USING FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE: Add Color to Your Writing

 

                       USING FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE:                    Add  Color to Your Writing

in SEVEN Different Ways

Figurative Language is a creative element you can include for adding color to some of your writing.

Many writers want to share  their expressions with readers.

If you, as a writer, want to engage a reader, there are a few things all good writers do.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Establish a focus, or purpose your reader can follow and understand..
  • Have an organized sequence to your content ~ beginning, middle & ending.
  • Develop and support your “Main Idea”.
  • Use adjectives, adverbs, and synonyms  to upgrade your written expressions.
  • Edit your work for grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.

Need some additional  info on Vocabulary Upgrades ? 

Check out this blog post:

 CLAMDIGGERS’ SUMMER GAMES: Vocabulary Study for Grade Levels 3 ~ 6

BLB’s Resource Library had a read for you. Here’s the link: Vocabulary Study Book Lists for Engaging Grade Levels 3 ~

What Is Figurative Language ?

A writer uses Figurative Language to include a word or phrase that doesn’t have an everyday, or literal meaning.

S/he uses one or more types of Figurative Language to emphasize:

  • an emotion,
  • time,
  • amount,
  • and/or size of a situation and/or character

outside of its usual, normal place. 

Humor and drama can be part of the writer’s purpose and expression.

Usually, Figurative Language tries to explain something that is not real or factual by helping the reader form a visual image.

Writers of novels, short stories, poetry, songs, plays, speeches, news, and, even, informational, nonfiction texts will entertain and engage their readers with one or more of the different types of Figurative Language.

What Are The Different Forms, or Types of Figurative Language ?

Although there are between 10 and 15 types of Figurative Language, your 8 ~ 11 year-old child will be  learning seven of them.

As a Third Grader, s/he will be taught to recognize the difference between literal and non-literal language when reading, writing, and speaking.

Of the seven different forms of Figurative Language, usually Similes and Metaphors are introduced as the first of these types to explore. Your child may already be familiar with these 2forms of Figurative Language. S/he can identify them through the content s/he reads and hears in the classroom.

S/he will probably be familiar with the other types through interactive family, friends,  and environmental communication. They are: Idioms, Hyperboles, Personification, Alliteration, and Onomatopoeia. 

Now, you may be wondering why would a writer want to use Figurative Language.

  Are There Advantages to Using Figurative Language ?

Yes ! There are more than a few  Benefits for encouraging your budding writer (and speaker)  to include Figurative Language in his/her expressions.

Communication

  • Your child hears Figurative Language expressed in music, radio announcements, speeches, commercials, movies, and TV shows. It’s important for him/her to understand what is being said.
  • Your child engages their creativity and imagination when including Figurative Language during oral and written expression.
  • As your child transitions from concrete to abstract thinking, Figurative Language can make those complex ideas, concepts, and feelings easier to visualize and, then,  understand.
  • If your child is learning the literal words & phrases of English as another language, practice with Figurative Language will  improve his/her literacy & communication skills.

Reading

  • Your child’s understanding of Figurative Language will increase her/his overall comprehension of the content being read.
  • Not only does reading text with Figurative Language engage a reader, it, also, helps your child visualize,  interpret and analyze the setting, character traits, plot, and author’s purpose of the story.

Writing

  • Using Figurative Language when writing presents your child with many opportunities for expressing his/her thoughts in vivid, colorful, unique,  and interesting ways.
  • Your child’s ability to use Figurative Language is a way to effectively change a simple thought into a beautiful, complex image. 

So, How Do I Support My Child’s Learning?

Here are a few suggestions for supporting your child’s usage of Figurative Language:

  • Make sure s/he can define the meanings of each type of Figurative Language.
  • Use a variety of different forms of Figurative Language when communicating and identify them individually.
  • Point out examples when reading, watching media, listening to music, information & advertisements as well as writing.
  • Ask questions about your child’s writing, such as “compared to what, as in, sounds like, looks like, feels like, smells like, etc.
  • See if your child can differentiate the different kinds of Figurative Language and tell you when it is NOT being used.

Try some interactive activities, too.

How About Some FUN Learning Activities ?

Games and other interactive, hands-on activities with cross-curricular inclusions are effective ways to engage your child’s learning of figurative Language.

See if you and yours enjoy identifying some of the types when doing any of these:

  • Present a collection of picture books & magazines. Take turns locating and identifying which forms of Figurative Language are being used and what they mean.
  • During your next walk in Nature or anywhere, have your child describe the surroundings using the five senses with Figurative Language phrasing.
  • Select different objects around the house and ask your child you use a specific form of Figurative Language when describing them.
  • Look a a piece of art the next time you visit a museum and both of you use Figurative Language to describe the piece and how it makes you feel.
  • Create a Figurative Language Image Gallery and play a Match game with the drawings to the form of figurative Language.
  • Write skits that include Figurative Language and act them out.

Need a few more activity ideas? Here’s a  link:

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/grades-4-5-figurative-language-lessons/

I have, also, created games and activities for each of the seven types of Figurative Language. So, keep reading……    

Product Unit Components & Elements

Each of my six  Product Units~Similes & Metaphors (combined as one unit), Idioms, Personifications, Hyperboles, Alliteration & Onomatopoeia contain the following Components:

  • Front & Back Covers
  • Contents List
  • Materials List with Construction Instructions
  • Literature List
  • Simple Lesson Plan
  • At least 4 Different Activities with Directions & Answers

The Elements follow Bloom’s Higher Order Thinking Sequence and provide opportunities for increasing Critical Thinking Skills through:

  • Definition Cards
  • May have Label and/or Name Cards
  • Storage Pocket for Game Pieces
  • May have Sort Mats
  • Fill-In & Matching Activities
  • Writing Applications

           First up ~ Similes & Metaphors

Similes and Metaphors

Let’s define these two types of Figurative Language:                

A SIMILE is Figurative Language that compares two unlike things using the words “like”, “as”, or “resembles”. It is very similar to a METAPHOR.

A METAPHOR is Figurative Language that compares two things, which are usually not alike and does not use comparison words                     ( like, as, resembles).

Here are Similes & Metaphors links for Kid-Friendly Lists:

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/simile-examples-for-kids.html

https://blog.udemy.com/metaphor-examples-for-kids/

You can access this 37-page Product Unit with learning activities from my Teacher PayTeachers Shop by clicking on this link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SIMILES-METAPHORS-Same-andor-Different–7101599

And here’s a little 6-page Freebie to go with it:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MAKING-SENSE-OF-SIMILES-METAPHOR-MEANINGS-7101454

Idioms are next….

Idioms

  IDIOMS are Figurative Language phrases that are culturally-based, with meanings completely different from the  literal, every day meaning.

Here is an Idioms link for a Kid-Friendly List :

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/idioms-for-kids.html

You can access this 38-page Product Unit with learning activities from my Teacher PayTeachers Shop by clicking on this link:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/IDIOMS-Local-Lingo-7102372

And here’s a little 6-page Freebie to go with it:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/IDIOM-INQUIRY-7102149

Personifications coming up….

Personifications

PERSONIFICATIONS give an animal, object or idea human characteristics or actions.

Here is a Personifications link for a Kid-Friendly List :

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-personification-for-kids.html

You can access this 32-page Product Unit with learning activities from my Teacher PayTeachers Shop by clicking on this link:

  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/PERSONIFICATIONS-Animal-Vegetable-or-Mineral–7102654

And here’s a little 6-page Freebie to go with it:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MAKING-IT-PERSONIFIED-7102528

Keep reading for HYPERBOLES

HYPERBOLES

 

HYPERBOLES are over-the-top exaggeration phrases usually included to make a point or add humor.

Here is a HYPERBOLES link for a Kid-Friendly List :

https://www.rd.com/article/hyperbole-examples/

You can access this 44-page Product Unit with learning activities, including several for Tall Tales from my Teacher PayTeachers Shop by clicking on this link:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/HYPERBOLES-No-Way-Ever–7102911

And here’s a little 7-page Freebie to go with it:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/HILARIOUS-HYPERBOLES-7102790

And now for a little Alliteration…

Alliteration

A Tongue Twister is a form of ALLITERATION, which is repeating  the beginning letter of several words close together in a sentence.

Here is an Alliterations link for a Kid-Friendly List :

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/alliteration-examples-for-kids.html

You can access this 29-page Product Unit with learning activities from my Teacher PayTeachers Shop by clicking on this link:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ALLITERATIONS-Word-Rhythms-Tongue-Twisters-7107779

And here’s a little 5-page Freebie to go with it:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Arranging-Alliterations-7107672

And, finally, onward and downward to  Onomatopoeia…

Onomatopoeia

ONOMATOPOEIA uses a word to describe a sound and actually mimics the sound of the object or action that is speaking.

Here is an Onomatopoeia link for a Kid-Friendly List :

 https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-onomatopoeia-for-kids.html

You can access this 38-page Product Unit with learning activities from my Teacher PayTeachers Shop by clicking on this link:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ONOMATOPOEIA-Noun-Sounds-7107903

And here’s a little 5-page Freebie to go with it:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/OWNING-ONOMATOPOEIA-7107851

Teaching your growing Learners this valuable Literacy element can be a very engaging and valuable asset for encouraging creativity and understanding our Language. I hope you will find some, if not all, of these Units useful.

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2021BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Elevating Your Upper Elementary Child’s Literacy

Elevating Your Upper Elementary Child’s Literacy

If you become a bird and fly away from me,  I will be a tree that you come home to.  ~ from The Runaway Bunnyby Margaret Wise Brown

I’m sure you’re noticing A LOT of changes in your 8~11 year-old child….oops..I mean, young girl/boy…

In my experience with this age group, I discovered these children to be immersed in what I call “The Golden Age of Learning”.

Their Literacy independence is inspiring them to explore a plethora of adventures in an imaginative and creative way. They are able to locate the answers to SO MANY of the questions they continually ask every day. And are SO VERY delighted to be able to do so!

Their Problem Solving skills as well as Task Completion rate are increasing with accuracy….most of the time.

If you haven’t done so already, dear Reader, NOW is the time to UP YOUR GAME for your Upper Elementary child’s Literacy!!!

 Your Upper Elementary Child’s Literacy

 I’m sure you’re SO over hearing “I’m NOT a CHILD anymore!” (note the correction in the Intro….), especially when supervision is a must.

Family Time is becoming…..rare, unless, of course, a few of “my friends” can be included…. Just how many extracurricular activities can one person participate in !?!?

I will tell you, though, those clubs, classes and sports will be a GOOD thing in the coming years….Seriously~keep the meter running.

Oh, and Hobbies & Collections are DEFINITELY a MUST for elevating your Upper Elementary child’s Literacy.   Here are a  few categories:

  • Visual Arts, like painting, sculpting, drawing
  • Crafts (several), like scrap-booking, sewing, cooking,  etc.
  • Performing Arts, like acting, singing, dancing, etc.
  • Musical Instruments, like piano, guitar, trumpet, etc.
  • Sports: Team & Solo, like soccer, baseball, tennis, track, skating, martial arts, etc.
  • Camping Excursions, like scouting, nature hikes, etc.
  • Gardening, like veggies, fruits, herbs, flowers, landscaping, etc.
  • Building Sets, like Legos, Lincoln logs, etc.
  • Model Kits, like ships, airplanes, cars, rockets, etc.
  • Board Games, especially ones that involve mystery & strategy.

Need more ideas ? BLB’s Library has a few Resources for you. Just click on these links:

Hobbies & Collections: Promoting Creativity & Discovery

Creative Arts Book List: 20 Reads to Share with Your Aspiring Artist

This website link lists “101 After School Club Ideas” you can start or suggest to neighbors, friends and/or your child’s school campus:

https://kidactivities.net/clubs-for-school-age-kids-page-1/

Not only is your 8~11 year-old  digging deep into how things work, they are, also,  developing quite a passion for the world beyond their family and surrounding community.

WOW! It’s A Great Big World Out There!

The World Is Ours~Canva Foto
The World Is Ours~Canva Foto

Your child’s interest in reading about exciting adventure, fantasies, and science fiction’s future feeds his/her daydreams. Seeking other places, cultures, and, yes, even worlds influences daily thoughts and ideas.

Having the tools of independent research allows her/him to travel into the far-reaching realms of imagination and creativity.

Here are a few family travel links:

https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/family/photos/bucket-list-trips-for-kids

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/national-geographic-kids-travel/index.html

BLB’s Library has a few Resources, too:

Ten Major Global Celebrations: Traditions, Symbols, Foods & a Book List

FABLES & FOLKTALES from AROUND THE WORLD : K~3 Book Lists & Websites

Don’t be surprised if s/he wants to learn a few more languages along the way….

Language’s listening and talking are taking on a whole new perspective within your 8~11 year-old’s communication skills.

Well, You Won’t Believe What Happened Next….

You may have to “listen in” to conversations between your youngster and her/his friends to hear the substantial amount of new vocabulary being included in the day-to-day dialogues.

And, then, she said...~Canva5
And, then, she said…~Canva5

And they’re not just everyday words either….

S/he is learning how to say exactly what s/he wants/means to say. Communication, especially between peers, is becoming more and more important.

The phone, if you are permitting one, is a new “appendage”…

You’ll, also, notice a keener sense of humor is emerging. There is, also,  an appreciation for solving riddles and a more sophisticated involvement in word play. S/he is very entertained/ing with his/her clever, sly Language skills.

BLB’s Library has a Resource for encouraging your child’s “funny bones”:

NOW THAT’S FUNNY!! Books for Smiling, Giggling & Laughing Out Loud

So, “Where is all this ‘sophistication’ coming from?” you wonder….

Common Core’s Ongoing Language Expectations

Beginning in Third Grade and continuing throughout each grade level,  s/he is expected to “demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking”.

Here’s a general list of the sentence structures s/he is expected to understand, form and utilize with accuracy:

  • Explain what a noun, verb, adjective and adverb is and how they are used in a sentence
  • Form sentences with accurate subject-verb agreement
  •  Can form & speak simple, compound & complex sentences

Specifically, there are expectations for forming & using the different parts of speech as well:

  • regular & irregular plural nouns
  • abstract nouns
  • regular & irregular verbs
  • simple verb tenses
  • comparative & superlative adjectives and adverbs
  • conjunctions

Many of these expectations are modeled and taught during reading instruction. Remember~ your child’s independent level of Reading is not only contributing to the amount s/he chooses to read, but, also, the escalating amount of fiction and nonfiction texts s/he is  experiencing in the classroom.

