We can help your child with reading and writing.
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Free Reading Strategies
Download simple reading exercises to build fluency and comprehension.
FocalPoint reading is designed for the student who struggles in a classroom. Many of these kids have trouble with focus. Focus is the first thing we teach when a student begins at FocalPoint. Our alphabet and small word strategies are unique to FocalPoint, and no one else in Wenatchee has been certified to teach them.
K - 3 Reading Instruction
Early reading begins with the alphabet. Many students who struggle with reading still have a feeling of confusion about certain letters in the alphabet. Hard ones for many students are: b, d, p, and q. These letters look so much alike that students want to interchange them. Even older students have confusions still unresolved in look-alike letters that make reading difficult. Using three dimensional letters, we can help students overcome confusion.
When we work the alphabet in our reading instruction, some students' reading levels go up a year or more. When you resolve the source of the confusion -- you make large gains in reading. Reading comprehension and reading fluencey both improve.
Many, many readers make mistakes on small words. These are words like: of/from/for, that/what, and was/saw. The reason is fairly simple: the definitions of these words are never taught. Think about it -- please define the word OF. Can you?
Not understanding the meanings of little words makes them hard to read. This is called reading fluency. It means you make mistakes when you read out loud. When a reader has small word confusion, we teach the word in context, by teaching the meaning. We use concrete examples and tie the word together experientially with its meaning. Students who have stumbled over small words all their lives can solve the problem and finally move on to higher reading fluency. Good reading instruction gets to the root of the problem.
Reading Comprehension -- understanding what you read
Reading is watching a movie in your head. When you sit down, open a book, and feel like you are watching a movie in your head, reading is fun. That is what good reading comprehension feels like.
Many struggling readers never get to this point, and that is why they do not want to read. With strategies to visualize what you have read, we can help students get the movie started so they can enjoy themselves and become higher readers.
Reading becomes fun when you have good reading comprehension. With good visualization strategies, we can help your reader not just read better, but enjoy doing it.
Middle School Reading Instruction & Writing
4th and 5th Grade Reading Instruction & Writing
In 4th and 5th grade, students need to develop higher vocabularies, more complex logic, and learn the conventions of writing. In 4th and 5th grade, we are training readers to read between the lines, to understand more difficult ideas, and to explain themselves well. At this level, we are setting students up with the skills to be successful in the more difficult high school and college classes. This is a very important time for students to do well.
In earlier years, reading comprehension questions were direct. You read a story about a man in a yellow hat, and the questions are about what color hat the man wore. Inference is the ability to draw a conclusion, to read between the lines. Now, you read a story about a boy hiking and being worried and you are asked to figure out where he is and that he is worried because he is lost.
Students need to directly practice inferential reading to be good at it. They need to read short selections that are designed for them to fill in the blanks and figure out what was not directly stated.
Inference skills are key to success in 4th and 5th grade reading and writing, and they need to be directly taught and practiced.
Reading Exercises at Home
You can help at home by asking them to figure things out. When they come in and ask you a question, ask them a question back, and lead them to draw their own conclusions and figure things out on their own.
6th through 8th Grade Reading and Writing Instruction
Middle school language arts students are expected to read and understand a variety of writing styles, including: stories, dramas and poems. These works increase in difficulty in themes and vocabulary each year, and the students need to be able to understand more complex written work each year.
We work with middle schoolers directly on understanding a variety of written materials and appropriately and completely answering the question that is being asked.
We help them learn to compare and contrast as well as to understand figurative language. Many students need extra supervised practice with these tasks, and we provide that.
We also work with writing assignments that become increasingly difficult, as the students learn the elements of good writing. Your students will complete their best compositions to date with our assistance, while learning a valuable life skill.
High School Language Arts and Test Prep
Writing is key to success in high school language arts. We help students directly with their writing projects so they can learn the skills necessary to be successful writers.
Our high school stuents are reading more complicated literature and expected to write more mature compositions than ever before, and many parents are not prepared to help with the new requirements. We can walk your student through the writing process, helping them to achieve there greatest successes while learning a skill that will pay off through their life.
Many of our students have passed the Compass examination and entered the Running Start program at Wenatchee Valley College.
We also help students prepare for the SAT. We have a full test preparatory program that takes 3 - 6 months to complete. Please come early and plan to take your time preparing for the SAT. Students who dedicate themselves consistently over time get the best results.