Some of you will start to notice Ziploc bags coming home with leveled books and sight word cards. Typically I wait until Parent/Teacher Conferences to send these home, that way I can go over them with parents, but I really wanted the kids to start their work earlier this year.
So if your child has their Ziploc bag of books already here is what that will consist of:
Between 2-4 books (depending on level) A-B books I usually send 4 because they are quicker reads, higher level (D-F), less books because they are longer reads. Of course I don't ever tell a child they can't bring books home, so if your child is an eager reader and they take home 6 books then that is just fine. Just know that when parent volunteers or I check in with them we will only have time to read one book with them.
Currently I have a volunteer available on Thursday and Friday that can read and then I will be doing the bulk of the reading. So to make things equitable I will be sending home a schedule when your child should return their book. If I notice that I am getting through books quicker then I will re-adjust the schedule. If your child forgets their book, no problem, we will just choose a book and review sight words. Your child will always read on the day they are assigned to. Also your child can always exchange books no matter the day that they are assigned to. So if your child read with me on Monday, but wants to have different books by Wednesday, that is fine they can book shop at any time!
How to help at home:
Preview the book with your child. Have them tell you what they notice in the pictures. Have them match their sight word cards to their book.Read the first page if it is a patterned book, then see if your child can carry the pattern from page to page.
First we work on patterns and matching, next we work on figuring out the unknown words, so for instance I would prefer that your child knows that each page says I like the.... but then they may stumble on the last part, have them use the picture, the sounds, any clues that will get them to the word. Make sure that they are pointing to the text as they read so that they can match their words as they read and also keep track of their reading. By Level D we would really like to phase out of finger pointing and use more tracking with the eyes. If your child is unable to track with their eyes we will stick to finger pointing until it makes sense to change.
Go over sight word cards with your child. Play games, lay them out of the table and see how quickly they can find them. If they are really struggling to read them, lay them out and you tell them the word and they try to find it. Then have them ask you to find one of the words. Students get five words at a time and when they are mastered they will earn another five. Please leave cards in the bag, as students will need to read old and new cards. A hard copy of all the sight words will go home with each child, use this as a guide to track how your child is doing. By the end of K we would like to see students reading up to list 10 or 50 words.
This is the beginning of an amazing adventure for your child, they are going to learn how to read! At first for some it will seem slow, but remember by the end of Kindergarten we would like to see students at Level C/D, so don't worry if your child seems to be on A or B for a long time, we will find out what works best for your child. Higher levels require higher level thinking and more word work. So please don't worry about how quickly your child moves through the levels. We never need to race to Z, your child has a lifetime to read!!