I Am Reading to Learn

Today a Reader, tomorrow a Leader.~Margaret Fuller

Even though your upper elementary child’s literacy level may enable her/him to read independently, you can continue to ensure her/his comprehension of the text by listening to him/her read aloud and using the following  strategies:

  • Ensure the content is not only appropriate for his/her maturity level, but, also, her/his actual reading level.
  • Encourage a Pre-Read for background knowledge, vocabulary understanding & interest level.
  • Confirm the content of fictional reads has a predictable Beginning, Middle & Ending structure with one Main Problem/Conflict.
  • Make sure the content of nonfictional reads has a predictable & supported Main topic.
  • Periodically, ask questions about the read and/or have her/him retell what was just read.
Reading to Learn-Canva10
Reading to Learn-Canva10

If you want to wait until after s/he has finished reading the chapter or slim book, here are some comprehensions questions to ask:

  • What happened in the Beginning of the story?  (listen for Important Details)
  • Middle? Ending? (again, listen for Important Details to be included during the Retell)
  • Did the story remind you of anything or anyone? (his/her response  should be a “Yes, it made me think about….”)
  • What is the Setting of the story? (characters, place & time)
  • What was the Main Problem, or Conflict in the story & how did it get Solved? (several solution attempts may be made before the actual success of one)

Using these comprehension strategies verbally or in a Reading Response Journal will continue to strengthen your Upper Elementary child’s Literacy.

Is your child a “Good” Reader?

“Good” Reader Strategies

Yes, reading for pleasure is VERY important. However, Your Independent Reader needs to read for accuracy so s/he is learning as s/he reads.

What Good Readers Do

~PREVIEW~

  • Look at the Book Cover & Title
  • Do a Picture Walk & scan some of the Text

~QUESTION~

  • Ask Who did What, When, Where, Why & How.
  • Ask if the text is making sense & supporting the Main Idea.

~PREDICT~

  • Wonder about what you think will happen in the story.
  • Make some predictions and, then, read to find out how accurate your predictions were.

~INFER~

  • Think about  how some of the Important Details are meaningful to the story.
  • Use those Details to help you define the Author’s Purpose for telling the story.

~CONNECT~

  • Relate the story to your thoughts, feelings and what you know.
  • Compare/Contrast the story to other stories you’ve read or heard as well as the world around you.

~SUMMARIZE~

  • Organize/Sequence the Main Details of the story.
  • Draw Conclusions about those Important Details.

~EVALUATE~

  • Once you have finished reading the story, decide what you learned from the text.
  • Then, decide if what you read was important to you & if you enjoyed reading it.

And, what is your Independent Reader reading?

Your Child’s Reading Interest Levels

Reading to Learn~Canva12
Reading to Learn~Canva12

You can continue elevating your upper elementary child’s Literacy by making sure s/he has access to a wide ~ and I mean WIDE~ variety of fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, newspapers & how-to project books.

Books about historic, modern, and futuristic adventures with humor, excitement, mystery and the “unexpected” are definitely reads to pique his/her interests.

Here’s a great link with Book Ideas for your Independent, Upper Elementary Reader:

https://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Kids’_Book_Recommendations:_Ages_8_-_11

BLB’s Library has a Resource for Poetry:

Poetry Collections for K~5

As well as several Resources in BLB’s Library and Shop for Informative Text, which continues to GROW in importance:

Inquiry Investigations: Authors, Books & Websites for Your Child’s Exploration & Discovery

OH YAY! A RESEARCH PROJECT!: Processes, Templates & Resources

THE TINY GIANT: An Interactive Informational Text Features Learning Tool

However, if you have a struggling or non-reader, BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:

Guiding Your NonReader Into The Reader’s World

Perhaps, s/he would rather WRITE than read….

Writing to Read

What you don’t know would make a great book. ~Sydney Smith

If last year was Second Grade, you are aware of the Writing Expectations your child faces. Here’s a reminder link:

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

Now, multiply those Literacy Expectations again and again…..and again.

You may want to have access to Common Core’s Standards for Third Grade Writing and Beyond. Here’s a link:

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/3/

Yes, it’s pretty extensive and will continue to increase with difficulty.

Oh……… and , then, there are the Expectations for the Writing Conventions of Standard English :

  • capitalization
  • commas
  • quotation marks
  • possessives
  • spelling : patterns, prefixes & suffixes

My Teachers Pay Teachers Shop has a Resource for Grammar Usage:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Please-Practice-Good-Grammar–4711045

Make glossaries, dictionaries, and other reference word helpers part of the easy-to-access library. They are definite tools for:

  •  unknown words’ spelling and multiple-meanings
  • root words
  • how prefixes & suffixes affect root words
  • figurative language
  • literal & non-literal words/phrases in context
  • abstract words

Fortunately, if those fine motor skills were hampering your child’s writing progress, the coordination of hand & fingers are improving ~ a plus to the actual physicality of writing.

Otherwise, if writing is a struggle ~ and it is for many of us ~read on for a few helpful suggestions.

ARGH!!! Writing !!!!

ARGH! Writing!~Alexandra Koch
ARGH! Writing!~Alexandra Koch

Loves to read, but Hates to Write!!!! BLB’s Library has a few Resources for you:

Reading About Writing: 15 Books to Encourage Your Young Author’s Writing Skills

and for some inspiration:

More Wonderful Wordless Picture Books for Readers, Ages 5~8

The BEST and most effective  suggestion I have for your I HATE TO WRITE writer is Interactive Writing between you and your child. Select a journal, have your writer decorate it, and begin:

INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

BTW…  a few ideas and suggestions for making your home and your Upper Elementary child’s Literacy Learning Space an inviting environment.

Ready, Set….Learn!

Ready, Set, Learn!~KitzD66
Ready, Set, Learn!~KitzD66

Here are a few Resources & checklists for helping you make your home a Learning & Teaching ~Friendly environment:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

Questions for Brain Food Menu

 YOUR CHILD IS A BRAINIAC ! A Parent Guide for Building Thinking Skills

and last, but not least……

Your Homework Help HOTLINE : Parent Involvement Strategies

I hope this Post has some ideas and suggestions you can use in your Family Literacy Circle regardless of the Independence of your Learner.

Now…for the 52-week, cross-curricular, interactive, hands-on, enrichment program I promised to deliver for your 8~11 year-old Learners. Click on the link below for CLAMDiggers:

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2020BizzyLizzyBiz

Enriching The FLC with Your First Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

This IsThe FLC First Grader’s Series

Yes, like last year, this year is another HUGE one for your 6-year-old.  First Grade is filled with incredible LEAPS & BOUNDS! Your child’s growth & development intellectually, physically AND emotionally is almost approaching “light year” speed.

Five of the major Literacy Arenas influencing his/her ground-breaking discoveries are: Learning & Language Skills, Creative Arts & Play Shills, Inquiry Power, Reading Skills , and Writing Skills. So, I am dividing this incredibly important year into a series of 4 or 5 separate blog posts.

PART ONE : Learning & Language Skills

Children always learn, but not necessarily what you want them to learn. ~ Dr. L. Katz

Somewhere during the summer, before your 6-year-old enters FirstFLC First Grade: Lrng & Lang Skills Grade, you’ll notice your somewhat-round child became all arms and legs. No way are last year’s clothes & shoes going to fit! This growth will continue for a few years ~an average of 2 to 2.5 inches per year. Remember the thumbprint-measure at the end of new shoes.…. Ignore the “This is TOO BIG for ME!” comments…. And cross your fingers to prolong another wardrobe upgrade before next Summer…..hopefully, Fall……

Must have been all the new physical skills~fine & gross motor~ s/he kept practicing all Summer…. running & jumping & skipping & hopping & skipping & skipping & hopping….EVERYWHERE!!!!! Oh.. and, purposely, rolling & spinning ’round & ’round…..

Indoors found him/her drawing lots of pictures & cutting out lots of pictures to accompany lots of newly written stories….drawing & cutting & gluing (“Teacher says ‘Just a dot, not a lot’ “) & writing….Yes, s/he needs more paper & magazines & glue…..

Although the hand-eye coordination is improving….s/he will probably fall out of chairs several times in the next year and  baby teeth will fall out of her/his mouth.  Pencils can become “teething sticks”. As a First Grade teacher, I was asked to “pop-out” many front teeth and scooped up many “plopped-on-the-floor” bodies…

BIG NEWS FLASH!!!! S/he is TYING her/his own shoes laces!!!!!!

How does s/he have enough energy to ask SSSSOOOOO many questions?!?!?!?

Your Budding Brainiac

Why Oh Why? Johnny-McClung
Why Oh Why? Johnny-McClung

Even at rest, your soon-to-be First Grader spends hours upon hours pondering the great questions of the Universe and her/his place in it. The Age of Reason has arrived in your child’s brain development, stimulated by the opportunities received at school to learn new concepts and ideas.

Curiosity encourages exploration and discovery.  PBSParents offers a few tips on how you can help build these Learning Skills:

  • Allow him/her to make simple choices, such as what to wear, what to eat for snack, where to eat out for a meal, which shoes to buy (of the several options you’ve okayed), what present to buy for whom (within your budget).
  • Give your child some support when needed to finish a new task or activity, but don’t take over or rush him/her to complete it.
  • Encourage creativity in your child’s expressions by offering new material & experiences without influencing her/his decisions.
  • Praise achievements, progress & eagerness to take risks (safely, of course).

“Inside the First Grader’s Brain”

Although I have taught many First Graders ~ and what an absolutely FASCINATING bunch they are ~ I, myself was curious to know what makes those incredibly interesting 6-year-old brains tick. Hank Pellissier, founder of the Brighter Brains Institute, contributed an article in June 2018 to greatschools.org with the above title.

Scientifically, this is what is happening inside your First Grader’s brain:

  • The sensory lobes that recognize & analyze challenges are maturing at a rapid rate.
  • There is rapid brain growth in vocabulary, grammar & pronunciation.
  • Your child is probably “leaping” from magical thinking to logical, rational mental processing.
  • S/he may become fixed on rules & regulations.

You can “nuture” your child’s logical mental processing & satisfy his/her Rules & Regulations focus with a small activity game  I created : Choose A Category”. You’ll find it in BLB Shop by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

Keep reading for some suggestions on nurturing this brain stage.

Pellissier’s Parenting Your First Grader’s Brain Tips

Included in his article are some tips (with some comments from yours truly) on how you can help your child’s brain during this stage of growth & development:

  • Set high expectations ~ they will be welcomed, met & exceeded
  • Provide a relaxed & emotionally secure environment ~ so effective for his/her explosive world of intellectual adventures
  • Contribute PATIENCE during her/his dramatics ~ enrollment in the Creative Arts, especially music will help temper some of these behaviors-6-year-olds can be quite a “serious” bunch and “talking about feelings” is still too confusing for them….too busy emoting
  • Make SURE s/he runs & plays outside EVERYDAY for at least 30 minutes ~ non-negotiable, rain or shine, in addition to school recess
  • Focus your child’s attention with board games & limit TV/video games time ~ yes. yes. yes- you will notice BIG behavior changes
  • Include lots of vocabulary exploration because s/he can acquire 10 NEW WORDS A DAY, plus now would be a good time to expose your child to another language ~ I retained lots of another language I learned as a child as well as many First Grade ESL students exit into mainstream
  • Encourage your young reader to pay attention to ALL letter sounds in words ~ s/he can’t WAIT to get to the next word……

SO MANY QUESTIONS !!!!

Children must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think. ~ Margaret Mead

Sometimes answering a question with another question is a great way to stretch the brain’s growth. Karen Nelson@weareteachers posted a list of 62 questions for increasing those thinking & learning skills. Just click on this link: https://www.weareteachers.com/critical-thinking-questions/

Or you can click on this pdf link to download, copy & print “A Short List of  Critical Thinking Question Stems” I created to get you started: A Short List of CT Questions

And What Is Critical Thinking?

Here Is What We See-TorstenDederichs
Here Is What We See-TorstenDederichs

“Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out. It is a way of thinking in which you don’t simply accept all arguments and conclusions you are exposed to but rather have an attitude involving questioning such arguments and conclusions.” ~ study.com

You will notice your VERY curious & engaged 6-year-old studying things intensely. S/he will, then, describe a thing (or 20) using its characteristics, and, then, find similarities & differences between a variety of things. These are his/her growing & developing cognitive skills at work!

Need a little (HA!) more in-depth information ? Yes, you guessed it! Click on this link from BLB’s Resource Library for ideas, tips & strategies in A Parent’s Guide to Building Learning & Critical Thinking Skills https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

These “working” words will show up at the most surprising times……correctly,too!

Such Language!!!!

Favorite First Grader phrases include:

“You’re not the boss of me!” (I still use that one…)

“I didn’t do it!” (use that one, too)

“S/he told me to……”

“S/he did it, too!”

And tho’ your First Grader “hates” tattle tales, s/he is quite the tattler…. such talkers….

The rate your child is learning to understand and speak new words is growing, quite literally, by leaps & bounds ~ about 3000 within the school year! S/he is even talking ABOUT words, not just using them during expression. 

S/he is starting conversations, using defining & describing words more frequently, staying on topic, taking turns during the conversation, and ~ this is a jewel~ giving directions to others. S/he is, also, able to re-state ideas using different words if what was expressed is not understood by the listener.

And how did all this happen, you may ask?? Some of those high expectations coupled with lots of “world” knowledge being shared in school are definitely factors influencing this language growth.

The “Common Core” Standard Expectations for Language

By the completion of First Grade, your child is expected to show mastery in quite a few grammatical conventions as well as a number of other areas in the English language. I’m just going to list some general ones, because, quite frankly, college graduates haven’t mastered some of these……really….., so, maybe, this is why these Standards are being implemented in so many  states’ public school districts.

