Week 21- First Grade

Week 21 First Grade

The Grumputer (Fiction, Level I, Stage 2) by Joy Cowley

Mishina (Fiction, Level I, Stage 2) by Joy Cowley

Just This Once (Fiction, Level I, Stage 2) by Joy Cowley

Water All Around (Non-fiction, Level I, Stage 2) by Kathy Furgang

How We Use Electricity (Non-fiction, Level I, Stage 2) by Natalie Lunis


This week’s kit was filled with stories about a grumpy couple who learned how to be happy, a boy and his pet hen, a girl and her pet hippopotamus, and two non-fiction resources about the states of water and how we use electricity. Definitely fun learning! Our favorite book this week was The Grumputer because we read it just in time to help us get past the Monday morning grumps. Thankfully we don’t start many days with the grumps, but this Monday I had two little grumps where my little angels usually are. Imagine my delight to open up this book and have it teach us the way to get rid of all grumbles – huggity, huggity, hug!

The activity I want to highlight this week is the Fluency Benchmark that comes with the Reading Benchmark and Lesson Plan. For this assessment the student has to read a portion of the book three times, and the teacher/parent times him/her and records how many errors he/she has. Then with a simple equation the teacher/parent can record how many words per minute for the student’s fluency score. During the Reading Benchmark we discovered that my little first grader was having trouble reading the word hippopotamus, which honestly surprised me because he has been saying this word for years and has never had any trouble with the pronunciation. So we came up with a way to help him remember the syllables: knock on the table with each one to turn it into a song hip-o-pot-a-mus. After just a few tries, it worked every time! This little exercise really helped us during the Fluency Benchmark, and thankfully by the third reading he was doing great.

I love the variety of books we are able to access because of AlphaSkills, and I also love the regular assessments to ensure that we are staying on track. For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.