Friday, April 1, 2016

April is National Poetry Month

Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Today marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month! National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, bloggers, and poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and lives. The Academy of American Poets founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to encourage the reading of poems and assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms. 

There are many ways to participate in National Poetry Month. Here are just a few:
What Standards Can You Meet With Poetry?

To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must read widely and deeply from among a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts. Poetry, poetic language, and poetry terminology are specifically mentioned in all grades. There are also anchor standards in LanguageSpeaking and Listening, and Writing that lend themselves to the use of poetry. The ELA College and Career Readiness anchor standards (in parentheses) call upon students to be able to:

• Make inferences (1).
• Cite specific textual evidence to support conclusions and answers (1).
• Determine and analyze the theme of a text (2).
• Analyze the way ideas develop over the course of a text (3).
• Interpret words and phrases (4).
• Analyze connotative and figurative meanings of words (4).
• Analyze how word choice shapes a text (4).
• Analyze the structure of a text (5).
• Assess how point of view shapes a text (6).
• Analyze how two texts address the same theme (9).

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Partnering with Parents

Parents are an integral part of early literacy.  Of course students experience daily reading opportunities during school, but parental involvement is still essential to creating strong, lifelong learning structures that will improve student literacy now and later.  For this reason, all elementary sites have held Parent Literacy Nights with the help of Literacy Specialist Teachers (LSTs) and primary teachers assisting.  For example, Audra Soto held Parent Literacy Nights at both Reagan and Sequoia in which parents participated in "centers" to learn new and practical ways on how to help their children with specific literacy skills.  Bernadette Gomez held Parent Literacy Nights at Del Rey focusing on fluency and questioning strategies that parents can incorporate into reading with their children at home.  Marissa O'Donnell drew over 300 people to Jefferson's Family Reading Night last month.  Families were encouraged to wear pajamas and bring pillows and blankets to read on.  Opportunities included reading to a service dog, participating in a Book Walk, creating bookmarks, exploring literacy websites at an iPad station, checking out new books from the Roaring Readers book exchange, and taking at least one new book home.  What awesome opportunities to build excitement about reading with Sanger families! 

If you are a parent, or you would like to share these tips with your students' families, here are some suggestions from Hanover Research:

  • Let your child see you read and write.  When you read something interesting, share what you are reading with your child.
  • Provide a comfortable, quiet space for your child to read stories, draw, and write.
  • Read with your child every night.
  • Encourage your child to have many experiences that help build listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills.