March Peechee Books March 13, 2018

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“Sharing wordless books is a terrific way to build important literacy skills, including listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension and an increased awareness of how stories are structured. And children love them — they can really pore over the pictures and create their own story in their own words. Wordless books can also be used in ELL classrooms and with struggling readers. Explore these books with the young kids you know and get ready for some creative storytelling!” (Reading Rockets, http://www.readingrockets.org/booklists/our-favorite-wordless-picture-books).



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Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

  1. “Read” the story to your child. Since this story has limited amount of text, your child should be the one who is “reading” the story to you.  Have them tell you the story in their own words, using complete sentences.


  1. Book  Discussion


Ask your child to describe what they see in the illustrations and what is happening.

  • What are the names of the animals.
  • Who is the man with the flashlight?
  • What is his career? (Zookeeper)
  • What time of day is it, daytime or nighttime?
  • Where are the animals going as they get out of their cages?
  • Why are two pages all black with surprised eyes?
  • Who takes the animals back to the zoo?
  • What happens next?
  • Who do you think ate the banana, the gorilla or the mouse?
  • What items are inside the animals cages?
  • Take a look at the houses in the neighborhood as the animals approach, what do you see?  Do the houses seem surprised?


  1. Have your child use their retelling rope to retell the story.


1st and 2nd Grade:

This month your child is receiving the book, “The Tortoise & The Hare.”  This version is a “wordless book.”

Some activities included with this book are:

  • Metacognition Thinking Stems: Use these to encourage your child to talk about what they see throughout story.
  • Thick Questions
  • Elements of a Story Bookmark: Have your child retell the story referring to the characters, setting, problem, and solution.  Encourage them to use this bookmark when reading other fiction stories.

3rd-5th Grade:

This month your child is receiving the book, “The Tortoise & The Hare.”  This version is a “wordless book.”

Some activities included with this book are:

  • Metacognition Thinking Stems: Use these to encourage your child to talk about what they see throughout story.
  • Thick Questions
February Peechee Books February 15, 2018

Dear Parents,

On Thursday, February 15, your child should have brought home a new book with an activity.  Below are all of the activities that were sent home for the month of February.  Happy Reading!

-Amy Jackson, PHES Reading Specialist


Kindergarten:  Retelling Rope

Retelling Rope

Retelling a story is a crucial part to reading comprehension.  Your child is required to retell a story in order to pass the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) in grades K-3. 


1.  Tie a knot in the middle of the twine.  
2.  Put the face and star bead on and tie a knot.  
3.  Put on the green, yellow, and red bead.  Tie another knot and make a bow.  

1st Grade:  Retell a Story Cube

Retell a Story Cube

Retelling a story is a crucial part to reading comprehension.  Your child is required to retell a story in order to pass the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) in grades K-3.


  • Read a story together with your child
  • When you are finished reading, roll the dice and have your child answer the question.
    • Your child gets to keep this cube and book

2nd Grade:  Comprehension Cube

Reading Comprehension Cube

Asking questions while your child reads a book will help promote comprehension.  Questions should be asked before, during, and after reading a book.


  • Read a story together with your child or have them read independently.
  • After they have read the story, roll the dice and have your child answer the question.
    • Your child gets to keep this cube and book

3rd Grade:  Things Good Readers Do Bookmark

This bookmark can be used for any story your child reads or listens to.  Just have them ask themselves questions before, during, and after reading.  Your child gets to keep this book and bookmark!  Enjoy and happy reading!

4th and 5th Grade:  Comprehension Questions for, “The Hero Two Doors Down”

Prologue: Pages 1-8

Prologue: prologue is used to give readers extra information that advances the plot. It is included in the front matter and for a good reason! Authors use them for various purposes, including: Giving background information about the story.

Page 3: “Outside, I felt a burst of cold air on my flushed cheeks.” In this sentence flushed means:

(of a person’s skin) red and hot, typically as the result of illness or strong emotion.

Page 4: “Over the years, our mostly Jewish neighborhood had become a community more reflective of the diversity of Brooklyn.”  Diversity means: the state of being diverse; variety.

Chapter 1: Pages 9-22

Page 12: Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier when he became the first black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century. He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and was named Rookie of the Year that year, National League MVP in 1949 and a World Series champ in 1955.

Page 21: Why was Steve “intimidated” as he approached his teacher?

Chapter 2: Pages 23-38

Page 31: “’Some of those same neighbors brought a petition by for your dad and me to sign.’”  A petition is a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause.

Page 34:  Luckily we don’t see prejudice and discrimination like it was in the 1940s.  Stop and think for a while about how students in Elementary schools felt in the 1940s.

Page 38:  What does Steve mean that “Jackie Robinson was safe for now?”

Chapter 3: Pages 39-58

Page 40: “but she understands how that we can’t be afraid of change or judge someone else based on their differences from us.”  Have you have been afraid of something that was changing?

Page 42: “His face had a wide grin plastered across it as if he had a secret.”  Plastered means covered with.

Page 43:  Who do you think are going to be their new neighbors?

Page 46: Think about one of your “heroes.”  Would you feel the same way that Steve feels right now?

Page 50: To have a “twinkle in her eye” is an idiom that means notional look of anticipation or hope.

Page 56: “I was antsy to get back outside and continue looking for our new neighbors.”  Antsy means agitated, impatient, or restless.

Chapter 4: Pages 59-80

Page 65:  Think about a time that you were so excited to do something.  How were you feeling?  Do you think Steve feels the same way?

