Pinewood Weekly Newsletter

April 23, 2021

Principal's Message - Read to Succeed

Dear Falcon Families,

I often get questions from parents and guardians about how to best help their child grow as a reader. From connecting letters to sounds to building reading fluency and comprehension, there are many things families can do to support literacy development..

Our beginning and emerging readers can benefit from added phonemic awareness, phonics and sight word recognition practice at home. Knowing that our lower grade teachers focus much of their Language Arts instruction on theses standards, I recommend that home reading practice be consistent, short, interactive and engaging. Often beginning skills can be reinforced through a game format. For example, the prereading skill of rhyming can be practiced anywhere by saying an initial word and then having family members can take turns thinking of a different rhyming word. For students learning letters and sounds, you can play "I Spy" finding objects that start with a specific sound. In addition, students can help write chore or grocery lists at home to practice letter and sound correlation. Go beyond practicing sight words with flashcards. Kids can write their sight words outside using chalk. They can type their words in different fonts and colors on the computer. Choosing 10 high frequency words, you can write the individual words on 2 sets of index cards, place the words face down and play memory match. Students like using highlighters to find specific words within a larger text. For many more ideas, I have linked the Reading Rockets website below. Here you will find countless literacy resources .

By the end of first grade up to fourth grade, we expect that kids can independently read for at least 20 minutes each night. To choose a "just right book," children can use this 5 finger test to determine if they can accurately and independently read the selection:

  • Open the book to the middle. Choose a full page of words. Read the page out loud, and hold up a finger each time you come to a word that you don't know.
  • One Finger (thumb): Thumbs up! Great book choice, this will be easy for you.
  • Two Fingers (thumb and index finger), Makes and L, still Looking good! Enjoy.
  • Three Fingers (makes a W) Warning! This book may be best when read with someone.
  • Four or more fingers (Whole hand): Stop! This book may be too tough to enjoy alone. Ask and adult or older sibling to read this book to you.

This test is also is a good reminder that in addition to independent reading, all our elementary students need opportunities to read with others. Equally important are times when they can be read to by another family so that they can interact with a text above their reading level. Always take time to talk about the story and ask questions about the text. Talking about a book also helps children develop and expand their vocabulary. Above all, nightly reading should be viewed as opportunity for family time and never a chore or a punishment. Make this routine a positive part of your evening.

As we look towards the upcoming summer months, it is important for students to keep practicing their skills and reading. Take advantage of our local Pollock Pines Library and its events. While the link below for Santa Clara University's online Reading Skills program does have an associated cost, this eight week program comes recommended from many colleagues. In the coming weeks, I will also link in to the our newsletter other free resources for families to use to support their child's academic growth.


Kim Little

Reading Rockets Website

Families, on this informative site and you can find many resources for helping your child with phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and comprehension.

El Dorado County Libraries

Check this website regularly for upcoming library events, hours, and reading opportunities.

TK & Kindergarten Registration is now open! Visit our office to enroll your future Falcon!

Our Appreciation to Sierra Vista Vineyards

Recently Sierra Vista Vineyards and Winery held a book drive and fundraiser to benefit many of our local schools. As a result of this event, Sierra Vista delivered over 800 books to Pinewood this week along with a money donation. Many of these books will be added to our school library. Teachers will also have the opportunity to choose some of these books to augment their classroom shelves. We anticipate being able to give away several books to our students so that they can enjoy reading at home. With the money donation, we will fund a portion of our annual licensing costs for online reading programs. We are grateful for our generous community.
Falcon Cafe - April Menu

All meals are offered free of charge to all students for the remainder of the school year

Upcoming Events

  • April 26th - May 7th - State Testing for Grades 3 and 4
  • April 30th - Sportswear Spirit Day - Show off your favorite sport or team.
  • May 31st - Memorial Day, No School
  • June 4th - Last day of the 2020-2021 School Year