Reading Specialist

Notes For Parents

Welcome back for the 2017-2018 school year!  It is going to be a  FABULOUS year for all of us in the AOD family!

Our open house will be tomorrow, Wednesday, August 23rd. I am looking forward to seeing all our wonderful students and parents that day. 

There are a lot of other exciting things going on throughout the school year!  Be sure to check them out, here.


Literacy-related news and activities:
As I have done in the past, I will continue to use this space to keep you informed of exciting, fun-filled literacy activities going on in our school and in our community.  I update my page quite frequently, so be sure to check back often.

As a parent myself, I know how very busy our schedules are -Please continue to have your children spend at least 20 minutes a day reading outside of school hours.  There are many ways to do this -  Read with your children, and let them see you reading things like recipes, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, ingredients, menus etc, have them read signs and other environmental print, play a game with your child and have him/her read the directions and any cards, etc.  Most importantly - Enjoy sharing the love of literacy with your children!

 

I will be keeping my eyes open for readers in action this year!  Will I catch your child reading?  Keep an eye on my photos and my bulletin board in school to see who I catch reading next.

 

Each classroom will be participating in the Pizza Hut Book-It Program again this year.  This exciting program will run October through March.  Each of those months, students who reach the reading goals given to them by their teacher will earn a certificate for a FREE personal pan pizza!  This is extremely motivating for the students.  Be sure to let your child/ren know it is coming again this year!  


Remember, the best way for your child to improve his/her reading is to spend time reading. 

Please feel free to E-mail or call me or your child's classroom teacher if you have any questions.

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Most importantly...Have fun reading with your child! :)

About the Teacher

Hello! My name is Tracy McCarthy, and I am the Reading Specialist at Academy of Dover.  This is my seventh year here, and I am looking forward to another great year!

I lived in New York State prior to moving here six years ago, and that is where I received my education.  I attended Corning Community College, where I earned an A.A.S. in Human Services with a specialization in children's services.  I am very proud to say I was also awarded the most outstanding human services student award while I was there. I also attended SUNY Oswego, where I earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Masters in Reading Education. 

I am certified to teach early childhood (birth-grade 2), elementary (K-6), middle level English Language Arts, and reading for grades K-12.

I am delighted to be here and look forward to being the reading specialist at Academy of Dover for years to come. 

When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing with our 2 dogs, cooking, reading, singing or listening to music, or just relaxing and enjoying nature.

 

 

Photo Galleries

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Homework

It is my expectation that all students, whether I work with them or not, read at least 20 minutes each night.  This is the best way for students to increase their fluency and expand their vocabulary. 

Contact the Teacher

 Please contact me anytime at:

tracy.mccarthy@aod.k12.de.us.  

If you prefer, you may call the school and leave a message for me.  I will return your call as quickly as possible, typically within 24 hours.

 

 I look forward to hearing from you and working with your child!!

Class News

Parents often ask what they can do at home to help their child with reading.  Here are a few ideas of things you can do.  I change these often, so check back frequently.

Here are several ideas of things you can do with your children to help them practice their growing literacy skills and have lots of fun doing it.  Each activity can be adjusted for your child's current level.

 

1. Play "The Alphabet Game" while going for car rides, shopping, while waiting at the doctor's office, etc.  This can be easily adapted to play anywhere you happen to be.  Challenge your child/ren to locate each letter in the alphabet.  The letters can be found on license plates, billboards, on packages or labels, in magazines, etc. Younger children can ID letters as they find them or you can challenge them to find a specific letter.  For older children, have them find each letter in ABC order.  To make it even more challenging, you tell them they can only use one letter from each word, license plate, sign, etc.

2. Make some BINGO boards for everyone in the family or for a group of your children's friends.  Then write one sight word in each of the blank squares.  Call out a sight word and have the players put a cheerio, M&M, or other small edible item on the word to mark it.  Once someone has BINGO, that person reads back the words.  Take turns being the caller, too.  When you are done playing, if you used edible markers, everyone can have the added fun of eating them. You can do this same thing with letters or even pictures for K students.  If you use pictures, you could call out beginning sounds.

