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This is a sponsored post with compensation received from General Mills. As always, all opinions are my own.

This is a sponsored post with compensation received from General Mills. As always, all opinions are my own.

What your child’s teacher wishes you knew about reading

As a former teacher myself (now a play therapist), I want to tell you what your child’s teacher wished you knew about reading. There are so many times when I wanted to pull a parent aside and tell them that just 20 minutes a night of reading with their child would make a HUGE difference. Today, I’m partnering with CVS to talk about how you can help your child, their teacher and their school.

First, before we begin… I want to stress the huge importance of supporting your child, their teacher and their school. You can support your child by helping them read at night, checking over their work and praising a job well done. At the same time, you are supporting them by having them correct mistakes and letting them know that they need to work hard.

You can support their teacher by offering to help your child daily. You can volunteer your time or materials to the classroom. You can be sure to send your child to school ready to learn, sending your child to the school classroom with everything they need to keep kids focused, active and healthy.

You can support their school with simple things like collecting Box Tops for Education. When you shop Box Tops items at CVS, you supply schools with the equipment and tools they need to support every student with care. CVS makes it easy to do this, while helping your child to be mentally & physically prepared.

A young boy sitting at a table eating while he reads the back of a cereal box.

As a parent, I don’t know that I would have realized how just saving these Box Tops would impact the school like it does. As a teacher, I saw it first hand. Box Tops could fund a new playground, sports equipment, field days and more. Box Tops ultimately help schools do more.
If you can help all there (child, teacher, school), it’s the perfect combination for success.

Teachers want your child to have fun in school, but to learn as much as they can to be successful. They also want you to be sure that you are doing the follow-up at home.

If you have a child in elementary school, they are, no doubt, being expected to read nightly. I required 20 minutes a night. Did you know that they are not only scored on HOW they read, but also on HOW WELL they can RETAIN the information (comprehension)?

If your child knows how to sound out a word like “opportunity”, but is reading books with words closer to “apple”, there is a reason. Yes, your child probably can read harder words, but does he understand it? Could he explain it to you? If not, this is lack of comprehension. They can not move up to the next level if they have not mastered the skills associated with the level that they are currently reading. What’s the point of reading if you can’t understand what you are reading?

Here is what your child’s teacher wishes you knew about reading…

1- Before you read a book, look at the cover.
Ask your child “What do you think this book will be about? What do you think will happen?”

2- Do a picture walk (flip to each page and look at the pictures and talk about them) and let them guess again.
Did they change their minds about what the book will be about & how it will end?

3- Point out words that are going to be difficult.
When you are looking through the book, during your picture walk, look for difficult words. If you see the word Mountain in the book and you know that your child has not seen this word before, introduce it to them. Say “This is the word Mountain. You will see it when you are reading. What does it mean?”

4- If the book is shorter, have them read it once to you and once or twice by themselves.

I used to have my students read their leveled reader books three times.

The first time (out-loud): They are reading it to learn the words

The second time (silently): They are reading to understand the story

The third time (out-loud again): They are working on their fluency (being able to read it without a lot of pauses and mistakes)

5- When the story is done, ask them the following questions:

  1. Tell me what happened in this story. (They have to be able to tell you things that happened – I aim for three things when asking our kids what they remembers)

  2. Tell me about the beginning, the middle and the end. (I want these things in order.)

  3. What did this story make you think about? Did it remind you of anything? (“No” is not an acceptable answer- they will lose points on their score-sheet at school if they cannot relate it to something)

  4. What characters were in the story?

  5. Where did the story take place?

  6. What was the problem/conflict in the story? (after this answer, move onto….)

  7. Did they solve it? How?

These questions will be asked by your child’s teacher, so it is better to prepare them to think this way when reading. Just being able to read the words will not help your child succeed- they need to comprehend what they are reading.

If possible, extend the book by doing a fun activity about the book. Example: If you read a book about a garden or flowers, make a flower-handprint painting.

A little girl showing that her hand is painted blue.

Enjoy this time with your child!

I want to remind you that in caring for your child, caring for their teacher and caring for their school, it is important that your child knows that you are doing these things. I always knew which students helped their parents make things for the classroom and which parents talked kindly about their teachers. I could also tell which ones did not… because your words become your child’s inner voice. If you respect the teacher & school, so will your child.

You can get your child involved by having him help you collect Box Tops. It’s a simple way that he can help. Explain that Box Tops can help the school, which will end up giving the kids play more. It can help them fund additional equipment, it can help them learn more by funding additional tools, and it can help them achieve more academically by funding resources that help them succeed.

We run to CVS often (it’s right up the road), so I have our kids find the Box Top items for me while we are shopping. I will even pick up a box of granola bars on the way to the park or for Allie to snack on while she watches her brothers at practice after school – so we have a quick snack if the kids are hungry.

A little girl sitting at the bottom of a slide eating a snack.

CVS helps to make a positive impact on your children – made more powerful with ExtraCare and Box Tops.

Ps- You know I love a good deal! Coming up soon there will be an Extra Bucks offer: spend $30 on participating Box Tops products, get $10 ExtraBucks reward. This is valid 8/20-8/27

*Offer valid 8/20/17 – 8/27/17. $30 worth of participating General Mills BTFE products must be purchased in a single transaction with CVS card in order to receive 10 CVS ExtraBucks automatically at checkout. Net purchase determined after all discounts, offers and coupons. Each box top is worth 10 cents to redeeming school when clipped from box tops products and sent to the redeeming school. Only BTFE registered schools can redeem box tops. Limit $20,000 per school per year for box tops redeemed through the clip program. See for program details.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I like getting the viewpoint of a teacher. There are times it doesn’t feel like I’m doing much at home that would help my children in a way that impacts school life and learning. Its just reading to me (my three kids and I are huge readers) but knowing that a teacher can tell we’ve done the “home”work is encouraging. We also work on math, reading and writing all summer to avoid the Summer Slump.
    And box tops have helped our local school so very much! Love them!

  2. Super helpful article. My son is struggling with reading and I’m anxious to get him ready for second grade! I am going to try the reading 3x in the different ways. I think that will help and fill the time wisely. We love box tops and see it make an impact every year!