Mrs. Thomas' Newsletter

March 2014

Important Information:

A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to all of the parents for reading with their child! All of the extra reading practice is really paying off. I have seen the kids grow so much as readers this year and I have all of you to thank for that! A good friend and colleague of mine explains the importance of reading practice like this:


"Think about it in terms of sports. If you are on a soccer team and you struggle with shooting goals from a particular angle, the coach is going to have you go to that spot and shoot over and over. No one questions that repeated practice is needed to acquire the missing skill set. The same applies to reading, your child must practice over and over, even if it is hard or they feel like they aren't good at it. Pretty soon, just like that soccer goal shot, reading will get easier and easier until they can do it with very little effort."


Tip of the Month- Many of the books your child comes home with are ones we have already read in class. To help enhance your child's reading comprehension, you could ask any of these questions when they finish reading:


1) Is there a part of this story that reminds you of something in your own life or something you have already read?


2) Can you tell me what the story is about in just a few sentences?


3) Why do you think the author wrote this story?


4) What do you predict would happen if this story kept going?

Kit-Kats- Kindergarten

We continued to work on many basic literacy skills such as: rhyming, spelling letter sounds, and reading first and second quarter sight words. We also read many books this month and worked on activating schema, making predictions, and summarizing the text. We read Level B text during the month and some of our other reading goals were: recognize and read repetitive words in text, use the alphabet linking chart as a tool to connect to letters, write the first letter of a word, locate high-frequency words in continuous print, use language structure as a source of information while reading, use voice-print match and return sweep across two lines of text, connect and talk about categories of words that indicate things children play with, infer characters' feelings and motivations, and make personal connections with a text.

Dinosaurs- Kindergarten

We worked on reading Level B-C books this month. Some of our reading goals were: say words and listen for the syllables (say, clap, and sort), notice and use information in the pictures, read with voice-print match across two lines of text, locate an easy high-frequency word within continuous print by saying the letter they expect to see first, locate new words in a text by saying them and identifying the initial consonant sounds, hear beginning sounds in words and identify letters for the sounds, write easy high-frequency words, begin a sentence with an uppercase letter, understand the problem in a story, infer an ending from the pictures, use crisp pointing under each word, use pointing to self-monitor voice-print match, and connect story to everyday lives. We also worked on activating schema, making predictions, and summarizing.

Snakes- Kindergarten

We worked on reading Level B-C books this month. Some of our reading goals were: use word parts to solve words while reading, use knowledge of word parts to write words, self-correct some errors, use known words as a tool in learning new words, begin to read with phrasing and fluency, understand opposites (little and big), infer intentions or feelings of a character, say words and listen for the syllables (say, clap, and sort), notice and use information in the pictures, read with voice-print match across two lines of text, locate an easy high-frequency word within continuous print by saying the letter they expect to see first, locate new words in a text by saying them and identifying the initial consonant sounds, write easy high-frequency words, begin a sentence with an uppercase letter, understand the problem in a story, infer an ending from the pictures, use crisp pointing under each word, use pointing to self-monitor voice-print match, and connect story to everyday lives. We also worked on activation schema, making predictions, and summarizing.

Kittens- 1st Grade

We read Level E books this month and the goal at this time is to be at Level F-G. Some of the reading goals we worked on were: self-monitor and self-correct consistently, search for and use meaning, structure, and visual information while reading; take words apart in flexible ways, apply knowledge of consonant sounds to identify them at the ends of words, understand that sounds and letters are in sequence from left to right in a word, make connections between words to solve new words, notice the sh cluster (consonant digraph) at the beginning of a word, recognize and write many high-frequency words quickly and automatically, read without finger pointing, understand the characters, story problem, and plot of a traditional tale; bring background knowledge to the reading of a traditional text, read with voice-print match across several lines of text, understand that looking for patterns in words will help to solve them, recognize word patterns and how to use them to make new words, read a character's words with expression, write with an uppercase letter at the beginning of a sentence, write end punctuation, and write with good spacing between words; say words slowly to listen for sounds and write letters that represent them, understand a category of information with a variety of examples, make predictions about what the characters will do and about what the story plot will be like.

American Flags- 1st Grade

We read Level E books this month and the goal at this time is to be at Level F-G. Some of the reading goals we worked on were: self-monitor and self-correct consistently, search for and use meaning, structure, and visual information while reading; take words apart in flexible ways, apply knowledge of consonant sounds to identify them at the ends of words, understand that sounds and letters are in sequence from left to right in a word, make connections between words to solve new words, notice the sh cluster (consonant digraph) at the beginning of a word, recognize and write many high-frequency words quickly and automatically, read without finger pointing, read with phrasing and use the punctuation, read dialogue with expression, understand the characters, story problem, and plot of a traditional tale; bring background knowledge to the reading of a traditional text, read with voice-print match across several lines of text, understand that looking for patterns in words will help to solve them, recognize word patterns and how to use them to make new words, write with an uppercase letter at the beginning of a sentence, write end punctuation, and write with good spacing between words; say words slowly to listen for sounds and write letters that represent them, and make predictions about what the characters will do and about what the story plot will be like.

