Mrs. Hernandez

Wilson Reading Program Teacher & Literacy Interventionist


October 17th, 2018- Today is Parent/Teacher Conferences from 1 PM - 8 PM today and tomorrow from 8 AM- 12 PM. Parents & Students -I will be here at OPA for PT conferences both days if you and your student would like to come in and talk about their reading progress for quarter one.

October 12, 2018- GO CHECK OUT THE OPA BOOK fair next week!! Below is the link

Parents the OPA Book Fair is a great opportunity to purchase good fit books or read-a-loud books for your student(s). Remember good reading skills requires lots of practice.

October 8th, 2018-Hello Parents and Students of Wilson and Neuhaus Reading Programs. I am so proud of all the students in each program and how they are really trying to improve their basic reading skills by participating and practicing in our small group interventions. Way to go! Several students turned in their Wilson Home Reading Charts!! I also communicate with student's general educator to see if student's return their classroom reading charts and/or reading assignments or required notes (Jr. High students) to monitor at home reading practice. Also don't forget: Carnival this Thursday!! Pre-buy tickets Tue/Wed/Thu mornings 7:30-8:00 in the elementary lobby. Tickets are 50 cents each. See you Thursday!

Sept. 10th, 2018-Hello Parents & Students of Wilson and Neuhaus Reading Programs! There is a great conference for parents to attend to help you raise resilient children in today's world. You can go to this website and check out the conference -

In addition, please make sure your student is reading daily to keep making progress with their basic reading skills. You can ask them what they read and what they like or don't like about the book they are reading. Have them try to visualize the story in their minds and retell it to you to help with their comprehension skills.

Sept. 5th, 2018- Hello Parents and Students of Wilson and Neuhaus Reading Programs! We have started small groups and it is so important to keep reading at home daily for at least 20-30 minutes even though your student is in small group intervention. According to the University of Utah Reading Clinic, parents need to be aware that the amount of reading that happens (or doesn't happen) at home has an enormous impact on the amount and rate at which struggling readers improve even with interventions. Your students needs to be reading a good fit book daily. A good fit book can be measured by your student making more than 1 error in every 10 words regularly, that book is too difficult. Choose another book.

Oct 18th, 2016-Awesome job to those Wilson Students who made progress with their basic reading skills this past quarter! Way to go!! Keep reading and filling out your Home Reading Chart, which needs to be completed and returned by the week of Oct 31st. Please try and have your student attend school daily and on time. I do have several students who are tardy a lot or miss school frequently and this impedes their progress in the Wilson Reading Program and the general educational setting.

"The best way to increase reading fluency is just to keep reading and reading" -Barbra Wilson

October - Organizational Skills.pdf

Oct 10, 2016-This week is a short week with PT conferences with your student's general educator/Sped teachers. Thursday 10/14/16 is early out at 12:45 p.m. with PT conferences in the afternoon. There is no school Friday 10/15/16 for students, but there are PT conferences from 8 a.m. -12 p.m. If your student has an IEP then I will send their Wilson progress to their SpEd case manager. If your student has a 504 then I will email their Wilson progress to you. I am adding a parent letter to this blog post about the 7-Habits and organization. Please click on the top square icon with an arrow to enlarge it to read.

Please talk with your student about being proactive and using the 7-Habits to help them with their reading/academic skills, be organized by reading daily, logging their reading and completing their daily reading logs for our Wilson groups. Almost all students returned their September Wilson Home Charts! Awesome job to those students for being proactive, responsible, and organized!

"The best way to increase reading fluency is just to keep reading and reading" -Barbra Wilson

Sept 30th, 2016- Parents & Students many of you did not return your HOME Wilson Reading Logs these reading logs are a mandatory requirement for your student to continue in the Wilson Reading Program.

Sept 19-Sept 23, 2016- Parents & Students please remember to read daily and have your students log their book titles & pages on their HOME Reading Charts. This is their daily homework. The HOME Reading Charts need to be returned by Monday, September 26th because I will be gone Tuesday- Thursday (9/27/16- 9/29/16) of next week due to Professional Development for the Wilson Reading Program. Students can turn their completed HOME Reading Charts into my teacher mailbox across from Mr. Rempfer's office. You can get another HOME Reading Chart by scrolling down on this blog and copy it to your computer and print it. I will give students another HOME Reading Chart at the beginning of October for next month's homework.

If you need another copy of the Wilson Intervention Disclosure then please email me. Thank you.

Parents please remember to have your student read at least 20 minutes every night and log their minutes on their Wilson Home Reading Chart. Please have your students return their charts by the week of Sept 29, 2016. That way, our Wilson Group can log their reading minutes on our group Bubble Gum Machine for OPA's school wide reading goal. Also, please have your student return their Wilson Reading Program Parent/Student Disclosures by Sept 6th, 2016. Thank you!

Dec 12th, 2016-Parents & Students: Please remember to have your student(s) to school on time. Students in my first Wilson group are showing up late by 10 minutes or later on some days. My first Wilson group starts at 8 a.m. Also, just a reminder that the Wilson Reading logs for Dec/Jan are not due until the end of January, 2017 to give students extra time after the break to catch up if they get behind logging their reading due to traveling or other family activities over the winter break. Have a wonderful winter break!

Dec, 2016: Hello Students & Parents, Many students did not return their Wilson Home Reading Charts for November, 2016 or students returned the HOME Reading Charts in late. I remind Wilson students during group sessions to log the books they are reading here at school for other classes and books that they read at home as well. It is not a difficult task to log books on the Home Reading Charts. Students can write a title once and draw an arrow down the chart if they read the same book for several days/weeks in a row along with the number of pages being read logged as well.

Parents, you can just initial and draw an arrow down to save time, but please make sure they are actively reading a good fit book at home for 20-30 minutes daily. Becoming a better reader comes from practice, practice, and more practice. This is why I have Wilson students use reading as their homework for our groups because that's how your student's reading will improve tremendously by practicing reading everyday at home as well and by using the taught procedures and skills (e.g. tapping words out or scooping large words into syllables) in the Wilson Reading Program.

I will be sending a new Wilson Home Reading Chart home this week. It is not due until the week of January 31st, 2017. I am giving the students more time to complete the log because of the winter break this time of the year can be hectic for families. Parents, please make sure your students read a lot over the winter break to keep up their reading skills and improve with more practice. Remember that reading keeps minds active and constantly learning. Below is information on Dyslexia from the Wilson Reading Program for students and parents to read.


Dyslexia is a brain-based (i.e., neurobiological) learning disability that inhibits a person’s ability to read. Primary areas of difficulty are word recognition and reading fluency, spelling, and writing.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development:

Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. Individuals with dyslexia typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. Dyslexia can be inherited in some families, and recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to developing dyslexia.”