Page 66:  A biography is an account of someone’s life written by someone else.

Page 72: What are the tickets for?

Page 78: Would you have a hard time talking to Jackie?

Chapter 5: Pages 81-100

Page 85: An “attempted steal” in baseball is when a player tries to advance to the next base.

Page 86: “The Phillies demolished Brooklyn 10 to 2.”  Demolished in this sentence means an overwhelmingly defeat (a player or team).

Page 86: After reading this entire page, go back to page 8 and read the last paragraph.  How did the prologue help you understand this story up to this part?

Page 89: “I also found out how competitive he was!”  Would you describe yourself as competitive?  Why or why not?

Page 94: “Even when you’re an adult, there are times when you need willpower.” Willpower is to control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.

Page 94: Do you think Steve had good self-control when he pushed over his teacher?

                                                                         Chapter 6: Pages 101-117       

Page 104: “I tumbled to the ground in agony.”  Synonyms for agony are: anguish, pain, torcher, suffering, distress.

Page 110: If you were Jackie, what kind of advice would you give Steve?

Page 111: “I stood four feet two inches, but I grew taller with each step.”  What does Steve mean that he grew taller with each step?

Page 112” “Jackie chastised the boy.  Chastised means to censure severely.

Chapter 7: Pages 118-144

Page 119:  If you were Steve, who would you sit with at the baseball game?

Page 122:  “Jackie cried out in protest until his mom hoisted him onto her knees,”  Hoisted means raise or haul up.

Page 125: “’I’ve watched you closely and feel that your building skills merit this upgrade.’”  Merit means to deserve or be worthy of (something, especially reward, punishment, or attention).

Page 126: “It was built for reconnaissance,” Reconnaissance is a military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features.

Page 128: “A month into our summer project, the wings and tail were complete and we’d begun to work on the fuselage.” Fuselage is the main body of an aircraft.

Page 140: What should have Steve done instead of punching Joel?

Chapter 8: Pages 145-154

Page 149: Think about a “mitzvah” (good deed) you have done or want to do.

Page 154: What would you say in a letter to children who are in the middle of a war?

Chapter 9: Pages 155-165

Page 165: What holiday traditions do you and your family have?

Chapter 10: Pages 166-183

Page 170: What should they do with the tree?

Page 180: “’After a short prayer, we will light one of the candles in the menorah.”  A Menorah is a candelabrum used in Jewish worship, especially one with eight branches and a central socket used at Hanukkah.

Epilogue: Pages 184-191

Page 184: An Epilogue is a section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what has happened.

Page 187: Ask your parents what items they are saving from your childhood?

Write down what your goals are for the future:


Afterword: Pages 192-194

Page 194: Ask your parents to tell you about a special memory that they have from their childhood.

Books, Books, Books! February 1, 2018

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A book and activity will be sent home in your child’s peechee for the following months:

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We know how busy our families are after school, so these books and activities will be an alternative to “Family Literacy Night.”

All activities will be added on this website every month.

Happy Reading!

-Amy Jackson

Reading Terms October 12, 2017

As a reading teacher I sometimes forget to explain certain reading terms that are used to describe a child as a reader.  Here are a few terms that teachers might use to describe your child as a reader:

DRA:  Every child in Kindergarten-3rd grade is assessed on the Developmental Reading Assessment.   This assessment is administered one-on-one by their classroom teacher.  The goal for this assessment is as follows:

  • Kindergarten: 2nd trimester: DRA level 2, 3rd trimester: DRA level 4
  • 1st grade: 1st trimester: DRA level 8, 2nd trimester: DRA level 12, 3rd trimester: DRA level 16
  • 2nd grade: 1st trimester: DRA level 20, 2nd trimester: DRA level 28, 3rd trimester: DRA level 30
  • 3rd grade: 1st trimester: DRA level 34, 3rd trimester: DRA level 38

MAP:  The Measure of Academic Progress, is a computerized adaptive test which helps teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote a child’s academic growth.  Our students take both the reading and math test 3 times a year.

Read by Grade 3:  This law currently impacts our current Kindergarten and 1st grade students.  For more information visit the State of Nevada Department of Education’s website.

Phonological Awareness:  Phonological Awareness is the foundation of reading.  If a student struggles with phonological awareness in Kindergarten and 1st grade these students will continue to struggle as readers until these holes are filled.  For more information visit Reading Rocket’s website.

 CVC words:  This term is used for Consonant Vowel Consonant words (cat, mop, fin).

High-Frequency Words:  85% of all words read are high-frequency words.  If a child struggles with identifying high-frequency words their fluency and overall comprehension will suffer.

Fluency:  Once a reader has mastered phonics skills, fluency can be measured by reading accurately, with expression, and quickly.  For more information visit Reading Rocket’s website.

Comprehension:   This is the ultimate goal for reading, no matter what level.  Make sure everything being read is connected to comprehension.  For more information visit Read Rocket’s website.


Questions to Ask October 12, 2017

With parent teacher conferences coming up you might not know specific questions to ask your child’s teacher about your child’s reading.  Below are a few questions to ask your child’s teacher during that conference:

  • What DRA level is my child reading at?
  • What was my child’s MAP test score?
  • How did my child do on the STAR assessment (3rd-5th grade)?
  • What can I do at home to make sure my child continues to grow as a reader?
  • Where can I find different resources to help my child with reading at home?
  • Is my child receiving specific reading interventions?  If so, with whom and on what skill?