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This is a great chart that shows how a read aloud (high support) is used to eventually become an Independent Resource (low support) for students to read on their own or at home.

One is done with a poem and the other is a Big Book that is repetative, and is simple to follow (level C).  I just finished this book-I Went Walking with my class and they loved it.  Here is a 5 day plan for the book.


This is a monograph about getting started with inquiry.  There is a list on the last page that gives 6 tips on how to get started with inquiry 

This great line….

Inquiry allows students to make decisions about their learning and to take responsibility for it.



On the site there is a great list of read alouds /wp-content/uploads/2010/10/List-of-books-in-200-format-FINAL.pdf suggested by teachers.  There is a picture of the book and a comment about what it can be used for.  There is a whole range of books that can help you begin your planning for the new year. Also, if you have a book you can submit the information to be added to the list! .  You can also access this information under the tab across the top called “Resources”.


Making the personal connection before school even begins may relieve some anxiety for those little ones entering a formal school setting for the first time.  Sending a hello note or a phone call to introduce yourself is a great way to break the ice. 

Myself and my ECE partner work together to create a JK handbook that informs parents about things like lunch/snack, clothing, communicating with notes, bookbag routines etc.  When they come for their first half day we discuss with parents all this information and answer any questions they may have.  Our board gives every new student a bookbag when they start JK. In this bag we place notes and reading books (started after Christmas) to ensure safe, dry delivery to home.  In the past I used very large ziplock bags with the child’s name on the cover or you can also purchase nylon bags from the dollar store that are more durable.

Regular communication is important for parents and students.  The later part of this school year I changed how I prepared and presented my newsletters.  Firstly, have always sent my letters home in the form of a book  to encourage reading.  The material in the letters no longer tell what we will be doing in the classroom over the month or so, but what we have done in our inquiry projects with authentic pictures and kid writing.  I do however leave a very small space to inform parents of anything like fieldtrips, an important upcoming event, but the newsletter now reflects the students and what they find to be important learning in our classroom.  It is more work, but the students just love it and it gives me an opportunity to sit with children and ask them what they want to include.  It is a good time for me to reflect as an educator on what the children have enjoyed and remembered doing.


Reading aloud regularly to a child teaches valuable language skills in any language. When trying to a child learn English as their second language, reading to him/her is one of the most important things you can do to help. As soon as you can, you should read books that are in English, as well as books that are in the child’s primary language.  Some stories have been translated into English and other languages so you can read the same story to the child in both languages. This can provide added interest for the child and the opportunity to compare both languages.

For parents, you take advantage of story time at your local library or bookstore to make reading more engaging.  Some playgroups also offer story time for parents and children to enjoy.  Children can enjoy sitting with a group of other kids listening to a story, and hearing English spoken by a variety of different native voices can also be helpful. This is a great option for parents who do not speak English well themselves. Children may also have the chance to participate in choosing books to take home from these various story times, which in turn will make him more enthusiastic about reading at home.

For parents and teachers, there are book series, internet sites and hundreds of other resources designed specifically for teaching children how to speak English. Lesson plans, games, story books and plays can be easily found on internet or in bookshops. You can create your own resources that are simple and easy to follow. Even the most unimaginative of adults can make up a short story that children can identify with.


      Literacy does not only mean reading. It also involves language and writing skills. We use our literacy skills everyday.  Several school boards have made literacy one of their top priorities.  This has left many parents wondering how they can help their child(ren) with literacy skills at home.  You should always read about your child(ren)’s age and what is developmentally appropriate for that age, before trying ideas with them.

Some simple ideas are:

  • read at home (ask child questions, have child tell you a word, take turns reading)
  • board games
  • rhyming words games or the Name Game
  • fridge magnets for younger children
  • small blocks and playdough to promote fine motor skills for younger children
  • create books by taking pictures and have the children write the stories or words
  • scrapbooks for older children
  • be an active & reflective listener, and model appropriate language
  • older children can have a pen-pal from another country
  • have your older child write a letter to their favourite author
  • have your child bury a “treasure” and then create a map for you to find it
  • visit your community’s public library

If you make literacy activities fun and exciting at home, your child’s love for reading, writing and language will continue to grow throughout their childhood.