A similar definition provided by the International Dyslexia Association describes it as follows:

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

While we have learned that dyslexia affects individuals differently, depending on the degree of their condition and the effectiveness of instruction or remediation they have received, we have also found that we can successfully teach individuals with dyslexia to read. Early identification is ideal, but it is never too late. Appropriate assistance is critical, and explicit, multisensory language instruction is a key to success.

Wilson uses teaching methods that are effective with students with dyslexia to meet our goal of helping these individuals to become independent readers, allowing them to achieve success both in school and in life.

Nov, 2016: Hello Students & Parents, Hope everyone had a nice holiday break. Please remember to have your student read at least 20 minutes every night and log their minutes on their Wilson Home Reading Chart. Please have your student return their charts by November 30th, 2016. That way, our Wilson Group can log their reading minutes on our group Bubble Gum Machine for OPA's school wide reading goal. Thank you!

Oct 27th, 2016- Hello Parents & Students! Please keep reading good fit books daily and remember students need to return their Wilson Home Reading Chart to me next week (October 31st-November 4th). Students will get another Home Reading Chart for November.

Also, there is a reading marathon sponsored by PBS KUED for November, 2016. Go to the following address: to learn more about it. Hope your students would like to participate in it and read, read, read!

Oct 4, 2016- This week I gave Wilson students a new Home Reading Chart for the month of October. The Home reading chart is their homework. The Home Reading Charts need to be returned by Oct 31st. Thank you.

Sept 8th-Sept 15, 2016- Parents & Students please remember to read daily and have your students log their book titles & pages on their HOME Reading Charts. I sent home the HOME Reading charts with your students last month. The Home Reading Charts are due on the week of Thursday, Sept. 29th, 2016. This is their nightly homework for Wilson, which was explained on the parent/student disclosure that you and your student signed and returned to me. Thank you!

Please email me at if you would like a complete version of this document "Parent Support at Home" sent home with your student or mailed to you. Thank you.


Parents & Students just wanted to share this success story about Tegan C. with you and your student from the Wilson Reading Program.

Please keep reading daily over the winter break and enjoy your time with family.

From Struggling Reader to Honors Student

Wilson Language Program Article

December 16, 2016

Like many of her peers, Tegan C. will soon be flipping through college brochures and searching websites to determine where she’ll enroll after graduating from high school. What makes her college search remarkable is that the goal of earning an academic degree once seemed unattainable.

The 15-year-old sophomore struggled with reading and writing throughout elementary school and into middle school before being diagnosed with dyslexia. Following intensive training with tutors using the Wilson Reading System® (WRS), she is an honors student at Babylon High School on Long Island, NY, and is looking forward to earning a bachelor’s degree in the future.

“When I started WRS, it was eye-opening that there was something out there that could help me,” said Tegan, who completed the 12th and final step of the program in early December. At first, the lessons were challenging, she said. But as she worked through the steps, she realized she was developing the decoding and encoding skills she needed to become a fluent reader and proficient speller.

“I’ve caught up to everyone and my grades are good,” said Tegan, who also enjoys the arts.

Tegan’s mother, Colleen, and father, Ernest, acknowledge that while their daughter’s path to literacy proficiency has not been easy, the journey was definitely worthwhile.

“We would tell Tegan, if you work hard, you will become successful. One day, one week, one month, one year – each step we have watched our daughter work hard. Through WRS and all of her support throughout the years, she is now a successful reader. We have learned so much from Tegan and we are so truly proud of her,” Colleen said.

“Tegan has personally gained confidence in believing in herself, and knows that if she perseveres, she is capable of learning things she didn’t think she could learn,” said Colleen. “She realized she didn’t have to guess at reading and spelling words anymore. Once she applied strategies for reading and spelling in syllables, most words could be tackled. Even when reading a novel for enjoyment, Tegan saw she could use her tools to figure out words she had never come across before.”

Colleen, who has a background in education, tapped into dyslexia resources, friends, and former colleagues to learn how a confirmed diagnosis of dyslexia and Wilson’s systematic, multisensory program could help her daughter succeed in school. Now, other parents turn to her for guidance.

“I tell them, ‘It may be bad right now, but there is hope. As soon as they get what they need, they fly.’”

Now that she’s succeeding academically, Tegan is also helping to raise awareness about learning differences by participating in Dyslexiaville, an online community created by award-winning filmmaker Peggy Stern.

After seeing an announcement on the Learning Ally website about Dyslexiaville’s YouTube program, the Super d! Show, Colleen encouraged her daughter to audition. Tegan was selected, and although she had to assume the uncharacteristic role of a bully in one of the segments, she has enjoyed the experience of working with a cast and crew comprised of children and adults with dyslexia or other learning disabilities.

“I wanted to do this because I don’t want other students to struggle as much as I did,” Tegan said.

Pictured above: High School sophomore Tegan C., center, who overcame her reading disability to become an honors student, with Barbara Christensen, one of her Wilson Reading System tutors, and Lisa Consola, Special Education chair at Babylon High School in New York.


wilsonHome ReadingChart

Sept 8th, 2016- Parents & Students please remember to read daily and have your students log their book titles & pages on their HOME Reading Charts. I sent home the HOME Reading charts with your students last month. The Home Reading Charts are due on Thursday, Sept. 29th, 2016. This is their nightly homework for Wilson, which was explained on the parent/student disclosure that you and your student signed and returned to me. Thank you!

Hello OPA Parents & Students! Please see my slide near the bottom of the page by scrolling down for more information about me and the Wilson Reading Program this year. Also, please read the summer newsletter above about ideas to help keep your student(s) reading over the summer.

May 7th, 2018: Parents and Students please be aware that Wilson small groups will only be held until May 17th, 2018. I requested May 18th, May 21st, May 22nd, and May 25th off because of personal obligations. According to administration's email to teachers, quarter four progress and grades need to be done by Monday, May 21st to send home with students that day. If you have questions or concerns please email me. Also, I did not receive Wilson summer packets back from a lot of students last year. The packets costs the school a lot of money and time to make copies of worksheets, reading passages, and Home Reading Charts. Therefore, if you would like a packet sent home them please email me and let me know. That way, I will prepare one for your student with material covered in their Wilson sessions this year and a few supplemental reading passages for repeated readings. I will send the packets home with responsible students. Otherwise, I will mail out the packets during the month of June. Please have your students work on them after they receive them and return them in August for a prize! Have a wonderful summer of reading and learning new things!

May 1st, 2018: Audio books are a great took to have your student(s) use to increase their reading fluency and listening comprehension skills. Students can read the books daily and over the summer to prevent regression of basic reading skills. There are many free audio books. Mrs. Witt, MOPA's librarian put together an awesome newsletter for parents and students for summer reading information.

