Literacy Coaching with Mrs. Bush
April Tips for Improving Reading
1. How do most kids learn to read?
Long before they enter kindergarten, most children can “read” the words they encounter in their favorite books or around their home, on street signs and anywhere else they go.
Establishing routines that involve reading can help, such as reading books daily with children – whether they are printed on paper or accessed through digital devices – and letting them watch others read.
Making reading fun can also develop a love of reading. Select books that your child loves to hear over and over and read with your child each day. Develop a schedule and devote a time each day to reading with your child or having your child read independently.
Helping your child develop a love for reading will help them become avid readers in the future.
2. Does social distancing make it harder to teach reading?
Social distancing could pose real challenges. This is because learning to read is an inherently social activity. Also, when children attend school in person, most reading instruction happens between teachers and other students in small guided reading groups.
Social distancing can be overcome when families and the school staff work together during this time. When educators and families work together on a systematic reading program such as Literacy Footprints, children will learn to read more quickly and with greater success.
At Stevenson...we encourage you to use Literacy Footprints to read at home for a minimum of 30 minutes each day.
3. What role do teachers usually play?
Teachers ideally get to know their students well, which enables them to become familiar with each child’s strengths and interests. That makes it easier to select books and other texts that students will enjoy reading themselves or having someone else read to them over and over. Reading books and passages again and again is a great way to develop students’ fluency and comprehension.
It works best when teachers pause while reading books aloud with students. It is also helpful when teachers have students discuss what’s happening in small groups, schedule time daily for students to practice reading on their own and let kids choose what they read. Other good strategies include teaching students phonics and letter sounds so that they can tackle unfamiliar words.
4. How can family members and other guardians help?
It will help a great deal if families see themselves as partners with their child’s teachers and appreciate how everyday activities can support the process of learning how to read. For example, families can seek out online books or hard copy books that feature characters from their children’s favorite television shows and read them with their kids. For families with young children who allow recreational screen time, these programs can strengthen reading skills.
Being mindful of a child’s personality and interests also helps. I had a first grade student read an “Elephant and Piggy” book by children’s author Mo Willems. She read with fluency and excitement that was not visible when they just practiced sight words. I have followed up by getting her access to more Mo Willems books and other age-appropriate books that cater to her sense of humor.
5. My Closing Thoughts
With virtual learning, it’s so important to provide space and time for children to read, write, create, and share stories, books and writing creations with friends, neighbors and loved ones in person or even via video.
If families try hard to make reading at home a fun and exciting activity, your child will want to read and experience the joy of reading. Teachers are partnering and engaging with families more than ever before during this time. Together, we can bridge the gap of virtual learning by being diligent about school and student achievement each day. If we continue to do this, we will have students that are making great strides in reading and in all academic areas!
Those are my thoughts for this month.
Remember to read everyday!
Mrs. Bush Your Stevenson Literacy Coach
April is Poetry Month
We will be highlighting Stevenson student poetry as well as having staff and parents share some of their favorite poems during this month.
Let's get ready to enjoy some great poetry!