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"Learning to Read" to "Reading to Learn": Making the Transition




One of the biggest transitions that takes place in my second grade classroom is the move from learning to read to reading to learn. Throughout the school year, we continue to work on our reading and phonics skills. However, my goal for my students is that they leave the second grade with the ability to comprehend so that they can read informational text.

Upper elementary students are required to read to obtain information. Students have to be taught how to retrieve the information that they are looking for. One of the best ways to do this is to model this skill. This can be done as a whole class, small groups, or one on one.

Before you begin, make sure that your students have the supplies that they need. My students LOVE using highlighters. Yes, when they first start using them they tend to go a little overboard with the highlighters. However, once they get used to having them they use them more wisely.

Find a text that is meaningful! I would make the text relevant to something that you are covering outside of your Reading/LA block. I would use a text that relates to your current Social Studies or Science unit.

We start by reading the text together and discussing the text before we move onto the questions. If you are doing this as a whole group activity, I would definitely have the text enlarged on a projector. Once you start the questions, read the first question aloud. Allow for time before asking students where they found the answer in the text. I like to have students come and point to the sentence in which they found the answer. Then together, we all highlight the sentence that answers the question.

Then, we write down our answers. If students have more than one color highlighter I would allow them to change colors when answering different questions.

We work on this skill quite a bit in the spring as preparation for the third grade. These skills enable my second graders to be better prepared for third grade.

Looking for some FREE reading passages to use in your classroom? Check out these FREE Social Studies and Science reading passages!






Magnet Experiment FREEBIE


My kids absolutely LOVE this simple magnet experiment. I use it as a fun way to conclude my unit on force and magnets. You can find the recording sheet and instructions for the experiment here:


You will probably already have all the supplies that you need in your classroom.


Materials Needed:

·One pencil per group

·String or yarn

·Small magnets (Circle, ball, bar)

·Large and small paper clips (colored ones are more fun)

·One paper lunch bag per group

Teacher Prep

1.Construct “fishing poles” by attaching a magnet tied to a string to a pencil. The pencil serves as the pole. The string or yarn is the fishing line. The magnet is the hook.
2.Put an assortment of large and small paper clips into each paper bag (at least 20 large and 20 small in each).

Instructions for students

1.Without looking in the bag, drop the fishing line. Carefully pull up the line to see what you “Caught.”
2.Record your results and put your “Fish” back into the bag.
3.Pass the bag to the next person.
4.Continue until your charts are full. Compare results with your group members to see who is the better “Fisherman.”


Kids finish early? Copy the recording sheet double-sided and let them "fish" again!