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Reading Resources for Parents
Are you looking for resources to use at home to support your child's reading development? If so, you've come to the right place!! Your first step will be to ask your child's teacher what their current reading level is. This chart will help you see if he/she is on track for his/her grade level:
This chart shows our end-of-year expectation for each grade level:

Ready for some resources and suggestions? Find the section below that matches where your child is currently reading. Educational websites are listed at the very bottom of this page, along with suggested book lists for summer reading.
Kindergarten: Levels A-D
  1. Letter recognition and letter sounds : Before being able to read, your child will need to recognize the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Below is the chart we use in Kindergarten: Students “chant” the chart by saying “A…/a/ /a/…apple. B…/b/ /b/…bear. C…/c/ /c/…cat” and so on. Click here to download a copy of the chart . Click here for great printable games to try at home for letter recognition ! Click here for games for practicing letter sounds . Don’t forget to have your child practice writing the letters as well!

  2. Beginning Sounds : Emergent readers rely on beginning sounds to read and spell words. While driving in the car or waiting in line, try asking your child what sound they hear at the beginning of a given word. You can even emphasize it for them if they need that support. For example, “What letter do you hear at the beginning of pig ? /p/  /p/  pig.”  Be sure to celebrate when your child gives you a correct answer! Click here for great printable games to try at home !
  3. Rhyming : The ability to hear rhymes (cat-hat, bag-tag) is an essential skill for learning to read. Trying reciting nursery rhymes and having your child identify the rhyming words at the end of each line. For example, “out” and “spout” in “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Click here for some favorite nursery rhymes . In addition to nursery rhymes, poetry and Dr. Seuss books are FULL of rhyming words. Try a fun wordplay game while driving in the car! Ask your child “What rhymes with _fin_ ?” then work together to think of as many real (bin, tin, pin) OR nonsense words (cin, nin, rin) as you can! Click here for great printable games to try at home !
  4. Concept of Word : This is a fancy way of saying that your child has learned that words are separated by spaces. When listening to your child read and reread books, it is important that they point to each word on the page as they read. If they struggle, have them rest their hand on top of yours while you read and point to the words until they can do it on their own. This skill is developed by reading, reading, and more reading! After reading a book, go back to any page and ask, “Can you find the word ______?” or “What’s this word?” They might reread the line aloud to find it, or they may use the beginning sound to help them find the word. These are both great strategies!
    1. What is Level A like ? Level A books are very predictable with typically one word changing on each page. The picture serves as a clue to the word that is changing. Each page typically has one line of text. For example: “I can paint my chair. I can paint my bike. I can paint my house. I can paint my tree.”

    2. What is Level B like ? Level B books are still very predictable with one sentence on a page and picture clues providing a lot of support. The sentence on each page may be longer and continue on to a second line. Be sure they’re little finger is touching the right word as they read! Here’s an example: “We have some corn in our garden. We have some beans in our garden. We have some flowers in our garden.”

    3. What is Level C like ? Level C books have 2-3 sentences on a page but still follow a pattern with pictures providing support. For example: “Jack looked in the yard. No, Taco was not under the rose bush. Jack looked in the garage. No, Taco was not under the car.”

    4. What is Level D like ? Level D books have 3-4 sentences on a page. They are not as predictable anymore but pictures still provide support. You might see something like this: “It’s time for lunch,” said Mother Bear. “Baby Bear likes berries. I will get some berries.” Mother Bear got some berries. “Yum, yum,” said Mother Bear. “I like berries, too.” “Little Bear likes nuts,” said Mother Bear. “I will get some nuts.” Mother Bear got some nuts. “Yum, yum,” said Mother Bear. “I like nuts, too.”

    5. Need resources for leveled books at home ?

      • Ask your child’s teacher to send home paper books from Reading A to Z.

      • Go to Scholastic’s Book Wizard site ( click here ) to search for books or find out the level of a book you have. Be sure to click on “Guided Reading (A to Z) so you’re speaking the same language.

      • Do a Google search for “Level ___ booklist” and you’ll find lots!

      • Go to the local public library and the librarian can help you!

