A Life filled with Literacy
A newsletter for Saint Anne School (Sept. 2017)
BY: Nicole Hughes, Literacy Coach
Welcome back to St. Anne School!
Our students are already reading and writing and diving into words!
I am excited to share this month's literacy newsletter on the importance of reading aloud.
Why Read Aloud?
We all have heard it numerous times: "Reading aloud is one of the most important things we can do with our children."
And, yet, here I am telling you, again. Why? It is still not happening as often as it should. I am just as guilty. Life always gets in the way- specifically: my toddler, the laundry, cooking, extra-curricular actvities, and more laundry. However, according to "Becoming a Nation of Readers," a landmark report, reading aloud is "the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading."
Reading aloud requires only a book (free at the library!) and your willingness to make it happen. The short term benefits will be evident immediately, because parents and children benefit from quality time together. The long term advantages are numerous: your child will learn to read better, learn new vocabulary, think more critically and imaginatively, and hopefully become a lifetime reader.
Here a few ideas for how to incorporate reading into your daily life:
- Read at bedtime- make it a non-negotiable habit, like brushing teeth
- Carry the book in the car for those times while waiting on a sibling to finish practicing
- Read at breakfast or dinnertime
- Listen to an audio book together. Audio books, audio books, audio books. I cannot sing their praises too loudly! Listening to an audio book is NOT cheating; in fact, numerous studies prove that audio books are as beneficial as reading a book. For additional benefits, have your children listen to a book while following along with their own copies.
- Schedule a specific time in the calendar. I have an alarm on my phone that goes off every night to remind me to read aloud.
Set aside at least ten minutes a day to READ ALOUD to your child, because even just ten minutes a day is over 60 HOURS of reading each year. It is the best ten minute investment you will make all day. Put the laundry on hold, get off of Facebook, and read to your kids. Before long, it will become one of the most treasured parts of your day.
Suggestions for Reading Aloud
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (Preschool- 1st grade)
The Three Little Pigs (Preschool- 2nd grade)
The Sign of the Beaver (Middle School)
The Search for Delicious (All ages)
Literacy in action at SAS
STEM + reading
Before beginning the novel, Fuzzy Mud, students used Cheerios to learn about exponential growth. Fuzzy Mud is a "Virginia Reader" and a certified STEM read!
8th grade students worked on prewriting for prompts. We covered various types of brainstorming: list/looping, mind map, tree diagram, flow chart, and images!
Brainstorming is a vital part of the writing process. The 5th grade class was hesitant at the start of this lesson on prewriting (there were some groans), but by the end, even they had to admit the value of this prewriting tool.
(Ask a 5th grader about the pigeon and the froot loop).