Stage II of reading development is an exciting period of time, especially if the child is in this stage at the expected time – usually beginning in the second grade and ending in the middle of the third grade.
In this stage your child has mastered most of the high frequency (sight) words and can read them automatically. They are also starting to show a pretty good understanding of one-syllable word patterns and their component sounds. More complex words such as stomp, branch, reaching and even and nonsense word like “grimp” would be good examples of words that follow early Stage II.
As we have been talking in previous blog posts utilizing the metaphor of learning to ride a bike, you can think of Stage II as one where the child starts out a bit insecure, but with more and more practice gains greater confidence and fluidity to the point where the child is independently enjoying the activity.
The primary activity of Stage II is reading – lots of it – both orally and silently, starting with small chapter books that are easy (but not too easy) for the child to independently read.
While in the early stages many large words could overwhelm the child, but as they progress through this stage they will be able to manage more of the words efficiently and read them correctly.
One final point, in this stage it is often useful to help a child break more complex, multisyllabic words down into the component parts and to practice this skill of breaking the words down. Examples of these words might be the following: ladder, mechanic, porcupine, dinosaur, parrot. Most children within this stage would know the meaning of these words, but reading them efficiently may be a different story altogether.
How will you know your child is getting ready to leave Stage II?
Essentially when they know almost all of the high-frequency (sight) words and can show they are starting to read material containing less-controlled words relatively smoothly and fluently.
Effectively, the child is “riding the bike” independently and can now move on to the final stage.
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