Parent Letter #2

Weekly Reading Reach–Out
Masontown Elementary School
1st – 5th GRADES: Developing Readers
10 Ways to Help Your Child with Vocabulary
1. Talk with your children. Use new words.
2. Read to your child often. Choose books to read to your child that are written at a higher level than
your child’s present reading vocabulary level.
3. Take your child on field trips. This helps your child learn more words.
4. Help with word attack strategies. Look for smaller words within words, beginnings and endings,
common sounds, less common sounds like “c” making the /s/ sound, and context clues. Help your
child learn how to use the other words in the sentences for help, consult a dictionary, or ask for help.
5. Play Stump the Reader. Ask your child to find a word you might not know and write it down. Model
the word attack strategies above to determine the new word.
6. Play some purchased traditional games. Those include Scrabble, Scrabble Jr., Upwords, Boggle Jr.,
and Password. All are available in most retail stores.
7. Play some homemade games. Play something like Memory, Go Fish, or Tic-Tac-Toe using words or
8. Write 20 new words on some index cards. Make 5 columns and categorize those words so that similar
words are together.
9. Challenge each family member to come to the dinner table with a new word to share with the rest of
the family.
10. Read, read, read. Simply read. The more a child reads, the more words a child sees, and the more
words a child learns. Children who do the best on
tests are often the children who read the most.
Weekly Reading Reach–Out
Masontown Elementary School
Birth – K Games for Pre-readers
10 Ways to Help Your Child with Phonics
1. Continue with the read-aloud. Include alphabet books. Some alphabet books tell a story or share
information. Look for these.
2. Sing the alphabet often. Be careful that “l-m-n-o” doesn’t come too quickly and sound like one letter.
It is a group of letters with four distinct sounds; slow down at this part, maybe even pause after the
letter n, and then continue with saying the alphabet slowly and clearly.
3. Point to alphabet letters and say their names. Mix the letters and say their names.
4. Work on names. Teach your child to spell his or her name. Write the name on a piece of paper. Ask
your child to trace over it and then copy. Warning: this may become a bit tricky with names that do
not follow conventional sound–symbol relationships. Point out the irregularities.
5. Make letters in fun ways with paint, play clay, sticks, sugar, or sand.
6. Look for letters wherever you go. Examples: signs, cereal boxes, book covers.
7. Look at letters, say the letter name, say the letter sound, then say a word that begins with that sound.
8. Make flash cards. Play letter games such as Memory or Go Fish with letters or sounds, and when
you find a match say a word that begins with that matched sound. Play Tic-Tac-Toe using letters
other than X and O.
9. Start with simple words, like bat. Write the word on a piece of paper, point to the first letter, and ask
for the sound. Continue with each subsequent letter.
10. Go on a letter hunt. Write a letter on top of a sheet of paper, like b. Look for all of the words of
objects around the house that begin with that letter or sound. Draw pictures or write words.