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Reading

Expectations at a Glance:

Read to your child every night for at least 15 minutes, even in grades 3-6. Dads, you are especially important, since most teachers are women, your participation in this will send a powerful message that you (men) also value reading! 

  • Reading to your child is one of The MOST IMPORTANT activities that you can do! There is so much research that supports this. For example, a child who has been read to acquires a much LARGER VOCABULARY. One study found that 3 three old children who had been read to knew 600 MORE WORDS than those who had not been read to, and by 2nd grade that gap had widened to over 4,000 MORE WORDS! Reading aloud also exposes your child to new ideas, places, events, and more complex plots and sentences. This has a HUGE impact on comprehension and academic achievement later on!

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Aloud to Your Child:

1.   Your child will feel the love and attention. Cuddle up together in a special spot and make this time special.

2.   It encourages your child to become a reader/better reader when the parent acts as a role model. (Children should also see fathers/male guardians reading, as most teachers are women. This sends the message that reading is important to men too!)

3.   Listening to stories develops attention spans.

4.   Books help imaginations SOAR!

5.   The illustrations will help your child appreciate art.

6.   Books pass on parental values.

7.   Books are fun!

8.   Listening to a story read aloud will is magical to a child.

9.   This time with your child will create a lifetime of memories.

10. Every teacher and librarian will thank you. Your child will thank you too!!

Homework

  • Most regular education teachers assign 20 minutes of reading homework each night, therefore I do not assign extra homework in grades k, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Please have your child follow their classroom teacher's expectation to read 20 minutes to you every night! 
  • I do assign homework in 1st and 2nd grade since it is crucial that your child is actually reading text that is on their own beginning reading level. I have carefully designed these homework pages to help you encourage your child to learn to read. You may choose not to participate in this, however I have found that students who do read my homework pages at home with a parent or guardian do make greater gains in reading. This homework will count as the 20 minutes of reading that has been assigned by your child's regular education teacher. I will include a homework paper in a white homework binder that explains each step of the homework expectations. It should be signed by you and returned to school each day. Students may earn a small prize when one side of this paper is completed. This paper can also be used by you and me to write notes as necessary. I value your input! 

What We are Working On In Class

Grade K

  • Our main focus is on letter names and sounds, and on saying the first letter in a word and segmenting sounds in words. We also write simple sentences. 
  • Teach your child the names of the letters of the alphabet. Play games of matching the lower case letter to the upper case letter and vice versa. Teach the sounds of the letters.
  • Teach your child how to write his/her name properly - using an upper case letter at the beginning followed by all lower case letters. 

LETTER FORMATION IS IMPORTANT! Teach that letters start from the top down - be sure your child is forming letters correctly or he/she will develp poor habits. Poor letter formation slows down the writing process! FOLLOW THE CHART:

 http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/schools/strawberryknolles/specials/staffdevelopment/resources/Handwriting%20Strokes.pdf 

               The following letters are all formed like the letter c, so teach them together: a, d, g, o, q

  • Developmentally, capital letters are easier so I suggest that they learn them first. The capital teaching order helps teach correct letter formation andorientation while eliminating reversals. Learning capitals first makes it easier to transition to lowercase letters.
  • Teach lowercase c, o, s, v, and w first becuase they are exactly the same as their capital partners, only smaller. By teaching capitals first, we have prepared children for nearly half of the lowercase letters that are similar in formation.

Grade 1 and 2

  • Follow the Homework instructions. These homework pages are research-based to accelerate your child in reading.

Grade 3-6

  • In class, we are working on vocabulary, fluency, writing predictions, stating evidence from the text, decoding, and writing (if your child has an writing IEP goal. Ask your child what the six common ways are to divide words. We learn to use the word CLOVER to remember these. When you listen to your child read and he/she gets to a hard word, ask your child to "decode" it. This means that your child should be able to: cover any prefix/suffix; find vowel spellings, chunks and blends; divide the word into syllables; read the word in syllables, then say the word. (A chunk is two or three letters chunked together to make one sound: ck, ce, ci, gi, ge, dge, ph, kn, gn, wr, ng, sh, th, wh, ch, tch are all examples of a chunk. A blend is two or three letters together that each make their own sound and are blended together and read quickly. Blends can be at the begining of a word or syllable or at the end of a word or syllable: bl_, cl_, fl_, sl_, st_, str_, qu_, _nk, _nt are all examples of a blend.) It is important that your child knows the difference beccause we don't divide between the letters in a chunk or a blend when dividing between syllables.
  • The words that I use in class to teach students decoding strategies and vocabulary terms have been taken from a researched-based study of difficult words that appear in books commonly taught in each corresponding grade level. They also appear on Language Arts state tests and the study of them has proven to raise reading scores!

 

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