April 30th, 2018: Parents & Students this Friday is a half-day and there is a reunification drill on this Friday, May 4th starting at 12:45 p.m. Therefore, I will not have my after school reading group that day. Reunification information should have went home with your student(s) from their general education teacher about the reunification process. Also, Mrs. Campbell, the principal has information about it on her blog. Above is the reunification notification from Mr. Kennington that was sent out to parents several weeks ago. Please read it and be aware of the process for the reunification when picking up your student(s) from school.

Also, just wanted to say that end of year DIBELS is almost complete and I am excited that many hardworking students tried and made progress on their DIBELS scores!! Way to go reading group students!! I am very proud of the growth from many of the students. Awesome job! Please keep reading daily and the last Home Reading Chart is due on May 17th, 2018.

April 20th, 2018: Parents and students the next Wilson Home Reading Chart is due next Friday, April 27th, 2018. Please make sure your student is reading daily at home and tracking their progress on their reading logs I have seen huge improvements in basic reading skills with those students who read daily at home and come to school regularly and on time. Next week SAGE testing begins and I am not sure that I can see everyone at the regular scheduled time due to SAGE testing. Have a restful weekend.

April 10, 2018: Hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Spring Break! A lot of Wilson students and my practicum students have missed their reading interventions due to absenteeism. Students are either missing school or making up missed work from other classes and missing their intervention times. Parents and Students please be aware that when your student miss school they lose valuable instruction time and academic practice of essential skills. Therefore, their reading progress is negatively affected. Please read the article below that explains the problem of school absenteeism. Please try and make sure your student attends school and does their homework at home. Thank you.

The Problem of School Absenteeism: What You Need to Know

By Kate Kelly

At a Glance

  • Kids are considered chronically absent when they miss 10 percent of days in a school year for any reason. That equals 18 days of school.
  • Many parents aren’t aware of how many days their child is missing or the impact that can have on school success.
  • Kids with learning and attention issues are more likely to be chronically absent from school.

Most people agree that kids need to regularly attend school in order to succeed. Yet absenteeism, or being chronically absent, is a growing problem in the United States. And in many ways, it’s a hidden one.

Most schools report their overall daily attendance figures. But they don’t keep track of how many students are chronically absent or missing more than 10 percent of school for any reason. If a child misses 18 or more days in a school year, he’s considered to be chronically absent.

Some school absences are unavoidable. Kids get sick, or there may be a family emergency or other important reason for missing school. But parents may not always realize how much school their child is missing. Missing two days each month doesn’t always seem like a lot. But that’s all it takes for a child to be considered chronically absent.

Chronic absences keep kids from getting the consistent instruction they need to build on basic skills. For kids with learning and attention issues, there’s something else to consider: Frequent absences mean missed opportunities to get help.

Learn more about the problem of school absenteeism.

How Many Kids Frequently Miss School

It’s hard to know exactly how many U.S. students are chronically absent. That’s because most public schools only report average daily attendance. They count the total number of kids at school each day, but not the number of kids who are frequently absent.

That’s beginning to change, however. More states are beginning to look at, and report on, absenteeism. And the data is painting a troubling picture. At least 10 percent of students in the U.S. are chronically absent. Among students in special education, which includes many kids with learning and attention issues, that number is significantly higher.

The Role of Parents in School Absenteeism

Parents often aren’t aware of how much school their child is missing over the course of the school year. A missed day here and there may not seem like a big deal compared to missing several days in a row. But a few days every month can quickly add up to a lot of missed school in a year.

Parents may think that if their child does the class work at home, it doesn’t matter that he missed the instruction. They may also believe that regular attendance isn’t as crucial in the earlier grades. Because of that, parents may be less hesitant to keep their child home from school.

Low-income students are more likely to miss school for other reasons. These include health care issues, unstable housing and transportation problems.

Why Kids Frequently Want to Miss School

Kids may also miss school because they don’t want to go. Being bullied is one common reason kids seek to avoid school. Academic struggles is another. If a child feels like he’s constantly failing, that he’s different or not as smart as his peers, he may try to get out of going to school.

A negative school environment can also be a factor. It’s hard enough for a child who’s struggling to stay motivated to attend school. But if he doesn’t feel understood, or is constantly being disciplined, he may start to resist going to school.

These are common experiences for kids with learning and attention issues. That may explain why kids in special education are more likely to be chronically absent.

The Impact of Missing School

Missing school in the early grades can have a snowball effect. It sets kids up to fall behind in the fundamental reading skills they need in order to move on to more complicated work.

Research shows how great the impact can be. A study in California looked at kids who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade. By the end of third grade, only one in six of them were proficient readers. But of the kids who missed less than 5 percent of school, two-thirds were proficient.

A Rhode Island study looked at kids who were chronically absent in kindergarten. In later grades, they scored 20 percent lower than their peers in reading and math.

For some kids, frequent absences can become a long-term habit. Research shows that kids who are allowed to miss school when they’re young are more likely to skip school when they’re older. And that can lead to other consequences.

Being chronically absent affects high school graduation rates and the chances for success in college. In a Rhode Island study only 11 percent of high school students with chronic absences made it to their second year of college. That’s compared to 51 percent of students who didn’t miss that much school.

Kids with learning and attention issues are even more vulnerable to the impact of chronic absences. It can be hard enough for them to master the lessons in school with the support of the teacher or aide. Trying to do it at home can make the work even harder.

Plus, each day of learning builds on the previous day. When kids miss a few days in a row, it can be hard to follow subsequent lessons. And when kids aren’t in school, they’re missing the opportunities to be identified for intervention and extra supports.

What Parents Can Do

It’s nearly impossible to avoid all absences. And missing a few days during the year shouldn’t have a lasting impact on your child’s learning and progress. Still, it’s easy for those days to add up. That’s why it’s important to keep track of how many days your child is actually missing.

There are also things you can do to help your child want to go to school, or at least not try to avoid it. If your child is struggling and you don’t know why, consider having him evaluated. If he has an IEP, make sure all of his supports and services are in place.

Get tips on how to respond to your child when he says he doesn’t want to go to school. And learn more about the problem of bullying and how to protect your child from bullying.

Key Takeaways

  • Completing work at home doesn’t make up for missing the instruction and interaction with the teacher.
  • When kids with learning and attention issues are absent from school, they may miss opportunities to be identified for intervention and extra services.
  • It’s important to keep track of how many school days your child misses.

About the Author

Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.

Reviewed by

Robert Balfanz, Ph.D., is a research professor at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Keep Reading

March 5th, 2018: Great job to those students who returned their Wilson Home Reading Logs!! Awesome job showing that you are responsible and care about improving your reading skills. If your student is completing a book log for their general education teacher then please remind them to tell me and bring it with them to their Wilson session and show it to me. That way, I can give them extra stickers for their effort towards a prize. The next Wilson Home Reading Log is due the week of March 30th, 2018.

February 22, 2018: Hello Parents & Students! Remember the Wilson Home Reading Charts are due this week. Please keep reading good fit books and remember to stop and think about what your reading. Parents you can ask your students to tell you about the books they are reading, which is a great way to reinforce their retell and comprehension skills.

