Category Archives: Library

Parents are Child’s Primary Teachers

Your child will encounter many teachers in his/her lifetime. Not only will there be teachers in the classroom, but there will be just as many outside of the classroom.  He/she will have teachers in sports, after school activities, music lessons, girl/boy scouts etc.  Your child will have to listen and learn from many adults but the most important teacher for your child is YOU! Yes, you! Your child’s learning is ongoing and he/she will be learning many new activities throughout his/her day, but he/she will depend upon you to help keep the learning going when he/she gets home. How to do this? During dinnertime conversation, or at bedtime:

  • Ask your child to tell you about his/her day
  • Ask your child to tell you about one new thing that he/she learned that day
  • Find ways to extend what your child is learning about school
  • If he/she is learning about a new artist in Art class, visit a local art museum
  • Play board games that reinforce math skills that are being taught
  • When your child is learning about animals, visit a local zoo or animal habitat where your child can see and learn first hand
  • When your child is learning about an important person in history, find out where local museums, or local neighborhoods are celebrating the life of that person…and then go there
  • Take your child to the local library to check out books to explore the topic
  • Look online for games, activities, lessons, videos that will reinforce what is being taught in the classroom

Remember parents, your child and your child’s teachers will be expecting your help in your child’s learning process. Please don’t let them down!


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Filed under First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Library, Math, Parents, Reading, Science, Social Skills, Writing

Choosing Books From the School Library

Most schools offer first graders the opportunity to visit the school library weekly to check out one or two books with their class.  Parents at home are often confused with the books that their children have chosen to check out of the library.  Please be patient while your child learns to navigate the library system and learns to make wise book choices.  It is often hard to understand what caught their child’s eye to check out a particular book.  Early readers look at the book cover and a few of the illustrations to see if this is a book they think they will like.  Emergent and Developing readers are taught to open the book to the first page and begin reading.  If they encounter 5 or more words that they cannot read, they should put the book back for another day, they are not ready for this book. Many parents tell their child to pick a chapter book, or a hard book.  This message is lost on a child who is busy looking at pictures or trying to read the first page of the book.   Also remember, that your child will not be able to read all books that come home, nor does he/she want to.  Sometimes, a book is chosen just to have the opportunity to snuggle up with mom or dad and just listen and enjoy the story.

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Library Books

Summer is the perfect time to take your child to your local library.  Many libraries offer incentives to children for their summer reading and you might want to check this out.  It is also a good time for your child to leisurely learn how to choose a book to check out. From a young child’s point of view, a library can be a pretty overwhelming place, so many books and where to start? One problem many young children have at their school library is that because there are so many books to choose from, they simply freeze and choose none. These children need assistance to learn how to narrow the search.  Here are some tips about library books:

  • Ask your child if he/she is looking for books written by a particular author – yes first graders know who has written some of their favorite books.
  • Take your child to the shelf where this author is located.
  • If your child is not looking for a certain author take your child to just one shelf, and say pick a book from only this shelf.
  • Teach your child to look at the spine, or on the front of the book to see who the author is. Your child might remember that he/she has read a book by this author before.
  • Show your child how to open the book to the first page and try reading the page.  If he/she makes 5 or more reading mistakes on this page, the book is ‘too hard’ for right now.  (but it might be a perfect book to have an adult read to the child)
  • Young children love illustrations and don’t be surprised if your child chooses a book based on the pictures… this is normal and the pictures will actually help your child read the text.
  • Allow your child to check out the books with his/her own library card (if your child doesn’t have one…read this blog of mine)
  • Once home, your child should be responsible for keeping the checked out books in a safe location so they can be found when it is time to return books to the library.
  • School library books should be returned as soon as they are read so that your child can be sure to have all books back to school before the next scheduled library visit with his/her class.  Kindergartners AND first graders are devastated when they get to library at school and cannot check out books because he/she has not returned the books he/she already has at home.

Happy book hunting to you and your child!

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Library, Responsibility

Use Your Local Library

Summer has arrived early in Virginia with today’s temperatures reaching well over 90 degrees!  This kind of weather not only makes me think of being outdoors, it also makes me think of being indoors trying to keep cool.  One way to keep cool this summer is to be sure to visit your local library regularly.  Check their summer schedule for free programs that are being offered for children and then make a point of going. Most schools only allow Kindergartners to check out one book a week, but at the local library, the sky is the limit for checking out books.  Please take the time to visit your local public library with your Kindergartner (almost first grader) and allow your child time to really explore the library, especially the children’s section.  Encourage your child to pick out books that you can read to him/her as well as books that have simple text for your child to read on his/her own. Most libraries also will have lists of recommended age appropriate books for your child all you have to do is ask for it.  Your child will receive a lifelong gift from you if you encourage him/her to visit and use your local library not just for now but for always.

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Filed under Beginning Readers, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Library, Reading

Learning To Choose A Library Book

Choosing a book to check out from the library is a daunting task for a 5 year old.  Everywhere they look there are books and the children don’t know where to begin their search.  I encourage the children to limit their search to one shelf which allows for plenty of choices.  As the children become more familiar with the library they learn to widen their search on more shelves, but until then, one shelf is enough.  When you take your child to your local public library, encourage your child to choose books that look interesting to him/her.  Of course, parents may also choose some books to read to your child,  but your child does need to learn to make a decision, and then be comfortable with his/her choice.  When a class of children go to the school library you can always tell the children who have had the opportunity of going to the local library to choose books.  They are familiar with the routine and enjoy the search to find just the right book. The next time that you take your child to the library, allow him/her to find some books and try to reserve your opinion of whether or not your child will like the book.  Choosing the ‘just right’ book is a learning process that for many of us takes a very long time.

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Library

Kindergartners Should Check Out Library Books That Have Familiar Sight Words

The next time that your child checks out a book from the school library, or from your local public library, encourage your child to choose a book that might have words in it that he/she can read.  Sometimes school libraries ask Kindergartners to check out books from certain sections of the library.  This is done because it can be very overwhelming for a 5 year old to begin the search for a book and then to come to a decision on one or two books all within a very short time frame.  Your child should ask the school librarian to show them where beginning reading books are. Now that your child is learning to read sight words, it is very exciting for him/her to find some of these same sight words in text in books.  Your child should not be expected to be able to read the beginning reading books that are brought home, only to look for words that they know.  You would still have to be the main reader for your child, but with him/her on the lookout for familiar words, he/she becomes much more involved with the book.  Please also continue to check out books from the library that your child cannot read but is only able to enjoy the illustrations and rich text as you read to him/her.  There is nothing as special as the night time story read by mom, or dad right before you turn the lights out for the night.

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Filed under Beginning Readers, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Library, Parents