It is our goal at T.E.S. to teach your child the skills to read, but also it is our challenge (and your challenge as a parent) to give your child the desire to want to read for fun and enjoyment. One of the ways we do this is to recognize the variety of reading that’s around. There are not only picture books and chapter books, but magazines, newspapers, how-to manuals, biographies, etc., etc.
Another way we do it is to model reading ourselves. I wonder how many of you are currently reading a book for pleasure? I hope it is 100%. I get bogged down sometimes reading books for school/work, but I am always reading newspapers and magazines. It feels like “down time” from my real reading, but does so much to broaden my world.
Other ideas to try at home:
- Read with them 25-30 minutes a day
- Ask them questions about what they are reading
- Encourage them to read to you out loud
- Have them tell you the main idea of what they read
- Encourage them to read things that they enjoy
- Have them read even when it is not an assignment
Last week T.E.S. held assemblies for the entire school population to celebrate our community and focus on thankfulness. If you come into our cafeteria you’ll find colorful turkeys that display the students’ ideas and thoughts about what they are thankful for. Mrs. Perry, Mrs. Santos, Mr. Turner, and Mrs. Weed were the mystery guests and spoke to the students about being thankful, not for the material things in life, but for the little things … the people, the friends, and the families that make up their worlds, especially at school!
We are thankful to Mrs. Reichard and Mrs. Manganis who are leading a committee of staff members that put these assemblies together each month, and to Ms. Lotto for making a fabulous slide show of school pictures!
One of the newest successes we’ve had in elementary school reading is meeting the students in their technology rich mindsets. Funded through a grant from the Tyngsborough Ed Foundation we are able to link the school website directly to an online reading site called Tumblebooks. Look in the left hand column – it has its own link.
Once on the Tumblebooks site there are story books, chapter books, non-fiction reading, and foreign language stories – especially great for all you kiddos taking Spanish FLEX! After choosing a book you have the option of automatic (where the book is narrated and the pages flip on their own), or manual (where you and your child can read at your own pace and turn the pages with a click of the mouse). Both options have merit and are dependent on your child’s reading level, as well as his or her ability to work independently.
Many primary teachers use Tumblebooks as a “station” or “center” in the classroom during the reading block, using the iMacs and headphones so up to four students can work at a time. Students love it, so give it a try at home!