PO BOX F | 4238 State Highway 8
New Berlin, NY 13411
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Reading and writing is key at UV
Reading has been a focus of teachers this year at UV Elementary School. Some teachers have taken time to write about what that means to their classrooms.

Please seeing the following:

“Stealing Time to Read” by Lorraine Ruffino, Reading Teacher

Unadilla Valley classrooms are filled with thieves who are stealing time to read! If there is a free moment between lessons, students and staff are picking up a book and reading. During this time, you can hear a pin drop as students dive in and read a “just right” book of their choice. A “just right” book is not too easy or too challenging for a child. As Goldilocks said, “This porridge is not too hot and not too cold. It’s just right.”

The faculty and staff at Unadilla Valley want our students to become lifelong readers. In order to do that, we have to model reading and talk about books with students. Every teacher and staff member is posting what they are reading outside their classroom, office or workroom doors. You may hear your child talking about “stealing time to read” or “book club lunch”. These are some of the programs that the elementary staff are using to get students to read for pleasure and increase the number of books they are reading.

“Stealing time to read” is simply picking up a “just right” book and reading whenever there is an opportunity. If a student finishes a math test, he or she can take out their book and read. When an ELA lesson finishes early, the books come out of the desk and students and their teachers read. Children need to feel the success and pride in finishing a book cover to cover.

The 4th and 5th grades have also started the “book club lunch.” A small group of students are invited to have lunch in the classroom with their teacher. In addition to eating lunch together, the teachers and students talk about the books they are reading. This is a great way to excite students about what they are reading as well as introduce them to books they might want to read in the future.

There are many ways you can help your child become a lifelong reader. You can “steal time to read” at home. Invite your child to sit with you on the couch or in the comfortable recliner and read for a few minutes after the dishes are done or while you are waiting for the laundry to finish. Talk about what you are reading and ask your child about what they are reading. Make a family “What I’m Reading” poster for everyone to show what book or magazine they are reading. Anything you do will make a difference in your child’s life and help him or her become a successful reader.

The following is from Miss LaValley's fifth grade class:

Preparation for middle school is important to fifth graders. Preparation for life skills is even more vital. With this in mind, Miss LaValley’s class has been focused on more reading and writing with a passion.

We hope this helps us as we prepare to enter 6th grade in the fall.
After taking a couple of reading interest inventories, we realized that we just don’t have enough time to read. So we’re making time every day to do just that. We have been starting every day with 20 to 30 minutes of free reading. It is amazing to see all of the students with their noses buried in their books. Even Miss LaValley reads at this time. We will be sharing our books and keeping track of what we read as we continue on this spring. Our goal is to each read 15 books before the end of the school year. We will be “stealing time to read” every chance we get! Our class also made “What I’ve Been Reading” posters. These are posted in the elementary hallway near our PM Edition bulletin board. Stop by and check out what books we’ve been reading this year all on our own!

Our class spends a lot of time writing as well. We have spent a good deal of time writing exit tickets, summaries, journal responses, and opinion pieces relating to the ELA modules.

The months of December and January found us researching ocean creatures and creating sea scrolls that now line our hallway in the 5th grade wing. We also learned a great deal about the ocean layers, salinity, oil spills, seas, and potable water and how to save it. We are currently working on our autobiographies which will be put in individual manila envelopes and stored for us until we graduate from high school. Topics such as special times, family life, and friendship are keeping us busily writing about ourselves. We are also each including a copy of our family tree and the floor plan of the house we currently live in. After we package them up, the next time we see them will be at our graduation practice in June 2022!

With only 17 more weeks of school, our 5th grade class is working extremely hard to prepare for the rigors of middle school. This time will fly by, but we are determined to be ready!

Steal Time to Read! by Stacey Kline-McDermott
Reading is important because it develops the mind. The mind is a muscle. It needs exercise. Understanding the written word is one way the mind grows in its ability. Teaching children to read helps them develop their language skills. It also helps them learn to listen.

Everybody wants to talk, but few can really listen. Lack of listening skills can result in major misunderstandings. Reading helps children focus on what someone else is communicating.

Students and teachers in Mrs. Kline-McDermott's classroom "steal time to read." They always have at least two books in their desks so they can read when they have a few minutes to spare.

Raising a Reader: What My Parents Did Right By Glenda Hoffmann, Reading Teacher

#1 Parents Lead
My parents were my first and best teachers. Dad lead by example. He read the newspaper or a book every evening. Mom read aloud to me from, babyhood until 3rd grade. She read nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and adventures, running her finger under the words as she read and discussing the pictures with me. I learned what direction to read, groups of letters are words, and pictures help tell the story. We spent 15-20 minutes a day reading, with my siblings and myself curled up in Mom’s lap, or snuggled together on her bed. This taught me that reading was important. Mom gave up 20 minutes of her busy day for it. Snuggling made reading a pleasant part of my day.

#2 Reading Is Fun
My parents filled our house with books. Mom and Dad were great ones for buying books at garage sales or scooping up free books when a school was throwing them out. I had my first library card when I entered kindergarten and Mom took us to the public library once a week. When I was old enough to read to myself, the 20-30 minute reading time remained in place. Mom asked us to read aloud to her while she did housework or she set out tea cookies and we sat at the kitchen table to read. We shared new ideas and funny or interesting bits of the story. Discussing what we read increased my comprehension. There was a handy supply of markers, crayons, paper, glue, and scissors in the house. They developed my small motor skills and sparked creativity.

#3 Education Is Important
School was serious business. An hour was set aside each night for homework. If I didn’t have homework, I was free to read. Mom and Dad read the newspaper or their own book while we worked, and they checked to make sure our schoolwork was finished. We packed our bags each evening and laid out our clothes, prepared for the day ahead. Getting eight kids up, fed, dressed, and on the school bus by 7 a.m. required planning. Later on, when we got into sports, music, and clubs, the homework time was flexed according to the time we were home, but it was an hour each evening

#4 Free and Cheap
If a place or event was free or cheap, we went. I attended art shows, wandered history museums, visited the park, the zoo, took swimming lessons, ski lessons, and participated in 4-H my entire school career. I had to. Mom was the leader. I read patterns and recipes. I learned to listen politely, ask questions, and see things from another point of view. My parents opened up the world for me.

#5 Dinner, Discussion, and the Idiot Box
We ate dinner at the kitchen table as a family. This was time for a meal and conversation. We caught up on the day’s events. I learned to listen and respond using complete sentences. Television, or the idiot box, as Mom called it, was a luxury. My parents watched the news and we were allowed one show per night. If the weather was nice, we spent it outside. I remember many nights playing board games, which also taught me to read and follow rules.
#6 Responsibility
The teacher’s job was to teach and mine was to learn. Learning wasn’t magical. In fact, it was tedious and hard work. If I wasn’t learning, my parents asked the teacher what I could do to improve or how they could help me.

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