  5. Sight words : Progressing through these reading levels will be made easier as your child develops his/her sight word knowledge. Click on the links below to download printable flashcards to practice with your child. All lists are availalbe, but the first list should be mastered before moving on to the next list. If the list is too overwhelming, try practicing 5 words at a time. This will be more meaningful if the words are taken from books they’ve read! Let's make our goal to enter 1st grade knowing 100 words !!
    1. Flashcards:

    2. Want to keep track of the words your child knows? Click on the links below to download an assessment sheet.

  6. Blending and Segmenting : As your child learns to read, they will eventually come across words that are not sight words and the picture doesn’t help them figure out the word either. What we want your child to do is “sound out” the word. If they say each sound in the word slowly, then blend it together quickly, it should help them read the word. For example, “/c/  /a/  /t/…cat.” You can practice this with your child when they’re stuck on a word, but you can also practice it in the car saying, “I’m going to say a word slow, then I want you to say it fast. /n/  /a/  /p/”   “Nap!!” When spelling words, children need to know how to segment a word into its parts. For example, if I want to spell “map,” I need to stretch out the sounds to hear /m/  /a/  /p/. Both blending and segmenting can be practiced using Elkonin boxes ( click here to download one to print ). Your child can touch each box (“sound”) with their finger or write on the board. At school we like to put the Elkonin boxes in a SmartPal (fancy sheet protector) so kids can write on them with an Expo marker then erase to practice many times. Click here for a list of words to practice . Make sure your child’s mastered the first box before moving onto the second. Want to see this activity in action? Check out this YouTube video .

  7. Spelling : You can assist with your child’s spelling development by completing word study homework that your child’s teacher assigns. In order to spell, your child will first need to identify letters (their sort will have the letters written in different fonts) and then sounds (their sort will have pictures that need to be sorted by the beginning sound). Next, your child will be ready to spell 3-letter words with short vowels, such as cat , man , wet , or nut . If your child can spell these words at the end of the year, they are right on track!

  8. Writing : Learning to form letters correctly is an important skill in Kindergarten. Click here for letter “chants” that you can use to help your child learn the correct formation. You can support your emergent writer by having them complete a sentence that you give them. For example, “I like to eat ______.” Have your child draw a picture of the food they choose, then do their best to represent the sounds they hear on the line. As they progress through spelling/word study, you’ll see them represent the beginning sound, ending sound, and even the short vowel eventually! Another easy activity would be to have your child draw a picture, then label the parts (tree, flower, house, sun, etc.) as best as they can.  After reading a book, try writing a sentence following the same pattern. Help your child stretch out the sounds, rather than copying from the book. Don’t forget your spaces between words, capital at the beginning, and punctuation at the end! Did your child just finish watching a TV show? Have them draw a picture of what happened then write a sentence about it.

1st grade: Levels E-I
  1. Sight Words : Progressing through reading levels will be made easier as your child develops his/her sight word knowledge. Please use the lists and assessment sheets in the Kindergarten section to find the list to work with your child on. Let’s make it our goal to enter 2 nd grade knowing all sight words !!

  2. Blending and Segmenting : This skill continues to be important in 1 st grade. Please see resources for this skill in the Kindergarten section.

  3. Reading : 1 st grade is a vital year for children to “learn to read” so that in 2 nd grade and beyond they can “read to learn.” As the book levels progress they get less predictable so sight word knowledge and decoding strategies are the key to their success.

    1. Decoding Strategies : Your child is going to come across words they don’t know, so we want them to have some decoding strategies to help them out. When listening to your child read at home, encourage them to use these strategies:

      • Sound it out :” Sometimes words are simple enough to “sound it out” by saying each sound then blending them together. For example, “/n/  /e/  /t/…net.”

      • Look for chunks : Encourage your child to find “chunks” in a word, for example /fl/ in flat, /sh/ in shut, or /pl/ in plan. Click here to download a chart of “chunks” to help your child recognize .

