The Five Reading Skills Children Need

November 24th, 2009

According to the National Children’s Literacy Organization, research shows that there are five essential skills that children must be taught in order to learn how to read. Furthermore, adults can help children to be good readers by practicing these five components:

1) Recognizing and using individual sounds to create words, or phonemic awareness. Children need to be taught to hear sounds in words and that words are made up of smallest parts of sound, or phonemes.

2) Understanding the relationships between written letters and spoken sounds, or phonics. Children need to be taught the sounds of individual printed letters and groups of letters make. Knowing the relationships between the letters and sounds helps children recognize familiar words accurately and automatically, and decode new words.

3) Developing the ability to read text accurately and quickly, or reading fluency. Children must learn to read words from left to right rapidly and accurately in order to understand what is written. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. When fluent readers read aloud, they read effortlessly and with expression. Readers who are weak in fluency read slowly, word by word, focussing on decoding words instead of comprehending meaning.

4) Learing the meaning and correct pronunciation of words, or vocabulary development. Children need to actively build and expand their knowledge of written and spoken words, what they mean and how they are used.

5) Acquiring strategies to understand, remember and communicate what is read, or reading comprehension strategies. Children need to be taught comprehension strategies, or the steps good readers use to make sure they understand text. Students who are in control of their own reading comprehension become purposeful, active readers.

Good reading and literacy skills are of paramount importance in today’s technological age.

For more information on the National Organization for Children’s Literacy visit

Teaching Technology Systems

October 28th, 2009

In a recent article on, David R. Wetzel writes about the use of interactive wireless technology and whiteboards in the classroom.

Mr. Wetzel says that today’s technology allows students with the use of “personal” clickers to answer questions using and interactive whiteboard or computer.

The advantage of the personal clicker, Mr. Wetzel claims is that many students who are generally too shy to answer questions, or participate in class, will are motivated to actively participate with no risk of embarrassment.

Mr. Wetzel lists the top 10 strategies for using Response System Technology in the classroom.

The link can be found on this link:

Classroom Ready Inc.

Happy Halloween and Welcome to Classroom Ready News October 2009

September 18th, 2009

October is a month when students and teachers settle into well established routines. It is also the month of harvest and Halloween. Here is a summary of our articles in this month’s National Journals.

Grade 3 – 5

  • Halloween

Our feature article this month takes readers on a journey of the origins of Halloween beginning with the Celts in the British Isles and their pagan rituals. The story moves on to the Roman traditions, through the Christian traditions to celebrate All Saints Day on November 1 and covers our modern tradition of trick or treating. The article explains the reason pumpkin carving has become a beloved Halloween activity.

  • H1N1 Flu Virus

Schools across Canada are working diligently in informing students and parents preventative measures to avoid H1N1 infection. This month our article on H1N1 reiterates some of those measures. We also discuss some of the symptoms of the flu and the importance of staying away from school until the symptoms have passed.

  • Space Travel

The age of space tourism is in its infancy. Russia, Europe and the United States of America are developing space tourism programs. Students today may live in a time when travel to space for pleasure will be common. Our article explains how tourists will travel in space and the effect of zero gravity on the flight.

Grade 5 – 7 and Grade 8 – 10

  • EU Bans Traditional Light Bulbs

A simple way for households to reduce electricity use is to replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent or halogen bulbs. This article addresses the European Union ban on incandescent light bulbs. It also addresses Canada’s plan to do the same in 2012. Finally the article covers the benefits and challenges of switching to compact florescent lights.

  • Breakthrough Diplomacy

For almost 100 years, relations between Armenia and Turkey have been strained. These two countries, which have not had diplomatic ties since 1991 when Armenia broke away from the Soviet Union, recently signed an agreement to normalize relations. The article in this month’s International section discusses the history of the relationship between these two neighbours and the impact of re-establishing their relationship.

  • Olympic Profile:  Clara Hughes

Clara Hughes’ triumph in the 5000 metres speed skating event in Torino in 2006 was a proud moment for Canada. This month’s Olympic article features one of Canada’s greatest speed skaters. The profile discusses Clara Hughes’ dream to defend her gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and her valuable contributions away from speed skating.

  • Ignatieff Throws Down the Gauntlet

While the non-confidence vote was not passed through the house, this month’s article on the Canadian government focusses on the differences on the key issues between the parties. It also explains the importance of cooperation when the ruling party has a minorty of the seats in the House. The article also covers the important role of the NDP, although they have the fewest elected members in Parliament.

  • Last Prince of Camelot

The passing of Edward “Teddy” Kennedy on August 25, 2009, marked the end of an era in American politics. Our article features the lengthy service record of Edward Kennedy. The reader is taken through Mr. Kennedy’s early political life, when he struggled to find his place in the backdrop of his two famous brothers to the latter part of his career when he was known as “someone who could get things done.”

Have a good month and Happy Halloween!

Classroom Ready Inc.

Back to school – a new year begins

September 18th, 2009

We hope you had a good summer and welcome you back to a new school year. The September issues of Classroom Ready and our French publication Regards sur notre monde are filled with articles most relevant to recent National and International events.

Our Grade 3 – 5 publication contains the following topics.

  • Olympic Games

The Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver are quickly approaching. Our article on the Olympic Games begins by taking reader back to the origin of the Olympics in ancient Greece. We discuss the founder of the modern Olympics – Pierre de Coubertin. And finish with an update on the facilities and events in Vancouver.

  • Forest Fires

A long hot summer in Western Canada has made one of the most difficult forest fire seasons in many years. Our article discusses prevention, the role of the forest rangers and the brave men and women who put out the fires.

  • Government

The article on government introduces the young reader to Canada’s parliamentary system. We cover how laws are created, discuss the National political parties of Canada and the Prime Minister.

Our Grade 5-7 Monthly National Journal contains topics on the Olympic Games, Forest Fires and Government along with the following.

  • Canada and Afghanistan

Our article on the war in Afghanistan discusses Canada’s role in the war against Taliban extremists. We also discuss President Barack Obama’s commitment of sending additional U.S. troops to the region.

  • Political Crisis in Honduras

The political crisis in Honduras has led to the exile of President Manuel Zelaya to neighbouring Costa Rica. Our discusses the enforcement of the Honduran constitution which led to the removal of the President.

Our Grade 8-10 Monthly National News Journal contains topics on the Olympic Games, Forest Fires, Government, Canada and Afghanistan, and the Political Crisis in Honduras. In addition, there are poignant critical thinking questions on all of these topics to encourage the reader to ponder and express their ideas on some complex issues.

As usual, all our Journals contain puzzles, Q&A, Maps, and word searches and definitions to keep readers engaged in the articles.

We wish you a happy and successful school year.

Classroom Ready Inc.