Early Literacy Parent Information

Five Essential Components of Reading

  1. Phonemic Awareness: Knowledge and manipulation of sounds in spoken words.  Done with the ears.  Kindergarten example: rhyming words like see, be, me, tree, flea.  Second grade example: say the word stop without the /s/ sound and you have top.
  2. Phonics: Relationship between written/spoken letters and sounds. Phonics are done with both the ears and eyes together.  Kindergarten example: c a t = /c/ /a/ /t/ = “cat”.  Second grade example: give me 4 ways you can write the vowel sound /ee/= ee (tree), ea (eat), e-silent e (Steve), ie (Maggie).
  3. Reading Fluency: A Student’s ability to read with accuracy, rate, expression, and phrasing.
  4. Vocabulary/Word Study: Knowledge of words definitions and context. Patterns of words.  Students look for patterns in words and find similarities that create a “rule” in order to better use that pattern in spelling and writing.  Example: I know that the sound /ow/ can be written two ways- ow like cow or ou like out.  If I learn this “rule” and it’s exceptions, I can then read and spell words that follow that pattern.  Like the word, cloud.  Older student example: I know that the prefix “re” means to do again, so the word rearrange would mean to move something around.
  5. Reading Comprehension: Understanding the meaning of text. Literal (the facts) and Inferential (what I know from the facts).

What Can Parents Do to help each area?

  1. Phonemic Awareness: Rhyming games in the car.  Change the first sound in “pig” to /d/.  Change the first sound in “chop” to /sh/.
  2. Phonics: Manipulating sounds with letters.  D i m says “dim” add a silent e, “dime”.  Talk about vowel sounds, beginning sounds, and ending sounds in isolation.
  3. Fluency: Repeated reading with finger tracking under each word (see, say and track). Reading for pleasure to increase vocabulary development and fluency as well as reinforcement.
  4. Vocabulary / Word Study:  Talk about words and how they are connected, as well as patterns in words (little, middle, fiddle).
  5. Reading Comprehension:    “Think aloud”: Tell your child “how” you are figuring out what the story means.  Story: bark, outside, leaves (tree)/(dog).

Essential Components of Writing/Cross Curricular Connections

  1. Prewriting: Getting ready to write.
  2. Drafting: Making choices what to write.
  3. Revising: Mechanics/Where and how to communicate.
  4. Editing: Satisfied with content and organization, free of errors.
  5. Publishing: Complete the product.

Essential Components of Writing: Parent

  1. Encourage child to think about what they could write about. (Pictures/Words) 
  2. Start writing and encourage choices.
  3. Edit only when necessary.
  4. Publish at home. in a variety of ways so that it increases the quality of work.  


150,000 titles Fiction/Nonfiction

Will need a library card and Internet access.

Sort by: interest, author, series, award winners, age, grade or reading levels.

Angie Weisbrod

Literacy Curriculum Specialist


Art at Rutherford

This year every class will have two formal art lessons in the art room each month throughout the school year. One will be taught by a licensed art teacher resident- Lea Brynestad. Each month students will study a new art element. Watch for our student's creativity to come to life as their work is hung throughout the school.

Read With Me

Read With Me is a small group instructional support program offered to students in Stillwater Schools. Read With Me is available to students in grades 1-6 who demonstrate the need for additional reading instruction.