      • Decode by analogy : Often you can find “chunks” that you recognize from other words. For example, if you know the sight word saw, knowing the sound /aw/ can help you figure out the word draw. Here are some helpful ones to remember:

        1. /ee/ as in see

        2. /ea/ as in eat

        3. /ou/ as in out

        4. /ai/ as in rain

        5. /ay/ as in play

        6. /oi/ as in oil

        7. /ow/ as in how or snow

        8. /oo/ as in look or too

      • Look for word endings : Covering up word endings (_s, _ed, _ing, _er) helps make the word smaller and, often, easier to decode. Then your child can add the ending to help understand the meaning when an _s is at the end (meaning more than one: cats, dog, pencils), when _ed is at the end (an action word that happened in the past: walked, painted, stayed), when _ing is at the end (an action word that is happening now: standing, cheering, jumping), or when an _er is at the end (comparing two things: taller, shorter, faster).

      • Think “What would make sense?” : Sometimes skipping the word and using the clues in the sentence and pictures will help determine what the word might be. Reread the sentence to see if your idea makes sense and look at the letters in the word to see if it matches. For example, “Nate used ________ to color his paper.” Ideas could be crayons, markers, glitter, etc.

    2. Comprehension : Although your child is focused on learning to read, it is still a 1 st grade expectation that students understand what they read and be able to answer questions about the story. After listening to your child read, ask questions like…

      1. Who are the characters in the story?

      2. Where does the story take place? (setting)

      3. What is the story mostly about? (main idea)

      4. What is the problem in the story? How was it solved?

      5. How are _________ and ________ alike? How are they different?

      6. What caused _________ to happen?

      7. What do you think will happen next? (predicting)

    3. What is Level E like? Level E books have 2-4 sentences on a page. They are not as predictable anymore but pictures still provide support. You might see something like this: “It is time to go for a walk,” says Ron. Ron gets Meli’s red leash. “Let’s go, Meli,” says Ron. Meli loves to go for a walk. She puts her little black nose on everything she sees.

    4. What is Level I like? Here is sample text from a Level I book: The young man went on and on from house to house. All the people said they were sorry. But no one gave him any food. “This is a poor town,” they said. “We don’t have any food.” The young man was still very hungry. So he came up with a plan.

    5. Need resources for leveled books at home ?

      • Ask your child’s teacher to send home paper books from Reading A to Z.

      • Go to Scholastic’s Book Wizard ( click here ) to search for books or find out the level of a book you have. Be sure to click on “Guided Reading (A to Z) so you’re speaking the same language.

      • Do a Google search for “Level ___ booklist” and you’ll find lots!

      • Go to the local public library and the librarian can help you!

  4. Spelling : You can assist with your child’s spelling development by completing word study homework that your child’s teacher assigns. In order to spell, your child will first need to identify letter sounds (their sort will have pictures that need to be sorted by the beginning sound). Next, your child will be ready to spell 3-letter words with short vowels, such as cat , fin , wet , or nut . The next step is words with digraphs ( sh ut, ch in, th is) and blends ( cr ib, pl ug, st em). Next comes words with blends at the end (se nd , de sk , si ck , ju mp ). If your child can spell these words at the end of the year, they are right on track!
  5. Writing : In 1 st grade students are continuing to learn the basics about writing, including capitalization, punctuation, spaces between words, and using their best spelling. As your child progresses through spelling/word study, you’ll see them represent more sounds in each word! Make writing fun by writing stories together, writing in a journal, or writing letters to each other or a friend or family member. Try having your child write a few sentences about a book they read, a tv show they watched, or a place they visited. Don’t feel like you need to correct everything they write. Remind them of the basics (capital, punctuation, spaces) but only expect them to correctly spell words with patterns that they’ve studied (short vowels, blends, etc.).
2nd grade: Levels J-M
  1. Sight Words : Our goal is to enter 2 nd grade knowing all sight words !! Please use the lists and assessment sheets in the Kindergarten section to see if your child has mastered these lists.

  2. Fluency : Fluency is a fancy word for smooth, expressive reading. The easiest way to practice reading fluently is to reread books more than once. The first time there may be words your child has to stop to decode. The second time the book is read he/she will know that word so there won’t be stops. The third time reading your child will be able to focus on making their voice match the emotions of the characters talking. Click here for many fun ways to practice fluency . (My favorite activity is the “Fast Phrases” described on Pg 9). Fluency can be practiced through reading poems or song lyrics. Click here for some funny poems from Giggle Poetry that your child is sure to enjoy!