February 14th, 2018: Happy Valentine's Day! Parents and Students remember that your Wilson Home Reading Logs are due by the end of next week Feb. 23rd, 2018.

February 9th, 2018: A lot of students are making good reading progress. Parents and students next week is a short week because of Parent/Teacher conferences on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. OPA will be out at 12:45 on Thursday (2/15/18) and there is no school on Friday (2/16/18). If you need to speak with me for PT conferences please email me at I am a part-time employee and I will not be at OPA for parent teacher conferences. Or you can call me before Thursday afternoon at 801-627-2066 Ext. 1221 to set-up a meeting to discuss your student's progress. Please remember to keep reading daily even if there is no school. Students make sure to check out good fit books and take them home over the long weekend. Also, you can log on to whatever reading program your general education teacher has set-up for you to practice reading at home. Have a restful weekend!

February 5th, 2018: Thank you to those students who showed responsibility by completing their Wilson Home Reading Logs and turned them in on time! Awesome job!! There are lots of ways to get your reading in each day. Make dinner for your family and log reading recipe directions, reading your homework, reading the news, reading billboards and signs while driving somewhere. The reading opportunities can be endless when you think outside the box.

January 19th, 2018: Hello Parents & Students!! Just wanted to say that I am happy to see that many students made good gains on their DIBELS middle of the year reading fluency and retell assessment !! Awesome job to all those students!! Students have been working hard here at school. Students need to remember that they can make good choices and be responsible by getting homework done daily, by reading daily, and by logging their daily reading on their Wilson Home Reading Charts. The Wilson Home Reading Charts are due the week of January 22-26th, 2018. Students please keep up the good reading progress!!

January 5th, 2018: Hello Parents & Students, Hope everyone had a wonderful winter break. Thank you to those students who read over the break and logged their pages read onto their Wilson Home Reading Charts!! Awesome job!! Several students were honest and told me that they did not read daily or at all over the winter break. Please remember that reading is a skill that needs to be practiced daily to ensure that students maintain and make gains with their individual reading skills. The next Wilson Home Reading Chart is due the last week of January. I found the article below that I previously read several years ago and wanted to share it with parents and students. Enjoy!!

Teachers tell parents how to help their kids be better students

By Mari-Jane Williams August 22, 2012

Thousands of students in the Washington area are heading back to school in the coming days, and teachers are preparing to shape a fresh set of young minds. They would like to politely influence some older minds, as well. Parents can learn a lesson or two from teachers about what their kids’ instructors want in the upcoming year. We asked teachers in several local school systems what parents can do, beyond reading with their kids, to help their children be better students. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Let your child see you making mistakes

Karen Stamp, a kindergarten teacher at Marshall Elementary School in Prince William County, said parents need to remember “that they are their child’s first teacher and their lifetime teacher.” Part of being a lifetime teacher, she said, is teaching your child how to deal with making mistakes.

“Make mistakes, and let them see that you can make mistakes and laugh at it so they will think it’s not a big deal and you can move on easily,” Stamp said.

2. Use e-mail to keep in touch

E-mail is a great way to reach your child’s teacher without having to play phone tag, said Caitlin Liston, a sixth-grade science teacher at Silver Spring International Middle School.

“E-mail is great for teachers because we can have a record of a conversation or print things out to put in a student’s file as a reminder,” Liston said. “If parents are hearing what their students are struggling in, they should feel comfortable talking to the teacher about it. We want to know that they need more help.”

That communication shouldn’t be limited to when there’s a problem, said Tammie Ferguson, a first-grade teacher at Seldens Landing Elementary School in Loudoun County.

“It’s important that there’s a lot of positive communication going back and forth . . . to say, ‘Hey, your child did a great job today,’ ” Ferguson said. It’s also “very refreshing for teachers to hear that their students are talking about what they’ve learned in school.”

3. Don’t tell your child that you weren’t good at math

Parents might feel intimidated by the thought of helping children with their math homework, especially in the upper grades.

“I wish parents didn’t tell their kids, ‘It’s okay, I’ve always been bad at math, too,’ ” said Kim Jackson, a math teacher at Farmwell Station Middle School in Loudoun County. “You would never say that about reading. . . . Math is here to serve you, not to trip you up. It’s here to make life easier, and a lot of that can start at home with parents showing that they’re not intimidated by numbers.”

One way to make math more accessible, Jackson said, is to relate it to daily activities, whether it’s tipping at a restaurant or calculating statistics at a sporting event. Rachel Gallagher, a fifth-grade teacher at Loudoun County’s Horizon Elementary School, agreed.

“Capitalize on those day-to-day things where math comes up rather than drilling kids on math facts,” Gallagher said. “That way you’re really engaging kids and letting them see how what they’re learning matters in life.”

4. Get organized with a color-coded system

Older students are expected to be more independent and manage their assignments themselves, but as they transition from elementary school to middle school, they might find it hard to keep track of everything. Maryam Thomas, a resource teacher who coordinates services for low-income students at Charles Carroll Middle School in Prince George’s County, recommends using color-coordinated folders, notebooks and composition books to help kids keep their material for different subjects organized.

“They are coming from elementary school, where they have one homework folder, and in middle school they have five or six teachers,” Thomas said. “It throws them into a tailspin.”

5. Check their homework, and then have them explain it to you

It’s not enough to just get the answers right. To make sure your child isn’t guessing or spitting back memorized information, ask him to explain what he did and why, said Jesse Loznak, a science teacher at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Montgomery County.

“Even if the parents don’t understand quite what the student has done, it lets you know that the child has completed the task,” Loznak said. “For the child to actually explain what they’re doing, it lets the parent know their child’s level of understanding.”

6. Don’t compare your child with others

This applies to all children, but is especially important with kids who have learning disabilities or other special needs, said Andrea Demasi, a special education teacher at Cool Spring Elementary School in Loudoun.

“It’s important to understand the nature of the disability and don’t compare them to their peers,” Demasi said. “Don’t put pressure on the child to be just like the kid down the street. There’s no such thing as the kid that’s like every other kid. Every kid is different. They all have strengths and weaknesses, they all have talents and challenges.”

7. Help your child make connections to literature

To help your child get the most out of books, Susan Hsiung, a first-grade teacher at Forest Knolls Elementary School in Montgomery County, suggests parents focus on problem-solving, social skills and life experience.

Take your child to the zoo (life experience). Teach her to ask an adult for help if she loses her jacket (problem-solving) or to hold the door for others (social skills), Hsiung said. With these skills in place, she will be able to relate her own life experiences to those of book characters, improving her comprehension.

“We’re so focused on academics, which is very important, but what we forget is that some of these things fit in the curriculum as well,” Hsiung said. “If they don’t have these components and don’t have these life experiences, and we ask them to make deeper connections to the material, it’s hard for them.”

