Here is a little about the research of reading:  

  • To become fluent readers children need to practice. 

  • Reading a book more than one time is needed to become familiar with the text. 

  • Students need to read 5,600 words per day to become proficient readers. 

If students are reading that many words per day, then they should be able to read and pass several AR tests a week. Accelerated Reader is a tool to help students become better readers.  Students read selected titles then take a test on the computer.  We find it is best each student read a picture book:

  • Read with someone
  • Read to someone
  • Read independently

If you are reading a beginning chapter book (first to third grade level) you may want to use sticky notes and write a couple of sentences about important facts or events in each chapter.  You should read some of the book to someone and some of the book can be read to you.  Talk about the book with someone in your home or a friend. When you talk about the book you should talk about how you have connected to the story.  Review your sticky notes before you take your test.

Our total class reading levels are 2.0 to 3.8.  In my opinion, seven and eight year olds can't really handle the subject matter in most books much above third grade.  There are plenty of books that may be above 3.8, that are age appropriate for second graders, but I really want successful readers so I am asking that reading levels not go below second grade or above third grade for now.   You can check your child's book level at

Comprehension Activities for At-Home

1. Write a friendly letter to a character in your fiction book.  Ask questions or
      offer  opinions about why this character said or did something. 
2. List the story elements of a fiction book. 
      (setting (time and place)
      problem/plot  (include events in the correct order)
3. Compare and Contrast two characters in your book or in different books.
4. Compare and Contrast two different books.
5. Make a "bubble map" to describe one character.  Use amazing adjectives!
6. Write a different ending for the book you have read.
7. Design a creative cover for the book you have read!  Don't forget to list the
    title, author and illustrator.
8. Write a letter to a friend and try to convince your friend to read a book.
9. Write a friendly letter to the author of the book you read.  Tell him/her
    why you liked to book; ask the author why he/she wrote it; and give the
    author a suggestion for the next book they write!!
10. Draw three large boxes. Illustrate what happened in the beginning, the

      middle and the end of your book.  
11. Choose ten challenging words from the books you are reading.   Use a  
      dictionary to write the definition of each word.  Put the words in ABC order.
12. Choose a non-fiction book.  Write the title and author and list five facts
       that you learned in the book.
13. Choose a non-fiction book.  Write five questions you have about the topic.  If
      your questions were answered in the book, write the answers!
14. Choose an animal.  Write a question(s) you want to know about the animal.  
      Use the internet to find the answer! (the San Diego Zoo website or another
15. Choose a famous person in history.   Use the internet to write about his/her
       life.  ( or another site)
16. Choose a country.  Go to (you don't need to subscribe)
      or choose another site to write about the country.  Draw the country's flag.
17. Choose a magazine.  Read a non-fiction article.  Write a summary of the
      article.  Then, tell why you chose that article.
18. Choose a magazine.  Read a fiction story.  Retell the story in your own
      words.  Write about the beginning (setting/characters); the middle (problem
      or plot and what happened); and the end (how was the problem solved).
19. Make a collage with pictures from old magazines.  Write the title of your
      art work and a short story about it!
20. Read a "How-to Do or Make Something" book.  Make it; take a picture; print
      it and glue it in your notebook.  Or, write your own "How to" article!