A Reading Game to Play at Home ~ ZAP!

Put high frequency words or word wall words on popsicle sticks and write “ZAP!” on a few sticks. Put them in a jar or cup. Pull sticks from the container and read the words. Keep all of your sticks in a pile. If someone gets Zap!, all of their sticks go back in the container. At the end of the game (you can use a timer) the person with the most sticks wins.

A Reading Game to Play at Home ~ Oh No!

This is a sight word game. Some children may also know this from school as “Oops!”

  • Write sight words on index cards.
  • Write “Oh No!” on several cards.
  • Put them all in a small gift bag.
  • Take turns pulling a word out of the bag. Read the card (help if necessary), then place it in a pile.
  • If you get an “Oh No!” card put all your cards back in the bag.
  • The person with the most cards at the end wins.
  • Variation: Place all the cards in a pile instead of using the bag and flip over one at a time.

7 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers by Steve Reifman

Reading is a tremendously appealing, satisfying activity, and children will become hooked once the adults in their lives consistently build it into their daily schedules. The key is getting children started. The following seven strategies will help even the most reluctant reader become more enthusiastic about the endeavor.

1. Start with the child’s passions. Children will be more excited about reading when they can choose books or magazines related to their interests. This suggestion is far and away the most powerful one when it comes to encouraging those who are reluctant to read. When kids own the choice of what they will read, motivation increases significantly.

2. Make reading a social experience. Children who don’t enjoy reading alone often enjoy reading with somebody else. Children can read with their parents, siblings, other relatives, and friends. Some children even start mini- book clubs and discuss books related to their common interests. Asking children to read to their younger siblings and cousins can powerfully impact their own motivation to read.

3. Read aloud to children. Many parents regularly read aloud to their children when they are very young, yet stop this activity as the kids get older. Parents should read aloud to children throughout the elementary grades. Doing so makes reading more enjoyable, improves listening skills, builds comprehension, lengthens attention spans, and grows the imagination.

4. Take advantage of new technology. Children who may not find books interesting may enjoy reading the same texts on smart phones, computers, and electronic readers, such as the iPad or Kindle. Technology makes everything seem cooler and more engaging to children, and we should capitalize on this fact when it comes to reading.

5. Be a role model to children. When children see their parents reading frequently, discussing what they have read, and carrying books around, they will value reading to a greater extent. The power of modeling cannot be underestimated.
6. Camouflage reading. Parents can increase the amount of time their children spend reading by subtly building the activity into other, seemingly unrelated activities. Examples include reading menus at restaurants, reading the directions to board games, and looking at various websites together. Children who may not yet enjoy reading for its own sake may enjoy it tremendously when it’s incorporated into other engaging pastimes.

7. Be sure children read books that are appropriately challenging. Many times kids don’t want to read simply because the books they encounter are too difficult. This seemingly obvious point is frequently forgotten. None of us want to encounter frustration, and we will go to great lengths to avoid experiences that make us feel this way. Appropriately challenging books are those in which students can fluently read approximately 95% of the words. Encountering a small number of difficult words can help children grow in their reading skills, but encountering too many of these words can interfere with fluency and lead to discouragement.

Commit to trying one or more of these ideas to help your child become a more enthusiastic reader. Teaching the whole child means that we focus on developing children’s academic skills, but just as important, we focus on children’s attitudes about these skills. We want to raise children who read well and read because they want to do it, not because they have to do it.

Reading Assessments in January

After winter break all students in grades Kindergarten, 1, 2, and 3 who are currently in the Reading Intervention program will receive one-on-one assessment to determine instructional and independent reading levels, analyze progress and inform instruction. We will resume our regular lessons after assessment of each group is completed. Due to the assessments your child may or may not bring home their book bag and new books the first week after break.

Reading at home makes a difference!

Reading Ideas for Home:
• Allow your child to select some reading materials that interest them. Offer choices!

• Read bedtime stories…(You read to your child and your child reads to you.)

• Have your child help you make a grocery list. Have your child read the grocery list to you as you shop.

• Write down a recipe for your child’s favorite food and then read it together as you make it.

• Write notes to your child and tuck them in their room or lunchbox or backpack.

• Get excited to check out your local library.

• Play a board game…(Have your child read all the playing cards to you.)

Title I School-Parent Compact

By law, in order for District 37 to continue to receive funds through Title I, we are required to send you a copy of the School-Parent Compact. We are well aware and very appreciative of all the support you already provide for your child. The language within the compact is dictated to us by the federal government.

Next week your child will be bringing home the School-Parent Compact. If you could please sign and return it, we would appreciate it. If you have any questions you can contact me at patrickp@avoca37.org or (847) 724-6800 ext. 374. Thank you very much.

Kindergarten Reading Intervention Program

The Kindergarten Reading Intervention Program at Avoca West School may include but is not limited to the following:

• A wide variety of multi-sensory activiites (Jolly Phonics) are used to teach phonics and word study.

• Skills include letter name and letter sound recognition, blending, segmenting, rhyming, concepts of print, and other pre-reading strategies.

• Later in the year the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Program is introduced. This program includes word study, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and writing.

• Students read leveled texts and take home copies to practice.
• A writing journal may be used to practice word work and writing skills.