8. Middle school and high school are not the time to take a more hands-off approach

Just because your child is getting older doesn’t mean it’s time to put her on auto­pilot.

“This is the point in their lives when they’re trying to sort out who they are,” Thomas, the Charles Carroll Middle School teacher, said. “Peer pressure comes in, and their connectedness to school wanes. We tend to lose a lot of children in middle school, when drugs, bullying, peer pressure and skipping become more rampant. . . . It’s not the time to take your hands off of what they’re doing.”

The same goes for high school.

“High school students have this air about them that they don’t need their parents anymore, but they really do,” said Christie Ground, a ninth-grade English teacher at Northwest High School in Montgomery County.

9. But don’t do everything for your child

Sometimes it’s faster to do things yourself than wait for your child to complete a task. But by doing everything for him, you’re not preparing him to take care of himself.

Melanie Buckley, head of the English department at Heritage High School in Loudoun, said that if your child is having trouble with something, such as organizing his backpack, stand next to him and have him do it while you talk him through the process. Timothy Yorke, an advanced placement English teacher at Heritage, said this goes for time management as well.

“Parents have to empower their sons or daughters to think for themselves and be more responsible for themselves,” Yorke said. “They need to figure out: How do I juggle all of the activities and classes but not have to rely on Mom and Dad to step in.”

10. Ask about your child’s day

Stay involved in your child’s education, beyond helping him with his homework, Silver Spring’s Liston said. Even small things, like asking a child what he did in school, can be the difference between a child who unplugs at the end of the day and one who continues thinking about what he learned.

“If a student goes home and everyone says one thing they did that day, repeating it to anyone else in the house will help them remember it,” Liston said. “If they say, ‘I don’t remember’ or ‘I don’t know,’ ask them something specific: ‘What did you do in science today,’ something that will get them talking about it.”

December 11th, 2017: Hello Parents & Students, Students please remember to read a good fit daily and track your at home reading on your Wilson Reading Charts. The Wilson Home Charts are due next Monday and Tuesday depending on your Wilson Reading Program days. I will be gone on December 20th and 21st. If students are absent then please make sure they read daily. I know that several students are out sick, but parents please read to your students if they are too ill to read for themselves or have them listen to books on ipads, PC, cellphones, or another audio device. Hope everyone who is ill starts feeling better! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday break filled with good books and doing fun activities with your families and friends.

December 1, 2017: Hello Parents & Students, The school year is going by quickly and the next Wilson Home Reading Chart (WHRC) is due the December 18th/19th depending on your student's Wilson schedule. The due date is written on each student's Wilson Holme Reading Chart. I will not be here on Wednesday, December 20th or Thursday December 21st, which is a half-day. So please make sure your student turns in there WHRC before December 19th by 3 p.m. to me. I have seen lots of student's making good gains with increasing their reading fluency. So please keep up the awesome work and keep reading! Tips for Encouraging School Success for your student(s): Talk with your child's teachers regularly, read together for fun and discuss what you've read together, set regular study times and schedules, parent's and students should get involved in school events, remember parents to reward effort-not just results.

November 17th, 2017: Parents & Students: The Wilson Home Reading Charts are due again! Please make sure your student is reading 20-30 minutes per night and tracking their book titles and pages read. A big thank you to those students who showed they are responsible and returned their reading charts for extra stickers and a prize. Awesome job!! Keep up the good work. Next week is Thanksgiving break and please remember to read every day and log your reading on your Wilson Home Reading Charts. Have a wonderful holiday break with your families!! Parents please check out this great article from scholastic on how to motivate your student into become more responsible:

November 8, 2017: Hello Parents & Students! The Wilson Home Reading Chart is due so please pay attention to your student's Wilson Home Reading Chart due date. There are different return dates for each leveled Wilson group that I have. Please make sure your student is reading a good fit book daily and charting their pages read on it and return it for a prize. Also, if your student has attention issues and trouble staying focused then please remind them to track words they are reading with their index finger. In addition, remind then to not guess words and to scoop multi-syllabic words into individual syllables or chunks to be able to sound them out correctly.

October 24th, 2017: Hello Parents & Students! We are starting quarter two this week and please make sure your student(s) are reading a good fit book on a daily basis and logging their pages read onto their Wilson Home Reading Charts. I remind students during our Wilson sessions to make sure they read daily and log their reading to complete their monthly Wilson Home Reading Charts to earn a prize from me when they return it monthly. Remember it's vital that your student(s) just reads, reads, reads a good fit book daily to make sufficient gains with their basic reading skills. Limited practice leads to limited mastery of basic reading skills. So it's so important to encourage your student to make it a habit to read daily. Also, our school library has so many wonderful good fit books to check out and you can visit our awesome librarians for recommendations on good fit books as well. Have a great week!!

October 16th, 2017: Hello Parents & Students! We have a short week of school. We are out on Wednesday at 12:45 pm. Please make sure your student reads over the short fall break. Report cards and individual reading progress will be sent home next week with your student. Have a good break and keep logging your books read on the Wilson Home Reading Chart. Have a great short fall break!

October 6th, 2017: Hello Students & Parents, Thank you to those students who returned their Wilson Home Reading Charts last week and this week! Awesome job to those students who were being responsible and independently returned their home reading charts!! I still have several students who did not return their Wilson Home Reading Charts from last month. It is requirement for my students in the Wilson Reading Program. Remember that it takes lots and lots of practice outside of school to become a fluent reader and be able to decode multi syllablic words quickly and with ease. Please encourage your student(s) to read daily and chart their reading on their Wilson Home Charts.

September 27th, 2017: Hello Students & Parents! Please remember the Wilson Home Reading Charts are due this Friday (September 29th, 2017). Remember the key character trait at OPA/MOPA is focusing on being a responsible student, which means that students need to come to school daily on time. In addition, students need to be prepared for school by having their homework done and necessary supplies with them. Parents please encourage and make sure your students are reading daily at home to keep improving their basic reading skills and logging it on their Wilson Home Reading Charts.

September 20th, 2017-Please remember that this week we have a half-day on Thursday and school is out at 12:45 p.m. There is no school on Friday September 22, 2017 due to Parent/Teacher conferences on Thursday at MOPA. OPA and MOPA teachers have professional development all day on Friday this week. Also, please remember that the Wilson Home Reading Charts are due back next week. The Wilson home reading charts are very important for students to complete and return to show that they are being responsible for their learning and their progress with basic reading skills. Reading is essential for your student's success in school. All too often, the barriers faced by children with difficulty reading outweigh their desire to read and, without proper guidance, they never overcome them.

Parents are their child's first teacher. So, please encourage your students to read at home for 20-30 minutes daily. Also, let your child see you read on a daily basis and they will follow your example. You can discuss what you reading and why you like to read a particular type of genre. Ask your student what they are reading and how they feel about the book/topic they are currently reading.

