Hoot Reading Blog

Creating Confident Learners

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Early Literacy (4)

Halloween Reading Comprehension Ideas

Happy Halloween! Although this holiday is usually reserved for scary stories, elaborate costumes, and lots of candy it can also be a great time to get your kids excited about reading. Holiday themed books can help keep kids engaged with something that they have resisted doing in the past (like reading!) making it a meaningful and fun moment for everyone in the house.

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What Does It All Mean? The Importance of Reading Comprehension

“Mommy, Daddy, listen to me read this book!” These are magical words to hear from our children. Kindergarten and first grade teachers are thrilled when students read their first book independently. While this is very exciting news and big cause to celebrate, remember that being able to “decode” the words is only one part of the reading experience

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Helping Your Child Read At Home – Part 1

How can I help my child with their reading at home? So many parents struggle with this question. The idea of teaching a child to read becomes even more mystical as adults often cannot remember their own experiences learning how to read! We so easily forget that it took years of practice, determination and specific reading strategies to become successful, independent readers- becoming competent readers didn’t just “happen” to us at a certain age. Have you ever tried to learn a 2nd language as an adult? It can be an incredibly gruelling, challenging, and slow process. Learning a second language as an adult is a great example as it brings us back to empathizing with our children about the complex process involved in reading acquisition.

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From Sesame Street to Hoot Reading

Since launch, we are often asked how Hoot Reading came to be. Although we have only been around for about 6 months, the technology that powers Hoot has actually been in the works for almost a decade (!) and has strong basis in research from none other than Sesame Street. Yup, the same Sesame Street that Big Bird and his friends live on.

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Let’s Hear Those Young Readers Out Loud

Today I came across an interesting and surprising fact. Up until the late 1600s or 1700s people only read aloud – for an audience, as a social activity, for amusement, as orators. It wasn’t until advances in printing and moveable type occurred that reading to one’s self became more acceptable and not considered unsociable or downright rude.

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Meet Our Teachers: Ms. Lindsay

Lindsay Gustafson was one of Hoot Reading’s first teachers. She holds a B.Ed from the University of Alberta, a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma of Education from the University of Manitoba and is currently working on a Master of Education.

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? 

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Back to School Literacy Tips

It was the first week of July when I began to see Back To School supplies filling up store shelves…I could not believe it! As a teacher trying to enjoy every minute of summer holidays, I ignored the Back to School flyers and tv commercials for weeks. Instead I basked in the sun with a stack of good books!

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Sight Words – Unlocking the World of Reading

When it comes to reading, especially as a new reader, it can be a lot of work! Every single letter has a sound on its own, and then it makes different sounds when it’s with other letters. Just about every time an emergent reader thinks they’re catching on, they meet a word that doesn’t follow the rules they just mastered. English is a particularly tricky language this way.

Luckily, we have sight words to rely on, and there’s a reason your child’s teacher works so hard on them – and even mentions them in the report card. Your child’s knowledge of sight words essentially tells us how far they can get in reading. Sight words are the most commonly used words in the English Language. They make up nearly 75% of written texts but, what makes them tricky, is that they often aren’t that easy to decode, or sound out. Therefore, if your child is spending their entire reading experience sounding out the the’s, is’s, could’s, our’s, are’s, and because’s (to name a few), they are working extremely hard to not even gain the meaning of what they are reading. Reading this way is extremely taxing for emergent readers, and it gets in the way of their understanding. When we teach reading, we start with decoding, but our ultimate goal is comprehension and critical thinking. That can’t happen unless those sight words get mastered.

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