Grammar Usage 

There are 10 “command”, or mastery expectations for speaking & writing, but  I’m just listing a few of the main ones :

  • common, proper & possessive nouns
  • singular & plural nouns with matching verb agreement
  • personal, possessive & indefinite pronouns
  • past, present & future verb tenses
  • complete simple & compound statements, questions, commands & exclamations

BTW, I created a PDF downloadable game for Singular & Plural Nouns with Matching Verb Agreement: One Frog Hops! Two Frogs Hop! Just click on this linkOne Frog Hops

Speaking & Listening

Basically, these expectations are about participating in an interactive First Grade topic conversation:

  • asking & answering in complete sentences
  • asking & answering questions about details from a read text
  • asking & answering questions about details from an oral lesson
  • using words & phrases learned from grade level texts
  • describing people, places, things & events using clearly stated details & ideas

Need more specific information about the Common Core Standards for First Grade Language? Click on the link below: 

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/1/

In Parentese, Please!

Your Child & School-Amber MB
Your Child & School-Amber MB

The National PTA has written a “Parents’ Guide to Student Success” regarding the Common Core Standards. It lists the main Mastery expectations for ELA Literacy & Mathematics as well as some ELA Literacy Parent Involvement at Home tips for your First Grader:

  • Read books together with your child & help him/her sound out difficult words.
  • Act out stories together from books, TV and your child’s imagination.
  • Pick a “Word of the Day” every day, beginning with a different letter. Have your child write the word & look for other things beginning with the same letter.
  • Have your child sign up for a  Public Library card & visit the  with your child every week, checking a variety of books ~ fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays.

 Literacy Language Lifters

Here are a few additional suggestions for promoting your First Grader’s listening & speaking skills:

  • Continue playing with language through rhymes, songs & word games, especially when new nonsense words can be created
  • Invent meanings for those new nonsense words
  • Increase verbal directions from one & two-step to three-step
  • Ask your child to repeat those directions back to you
  • Promote the understanding of game rules
  • Include Time (before/after) & Distance (close/far) concepts in your interactive conversations
  • Ask her/him to repeat stories that have a series of events to relate in order
  • Continue asking the “wh” questions for comprehension: who, what, when, where, why
  • Introduce your child to a different language ~ s/he will absolutely LOVE learning words in another language AND 6-years-old is an optimal time in his/her language development for this skill.

 Learning Another  Language Benefits

World Learning-Mihail-fotodeti
World Learning-Mihail-fotodeti

There are more than a few advantages to having a access to another language. Learning another language increases your child’s literacy, analytical,and problem-solving skills. It boosts your child’s confidence, self-image, and tolerance.

According to pandatree.com, a multilingual teaching website,  your child will experience 15 or more benefits. Among them are:

  •  speaking, understanding & connecting with more people.
  •  stimulating his/her brain growth.
  • boosting first language abilities
  • training one’s ear for music
  • increasing out-of-the-box thinking

And in my experience as an educator~ all my students thought it was great fun and were always eager to learn MORE!

So, if you would like to teach your child a few common vocabulary words and phrases in another language ~ say Spanish~ BLB Shop has just the product for you and yours: Let’s Learn A Little Spanish has 10 mini-lessons with easy-to-use instructions. Just click on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/learn-spanish-minilessons/

 

Just a little postscript:  Your First Grader’s Learning & Language Skills is the first part of this 4, maybe 5 part series for First Graders. Play, Inquiry, Reading & Writing are in the mix as well. Stay tuned!

 Any Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Inquiry Skills

Welcome to Part Three of The FLC First Grader’s Series

Your 6-year-old is asking MORE questions than s/he usually does.

And even though s/he LOVES rules and boundaries in his/her expanding world, those very important inquiries are giving you clues to the puzzles being solved in her/his broadening brain.

Your First Grader’s  Inquiry Skills are growing. They are becoming an important part of his/her brain development and academic success.

A “How-To……” book of instructions for everything in life right now would be just fine with her/him!

PART THREE :  Inquiry Skills

It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question. ~ Eugene Ionesco

There is a philosophy that an answer can be found within the context of its question…..or at least its beginning is….

Your First Grader comes home with many new & wonderful ideas to share. S/he LOVES explaining how explorations became discoveries.

And, THEN, “what if…..?” Oh, the imagination of the inquiring mind!!!!

This state of inquiry, however, is not satisfied with thinking about things.

Your 6-year-old and his/her longer attention span  likes to learn & problem solve by doing: experimenting, planning, building, collecting, and, maybe even , performing magic tricks just to solve what “appears” to be unsolvable.

You can promote these Critical Thinking questions. BLB’s Library has several ideas for you to use in an interactive resource:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

Within that page are 2 downloadable PDFs:

 A Short List of CT Questions

Questions for Brain Food Menu

You Can, Also: 

  • provide storage boxes for her/his special collections of rocks, seeds, shells, leaves
  • Add nonfiction books to the library about animals, plants, sun, moon & stars, seasons, weather, holidays & celebrations, world cultures, community helpers, inventors & inventions, machines & transportation
  • Take field trips to history & science museums, work places & factories, other neighborhoods
  • encourage his/her growing awareness of time & days of the week by including him/her in planning daily events

S/he probably has lots of Giant Ideas (where DO they come from) with lots of Important Questions (how DOES s/he think up all of them)…….

  Encouraging The Critical Thinking Process of Inquiry

Do you remember the KWL (What do you Know, What do you Wonder about,  & What have you Learned) your teachers may have used during your classroom  discussions?

Check out this How-To use  a K-W-L Chart site:

 https://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/inquiry_chart

Although it can be time-consuming, I found a KWL chart to be  a very valuable exploration & discovery tool. Used interactively, it provided me, and my students, with knowledge already in place~no wasted time on redundancy~ and ownership of what was to be learned ~ with a few prompted questions, ideas, & vocabulary clues from me. 

When Do We Use A KWL ?

You can use this tool with your child in a variety of scenarios:

  • to enrich & reinforce a variety of science, social studies & geography topics being taught in school
  • to increase reading comprehension elements in  fiction & nonfiction reads at home and for school
  • to use as a home-management builder in a number of arenas: chores, safety, nutrition, clothing/weather, etc.

SO~I’ve created something a little different that includes a Resource section in this discovery chat titled KQRL. Here’s a downloadable 8.5×11″ PDF template you can print, laminate & re-use during you & yours’ Inquiry Investigations:  KQRL Template

Wondering what science, social studies & geography concepts your First Grader will be learning in the classroom?

Your child’s school district can provide you with a list of objectives & expectations. Ask her/his teacher for assistance and explanations.

Science Explorations in First Grade

Using My 5 Senses-KellySikkema
Using My 5 Senses-KellySikkema

Your child will engage his/her 5 Senses to observe, ask questions,  and, then, record   what s/he is learning.  Entering data on graphs (pictographs & bar graphs), hand-drawings as well as written words are products used to show what s/he understands.

This is a  “general” list of science concepts your child may (or may not) be learning throughout his/her year in First Grade:

Physical Science

  • Forces in Motion: push & pull, balance, magnetism, electricity
  • Changes in States of Matter (solid, liquid & gas)
  • Properties of Liquids
  • Sound Production & Travel
  • Properties of Air

Earth Science

  • The Universe: day & night sky, moon, stars, sun
  • Weather: seasons, temperature measurement
  • Properties & Uses of Earth Materials: soil, rocks, minerals, water

Life Science

  • Human Body Systems & Nutrition
  • Ecosystems: habitats, survival needs, protection/ecology
  • Life Cycles: plants, animals
  • Diversity & Variations: plants, animals

Your Home~Grown Science Lab

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun. ~ Mary Lou Cook

PBSParents offers some very useful  suggestions on how to explore science concepts with your child in everyday scenarios. And just for you, I created a table -YIPEE- to help with that!

Home~Grown Science Explorations & Discoveries

FAMILY ENVIRONMENTPHYSICAL SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONSEARTH SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONSLIFE SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS
Backyard/Front Lawn
Park/Playground
Nature Trail
Forces in Motion: trikes, bikes, scooter, wagon; playground equipment
Matter: solids, liquids, gases
Sound:different machines in the air/on the ground
Properties of Air: balloons, paper airplanes, Frisbee, kites, leaves
Light/Dark: day & night sky elements, moon phases, shadows, shade, self-reflection in water
Weather: clouds, temperature, precipitation
Materials:different rocks, soil varieties, waters(lake, pond, brook, river, mud puddles)
Different Plant & Animal Ecosystems
Stages of growth in plants & animals
In the Car
On the Bus/Train
Forces in Motion: Push / Pull
Sound: Machines at work
Travel: Speed
Light/Dark: self-reflection in window, vision adjustments to sight, building sights, day vs night sky visibility in different environments
Weather: cloud formations in open sky, visibility during precipitation at different speeds
Materials: landforms, bodies of water
Different Plant & Animal Ecosystems: city/country, desert/plains/forest/seaside
In the Kitchen
At the Market
Forces in Motion: push/pull of different utensils, float/sink of different food elements
Matter: changing states from solid to liquid to gas
Liquid Properties: changes with heat, cold, mixtures
Properties of Air: forces of air when applied to different foods, like meringues
Weather: on foods' stability, spoilage, growth in the garden
Materials: how rocks, soil, water affect foods
Human Body: nutrition, food groups, menu/recipe combinations, extra foods
Plant & Animal Ecosystems: growth, food sources, omnivores/herbivores/carnivores
Life Cycles: plants from seed, growth/harvest, preparation

I don’t know about you, but, there are questions children ask that defy an explanation…..So, instead of trying to give reason that might not be understandable or accurate, a more “scientific” approach will probably satisfy those questions. Wonder, inquire & investigate along with your child, encouraging him/her to explain why s/he thinks the way s/he does. Yes~answer a question with another question.

Ready to Set Up A Home~Grown Science Lab ?

Your Primary  learner LOVES to investigate his/her Inquiries!

I’ve created 4 of them for you & yours, addressing several of the objectives found in the Physical, Earth, Life & Ecology Sciences. Each contain several investigations with sequential activities for observations, predictions, explorations, experiments & discoveries appropriate for children, ages 5-8.  You can visit these “Labs” in BLB’s Shop by clicking on the links below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-physical-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-earth-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-life-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-eco-science-lab/

Whew!!!! Have FUN!!!

But wait…..there’s more!

Your First grader will, also, be learning about the diverse cultures & countries of the world. Using the Inquiry approach to these studies is a great interactive way to engage her/his learning.

Navigating the World Through Investigations

World Traveler-TeddyKelley
World Traveler – TeddyKelley

I found Social Studies & Geography an easy way to integrate reading & writing. Not only are they inter-related, they are incredibly relevant & engaging for most children. Who doesn’t want to explore his/her home country, ancestral roots, holiday traditions, and, then, navigate the way there?!

Here’s a general, sequential inquiry map several fellow teachers & I used in our classrooms before the curriculum timeline rules changed. It’s a thematic approach that blended & covered all required objectives, including some  Math, Health & Science expectations. We began at the beginning~the Home.

Family & Home

  • Where do you live: apartment, house, duplex, trailer, shelter?
  • Can you draw a map of the inside of your home?
  • Who is part of your family at home?
  • What are the needs of most families?
  • How do families meet those needs?
  • Are chores & shared responsibilities part of your family?

Neighborhood

  • What other buildings are in your neighborhood?
  • How is an apartment complex like a neighborhood?
  • Do your friends and/or relatives live nearby?
  • Is there a park or playscape in your neighborhood?
  • Are these other places in your neighborhood: school, gas station, restaurants, markets?
  • Can you draw a map of your neighborhood, using a few symbols & a compass rose for directions?

The Communities in A Town or City

Community

  • What is a community?
  • How are neighborhoods & communities the same? Different?
  • Do you know where these buildings are in your community: retail shops, restaurants, fire & police stations, schools, churches, hospitals, clinics/offices, athletic fields, cinemas?
  • Who are the community helpers in these places?
  • How do you know ( uniforms, special jobs)?
  • When do you need these community helpers?
  • How do some of them keep communities safe?
  • What are “goods” and “services”?
  • Which community helpers provide services? Goods?

City/Town

  • What is the difference between a town & a city?
  • Do you know how many people live in our town/city?
  • How many of these places have you visited: concert hall, opera house, theater, museum, historical sites, sports arena, transportation hubs ~ bus terminal, train station, airport?
  • How did you travel to those places?
  • Where can you find a major waterway in our town/city? What is its name?
  • Have you ever traveled to a different town or city?
  • Was it in our state or a different state?
  • Can you locate our town/city on this map?

Widening the Scope

A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils. ~ Ever Garrison

State

  • What is the name of the state we live in?
  • Is a state larger or smaller than a city?
  • Are there only towns & cities in our state?
  • Do you know the names of some other towns or cities in our state?
  • Do you know the names of any other states?
  • Have you ever traveled to any other state?
  • What did you see/do there?
  • Where is it on this map?
  • How did you travel there?
  • Can you locate our state on this map?
  • What are those other names a part of on the map?
  • What is famous about our state?

Country

  • These states are all part of a what?
  • What is a country?
  • Do you know the names of any other countries?
  • What is the name of our country?
  • Why is our country called “The United States of America”?

Click on the link below to download, copy & print a PFD I created for celebrating USA Symbols, Citizenship & National Holidays:

USA Mini Lessons

To Global Awareness

Continent

  • What do you see on this globe?
  • How are the lands separated from each other?
  • What is a continent?
  • Can you find the country of the United States?
  • What is the name of its continent?
  • What large bodies of water border the United States?
  • Where are the other continents?
  • How many do you think there are?

World

  • Can you think of other languages & customs?
  • Have you seen people who dress differently than you & your family?
  • Have ever eaten food from another country (Mexican, German, Chinese, Indian)?
  • Why do you think people from all over the world come to the USA?
  • Do you know what a folk tale is?
  • How do different cultures celebrate holidays?
  • Can you tell where this (these) piece (s) of art were created?
  • Where do you think this music was created?
  • Have you ever seen this kind of dancing?

YES! All this and MORE in a year of First Grade!!!!!

OMG!!! What Can I Do to Help Me Help My Child!?

In A Garden of Resources-JoelFotos
In A Garden of Resources – JoelFotos

First of all, if you are receiving a weekly newsletter from your child’s teacher, you will know what is being taught & how long it will be taught.

