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Learning to read is a complex yet rewarding process for your child. Once they
learn how to read, countless adventures are just a page away.
The research shows that proficient readers construct meaning when they read.
For this to happen, teachers need to teach reading strategies explicitly and
for long periods of time using well-written literature... both fiction and
To accomplish this, we will be focusing on the following areas throughout the
Word Study: We will look at words and word parts through phonics (which
stresses symbol-sound relationships) and phonemic awareness (the ability to
hear and manipulate sounds in words). Word Study also helps children learn
how to read and spell words. Our Fundations program fits nicely into this area.
Decoding: When we come across a word that we do not know, we use strategies
to figure it out. Sometimes we run across “surprise words” that can’t be
sounded out. These are the words that we need to know.
Fluency: We are fluent readers when we can read a text quickly, accurately,
and with proper expression. Fluent readers sound smooth and natural while they
read, as if they are speaking to a friend.
Comprehension: This is the essence of reading. Good readers read to
understand. If readers can read the words in a story, but do not understand
what they are reading, they are not really reading. We will focus on the
Reading Comprehension Strategies to guide us this year. Research shows that
good readers Make Connections, Ask Questions, Make Predictions, Make
Inferences, Visualize, Synthesize, and Determine Importance while they are
You can help your child at home by guiding them to choose “just-right” books
to read. As your child reads, have them count on one hand any unknown words.
If there are five or more different unknown words on a full page, this book is
too hard for your child to read alone. These are perfect books to read aloud
to them. Talk with your child about what he or she is reading, but don’t quiz
him or her. Instead keep your conversations relaxed and informal.
Thank you for working with me in encouraging your child to become a reader.