Ideas and resources to help parents support reading

This collection includes handouts and web resources to share with parents in support of reading at home. There are also great tools to use in classroom projects students can create as part of a reading activity. Be sure to read "In the Classroom" portions of reviews for loads of ideas. Invite parents to see the projects online so your students can revisit them and reinforce learning at home. Reading is everywhere!

 

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Ed Pubs - US Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures,...more
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures, posters, videotapes, newsletters, and more). The intended audiences include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Many publications and also site information come in Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

Grades
4 to 12
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit...more
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit offers summer reading strategies, book lists, book clubs, classroom technique hints which encourage development of reading attack skills, and a special section on authors and their best books. For a Spanish language version of the main topics available as an A to Z list, click on the left side of the screen ( En Espanol ). This site has everything you already know about teaching reading in easy-to-use formats. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): authors (120), independent reading (128), reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

If you need ideas to get students reading for fun and to help develop their confidence, try this site. Highlight this on your class website so parents can try the activities with their older students. When doing author biographies, share this site with your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the "Classroom Strategies" link for even more literacy ideas.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Hunt the Fact Monster - Education World

Grades
2 to 8
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Weekly printable Hunt the Fact Monster activity sheets encourage students to build research skills and internet literacy as they use the Fact Monster search engine to find the answers...more
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Weekly printable Hunt the Fact Monster activity sheets encourage students to build research skills and internet literacy as they use the Fact Monster search engine to find the answers to the questions in the activity. There are separate sections for grades 2-3 and grades 4-8. This site requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

This site can be used for individual students, in a technology class, or as a parent-and-student together assignment. Be sure to see the Ideas for Using Hunt the Fact Monster in Your Classroom page for tips on using the hunts in your classroom. Before you launch your research project with younger students, use this exercise to solidify research basics or as a pretest to be sure everyone is ready. Challenge your more able students to create their own Fact Monster hunts on individual research topics and share them with classmates. Reading teachers can also use these activities to help students practice skimming and scanning.

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Mrs. Cassidy's Leveled Reading Web Page - Kathy Cassidy

Grades
K to 2
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This site, chock full of links to interactive sites, sends the student to activities according to the guided reading levels used in their primary classrooms. Mrs. Cassidy, web creator...more
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This site, chock full of links to interactive sites, sends the student to activities according to the guided reading levels used in their primary classrooms. Mrs. Cassidy, web creator of Browser Books (accessed by clicking link on this homepage), encourages parents to promote literacy by allowing their child to try the activities at home. Skills learned at each level will be reinforced by playing the games linked through the color-coded tab.

In the Classroom

Teachers, click on the "Note to Parents and Teachers" link below the home page title. Mrs. Cassidy explains her log-in system for her classroom. This system rewards better reading and advanced games and activities by encouraging the student to advance through a color-coded system. You may want to duplicate this practical system. A word of warning: You may want to tell your primary child that "colour" isn't misspelled, according to Canadians (British English).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mem Fox: Teaching, Learning, Living - Mem Fox

Grades
K to 7
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This author page features plenty of ideas about how to help kids enjoy reading and includes many stories. Hear Mem Fox reading her own stories (click Hear Mem Read ...more
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This author page features plenty of ideas about how to help kids enjoy reading and includes many stories. Hear Mem Fox reading her own stories (click Hear Mem Read Aloud). She gives advice on how to read to children and gives great examples. This author page has many good suggestions for promoting literacy and love of reading. There is also a section of advice on writing your own picture book for children, an excellent writing activity for upper elementary and middle school students. Parts of this site require Quick Time. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): authors (120), literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Create shortcut to Mem reading aloud on your classroom computer for a center activity for primary grades, and place a copy of Mem's book there for students to follow along. Print out Mem's suggestions for reading aloud to give to parents at conferences or share this site on your teacher home page for parent and students to access from home. For older students, this site is an excellent resource for planning cross-grade reading activities for Read Across America or other special times, including having middle school students write picture books for young students, then share them at an in-person visit or on a podcast recording.PowerPoint slides are an easy way to "create" and share large format picture books electronically.

