Read anything good lately? Life Christian Academy’s kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders sure have!
It’s June, and our youngest readers couldn’t be more thrilled to show off their new skills.
You Read to Me…
“We start in September with students on all points of the spectrum,” says kindergarten teacher Mrs. Savary. “Our goal is to equip them to become readers by June. Believe it or not…it happens!”
First, LCA kindergarteners learn the tools they need to begin to read: letter recognition, letter sounds, blends, and sight words. Their teachers read to them daily—all kinds of books about all kinds of things. In the spring, students begin taking home their own simple readers to practice, master, and exchange.
“All these components blend beautifully to produce confident readers by the end of our school year,” says first grade teacher Mrs. Lanouette.
…And I’ll Read to You
“First grade further develops students’ skills,” says first grade teacher Mrs. Trochim, “and includes LOTS of reading. Weekly Scholastic News magazines, books on subjects we’re studying, take-home books, Highlights magazines, trips to the LCA library, one-on-one reading with teachers and volunteers, daily story times, and the list goes on…”
Worksheets and weekly spelling tests also reinforce reading concepts.
“Students take great pride in being able to read,” smiles Mrs. Trochim. “Sometime during the year a switch gets turned ‘on,’ and they see themselves as readers.”
This Time, with Feeling
What happens once basic reading skills are mastered? Reading, reading, and more reading. And—get ready—book reports.
“Second grade is about strengthening and sharpening students’ reading skills,” says teacher Mrs. Umphenour. “Are they reading quickly and smoothly? Do they understand and can they talk about what they’re reading? By the end of the year, every student has moved from learning to read…to reading to learn.”
Mrs. Neel adds, “Second grade students become skilled at connecting what they are reading with other stories, experiences, or ideas. They read more fluently and with more expression, and their comprehension soars!”
All Together Now
Clearly, much comes together to give LCA students a firm grip on this powerful skill that will change their lives.
There’s also the Accelerated Reader program that boosts comprehension and retention. And monthly Book-It incentives. And benchmarks that help teachers and parents fluidly track students’ reading progress.
And there’s even a “magic bullet” that launches students even further. Our teachers all agree:
“The biggest outside factor in students’ reading success is parent support,” says Mrs. Trochim. “The kids who are read to and read with their parents are by far the strongest readers.”
“Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher,” seconds Mrs. Umphenour. “I see myself as a member on their team.”
True to her word, Mrs. Umphenour invites the “team” to the classroom each month for “Come, Read with Me!” Students and parents read and talk together about high-level concepts like predicting, summarizing, character development, point of view, writing style, and visualization.
Read Across America [and Beyond!]
It’s been said that leaders are learners, learners are readers, and readers are leaders. With skills like this…you’re looking at three new classes of leaders on the rise!