Language arts and reading go hand-and-hand, and the more children see, read, and use words, the more their skills will improve. Students will be given a short poem or text to read aloud each week. They should pay attention to the "craft" the author uses -- what does the author do to make their writing sound good? Noticing this will help students to incorporate craft into their own writing.
What can you do at home?
We will continue to use Writing Workshop at school.
Part of our workshop will consist of journal writing. Students will use their journals to help them generate and select ideas for formal writing and publishing. The writing in the journals will not be formally graded, but students are expected to write in them on a daily basis. Their journals will travel back and forth between home and school. If you would like your child to write at home, they should write in their journal. They can write about their feelings or their day, poems, stories, lists -- anything they want! They can even sketch and add some captions. Below are some more ideas for writing at home:
Books / Comic Books
Children can make their own books and comic books! They can write and illustrate their books with anything available. They can come up with their own characters and stories, or they can borrow from stories they have read. Creating a new ending or chapter for a favorite book or a new adventure for a favorite character are some easy ways to get started. Students can bring their completed books to school. They will be placed in our classroom library so everyone can read and enjoy them.
Observing nature or pets can provide great writing material. Children can describe what they see, hear, and feel. They can also sketch or draw diagrams and provide captions about what they notice.
Sports/Activity Journal / News Articles
If your child plays a sport, dances, takes music lessons, etc., suggest they journal about these activities. For example, soccer participants can write few sentences that tell who they played, when they played, where they played, and how great they did. They can also put the same information into a news article format. These items make great keepsakes for the future!
Children can write notes and letters to grandparents, cousins, friends, even people living in the same house! Let them use their imagination to decide what to write about.
All of the above can be created using technology as well. Typing journals, stories, letters and e-mails may be more engaging for some students than traditional writing. Please be sure to encourage your child to type in standard English and avoid using "text" language. They can print and tape into their journal notebook.
Reading and Language Arts Websites
http://www.readingrockets.org This site provides information for parents, including tips about reading. It also contains book reviews and videotaped interviews with popular children's authors.
http://childrenslibrary.org This site contains books that can be read on line in their entirety. Books are listed by age group and can be read in English as well as other languages if you choose. This site contains book reviews, trivia, author info, and more. http://www.bookadventure.com Helps kids choose books to read and allows them to create and maintain their own book lists. Choose “Kids Zone”, then search for books at your child’s interest and reading level. http://www.kidsreads.com This site contains info, book reviews, author interviews, games, and trivia for favorite books.
http://www.discoveryeducation.com/students/index.cfm?campaign=flyout_students You'll find many free student resources in all subject areas.
http://www.vocabulary.co.il/ This site contains games like Hangman, word searches, crosswords, matching, and jumbles that can be done on line or printed out.
http://vocabulary.com This site contains vocabulary activities that can be quite challenging.