Sunday, October 16, 2011

Celebrating Reading

A key component of the mission of the Van Derveer School is to challenge every child’s development of personal literacy.  The teachers provide students with skills and strategies in an integrated literacy block.  The support of parents and families is integral in improving literacy skills.  Below are some ideas for families to promote and foster reading:

Partner read: take turns reading pages or reading paragraphs, one person can read the dialogue and the other can read the text

Play word games: rhyme, change letters to change words

Re-read the same books and poems

Visit the Somerville Public Library

Borrow books from the Van Derveer Book Nook (the library in the Main Lobby)

Retell the story in your own words….and change the ending or part of the story

Encourage your child to look at the picture or to break up a word into sounds if a word is difficult

Dig deeper: ask questions while you are reading “Why do you think the character did that?”, “What do you think is going to happen next?”, “What would you do?”

Model thinking while reading: “That reminds me about a time when I….”, “I wonder why…”, “This story makes me think about another story because…”

Talk, talk, talk: share family stories, discuss the day’s activities, comment on TV shows you are watching together

Read different types of books: fairy tales, mysteries, non-fiction

Discover books your child enjoys: ask friends for recommendations, visit different websites including two great resources for book choices,  and, ask the librarian

Enjoy reading!

The Van Derveer School community will continue to promote the joys of reading. Among just a few of the activities planned are Mr. Diaz and I  partner reading stories to the students (ask your child about the two we have read:  Llama Llama Red Pajama and Have You Filled A Bucket Today?), school-wide reading  activities and programs held throughout the school year, Somerville High School students and community members reading to our students, and book fairs.   Together, as partners,  we can instill in all of the students a life-long appreciation and love for reading.

Share your family’s reading celebrations!


  1. These are excellent ideas Mrs. Haynes. Thanks for sharing and I'm excited about your blog!

  2. Thanks Mrs. Haynes! I will use these strategies with my own children. Mr. Diaz