Read Well by Grade 3                                

Parent Resources

For Parents and Caregivers:  Parent Notification and Involvement Practices

Early Literacy in Pre-School 

Early Literacy and Reading in the Elementary Grades 

What is my child learning in reading class?

Teachers at your child’s school are working very hard to make sure he or she can read, write, speak, and listen effectively.  The school district’s Language Arts Curriculum Objectives, which are based on the national English/Language Arts (ELA) Common Core Standards, provide a list of the things a student should know and be able to do at each grade level.   Teachers must teach the skills indicated in the curriculum objectives to ensure student success.  To view a list of reading skills and abilities children work on at each grade level, please click on the links below:

  • Kindergarten Reading Skills and Abilities
  • First Grade Reading Skills and Abilities
  • Second Grade Reading Skills and Abilities
  • Third Grade Reading Skills and Abilities
  • Fourth Grade Reading Skills and Abilities
  • Fifth Grade Reading Skills and Abilities

Your child’s teacher is using the Houghton Mifflin “Journeys” Reading/Language Arts program.  Before this program was chosen, administrators and teachers made sure that it was “aligned”, or contained the instructional pieces necessary to teach all of the required reading skills and abilities.  Please contact your child’s teacher to view the “scope” (skills taught) and the “sequence” (order skills are taught) of “Journeys”.

How Do Teachers Know What My Child’s Reading Abilities Are?

All Grades K-5 students in the Bemidji Area Schools are tested in reading skills three times yearly using quick, one-minute assessments.  These assessments, developed by AIMSweb, can help teachers “red-flag” students who may be at-risk for future reading difficulty.   School personnel inform parents when these assessments are to occur by sending the following letter home:

  • Parent Notification of AIMSweb Benchmarking Assessments

A description of the AIMSweb assessments and a yearly assessment schedule may be viewed by clicking below:

  • Bemidji Area Schools AIMSweb Assessment Schedule.
  • AIMSweb Assessment descriptions.

When assessments show a student may be having trouble with reading, teachers may give the student further tests to determine his or her skill level and needs.  A description of these tests, the reasons they are given, and their alignment to the ELA standards can be viewed by clicking below:

  • Diagnostic Early Literacy and Reading Assessments

If My Child Needs Help in Reading, What Will the Teachers Do?

Teachers work in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in their schools.  These PLC groups meet twice a month to review student progress and plan effective instruction.  When a student needs help, teachers may give the student more tests to find out where the problem areas are.  Then, in PLCs, teachers write an intervention plan with the student’s needs in mind.  Parents are informed through phone calls, emails, meetings, or in letters home if a student needs an intervention.  At Horace May and Northern Elementaries, parent permission is required for an intervention.  At the other elementaries, it is not.  Samples of notification letters can be viewed by clicking the link below:

  • Parent/Caregiver Notification of Intervention – no permission required
  • Parent/Caregiver Notification of Intervention – with permission

The intervention plan states what kind of intervention the student will get.  Students will receive small group or one-on-one interventions based on tests showing what the students’ needs are.  All of these interventions are aligned to the required standards.  To view a list of these intervention programs and supports, please click on the link below:

  • List of Reading Intervention Strategies and Commercial Intervention Programs

One of the most common interventions used in Grades K through 2 is Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI).  If your child is in an LLI group and you would like more information about the program, please contact your child’s teacher or click on the link below:

  • Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) Information

Some Grade K through Grade 3 children may receive an intervention provided by a member of the Minnesota Reading Corps.  Minnesota Reading Corps members serve as one-on-one tutors and provide research-based interventions to students who are just below proficiency in reading. The members tutor each student daily for 20 minutes to build phonics, phonemic awareness, and fluency skills.  Reading Corps members work with a teacher at your child’s school to make sure the right interventions are chosen.

How Long Does an Intervention Last?

A reading intervention will be planned for a student when teachers in PLCs determine the student needs help to be successful.  Interventions may last for as little as one month or may extend for several months.  The student’s progress is checked at least twice per month.  Parents will be informed about how their child is doing and when a child’s plan changes.  When a student’s scores on monitoring assessments are at grade-level and his or her teacher feels he or she can be successful in the classroom, the intervention is ended.  Click on the link below to see which assessments are tied to each intervention and the level at which the student must score to enter or exit an intervention.

