• Ways to Support Your Child at Home
     
    Kindergarten Reading  

     

    If your child attends reading in the Learning Center the best way to support your child's growth is to read to your child on a daily basis.   

    Importance of Reading Aloud to Children

    • Helps to expand a child's vocabulary.
    • Provides background knowledge regarding experiences that are new to them.
    • For young children it helps them to learn “concepts of print.” For example, how to hold a book and how we read left to right.
    • Exposes them to rhyme and rhythm. 
    • Most importantly, enjoyable experiences while interacting with literature, helps to create a love and an interest in books and ultimately a desire to learn to read.
    • Two of my favorite supporters of reading aloud to children include Jim Trelease and Mem Fox. I went onto their web-sites and found the following tips for reading aloud to children.

    Tips While Reading Aloud to Children

      

    • Read with expression. Children become more actively engaged in a book when the reader is enthusiastic and appears to be having fun. Feel free to change the tone of your voice and the pace you read to match the dialogue and the mood of the story. For example if the story is suspenseful or sad you might slow down. If it is exciting you might read more quickly. Although, always remember to read slowly enough to allow your child to create mental pictures as you read.
    • Sometimes picture books have a rhyming pattern or a repetitive phrase pattern. Don’t be surprised if your child starts to join you while you read. This is good. It means that he is hearing the pattern. When I taught Kindergarten I would occasionally pause while reading and let the children fill in the word or phrase.
    • Before you start reading the book read the title and let your child look at the picture on the cover. You might want to ask him to tell you what he thinks the story will be about, or what he might know about the topic of the book.
    • As you read, if you sense her attention is drifting, gain her back by asking, "What do you think is going to happen next?"
    • Make sure your child can see the pictures in the book. This helps him to maintain focus and develop an understanding that the pictures support the text. As he learns to read he will realize he can use the pictures to help himself decode words.
    • Occasionally your child might say: “I already heard this story.” A quick response could be: “Books are like friends. We don’t just visit with a friend once and never see them again. We like to visit again and again with them.”
    •        After you read the story you can ask your child questions about the story. Such as: Were you surprised when…? How do think a character in the story felt when…? What do you think a character learned in the story? What was your favorite part of the story? Your child will love to share his thoughts with you.
    Most of all have fun!
     
     
    First Grade Reading 
     
    The first grade children in my small reading groups will bring home a reading bag everyday.  You can encourage your child to complete the following activities:
    • On Monday you will find index cards with the word wall words that we will be practicing that week.  They will be attached to a handout that utilizes all the words in complete sentences.  Have your child practice the words on the cards and read the sentences that contain all the high frequency words.  Your child will be assessed on Friday to see if they can read the words independently.  Quick recall of high frequency words helps support your child's fluency.  
    • Every day you will find a black and white copy of book.  This is a book that your child would have read during our small reading group.  Please have your child read the book to you. This extra practice reinforces what we have been working on and it gives your child an opportunity to shine and show off how they are growing as a reader.  Sometimes the stories have short plays in the back of the book.  Your child would enjoy having several members of the family read the play together.  The five to ten minutes of reading everyday will have a tremendous impact on the growth of your child this year.
    • Every Monday I will send home a writing journal.  Please have your child select one book during the week to write a sentence about the story, and send the journal back to school by the end of the week.  Writing is an important component of English Language Arts.  This activity will support their ability to communicate their thoughts and focus their attention on comprehension of the text.
    It is also important to continue to read to your children.  Please review the kindergarten section above for information on the importance of reading aloud, and the benefits that children receive from this activity.  Supporting a child's growth in reading will have a long lasting effect on their life, and it is exciting to witness a child blossoming into a confident reader!