First Grade: Learning gains occur when there is a specific area on which to focus. This week, the first graders approached their reading with a targeted reading goal. These reading goals are based on strengthening accuracy (reading the words correctly) or comprehension (remembering the story). As readers, there are certain reading aspects that we do well and others that can be improved. Increasing awareness of these areas helps students to take ownership of their reading skills and provides goals for improvement. Each student has a reading goal on a green (Accuracy) or purple (Comprehension) bookmark. Most first graders are working on using strategies to read words well. As a result, many students have an Accuracy reading goal (checking the middle/ends of words, or reading without skipping words). Other readers who are already strong in Accuracy have a Comprehension goal (remembering the Who? What?) while reading. The reading goal is written on a reading bookmark which is used whenever they are reading books. Students are encouraged to continue focusing on this goal in the regular classroom and at home. This weekend, ask your child about his/her reading goal.
Second Grade: Close reading is a new term in education with the introduction of the Common Core State Standards. Close reading is a method for uncovering layers of meaning which leads to deeper comprehension. At this time in second grade, this comprehension is essential to becoming a strong reader. Taking time to read and reread stories helps students to understand ideas and details, as well as how characters change throughout the story. After reading through the whole book, we reread the book together, stopping frequently to discuss interesting words, the events of the story, or the author’s purpose in using certain words or phrases. As you can see, this is DEEP work. You can do some close reading at home with your child, discussing the story in detail. By doing this you will be helping to build some great reading habits!