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Kids Book Club Book - Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

Grades
2 to 12
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This site, a companion to a print book, focuses on ideas and activities for book clubs, including short summaries of books, recipes, and activities paired up with featured books. ...more
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This site, a companion to a print book, focuses on ideas and activities for book clubs, including short summaries of books, recipes, and activities paired up with featured books. Books included are of many levels and genres, all of high interest for children. Children's authors write some of the book reviews; book club members are welcome to list their book club, book descriptions, and activities on the site as well. Links include an author section with a comprehensive list of authors who will speak to your book clubs by phone and authors and illustrators willing to visit your school.

In the Classroom

Find food ideas and activities to promote reading on this site! Mention this site to your school librarian for use with school book clubs. FCS teachers may want to coordinate some of the recipes with books featured in language arts class. Parents would appreciate the link on your teacher web page or newsletter so they can encourage reading at home. Your school parent organization can find great ideas, as well. Make this link part of your family literacy treasury.

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Play Grow Read - Kent District Library

Grades
K to 2
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This library-prepared website is all about helping parents develop early literacy skills. Options include video demonstrations of how to read books to kids and many developmental activities...more
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This library-prepared website is all about helping parents develop early literacy skills. Options include video demonstrations of how to read books to kids and many developmental activities including things to do around the house, pre-reading activities, early reading skills information available in TWENTY-SEVEN languages, and many printable reading activities. Check out the Make and Take section: hands-on activities that help children develop the habit of using books. Activities include Activities for Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Phonological Awareness, Vocabulary, Narrative Skills, Letter Knowledge etc. These well-explained activities are fun and original. Many parts of the site are available in Spanish as well as English. Videos on this site require RealPlayer and Windows Media Player. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): literacy (103), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Share the printables and information about the website with parents at open house or conferences and include the link on your teacher web page. Spanish-speaking families will enjoy hearing about this site as well.

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Citebite - Abstract Factory

Grades
K to 12
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Imagine being able to give students (or parents) an exact link to a specific quote within a web page. Why would you want to? Perhaps you want to send students ...more
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Imagine being able to give students (or parents) an exact link to a specific quote within a web page. Why would you want to? Perhaps you want to send students to a certain paragraph for an activity: for reading comprehension, for reading a specific portion of text, or even for highlighting a literary device within a text or poem. Students will no longer waste time, announcing, "I can't find it!" or return to school saying they couldn't do the homework!

tag(s): internet safety (109), literacy (103), quotations (23), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Tool can be used in less than 30 seconds. Open TWO windows in Internet Explorer or any web browser. One should be open to citebite; the other to the web page you wish to reference. On that web page, locate and "highlight" the exact passage of text you want to "send" people to see. Copy/paste the passage into the quotation box at Citebite (copy, then change windows). Return to the target web page and copy/paste its actual URL into Citebite. Click "Make Citebite." Copy/paste the new url, indicated after "Your citebite link is:" Note: if the original quote is within a FLASH presentation, it will not copy/paste or generate a Citebite. See this example of a Citebite link to a tip about TeachersFirst Edge tools.

Have your middle and high school students do a web page "credibility critique" on their potential sources by using Citebite before they start a research project. They can highlight passages as proof of credibility -- or lack thereof -- and give you the Citebite links. They will love this easy way to reference a specific portion of a page. You will love the ease of finding it. If you give them a Word document table as a web site evaluation rubric, they can paste the Citebites there, with their comments in the neighboring cell!

