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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Welcome to Elementary School Kids, "Ask the Teacher" post!

Ask anything and we will do our best to give you an honest, informative reply. 


I've been teaching elementary school for 15 years. My master's degree is in reading education and I'm certified in Exceptional Student Education, and ESL. I've taught a variety of grades and more kids than I can count. 

If you'd like to check out the hundreds of questions that have already been asked and answered check the old post here and here

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 4:24 PM
Replies (291-300):
DyslexiaParent
by on Apr. 29, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Depending upon the root cause of his reading difficulty, whether it is dyslexia (lack of phonemic awareness), CAPD (central auditory processing disorder), or another disability, a good option is to use a comprehensive, mastery-based reading program at home like Lexia Learning's Reading program, Hearbuilder, the online version of Fast ForWord, etc.  By having your DS work for 20-30 minutes twice per day in one of those programs, it will prevent learning regression that often occurs during the summer, it will fill in gaps he may have in his reading understanding, and will help him continue to progress in his reading instruction.

Additionally, Maxswolfsuit recommended a lot of reading with your son.  Research by J.K. Torgesen shows that a dual approach to reading instruction affords a child the most learning progress.  That is, face-to-face instruction in addition to computer-based practice on a daily basis.  While the side-by-side reading won't be direct instruction in reading itself, lots of reading practice definitely helps!  When you add in a computer program for instruction, you have a summer program that is sure to help advance reading skills on some level. ;-)

You might also want to check out the book "How To Defeat Your Child's Dyslexia" if you'd like to help him further. 

Best of LUCK! Smart of you to be looking to help him during the summer! :-D

Quoting JeremysMom:

My son struggles in reading. He received extra help during the Fall semester and it helped tremendously, however, he is still about 1-2 levels below grade level. What can I do this summer to help him either catch up or at least prevent him from falling further behind? We will obviously be reading a lot this summer but are there any reading activities that you suggest? Also, how long should he be reading each day?


JeremysMom
by on Apr. 29, 2014 at 8:30 PM
2 moms liked this

Oh, wow! I completely forgot about this post. It's crazy how much can change in one year. My son is now two reading levels ABOVE his grade level! He loves to read and will read any chance he can get. The only thing that he needs practice with now is his fluency because he does have a speech problem but we are working on that with reading out loud each night. Thanks for the tips and for reminding me about how far my son has come in just one year.

Quoting DyslexiaParent:

Depending upon the root cause of his reading difficulty, whether it is dyslexia (lack of phonemic awareness), CAPD (central auditory processing disorder), or another disability, a good option is to use a comprehensive, mastery-based reading program at home like Lexia Learning's Reading program, Hearbuilder, the online version of Fast ForWord, etc.  By having your DS work for 20-30 minutes twice per day in one of those programs, it will prevent learning regression that often occurs during the summer, it will fill in gaps he may have in his reading understanding, and will help him continue to progress in his reading instruction.

Additionally, Maxswolfsuit recommended a lot of reading with your son.  Research by J.K. Torgesen shows that a dual approach to reading instruction affords a child the most learning progress.  That is, face-to-face instruction in addition to computer-based practice on a daily basis.  While the side-by-side reading won't be direct instruction in reading itself, lots of reading practice definitely helps!  When you add in a computer program for instruction, you have a summer program that is sure to help advance reading skills on some level. ;-)

You might also want to check out the book "How To Defeat Your Child's Dyslexia" if you'd like to help him further. 

Best of LUCK! Smart of you to be looking to help him during the summer! :-D

Quoting JeremysMom:

My son struggles in reading. He received extra help during the Fall semester and it helped tremendously, however, he is still about 1-2 levels below grade level. What can I do this summer to help him either catch up or at least prevent him from falling further behind? We will obviously be reading a lot this summer but are there any reading activities that you suggest? Also, how long should he be reading each day?


Leela95
by on May. 8, 2014 at 9:51 PM

I had a similar situation last year. Unfortunately there is a time for being the teacher's friend and a time for being the Momma Cub. I had to have a meeting with the teacher and principal where I showed her a letter from my Doctor and child psych that both said he had PDD and not ADHD and by her labeling him a bad child she was lowering not only his classroom performance but also his self esteem.  Things got better for him.  She didn't like me much after that but seemed like a fair trade to me. Now he has IEP so it's easier. 

