Getting Started with Waterford Early Learning for Parents

Getting Started with Waterford Early Learning: Reading

We will be using Waterford Early Learning: Reading to support your child’s learning this year. We want to share a bit about the program with you. Waterford Early Learning:Reading provides high-quality instruction in five essential areas.

Waterford Early Learning: Reading’s Five Instructional Strands
  1. Phonological Awareness: Your child will practice important listening skills that are the foundation for learning to read. They will listen for the sounds in words and play with rhyming words. They will blend sounds, listen for words that begin or end with the same sound, and more!
  2. Phonics: Waterford Early Learning: Reading teaches your child about letters and their sounds. Your child will use this knowledge to begin to read!
  3. Fluency: Reading with fluency means reading smoothly and with expression. This allows your child to focus on comprehension instead of working to sound out words letter by letter.
  4. Comprehension & Vocabulary: Your child will build their “bank” of words and learn strategies for understanding what they read. They will move beyond learning to read toward the final goal—reading to learn!
  5. Language Concepts: Learning about grammar, punctuation, and writing will help your child become a skilled communicator.

Next, we’ll share some ideas for supporting your child’s learning at home. We are excited about a successful year with Waterford Early Learning: Reading!

Teaching the Five Instructional Strands at Home

We just introduced Waterford Early Learning: Reading’s five instructional strands. Now, we'll share some simple activities that correlate to each of the strands. Use them at home to support your child’s learning with Waterford Early Learning: Reading.

  1. Phonological Awareness: Play with sounds. Pick a word ending, such as -an. Brainstorm words that rhyme. (For example, can, fan, man, pan, ran, tan . . . zan, shan, san, yan, blan.) Some will be real words and others will be silly—have fun with it!
  2. Phonics: Look for letters and words in the world around you. Search for the letters in your child’s name. Show your child letters one at a time and see how quickly they can name the letters. Children with strong letter naming skills become strong readers.
  3. Fluency: The best way to practice fluency is to spend a lot of time reading. Your child can read favorite books again and again to build fluency. It’s important for your child to hear other people read.The reader can be you, another family member or a friend, even a reader online! Listening to readers provides a model for your child.
  4. Comprehension & Vocabulary: Talk, talk, talk with your child (in English or in the language you speak at home) to help your child build a strong brain! It’s important for your child to learn new words every day. Talk about how things work. Ask and answer questions about the world we live in. Talk about books. Before turning a page, predict what will happen next. After reading, ask your child what they learned. Share your own excitement about reading. Your child will follow your lead!
  5. Language Concepts: Look for punctuation(periods, quotation marks) in books. Talk about why punctuation is important. Encourage your child to express their ideas by drawing and writing at home. Your child does not need to know how to spell words. Just explore and be creative!Have some fun materials available (scrap paper, a notebook, crayons, pencils, pens). Keep a diary, make a shopping list, write a letter to a family member—the possibilities are endless!

We look forward to working together to support your child’s reading growth!

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