3. Let your children eat their sight words.  Have them use raisins, cheerios, M&Ms etc to form the letters to spell out sight words and eat them when they are done.

4. Have your child cut out pictures from old magazines, newspapers, and advertisements and save them to use for this fun activity.  Line up some sight words to form a sentence, but leave blank spaces for a couple of missing words.  Then have your child select pictures to put in the spaces and read the sentence aloud.  Do it again with other pictures.  You can use other sight word cards to make new sentences, too.  Here are a few examples: My ___ can go to the ____.  I see a _____ with a _____ on it.  If you prefer, you could do this on paper instead by writing the sentences and having your child use stickers, drawings, or words to fill in the blanks.

5. Use sidewalk chalk to do a making and breaking words activity.  Write a CVC word, such as cat.  Then say, "Change cat to bat." Have your child determine which sound was substituted and make the necessary change.  Be creative with the erasing method.  You could have your child use a damp sponge, a squirt toy, etc.  Keep making new words, making only one change at a time.  For example, "Change bat into bag."  "Change bag into bug."  If you prefer, you could do the same activity inside with a dry erase board or a chalkboard.

6. Have your child read out loud to you, a sibling, a relative, a pet, a favorite toy, etc.  It does not matter whom (or what) your child reads to, so long as he or she is practicing reading out loud.  Have your child read the same selection over & over until he or she reads it fluently - Fluent reading sounds like talking.  It is smooth & has expression.  If you have a younger family member, it is a great idea to have your child read stories out loud to that child.  Children tend to read with more expression when reading to younger children.

7. Be sure to let your child see you reading, and be sure to enjoy reading together.  Consider going to your local library to choose new reading material.  Remember it does not matter what you are reading - It could be comics, magazines, newspapers, cookbooks, directions, signs, etc.  Just be sure to read together!


8. There are some great web sites that offer interactive activities on various skills needed for reading comprehension.  I have included some in my links.  Be sure to check them out.

Most of all...at every level, have fun!

Don't throw away those old books! Donate them to my classroom or the library!

Links

 Here are some great literacy links:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/28/teen-wins-peace-prize-for-reading-program/18042385 /  Th      Th  This link will take you to the news story about Imani Henry, the young girl who started the 100 Men Reading Program in 2010 won a Peace Prize for it.  Our school has had numerous visits from this exciting & motivating program.  I am hoping to schedule swome visits again this year, too!

http://bookitprogram.com/parents/

http://guest.portaportal.com/tlmccarthy  This is my personal portaportal.  It is a collection of websites I have found to be very helpful.  I have created two main sections, both of which contain multiple sub-sections.  The top main section is primarily for teachers.  If you scroll down, you will find the second section which is called:  Sites for student use at school or at home. 

Scroll through this section to find a wide variety of sites on phonics, sight words, interactive books, online books, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, and reading at various skill levels.

Please let me know if you have questions about my portaportal - I am more than happy to help!

http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1486

http://www.seussville.com/#/games  

http://www.seussville.com/games/lb_fox_in_socks_matching.html

http://www.seussville.com/games/storymaker/story_maker.html                 

http://www.seussville.com/games/lb_sam_i_am.html

http://pbskids.org/catinthehat/games/             

http://teach.fcps.net/trt4/Dr.Seuss.htm

https://orders.earlymoments.com/drseuss3bamsbm.aspx?key=4PK4&VendorCode=PSTS&utm_campaign=426&utm_term=823678&utm_medium=google&utm_source=trada&utm_content=2361075449_5251409609 

Here are a few suggested sites that focus on reading comprehension skills:

http://mrnussbaum.com/readingpassageindex

http://www.aasd.k12.wi.us/staff/boldtkatherine/ReadingFun3-6/ReadingFun_ReadingSkills.htm#Context_Clues

http://www.carlisleschools.org/webpages/pluta/teacher.cfm?subpage=1265199

Classroom Rules and Expectations

All students need to come to my class ready to learn and participate.  

On a typical day, students work with me in groups of six or less in 30 minutes increments, three to five times per week.  The time your child spends with me is based on the severity of their need.