Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
Read 20 minutes every night.
I AM ASKING YOUR CHILD TO ACCEPT MY CHALLANGE TO READ 30 BOOKS IN THIRD GRADE!!!
This may seem crazy at first, especially if you are a student who has not read more then a book or two a year! This hefty requirement prevents students from trying to negotiate with me about whether or not they will read much. If I expected less, they would read less! They must choose and read many books for themselves to catch the reading bug! By setting this high requirement, I ensure that students must have a book going constantly. Failure is not an option!
I will encourage your child to select books from several different genres, poetry, traditional literature, realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, biography, and autobiography. We will keep track of your child's books here at school in a reading binder. Your child will be expected to write a response for each book read. We will do this in class and the kids are welcome to take their binders home and work on them as well. I will send out a reminder near the end of each nine week grading period for your child to have the books they have read entered into their log and the responses complete.
Your child will be given independent reading time in class everyday, but to reach the challenge they will have to read at home too!
One of my priorities at the beginning of every school year is to get to know your child as a reader.
By third grade, most students are comfortable with the foundational skills of reading (concepts of print, phonemic awareness, decoding). In other words, students have acquired the basic skills and strategies needed to read the words on the page. As a result, your child may believe that many books are "too easy" simply because he or she can figure out all the words. Though this may be the case, your child also needs to understand what the author is saying with those words and why. At this level, that meaning is often implied, and your child must infer, or figure it out using text clues and background knowledge. Therefore, our focus will be on comprehension and building vocabulary.
- use text clues and schema (background knowledge - what they already know) to infer word meaning
- draw conclusions about text and identify supporting text clues as evidence
- summarize the main idea and key supporting details
- describe story elements (character, setting, events, problem, and solution)
- interpret visual and text features (charts, graphs, maps, diagrams) and explain why the author included them
- read for a sustained period of time and produce evidence of their reading
Create an inviting place for your child to read.
Set aside a quiet place in your home where your child can read each day. It should be a comfortable, well-lit, and inviting space so that your child looks forward to curling up there with a good book!
Provide a variety of books for your child to read.
Your child will be more likely to read if books are easily accessible. Visit the public library, trade books with friends or family members.
Ask your child questions about what he or she is reading.
Ask for an oral summary of the text (short and to the point - main ideas only). You can also ask questions about the plot, theme, or characters in the story. See if they can identify a life lesson, a character's morals, the author's purpose, etc. Getting them to think beyond what is written in the book will help your child connect what they are reading to the outside world and their lives.
Both struggling and proficient readers enjoy a good read-aloud! Choose a book that interests your child and read it together. Your student will benefit from hearing you read fluently (accurately, smoothly, and with plenty of expression). It's also easier to ask your child comprehension questions about a text when you know what the book is all about!