Following our district-wide screenings at the beginning of the school year, our Reading Specialists collaborate with our principal and classroom teachers to identify third-grade students who are performing below expectations. These children, generally 4-6 students at a time, visit the Reading Specialist's classroom for 30 minutes every day to receive additional instruction in the areas of oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. Phonemic programs such Lexia Core5 are also used to provide additional practice with phonetic skills. Reading Specialists also support classroom instruction by focusing on the same reading comprehension skills and vocabulary that are being taught throughout the week. This instruction does not replace the instruction they receive within their classroom but is simply another layer of support to ensure they develop the skills they need to be successful.
Helping your third-grade student at home
1. Talk with your child's classroom teacher and Reading Specialist to find out exactly what skills your child is practicing at school. They are experts who can provide you with a wealth of information about your child and specific activities you can do at home to target his/her reading needs.
2. Be a good example and let your child see you reading to show him/her that reading is important.
3. Listen to your child read the books that are brought home from school. Be positive! Even if your child is having a difficult time with a story, be encouraging and give as much praise as you can.
4. Talk about the books that you read aloud or your child reads to you. Ask detailed questions about the characters and what took place during the story. Also ask your child to summarize the story, identify examples of cause and effect, and make predictions as they read.
5. Add to your book collection. Visit the library, book sales, book fairs, and even trade books with friends. Becoming a great reader takes a lot of practice!