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! Web site – free skill-building activities
Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children
Will Change Their Lives Forever – Mem Fox (Harcourt, 2001), Pre K-Grade
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
• 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
• 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.
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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
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.
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