31 Days to Better Reading!


The Literacy Connection Calendar for Elementary School Children (Kindergarten Through Grade 3)

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This calendar offers activities for parents and elementary school children (kindergarten through grade 3) to do together. Each activity helps your child build one or more important literacy skills.  One key to helping your child learn as you talk, read and play together is to keep the activities fun.


Here are the literacy skills that are used in these activities:


Phonemic Awareness. Children who know that sounds in spoken language work together to make words are taking the first steps in becoming successful readers. Children who have fun with these sounds—grouping words by their first sound, isolating the first or last sound in a word, segmenting sounds into separate sounds and blending sounds to make words—learn that words are made of sounds and that changing the sounds changes the words.


Phonics. Children hear the sounds of spoken language and begin to connect those sounds to the letters of written language. When children understand this relationship, they are able to recognize familiar words when they are written.  They also can figure out how to pronounce and read new written words.


Fluency. Being able to read a passage accurately, quickly and with proper expression—fluently—means children can focus on the meaning of the words they are reading. They do not have to work so hard to figure out how to say the words. Building fluency helps children’s reading comprehension.


Vocabulary. We need words to be able to communicate—to listen, speak, read and write. The more words children know and understand, the better they are at expressing their own thoughts. Knowing lots of words also helps children’s reading comprehension. Children with a limited vocabulary have difficulty understanding what they read. Children learn words in two ways—by hearing and seeing words as they listen, talk and read and by having parents and teachers teach them the meanings of words.


Comprehension. Making meaning of spoken and written words is necessary for understanding what we hear and read. Children can use various strategies to help them gain meaning. For example, they can use what they already know (background knowledge), make predictions, create mental pictures, ask questions and summarize to make sense of—comprehend—what they hear and read.