Learning to read is a sequential process. Students build their basic reading skills by mastering previously learned skills. For example, children learn to break down words into their most basic sounds in a process called decoding. Later, they begin to comprehend the meaning of words, sentences and, ultimately, entire passages of text. However, the reading process requires lots and lots of practice to be able to make significant gains in their reading skills.

September 14th, 2017- Hello Students & Parents! Hope everyone is getting back into a routine of daily reading for 20-30 minutes. Remember becoming a better reader takes lots of practice at school and at home. The September Wilson Reading Home Charts are due back the week of September 25th -29th, 2017.

September 7th, 2017- Hello OPA Parents and Students! Thank you to those students who returned their Wilson Reading Program Disclosures and summer Wilson reading packets and logs!! Awesome job being responsible!! For those who have not returned the disclosures, or summer packets and summer reading logs please return it to me A.S.A.P. If you need another copy of the disclosure please email me, talk to me, or call me and let me know. Parents and students please remember to check out good fit books from the OPA library and log your pages read on your Wilson Home Reading Chart. Thank you.

August 29th, 2017- The Wilson Reading Program has started this week. I had to rearrange some of my groups and students to accommodate every student already in the program from last year and their new schedules. Parents if you have any questions please email me through my school email at Students please return your summer reading logs by September 1st, 2017. Students who return their Wilson Reading Charts/logs will get a prize. Please remember students and parents that the Wilson Home reading charts/logs are a mandatory part of the Wilson Reading Program to ensure that reading is happening at home as well. Also, parents please help remind your student to return their Wilson Reading Program Disclosures signed by you the parent and by your student on or by Sept. 1st, 2017. Thank you.

August 22, 2017- Welcome Back to School! Hope everyone had a restful and relaxing summer filled with reading good books! This week, I will be talking with your student's teachers about available times to pull your student for their Wilson group this year and create a schedule. Therefore, we will not have Wilson groups until the week of August 28th, 2017 and remember summer reading logs are due back no later than September 1st, 2017. I will extend the date because I know some students may need a little extra time. Those students who return their summer Wilson Reading logs will get a prize. A key habit or character trait OPA staff and OPA students will be focusing on this year is responsibility. Parents and students please talk together about how your student can become more responsible at home and at school this year. First step, should be to set personal goals. For example, increase their daily reading minutes, which will lead to increasing their reading fluency and comprehension. Another goal could be increasing their homework return. Hope you and your student has a great 2017-2018 school year!

May 22nd, 2017- Home Reading Charts are due today!! Thank you to those students who were proactive and returned them completed for a prize. Again, I will be sending home (via the mail) three Wilson Reading Charts for over the summer to have Wilson students keep logging their reading over the summer break and various individualized items from taught concepts on the levels your student was taught this year in Wilson. Students need to return the completed Home Reading Charts and completed packets back me during the first week of school next year and they will earn a prize. Please make sure your student is reading over the summer break to prevent regression with their reading skills. Your student(s) can do hard things! They can accomplish a lot through hard work and practice for any skill(s) they choose to become better at doing! So let's read this summer and choose good fit books that are interesting to them. Have a great summer break!!

Poor Reading Skills Lead More Students to Dropout of School Than Poverty

April 20, 2011 | By Angie Stevens |

It’s amazing how large of an impact struggling with reading has on students’ education. It’s just one skill, but it affects everything. A recent research study from the American Educational Research Association discovered some startling facts about how low reading skills affect graduation rates. The most surprising discovery of the research study is that low reading skills causes more students to drop out of school before receiving a diploma than poverty.

Here are some recent statistics on literacy and graduation rates:

  • There are several warning signs that can be found when a student is in 6th grade that lead to a 90% risk that a student won’t graduate on time: chronic absences, poor behavior, failing math or language arts (Robert Balfanz, Johns Hopkins University)
  • A student who can't read on grade level by 3rd grade is 4x’s less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently in 3rd grade. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13x’s less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer. (American Educational Research Association)
  • 16% of students overall do not receive a diploma by age 19, but students who struggle with reading in the first few years of elementary school comprise 88% of those who do not receive a diploma. (Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Longitudinal Study of Youth)
  • 89% of students in poverty who read at grade level by 3rd grade graduate on time, and at the same rate as students who never experienced poverty but did struggle with reading early on.
  • Low reading skills are a stronger predictor that a student won’t receive a diploma than spending at least a year in poverty, which affected 70% of the students who didn't graduate.
  • More than 25% of poor, struggling readers did not graduate, while only 2% of good readers from wealthier backgrounds didn't graduate.
  • Gaps in graduation rates among caucasian, black and Hispanic students closed once poverty and reading proficiency were taken into account.
  • "If those in poverty are proficient in reading, they basically have the same rate of graduation of wealthier students: above 90 percent” - Donald J. Hernandez (American Educational Research Association)

May 15th, 2017-Remember the last Wilson Home Reading Chart is due by Monday May 22, 2017. Parents please make sure your student keeps reading over the summer break to avoid significant regression with their reading skills. I will be sending home three Wilson Reading Charts for over the summer to have Wilson students keep logging their reading over the summer break. Students need to return them to me during the first week of school and they will earn a prize. Below is an article that I wanted to share with parents and students about reading and it's importance by Authors: Bernice Cullinan and Brod Bagert (abbreviated version), Source: U.S. Department of Education


Tips & ToolsMotivating Kids to Read

Choosing Good Books

Reading Aloud

Success in School

Getting Ready to Read


At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on cardboard pages. Guide your child by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language.

Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child's life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.

Even after children learn to read by themselves, it's still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers' understanding and motivate them to improve their skills.


Although the life of a parent is often hectic, you should try to read with your child at least once a day at a regularly scheduled time. But don't be discouraged if you skip a day or don't always keep to your schedule. Just read to your child as often as you possibly can.

Taking the time to read with your children on a regular basis sends an important message: Reading is worthwhile.


You may go through a period when your child favors one book and wants it read night after night. It is not unusual for children to favor a particular story, and this can be boring for parents. Keep in mind, however, that a favorite story may speak to your child's interests or emotional needs. Be patient. Continue to expose your children to a wealth of books and eventually they will be ready for more stories.

Having access to information through the printed word is an absolute necessity. Knowledge is power, and books are full of it. But reading is more than just a practical tool. Through books we can enrich our minds; we can also relax and enjoy some precious leisure moments.

With your help, as your children begin a lifelong relationship with the printed word, they can grow into adults who read easily and frequently whether for business, knowledge, or pleasure.

Authors: Bernice Cullinan and Brod Bagert (abbreviated version)

Source: U.S. Department of Education

May 3rd, 2017- Hello OPA Parents & Students! Many Wilson students have still not returned their April Wilson Home Reading Charts/logs. The next Wilson Reading log is due no later then Monday, May 22, 2017. The last Wilson group will be on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. I will be gone on the last day of school May 24th.

