping precocious readers along.  Good luck finding something!

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On 11/1/2018 at 7:50 PM, texasmom33 said:

 I think several of these will be great for my ds in the coming months.  I hadn't thought of using a Kindle to make the letters bigger. That's a great idea! 

 

 

I used a kindle for my oldest for several years. His decoding/comprehension/stamina were well above the books with big enough letters. So he read things like Roald Dahl I’m huge print on the kindle. 

My current 2nd grader is on a mission to convince me that he’s forgotten how to read. I believe Elephant and Piggie is officially “too hard.”  ?

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One of mine was reading higher level books - like the Rosemary Sutcliff books and other historical fiction from the VP history list. One of mine read picture books and a couple of A to Z mysteries. There is a really wide range of normal.

Some books that might be good for that age are Milly-Molly-Mandy and Baby Island. Homer Price, Encyclopedia Brown, Little House in the Prairie, and The Box Car Children are in range for a number of kids that age.

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Lately Classic Starts books have been a huge hit. Surprisingly so. I bought several on the recommendation of WTM and they've been devouring them. Robinson Crusoe, Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, and Around the World in 80 Days have been especially appreciated. 

My girls that age have been obsessed with Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians lately. We have the audiobooks of them, but after listening they got them from the library and read them too. It's a huge fad right now between my kids. My 6yo even dressed up as a character for Halloween. Bonus, it talks about all sorts of literary devices and terms. 

Their favorites recently besides the ones listed (I have a 1st and 2nd grader) are The Invention of Hugo Cabret, My Side of the Mountain, and oddly, a book called Who's Haunting the White House, a book about deaths and ghost sightings at the White House. I got it off an end cap at the library during Halloween and both my 6yo and 8yo loved it. It led them to ask for books about Abraham Lincoln too. 

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