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Frequently Asked Questions concerning Literacy Camp programs/practices/strategies.

   1.   Question: Why is it important for my child to read a selection from their Read
        Naturally book three times for homework?

Answer- Read Naturally is a research-based program designed to facilitate development
of your child’s reading fluency. A fluent reader reads accurately, with good expression
and at a good rate of speed. Fluency is an important factor to become a better reader,
demonstrating ease of reading and a comfort level with text. Improved fluency also
contributes to improved comprehension, allowing the reader to concentrate on the
meaning of the selection, rather than trying to sound good or to spend time trying to
decode the words.

The repeated reading strategy allows students to feel at ease with the selection, work
through the rough spots or difficult vocabulary, improve speed of reading and gain
further experience with sight words or commonly used words at the student’s reading
level. Research has shown that the repeated reading strategy is a sound way to improve
accuracy and reading speed. Of course, reading more than three times per night would be
beneficial. But, it is necessary to read at least three times to benefit from the repeated
reading strategy.

   2.    Question: How can I help my child with writing and support the strategies that
        he/she is learning at Literacy Camp?

Answer-At Literacy Camp, we use the Step Up To Writing program to provide direct
instruction in a systematic multisensory manner. The students learn how to compose
complete sentences as well as how to combine those sentences to form paragraphs and
multiparagraph reports.
Remind your child that each sentence should follow the “Five Finger Test.”

Thumb:    Start each sentence with a capital letter.
Index:    Use a subject (person, place, thing).
Middle:   Use a verb (action).
Ring:     Make a complete thought.
Pinkie:   Use ending punctuation .
We focus on expository and summary writing. Students are taught how to organize their
thoughts by using the traffic light symbol.

Green: Go with a topic sentence stating what you will be writing about.
Yellow: Give your Reasons, Details, Facts to expand the topic.
Red: Elaborate by giving examples.
Green: Conclude by restating the information in your topic sentence, but write it in a
       different way.

Sometimes, we use the hamburger model, too!

                     Graphic Organizer - Hamburger Model
When we write summaries, we use the IVF model.

We IDENTIFY a topic. We VERB it. We FINISH it.

Step Up to Writing
Summary Paragraph
Identify it                   Verb it                        Finish it

Apple iphone                  announces a drop               in price

Summary Sentence:
In the article_______________, by __________, the Apple iPhone announces a
drop in price.

Fact Outline:
price drop announced at media event in September
increased space to 8GB iPhone
went from $599 to $399, a $200 drop
largest public backlash: customers who paid full
    price were upset!
Apple offered $100 store credit to those who paid
    original price before Sept. 4th
some customers are still upset even after credit

Summary Paragraph: Student uses the summary topic sentence and the facts to
compose the paragraph.

In the article, “Apple Drops iPhone Price; Chagrin
Ensues” by Roberto Baldwin, the Apple iPhone announces a drop in
price . Apple stated that there is a drop in the iPhone price along
with an increase of space to 8 gigabytes. This announcement
took place in September at a media event. The price dropped
$200, from $599 to $399, which in turn upset many of
Apple’s customers who had purchased an iPhone at the higher
price earlier in the yearTherefore, Apple decided to give customers a
$100 Apple Store credit if they had purchased the phone
before this announcement. Many customers are still not
satisfied with this credit!
Adapted from Step Up To Writing
   3.   Question: What can I do to promote my child’s vocabulary development?

Answer: Try to make your child “word conscious.” Here are some interesting facts and
ideas to do just that:

One of the earliest findings in reading research is the strong correlation between
vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension (Davis, 1944; National Reading
Panel, 2000). Strategic readers not only know how to recognize words but also
understand what they mean so they can use them in listening, speaking, reading, and
writing situations.

Oliver Wendell Homes once said, “Once the mind is stretched by a new idea it never
goes back to its original dimension.” That quote speaks to the powerful outcome of
creating word conscious children. We have all heard unfamiliar words used in
conversation and pondered the meaning once the chat ended. Research indicates the
brain is curious and has a need to know or figure out different or unfamiliar information.

Word conscious learners have an awareness of and an interest in new words, their
meanings, and their power; students begin to take notice of words they read, hear, and
those they write or speak (Armbuster, Lehr, & Osborn, 2001; Graves, 2006).

When parents and teachers focus on creating word conscious learners many students for
the first time are actually motivated to learn new words. Traditional practices (defining
words using the dictionary) have done little to motivate students to be word learners; past
results at best focused on a passing acquaintance with words. Motivation is everything;
people accomplish little unless they are motivated to do so. If students are to achieve
academically, they must be motivated to learn and use many new words.