*Please make sure your students are reading for at least 20 minutes per night at home. The OPA library is having a Book Fair. Come in and check out some books or you can buy some books for your student to keep them reading!

April 28th, 2017- Hello Parents & Students, Just wanted to share a website to keep your older students reading over the summer with:

AudiobookSYNC is a free summer audiobook program from AudioFile Magazine for teens 13+ that gives away two paired audiobook downloads a week. Go to there website for more information.

April 25th, 2017- Hello Parents & Students, The Wilson Home Reading Charts are due this week. Please complete them and return them to me. There will be a Wilson Home Reading Chart for May, but it is due the last week of school May 22nd. The last day for Wilson groups will be May 24th, 2017 because we only have half a day on May 25th and it's field day for students to enjoy! SAGE testing start this week and please make sure your students get rest and eat breakfast. Have a great week!

Read below as a reminder to help yourself read better and more fluently.

What kids can do to help themselves

  1. Track the words with your finger and as needed scoop difficult words into parts/syllables as a parent or teacher reads a passage aloud. Then you read it.
  2. Have a parent or teacher read aloud to you. Then, match your voice to theirs.
  3. Read your favorite books and poems over and over again. Practice getting smoother and reading with expression.

April 17th, 2017- Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Parents & Students, please make sure you are reading daily and charting books read on your Wilson Home Reading log sent home with your student. Scroll down and below is a copy of a Wilson Home Reading Chart you can print from home. Students can also log read books on regular paper. Remember practice makes perfect especially with basic reading skills!!

April 11th, 2017: Hope every had a good Spring Break! Here is some information about Graphic Novels for Young Kids and how they can help reluctant readers enjoy reading more. In addition, is also a good place to find recommendations for popular graphic novels and books for young/teen readers.

By: Reading Rockets

Similar to comic books, graphic novels weave rich, lively visuals with a limited amount of text to drive the narrative. They can be especially appealing to young readers who are reluctant to pick up a more traditional book. Graphic novels are a great way to help struggling readers strengthen vocabulary, build reading confidence and stamina, and develop a deeper appreciation of storytelling.

March 27, 2017-Hello Students & Parents! The Wilson Home Reading Charts are due this week. Please get them turned in and earn extra stickers for a prize! Next week is Spring Break and please read, read, read during your break. Have a safe week off.

March 20th, 2017- A BIG thank you to my Wilson students for being on task this week and really trying to do their best to practice during group and improve their fluency rate on individual Wilson Fluency Readers. Awesome job, to my Wilson students!! Remember that the Wilson Home Reading Charts are due next week on March 27th, 2017.

March 14th, 2017- Fourth quarter started this week! Please make sure you are reading a good fit book daily and logging your read pages on your Wilson Home Reading Chart. Also, this is a short week and our school gets out early at 12:45 pm on Thursday, March 16th and there is no school on Friday, March 17th, 2017. These are Professional Development Days for teachers. Have a wonderful long weekend and I hope students choose to get some reading done over the weekend!

March 6th, 2017- Just a reminder that quarter three ends this Friday. I will be sending out progress to student's case managers or if they don't have one then to parents via email. Students please make sure you are reading daily and logging it on your Wilson Home Reading Chart for March. Its due back to me by the week of March 27th. Below are some tips to

Making Reading Fun Using 6 Tips by Melissa Taylor:

Rule #1: Read the right books.

Nothing is more discouraging that trying to read Dostoyevsky when you’re better suited to Rick Riordan or Dr. Seuss. Be sure your child is reading books that are appropriate for his reading level, not books that are too challenging. Challenging equals discouraging. Use the 5 Finger Test to help.

Fun Rule #2: Let kids choose their own books.

Your kids love being in charge of their lives. That’s why I say to let them load up on books that look interesting to them. (This is much cheaper at the library – even if you do have to pay overdue fines. I like to think of it as my way of supporting the new building fund. Gulp.)

Fun Rule #3: Go beyond the (traditional) book.

Do you know that it counts to read an audiobook? Yes, it is listening but here’s why it counts: it builds vocabulary and background knowledge about topics and literary devices. And what’s even better, it helps kids find the magic in the story itself. This is the KEY to loving to read and what kids miss when they’re overwhelmed with reading itself.

Also, don’t forget about reading books on devices such as an iPad or Kindle. Since many kids are mesmerized by technology, technology can make reading way enticing.

Finally, remember those magazines and comic books. Dare I sound repetitive when I mention that they also count as reading?

Fun Rule #4: Create a totally awesome reading area.

Work with your child to make a reading area he’ll want to hang out in. Think college-dorm cool: rugs, lamps, beanbags, posters. Set the mood for fun. Then bring in the books, and voilà – you’ve created great ambience for reading.

Fun Rule #5: Be a little naughty.

Try these rule-breaking ideas:

  • Allow your frustrated reader to stay up late with a super cool new headlamp and a good book.
  • For reading time, you read to her – instead of the other way around. And maybe even read in your best silly or fancy voice.
  • Let your child move while reading. Jump on the tramp, sit on an exercise ball, or hula-hoop and read.

Fun Rule #6: Don’t ignore the elephant.

If your child needs reading help, get it for her now. Testing, tutoring, whatever. Don’t wait. It won’t go away. Trust me. I’ve tried denial as a coping strategy and it does not work. (Darn it!) That elephant in the room is only going to grow. And I’m pretty sure it weighs a gazillion tons.

You’ve totally got this!

March 1st, 2017- Awesome job & a BIG thank you to those Wilson Reading Program students who were proactive and turned in their Wilson Home Reading Charts!!! If you did not return your reading chart please do it this week to get credit/stickers for it. Keep reading for March and logging your pages read on your new charts given out this week by me. The new charts will be due the week of March 27th-March 31st.

February 21st, 2017- Happy Tuesday Students and Parents! Just a reminder that completed Wilson Home Reading Charts are due back next week February 27th-March 3rd, 2017. Your student gets extra stickers when they return their Wilson Home Reading Charts. When your students gets 15 stickers on their incentive charts then they earn a prize out of the prize box. Students also earn bubble gum stickers to put on our Wilson Reading Program Class Bubble Gum Chart. This Bubble Gum Class chart helps us see our program's progress with OPA's school wide important goal of increasing our reading minutes.

A website that I have in my reading strategies above is the website:, which has a lot of good information for students and parents about reading skills and concepts.

ED Online Reading Rockets has Homework Tips for Parents below:

Homework is important, but helping children with homework isn’t always easy. Here are some ways you can make homework easier for everyone! Study the same things in different ways and places. Help your child learn about new words or content in a variety of ways. Talk about new vocabulary words several times over the course of the week, in different settings. This will help enrich your child’s understanding of the word. Mix up the study time If your child prefers to do a little math, a little reading, a little word study and then back to math, that’s okay! Mixing up the practice time may leave a greater impression on your learner. Space out the learning If your child has a big test coming up next week, help her study a little bit each day rather than cramming it in the night before. An hour or so every other day, spacing out the learning, is a better way to really learn the material.

