• Our Critical Literacy class will… 


    *Utilize Great Books as a tool to look at books through critical lenses, and to grow our understanding of our reading through shared inquiry and discussions. 
    *Develop and enhance many of the strategies we already use as great readers and thinkers, and perhaps add some new strategies to our ever-growing took kit!

    Both reading and writing are essential to growing readers, writers, and thinkers.  Therefore, it is expected that every student read for a minimum of thirty (30) minutes each night.  I will continuously check in with each student, to learn about who each of them are as readers, and to ensure they are utilizing the skills and strategies taught.  I ask that you ensure that your child completes their reading log, and that you allow your child to write freely and independently, so that I can use their work as an authentic assessment tool.  I will provide feedback for all children.

    The Reading Workshop at Home: Reading is NOT Just Decoding!

    You can help your child be a better reader!  Think about yourself as a reader; how do you connect to your reading?  As readers, we bring our own schema to what we read.  We use our varied life experience to empathize with characters, we paint pictures in our mind of places in our reading, and we use what we know about how literature usually goes to anticipate events that might happen in our books.  Now, how can we bring this to our children’s literary experience? 

    Read Aloud

    Reading to your child is one way to model fluent reading, and to inspire an understanding of and excitement about text.  Even in the older grades, our children get so much out of the adults in their lives reading to them.  This can be done using any picture books or chapter books you have at home.

    ·        If it’s a book that’s unfamiliar to your child, look through the book together and discuss the illustrations before you read it if it’s a picture book.  If it is a chapter book, use the back cover or inside jacket to make predictions and tell why you think these things will happen and discuss any other things you notice.

    ·        Read the book aloud, and, if possible, dramatically use punctuation clues to emphasize fluency.  

    ·        When finished, model great comprehension by discussing with your child what you liked, what surprised you, how you feel about the character(s), or how you feel after reading it.

    Shared Read (Buddy Read) 

    Reading with your child is another way to improve fluency and comprehension for your child.  This works especially well with shorter texts.  Give your child an opportunity to look over the text before you read together, so they can rehearse what reading will sound like and look like.  During a shared read, you might take turns reading with your child, perhaps you read one page, (s)he reads the next, and so on. At school, we call this a “Buddy Read.” Or, you can read it aloud (or your child can read to you,) and stop occasionally to discuss the text.

    Independent Reading 

    Your child will be excited about reading on his/her own if (s)he sees you enjoying a good book.  Fostering good reading behaviors involves a small amount of effort from you.  Setting aside 30 minutes – 1 hour for independent reading time for you and your child each day (you don’t necessarily need to do it every day, but your child should,) during which the phones are shut off, and all other possible distractions are muted, is a great way for your child to realize the importance and value of uninterrupted reading time.  Be sure to have a discussion afterward, using some open-ended discussion starters.