Parent Corner

The elementary faculty and staff are dedicated to the development of strong literacy skills by all of our students. The following information is designed to help families support their children’s acquisition of literacy skills.

Resources to Support Family Literacy

  • Get Ready To Read! Website – Free skill-building activities
  • Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever – Mem Fox (Harcourt, 2001), Pre K-Grade 3
  • Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent’s Guide – Lucy Calkins (Perseus Books, 1997)
  • The Read Aloud Handbook – Jim Trelease (Penguin, 2001), K-Grade 8

Literacy Activities and Suggestions

  • Read to or with your child for at least 20 minutes per day.
  • Involve your child in a variety of everyday activities. Teach new vocabulary to your child as you go through your day.
  • Play games in the car as you travel. Encourage your child to look for shapes, colors, letters and words as you travel. On longer trips, encourage older children to plan the trip with you. Have them follow the trip using the road and mileage signs. Word games, such as Twenty Questions, encourage literacy skills and help pass the time.
  • Provide a language rich environment for your child. Access to books, puzzles, magazines, games, flashcards, songs, coloring books, crayons, scissors, paper, and pencils all help promote literacy skills.

Terms Associated With Reading Instruction

  • ELA (English Language Arts) – Includes reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Phonemic Awareness – Instruction in phonemic awareness teaches children to notice, think about and work with sounds. It begins with simple sounds and moves to more complicated sounds. The more difficult tasks include combining sounds and breaking sounds apart. Rhyming words and substituting letters (bat, cat, mat) are also skills in phonemic awareness.
  • Phonics – Phonic instruction teaches children to recognize, associate, read, spell and write letters of the alphabet. Often referred to as the “sound-symbol” or “letter-sound” relationship, the children are taught the sounds of the letters of the alphabet. Phonics instruction also teaches students to blend sounds, combine letters and read words.
  • Fluency – Fluency is the ability to read accurately and quickly. Fluency involves reading with expression, using the punctuation, reading at the correct pace and recognizing words quickly.
  • Vocabulary – Vocabulary refers to the number of words a student knows and understands the meaning of.
  • Comprehension – Comprehension refers to the student’s understanding of what they are reading (text). Students who can answer questions correctly, explain and or retell a story in their own words demonstrate their understanding of what they have read. Students are encouraged to relate what they have read to their own life experiences, thoughts and feelings.