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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the Word Wall?
  • The word wall is a list of sight words that the students should be familiar with by the end of the year.
  • The list includes Dolce words and words compiled by literacy leaders such as Patricia Cunningham and Lucy Calkin.
What words are on the spelling test?
  • The students are typically tested on word wall words that have appeared in their agenda in the previous week(s).
  • The students are tested on spelling regularly to build exposure to the word wall words/sight words but they spell best when the words are in the context of their own writing.
  • The list always appears in the weekly newsletter. If you happen to lose your newsletter, please click here.
  • Alternatively, you can check the right-hand column on the home page of this site.
What should my child be reading and how often?
  • Your child brings home a book daily from our classroom. The book s/he selects is levelled to his/her ability. If you're finding that the books are too easy or too hard, please feel free to send me a note in the agenda.
  • Also, allow your child to choose topics of his/her interest as that will also encourage reading. Take turns reading to each other. Talk about characters, setting, and events that happened (to encourage sequencing). Foster a love of reading!
  • Please record the amount of time spent reading in your child's reading log.
  • Literacy experts often say your child should have "3 meals" of reading a day. Daily readings should consist of a book they're familiar with and a new book.
How can I tell if a book is too hard?
  • If your child can't read 3 to 5 words on a page, then the book is too hard for them to read independently.
  • If the book is too hard, still take a look at the book. Do a picture walk by flipping through the pages. Ask your child what s/he thinks the story is about. Have them look at pictures and tell you what that picture is of. Ask them if they can find that word on the same page. Read the book to your child and you can discuss if his/her predictions were right!
How often should I be reading with my child?
  • Literacy experts often say your child should have "3 meals" of reading a day. Daily readings should consist of a book they're familiar with and a new book.
  • For beginning readers, look for pattern books and books with familiar sight words to build their confidence and their sight word bank.
How can I help my child to read?
Whenever you're starting with a new book, let your child:
  • locate the front cover
  • look at the title page and discuss the title
  • go on a "picture walk". This means looking at the pictures in the book in sequence.
  • tell you what s/he thinks the story is about based on the title and the pictures seen in the picture walk
If your child can read the book, make sure s/he is pointing at each word and using the pictures to help decode tough words. Don't cover the pictures.

If you're reading the book to your child, show him/her what you're reading by pointing at the words. This helps them to understand that we read from left to right and it also shows them what direction in which we need to turn the pages.

Make sure you read the books more than once!

For more ideas, visit the literacy tips page.
What will you be covering this year?
To view the Ontario curriculum documents, visit the Ministry of Education website at the following location:

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/grades.html

What's the best way to reach you?
The best way to get in touch with me is through the agenda. Write me a note if you need to send me any questions or updates.