Ask the teacher and/or media center facilitator for content recommendations.

Your local library can help you locate books, CDs & DVDs to add to the lessons.

Visit science & history museums, planetariums, aquariums & botanical gardens, especially ones with guides,  kid-friendly exhibits & hands-on explorations.

You can, also, visit BLB’s Resource Library for a list of authors, books & websites to add to your collections. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/inquiry-investigations-authors-books-websites/

There is another, more in-depth way to encourage your child’s Inquiry Skills. It’s a technique called UbD.

Big Ideas & Essential Questions

An idea is “big” if it helps us make sense of lots of confusing experience and seemingly isolated facts. It’s like the picture that connects the dots or a simple rule of thumb in a complex field. ~ Grant Wiggins

Another Question-Elijah'sSong
Another Question-Elijah’sSong

Your child’s classroom teacher may, also, (or maybe not) be using a learning technique called UbD~Understanding by Design ~ especially during science, geography & social studies units, which are, then,  coordinated thematically with fiction & nonfiction reads. Projects & knowledge are student-driven through exploration & discovery guided by questions the students have formed regarding the subject.

The “Essential Questions” will usually help define the “Big Idea”, which is usually a general, or abstract statement.

When forming the Questions, keep these insights in mind:

  • They have no right or wrong answers
  • They promote inquiry to help learn the Big Idea.
  • They encourage critical thinking, curiosity & real life problem solving.

Basically~ What do you see? What do you think about what you see? What do you wonder about when you see it? How & where can you find out more?

 Need more info and tips on how to provide your child with  inquiry-based explorations? George Lucas Educational Foundation’s Edutopia is a great site to visit. Just click on the link below:

https://www.edutopia.org/article/inquiry-based-learning-resources-downloads

 

Your First grader’s wonder is nutrition for his/her brain. encourage, promote & nurture those curious questions with exploratory & discovery investigations.

  Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Reading Skills

 Greetings! You have arrived at Part Four of The FLC  First Grader’s Series: Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Reading Skills

Depending on the expectations of your First Grader’s campus, s/he may or may not be reading grade level text.

Most public school systems want their Kindergartners reading at a certain level before going into First Grade. Some private schools feel the same way.

Other  schools offer a different approach entirely when preparing a child to read. There are MANY different methods you can try, especially if your child is a reluctant reader.

Reading Rockets cited Understood.org’s article, which  listed 11 Methods for teaching reading, especially if your child is struggling with this all-important skill. You can check them out by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.readingrockets.org/article/11-methods-teaching-reading-help-struggling-readers

As a trained Special Education teacher, I used a variety of methods, even when I was teaching in the Gen Ed classroom.

PART FOUR: Enriching Your First Grader’s Reading Skills

So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well:They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky. ~ William James

I was, and am, a book eater, I mean reader. I have been devouring books since I was 5 or 6 years old. Not that I didn’t enjoy other recreations as most children do, but reading is a Passion for me. It is one I love to share, especially with children. Teaching a child how to read is one of the most exhilarating things in the world that I can share…..

And like Mr. James says, it’s not just about the actual reading & understanding of the letters, words, sentences, paragraphs & pages. It’s more about the participation in and the inspiration of thoughts, imaginations, inventions, and, yes, “worlds”. 

As a child, and now, as an adult, my inquiring nose can usually be found in one of many genres of books.

How I Learned to Read

The other day I read an interesting & nostalgic memory shared by Theresa, a teacher & fellow-lover of reading. She has a site called Theresa’s Teaching Tidbits. While introducing her great nephew’s reading progressions, she, also, offered her ” Becoming A Reader” experiences as a child. Here’s the link to her post:

https://theresasteachingtidbits.blogspot.com/2018/09/becoming-reader.html

It sparked some recollections in me as well. My parents were both avid readers. My mother, especially, loved reading to us ~ we, who could sit still long enough, loved it, too. She read patiently, deliberately, interactively, and always with lots of expression. Lots of books, both novels & informative as well as STACKS of comic books were always in our home. Saturday trips to the library (a favorite of mine) were a frequent part of our errands.

And let me be clear……this reader-nurturing environment does NOT guarantee you’ll raise a Book-Lover. Several of my siblings (and my child), bright as they are, had “better things to do than sit around and read a book!”

However, college & life influenced changes in that opinion…….

Reading at my school was taught with the Dick, Jane, Puff & Spot primers (yes, I’m that old) in small reading groups named Bluebirds, Red Robins, etc. ;  spelling lists with sentences & book reports~written with oral presentation (YIKES!).

My parents’ expectations & participation with teachers ensured all of their children were reading on or above grade level. No foolishness allowed!

Teaching methods have changes A LOT since then (more on that later), except, of course,  within the setting of your child’s First Classroom ~ at home.

My Child Can Read……When S/He HAS TO DO IT

I Can Read Anywhere! -Madalin Calita
I Can Read Anywhere! -Madalin Calita

Feel fortunate s/he can read. Promoting ENJOYMENT during the read, especially with a very, physically-active child & the instant gratification of tech EVERYWHERE can be a challenge….

To quote Dr. Frank Serafini, a professor of Literacy Education & Children’s Literature~

There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who haven’t found the right book.

In addition to reading with your child since in utero, having lots of different types of reading material (yes, magazines & comic books count) lying around, visiting the library, and reading yourself (WHEW!!), there are a few other things you can do (as if that’s not enough…). Dr. Tiffani Chen, the author of School Sense & creator of the site edboost.org has some other suggestions (with a few of my ideas thrown in). Just click on the PDF link below:

Encourage Reading for Pleasure

You know you can always ask your child’s classroom teacher and/or your school’s media specialist for some assistance as well.

well….I Don’t Always Understand What the Teacher’s Reading Terms Mean…

As teachers we get very comfortable with our “environmental language.” Met with the blanks stares of our students usually gives us the visual clues we need to re-state and/or define some of the vocabulary words we educators  use constantly all day long.

Do NOT hesitate to ask your child’s teacher to do the same for you. There are quite a few of them, like Fluency, Tracking, High Frequency Words, etc. So, instead of being shy and/or confused during a parent-teacher conference regarding his/he reading progress…..

I created a PDF list of the Literacy terms educators use to define reading elements with explanations for you, written in the sequence I use in my Reading Program. Click on the link below:

 Literacy Terms

Your First Grader has a long, on-going list of Reading Goals to achieve by the end of the year…….

TARGET: Your Child As An Independent Reader

I Am A Reader! Lutfi-Gaos
I Am A Reader! Lutfi-Gaos

If your child attends a  school, public or private,  that has adopted the Common Core, you’re probably familiar with the academic objectives & expectations his/her teacher uses to guide instruction.

Although your BIG First Grader continues to enjoy being read to, s/he is becoming more interested in the actual skill of how-to read. Soon, you will be read to by her/him!

His/her listening & speaking language skills are growing at an almost accelerated pace. S/he understands opposite concepts & how things are the same & different. S/he uses adjectives, adverbs &  prepositions when expressing thoughts. 

LinguiSystems, Inc. compiled a Communication Milestones Guide as a general growth & developmental reference for reading & writing during your child’s year in First Grade.

Beginning of First Grade

  • Identifies more & more sight words with accuracy
  • Begins to decode new words with more independence
  • Uses a variety of reading strategies to increase comprehension
  • Reads aloud & retells familiar stories easily

End of First Grade

  • Recognizes 100 sight words
  • Understands words make up sentences
  • Reads & comprehends grade level material fluently

Common Core basics for Reading is divided into 3 areas:

  • Understanding & locating Key Ideas & Details when reading grade level Literature (Fiction) & Informational Text (Nonfiction)
  • Identifying & explaining the content structure of Literature & Informational Text
  • Knowing & applying the reading skills of phonological awareness, phonics (spelling), word recognition & fluency

The National PTA has written a downloadable PDF Parents’ Guide to Student Success, which you can access by clicking on the link below:

https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/Parents-Guides-to-Student-Success

Keep reading for how~my~students~learn~to~read “skeleton” formula……

My “Skeleton” Reading Skills Formula Sequence

Reading a book is like looking through a window. ~ Zetta Hupf

Or  the “bare bones”……. in baseball lingo:

The Warm-Up/On Deck

  • Sight Words & Phrases
  • Fluency Phrases
  • Phonetic Structures

The Pitch/In the Box

  • Picture Walk
  • Silent Read with Vocabulary Search
  • Vocabulary Definitions

At Bat/The Swing

  • The Read
  • Fluency Check
  • Student Inquiry

In Scoring Position

  • Student Retell/Key Elements included?
  • Comprehension Q & A if any missed on the retell
  • Independent, Hands-on project

Sound like a lot???? Actually it depends on the levels of each reader. After assessment, I use the areas of strength to support & promote the areas that need more stability.

A Quick Beginning

I Know Some of These Words- PublicDomainPictures
I Know Some of These Words- PublicDomainPictures

Prepare your emergent reader’s  brain with his/her current, leveled Sight Word review. Whether you’re pointing to the word(s) or s/he is handing you known Sight Word cards, this “warm up” activity is a effective way to begin the Reading Circle.  Each word should be recognized in seconds without needing to be decoded. I use Dolch’s Sight Words & Phrases. This PDF link  includes Sentences as well.

 https://education.yourdictionary.com/for-teachers/dolch-sight-words-in-phrases.html

Liz, a teacher, parent & creator of the site “The Happy Teacher” shares lots of sight word games you can play with your child as a “practice” for these words. Here’s the link to these activities:

http://www.thehappyteacher.co/2017/09/sight-word-activities-for-parents.html

The next quick, beginning warm-up addresses 2 skills together: Fluency & High Frequency Words. Here’s a downloadable, copy & print PDF list: 

Kindergarten & First Grade HFW

The Curriculum Corner offers reading-leveled Fluency sentences  choices, using Fry’s 500 High Frequency Words list as a downloadable PDF. An assessment tracker is included. Here’s the link to this very helpful resource:

https://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcorner123/2015/09/fry-fluency-sentence-resources/

BLB Shop has a collection of High Frequency Word games. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/yes-i-am-reading-high-frequency-words-games/

What Is Fluency?

Fluency is the skill affected by the speed, accuracy & expression of your child’s oral reading. Here’s a downloadable PDF resource for A Parent Guide to Understanding FLUENCY as a Reading Skill:

 Parent Guide to Understanding FLUENCY

The accuracy of words being read is built on your child’s ability to use these  2 skills: decoding & context clues.

 What Are Decoding Skills & How Are They Used?

Your child’s Decoding Skills rely heavily on her/his Phonological Awareness Skills. How s/he tries to figure out a new, unknown word during reading depends on what s/he has mastered regarding the letters & their sounds.

Need to know what your child knows in the phonological realm?

An educational site, Heggerty, has created a group of serious, Phonemic Awareness Assessments, complete with how-to-administer instructions. It  has downloads for grade levels PreK and above. Just click on the link below to select a downloadable PDF:

 https://heggerty.org/downloads/

BLB Shop has several games & activities for strengthening your First Grader’s Phonological Awareness Skills.

  • Beginning & Ending Letter Sounds in Words:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/beginning-letter-word-sound-games/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/ending-letter-word-sound-games/

  • Word Families

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/i-am-jam-reading-word-families-games/

Becky, a parent, reading specialist & author of the Fabulous Reading Resource site: “This Reading Mama” shares a BUNCH of Phonological Awareness tools on the link: https://thisreadingmama.com/ultimate-list-free-phonics-activities/

Helloooooo…….Are We Reading A Story Yet?!?

Picture Walk-Samueles
Picture Walk-Samueles

I know this sounds like A LOT of prep before getting to the book, but all this groundwork is building confidence in your young reader.

Once you form a “getting ’round to reading” routine, this predictable~prep pattern will become a successful stepping stone your beginning reader expects. S/he, even, looks forward to its repetition & will remind you if you forget something.

Okay…….time for a Picture Walk. This is a confidence & comprehension builder. Your child will actually delight in his/her ability to predict & understand a new story just by carefully studying the pictures. Here’s downloadable PDF guide for Going on A Picture Walk with Your Child: A Pre-Reading Tool :

 Going on A Picture Walk

Onto understanding & defining the Vocabulary element……

Solving the Mystery of Those New Vocabulary Words

A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket. ~ Chinese Proverb

Many new vocabulary words can be understood using context clues, that is, reading the understood words before & after the unknown word to solve its meaning.

I have found that after the Picture Walk, some readers enjoy reading silently to see if the predictions they made are true.

As another pre-reading strategy for understanding, I make a list of vocabulary words I think may be new & challenging. Of course, a new word in isolation can be difficult to define, but you’d be surprised to learn what your First Grader knows.

A vocabulary word can be heard & correctly understood, spoken with accuracy, and, even, read exactly. Applying, or using the word during  writing or as an answer to comprehension questions is another skill altogether.

Organizing words into groups can be an effective way to understand vocabulary words. BLB Shop has a game for learning this Critical Thinking skill. Check it out by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

I, also, created a downloadable PDF Parent Guide for helping your beginning reader learn & use New Vocabulary Words:

Solving the New Vocabulary Words Mystery

Need some other ideas for keeping those big, new words in your child’s usable vocabulary? Lisa Van Gemert, teacher & author of the site, “Gifted Guru” has some fun ideas.

http://www.giftedguru.com/21_ideas_for_teaching_vocabulary/

THE READ

Time To Read- Public Domain
Time To Read- Public Domain

Now for the FUN part!!!!!

Reading a new story is a very exciting activity. Using picture clues & context clues gives your beginning reader the tools s/he need to recognize words accurately, fluently & with understanding.

Decoding Skills play a huge part in the flow and comprehension of the text. Like a mystery, a new, unknown word can be daunting (YIKES!) or challenging (WAIT~I GOT THIS!). There are several ways your young (and older) reader can “attack” and succeed.

And, YES, I created a downloadable PDF Parent Guide for Helping Your Child Use Decoding Skills:

Cracking the Code of Decoding Skills

Does your child want to reread the story? How about taking turns, page by page? This activity will reinforce the understanding of the text as well as give you the opportunity to model fluency & expression.

