Sunday, October 2, 2016

After what?

At Home Ideas for Raising IGDIs Scores for Winter Testing


  • Make a goal to read to your child each night.  Before bed is a great time to build this into your routine.  
  • Ask your students questions about the story you are reading to include: what, when, where, who, how and why questions.  You are getting your child to think about what you are reading and they are using vocabulary and language to formulate their responses.
  • Explain unfamiliar words to your child to increase their vocabulary.  Use "big" words with your preschooler such as "nocturnal" when referring to animals that are awake at night for example.  Model using descriptive words to describe things.  For example: "The big, green, hairy caterpillar" instead of just "Caterpillar".  They are curious and ready to learn.  
  • Talk to your student about daily tasks.  Explain what you are doing and why.  
  • Understand that vocabulary is one of the biggest dividers amongst children as they become future readers.  The more vocabulary your child knows, the better they are able to comprehend text and the better they are at decoding unfamiliar words.  Language and vocabulary in preschool matters a great deal!!


  • While reading to your child, point out words that rhyme in stories.  Say "Dog, log, that rhymes, I hear the same sound at the end."
  • Play the rhyming game I sent home for you.  Memory is a fun game for preschoolers and they will have a lot of opportunities to hear non-examples and correct matches to begin to understand the concept.  Go fish is another option or simply matching the cards as to which two words rhyme.
  • As your preschoolers begin to understand rhyming and listening for the ending sounds, ask them to produce rhyming words.  For example, "Can you tell me a word that rhymes with Pig?"
  • Read nursery rhymes to your child and immerse them with the concept of rhyming by pointing out words that rhyme.  
  • The ability to isolate sounds in words is an important pre-reading and pre-writing skill.

Sound Identification:

  • Reinforce letter sound identification with your child by asking them about the jolly phonics letter we are working on and using the sound cards I send home to practice the action that correlates with each sound.  
  • Have your child do an alphabet puzzle and talk about the letter names and the sound each letter makes.
  • Make an alphabet book with your child.  Label a piece of paper with each alphabet letter and then hunt in magazines, newspapers, etc. for things that start with each letter.  Glue the pictures you find on each page.  This will reinforce the idea that letters have sounds and these pictures start with that sound.
  • Sort family names by the letter they start with to include the family pet and grandma's and grandpa's, etc.  Making it personal for preschoolers is a great way to peak their interest.
  • Read alphabet books as a part of your nightly routine.  

Which One Doesn't Belong:

  • Have your child help you sort items by their similarities and differences.  This can be something as simple as sorting leaves, sorting silverware from the dishwasher or sorting socks in the laundry.  Point out characteristics to include how they are alike and how they are different.  This will help students begin to classify objects.
  • Have your child sort items based on their size, color, and shape to help them to become attuned to looking at items and recognizing different and similar characteristics.
  • Help your students to classify items based on characteristics.  This can be done by sorting their toys.  "All of the dolls go here, all of the trucks go here, this one doesn't belong here because it has ________".  
  • While reading books, point out things you notice that go together and things that do not.
  • Be intentional about setting up situations where they have to see where something doesn't belong.  For example, put the fork in the spoon slot in your silverware drawer, and say, " This one doesn't belong because it is not a spoon, this is a fork."  It can be something very simple and preschoolers love when we are silly and they enjoy correcting our "mistakes".  

Fall Testing Thoughts:

  1. A lot of the items tested in the fall are not things you may have worked on yet with your preschooler so when I look at test results, I view it as whether a child has been exposed to these concepts or not.
  2. During preschool, we will be working on all of these areas with your child through our Read it Again reading series, jolly phonics and in individual and small group activities.
  3. Working together, we will help our students be Kindergarten ready for next fall!  
  4. I will be providing resources throughout the year for you to practice skills with your child at home.  
  5. If you have concerns with your child's speech and language to include vocabulary, understanding questions and directions, please know we do have a Speech and Language Pathologist that serves our building free of charge.  Contact me if this is an area of concern for you.  
  6. Please as always, ask any questions you may have and let me know if there is anything I can do to support you at home.

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