Sight Word homework!
Beginning mid to late September, we will send home a "Sight Word Ring" with your child every night. This is a metal ring with sight word flash cards attached to it. We will start out with just one word, and then add more as they are introduced to the children.
- The homework assignment is to help your child practice the words on their ring, every night, in different ways that will be outlined in a letter we will put in your child's takehome folder.
As we introduce new words to the kiddos, we will add them to their rings, so please take care of these rings and do not lose them.
Why sight word homework? (probably the 2nd most important, behind reading to/with them)
The reading process is complicated. There are many things going on at the same time when we read a simple sentence. We look at it and we have to remember where to start (on the left), which way to go (to the right) and we see shapes and lines that we have to decipher and decide what letters they make; once we do that we have to decide what sounds they represent, remembering that sometimes, when certain letters are next to each other, or in certain groups, they make different sounds altogether; then we have to figure out what words they form, do this with each word, put the words together and decide if it makes sense to us.
Knowing this, you can imagine how hard it would be to decipher even an easy sentence such as, "I like this brown dog." Keep in mind that the most common sound that the letter i makes is /i/ as in igloo, and we learn that the letter e says /e/ as in elephant, so what IS that work "like?"
Reviewing sight word flash cards every night, in different ways, will help these 4-6 year old emergent readers memorize certain words by SIGHT so when they see them they don't have to stop and decode them; they can keep reading with a fluency that, in turn, will allow them to easier understand what they are reading. Isn't that the goal of reading? To understand?
Reading Homework; How can I best help my child?
Reading homework is really very simple, but perhaps the most important homework your child will have... ever. Simply read to or with your child every day for at least 20 minutes.
After we begin Guided Reading groups in school, your child will be bringing home easy leveled reader books that we will have already read together. These books will be in specifically labeled folders or Ziploc bags, for your child to read to you. This is a very exciting time and your kindergartner will be so proud to show you what they can do.
For helpful information about reading with your child, the Emergent Reader:
Becoming a Reader -- Helping Your Child Become a Reader (US Department of Education)
Supporting Your Beginning Reader (International Reading Association)
What Not to Say to Emergent Readers, by Amy Mascott (PBS Parents)
It's Not Just About Practice.
Kindergarten homework can include, or be adapted as fun games and activities that you can do at home with your child. When you follow through and engage in these activities at home with your kindergartner, you are showing them that you care about what they are doing every day, and that school is important. It proves to them that what they are learning with us is also an important part of their life outside of school. The at-home engagement also reinforces their learning and helps them master the ideas and strategies.
The more engaged you are with your early learner, the more successful they can be!
Thank you for your support!