Approaches to Creating Word Conscious Learners

Begin now to incorporate some of the following ideas for developing word conscious

• Word Play and Books – Highlight the use of interesting words in text, point out how
authors arrange words to create varied effects and discuss how the writer’s choice of
words enhances meaning, promotes curiosity, or creates feelings. Introduce your child to
books that focus on word play. Books by Fred Gwynne, The King Who Rained and
Chocolate Moose for Dinner, or the Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy Parish focus on
hilarious wordplay and zany humor that keeps children of all ages in stitches. Get Thee
to a Punnery by ingenious author Richard Lederer offers a humorous use of words
representing more than one possible meaning for most content areas. For example, a
nickel a grade is more than a centigrade.
• Research the Origins or History of Words – A great starting point is to encourage
children to search for the meaning of words from their daily lives linked to food and/or
customs unique to their cultures. For example, a Kolache is
a Czech or Slovak pastry consisting of fillings ranging from fruits (including poppy seed,
raspberry, and apricot) to cheeses inside a bread roll. Sabotage comes from the Dutch
wooden shoe (sabot) which was thrown into the weaving machine by disgruntled workers
to shut it down.

• Parent/Teacher Language - Modeling the use of new or unique vocabulary words is a
powerful learning tool. Words can be linked to known synonym or antonym, as well as
used in a variety of settings. A middle school principal developed the habit of using
interesting words in conversation as he spoke with students in the hall. Students were
curious enough to find out the meanings of words used and also began using the words in
their conversations. Examples include Prudent Priscilla kept her vocab box in a vault so
nobody would steal it, or Our middle school dances are usually a pretty convivial place.
 Surround your child with those “six-million dollar” vocabulary words when you speak to

The overall goal of word consciousness is to highlight, celebrate, and kindle children’s
interest in words. A few minutes of “word-play” each day is a motivating, yet a simple
way to expand vocabulary and improve comprehension. Don’t wait; begin now to create
word conscious learners who will enjoy learning words all summer long.

(This information was provided by Rachel Billmeyer in her book, Strategic Reading in the
Content Areas 2nd edition available summer 2010.)

    4.   Question: What is reading fluency and why is it considered to be so important to
         my child’s success?

Recent research on reading development identifies the importance of fluency. The three
components of reading fluency are speed, accuracy, and expression. Fluency integrates word
recognition with comprehension. A child who reads a passage fluently doesn't stop to decode
words; she reads quickly and with expression because she knows the words and grasps the
meaning of the text. It is possible to help your child become a more fluent reader. Beginning
around first grade, use these teacher-recommended strategies at home to build fluency.

As you practice these activities, keep in mind these strategies:

Talk about the story. Ask your child to tell you what might happen next. Help her use context,
pictures, first letters, ending letters and other clues to guess what a word is. Model reading
smoothly with expression and phrasing that matches the meaning of the text. This makes the
story more engaging and builds fluency. Reread books several times in a week. Choose books
at your child's reading level to prevent frustration and build fluency. Your child's Accelerated
Reader books are good choices for home reading practice because they are at your child's
independent reading level.
Paired Reading

In paired reading, you and your child read a book aloud together, pointing to each word as
you go along. Also, you will allow your child to read out loud alone as he moves his finger
under each word. When a mistake is made, move his finger back and correct it. For detailed
instructions read this parent letter for paired reading.

            Parent Instructions for Paired Reading, from Lancaster-Lebanon Regional
             Education Agency

Echo Reading

In echo reading, you read a sentence or brief passage aloud using phrasing and expression to
convey meaning. Then, your child reads the same sentence or passage aloud. Echo reading
can be used with storybooks, poems, and nonfiction books. Choose material that is relatively
short and reread it at least four times until he reads the material quickly, accurately, and with

Book with Tapes/CD Sets

Many popular children's books come with tapes or CD's or listening while following along in the
book. Check your favorite bookstore. You can also record your children's books at home. Use a
tape recorder, or record it through your computer mic and burn it on CD. This method has
been developed to help struggling readers by Dr. Marie Carbo. Visit the Carbo Method web site
to order a catalog of Carbo-recorded children's books.

            Carbo-Recorded Books for Home Carbo method books are recorded specifically
             for learning to read.

Poetry Reading

Reading poetry is a good way to build fluency because poems have rhythm and expression.
Begin reading children's poetry to your child at a young age. When he begins elementary
school, begin memorization of poetry. The process involves multiple readings and oral
expression, two components of fluency development.

            Children and Poetry

Dramatic Reading

Choose a story or book that has lots of dialogue. Practice and perform a dramatic reading with
you and your child performing the parts. Again, you will use multiple readings and expression.
Your child doesn't have to memorize the dialogue. She may read the script, but encourage
pacing and expression.

(Excerpt taken from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)