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Our Mission is to inspire and prepare all students to realize their potential and enhance our global community.

Offices

Administrative offices for the West Hartford Public Schools are located in the Town Hall building at 50 South Main Street. 

Literacy:

 

Click on the questions below to learn more about how you can support your child at home.

 

What does reading look like at each grade level?

Click on the links below to view videos of what literacy success looks like by the end of each school year:

Do you have a list of books I can suggest to my child?

What questions should I ask my child when we are reading together?

Before your child reads a book, ask:

  • What does the cover tell you about the book?

  • Why did you select this book?

  • What makes you think this book is going to be interesting?

  • What do you think the book is going to be about?

  • Does this book remind you of anything you've already read or seen?

  • What kind of characters do you think will be in the book?

  • What do you think is going to happen?


While your child is reading a book, try asking:

  • Fiction/Literature

    • Will you catch me up on the story? What's happened so far?

    • What do you think will happen next?

    • If you were that character, what would you have done differently in that situation?

    • If the book was a TV show, which actors would you cast in it?

    • Where does the book take place?

    • If the main character in that story lived next door, would you guys be friends?

    • What does the place look like in your head as you read? Would you want to visit there?

  • Nonfiction

    • Did you learn any new words or facts so far?

    • What is this book about?  What do you think the author wanted you to learn from reading it?

    • What does ____ (vocabulary word) mean?  How do you know?

    • What does ____ (phrase or sentence) mean?  How do you know?


After your child has finished a book, ask questions like:

  • Fiction/Literature

    • What was your favorite part of the book? Why?

    • Who was your favorite character? Why?

    • Why do you think the author wrote this book?

    • Would you have ended the book differently? Did it end the way you thought it would?

    • Did the problem of the book's plot get solved?

    • If you could change one thing in the book, what would you change?

  • Nonfiction

    • What was the most interesting thing you learned from the book?

    • What is the main idea from this book?  Use details from the text to explain why this is the main idea.

    • Name at least 2 text features used in this book.  How did these text features support your understanding of the book?

    • Of the information you learned, which would you like to share with someone else?  

    • Would you like to read more books about this topic? Why?  

    • What pictures or illustrations did you find interesting? Why?

    • What kind of research do you think the author had to do to write this book?  

    • What questions would you ask the author if you ever had the opportunity to meet him/her?

Should I be reading to my child every night?

Reading nightly with your child is an excellent way to build background knowledge and interest, increase vocabulary, and simply connect with your child!  See the resources below to learn about the benefits of reading aloud.  


English Version: Does Reading Aloud Really Matter?

Spanish Version: Es Realmente Importante Leer En Voz Alta?


English Version: Parents, it’s up to you!

Spanish Version:  Padres, les toca a ustedes!


Mix up your nightly read aloud!  Click on the website links below to view books read by authors, celebrities, and more!


How can I support my child’s oral language development?

Children learn language over time without formal instruction.  Students learn to speak through practice, play, and social interaction with adults and peers.  


Here are 10 way to promote your child's oral language development:

  1. Sing-a-longs:  Sing songs with your child and encourage him to sing along with you.  Play his favorite songs and music in the house and car regularly and he may eventually start singing along by himself.  This activity helps promote memory and word identification.
  2. Identify Noises: Have your child identify noises that he hears throughout the day (i.e. a bird singing, a car horn, running water or the dishwasher).  He will begin to understand how sounds relate to objects in his everyday environment.
  3. Practice the Alphabet: Help your child identify letters by singing along to the “Alphabet Song,” reading books about the alphabet and playing with alphabet puzzles.  Here is an example of an easy game to help your child learn his letters:  Cut out individual squares that feature each letter of the alphabet written in bright colors.  Mix them up and tape them on various surfaces in the house.  Go through the alphabet with your child and encourage him to search around the house to find the next letter and tape it to the wall in order.  When finished, leave the alphabet letters in order up on the wall until you’re ready to play the game again.
  4.  Practice Counting:  Identify opportunities throughout the day to practice counting.  Count the number of shoes in your child’s closet when he gets dressed or the number of slides on the playground when you go to the park.  You may soon find that you’re counting everything!

  5. Practice Shapes and Colors:  Identify shapes and colors when interacting with your child.  You can say, “That is a round, blue ball,” when playing in the yard or “That sign is a red octagon” when pulling up to a stop sign.  As he gets older, you can ask him to describe objects to you.

