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Emma Young

March 15, 2016

Developmental Profile
Second Grade
This quarter I have been placed in a second grade classroom at a kindergarten through fifth
grade elementary school. There are eighteen children in the class ranging from age seven to nine.
Each child in the classroom is unique and developing at their own individual pace and rhythm.
Children have a range of strength as well as areas they need support. According to, McDevitt,
2013, children of this age often strengthen skills in reading and writing, apply rules to games and
sports, care for youngers brothers and sisters and use computer technology. As the quarter begins
I want to learn more about the typical development of second graders so that I can better support
my students and plan learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate and engaging for
this group of children.
Cognitive Development:
During the elementary years children continue to learn through play, however they also
become capable of giving sustained attention to real-world activities. Children now invest
considerable effort in mastering the customs, tools, and accumulated knowledge of their
community and culture (McDevitt, 2013). In 2010, the Northeast Foundation for Children
published a comprehensive overview of childrens development in second grade. They noted that
in regards to cognitive development, children at this age often try harder to make their work
perfect. They enjoy gaining confidence through repeating tasks and reviewing their learning.
Similar to children of all ages, second graders enjoy inquiry and hands on tasks and often
struggle under time pressure. Children at this age enjoy board and computer games as well as
opportunities for classifying and sorting. Piaget understood this stage of development as the

concrete operational stage: the period of cognitive development between 7 and 12 years of age,
which is categorized by the active, and appropriate use of logic. Teachers can support childrens
development in this domain by providing children with frequent check-ins, expecting highquality work, giving open ended assignments and avoiding timed experiences.
Language and Literacy Development:
Language and literacy skills develop rapidly throughout second grade. According to
Northeast Foundation for Children, 2010, children show a significant growth in listening skills
and speaking with precision. In addition, they find interest in words and have rapidly growing
vocabularies. Teachers can support children in this domain by providing a multitude of
opportunities for conversations, speaking and listening, writing and reading.
Social and Emotional Development:
The Northeast Foundation for Children, 2010, observed that typically developing second
graders are self-focused, with distinct likes and dislikes. Often children at this age dislike taking
risks and making mistakes. They can be serious, moody, or shy and like working and playing
alone or with one friend; often finding group work overwhelming. Second graders may change
friendships quickly as they experiment with social relationships. Teachers can support social and
emotional development for second graders by showing appreciation and being understanding of
students. By sticking to predictable schedules and routines, teachers can provide children with
security and structure. Teachers may find that by using playfulness and humor to lighten tension,
encouraging children to work with a variety of classmates and providing private, quiet spaces
they can support childrens development at this stage.
Physical Development (Gross and Fine Motor):

By second grade, basic motor skills often become polished. The Northeast Foundation for
Children, 2010, explains that at this age, children are more coordinated physically and gain
confidence boosts from newfound success in physical activities. Often children will experience
many aches, pains, and injuries, both real and imagined. In regard to fine motor abilities, children
are stronger focusing close up rather than on far away objects such as the board. At this age
many children begin to write and draw compact small letters and figures. Teachers can promote
development in this domain by providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor games and
movement, minimizing tasks involving copying from the bored, and showing understanding and
Children at this age are growing and learning every day. It is invaluable as a teacher to
have a strong understanding of childrens typical development so we can best support them in
every domain as the work towards their full potential.

McDevitt, T. M., & Ormrod, J. E. (2013). Child development and education (5th ed.). Boston:
Wilson, M. B. (2010). What every 2nd grade teacher needs to know about setting up and running
a classroom. Turners Falls, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children.