Reading With Your Child -

I know that at this very busy time of year it is difficult to keep to the routine of reading to your child every night.

It is even more difficult because I am also asking you to have your child read to you for 5 - 10 minutes per day, depending on their reading level.

These last 4 weeks are crucial to your child’s reading because they are the last 4 weeks of consistent, daily, repeated reading practice throughout the day. Once school is out for the summer, most children don’t continue with the same amount of TIME spent on academics until school starts again in September.

My goal was to have students reading at an independent level 6 by June 15th.  Most of your children have already passed that goal. A handful of students are right at levels 5 and/or 6 and will really benefit from that additional 5 or 10 minutes at home each evening.

ALL students should be bringing their book bags in DAILY and switching their book. (This isn’t quite as important for students reading at level 12 and above.)

Once again, in case you need a refresher, this is what you can do during that nightly 10 minutes to help your child become the best reader s/he can be:

Below you will find specific help for students reading at a Kinder or First Grade level.

Thanks, Laura

May 17, 2010

To parents of students currently at:

levels 6, 7, or 8

Your child was one of the students who read to me recently, and s/he did a great job of using a variety of strategies!

At this point, your child is ready to just take off in reading.  In addition to what we are doing in class, it will really help your child if you use your evening reading time to read together (or listen to your child read from) books that are at a “just right” level. I sent home the red, yellow, and/or blue softback  First Grade Pre Primer Readers. The red book covers levels 1 - 3. The yellow book covers levels 4 through 6, (which should be easy for your child to use to practice FLUENCY and EXPRESSION) and the blue text covers levels 6 through 8 (which will make your child do reading “work” and practice the strategies that I’m teaching.)

So… while your child is reading to you, please make sure that your child is practicing these good reading strategies:

- Is s/he remembering to do a "picture walk" before s/he starts to read?

- Is s/he looking at s/he pictures before s/he attempts to read s/he words?

- Is s/he doing any self monitoring? (thinking about whether or not what s/he has read makes sense?)

Whenever s/he gets stuck make sure that s/he uses the following strategies

in this order to try to get at the word:

- Check the picture for clues

-  Go back to the beginning of that sentence and reread it...

when you get to the word that you are stuck on, say the beginning sound aloud

(The cat ran to the f_____"

-can  you  think of a  word would make sense  that starts with that beginning sound?

- does your guess make sense?

  1. -does the word look like the word that you guessed?  (are the letters the ones that you'd expect to see?) If the word doesn't make sense, look right, or sound right THEN use letter sounds to sound THROUGH the word by saying it through slowly... in “chunks” (Don’t sound out letter by letter… you don’t want them sounding things out by saying “buh, uh, teh, teh, eh, rrr, fff, uhl, yeh” you want them saying “buh – ter – fl – I” and using the biggest “chunks” that they can to figure out the word. Note: a small word is a “chunk” like the “and” in candy or band

If you have to tell them the word, then make sure that they go back to the beginning of the sentence and reread the sentence with the correct word in it. You always want them to hear things the correct way before they go on.

If any of this doesn't make sense let me know...

THANK YOU for all of the reading that you have done with your child at home. It is because your child loves books that s/he is wanting to put out the work that it takes to be able to become a reader!!!

Levels: 10, 12, 14, 16, 18

You are working on fluency: reading punctuation, reading with expression. Practice LOTS of fairly easy books so that you can work on perfecting phrasing.

If you have lost your purple reading strategies bookmark, I’d be glad to send you another one!

May 17, 2010    - this is  an updated version   of this info –

Re:   students currently reading at:

levels: 2, 3, 4, 5.

My personal goal for the All Day kindergartners is to have them reading at a level 6 by the last day of school.

Not all students meet that goal –

If students do not meet that goal, it is incredibly important that they read daily during the summer. Many of these students find it helpful to have a reading tutor during the summer.

The BEST way to prepare your child to be a reader is by reading to your


The BEST way to help young children develop reading comprehension is by:

providing opportunities for your child to read, write, and TALK about


Make reading FUN and SUCCESSFUL.

Frequent, short periods of time work best.

Read familiar books again and again. This repetition allows

good strategies to become subconscious habits.

Introduce new books TO your child until your child can take over and do

“picture walks” for himself. (Your child SHOULD BE doing fantastic picture walks on his/her own now.)

Memorizing is an early part of a child’s reading development. It frees

the reader up to be able to concentrate on the changing parts of the

story. It allows for successful practice of beginning strategies.

Pointing to the words helps train the child to really LOOK  at print.

Locating, and framing, heart words should be another part of your daily reading time together. The students know how to “frame” a word with their fingers if you ask them to locate a certain word, or “heart words” on a page.

Encourage your child to use the pictures. Pictures are a source of gathering information. Good readers use every available source to help them read and understand.

***What do you do when your child gets stuck on a word?

Wait.    -   Give your child at least 6 seconds to think.

If your child tries to attempt the word then praise him.

If you wait and your child doesn’t attempt the word then go ahead and

prompt him to try the strategies:

“I saw you check the picture... did you think about the story?”

“Read it again... say that beginning sound and think of what word would

make sense there.”

Or... if the word is not going to be one that he will easily solve then

either:  give him two words to choose from “do you think it would be rain or

cup?”  Or, just tell him the word.

If your child came up with a word that was a meaningful substitution

(like rabbit for bunny or dad for father) then you can just let the

error go - it will not effect comprehension... and COMPREHENSION is the

most important thing when reading!

If the new word still doesn’t make sense then prompt: Did that make

sense? Did that sound right? Try that again. Find a word that makes

sense/sounds right here.”

OR tell him the word. “Would ________ make sense here?”

After the word is worked out, or after you tell the child the word,

ALWAYS have your child go back and reread the sentence correctly. You

want the last thing the child hears to be the correct sentence.

Always remember that “sounding out” (ie taking a word apart sound by

sound, letter by letter,) is the MOST DIFFICULT and LEAST EFFECTIVE

strategy your child can use. Good readers MUST know this strategy and

know how to use it... HOWEVER, the best readers use this strategy as a

last resort. Sounding out (or sounding “through” words) does NOT aid

comprehension or fluency... it decreases comprehension and fluency.

Teach your child to use this strategy last - only when all else fails.

Good reading is MEANING based.

“Sounding out” causes lack of meaning.