  3. Reading : 2 nd grade is the year when your child should have already “learned to read” so they can now “read to learn” information.

    1. Decoding Strategies : If your child struggles in knowing what to do when they’re stuck on an unknown word, check out the strategies recommended in the 1 st grade section.

    2. Comprehension : Comprehension is vital in reading from this point on. Students are expected to understand what they read and be able to answer questions about the story. After listening to your child read, ask questions like…

      • How does the character feel at the beginning of the story?

      • Where does the story take place? (setting)

      • What is the story mostly about? (main idea)

      • What happened at the beginning? middle? end? (sequencing)

      • What happened after _______? What happened before ________? (sequencing)

      • What is the problem in the story? How was it solved?

      • How are _________ and ________ alike? How are they different?

      • What caused _________ to happen?

      • What do you think will happen next? (predicting)

    3. What is Level J like? In a Level J book you might see something like this: This tall plant is a cactus. The cactus can live here because it stores water in a special way. When it rains, the cactus roots soak up water. The plant swells up and gets bigger. The cactus uses the water until it rains again.

    4. What is Level M like? Here is sample text from a Level M book: Long ago, Fox lived in a little reed hut on the shore of a large lake. Early one spring morning, the sound of splashing water startled Fox. “The gulls are back!” Fox cried. “It’s been a long winter.” His stomach rumbled at the thought of a tasty gull breakfast.

    5. Need resources for leveled books at home ?

      • Ask your child’s teacher to send home paper books from Reading A to Z.

      • Go to Scholastic’s Book Wizard ( click here ) to search for books or find out the level of a book you have. Be sure to click on “Guided Reading (A to Z) so you’re speaking the same language.

      • Do a Google search for “Level ___ booklist” and you’ll find lots!

  4. Spelling : You can assist with your child’s spelling development by completing word study homework that your child’s teacher assigns. Your child’s spelling development will progress through these stages:

    1. Short vowels: cat , fin , wet , or nut .

    2. Digraphs ( sh ut, ch in, th is) and blends ( cr ib, pl ug, st em).

    3. Ending blends (se nd , de sk , si ck , ju mp ).

    4. Long vowels with a silent e (c a k e , b i k e , r o p e , t u b e )

    5. Other long vowels (r ai n, st ay , sn ow , fl oa t, st ew , fr ui t, st ea m, tr ee , m igh t)

    6. R-controlled vowels (st ar , f air , g er m, p eer , g ir l, f ire , s oar , t ur n)

    7. Complex consonants (pi tch , stu ck , fu dge , squ int, scr eam, spl ash)

    8. Abstract vowels (sp oo n, cl aw , c oi n, f ou nd) (If your child can spell these words at the end of the year, they’re right on track!)

  5. Writing : In 2 nd grade, students are continuing to learn the basics about writing, including capitalization, punctuation, spaces between words, and using their best spelling. They should be able to write 5+ sentences on a given topic. Make writing fun by writing stories together, writing in a journal, or writing letters to each other or a friend or family member. Try having your child write a paragraph about a book they read, a tv show they watched, or a place they visited. Don’t feel like you need to correct everything they write. Remind them of the basics (capital, punctuation, spaces) but only expect them to correctly spell sight words and words with patterns that they’ve studied (blends, long vowels, etc.).

3rd-5th grades: Levels N+
  1. Fluency : Fluency is a fancy word for smooth, expressive reading. The easiest way to practice reading fluently is to reread books more than once. The first time there may be words your child has to stop to decode. The second time the book is read he/she will know that word so there won’t be stops. The third time reading your child will be able to focus on making their voice match the emotions of the characters talking. Click here for many fun ways to practice fluency. (My favorite activity is the “Fleeting Phrases” described on Pg 1). Fluency can be practiced through reading poems or song lyrics. Click here for some funny poems from Giggle Poetry that your child is sure to enjoy!