Help your child get organized Help your child pick out a special homework notebook or folder, and make sure your child has homework supplies, such as: • pencils • pens • writing paper • a dictionary

Show your child that you think homework is important by asking your child about her homework each day, and check to see that it is completed. Tell your child that you are proud of the work she is doing. Help your child without doing the homework It’s important to answer questions if you can – but remember that homework is supposed to help children learn and that doing your child’s homework does not help in the long run. Talk with your child’s teacher about any questions you many have regarding homework.

Find out what the teacher’s homework rules are. If your child has a problem completing or understanding homework, call or e-mail the teacher to talk about the issue. For more tips, see “Helping Your Child Succeed in School.”

February 13th, 2017- Hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day holiday this week. Students & Parents please remember that the Wilson Home Reading Log is due back to me by the week of Feb. 27th, 2017. There is no Wilson Groups on Thursday, February 16th, 2017. This is a half-day for parent teacher conferences and there is no school on Friday 2/17/17 as well due to PT conferences. If you are wondering how your student id doing in the Wilson program then please email me or call me at 801-627-2066 ext. 3712 before Thursday, February 15th, 2017 or on/after Tuesday, February 21st, 2017. In addition, there is no school on Monday, February 20th because its Presidents Day. I hope that students will use the extra time off to read good fit books and chart them on their Wilson Home reading charts to keep practicing and improving their reading skills. Also, I wanted to share this wonderful TED talk with parents and students about dyslexia and why programs such as the Wilson Reading Program help students with their basic reading and spelling skills - Have a great week and extended weekend students and parents!

February 8th, 2017-Hello Students & Parents! I wanted to share with you a website to help keep your student reader engaged at home. This website has ten different options for reading material.

Hope you and your student will find these websites helpful and engaging to help practice their reading skills. Also, there will be no Wilson Groups on Thursday, February 16th, 2017, which is a half-day. Thank you.

February 6th, 2017- Hello Students & Parents, Several students returned their reading logs and a few students even logged extra reading on additional pages, which is awesome!! Great job and a BIG thank you goes out to those students!! They were proactive and caring about their own reading progress by reading extra good fit books at home. I do have some students who did return the Wilson Home Reading Chart partially completed. Therefore, I count it as returned, but it's marked as incomplete. I do have several other students who still did not return their Wilson Home Reading Charts. Remember that the Wilson Home Reading Chart is the daily homework for Wilson. If students are not returning the Wilson Home Reading Chart then they are not doing their homework for Wilson, which is to practice reading good fit books to help them improve their basic reading skills. If students are really struggling on a concept then I can send home extra worksheets for additional practice. However, I have sent home worksheets with different students who were struggling on certain concepts and students are inconsistent in returning the homework. I use incentives of extra stickers for returned homework. Students with 15 stickers get to choose a prize from the prize box as an incentive.

Jan 30th, 2017-The Home Reading Charts are due back this week to me. Students can use a regular piece of lined paper to log their reading. Parents please make sure you are signing it. You can also scroll down this blog page and print off another copy of the Home Reading Chart from home by printing it yourself. I did give extra copies to students who told me they lost the first one. However, I will not keep giving students extra copies. Students- you need to be responsible, keep track of it, and return it when its due (remember to be proactive for your own learning). Thank you.

Jan 23rd, 2017-Hello Students & Parents, I know the weather has been snowy and roads have not been the best, but please try to get your students to school. If they miss school then please make sure they are reading extra minutes at home. Good reading skills take a lot of practice just like anything else in life. When students are absent a lot they miss out on important concepts and skills in every academic subject, which affects their progress. Also, only one week left before the Wilson Home Reading Chart is due back to me for December & January reading minutes. Please remember it is mandatory for Wilson students to return it. Thank you and hope everyone is well and healthy.

Jan 17th, 2017- Hello Students & Parents, Several Wilson students lost their Wilson Home Reading Charts to log their reading for Dec/January, 2017. I gave your students another one and wrote down the due date again, which is the week of Jan 30th, 2017. If they lose the second copy then I will not give them another one. They need to be proactive and responsible by keeping it in a safe location and remember to read daily and log their reading. If they need a third copy then they will need to copy it and print it from my blog. If students are unable to copy and print from home then they can use a regular piece of paper to log their books, log dates, log number of pages, log parent signatures, and return the week of Jan 30th, 2017 to me. Thank you! Please read the eight reasons why we all need to read daily.

I found eight reasons why reading is so important for everyone: 1-Expose yourself to new things, 2- Self Improvement, 3-Improve Understanding, 4-Preparation to Action, 5-Gain Experience from Other people, 6-Tools of Communication, 7-Connecting your Brain, 8-Boost Imagination & Creativity

Jan 13th, 2017- Hello Students & Parents, Please make sure your students are reading daily and filling out their Wilson Home Reading Chart because it is due the week of Jan 30th, 2017. Again, parents please resist the urge to "leave the reading to school." Remember that your child is in a "race against time" to get enough practice to be able to cope with the increasing demands of more difficult text in later grades. Students will not increase their basic reading skills without adequate reading practice daily at home as well. Please make sure you read my previous blog messages for more information on helping your student at home with reading.

There is a series of books called Hi-Lo books that our libraries have that are geared toward students in 5th-9th grade that very engaging or high interest for students at lower, easier reading levels. Many Wilson students would benefit from checking theses types of books out to read for their Wilson Home Reading Charts. If you have any questions, please email me or call me.

Jan 5th, 2017- Another parent tip for helping your student become a better reader at home:

As for reading from text, home reading material should meet three conditions:

  1. Cell phones should be put away and the TV turned off.
  2. Your child should find the topic interesting.
  3. The text should be is on his/her instructional or independent level. A good rule of thumb here is that more than 1 error per every 10 words means the text is too hard.

Take turns reading every other page. Stop occasionally and talk about what's happening. When oral reading time is up, tell your child to read silently for another 15 minutes, and give a guiding question that you'll want answered (e.g., Why is Ron so mad at Harry?). Finally, fill out your child's Wilson’s home reading chart sent home. When it's complete bring it back to me by the due date or before if its complete.

Resist the urge to "leave the reading to school." Remember that your child is in a "race against time" to get enough practice to be able to cope with the increasing demands of more difficult text in later grades.

You Are Your Children's First Teacher! You have the power to help your children lay the foundation for successful reading. Although it may seem like an overwhelming responsibility, there is no need for apprehension. Ushering children into the "world of reading" can and should be done joyfully in a stress-free environment. Your children will take their "cues" about reading from you!