Following our district-wide screenings at the beginning of the school year, our Reading Specialists collaborate with our principal and classroom teachers to identify first-grade students who are performing below expectations. These children, generally 3-4 students at a time, visit the Reading Specialist's classroom for 30 minutes every day to receive additional instruction in the areas of letter sounds, phonemic awareness, oral reading fluency, and eventually reading comprehension. Phonemic programs such as SRA Early Interventions in Reading and Lexia Core5 are also used to provide additional practice with phonetic skills. 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 first-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. Talk about the sounds letter make and ask your child to name words that begin or end with a particular sound.
3. Read to your child every day! This allows your child to hear what good reading sounds like.
4. 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.
5. Talk about the books that you read aloud or your child reads to you. Ask questions about the characters and what took place during the story.