Dear Obama Families,
Parents, we really need your help! While observing classes over the last few weeks, we have noticed that many of our students do not know basic sight words. Due to the severe learning gaps caused by the pandemic, reading has become our main focus throughout the district. As we all know, reading is the foundation of all core content areas, so we need to address these deficiencies with a sense of urgency! Students in grades 3-5 will be required to take the Ga. Milestones Assessment in April. This is a high-stakes test where a great deal of reading is required. Students in grades K-2 and 3-5 will take the MAP assessment in May to determine how much they've grown during the school year. The MAP Assessment qualifies students for the gifted program and other School Choice programs throughout the district. Throughout this school year, we want to expose our students to the FRY word list in groups of 100 words to help them become more successful in reading. Students should learn at least 100 words per year, beginning in kindergarten. This initiative will be implemented on EVERY grade level because we have noticed that we have non-readers sitting in our third, fourth and fifth grade classes! Once students master most of the first list, we need to move them up to the next list of 100 words. The great thing about the FRY word list is that it goes beyond the elementary level, so students who are more advanced may go beyond the 600 words they should learn by the end of fifth grade.
It does not matter where your child begins on this word list. Ultimately, what matters is that they are able to read at least 600 of these words by the time they complete the fifth grade. Please go in chronological order and start with the first 100 words. It's important to start at the beginning to see how many words your child can read. We need parents/guardians to review these words with your children at home for 10-20 minutes (at least three times a week). You may start small with 5-10 words a week and move on as they master more words. If students see that we're working together, they will work harder to meet their individual goals. Please be patient with your children as they go through this process.
At the beginning of this month, we began implementing a new school-wide initiative that we refer to as "WINsdays" (What I Need Days). Every Wednesday for the rest of the school year, we're going to focus on strengthening reading and math skills. Students will participate in targeted math and reading remediation, guided reading and math, independent reading, writing skills, collaborative activities, technology centers, project-based learning and other engaging academic activities for the entire day on Wednesdays (even during specials). The FRY word list will be one of the tools that we use during these days because students also have to learn how to read independently. If they don't know the most frequently used words that are on the FRY list, they will have a difficult time reading books independently.
Again, we acknowledge that the pandemic has caused many academic deficiencies throughout the United States. This is one of the ways we're trying to address the learning gaps/deficiencies that we're seeing, and we need your support at home. This is an awesome way to support reading instruction in our building. We're also going to have sight word parties at the end of each month for students to provide some incentives for learning the words. We will have our first sight word party at the end of January, where students will be able to enjoy a special treat and participate in fun games/activities for mastering a designated number of words each month.
The FRY lists are attached for your review. Please click the link below to start working with your children as soon as possible. Thanks in advance!
FRY Word List
Please Note...Tomorrow is the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break. Please remember that schools will be closed Monday, November 22nd through Friday, November 26th. Students will have the whole Thanksgiving week to vacation and enjoy family this year. School will resume at 7:45 a.m. on Monday, November 29, 2021.