Literacy Instruction

Dear Families, 
Teaching literacy is a special passion of mine, and I hope to help instill a love for reading and writing in your child. Our class will be starting out by working hard on increasing skills in phonics, decoding, reading comprehension, spelling, and writing. Students will be building their reading stamina and will be learning routines and rituals that will help us be successful in The Daily 5 and our new curriculum resource, Benchmark Literacy. 

The Daily Five is a way of structuring the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research-­‐based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as help foster children who love to read and write. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while I provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students. 

When it is up and running smoothly, students will be engaged in the Daily Five, which are comprised of:
  • Read to Self
  • Work on Writing
  • Read to Someone
  • Listen to Reading
  • Word Work
There are very specific behavior expectations that go with each Daily 5  component.  We will spend our first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of the Daily 5 and fostering our classroom community. I will also spend time learning about your child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction.
Your child will be taught to select “Good Fit Books” or books they can read, understand and are interested in, which they will read during Daily 5. They will be spending most of their time actually reading, which research supports as the number one way to improve reading. I anticipate the motivation and enjoyment of reading will skyrocket when this gift of choosing their own books is accompanied by extended practice and specific reading instruction for each individual child. 

Benchmark Literacy is our new curriculum resource, and it provides your child with interactive read alouds, reading and writing mini-lessons, differentiated small-group reading, independent reading, phonemic awareness and word study, and writer's workshop. Students begin with a mini-lesson focusing on a specific reading or writing strategy, and then move into practicing the strategy in either a small group with me or in an individual student reading conference with me. This allows me to differentiate instruction for each student. Each unit lasts 3 weeks, and there are 10 units. Benchmark Literacy supports all of the daily components of high-quality reading instruction, with a particular emphasis on the development of comprehension. For more information about Benchmark Literacy, visit the following website:
As you can see, I am excited about giving your child the opportunity to be involved in a structure that will have a positive effect on his or her education.
Please think of our classroom as you visit garage sales or clean your own child’s bookcase! It is my goal to make our classroom library as appealing as your favorite bookstore for browsing. I currently have a shortage of books about sports (fiction and/or nonfiction). I'm also interested in obtaining books in The Secrets of Droon series and the I Survived series. If your child receives any special magazines, please consider donating these once your child has finished reading them.

Parent communication is very important to me. I welcome emails, notes or phone calls. Most of my communication to you will be via email, so be sure to check your inbox often.

I look forward to igniting your child's passion for reading and writing this year!

Mrs. Helen Edinger