Was S/he Thinking About What S/he Was Reading?

Understanding the question is half the answer. ~ Socrates

WOW! What a beautiful read!

Most emergent readers take great pride in the ability to “read” & decode all the words in a story. However……

Some readers struggle with Thinking While Reading….

Is your child asking questions before, during & after reading the story? If so, YAY! That means s/he is Thinking While Reading.

If s/he has been thinking & understanding what s/he is reading, his/her  re-tell of the story should be fairly accurate.

Re-telling the story in a sequence might be a little difficult, so, listen, first. Jumping into the plot, or actions of the story may be where s/he begins.

You can use prompting questions, such as: What happened at the beginning of the story? Then, what happened? Why did that happen? and so on.

Need a little guidance? Here’s a downloadable PDF you can use to help your child  understand what s/he is reading:

Tell Me A Story Abt the Story Read

Here are some great Post-Reading ideas shared by Alison, a literacy specialist, consultant & author of the website: “Learning at the Primary Pond.”

https://learningattheprimarypond.com/blog/12-post-reading-activity-ideas-for-shared-reading-k-2/

AND…….. here are 50  book-reads for First Graders recommended by Lindsay Barrett on the site, “We Are Teachers”:

https://www.weareteachers.com/first-grade-books/

My Child…….Almost…..HATES to Read….

You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book. ~ Dr. Seuss

There are MANY reasons your child, or anybody, is reluctant to read, even, though you’ve been reading to him/her since s/he was born and s/he likes listening to you read….

Does s/he:

  • Start misbehaving when it is her/his turn to read ?
  • Say reading gives him/her a headache or makes her/his eyes hurt ?
  • Think  reading and/or its assignment is stupid ?
  • Say reading is boring ?
  • Get confused and/or lost during his/her reading ?
  • Say s/he doesn’t understand the content being read ?

Here’s a Help! My Child HATES to Read downloadable PDF list of tips & ideas for you to try with your Reluctant Reader:

Help! My Child Hates to Read

BLB’s Library has a Resource that might help you navigate your Non-Reader into the Reading World:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/guide-nonreader-readers-world/

Sometimes, it’s the book, NOT the reader.

I Want to Read THIS Book to You !

You'll Like This Book !-Tim & Annette
You’ll Like This Book !-Tim & Annette

Most children, Reluctant Readers included, LOVE to read a book to another, usually younger, child.

Offering a variety of choices within a genre can spark your Reluctant Reader’s interest. Check out these options from BLB’s Resource Library:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/creative-arts-book-list/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/read-aloud-chapter-books/

Repetitive pattern books with predictable text can coax the most reluctant reader into reading. Here’s a list from BLB’s Resource Library:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/repetitive-predictable-pattern-books-for-emergent-readers/

Here are another Predictable Book List: 

http://marcialmiller.com/wordpress/2010/12/predictable-books-for-emergent-readers/

AND, if you & your child prefer a more DIY approach to books, I created a downloadable PDF with Sentence stems to get you started:

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts

 

If you’ve read to the end of this post ~ Thank You! I hope you found some information that was helpful. Your First Grader deserves every opportunity to continue his/her education in the excited way s/he has approached learning this year. Reading is a MAJOR key to his/her success ! Let me know if I can help!

  Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

 

Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Writing Skills

And NOW….The Final Post in FLC’s  5~Part First Grader’s Series….

Enriching the FLC with your First Grader’s Writing Skills has its challenges and rewards…..

Wish you (or someone) could record all those wonderful new ideas & vocabulary words your incredibly bright First Grader is sharing?

Writing them down would take more than a considerable amount of time…

However, encouraging the source of all that growth to write down all those ideas & words shouldn’t be too difficult…Should it ?!?!?

Part FIVE: The Hard-Won Skill of Writing

Teach children what to think and you limit their ideas. Teach children how to think and their ideas are unlimited. ~ Sandra Parks

What favorite story, or stories do you tirelessly read again & again?

Which author do you trust to transform dull, dry facts into fascinating information?

What cookbook(s) and/or manual(s) do you refer to constantly with easy-to-follow directions that always bring great results?

Do you have a favorite editor and/or critic whose opinion you value, even when you don’t share the same view(s) about certain topics ?

You are one of the reasons why writers write !

Not only do writers love to write (on most days), they, also, write to share ideas, important events & teach. They want to share & communicate their  experiences, feelings & information. They love to ask questions & solve mysteries or problems.

As a writer, you tell your story as only you can. Whether reflecting, explaining, judging, exploring, learning, interpreting, problem solving, and/or taking a stand, your words are your words are your words…

As a parent & writer,  encourage your young scribe to see & use the power of Written Expression for his/her self and/or to share with others. How  ~ by modeling with everyday examples.

Soooo…Are You A Writer ?

Does your child see you write ?

Everyday Writing
Everyday Writing

Not only do you show your child how writing helps with daily life, it, also, helps to have a variety of the printed words scattered throughout the home: magazines, cookbooks, manuals, newspapers, cartoons, advertisement slicks, comics, posters, dictionaries, and. of course, many different kinds of books.

Is your child writing everyday ? I’m sure s/he is trying to read EVERYTHING in sight….oh yeah….

Yes, Your Child Needs to Write Everyday

Some time during the day , engage your child is some type of writing activity. It can be a Free Write about anything s/he is interested in exploring, feeling good or bad about,  and/or asking for more information.

Practice, practice, practice ~ and remember to encourage your writer to slow down, otherwise….

Try to make it a “routine” event. You may want to collect these writings into a box and/or scrapbook :

  • Give him/her a personal calendar to record special dates, like holidays, celebrations, birthdays, vacations, play-dates, field trips, memories, etc.
  • Have her/him write Thank-You cards , notes & letters.

BLB Shop has a Writing Literacy Tool~Lists, Labels & Love Notes– to help engage your young writer. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/kindergarten-writing-tools/

  • Make sure s/he has a “Storybook” spiral for writing those creative tales with different, colorful writing tools.
  • Add another “Info & Data Collection” notebook with Topic Tabs for research finds & new information. 

Here are some other suggestions from a First Grade Teacher @ primaryjunction.net:

  • Create a Family newspaper to record weekly activities, articles & upcoming events. You may want to include a comic strip, an advice column with  some want ads & an advertisement or two.
  • Enlist your child to help write shopping & to-do lists.
  • Play word games like Wheel of Fortune & Hangman while waiting in an office.
  • Make sure to Publish, Display & Share completed stories, posters, reports, etc.

One of the BEST ways I discovered to engage children in writing is with an Interactive Journal. Prepare yourself for some “eye-openers !”

Your Child’s Favorite Writing Activity

The Interactive Journal-Hires
The Interactive Journal-Hires

Whether you and/or some other family member participates in this very effective writing activity, the results will prove to be insightful, entertaining &, at times, hilarious.

A simple lined or unlined journal provides numerous opportunities for you & your budding author to share feelings, information, reflections, memories, problems and interactive solutions to life’s daily moments.

Usually written before “lights out”, your child will not only tell you about his/her thoughts, but also, ask you some interesting questions. You, then, answer the question(s) while s/he sleeps, respond with some comments & ask some questions of your own ~ which may, or may not, be answered.

This form of writing is a powerful communication tool and will, definitely engage your young writer. Include drawings with a variety of text lettering & messaging for emphasis & amusement.

Random ramblings are especially welcome. Here are a few ideas. Just click on this PDF link: INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

You’ll be keeping these “talks”~

So, What Are the Writing Expectations for My First Grader ?

At the beginning of First Grade, your Summer-of-Growth Kindergartner can decide (without your prompting) when to read & when to write (even though they occur simultaneously)…

S/he is able to sound out the “big” sounds & write them down when trying to spell words while writing thoughts.

S/he is even trying to use capital letters & punctuation ~ amazing, huh?!?

At the end of First Grade, s/he is probably printing very legibly when expressing thoughts in stories, journals & notes.

S/he will frequently spell familiar words correctly AND begin sentences with capital letters as well as end those sentences with a punctuation mark (most of the time….when s/he remembers to do so…).

How did this happen, you may ask….

Your First grader is writing in the classroom ALL DAY LONG ~ in all subject areas ~ math, science, social studies, health. S/he writes during trips to the Media Center, Art, Music & occasionally  in P.E.

Here’s a wonderful example of a classroom Writing Workshop, posted by Chandra, a primary teacher & parent, on her website teachingwithcrayonsandcurls:

http://www.teachingwithcrayonsandcurls.com/2017/09/launching-writers-workshop-in-primary.html

AND, if your school district follows the Common Core, here are the Writing & Language expectations for your First Grader. Keep in mind, some of these objectives began in Kindergarten & will continue in the years to come.

The Common Core’s Writing Expectations

Writing in School-Sobima
Writing in School-Sobima

Language & Writing, as well as Reading, are heavily linked together within the Common Core’s Expectations & Objectives for First Graders.

“With the guidance & support from adults” s/he will be writing & editing opinion pieces, informative, or explanatory text and sequenced narratives, or stories.

Each form of writing has a specific process for your young writer to follow. S/he is expected to include reasons to support opinions, facts to support informational topics, and sequential details to support stories.

During the writing & editing process, s/he needs to “demonstrate command” of “standard English grammar”. Some of these include:

  • printing all upper & lowercase letters with accuracy
  • using common, proper & possessive nouns
  • using singular & plural nouns with verb agreement
  • using pronouns
  • using past, present & future verbs with accuracy

S/he, also, is expected to “demonstrate command” of “standard English capitalization, punctuation & spelling” (at grade level).

Here’s a Parent-friendly version of  the Common Core’s ELA guidelines for First Grade. Just  click on the link below:

 https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/Parents-Guides-to-Student-Success

You can help your First Grader’s growth & development with some of these specific Writing Literacy Skills at home.

How Do I Build Some of These Skills at Home ?

These are some of the Writing Skills you can help your child master at home:

  • You child should be able to read his/her own writing ~ need some handwriting practice sheets? AtoZ is a great website to explore for teacher tools. You can custom-make sheets to match your child’s handwriting needs while writing spelling words & sentences. Just click on the link below:

http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/printable-handwriting-practice-worksheet-maker/

  • S/he should be writing & editing lists, letters & stories, using complete sentences. Here a short PDF Writing Checklist link: 

My Checklist for Perfect Writing

  • S/he should be spelling sight words & spelling list words with accuracy. BLB Shop has a Literacy Tool to help your child learn how to spell those words. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/reading-writing-word-families-high-frequency-words-learning-tool/

I created a PDF with Spelling Activity ideas, including several I used with my K~3 students as part of their Weekly Spelling Homework:

Spelling Activity Ideas

Hope these ideas help, especially with the FOUR FORMS OF WRITING!!!! Not talking about Lists, Labels, Letters & Love Notes…..

Those 4 Forms of Writing

Write! Read! Write! - Klimkin
Write! Read! Write! – Klimkin

Regardless of which Form your child is writing, each one should start with a Main Idea, or Topic sentence & end with a Conclusion sentence.

Each Form of writing  should have a beginning, middle  &   an ending.

Informative writing should include 3-5 facts about the Topic. Narrative writing should include at least 3 interesting events within the story. Opinion writing should have 3 or more reasons to support the opinion. How-To writing needs an order of specific steps for someone to follow.

BLB Shop has an easy-to-use, step-by-step  Primary Writing Toolkit to help you help your child with these specific Forms of writing. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/primary-grade-levels-writing-toolkit/

Reading to Writing to Reading

If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then, you must write it. ~ Toni Morrison

Sometimes writing or thinking about what to write can be frustrating. Talk about a blank slate……

So, sometimes repeating, repeating & yes, more repeating can shake up those creative juices. BLB’s Library has a Resource for getting those juices flowing, using repetitive books:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/repetitive-predictable-pattern-books-for-emergent-readers/

Here’s a PDF with beginning sentence Repetitive Prompts & Book Title ideas:

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts.

And if you need more, complete with Book Templates, check out this product in BLB’s Shop:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/read-write-draw-books/

Is your youngster still struggling with her/his Writing Skills? Read on….

YIKES! My Bright Child Hates to Write!!!!!

There are several reasons why your young creative child may be reluctant to write. Hand strength, or the lack of it, could be the cause. Tuning up those Fine Motor Skills can help. Try weaving baskets, forming pottery, working wood, playing a musical instrument, building models, and creating jewelry  . BLB Library has a Resource listing several websites with LOTS of other ideas:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/fine-motor-skills-resource-sitesteaching-activities-exercises-for-ages-4-6/

Don’t push too hard…read some books together about writing. BLB Library has a Resource for that, too:   

Reading About Writing: 15 Books to encourage Your Young Author’s Writing Skills

Talk about ideas together. Wordless books with their incredible drawings can inspire stories created for a potential writer. Here’s a list of some beauties: 

  More Wonderful Wordless Picture Books for Readers, Ages 5~8

    A Simple Motivator: Writing in Drawings

Drawing to Write- Cienpies Design
Drawing to Write- Cienpies Design

Most of my beginning writers couldn’t wait to get their words inside the picture. Here’s a PDF I created just for this concept:

Seasonal Story Starters

And once you feel your young author has sharpened her/his pencils, but needs to SEE images before writing about them, BLB Shop has a great Story Starter Tool for doing just that. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/primary-story-sequence-starters-pics-sight-words-helpers/

 

Can you tell I like to write ?!?!? I hope you have found some useful information regarding this extremely important Literacy Skill. Yes, it is complex and, sometimes, frustrating ~ even for those of us who love to write. But it a VERY necessary component of  life!

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

Upgrading the Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

In Second Grade ALREADY!!!!! Prepare for Academic Acceleration in Learning & Language Literacy Skills. Listening & Speaking Vocabulary become increasingly…complex. Reading & Writing expectations approach independence. And the ongoing Research Projects….

Yes, there’s a TON of Academic Acceleration happening during your 7 year-old’s Second Grade year! And, yours truly is here to try & offer some helpful strategies & tips for “dealing” with this “BLOW OUT” year, which, BTW, will set the tone for next year’s “I Totally Got This !” Third Grade year….

So, Faithful Reader, I’m, again, writing a 5 ~ part Series. This time for Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grade: Language Skills, Celebrations (Part 2), Research Skills (Part 3), and the ever-ongoing Literacy Skills of Reading (Part 4) & Writing (Part 5).

