Holiday Parent Newsletter
Alabama Reading Initiative
Holiday Song "Mark-Up & Read" Activity
- Make your snowflakes by folding a square of white paper into a triangle. Repeat this step and then cut several triangles out of it. Open it up and you have a snowflake.
- Write a word on each snowflake.
- Spread the snowflakes around the floor.
- Have your child stand back and roll a ball of any kind onto one of the snowflakes.
- Have your child pick up the snowflake and read the word. You can take the snowflake away if read correctly. The goal is to read all the snowflakes correctly.
- You can play with one child or numerous children. The child with the most snowflakes wins the game.
Comprehension - Compare-A-Character
A Word A Day--Vocabulary Word Mapping
Word maps are designed to help students see the relationships between words, knowledge and concepts by organizing the information in a visual form or framework.
A Word a Day can be done each day during the holiday season (or any time). Use the word map template (we suggest placing the template in a plastic sleeve, page protector, or gallon Ziploc bag and using a dry erase marker so that you can reuse it) to help your child think more deeply about vocabulary and the words we use to communicate meaning. Choose a word from the list provided (children are likely to see these words in texts and literature they see and read in school) and have your child write it in the top box. Then your child should fill in as much information about the word in each of the boxes. We encourage you to help your child think through each box and what information is needed to complete it. Once the template is complete, challenge your child (and yourself) to use the word throughout the holiday break until it is a part of your child's vocabulary. You can access the resource here: A Word A Day Vocab Activity.pdf
Holiday Vocabulary Fun
Place your children into groups of two or three randomly. Give each group ONE holiday vocabulary word and 5 minutes to create a skit that illustrates their vocabulary word in some way. Can this work with ANY vocabulary list? Yes, it can! This activity will allow your child to think outside the box and come up with things you never dreamed possible.
Allow your child to use accessible props like paper, tables, chairs, colored paper, and anything else that is readily available. Children then have one minute to present their skit to the family. The group cues everyone to listen by starting with the word “BEGIN” and alerts them to raise their hand to guess the vocabulary word by saying “END”. Allow everyone to have their vocabulary list sitting in front of them. This vocabulary game for home is so easy and fun that the children will love it!
THINGS TO DO to help with FLUENCY...
- If your child can decode words well, help him or her build speed and accuracy by:
- Reading aloud and having your child match his voice to yours.
- Having your child practice reading the same list of words, phrases, or short passages several times.
- Rereading is a GREAT way to build fluency.
- Reminding your child to pause between sentences and phrases.
SPEEDY PHRASES GAME:
Practice beginning sounds with this simple "I spy" game at home, on a walk, or at the grocery store. Choose words with distinctive, easy-to-hear beginning sounds. For example, if you're in the pantry, say "I spy something that begins with the "m" mmm sound (marshmallows). Then, together make hot cocoa with marshmallows.
Shaving cream writing is an inexpensive and easy way to work on letter formation and spelling. Place a dollop of shaving cream in the center of a plastic plate or tray, spread the shaving cream out to create a writing surface and get started! Using their finger like a pencil, your child can work on letter formation and practice spelling sight words, too! Writing can be easily erased by smearing the shaving cream. For a tasty twist on this activity, substitute whipped cream and use a candy cane as the pencil!
This multisensory activity will help develop fine motor skills, build connections in the brain and it's fun, too!
Check out ARI's holiday newsletters from the past two years. There are excellent activities in each addition.
The APC has compiled resources surrounding a FOCUS (Focus On Children Under Six) topic for all organizations that request the information for distribution in local communities. It is our hope that the FOCUS resources will provide more attention to birth-to-five topics statewide.
The Alabama Family Central is a single platform for families to access services and programs. Its purpose is to help families easily navigate and find links to support their needs. State agency partners include Departments of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Early Childhood Education, Education, Human Resources, Medicaid, Mental Health, Public Health, Rehabilitation Services/Early Intervention, with support from the Office of Information Technology.
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The information included in this document is done from the perspective of improving LITERACY instruction for students and is only intended to outline support that directly relates to literacy instruction. Please use any resource links with discretion, as their position statements are their own and not necessarily representative of ARI and the ALSDE. Usage of any materials should be with adherence to rules and regulations of the Alabama State Department of Education.