  6. Offer Choices:  When you can, offer your child choices: “Would you like to wear the brown shorts or the blue shorts?” or “Would you like string cheese or yogurt with your lunch?”  This will help him to feel more independent and learn to make confident decisions that affect his day.

  7. Ask Questions:  Another way to help your child learn to think for himself is to ask him questions: “Which toy should we pick up first when we clean up the living room? Or “Why is it important to walk down the stairs slowly?”  Asking him questions helps him learn how to problem solve and better understand how his environment works.

  8. Visit Interesting Places:  Take trips to your local children’s museum, library or farmer’s market to stimulate his curiosity and provide him with “hand on” experiences.  Ask him questions while you explore and listen to his responses and reactions.  These adventures can provide a learning experience for both of you.

  9. Play with Everyday Items:  Playing with everyday household items is educational, fun and cost effective.  Encourage your child to match various-sized lids to their accompanying pots or have him look in a mirror and point to his nose, mouth, eyes, etc.

  10. Offer a Variety of Games:  Play a variety of games with your child to encourage problem solving and creativity.   If your child is younger, the two of you can build with blocks and play “Peek-a-Boo.”  As he gets older, you can engage him in board games, puzzles and play “Hide and Seek.”

Source: http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2014/06/09/10-ways-to-promote-your-childs-cognitive-development/

 

What are eBooks and where can I access one with my child?

eBooks are digital or electronic books.  Some eBooks are simply the digital version of a printed book you can find at your local library.  Other eBooks have special features that allow you to interact with the text. 

Websites to Visit to Access eBooks:

What apps/websites can my child use?

PreK-Grade 1 Websites/Apps:

PreK-Grade 2 Websites/Apps:

Grades 2-5 Websites/Apps:

Should my child read both fiction/literature and nonfiction? What can I do at home to support my child?

Absolutely!  Reading both fiction and nonfiction is important for the reading success of children.  Encourage your child to read magazines, articles, newspapers, and websites!

What can I do at home to support my child?

There are many ways you can support your child at home.  Click on the links below to learn a few strategies/activities you can do at home:

 

 12 Ways to Build Successful Readers at Home:

  1. Read to and with your child every day. By far, this is the most important thing you can do to promote a love of reading. Remember that five minutes a day is better than none.

  2. Make reading meaningful. Show your emerging reader how reading and writing help you get things done every day—cooking, shopping, driving, and so on.

  3. Dedicate time to read as a family. Set aside time at home to read and share stories. Family reading provides valuable practice and reinforces the importance of reading well.

  4. Show your child how much you love to read. Model your own interest in reading by reading in front of your child often.

  5. Set up a reading area in your home. Put books your child enjoys in a single location where they can be easily accessed.  Choose a quiet, well-lighted place, and equip it with a comfortable chair and anything else your young reader may need.

  6. Let your child choose the books of interest. By allowing your child to select books, you are empowering your emerging reader to take charge of learning. Your child will feel active and involved, increasing excitement and adding to the fun of reading.

  7. Pair books with activities your child enjoys. Encourage your child to read books about favorite activities. You may also combine those activities with books on the subject. For example, if you’re planning to spend a day at the beach, suggest your child read a story about the ocean. Discuss the book as you travel to and from the activity. On the way home, discuss how the beach met—or didn’t meet—expectations from the book.

  8. Visit the library often. Take your child on trips to the library and build excitement about borrowing books. Make getting your child’s first library card a special event.

  9. Revisit the books you loved as a child. Introduce your child to some of your favorite childhood books. Borrow them from the library and read them together. Ask your child to pick out a favorite book so you can read it. Then discuss it together.

  10. Practice writing with letters to family members. Encourage your child to write notes to grandparents and other relatives. Ask the family members to write back.

  11. End every day with a bedtime story. Establish a bedtime ritual that includes reading aloud to your child.

  12. Celebrate your child’s success. Celebrate when your child finishes new or challenging books. Take your young reader out for a treat, get more books, or rent a movie adaptation of the book, if one is available. Compare the story told in the movie to the original story in the book.
Modified from: Renaissance Learning- Build Successful Readers: Strategies for Parents

 

West Hartford Public Schools

50 South Main St, West Hartford, CT  06107

T: 860-561-6600

F: 860-561-6910

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