English Instruction Article - International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day, September 8, 2019, was declared back in 1966 and was created to showcase the importance of literacy both within individuals and their communities. Each year there is a different focus in terms of the connection of literacy to the outside world. Some of these connections included literacy within a digital world, literacy for the 21st century  as well as literacy and sustainable development. This year’s theme focuses on literacy and skills development.

            Eye Level’s English program is a comprehensive literacy program. It focuses on the ability to read, write and communicate with others around them, which is one of the main focuses on literacy and its development. Students are able to focus on their reading and writing skills, connecting to the different standards put in place by each state for their general education classrooms. There are many of the components of the program that can positively impact student’s literacy and growth.

            There are different resources within the English program to assist not only with literacy development but with comprehension skills. One of the main components gives students the ability to utilize the Recommended Reading List to read books that are on their academic level, building their fluency as well as their content knowledge. The Recommended Reading List provides students with books from both fiction and non-fiction sections, many of which they may see in their school classrooms. It is important for students to read everyday to continue to build their vocabulary and knowledge. There are books that can be read to students aloud and books that students can read independently.

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So, on September 8, pick up a good book, find a comfy place to sit and take some time to develop those literacy skills and participate in International Literacy Day.

English Instruction Article - Summer Reading Resources

Reading during the summer can be a vital component for students to continue to build their fluency and develop deeper comprehension skills. It helps students build their vocabulary skills which can ultimately lead to increased vocabulary usage in their writing and speaking. There are many resources within the Eye Level English curriculum and program that can assist with students building their vocabulary and fluency throughout the summer.

            Eye Level Resource Book Throughout the summer there are multiple resources that can be utilized for students to continuously read and increase their comprehension skills. Some of these sections include My Reading Journal, Phonics Reader Activity Sheets and the Graphic Organizers. Additionally, students can also use the Recommended Reading List to determine on-level books to read throughout the summer.

            My Reading Journal. My Reading Journal is a reading log that allows students to keep track of the books they read. This can be a great incentive in the center as students can complete the full log and turn it in for a prize. Along with the log, students can also complete several types of reading journals that have been created to help develop students writing, comprehension and enjoyment of reading. Students can also utilize these journals to complete their required summer reading assignments for school.

Phonics Reader Activity Sheets. Students who are enrolled in the English program, from Levels C-F, benefit from the decodable Phonics Readers and the corresponding Phonics Reader Activity Sheets. This could be utilized in class or at home for homework. This can also help with the students writing abilities as they advance in the higher levels and develop their comprehension skills.

Graphic Organizers. The graphic organizers provided can be utilized to assist students as a pre-writing activity prior to writing their first draft. If students are completing additional writing on books they are reading throughout the summer, they will have the consistency of the graphic organizers to compile their information. These can be printed out and used with the different genres of writing.

Recommended Reading List. The Recommended Reading List provides a comprehensive list of both classic and contemporary children’s book, each categorized by the most appropriate grade level. All books that are considered read-aloud, appropriate for Level Pre-A to Level C, are listed in alphabetical order. All books that are means to be read together with the student, or independently, are listed by readability level.

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For additional information on usage of the Resource Book, you can find the Resource Book Guide along with the other components of the Resource Book, on the ORL under “English Reference Materials”. You can find the Resource Book by going to the following link:

 http://training.eyelevelnytc.com/mod/folder/view.php?id=1530

 



English Instruction Article - Spelling Strategies

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     “To learn to read and spell using phonics, children have to learn the relationship between letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes), and then remember the exact letter patterns and sequences that represent various speech sounds.” [1] Teaching phonics allows students to understand the relationships between letters and sounds. These letters are sounds that represent patterns for spoken words. Spelling is important for both reading and writing.

Students beginning learning the concept of spelling words as early as Level C, when they begin to blend together consonant-vowel-consonant or CVCs. Through Levels D – F, they continue to blend longer words together, focusing on digraphs, diphthongs, blends and vowel teams. Students are not only developing their reading through spelling, but they are building their vocabulary to include in their writing abilities. Spelling isn’t just about memorizing the words, but more about why words are spelled the way they are. Students should think about the different patterns and sounds that each letter and word make. Below are some spelling strategies to help students within those levels between C and F, who may be struggling with piecing words together.

1. High Frequency Words/Sight Words. Sight words or high frequency words are words that students are unable to sound out. They are words like the and one. Students should be able to identify these words by sight without trying to decode the word by sounding out each letter. Many of these words are the basics that make up full sentences. If children continue to build their sight word usage, they are able to increase their fluency by relying less on sounding out.

2. Start with Phonetics. In the beginning, when students are at a younger age, allow the students to spell phonetically, which is spelling by what they hear. Allow them to sound out the word and write down the letters in which they hear as they say the word. If the spelling is correct that is a great start. If the student spells the word incorrectly, guide them to the correct spelling and explain why it may be spelt differently. Also, identify whether or not the student is sounding out the letter correctly. That could be a factor in why they may be spelling the word incorrectly.

3. Identify Spelling Patterns. A common theme is to identify words with the same spelling pattern which enables students to sound out words at a quicker pace as well as decode words if needed. Throughout the phonics lessons students will learn different spelling patterns. Besides the booklets themselves, it is important for students to use the learned words within their writing booklets. Have students use up to five phonics words within their writing for the week to give them more practice.

4. Learn Spelling Rules. There are certain situations where it is important to remember that there are rules when spelling. Some of these rules include doubling consonants, silent -e, y as a long I and I before E. When students are able to remember these rules, it can increase their ability to spell words correctly. It is important for them to remember that not all words are spelled how they sound.

References:

[1] Vaughn, S., & Thompson, S. (2004). Phonics and Word Study. In Research-based methods of reading instruction, grades K-3 (pp. 30-48). Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

English Instruction Article - Tips for Reluctant Readers

           For some student’s, reading can be a struggle. Some students have difficulties with the process itself and for others, it just isn’t something they enjoy doing. Here are a few tips on how to help those reluctant readers. 

1. Connect with the student’s interests. Students are more likely to pick a book in which they are interested in. Examples include specific types of genres or informational texts in which they are familiar with. Choosing something that is new may also spark interest.

2. Use technology to your advantage. With student’s engrossed in technology today, show them how they can download books on a mobile device to enjoy. It can be a simple picture book or a full length chapter book.

3.  Show students how reading can affect other subjects such as reading a math problem, conducting a science experiment by adding ingredients together or following directions on a map to find buried treasure.

4. Reading everyday can help boost a student’s confidence when they are reading. Shared reading allows the parent and child to not only read together but discuss the book and its contents. You can either take turns reading pages or read silently together, stopping occasionally to discuss.

5. Introduce the student to a book series. Explain that reading a series of books can be like watching a series of a TV show. Some texts have been transformed into movies which the students can compare the book to the movie.

Examples of popular children’s books that can also be viewed as a movie:

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