That Reading Level Thing

Good Afternoon,

I hope you are doing well. Can you believe tomorrow is the last day in May??

This week the kindergarten team has begun assessing student reading levels in preparation for the 2019 – 2020 school year.

What is a reading level?

“Kids need to read books that they can both decode (read the words) and comprehend (understand the meaning). Teachers call this a “just right” book, or a book that is at the child’s instructional level.”
What is a reading level anyway?

How can I help my child at home?

Perform the “Five Finger Test” (The Five Finger Test) in order to gauge his/her readiness to read a given book. Your child’s last report card will also contain information about his/her reading level. You can use the following tool to match your child’s reading level to lists of helpful books/resources: Reading Level Matchmaker.

How should I approach this information about levels?

A healthy balance is always the best choice.

The main idea is to use your child’s (current) reading level as a general guide – not a ruling – to help you think about his/her reading progress. Take the “level” with a (sizeable) grain of salt. The most important thing is for the children to enjoy reading and writing – have them read and write about whatever interests them!

Progress will come. Believe in yourself and your child. Keep practice focused, but short and sweet (~10 minutes).

Educators hold many views about the general importance of reading levels. If you’d like to learn more, visit:

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/what-leveled-reading/

https://shanahanonliteracy.com/blog/new-evidence-on-teaching-reading-at-frustration-levels

You’re already doing a great job! Your children have had a fantastic year. Please let me know if you have any questions,

E.H.

Please Send in a Box of Tissues …

… this week.

Room 103 has been hit hard by various winter bugs. Our supply of tissues is almost gone. In order to make it through the rest of the school year, I would like each of our families to donate a box of tissues to our classroom.

Thanks for making our environment a happy and a healthy one,

Mrs. H.

Happy New Year + Welcome Back

Happy 2019!

Welcome to January in Room 103:

http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/eeharkins/files/2019/01/January-Kindergarten-Kapers.pdf

http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/eeharkins/files/2019/01/January-3rd-4th-2019.pdf

Review the information above to stay up-to-date on what we are doing this short week and during the month of January. Please give special attention to letter sounds, word families, and sight words this month.

Let’s finish the semester strong,
Mrs. H.

Applying Reading Skills

I hope everyone had a wonderful October weekend!

As mentioned earlier this month, the children will be bringing home a plethora of (primarily) language arts/reading information as we gear up for increased independent and small group work. Some of this information is more general, while some is more specific. Today your learner is bringing home one piece of more particular information about how to approach and sound out unknown words in text, a practice we refer to as decoding. One of the approaches you already received information about is a broad, wide-ranging skill (“make your mouth ready”), while the new one coming home today is a tactical strategy (pointing strategy). Both documents are also available below. Consider placing these close to an area where your family enjoys reading together so that you and your child may reference them as needed.

As always, please do get in touch with any questions, concerns, or stories to share. I love to hear about how beginning reading is going at home and all around. Remember to relax and enjoy – practice, not perfect.

Happy Reading,
Mrs. H.

Make Your Mouth Ready

Reading Strategies 1 – Pointing

On Becoming Independent Readers and Writers …

Good Afternoon,

As October breezes in and out, we are in the process of developing new reading and writing routines in Room 103. Soon we will be starting literacy centers and small group reading lessons through which we will practice our language arts skills both independently and with instructional support.

Throughout the rest of this month, your learner will be bringing home important information about our language arts program. This information will help you all to know how to best support your child as she/he begins the process of becoming an independent, literate primary school student. Our weekly newsletters will also contain appropriate prompts and questions for guiding you and your child through the reading process.

Please read and review all of this information carefully. Most importantly, please relax and enjoy as you practice literacy skills together. Progress, not perfect 🙂

Mrs. H.

Special Activities Interest Forms

Good Afternoon,

Today your child will be bringing home information about four special activities we will be having in our classroom throughout this school year.

Parents/family members will be able to rate their availability/interest on the form 1 – 4 (1 being highest preference). Please complete and return this form Wednesday so that our room parents may effectively plan for activities with enough volunteers. Participation will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Any volunteers interested in helping out will need to have a volunteer/mentor application on file with our school.

Thanks for checking the folders for the interest forms this evening. The volunteer application form may be accessed here: http://shortpumpes.henricoschools.us/wp-content/uploads/sites/68/2018/09/Fillable-PDF-Volunteer-Application-Revised-August-2018-Copy.pdf

Mrs. H.