MilitaryWifey07
by New Member on May. 18, 2014 at 9:49 AM

My son is finishing Kindergarten in a few days and I was wondering how to keep things fresh and help improve his skills throughout the summer. I work 40+ hours a week but I am dedicated to my sons education.

maxswolfsuit
by Max on May. 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM


Quoting MilitaryWifey07:

My son is finishing Kindergarten in a few days and I was wondering how to keep things fresh and help improve his skills throughout the summer. I work 40+ hours a week but I am dedicated to my sons education.

My son is right there with him. 

He did great in K, but he doesn't pick up sight words as quickly as other kids so I know we need to keep working all summer to make sure he's on track when school starts. 

I've asked his teacher to send home reading practice for the summer. The program they use has sentence sheets that go with each lesson. He brought home a couple a week all year. If I thought about I would have just saved them, but his teacher is making a book of them for all the kids to reread over summer. 

I also have some apps he will work on daily. Teach Me First Grade is my favorite. It has sight words, spelling, addition and subtraction. The child actually has to write out the answers so there is practice writing too. There is a Kindergarten version that might be useful for brushing up on the old skills. My son is almost to the middle of the first grade version and so far the skills have been perfect for him. Not so difficult that he's frustrated, but still challenging him and showing him some new things. 

The #1 thing will be daily reading. It's tricky finding beginning reader books they can read at this level. Most picture books require kids to use phonics skills an average kindergarten student just doesn't have yet. So you really need to get books that are written specifically for beginning readers. They have controlled vocabulary with mostly short vowel words and familiar sight words. Ask at your library or looks for books with levels on the cover.  

sm1bm3
by Member on May. 22, 2014 at 3:33 PM
My daughter is at the end of 1st grade now, 2 weeks left. Her teacher has told me what a great reader my daughter is all year, getting her to read at home is like pulling teeth though. She only wants to pick out non fiction picture books about animals from the library. Do you have any suggestions to steer her towards books with more words? I'm not concerned that she is interested in zoology, just that she is picking books way below her reading level (which she tested at 4th grade).
maxswolfsuit
by Max on May. 22, 2014 at 7:29 PM


Quoting sm1bm3: My daughter is at the end of 1st grade now, 2 weeks left. Her teacher has told me what a great reader my daughter is all year, getting her to read at home is like pulling teeth though. She only wants to pick out non fiction picture books about animals from the library. Do you have any suggestions to steer her towards books with more words? I'm not concerned that she is interested in zoology, just that she is picking books way below her reading level (which she tested at 4th grade).

I wouldn't worry too much about getting her to read fourth grade books. Even if she can read books at that level that doesn't mean she's mature enough to understand or appreciate them. 

At this age and stage of reading developing a love of reading is really essential. Forcing her to read things she's not interested in won't help with that.

However she does need to be exposed to different kinds of books. You could compromise by allowing her to pick two books and you pick one. You can also have her read portions of books and you read the rest. If he expose her to a wide variety of books she will most likely find fiction she enjoys.  

diva1229
by on May. 27, 2014 at 12:04 PM

My daughter has been bullied this year at school and I have gone the to the principal and the teacher. I was told that the girls would be separated. To find out they are doing a project together! The year is done and over with and she is going back to her old school from the year before. My question is how as parent am I to handle my daughter being bullied? I have talked to people until I am blue in the face, they tell me what I want to hear and never follow through with it. How can I help my daughter through this hard time? What should I have expected from the teacher? 

Thank you.

Diva1229

MommaDragon4
by on May. 31, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Should we really worry about the state tests? My oldest is going into third grade next year, so he'll be the first of my children to take it

clclay1221
by on Jun. 18, 2014 at 10:05 PM

My daughter is going into 3rd grade and has no problems, we worked really hard together in K, did letters everyday and sounds, all homework, etc. When she tested she was not on target. My son is about to enter K and his preschool teacher says he's ready, when we do flashcards and letter sounds at home he knows all of them, he can count to 40 and he just turned 5 in feb. however when he tested they said he was not ready and had more work to do. I have noticed that the kids who were in the remedial group in K for my daughter either got held back either in K or 1st grade or are still in a remedial placement and I do not want that for my son. Also, his preschool teacher says that if he stays and does another year it will be detrimental for his social skills because the other kids coming into the group are very immature. I am fully  prepared to work with him in K as much as needs to be done to ensure he succeeds. What do you suggest?

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