This is Part One :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

  Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~ Walt Streighttiff

Notice anything different about the way your 7 year-old looks? Some of that “baby-ness” may be slowly melting away as his/her motor skills continue to mature. S/he may even grow a few inches taller. Ready to take the training wheels off that two-wheeler?

Not only is his/her curiosity continuing to increase, the abilities to investigate & analyze the mysteries of the world are growing as well.

Those limitless questions are part of the excitement s/he is feeling about the exploration and discoveries of new environments  as well as all those social situations. (OMG ~ did s/he just ask me THAT question?!?)

S/he is beginning to prefer playing with friends instead of adults, although family outings are still very enjoyable.

Once answered, s/he is eager to share the new knowledge s/he has learned with others, making your child a perfect candidate as a Peer-Mediator for a school-wide program called “PMII”, or Peer-Mediated Instruction & Intervention.

Yes, I’ve Heard About That Program

As a Peer-Instructor, s/he may act as an assistant during classroom instruction, cooperative learning, and/or peer-tutoring.

S/he may, also, be asked to help as a peer-supporter with social skills connections, such as easing reluctant students into group-share situations (cafeteria, recess, activities).

One of the most successful roles s/he will participate in is as a peer-interventionist during conflict resolution scenarios. As an educator of the young, I can tell you these youngsters work wonders with their peers as situational problem solvers without the company of an adult or teacher. Here’s a sample of an effective dialogue a Peer Mediator  may use. This PDF includes strategies with  options as well as typical student conflicts.

http://www.uft.org/files/attachments/peer-mediation.pdf

However,  because your Second Grader is beginning to show concerns about what others (especially peers) think of him/her~ growing self-criticism & some confidence-shrinking may become an issue occasionally.  And  then, there’s the Worry-Wartness symptoms….

What’s to Worry About?

That malady called “Peer Pressure” is beginning to take hold now.  Longing to be part of a group, your 7 year-old does not appreciate having attention called to his/her actions and/or accomplishments…. unlike the last few years…..oh dear…

Your child may worry about things that never seemed bothersome in the past, like clothes (“Too babyish!”), homework (“I’ll NEVER get all this done !”), physical irritations (“I think I have a deadly disease!”), bedtime (“I know there’s something hiding in my closet…”).

According to Hank Pellissier, founder & director of the Brighter Brains Institute, many Second Graders ” HATE making mistakes, not finishing tasks, and losing at anything. They have to be first, correct, punctual, best & perfect.” Sound familiar???

He further states that all this particular area of angst is part of your child’s brain growth. Understanding concepts like time, space, direction, distance & time are influencing the expectations s/he has on the completion of activities.

You Can Learn from Your Mistakes

You must never feel badly about making mistakes…as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons that you do by being right for the wrong reasons. ~The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I came across this great piece of helpful information when trying to boost a child’s confidence, especially when s/he is feeling insecure during the learning process. It is an anchor chart,  Jen of Runde’s Room discovered created by a group of elementary school teachers. I did some editing, so please feel to use it with your little WorryWart:

So, of course,  a safe, reliable, predictable & reassuring environment is necessary for maximum learning to occur. Keep those routines in place!

Your Child’s Classroom Learning Environment

I Love Learning!-DavidSluka
I Love Learning!-DavidSluka

Although having high expectations for your child may seem a bit harsh, they are, in fact, a match for those s/he and her/his classroom teacher has already put into play. Your Second Grader loves a good challenge ~ even thrives on it ~ as long as the limits are not too stressful. Rigor is a part of the curriculum.

The Second Grade classroom is filled with SEVERAL libraries: fiction readers ~ Picture & beginning Chapter trade  books;  nonfiction readers ~ earth, physical, ecology & life science concepts; social studies concepts ~  world culture, community helpers, economics, historical biographies, & atlases;  math concepts ~ measurement, computation, fractions, money, geometry. There are bins of manipulatives, tools, instruments, notebooks, writing supplies, art supplies, etc. Center nooks are usually in place : reading, writing, science, math, social studies, a large, interactive calendar, maps, and, maybe even, a globe.

Your Child’s Home Learning Environment

Your Home Learning Environment probably shares many of the same elements. My Resource Library has some information for you regarding Your Educational Home Environment. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

And a PDF Materials list for you to download, copy & print:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

And, then, there’s your Brain’s favorite Learning environment ~ the Great Outdoors! Nothing like fresh oxygen!

Your Seven Year-Old’s Brain

Call for brain power. ~Barbara Jordan

Outdoor play is critical to all children’s growth & development. They need to walk, run, jump, twist, turn, spin & play. Not only are 7 year-olds ready for free physical play, they are, also, ready get those training wheels off their speed racers, skateboard (YIKES) and participate in organized sports as well as back yard games. You remember these, right?!

  • Hide ‘n Seek
  • Hopscotch
  • Jump-rope
  • Jacks
  • Marbles
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Mother/Father/Granny/Granpa/Auntie/Uncle, May I ?
  • Simon Says
  • Multiple Tag Games
  • Freeze Dance
Outdoors & the Brain-Schmid-Reportagen
Outdoors & the Brain-Schmid-Reportagen

In a recent article “Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature”, written by Danielle Cohen & published on the Child Mind Institute website, research supports what we  humans, have known all along. 

As educators, we all agree indoor recess is just not the same as being outside on the playground. Being outdoors is beneficial, not only to your physical health, but also, to  your mental wellness.

“Most of the studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less  anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.”

Here are links to the complete article with an additional link for Ideas:

https://childmind.org/article/why-kids-need-to-spend-time-in-nature/

https://childmind.org/article/ideas-for-getting-your-kids-into-nature/

Lots of research, also, suggests students who engage in physical, outdoor play are able to learn more easily in academic environments. Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist & author of the book, Spark : The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain states exercise elevates a brain-building chemical he calls “Miracle-Gro for the Brain” because it encourages its growth & development.

Here’s another interesting article regarding Green Spaces & the Brain : https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/research-finds-surprising-thing-that-can-boost-your-childs-brain-development/

And there are lots of indoor Brain exercises you can do.

Inside the Brain Activities

Second Grade requires students to participate in a more rigorous learning environment. Their Critical Thinking skills are engaging them in more complex reading, longer writing compositions, and greater problem solving concepts.

Ready!-AlainAudet
Ready!-AlainAudet

Because they are improving their brains’ processing skills, creating & presenting research projects become a significant part of their everyday classroom  expectations. Technology will be used for these investigations, but…..go easy on Screen Time….it’s a Brain ~ Eater, but more on that in Part 2…..

Memory & rational brain areas are growing, giving them more impulse control, independence & planning power. Three-step directions should be easier for your child to follow ~ clothes in the hamper, bath with soap, pajamas on. Oh, and brush teeth & hair….guess that’s more than 3….

Need some support ? Gotta a Resource in the  Library for you: :https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/meeting-following-directions-challenge/

I, also, have the Resource “Your Child Is A Brainiac” available for you :

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

And a few Critical Thinking List PDFs for you to download, copy, print & use for ideas :

A Short List of CT Questions   &   Questions for Brain Food Menu

And, speaking of Brain Food…..

Yes, There ARE Brain ~ Healthy Foods

Numerous brain scientists & nutritionists agree ~ there  are certain foods, when part of our daily diet, actually help brains grow, develop & function more effectively. I created a little PDF reminder you can put on the fridge next to your grocery shopping list. It’s a broad, general list, so Go Julia (Child) !   Brain Foods Poster

Many lists I read, listed Oatmeal, Blueberries & Eggs as the top 3 foods, especially for children. Hmmm…sounds like Breakfast & Cookies……  And because I LOVE to cook, especially with children, I  adapted a few recipes using these ingredients for you to make and eat with your child (ren). They’re in a PDF, recipe card format with front & back covers, so you can download, copy, print & cut apart to include as a section in your kitchen recipe box or notebook :

Brain Food Recipes

This GREAT website is packed with loads of links, activities & recipes to include in your family’s health & wellness regimen:

 https://www.rd.com/advice/parenting/brain-games-for-kids/

Plus a few more:

https://www.myrecipes.com/kids/back-to-school-brain-food

https://www.delish.com/cooking/g4136/healthy-foods-for-kids

https://www.parents.com/recipes/scoop-on-food/4-brain-foods-for-kids

The Brain continues to influence the healthy development of your child’s Language skills ~ yes….finally…for the Language part of this post. It is in the title, after all…..

Your 7 ~ Year ~ Old’s Literacy Language Skills

 Remember the Receptive & Expressive ~ Listening & Speaking ~ components of your child’s ever-growing  Language Skills? Well, talk about Academic Acceleration….

Your Second Grader’s curriculum content, trade books, grade-level readers AND critical thinking vocabulary expectations are escalating to new heights….

Conversations-JosephGonzalez
Conversations-JosephGonzalez

If your child’s school district follows the Common Core, here are a FEW of the Listening & Speaking objectives being taught in the Second Grade classroom:

  • actively participate in collaborative discussions about grade-level content with peers as well as adults in small/large group settings
  • use complete sentences to ask or answer questions, tell a story with details, recall & describe an experience, verbalize comprehension of learned content/concepts with key ideas
  • orally present & explain research projects to include details

Speaking of Concepts…. Does your 7 year-old understand:

  • Opposites
  • Left/right
  • Ordinals ~ first, second…
  • Differences & Similarities
  • Comparatives ~ small, smaller, smallest
  • Time ~ yesterday, tomorrow, last week, etc.

And how’s his/her grammar ?

Got Grammar!?!

Then, there are a bunch of the “Conventions of Standard English” to be used when writing and/or speaking. Some of these, I’ll call them Grammar, include:

  • Pronouns
  • Plurals ~ regular & irregular
  • Collective Nouns
  • Possessives
  • Past Tense verbs ~ regular & irregular
  • Adjectives & Adverbs

I created a few PDF Grammar activities for you to download, copy, print & play with your Second Grader:

One Frog Hops      &      Collective Nouns

My BLB Shop has a game to help your child learn how to Categorize Nouns, which is, also, a Critical Thinking skill. Just click on the link below for access:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

Then…………there is, also, the Vocabulary Acquisition & Use components….for Understanding & Using when Speaking, Listening, Reading AND Writing….. uh huh….

MY, What a BIG Vocabulary You Have…..

Among the expectations in THIS category…..

  • root words /prefixes / suffixes
  • compound words
  • synonyms
  • critical thinking words
  • high-level, academic words
  • difficult common content vocabulary
  • beginning dictionary & glossary skills

My Calendar Corner collection in BLB Shop can help your Second Grader master some of these Vocabulary concepts in a fun, engaging way:

  https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/my-calendar-corner-daily-prek-thru-3rd-grade-literacy-activities/

I, also, created a specific product for learning those BIG High-Level & Common Content Vocabulary Words :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

The website, studenttreasures.com, published an article ~ “Effective Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary to Second Graders” with these ideas:

  • Engage in oral & hands-on Wordplay
  • Use visual elements, like a Word Wall, Word Collages
  • Locate vocabulary during read-alouds

OMG!!!! Now you see why I had to divide this content into a 5 ~ part series…..

Just one more thing….I promise….

SOOOOO, By the End of Second Grade….

Your child, approaching or celebrating 8 years-old, will probably:

I Got This !-Nappy936120
I Got This !-Nappy
  • Continue to improve his/her reasoning, processing & focusing skills
  • See connections between concepts for compare & contrast purposes
  • Experience a MAJOR vocabulary expansion
  • Increase her/his reading fluency, decoding & comprehension skills
  • Utilize dictionary skills to locate irregularly spelled words, harder words, definitions & synonyms
  • Improve his/her editing & revising skills during the writing process

Onto Celebrations !!!

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Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Reading Skills

Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

You may have noticed a BIG difference in your soon-to-become-a-Second-Grader’s speaking, listening & reading skills over the summer.

Not only is s/he listening for the meaning of discussions & conversations, s/he is, also, participating with his/her ideas clearly expressed in complete sentences AND is following multi-step directions with accuracy.

These are some of the “perks” her/his progress with reading comprehension skills : Main Ideas, Details, Sequence.

S/he is very excited about his/her ability to read some text independently.

And, although, s/he wants to transition from an Emergent/Beginning Reader into an Independent Reader, s/he still LOVES your time together reading together, especially those wonderful Chapter Books.

This is Part Four :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Reading Skills

Your Second Grade Reader

The more that you read, the more you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go. ~ Dr. Seuss

Here’s a brief checklist of other Reading Skills your child is preparing to use in Second Grade. S/he can:

  • Recognize & understand new words by using phonics & context clues
  • Use a basic sight & high frequency words vocabulary with accuracy
  • Speak the beginning, middle & end sounds within a word
  • Add, omit or change sounds in a word to make a different word
  • Read & make words in word families
  • Read some compound words & contractions
  • Understand & interpret  stories or short passages
  • Answer the 5 Ws & How questions accurately
  • Retell the Main Idea, Characters, Setting & the Sequence of Events with accuracy
  • Use a story’s elements to make a plausible prediction
  • Follow simple, written directions correctly

Your child will continue to develop and extend these skills during Second Grade as well as adding just a “few” more….

How’s your Literacy ~ Rich Home Environment coming along?

From Playroom to Study Nook

Is there a place in your home, near the “library ” bookcase for bean bags & large floor pillows?

If your child has a bookcase  in his/her nook, make sure to include other reading materials besides fiction & nonfiction books, like pamphlets, catalogs, comic books, magazines.

You may want to set up a special “display” area for current study materials as well as a calendar/schedule on a cork board.

Include infographics, labeled/captioned  posters, and/or maybe an “anchor chart” regarding specific skills ~ your child’s teacher may help with that resource.

Here’s an I AM A READER Poster you can make with your soon-to-be-an-Independent-Reader : I Am A Reader poster

Oh, and a dry erase board with multi-colored dry erase markers is a great tool for planning, vocabulary word of the day, graphic organizers, and, of course, a brain-break doodling session.

Need some other ideas?

