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Literacy

January 25, 2023 | Cindy Kuperus

So many things happen in the areas of literacy (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) each day in second and third grade.

A daily reading group provides opportunities for all aspects of literacy. A group might do some word study. That could include studying vocabulary that will be found in a text. They might concentrate on the syllable patterns in the words, learn about meaningful word parts, such as word “roots,” or study about the meaning of a word’s suffix. Word study could include phonemic awareness, which could mean learning the phonetic rules of sound spellings. This is part of mastering the common core standard listed here:

  • 3.L.2.f        Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.    

Here, students are reviewing the two sounds that “oo” typically make. They choose a card, read the word, and decide in which column it belongs.

Students might study spellings of long “i”, including “igh,” as in light”, “i __e,” as in twice, and “ie,” as in “lie.”

Then there is actual reading.

These students are reading a “Little House” chapter book.Some days, reading is independent and there may be a question to respond to:Other days, students might discuss the reading with one another and the teacher, answering questions by referring to the text. All along, students are reading with purpose and understanding, using context to conform and self-correct as they read.

You may have noticed all the following standards addressed in reading group.

  • 3.RF.4.a       Read on-level text with purpose and understanding.
  • 3.RF.4.b       Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings
  • 3.RF.4.c       Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary. 
  • 3.RL.1          Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

Some days, students will work on grammar, mechanics, and usage.  Working on capital letters, making compound sentences, and building words are all important, useful writing skills.

Knowing when to capitalize words (holidays product names, geographic places) are all necessary to become strong writers.  Writing more sophisticated compound sentences also supports strong student writing.  Looking at letters to build words with specific vowel patterns helps support spelling.

Students built these compound sentences after discussing with a partner different endings the sentences could have!

Literacy time is a fun time to learn many new skills.

Cindy Kuperus

Teacher, Grades 3&4

Ms. Kuperus attended a small Lutheran grade school and has always been a student in multi-grade classrooms. She became interested in teaching, in fact, when she would assist classmates when the teacher was busy helping others. Her 5th/6th grade teacher, Mrs. Roman, encouraged her to think broadly about the world beyond their small town (population: 500), giving stickers to those who could answer a question from the World News segment from television the night before. She would be thrilled to learn that Ms. Kuperus has taught internationally in Masaya, Nicaragua, and Chengdu,China.

After graduating from Calvin College, Ms. Kuperus taught students in grades two-six for almost 10 years in Kentwood, Michigan. In 1994, Ms. Kuperus sought a teaching position in a school in the Northeast, anywhere but New Jersey. She’s now taught for over 23 years in NEW JERSEY! Two of her former students, Becca Brasser and Sam Martino, are now on staff at MSS.

Ms. Kuperus loves opportunities to travel, interact with the people, and taste the foods of the world. She’s also a person who ‘travels” with the characters in the books she reads!

It’s important to Ms. Kuperus that people’s voices are heard and that their needs for shelter and food are met. To that end, she volunteers for organizations like First Friends and the Sharing Place.

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