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Encouraging Reading At Home

Thursday, January 6, 2022 Volume 16 Issue 14

It was so fun to welcome students back to school this week. While there were a few grumbles about getting up early, our students were genuinely excited to be back at school. It warms my heart to see students so happy to be at school – perhaps the one positive outcome of the pandemic! ​ Now that we are at the start of the new year, we are revisiting the goals we have for student growth. With reading, one factor that really supports students in moving reading levels is time spent reading at their “just right level.” Students do have some time for independent reading during the school day, but to make significant gains, it is critical that they are reading at home, too. Students who read 30-60 minutes per day see the greatest reading gains. To reach this level, reading 30 minutes per day outside of school is a must for our students!So how can you support reading at home? Here’s some things you can do:

  • Make reading a part of your daily schedule. This doesn’t have to feel like homework. Help your child pick books they are interested in. If you are having a hard time finding something that appeals to your child, check in with Mr. Zetterberg, our school librarian at: He’s a pro at matching books to students!

  • ​​Model reading for your child. Perhaps you can curl up with a book of your own at the same time your child is reading. Share articles of interest from online nonfiction sites or talk about how you use reading in your job and daily life.​

  • Read to your child. Time spent reading can include you reading to your child. When my son got to middle school, the only time he would allow cuddles was when I read to him at night. Although he was a strong reader, we continued reading together through 8th grade. Read to your child in your native language to share your culture and keep your child’s language skills in their first language.

  • Use the “5 Finger” rule to help your child find just right books. Here’s what you do to determine if a book is the right level for you child: Before they start a new book, have them turn to a random page in the book and read it. For every word they don’t know, have them hold up a finger. At the end of the page if they hold up:

  • 0-1 finger – the book is probably too easy

  • 2 fingers – a good choice that will challenge your child to learn new words

  • 3 fingers – your child might need a little help, but still ok if they are up for a challenge

  • 4 fingers – may be too difficult for your child to read on their own but could be a good book for you to read together.

  • 5 fingers – probably too difficult and not the best choice.

  • Ask your child questions about what they are reading to help build comprehension. Even doing this 2-3 times per week will help your child to slow down and think about what they are reading. These questions were shared by Ms. Guillermo:


  • What do the title and pictures tell you about the story?

  • Where does the story take place?

  • What is the problem that the characters need to solve?

  • Which character in the story is most like you? Why?

  • What was your favorite part of the story?

  • Non-fiction:

  • What is the most important idea the author wants you to learn?

  • Why do you think the author wrote this book?

  • How is this book organized?

  • What text features did you notice in this book? (diagrams, graphs, carts, etc.)

  • What does the author do to keep you interested in this book?

Thank you for your partnership in helping us grow strong readers!


Session #1​​​​

Wednesday, January 26 | Online Meeting link: Click here to join the meeting

9:00 – 9:45 AM - Informational Session

Session #2​​​​

Tuesday, February 8 | Online Meeting link: Click here to join the meeting

4:30 – 5:00 PM – General Info Session

5:00 – 5:45 PM – Highly Capable Cohort Info Session

Session #3​​​​

Monday, February 28 | Online Meeting link: Click here to join the meeting

9:00 – 9:45 AM - Informational Session

Session #4​​​​

Wednesday, April 27 | Online Meeting link: Click here to join the meeting

5:00 – 5:45 PM - Informational Session

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