  2. Comprehension : Comprehension is vital in reading from this point on. Students are expected to understand what they read and be able to answer questions about the story. After listening to your child read, ask questions like…

    • How does the character feel at the beginning of the story?

    • Compare a character at the beginning and end of a story.

    • What information helps identify the setting?

    • What is the main idea?

    • Why does the author include paragraph ___?

    • What happened after _________? What happened before __________?

    • What is the problem in the story? How was it solved?

    • How are _________ and ________ alike? How are they different?

    • What caused _________ to happen?

    • What would happen if _______?

    • What is the main reason the author wrote this book?

  3. Need resources for leveled books at home ?

    • Ask your child’s teacher to send home paper books from Reading A to Z.

    • Go to Scholastic’s Book Wizard ( click here ) to search for books or find out the level of a book you have. Be sure to click on “Guided Reading (A to Z) so you’re speaking the same language.

    • Do a Google search for “Level ___ booklist” and you’ll find lots!

  4. Vocabulary : As your child progresses through reading levels, he/she will come across many words they’ve never learned the meaning of. Encourage your child to use the clues in the sentence to help them determine the meaning of words like brief, agony, or humble. Vocabulary in 3 rd -5 th grade also includes knowing synonyms (little/tiny), antonyms (fast/slow), homophones (hear/here), prefixes ( dis like, pre view), and suffixes (short en , color ful , home less ). Encourage your child to use a dictionary, glossary, or thesaurus to learn more about the meaning of unknown words. Click here for a great graphic organizer your child can use to tell more about a new word. Click here for a list of common prefixes and suffixes they should become familiar with.

  5. Spelling : You can assist with your child’s spelling development by completing word study homework that your child’s teacher assigns. Your child’s spelling development will progress through these stages:

    1. Long vowels with a silent e (c a k e , b i k e , r o p e , t u b e )

    2. Other long vowels (r ai n, st ay , sn ow , fl oa t, st ew , fr ui t, st ea m, tr ee , m igh t)

    3. R-controlled vowels (st ar , f air , g er m, p eer , g ir l, f ire , s oar , t ur n)

    4. Complex consonants (pi tch , stu ck , fu dge , squ int, scr eam, spl ash)

    5. Abstract vowels (sp oo n, cl aw , c oi n, f ou nd)

    6. Endings (writ ing , run ning )

    7. Vowels in Multisyllabic words (happen, fever, visit)

    8. Final Syllables (cattle, model, final, until)

    9. Prefixes/suffixes (rebuild, unable; sunny, slowly, happily)

  6. Writing : In 3 rd -5 th grades your child will be expected to be able to write 1-5 paragraphs on a given prompt. A sample prompt might be: Imagine your school closes for the day, and you can do anything you want. What will you do? Write a story about what happens. Here is another example: Think about a pet you would like to own. Write to explain what you would choose and why . Make writing fun by writing stories together, writing in a journal, or writing letters to each other or a friend or family member. Try having your child write a paragraph or two about a book they read, a tv show they watched, or a place they visited!

  7. SOL Preparation : In May your child will be expected to read and answer questions about 5-7 passages on their SOL Reading test. The best way you can help your child is by encouraging them to read, read, read! You can also walk them through released test items that will be similar to what they’ll see on the SOL test. Click here for practice items provided by the Virginia Department of Education . Click here for “most missed” items provided by the VDOE from last year’s test.

Are you looking for fun, educational websites? Look no further! Here are a few that we recommend:
1. http://www.starfall.com/
2. http://earobics.com/gamegoo/gooey.html
3. http://www.finditva.com/ (Click on "Ebooks" then "Tumblebooks")
4. http://fcrr.org/for-educators/sca.asp
5. http://www.studyisland.com/ (Your 2nd-5th grader has log-in information from school)

It is vital that you keep reading daily with your child over the summer! Click on the level below for a printable copy of suggested books for each level:
Level A/B
Level C
Level D
Level E
Level F
Level G
Level H
Level I
Level J
Level K
Level L
Level M
Level N
Level O
Level P
Level Q
Level R
Level S
Level T
Level U
Level V
Level W
Level X