The mission of the Learning Specialist is to help each student appreciate his/her unique strengths, learning style, and areas for growth, especially in reading and writing. Students will work in small groups and individually to practice and apply specific strategies and skills. It is my hope that they will grow in their love of learning and in their confidence and independence as strong students of St. Catherine School.
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Kindergarten: We are working on phonemic awareness: hearing and repeating sounds in sequence in words, and changing beginning and ending sounds. We are blending and separating sounds of letters in printed words. We are reading sentences to practice following print and understanding words. We are practicing retelling story events in sequence, and putting sentences and pictures in sequence to retell a story. We are working on short vowel words and on “List A” sight vocabulary.
Grade One: We are identifying sentences especially longer ones which continue on a second line. We are finding the subject and predicate in sentences. We are practicing previewing and ongoing questioning to identify the characters, setting, and story line in a book. We’re listening for sound units in words and identifying long and short vowels, consonant blends, and syllables. We’re continuing to learn new sight vocabulary. We’re also learning subject-specific words which we need to read to learn about a certain topic.
Grade Two: We are continuing to apply phonics, word appearance, and meaning clues to read new vocabulary. We are practicing fluency especially when reading more complex, longer sentences. We are learning note taking skills to help with understanding and remembering what we read. We are beginning a project of reading and understanding expository nonfiction and using that text as a basis for our own planning, writing, and reading.
Grade Three: We are practicing strategies for reading complex sentences with fluency and understanding. We are also applying skills to read subject-specific vocabulary and applying reference strategies for understanding new vocabulary. We are currently reading an expository nonfiction book and focusing on text organization, meaning, and answering specific kinds of questions about what we read.
Grade Four: We are working on inference skills, to ask and suggest answers to questions which are not directly answered in the text. We are looking for relationships between events in the text to find cause-effect and compare-contrast relationships. We are currently reading a biographical book and creating graphic organizers: timeline, cause-effect, compare/contrast. We are thinking about ways in which what we read can guide us in our own lives.
Kindergarten is working on practicing and applying phonemic skills of matching beginning sounds, ending sounds, and rhymes. We are counting syllables, and we are changing beginning sounds of words to create new words. We are matching letters, sounds, and pictures of things beginning with that sound and letter. We are reading pattern sentences and identifying words and sequence in sentences. We are using phonemic and phonic skills to identify and read words we see in our environment.
We are starting the new year by reading subject-specific words. We are using pictures, phonics, and context to identify new words. We will be reading decodable readers to practice short vowel, long vowel, and consonant blend sounds in words. We will identify the nouns and verbs in sentences. We’ll enjoy reading our own writing, too.
We are practicing fluent reading by applying decoding and word recognition skills and by reading groups of words. We’re learning strategies to understand what we read as we go along. We’re working on summarizing, identifying topic and main idea, and on using details from our reading to answer different kinds of questions. We’re creating graphic organizers to take notes on what we read, and we’re thinking of the differences between different genres of text.
We are practicing natural phrasing when reading fluently, for good expression and accurate understanding of what we read. We’re working on note taking skills and using different formats of note taking for different genres of text. We’re learning strategies for reading and understanding new, subject-specific vocabulary. We’re practicing comprehension skills including main idea-detail, identifying author’s purpose and message, compare-contrast, and cause-effect.
We are practicing ongoing comprehension through note taking and questioning as we read. We are learning different strategies for understanding and responding to different genres of text. We are practicing answering different kinds of comprehension questions on what we read, and we are finding evidence from the text to support our answers.
First graders are applying letter/sound relationship to identify, read, and write short vowel words. We are reading decodable books to practice these words in story context. We are reviewing phonemic skills to clearly hear and say the differences between sounds in words. We’re practicing sight vocabulary as we read sentences and stories. In November we will read poems to learn how the sounds, rhythm, and images from words can add beauty to our reading. We will also enjoy reading lists, labels, and other forms of print. We will practice reading instructions and “school words” that will help us work independently.
Second Grade students are working on specific phonemic and phonic skills to clearly hear, read, and write consonant blends, and consonant and vowel digraphs. We are dividing words into syllables, and into sound units, to read and write them accurately. We are thinking about how words are used as we identify parts of speech: nouns, verbs, and adjectives. We are practicing prereading strategies to help us predict what we will read about. We are making graphic organizers to help us understand, remember, and write about what we read. In November we will learn how poets use ideas, words, sounds, and images to share information and beauty.
Third Grade students are working on strategies for careful, accurate reading by studying sound units and word parts (prefixes, suffixes, roots.) We are practicing expression, phrasing, and fluency in reading aloud. We are learning ways to organize our reading by previewing for topic, main idea or question, key vocabulary, and sequence in a story or selection. We’re using different kinds of graphic organizers to help guide understanding and written response. We’re thinking of ways that poets use words and patterns. We’re practicing reading multistep, complex instructions to be sure we understand and follow them accurately.
Fourth Grade students are working on skills to analyse and accurately read complex vocabulary by breaking words into sound units and meaning units. We’re practicing reading these words in context and as we read, to maintain fluency while being accurate. We’re practicing different comprehension strategies for prereading and for understanding/remembering while reading. We’re answering different kinds of comprehension questions and justifying our answers with evidence from the text. In November we are learning elements of poetry and reading examples of poetry for vocabulary, images, and meaning.
This month I am working with Grades K,1,2,3,4 in small groups and in the classroom. Here is a brief introduction to the Language Arts/Reading Skills that we are working on!
Kindergarten: We are working on applying letter sounds to identifying short words. We are making decodable stories with rhyming words by changing the first letter. We are practicing following print and including sight vocabulary in our reading. We’re working on writing lowercase letters, words, and sentences.
First Grade: We are reading decodable books to apply letters/sounds and sight vocabulary. We’re finding subjects and predicates in sentences to identify who or what a sentence is about, and what happens. We’ve worked with all short vowel sounds and some consonant blends. We’re practicing reading dialogue with expression!
Second Grade: We are practicing reading more complex sentences with fluency and understanding. We’ve used graphic organizers to help with identifying and reading key vocabulary and with understanding main idea and details of what we read.
Third Grade: We are studying ways to read different genres of text by previewing, identifying key vocabulary and ideas, and identifying our purpose for reading. We are practicing answering different kinds of comprehension questions and responding to reading with different kinds of writing projects.
Fourth Grade: We are practicing careful reading and understanding of complex instructions to solve problems and answer questions. We’re explaining and justifying our answers. We’re using word analysis of prefixes, suffixes, root words, and sound units to understand and use new vocabulary.