Check out this Resources in BLB’s Library :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

And here’s A Materials & Activities List Freebie to download & print:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

Your Home is your child’s first classroom and can continue to provide an on-going Literacy Space. It will  encourage and build  her/his academic success with Reading accuracy as its foundation.

Second Grade’s Reading Expectations

Reading becomes more complex in its vocabulary within much longer content. The words have more syllables, common prefixes & suffixes, irregular spellings & complex phonetic rules. Synonyms, antonyms, compound words & adjectives are part of word definitions.

  The variety of fiction & nonfiction genres as well as poetry types expands into:

FICTION

  • Realistic
  • Historical
  • Fantasy
  • Science
  • Mystery
  • Traditional: Folklore, Fables, Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, Legends & Myths

NONFICTION

  • Autobiography
  • Biography
  • Informational

POETRY

  • Acrostics
  • Limericks
  • Haiku
  • Cinquains
  • Sensory & Shapes

Story Structure (beginning, middle & end) with  its Elements (Main Idea, Character, Setting, Problem/Solution, Lesson)  are explored in greater detail. Emphasis of comprehension can be done by comparing & contrasting similar stories, characters’ response, and   cultural definitions. Why the author wrote the story is, also, part of the comprehension discussion.

Nonfictional reading is used for Research Projects with attention given to text features such as labels, caption, diagrams, glossaries, indexes, etc. Click on my previous post for A LOT more info:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/second-grade-research-skills/

So ~ reading at grade-level includes word recognition accuracy at a steady pace with expression. Using Comprehension strategies to locate evidence and self-correction skills are benchmarks for your Second Grade reader.

Here’s a List of the Reading Literacy Terms such as Decoding  Skills & Fluency Rate,  your child’s teacher will be using during The Conference : Literacy Terms

Let’s Begin At The Beginning

Blast Off ! - RDBrittliff
Blast Off ! – RDBrittliff

You and your child have been “working” on Word Attack Skills since, really, s/he was in-utero. Letters, sounds & their combos are the building blocks of beginning to read ~ think the hearing & speaking skills of Phonological Awareness to Phonemic Awareness and, now, Phonics ~ the written version.

Second Grade currently introduces more of those Phonetic structures to increase your child’s ability to Decode all those BIG, unknown vocabulary words s/he is experiencing while reading more complex content. 

Along with blending 2 or more consonant sounds together at the beginning and/or ending of a word, here are some other graphemes (written letters) & phonemes (spoken sounds), your child will be learning this year:

  • Consonants Digraphs: ch, sh, th, wh, qu, ng
  • Hard & Soft c & g
  • Silent Consonants: wr, kn, lk, mb
  • Long Vowels: silent e &  teams
  • Vowel Patterns: igh, y 
  • Diphthongs: ou, ow, oo, aw, au, oi, oy
  • R-controlled Vowels
  • Inflectional Endings: s, es, ies, ves, ed, ing

BLB Shop has TONS of games for teaching some of these specific skills:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/consonant-blends-learn-beginning-ending-blends/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/one-sound-consonant-combos/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/variety-vowel-sounds/

Here’s a short Parent Guide with Verbal Prompts to use while listening to your child read until s/he needs to Decode: 

Cracking the Code of Decoding Skills

Malia Hollowell from Playdough to Plato created & shared several Reading Roadmap “Sheets” for meeting some of readers’ challenges. Among her suggestions are:

  • Does that sound in the word: Make sense, sound right, look right?
  • Skip the word & come back to it during the re-read
  • Stretch out the word slowly; then saying it again fast (kids love this one & it can be very effective)
  • Make a good guess

Decoding Skills go hand-in-hand with the speed & flow of your child’s reading.

The Ebb & Flow of Fluency

Fluency, or Fluent Reading is the ability to read without stopping to decode words. Decoding occurs in a quick, mental, self-check way.

Speed, Word Recognition Accuracy, Comma Pauses, End Punctuation Inflections, and Expression are all components of Reading Fluency.

Getting stuck can be disruptive to his/her thought process & comprehension, although, it doesn’t always affect understanding.

For example, a child may read the words accurately without stopping in an even pace, but NOT understand anything s/he read. Just as another child may read and decode more slowly, but understands exactly what s/he read.

Click here for a Parent Guide on Fluency :

Parent Guide to Understanding FLUENCY

Malia Holloway ( The Reading Roadmap) and Emily@ Education to the Core along with her Facebook Group Teachers shared these suggestions for building Fluency:

  • Model a comfortable fluency pace with your daily read-aloud.
  • Make sure your child is choosing a just-right book to read.
  • Create some flash cards with short, silly sentences or phrases, using Sight & High Frequency words.
  • Use poetry as an effective way to teach & improve fluency.
  • Speak with different voices for different characters.
  • Monitor punctuation pauses  : short for comma / longer for a period / voice up for a question / excitement for an exclamation.
  • Remember informational, or nonfiction text is usually read more slowly that fiction.

And, speaking of Sight & High Frequency Words…..

Words, Words & More Words

Lotsa Words-159556Pixabaycco
Lotsa Words-159556Pixabaycco

Memorizing Second Grade Level Sight Words &  High Frequency Words can definitely improve your child’s Fluency Rate.

I combined Dolch’s Sight Word List with Fry’s High Frequency Word List as your Second Grader will view them from the beginning of the year onward. Here’s the List with some Activities:

2nd grade HFW Lists & Games

Here’s a great site for DIY Sight Word Games including links:

https://thelettersofliteracy.com/27-awesome-sight-word-activities/

And, it’s not just Sight Words & High Frequency Words your Second Grader is learning…..

WOW! Those Are Really BIG Words!

Using those Decoding Skills to read those BIG, new Vocabulary words can, also, help with Fluency and, more importantly,  Comprehension.

Hopefully, my Freebie Parent Guide can shed some light on this Word Study subject : Solving the New Vocabulary Words Mystery

I, also, created a few Noun/Verb Freebie Games for you & yours to play:

One Frog Hops uses Sight Words for matching Plural Nouns and their corresponding Verbs.

Collective Nouns includes picture/word matches for groups of  living & nonliving things.

BLB Shop has more than a few Games & Activities to engage your Second Grader in Word Study:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/compound-words-connections-ten-file-folder-games/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/contractions-prefixes-suffixes-activities/

Finally, I organized my Reading Strategies into a Mini-Poster & Flip Cards Sequence Guide   ~ Ready To Read ~ for your Second Grade Reader when solving the “I’m STUCK on this word!” dilemma : Reading Success Sequence

The Vocabulary in the MANY different books s/he is reading this year is GINORMOUS!!!

So,  What Books Are on My Second Grader’s Level?

A book is a dream you hold in your hand. ~ Neil Gaiman

Reading on the Moon-MysticArtDesign
Reading on the Moon-MysticArtDesign

Before I get into actual Reading Comprehension Strategies, I thought I’d go on a bit more about the “newer” book genres your child will be sharing with you from the classroom (according to the Second Grade Core Expectations).

Within the Fiction Genre, there is an emphasis on stories created that could happen in real-life, have a historical basis,  contain mysteries to be solved as well as inventive futuristic stories and imaginary fantasies. Books & stories about the Creative Arts can be very engaging to your aspiring artists.

BLB Library has a Book Resource for you & yours:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/creative-arts-book-list/

S/he will be reading a large selection of Traditional Literature, which are 100s-of-year-old tales passed from one generation to another. BLB Library has a Book List Resource : https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/fables-folktales-from-around-the-world-k3-book-lists-websites/

Exploring the many types of Poetry is another on-going genre in Second Grade. Here’s BLB’s Library Resource link for this genre:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/poetry-collection-book-lists/

You may have noticed your child’s developing sense of humor. Funny chapter books are a wonderful way to read-aloud while guiding & sharing & laughing out loud:

And, yes, BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/20-funny-books/

Don’t forget Joke & Riddle Books, too.

Now for the NOT funny side of your Second Grader’s reading experience….

Non~Fiction Readers

Although these books may not be as entertaining as fictional reads, they will capture your child’s fascination for the real world and all it real-life wonders.

BLB’s Library has a Resource to help meet those Informational Text needs:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/nonfiction-independent-second-grade-reads/

Oh, BTW ~ Research Projects are an on-going part of Second Grade….. So, here’s a Freebie to help your child learn about those Informational Text Features :

I Understand Informational Text Features

BLB’s Shop has a few products to help you & yours with this huge step, well, written step that is now an, again, on-going part of her/his academic life.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/research-project-toolkit/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/interactive-informational-text-features-learning-tool/

Here are five sites with fiction & nonfiction Book Lists, summaries, opinions & locations collected by teachers, librarians, parents & kids:

https://www.weareteachers.com/second-grade-books/

https://www.greatschools.org/gk/book-lists/favorite-books-for-second-graders/

https://www.readbrightly.com/9-superb-chapter-books-second-graders/

https://imaginationsoup.net/read-aloud-books-second-grade/

https://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/best-books-second-grade

There’s A LOT to understand…..

YIKES!! That’s A TON of Text to Understand !

I Understand-Pezibear
I Understand-Pezibear

Comprehension Skills can be mastered by using a variety of Reading Strategies.

You have been teaching your child many of these during your read-alouds with him/her throughout the years. You did this by:

  • pointing out specific details & key ideas/facts in the illustrations on the Picture Walk and throughout the story (click on this link for the Parent Guide to the Picture Walk : Going on A Picture Walk)
  • asking & answering the 5 Ws
  • defining time & place regarding present, past ,future & fantasy vs reality
  • retelling the story by including important details, such as the characters, setting & plot (click on this link for the Parent Guide to Tell Me A Story : Tell Me A Story Abt the Story Read)
  • using descriptive language & lots of expression
  • explaining new vocabulary words
  • making personal connections to the story
  • discussing lessons & morals of the stories
  • sharing both fiction & nonfiction books

Your child’s teacher uses similar strategies during read-alouds to encourage comprehension.

Guided reading promotes an effective way to teach how-to-understand-the-read  strategies during one-on-one time.

Guided Reading Comprehension Strategies

In Second Grade many of the following Story Elements Comprehension Questions are discussed orally with maybe a short prompt or two for written responses.

However, as the year progresses, written responses to these questions begin to occur more frequently. This Comprehension Q & A can help your child understand & answer those questions with accuracy: Primary Rdr’s Comp Q & A

Filling in Graphic Organizers (Click on this Reading Graphic Organizers link: K Rdg Comp GOrgs ) are easy ways to engage your child’s understanding of texts read. Here’s a Comprehension Freebie example using  Aesop’s fable ~ “The Crow and the Pitcher” : I Understand the Story

Take a breath ~

Although your Second Grader may feel overwhelmed at certain times, s/he is totally capable of learning all these things AND MORE!!! You and yours have got this!!!

OMG!!!! How Can I Help!?!?!

Now that you’ve taken a deep breath…or several….

Remember, there are several ways you can help your child read and listen to stories with a purpose in mind, which you have probably been doing for years.

Dr. Michael Gurian, a brain scientist, family therapist & author of the book, Nurture the Nature, offers these suggestions:

  • Engage discovery in nature
  • Encourage imagination with physical & mental play
  • Include morals & values in family discussions
  • Foster positive relationships with peers
  • Show support of the school environment

There are many DIY Comprehension games you can make together &  play with your child to keep learning fun. Here are a few links:

https://www.weareteachers.com/second-grade-reading-comprehension-activities/

https://www.themeasuredmom.com/10-diy-reading-games-for-kids/

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/six-games-reading

https://www.word-game-world.com/reading-games-for-kids.html

I Can Read Anywhere-Victoria Borodinova
I Can Read Anywhere-Victoria Borodinova

Keep reading anything everywhere with your child everyday and encourage her/him to read  to other children. Listen to books on tape while driving. Record your child reading a story. Act out stories.

And… if your child struggles with reading…….

  Teaching Your Child to Read WITHOUT Words

For some children Reading is a challenge…..for a number of reasons.

Does your child “freeze” at the sight of words on a page you are not reading?

Wordless Picture Books are not just created for “babies”. They are, also, “written” for older children ~ like me ~ and may be the way to actually engage your child into reading. Really….

 They can inspire your child’s creativity & imagination while building reading comprehension skills, vocabulary AND critical thinking.

Nicole Clevenger@playfullearning.net and I  have some  suggestions for fun activities with Wordless Picture Books:

  • Use Post It notes to write down thoughts or dialogue of the characters & place them directly on the book pages beside them.
  • Use Post It notes to write down observations, questions, predictions, and/or inferences about what’s happening in the illustrations.
  • Ask your child to write a book review that includes the story elements: Main Idea, Characters, Setting, Problem/Solution.
  • Encourage your child to create a Wordless Picture Book and narrate it as it is being read. Write down those thoughts & attach them to the backs of the illustrations. Hopefully, your child will want to read those words.

I, also,  compiled a Wordless Picture Books list for older children:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/wordless-picture-books-older-readers/

Please know ~ it’s not that s/he can’t read or doesn’t want to read. S/he may just not be ready to read.

Well…S/He Can Read…. A Little…..

Check out this little Freebie: Help! My Child Hates to Read

A few questions, regardless of your child’s reading level:

  • Is the reading material  interesting to your child?
  • Are you reading together & talking about what’s being read?
  • Is your child tracking the words as s/he reads?
  • Does s/he use the pictures in the story to help?
  • Is your child trying to sound out unknown words with some accuracy?
  • How many sight words can s/he read quickly?
  • Can your child retell the story accurately?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, keep doing what you’re doing with lots of repetition & review. Soon, his/her reading level will increase.

Here are some other Resources in BLB’s Library I hope will help:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/guide-nonreader-readers-world/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/read-aloud-chapter-books/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/repetitive-predictable-pattern-books-for-emergent-readers/

And a little follow-up Freebie to go with Repetitive Readers : I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts .

A more in-depth approach to this reading strategy can be found in BLB’s Shop:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/read-write-draw-books/

One more VERY effective Reading Strategy for engaging a Reluctant Reader is Partner, or Paired, Reading ~ usually with a peer, friend or slightly older “mentor”.

Reading Together-KOMUnews
Reading Together-KOMUnews

I used this reading strategy every year with my struggling readers and found this approach to be highly effective for building confidence, improving reading skills, and encouraging a love for reading ~ for pleasure. A definite Win ~  Win ~ Win !!!

