skip to main content
Page Wrapper
Search: Keyword:
Leslie Stephenson Staff Photo

Other Class Info.

Box Tops  
   Box Tops Campaign
     Please clip the "Box Tops" coupon from your grocery items and send them to me at school.  I earn money for my classroom for each one I collect!  I have found coupons on the following items... please let me know the grocery items on which you've found them as well!
* Pillsbury Crescent Rolls / Cinnamon Rolls
* Hamburger Helper & similar items
* Betty Crocker Muffins
* Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
* Cookie Dough

How Can I Help My Child Practice Spelling?  
How Can I Help My Child Practice Spelling?
 Beginning in first grade, your child will have spelling homework to provide reinforcement for a weekly spelling test.  Listed below, I've gathered a variety of methods by which you can help your child prepare at home. 
  • - Many children are motivated to learn when the method of delivery is in "game" form.  This website uses a variety of fun games to help your child master each week's spelling words.  To get started, click here and search for my name.  Happy Spelling!
  • Lick and Learn - Make instant pudding, any flavor.  Spread a sufficient amount of pudding into a 9 x 13 glass pan, or another pan of similar size.  Ask your child to write the spelling words as you call them out to him/her.  Imagine the fun your child will have after licking his/her finger after each word!
  • Rainbow Words - Using crayons, glitter pens, markers, colored pencils, etc... ask your child to write each spelling word three times each, using a different color each time.
  • Writing - If your child enjoys writing stories, ask him/her to incorporate the given spelling words into a story.  Inventive spelling is encouraged at this stage of writing development!
  • Letters and Numbers - Using the telephone keypad, have your child translate each spelling word into its corresponding numeric pattern.  For example, the word "bat" would become 228.
  • Cereal - Using ABC cereal, locate the individual letters of each word and glue them to a separate sheet of paper.
  • Colored Chalk - If your child has colored chalk, ask him/her to write their spelling words on the sidewalk in front of your home.
  • Rhyme Time - Your child first writes the spelling words in a list.  Secondly, he/she thinks of a rhyming word for each spelling word and writes it beside the given word.
  • Drawing - Ask your child to draw a simple picture.  Then, write one or two (or three, or four, etc...) sentences about the picture using spelling words.  Be sure to underline the spelling words in each sentence.
  • Practice Test - The evening before the test, administer a practice test for your child.  Have him/her review any missed words. 
  • Newspapers - Using a magazine or newspaper, locate each individual letter that make up a given word.  Cut out each letter and glue/tape them to a separate sheet of paper.

What is Accelerated Reader?  


What is Accelerated Reader?

     Accelerated Reader (A.R.) is a computer-based reading incentive program.  It is designed to encourage students to read more frequently and develop habits of life-long readers.

     There are three basic components to the A.R. program.  First, children take a 10 to 20 minute computer quiz which consists of 25 fill-in-the-blank sentences and measures reading ability.  Children are then scored along a "zone of proximal development" (ZPD) which determines the book level best suited for the student... one that will offer a sufficient challenge for the developing reader. 

     Second, the student selects a book in his/her ZPD and reads it.    Finally, the child  takes a quiz on the computer.      The quizzes for first grade books generally consist of five basic recall questions.  Each book is generally assigned a  value of  1/2 point per title.   If all the test items are answered correctly, the child receives the full point value for the book.  

     Some teachers encourage children to achieve a certain number of points over the course of the year.  Others require a certain number of books to be read from each genre.  In some school systems, a student's accumulated points can be redeemed for prizes at the conclusion of the year.     

How Do You Do This Read-aloud Thing?  

How Do You Do This Read-aloud Thing?

    Here are a few suggestions for making the most of your read-aloud time...

  • Establish a time each and every day when you and your child can relax and enjoy the story.  Twenty minutes each day is more beneficial to your child than an hour every other day, so be consistent.  Try reading at bedtime, snack time, after dinner...
  • Get comfortable!  Locate a spot in your home that's free from distractions.  Turn off the t.v.
  • Preview the book you're about to share.  Discuss the front cover, the author and illustrator.  Turn the pages and explore the pictures.  Ask your child to make predictions about the story.  Make certain your child can see all the illustrations.
  • Before, during, and after the reading, ask open-ended questions that generate thought.  Did the story remind your child of another book?  an experience he/she has had?   Encourage your child to make connections from the story to him/herself.
  • As you read, change your voice to represent different characters.  Be expressive!  You don't have to be a great reader, just remember to read from your heart and your child will easily associate reading with a pleasurable activity.  
  • Visit the library often and allow your child to obtain a library card of his/her own.  Ask the librarian (or ME!) to recommend books your child is likely to enjoy.
  • Build a home collection of books.  Shop at yard sales or trade books with family and friends.  I recommend purchasing books for birthday presents or other special events as well.

Why Should I Read to My Child?  

Why Should I Read to My Child?

     Reading aloud is one of the most rewarding experiences a parent can give to his/her child.  In fact, this brief twenty minute period holds the key to raising children who love and value reading and who grow up to become life-long readers.  Other benefits include...

  • a positive attitude is developed toward books as a source of pleasure and information.
  • expanding your child's knowledge base.
  • stimulating his/her imagination.
  • sharpening observation skills.
  • enhancing listening skills.
  • promoting self-confidence and building self-esteem.
  • satisfying curiosity.
  • expanding attention span.
  • increasing your child's vocabulary.
  • developing language skills.
  • increasing listening comprehension.

     It is for these reasons (and a few more I didn't include) I encourage you to read to your children tonight.  Allow them the opportunity to treasure a storybook character and literally, fall in love with reading!

Relunctant Readers  


How Can I Encourage My Child to Read?

     Would your child rather visit the dentist than read?  If so, I've compiled a list of suggestions for encouraging even the most reluctant readers...

* Read aloud - every night.  Even if your child is reading independently or is too old for picture books, you can still share a book.   Adult readers who belong to book clubs enjoy discussing their reading with others.  Children are no different.  I recommend securing two copies of a book your child is interested in reading.  The two of you decide on a comfortable number of pages (or chapters) to read each evening.  Read to and with one another followed by a discussion.  Your child will love this "one-on-one" time with you. 

 * Is your child interested in model airplanes, sports, or scuba diving?  If the answer is yes, purchase a magazine subscription devoted to these interests.  Your child will certainly be encouraged to read articles pertaining to his/her hobbies! 

*  Reading specialists recommend telling your child a joke or riddle.  After you've given him/her an opportunity to guess the answer, pull out the book from which the joke came!  What child doesn't like to laugh? 

* Search the library shelves/book stores for "how to" books on subjects your child is interested in exploring...

* Allow your child to select his/her own reading material!  I've purchased video game magazines and comic books for children who were in a reading "dry spell".  Granted, this type of reading is not of tremendous value, however it is READING just the same.

* Perhaps more important than all the others, allow your child to see YOU enjoying the act of reading.