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Narragansett Title One News

The Value of Independent Reading
Linda Cornwell, Literacy Specialist, Scholastic

* Kids who read voluntarily and widely, are practicing their reading skills. Practice is essential if kids are to become capable readers.

* Kids who read voluntarily and widely are better readers, better writers, better spellers, and better critical thinkers than kids who are not avid readers.

* Kids who read widely acquire a rich vocabulary and are more sophisticated users of language.

Becoming Fluent Readers
Eunice G. Bentley, Literacy Specialist

Becoming a fluent reader is an important part of your child’s journey to becoming a successful reader. Dr. Jerry Johns, an expert in the field of reading, defines fluency as “...the ability to read with comprehension, accuracy, speed and expression.” For the majority of children, when they are able to read fluently, their understanding of what they are reading is much stronger. Often when children are struggling readers, they are working so hard to decode the words that they miss the meaning of what they are reading.

I’d like to offer you some practical ways you can help your child become a more fluent reader. The list below includes some simple and fun ways to practice.

Children need to hear examples of fluent reading. Find an engaging book to read aloud to your child. Your school and town librarians and your child’s teachers are great resources if you need recommendations.

Reading poetry is a great way to increase fluency. Poems can easily be reread several times in one sitting. Rereading increases fluency.

“Choral reading,” or reading the same poem or text aloud with 2-3 other people at the same time, increases fluency.
Echo reading is when you read a sentence and then your child echoes the same sentence back to you. Have your child follow in the book with their finger so you know they are reading it back, not just repeating what you have said.

Reasons to Read Aloud to Your Child
Adapted from: Reading Aloud and Beyond written by
Frank Serafini & Cyndi Giorgis

Reading out loud introduces readers to new titles, authors, illustrators, genres and text structures.

Reading out loud provides opportunities to talk about the story with your child. What was funny? What did they learn? What was interesting?

Reading a story out loud is enjoyable! What a great way to spend time with your family members.

Reading out loud builds background knowledge, introduces children to a variety of story structures and models what a good reader sounds like.

Listening to a good book or story increases interest in reading and is often a great motivator.

Reasons for Your Child to Read to Themselves Often

1. The more children read, the more fluent they will become.

2. The more they see words, the better able they are to recognize them on sight and to quickly use their decoding skills to figure out unknown words.

3. The more children read, the more they will enjoy books.

4. The more they read, the more successful they will be in life.

Helpful Online Reading Resources


Subtraction Strategies from Math & Science Connection
Beginning Edition, January 2013

As your child learns to subtract, it will help to know there is more than one way to find the answer. Here are some strategies you can share:

*Act it out. Use a favorite toy or objects to show a problem. For 5-3 = ______. Line up 5 checkers and take away three of them. Count the checkers that are left.

*Draw a picture. Sketch out a problem. For 9-4 = _____, you might draw 9 tents and cross out four of them. How many tents are left?

*Make a number line. Have your child draw a line and write the numbers 1-20 along it. To solve a problem like 14-7, the child would place a counter like a bingo chip on the 14 and move it down 7 numbers to find the number.

Algebra Detectives
Math & Science Connections January 2013

Share these ideas with your child to work on early algebra skills at home.

*Discovering Patterns: Link together Lego blocks in a pattern (example: red, red, yellow, green). Ask your child to predict what color the 29th block would be and encourage your child to think of an answer in his or her head.
Then, your child can extend the pattern with Legos to see if their prediction was accurate.

*Making Numbers: Ask your child to name a number (12), and then take turns giving different ways to say it (7+5, 3X4, 2X3+6, 5X3-3). How many ways can you think of different numbers? Let your child write down each answer, making each one a number sentence (7+5=12). Then, he or she can pair them up as equalities, for example, 7+5 = 3 X 4.

*Solving for X: Write down a problem like 9+x=17 and tell your child the mystery is “What is X?” Your child might think, “9 + what number will give me 17?” (8). Next, give your child a problem like 2x + 5 = 11. To find x this time, he or she could “guess and check” -- substituting one number at a time for x. Your child could say, “2 times 1 plus 5 equals 7, so x is not 1; 2 times 2 plus 5 equals 9, so x is not 2” and so on until your child finds the answer (3).


Helpful Online Resources

Interactive Activities

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

Academic Skill-builders

Interactive Everyday Math Resources and More!

Everyday Math Algorithms Demos

Kindergarten EM Games/Activities by Unit

Grade 1 EM Games/Activities by Unit

Grade 2 EM Games/Activities by Unit

Grade 3 EM Games/Activities by Unit

Grade 4 EM Games/Activities by Unit

Grade 5 EM Games/Activities by Unit


Learning Lab Staff:
Please contact Eunice Bentley if you have any questions.

Lead Math and Literacy Teacher: Eunice Bentley
Literacy Educational Technician: Peggy Dean
Math Educational Technicians: Gael Ketch & Deidre Hamblen
Kindergarten Educational Technician: Nikki Combes
Resource Room Educational Technician: Janet Kuech
Resource Room Teacher: Jane Seidenberg
Instructional Strategist: Jessica Forrest

Last Modified: Jan 13, 2014