Sharks- 2nd Grade

We read Level H books this month and the goal at this time is to be at Level K. Some of the reading goals we worked on were: recognize and use base words and verb endings to solve words while reading, make new words by changing, removing, or adding letters to a word; read with intonation, phrasing, and pausing (using the punctuation), use appropriate word stress while reading, use meaning, language structure, and visual information to self-monitor, self-correct, and solve words while reading; say words slowly to listen for sounds and write the letters that represent them, notice how words look in writing, follow the events of a simple plot, understand the problem of a story and its resolution, understand compound words, understand that adding -ed to a word shows that something was done and makes the sentence sound right, recognize and bring background knowledge to the reading of a new version of a traditional tale, follow the plot of a traditional tale and understand the ending, and make predictions about what the characters will do and about what the story plot will be like.

Dolphins- 2nd Grade

We read Level H books this month and the goal at this time is to be at Level K. Some of the reading goals we worked on were: read with intonation, phrasing, appropriate word stress, and pausing (using the punctuation); use base words and endings to solve words while reading, use meaning, language structure, and visual information to monitor, self-correct, and solve words while reading; learn new words by connecting them to known words and attending to syllables, read new words by attending to consonant digraphs, recognize and use consonant digraphs at the end of a word, understand contractions, use word parts to write new words, bring background knowledge to the reading of a nonfiction text, understand the central idea of the text, recognize and use vowel pairs in words, process words with inflectional endings throughout the story, notice what the writer did to show actions, make predictions based on the story's conclusion, follow a simple sequence of events, write high-frequency words quickly, say words slowly to listen for and identify sounds and letters, and understand a surprise ending.

KC Chiefs- 3rd Grade

We read Level L books this month and the goal at this time is to be at Level O. Some of the reading goals we worked on were: understand that -y is a letter that makes an /e/ on the end of some words (happy, funny) and like /i/ in words like my and sky, use word patterns to solve new words while reading, use language structure, meaning, and visual information to solve words; read with phrasing and fluency, self-monitor and self-correct consistently, search for and interpret information from pictures, understand that some words have silent consonants, read and understand some technical vocabulary, recognize a non-fiction book and have expectations about the content, distinguish information new to the reader from what is already known, search for and remember important information from a nonfiction text, understand the role of a glossary in a nonfiction book, recognize and use consonant blends at the beginning of words, read dialogue with phrasing, pausing, appropriate word stress, and intonation; read and write high-frequency words quickly when writing sentences to summarize a story, understand the problem in the story, infer what a character is like and why they have so many friends, understand that when vowels are with r in words, you blend the vowel sounds with r; understand that the -er ending on a word can show that someone is doing something or can compare two things, take apart longer words while reading for meaning, recognize another book in a series and bring background information to the understanding of an animal fantasy story, build understanding of a character over several books, infer why the main characters are good friends and provide evidence, make predictions about how both problems in the story are solved, and infer the feelings and thoughts of characters.

The Four Mustacheers- 4th Grade

We read Level O books this month and the goal at this time is to be at Level R. Some of our reading goals this month were: use the reading strategy of visualizing to better understand text, distinguish between reality and fantasy, identify r-controlled /o/ vowel, identify and use comparative and superlative adjectives, recognize and understand the use of similes, identify main idea and details in text, recognize and form compound words, understand the wh digraph, and understand new vocabulary words (celebrate, clearing, curious, impressed, jackrabbit, respect, revolution, scrawny, settlers, baleen, blowhole, blubber, buoyant, decibel, extinction, narwhal, pod). We also wrote pen pal letters this month to our 4th grade pen pals at Raymore Elementary and Timber Creek Elementary.

Rocket Readers- 4th Grade

We read Level N books this month and the goal at this time is to be at Level R. Some of the reading goals we worked on this month were: use the reading strategy of visualizing to understand text, sequence information in a nonfiction text, recognize and use different sentence types, identify story elements, identify quotation marks in text, arrange words in alphabetical order, and understand syllable patterns, and understand new vocabulary words (crease, crochet, delicate, intricate, origami, snowflake, cartilage, China, clever, language, marsupial, parallel, parallelogram, riddles, square, surprise, symbol, tangram puzzle, triangles). This month we also wrote to our pen pal in Texas who used to be a student in this group!