TES first-graders ‘can read’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2002

Features Editor

When children enter the first grade they so knowing many things are expected of them and, for a little one, that can be rather scary.

"Our first graders know that they will be expected to learn to read and that makes many of them nervous," said Ashley Tate, first grade teacher at Troy Elementary School. "We want to put their minds at ease as quickly as possible and we do it with the ‘I Can Read’ activity."

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Tate said all 12 first grade teachers at TES participate in this activity.

"We want our first graders to realize that they can already read," Tate said. "By recognizing the sign at McDonald’s or the name of their favorite potato chips or candy bars, they are reading. When they realize that, they are more at ease about learning to read."

However, kids are smart, and they know that recognizing the words "Butterfinger" or "Fruit Loops" on a product isn’t reading like mom and dad. But, if they can recognize words in a newspaper, then, that’s really reading.

And, that’s exactly what they do.

The Messenger partners with Troy Elementary School in the activity by dropping "I Can Read" boxes throughout the newspaper.

"The boxes are different sizes," Tate said. "Some are big and easy to find, others are small and the children really have to look for them. But, when they find one, they are so excited because they can read the newspaper."

The first graders are encouraged to "read’ The Messenger

to find other words they can recognize other than those in the boxes.

Some students are able to find words they can recognize in the copy and others find words in the advertisements, Tate said.

Every time they find a word they can read, it reinforces the idea that "I Can Read" and with each word recognized comes confidence in their ability to read.

"We let our students cut out words they can read and we put them on the "I Can Read" bulletin board," Tate said. "This is a good activity for the beginning of school. To know that they can read puts the students’ minds at ease."

First graders at TES will be reading The Messenger

today. Look for the "I Can Read" boxes along with them.