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Online Magazine for Kids - Owl Kids

Grades
1 to 6
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This 3-in-one online magazine for elementary to middle school kids has attractive graphics, sound, games, news, e-cards, etc. and serves as a companion to paper magazines at three levels:...more
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This 3-in-one online magazine for elementary to middle school kids has attractive graphics, sound, games, news, e-cards, etc. and serves as a companion to paper magazines at three levels: Chirp, Chickadee and Owl. The Owl magazine for upper elementary to middle school is includes an online calendar with moveable stickers, word searches, jokes, a mystery in graphic novel style, and features including international, gender, and environmental awareness. All three magazines promote reading and get children into the habit of "looking" at a magazine for fun, news, and information.

tag(s): puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

This site would be a good one for students to learn the literacy skills of surveying a site to see how it is organized (just as they should do with a textbook).Whether or not you have these magazines in "hard copy" in your classroom, you can generate excitement about reading by sharing the activities on these accompanying websites. Then include the link on your teacher web page for students to explore from home or during free time. The Parents and Teachers Resources section is still under development. Children can submit their own artwork to be displayed at these sites! (Make sure you have parent permission).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tips for Parents of Third Graders - Reading Rockets

Grades
3 to 3
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Read the tips on this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny for parents and kids together, while encouraging the skills ...more
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Read the tips on this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny for parents and kids together, while encouraging the skills to make a lifelong reader. Teachers can download the tips for third grade in NINE languages in addition to English to print out and send home with your ESL/ELL students. Their parents will appreciate the opportunity to participate in their learning, and everyone wins. Printables require Acrobat Reader.

tag(s): literacy (103)

In the Classroom

As students approach their first high-stakes testing, every little bit helps. Give these tips out at conferences, in backpacks, or as a link on your teacher web page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Shel Silverstein's Official Website - Shel Silverstein; Harper Publishers

Grades
K to 6
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Shel Silverstein's outside-the-box style of poetry has delighted students for years. Now, his website extends that wacky literacy to another medium and level. You may be tempted at...more
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Shel Silverstein's outside-the-box style of poetry has delighted students for years. Now, his website extends that wacky literacy to another medium and level. You may be tempted at most sites to skip the intro. Don't skip Shel's. Familiar entities walk across your screen welcoming you. Screen Savers, animated Shel-creature-people to enjoy, reproducibles, and more await your enjoyment. Click on Poetry Month to find more activities and games that you can use during April. Your students will chuckle at Shel's own reading and lively animation of several of his poems. This is a site to explore with your class.

tag(s): humor (15), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Take your students on this language-rich adventure using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Mark your calendar now to visit this site during April, when Poetry Month is celebrated. Download your free poetry kit from the poetry month link. Of course, Shel Silverstein's whimsical and slightly dark humor can be enjoyed any month. There is a link for Teachers and Parents with lesson ideas, printables, and more. This is a great site to share with parents and students for summer breaks.
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EServer

Grades
9 to 12
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The EServer (originally founded as the English Server) is a cooperative which has been publishing humanities materials since 1990. It currently offers over thirty-five thousand works....more
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The EServer (originally founded as the English Server) is a cooperative which has been publishing humanities materials since 1990. It currently offers over thirty-five thousand works. A few of its many general topic categories include: 18th Century Studies, Cultural Theory, Recipes, Literacy and Education, Marx and Engels, and Rhetoric. This is a comprehensive and rich site well worth a look.

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as an extensive reading resource.

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CyberKidz Educational Games - Chato

Grades
K to 5
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Cyberkidz is a site that provides educational games for students aged 4 through 12. Activities are available in math, literacy, geography, arts, music, and science. The interactives...more
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Cyberkidz is a site that provides educational games for students aged 4 through 12. Activities are available in math, literacy, geography, arts, music, and science. The interactives are broken down by age. In addition, the activities are available in different languages. There are ads are on the site, so advise students to only click on game links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): editing (61), maps (287), preK (281)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students interact with the site as a whole group or place on your classroom computers and use as a center. Use this site with older students, especially the Find the Typo activity. This is a really good way to strengthen proofreading skills. The geography quizzes will be another great addition to your teaching. Quizzes are available for several countries and all the continents. Share this site with your students and parents via your class website or newsletter. This is an excellent tool to use for basic practice during the summer, to avoid "summer slide."
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