  • List of Reading Intervention Strategies and Commercial Intervention Programs

How Do Teachers Know if an Intervention is Working?

The goal of an intervention is to help the student develop the reading skills he or she needs to be successful in the classroom.  During an intervention, teachers watch measure the student’s reading growth.  Student records can be shared with parents in the form of a graph.  Teaching strategies are discussed in PLCs and changed if a student is not having success.  Sometimes students need to work in smaller groups or one-on-one with a teacher.  Sometimes a student may need two interventions at once, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Teachers help one another to find the most effective instructional practices.  Parents are told of changes in the student’s intervention plan using phone calls, emails, meetings, or letters home.  Teachers work hard to find the right interventions for students.  To see what a reading progress graph might look like, click the link below:

  • Sample of Reading Progress Graph

What Happens if the Interventions Don’t Work for my Child?

If teachers can’t seem to find an intervention that will help a student succeed, they may ask the school’s Child Study Team for help.  This group of special education/specific educators will:  (1) look at detailed information on the student, further diagnose his or her needs using problem-solving strategies, and make recommendations for that student, (2) closely watch and review the recommendations, and (3) may decide to refer a student for special education assessment.

How Will I Know How My Child’s Reading Intervention is Going?

It is important for parents and caregivers to understand the decisions made by teachers regarding your child’s reading instruction.  Teachers will share your child’s test scores, intervention plan, and progress with you.  Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher at any time for more information about your child’s progress.

How Can I Help My Child at Home?

Parents and caregivers can do many things at home to build children’s reading skills.  Teachers may send home books, reading logs, flashcards, or other resources you can use at home.  In addition to the suggestions from your child’s teacher, you may find some helpful suggestions by clicking below:

  • “Read Alouds with Parents”
  • “Helping Your Child When He/She Reads
  • “How to do Paired Reading With Your Child”
  • “Reading Comprehension for Parents”

Many Internet websites can provide helpful information to parents.  The “Minnesota Parents Know” website provides videos, recorded webinars, podcasts and A-Z topics for parents and caregivers.  You can access and browse this website by going to:

Other parent informational brochures and resources can be found at the websites below:

  • Parent Power – Build the Bridge to Success:
  • 100 Ways for Parents to be Involved in Their Child’s Education:

  • Put Reading First:  Helping Your Child Learn to Read, A Parent Guide:

  • Growing Readers Newsletter:

  • Family Involvement Network for Educators (FINE):

  • National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS):

Below are some printable games with directions for kindergarten and early first grade students.  Click on the title of the game to get the “printables”:

  • Go Fish – Easy Sight Words
  • Go Fish – Medium Sight Words
  • Go Fish – Hard Sight Words
  • Picking Pumpkins – Beginning Sounds (g,h,j,k,l,m,n,p,q,r,s,t)
  • Squirrel’s Sounds (matching beginning sounds /b/, /c/, /f/, /m/, /r/, /s/)
  • Rotten BananasSight Words
  • Crash – Sight Words or Letter Identification and Sounds
  • Rhyming Word and Picture Cards/Beginning Sound Cards
  • Kindergarten Sight Words
  • First Grade Sight Words

What is Response to Intervention (RtI)?

The procedures described above are part of a framework called “Response to Intervention” (RtI).  RtI processes help teachers know what interventions to try with students.  It also helps teachers know if interventions are working and what to do if they don’t work.  Bemidji Area Schools began working with RtI in the 2010-2011 school year.  For more information about RtI, please click on the link below to view a parent information brochure:

  • Response to Intervention Parent Guide

Overall, How are the Children at My Child’s School and in the District Performing in Reading?

Please click on the links below to examine school and district data reports for the 2010 – 2011 school year.

  • Central Elementary
  • Horace May Elementary
  • J.W. Smith Elementary
  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Northern Elementary
  • Solway Elementary