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English Language Arts

Tips and Tricks

by Mrs. Nelsen

Below are some tips and tricks you can utilize at home when working on reading and writing with your child. One of the best things you can do for your child is to model good reading strategies with nightly read alouds. Here are some of my favorite read alouds that you can enjoy with your child:

  •       Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

  •       Your Name is Your Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

  •       The Bad Seed by Jory John

  •       Elmore by Holly Hobby

  •       The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

  •       We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

  •       Love by Matt De la Pena

​   K-2

  • ​Encourage your child to talk, talk, talk- oral language is key at this age.

  • Read rhyming books and point them out! Children at this age need to be sensitive to the sounds in words.

  • Encourage your child to read and re-read their favorite books- this helps to build accurate and fluent reading.

  • Pick books that are at your child’s right level. Your child might be reading the words right, but are they understanding? Comprehension is key!

  • Encourage story telling! After your child reads, ask them about the characters, setting, problem, solution, and important events. This promotes retelling, a key reading comprehension skill.

  • When listening to your child read out loud, encourage them to read like the character! Have them reread sentences where characters are talking. Make their voice match the character.


  • Promote your child’s reading life both at school and at home. Set up quiet spaces in your home that lend itself to independent reading.

  • Encourage discussion about books your child is reading. If reading fiction: ask questions surrounding plot, character, vocabulary, and theme. If reading nonfiction: ask questions surrounding main idea, key details, vocabulary, and text features.

  • Promote oral summaries after reading a text. If reading fiction: make sure students include character name, setting, important events, and an ending. If reading nonfiction: make sure students understand the main idea with specific details.

  • Set an example for good reading behavior. If you have just read an interesting article or book share that with your child and explain why.

  • Promote written response to a text. If your child has just read an interesting nonfiction book about video games have them write a letter to the creator of the video game expressing his or her opinion on the video game.

  • Play vocabulary games together. Choose a couple of unfamiliar words each week to learn as a family and see how often you can use those words.

Happy Reading!

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