Summer Reading and Writing Suggestions
by Mrs. Diane Whitehead, M. Ed.
Ridley School District Reading Specialist

Some parents may be wondering how to help their child over the summer so he/she retains the skills developed this year. Here are some suggestions to continue to develop listening skills, comprehension and the ability to read and spell/write words.

 Read to your child daily. After reading a story, ask your child to "retell" the story in his/her own words. What happened in the beginning, middle and end? Ask specific comprehension questions or details about the story.

  Visit your local Public Library and let your child pick out books he/she can read to you and choose some books for you to read to him/her. Sign up for a summer program at the library.

 Mrs. Jones made many easy-to-read books in her small group this year! Each child kept their collection in their "Book Treasure Box" and practiced reading them at home. Over the summer, your child should read them out loud to a grownup to continue practicing his/her reading skills at home.

 Help your child "sound out" words and play with their sounds using activities by Mrs. Brooks, Lakeview Reading Specialist. Or play What's the Word? and other online word games with your child.

 Review this list of "Instant Sight Words." These are the most common words in English. The first hundred make up about half of all written material.

 Review the sounds that the vowels make using the key words below.

Short Vowels Long Vowels
a = apple a = apron
e = eggs / elephant e = eagle
i = igloo i = ice cream
o = octopus o = open / ocean
u = umbrella / up u = uniform / unicorn

 Point out things you notice about words. This year, the children noticed whenever the letter "r" is around a vowel, it loses its sound and the "r" controls the sound the vowel makes. We call it the BOSSY R! Examples: star, mother, chirp, more, fur. The children also noticed that when you hear a "long e" sound at the end of a word it might be spelled with a "y." Examples: very, pretty, penny. They also noticed that sometimes, when 2 vowels go walking, the first one does the talking and it's usually long. Examples: soap, meat, boat.

 The children have enjoyed writing stories in their journals this year and should be encouraged to continue this summer. Remind your child to write in lower case letters, except when beginning a sentence and to use punctuation at the end of a sentence. To make their stories longer, remember to use the word "because" and ask the questions: who, what, when, where, why and how.

  The Department of Education provides more suggestions:
      Help My Child Read   Put Reading First   Helping Your Child Series

 Please remember that the more your child practices using his/her newly acquired skills this summer, the easier it will be to continue reading and writing when he/she is in first grade.

Have a great summer!

Mrs. Whitehead

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