Monday, December 12, 2016

Fun Websites for Reading and Math Practice for our Young Readers

Hello Cedarhome Families!

Do you have a student that struggles with reading or just struggles at home practicing reading or math because they'd rather play outside, play video games, or anything BUT read?  Well, there are some amazing FREE websites out there that are engaging and fun, yet still support learning and I'd love to share some of them with you!

Starfall - This site was designed to teach children to read with phonics.  You will find games, songs, videos and resources to print.  For those kindergartners and 1st graders my favorite are the #1 ABC's, and #2 Learn to Read.  #3 It's Fun to Read and #4 I'm Reading  are more for 1st grade and 2nd grade readers that need additional practice.  There are also some choices for math support as well. I encourage to check this site out! - Another favorite!  This site has games and fun ways to practice letters, sight words, and reading for pre-school through elementary years.  There are too many choices for me to even give you an idea. A must for you to explore!

Knowledge Adventure - You can find FREE educational games for kids here!  Knowledge Adventure's games for kids are a perfect combination of fun and learning.  Search by grade level, age, or subject (math, reading, science, word games, spelling, animal, etc.).  Games are arcade-like and very fun for kids.

Arcademics - this site does have a fee of $5.00 per year per student.  There is a multitude of games in the following areas: shapes, counting, addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, integers, money, time, decimals, fractions, language arts, spelling, typing and geography.  They do allow a small trial period before subscribing and I do recommend you try it.  I've played some of the letter games with kindergartners and they had a blast!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Winter Break & Learning Loss

Just a little reminder for parents and families to keep in mind during the holidays from your local Reading Specialist! 

     While research shows that children who do not read in the summer months can lose two to three months of reading development, those who do read tend to gain a month of reading proficiency. (1)   Although we don't see that much of a decline following a 2 week winter break, if elementary students disengage from learning activities such as reading or math facts we do see drops in student performance and some slowing of their education progress. I've personally seen it take a week or week and a half for students to get "back into the swing of things"!  Teachers at Cedarhome Elementary encourage their students to continue their nightly reading requirement and gather parent signatures on their reading calendars.  We also encourage them to continue practicing math facts, be it addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

       Just two short weeks upon their return from winter break students will be given winter benchmark assessments to determine if their academic progress is on track.  These benchmark assessments are also used to determine if a student could possibly need additional academic support through the LAP program or within their classroom. 

(1) Richard Allington & Anne McGill-Franzen. The Impact of Summer Setback on the Reading Achivement Gap. The Phi DeltaKappan. Vol. 85, o.1 (Sept. 2003), pp. 68-75

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Title I/LAP Parent Policy

Please click on the link below to view the Stanwood-Camano School District's Title I/LAP Parent Policy and learn more about Cedarhome Elementary's LAP Program.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What is the Learning Assistance Program?

LAP is a state funded program which offers supplemental services for K–12 students scoring below grade-level standard in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. These services focus on accelerating student growth to make progress towards grade level. They may include academic readiness skill development or behavior supports. These services address barriers preventing students from accessing core instruction. The intent is for LAP students to increase academic growth during the period of time they are provided services. LAP emphasizes research-based best practices designed to increase student achievement.

Districts implementing LAP services must:
  1. Focus first on addressing the needs of K–4 students in reading or reading readiness skills;
  2. Use data when developing programs;
  3. Provide the most effective and efficient practices when implementing supplemental instruction; and
    Approximately 50 percent of LAP-enrolled students are in grades K-4 and receiving ELA or readiness services.

Excerpts from the OSPI website at

How did my child qualify for LAP services?

Stanwood-Camano School District uses multiple assessment measures in the fall, winter, and spring of each school year to assess all of our elementary students in reading. Students scoring below what is considered grade-level percentiles are eligible to take part in the Title I and/or LAP programs. Classroom performance and teacher input is also considered. Please contact your child's teacher or the LAP Coordinator at Cedarhome Elementary if you have any questions about how your child performed on the assessments or to ask any questions you may have. 

Friday, November 4, 2016


Welcome to Cedarhome Elementary's Reading Support and Learning Assistance Program (LAP) blog! My goal is to post ideas and resources for parents working with their students at home, who are just learning to read, or those honing their reading skills and strategies. I look forward to supporting you and your child as he or she learns to read!  

If your son or daughter is receiving additional supported through the Learning Assistance Program, you will also find information about LAP here at Cedarhome. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about the program or about your child's progress, please email me directly, call to speak with me, or arrange for a private meeting.