Click on this Reading Rockets link below for more information:

http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/partner_reading

And now with summer coming….

Your Summer Reading Program

Reading……a vacation for the mind. ~ Dave Barry

No, I’m not talking about Summer School….more like a Summer Camp….with an emphasis on Reading.

Summer Reading- Sondich
Summer Reading- Sondich

I’m creating a Summer Literacy Handbook, so stay tuned…..

SO~UPDATE~ here’s the link to my TpT shop where you’ll find, among other freebies & products ~ my Summer Literacy Camp Handbook:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Summer-Literacy-Camp-Handbook-for-K-3-4620902

It’s JAM-PACKED!!!

In the meantime, here’s a few suggestions to Encourage Reading for Pleasure :

Encourage Reading for Pleasure

WHEW!!!

If you’re still reading this post, Faithful Reader ~ thank you !!!

Hopefully, you have read some useful information regarding your child’s Reading Literacy.

Part Five on Writing Skills is my next & final post on the FLC’s Second Grade Series.

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2019BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

 

 

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

 Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

If your soon-to-be Second Grader’s vocabulary & reading skills have progressed over the summer, pat yourself on the back because those daily reading sessions have worked. Even s/he is surprised (YAY for the Family Literacy Circle !).

Now……How are those Writing Skills coming along ?

Unless your child LOVES to write…..prepare for a Super-Sized learning curve with Super-Sized expectations in your Second Grader’s Writing Workshop.

Got your Family Literacy Circle Writing Center ready?

Here are some suggestions for your young author’s Writing Space:

Home Wtg Space Checklist

This is Part Five :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

Your Second Grade Writer

Sometime this summer, inventory the following Writing & Spelling Skills with your soon-to-be Second Grader:

  • Writes last name with accuracy
  • Writes messages using phrases & sentences
  • Writes simple stories with a beginning, middle & ending
  • Recognizes & uses print conventions when writing:  end punctuation, grammar, nouns/verbs
  • Spells common grade-level words with accuracy
  • Locates known & unknown words in a picture dictionary
  • Recognizes & uses phonetic rules to spell unknown words
  • Understands & identifies the differences between a noun & a verb
  • Can write a simple, complete sentence
  • Understands compound words
  • Identifies some prefixes & suffixes
  • Identifies regular & some irregular plurals
  • Understands the meanings of synonyms & antonyms

Yeah! And there will be MORE  to learn in the Writing Arena throughout the year….

Oh ! A quick word or two about Handwriting…..

The Labors of Legible Handwriting

Picking up a paper using those fine motors skills is easy compared to the complex set of muscles (brain included) needed to write thoughts, grasping a #2 pencil onto that piece of paper in a clear, readable way.

Those skills ~ still growing and developing~ can be “nurtured” in several ways. Seemingly, “mindless” practice is one of them, but they are part of your Second Grader’s Writing Skills.

Click on this link to access a Resource on Fine Motor Skills from BLB’s Library :

Fine Motor Skills Resource Sites: Activities & Exercises for Ages 4~6

Here are a few other Handwriting~specific sites :

https://flintobox.com/blog/child-development/improve-handwriting-child

 https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-improve-kids-handwriting-4108552

https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/fun-handwriting-activities-for-kids/

Writing & Reading Together

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. ~ Toni Morrison

Writing Dreams-MysticArtDesign
Writing Dreams-MysticArtDesign

Is your child choosing to use reading and writing for different purposes without your input?

BLB’s Library has a Resource List of books about writing for your hesitant writer. Just click on the link below:

Reading About Writing: 15 Books to Encourage Your Young Author’s Writing Skills

Engaging your child to draw pictures of the words s/he is reading can be a stepping stone into the Writing Process. S/he may decide the story should be written differently and will “edit” the text (YAY!) in a creative way.

Using Dialogue clouds in those character  pictures is definitely writing. Think comic books and cartoon strips.

Here are some book title ideas in this little freebie~ Read, Write and Draw Books :

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts

You can, also, find additional RW&D books in BLB Shop. Here’s the link:

I CAN READ, WRITE & DRAW THESE BOOKS, TOO!

Or, maybe, “reading” some Wordless Picture Books together may inspire a story or five. BLB’s Library has a Book List Resource for you:

More Wonderful Wordless Picture Books for Readers, Ages 5~8

Time to Make A Book ?!?

Yes, You Can Be A Bookmaker!

Record your child’s imaginings & help him/her write it/them down on pages to be bound into a book, using card-stock, paper & binding materials. Here are a few DIY bookmaking sites:

http://www.makingbooks.com/families.shtml

https://growingbookbybook.com/making-books-with-kids/

If you & yours want a “serious” book-bound presentation, this website can help you with that:

https://studentreasures.com/

Engaging your child in the fun and creative process of story telling is a very productive way to inspire writing. However, your Second Grader’s Writing Skills will include learning and mastering many other writing elements this year

Second Grade Writing Expectations & Objectives

If your campus follows the Common Core, there are two major components of the Writing Process: Language, or Standard English Conventions, and the actual Writing Purposes.

Here’s a General Overview, listing the Second Grader’s Writing Skills Expectations for Language Usage & Composition:

2nd grade ELA Writing CC

You may want to check out this ELA Common Core PDF link for Parents:

 https://www.cgcs.org/cms/lib/DC00001581/Centricity/Domain/36/ParentGuide_ELA_2.pdf

I’ll get into a little (haha) more detail on these 2 HUGE topics, beginning with Standard English, or Grammar.

Good Grief, Grammar !!!

No one is perfect ~ that’s why pencils have erasers. ~ Wolfgang Riebe

I Got, I Mean, I Use Good Grammar ! -Elementus
I Got, I Mean, I Use Good Grammar ! -Elementus

Informal speech, also known as slang, colloquialisms, street talk, jargon, lingo and, even, dialect, can make learning “proper”, or Standard English confusing. Heard in peer groups, media and read in “literature”, expecting your child to use good grammar while speaking can be frustrating.

And in writing….oh my…..

Here are a few of my Freebie Helpers with a BLB’s Shop Product:

NOUNS:    Collective Nouns 

 Choose A Category : Sorting Words Into Different Groups

VERBS:    One Frog Hops

CAPITALIZATION: Make That Letter A Capital

I, also, created a 100+ page Grammar Handbook that includes lots of activities for learning & practicing Good Grammar with a Sentence Builder component, using Adjectives & Adverbs. You can preview it in my TpT Shop. Here’s the product link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Please-Practice-Good-Grammar–4711045

And, although Vocabulary is listed as more of a Reading Skill, I’d like to chat a little (again, haha) about it’s significant role in writing ~ choosing the exact words to express exactly what you want to say.

Here’s What I Want to Say…..

My Vocabulary -SharonAng
My Vocabulary -SharonAng

Although reading plays a large role in Vocabulary Acquisition, knowing which words you want to use in your writing, how to find them, and how to spell them correctly definitely takes some practice. It is a skill good writers learn through lots of repetition and review.

Using a Picture Dictionary is more appropriate for Second graders than teaching the actual Dictionary skills. Even my Third Graders found learning how to use a dictionary challenging. Again, practice, practice, practice. 

Click on the link below for ideas and games to help teach your Second Grader how to use a dictionary:

 https://www.theschoolrun.com/teaching-children-to-use-dictionary

Synonym, Antonym, Homonym Lists can help as well as Adjective & Adverb Lists. Here are a few sites with Primary Level Words:

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-antonyms-synonyms-and-homonyms-for-kids.html

https://freelanguagestuff.com/antonyms-and-synonyms/

I have several products available in my BLB Shop:

PREFIXES & SUFFIXES:     WORD FIXES: Contractions, Prefixes & Suffixes Literacy Activities

COMPOUND WORDS:  COMPOUND WORDS CONNECTIONS: Ten File Folder Games

VOCABULARY:  WOW WORDS in Second Grade: 25+ Learning Games & Activities

I, also, have a few SPELLING Freebies:

Spelling Activity Ideas  &   ABC Order 

Yes, ALL of this in a Written Expression or Ten….yes, at least 10 by the end of Second Grade…..

The Storyteller Becomes The Author

Write the kind of story you would like to read. ~ Meg Cabot

Writing to Read-Pexels261967
Writing to Read-Pexels261967

Your youngster has been inventing & writing stories since Kindergarten. This year those stories will be following certain guidelines to meet Expectations. Her/his editing skills, as well as, paragraph construction play heavily into meeting those expectations.

Believe it or not, within the first few weeks of school, your Second Grader’s Writing Skills will help him/her produce more complex and interesting stories, opinions and reports.

Does s/he keep a journal or diary at home ?

S/he will probably be excited about an upcoming Research Project (aren’t you?). YAY! It’s Our Family Tree Project !!!

And, yes, there’s more….

The Second Grade Writing Experience

Writing About This & That!-SarahJane
Writing About This & That!-SarahJane

There are more than a few writing assignments s/he will be given during Second Grade. Here’s a list of Written Expressions (with some helpful Resource links  ) your child will be composing this year:

  • The 5~Sentence Paragraph Formula ~ topic sentence, 3+ topic-supporting sentences, and a conclusion sentence, which re-states the beginning topic sentence

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Paragraph-Planner-A-Literacy-Tool-for-Primary-Writers-4735915

  • Narrative, or story ~  real, imagined real-life and/or total fantasy

Seasonal Story Starters

PRIMARY STORY SEQUENCE STARTERS: Pics & Sight Words Helpers

  • Informative, or report ~  nonfiction, singular topics supported with specific  facts and/or details relating to the topic

I Understand Informational Text Features

  • Persuasive, or  opinion ~ feelings about a specific subject with details to support the specific feeling

Opinion Wtg K-2

  • Research ~ group, partner and/or independent projects involving the use of several resources to support a nonfiction Main Topic

Upgrading The FLC with Your Second Grader’s Research Project Skills

  • Letters ~ recognizing & using the specific parts of a letter

It’s in the Mail

  • Journals ~ a daily free-write, usually, for expressing thoughts on a variety of subjects, including reading responses, math problem solving & science observations

INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

  • Poetry ~ identifying & selecting some of these styles for composition : acrostic, limerick, concrete (shapes), sensory, haiku & cinquain

50 Beginning Rhyming Words

Poetry Collections for K~5

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/grades-1-2-poetry-lessons/

Your child’s teacher may introduce the Explanatory, or How-To form of Writing. Directions and recipes are examples of this type of writing.

Editor, Please!

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story. ~ Terry Pratchett

Editor Time-MasterStudio
Editor Time-MasterStudio

The Writing Stages usually taught in the classroom are :

  • Pre-writing~the brainsorm & research
  • Organizing~thoughts & sequence
  • Sloppy Copy~ the first draft
  •   Revising~ sentence building

and then, the tiresome, but, oh so necessary,

  • Editing~ grammar, punctuation, capitalization,  & spell check for accuracy

All these steps are taken BEFORE a piece of Writing is ready to be published into ~ The Final Copy.

Need a few suggestions ?

BLB’s Revise & Edit Resources

Here are some Resources to help your Second Grade Writer with the Revising & Editing Processes:

  • Sentence Builders:

Asking & Exciting Beginnings

Words Can Make Sentences: Lists, Labels & Love Notes as Writing Literacy Tools

2nd grade HFW Lists & Games

WOW WORDS in Second Grade: 25+ Learning Games & Activities

COMPOUND WORDS CONNECTIONS: Ten File Folder Games

WORD FIXES: Contractions, Prefixes & Suffixes Literacy Activities

  • Editing Tools:

Choose A Category : Sorting Words Into Different Groups

One Frog Hops

Collective Nouns

Make That Letter A Capital

Spelling Activity Ideas

ABC Order

To the FINAL COPY & PUBLISH !!!! Share with your family, share with your friends, share with your cuddlies, share with your class ! And take a BOW!

A Definite Call to Your Family Literacy Circle 

You  encourage your Second Grader’s Writing Skills when s/he sees you :

Everyday Writing
Everyday Writing

You, also, encourage those rapidly growing memory skills, which are engaging her/him in thinking with more complexity and depth. Check out this Growth Mindset Tools Chart:

If you are participating in an Interactive Journal (see link above), you are already seeing lots of growth in your Second Grader’s writing skills.

If your child writes~and mails~ Thank You notes, greeting cards, and friendly letters to others, s/he is experiencing a personal sense of pride in her/his writing abilities.

Have the two of you created a story book together?  How about an alphabet book on animals, plants, foods, toys, etc?

Do you know how your child feels about writing ?

A Writing Attitude Survey

If your child is a Reluctant Writer, you may want to have an informal “writing attitude survey” chat with him/her.

Have this list of statements in front of you so you can record his/her responses, like never, sometimes, and/or always.

A “Sometimes” response might need some clarification ~ does it depend on the day, the subject, some hand cramps, rather doing something else, etc.

  • Do you think you are a good writer ?
  • Do you enjoy writing at school ?
  • Do you like writing at home ?
  • Is it easy to think of things to write about ?
  • Do you like to write about real-life or make-believe ?
  • Do you like to read your writing to others ?
  • What do they think about your writing ?
  • How do you feel when it’s time to write ?
  • Which do you like better : reading or writing ?
  • How do you feel about editing your work: grammar, spelling, etc ?

And now for a few more FLC Writing Resources…

Home Writing Helpers

BLB Library has an Inquiry Resource:

Inquiry Investigations: Authors, Books & Websites for Your Child’s Exploration & Discovery

And some Freebies:

KQRL Template

Home Research Projects

Kris Bales of Thought Co’s Second Grade Writing Prompts

My Checklist for Perfect Writing

With several BLB Shop Products:

MEETING PRIMARY LEVEL’S WRITING EXPECTATIONS

OH YAY! A RESEARCH PROJECT!: Processes, Templates & Resources

Plus, a Homework Hotline Helper resource from BLB’s Library:

Your Homework Help HOTLINE : Parent Involvement Strategies

So, that concludes the FLC’s Second Grade Series.

I have a new & exciting Series in the Vault ready to be released. I created it for the Independent Third Grader and above. However, your Second Grader might enjoy  these activities as well.

Hope to see you then! Thank you for reading!

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