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Help with placement of 2nd grader

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    Help with placement of 2nd grader

    My 1st grader (emerging 2nd grader) has been allowed to hold off on handwriting practice. This school year (grade 1) his writing practice has consisted of only handwriting worksheets that focus on the individual letter. He is starting to be capable of writing in sentences but I feel that might be too much to ask of him on a daily basis. I want him to be able to answer storytime treasure questions on his own (which requires him to read better) without me having to write his answers on the white board for him to copy onto his student workbook.

    I’ve purchased the first start reading but haven’t used them yet. In the beginning of the school year, I couldn’t figure out how to implement it and my son didn’t enjoy it. So I stuck to what I knew and taught him to read through 100 easy lessons. He’s reading now but only at a Kindergarten level (level K and level 1 readers) He wasn’t interested in sight word flash cards so I shelved them but may need to bring them back out this summer.

    I’m wondering where to proceed from here. I don’t like the idea of my son being two grades behind in language arts but at the same time I’ve learned it’s best not to rush things. Should I start his second grade year off with MP’s phonics and spelling program or should I work with him this summer and start on the grade 1 core in the fall? I’m not sure if I should require him to complete a full year of Kindergarten LA as he’s already reading and writing his letters, but I also think grade 1 handwriting requirements would be too much for my son.

    Any advice or experience with this?


    If he's reading K and level 1 readers then he is not ready for the 2nd grade phonics and spelling. He might be ready for 1st. Can he read a book like Little Bear? I'm not very familiar with 100 easy lessons. MP K assumes mastery of CVC words, sight recognition of many sight words and growing confidence in magic e, digraph, and consonant blends. If he meets that, then he's probably ready for 1st. If he's solid on CVC but not the others, you might consider FSR Book D only.

    Wanting him to answer questions from Storytime Treasures on his own isn't age appropriate and isn't how MP designed their literature guides to be used, so I would hesitate to use that as a criteria for what curriculum is appropriate. I would lean towards having him do more orally than having him do anything independently in Storytime Treasures.

    A (13) - Simply Classical 7/8
    C (12) - Simply Classical 7/8
    G (8) - Simply Classical 1



      It sounds to me as if you and your son are approaching the StoryTime Treasures work using the MP suggested teaching. Let me encourage you to continue with this method. Actually this is the suggested method all through 2nd grade as well and into 3rd and 4th grades. We never encourage primary level students be independent in answering comprehension questions. Our main focus is to teach students how to form good, complete sentences. This is accomplished with teacher modeling. We don't want to push through these very important years during which we train on how to answer comprehension questions. This task seems a simple one however students really do need this oversight to be able to know how to consistently answer in a complete sentence with correct grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. Also, students need to learn that if they don't immediately know the answer to the question, they should refer back to the text. These things take more time than most realize before students are truly able to do this, and do this well. I will say that some students are able to keep pace and seem to pick up the skill fast, but they are not truly proficient as the questions become progressively more challenging as the reading level tackles more challenging reading. All of this to encourage you to continue in the manner you are with regard to the Comprehension Questions. By doing so your student will be ready for 3rd grade and beyond where they are answering comprehension questions in most subjects. The ability to read better happens with practice by practicing phonograms in isolation (Phonics Flashcards), reading words without context (Classical Phonics), plenty of oral reading practice, and hearing books read aloud to him that are two levels above his current reading level.

      I would be curious to know which books of FSR you own. Books A-D are slated for kindergarten for the learning to read year. But Book E and Starts the 1st grade year alongside Traditional Spelling I then StoryTime Treasures overlaps beginning week 5. If your child is already in StoryTime Treasures and able to read aloud those stories decoding as needed, you are beyond the First Start Reading Program. I don't see the need to go backward and use it at this point. However, if you student is not able to do the reading, find the point in First Start Reading and begin there. In this case you might consider stopping Story Time and backing up to fill in gaps and allow your child to gain those needed skills. However, if you child is doing fine with StoryTime, keep on. Be sure you are covering all the Phonics Flashcards and Classical Phonics pages that are scheduled as well. Another tip would be to be sure your child is reading the stories out loud 3 times. The first time a student reads they are decoding and comprehending. The second time they read they build speed and fluency. The third time they read they add expression.

      Should you feel your child would benefit from phonetic reading, I suggest the next 3 books of the American Language Series: At the Farm, On the Trail, and Sounds of the Sea.

      Lastly, don't worry that your child is behind. Reading is developmental so you are already doing the best thing for your student by teaching him at his level. The MP literature program is challenging. But the reason we are able to use more advanced books is because we do extensive phonetic work prior to reading. All those phonics flashcards have a purpose within our program in preparing the student to be able to read. Let me encourage you pull those back off the shelf and use them. Maybe explaining to him it is a necessary task in his reading instruction and that practice will help him to gain speed and fluency while reading would help.

      Remember Cindy, you can always call the Memoria Press office for further help. Maybe others will post with ideas on making those flashcards more exciting.