Improve Your Child’s Reading Fluency at Home

One of the most important aspects of a child’s education is ensuring they have strong reading fluency and comprehension. Having a solid reading foundation is critical for setting your child up for success in every aspect of their educational career and beyond. The journey to becoming a fluent reader doesn’t just start in elementary school, and it certainly doesn’t stay there. A plethora of strategies exist to help your child continue their reading fluency outside the classroom, and we are happy to share some of these skills with you in this blog!

At Resurrection Christian School, we are dedicated to help your child excel in reading fluency and comprehension. Our highly-trained teachers and assessments help target reading levels in a precise and exact manner, enabling students to grow in reading in a way that challenges them, but is not difficult. Read on to see how you can transfer this mindset to your home, and help your kids stay engaged in their reading development!

What Exactly is Reading Fluency?

At its core, being a fluent reader means that you can read at a good pace, while also understanding what you read. There’s a fine balance between pace, intonation, and comprehension. This seems simple enough, but becoming a great reader takes years and years of practice!

Some students are excellent decoders, meaning they have a mastery of how a certain language works; its rules and regulations. Being an excellent decoder means coming across a word you might not know, such as “quintessential,” and being able to figure out how it’s pronounced.

Being a great decoder, however, does not mean one automatically understands what a word means. Some readers excel in context clues, meaning they use the rest of the text to help them understand an unknown word’s definition. An excellent contextual reader means looking at a sentence such as “The water around the mountain flowed out from a tributary” and being able to deduce that “tributary” has something to do with a river.

Both of these parts of reading fluency must come together in great and practically equal strength in order for a reader to be successful. A child who only can decode words might seem like they’re fast readers, and therefore talented, but lack the comprehension. A student who can only use context clues will grow frustrated with not being able to get through a text in a fluid manner.

How Can I Tell if My Child is a Fluent Reader?

Resurrection Christian School assesses reading fluency through the DIBELS method, where students read letters, words, and/or a text (depending on the grade level standards). DIBELS focuses on progress monitoring, where students who are reading below grade level are given a timeline as to how frequently they should be assessed. This ensures that their progress is more closely monitored, and adjustments to their

For younger students, such as kindergarteners and first graders, much of the assessment focuses on phonemic awareness. Students at this age are asked to read individual letters, or be able to phonetically “chunk” or take apart a word. A 5-6 year old with a solid reading foundation will be able to hear or see a word such as “spot” and break it down to “sp/awh/t,” showing they understand how letters form to make sounds, which in turn comprise words.

Students after first grade will be tested by being timed to read a short text, with a follow-up of having to answer comprehension questions. DIBELS looks at how fast a student can read, as well as their overall understanding of the text, to gauge where students are at. Through this method, DIBELS addresses which areas should be focused on for your child’s reading development.

How to Help Your Child’s Reading Fluency Grow

No matter if you’re child is above, at, or below their grade level for reading, you want them to continue to grow. What parent wants their child to reach a plateau and say they don’t need to learn anymore? That’s not the kind of attitude that anyone should have, at any age in life. Additionally, if we don’t consistently practice at something, we lose the skills we have. This isn’t to say your child will not be able to read, but even the loss of reading stamina is a considerable deficit that can be easily prevented. Take a look at some ways to help your child continue growing in their reading outside of the school day!

Read With Your Child

This is one of the most obvious, seemingly easy things to do, and we’re including it because it makes such a huge difference. Engage in books with your child every day! Have them practice reading to you, read with them, ask questions along the way, praise them for reading, talk about how reading makes you smart—do everything to make reading an activity they will intrinsically grow to love.

Help Your Child Take Charge of Their Growth

One of the things teachers can do to encourage their students is to have students track and chart their DIBELS growth. You might be surprised to know that kids love graphing their progress, and seeing how they grow! Just as many adults are motivated to progress and improve, kids have much of the same mentality.

Make a chart with your family about books that are being read, and have your child color in or choose a sticker to represent a completed book. If your child needs a little extrinsic push, create a family celebration for filling up a chart (like a trip to the bookstore!)

As children get older, we know that the number of books read pales in comparison to their younger, picture-book-reading years. Change it up to track how many words they read! There areseveral ways to check the number of words read in a book—one of the best systems is AR Book Find, which also quizzes students when they finish a book.

Help Your Child Form Goals

In addition to tracking their growth at reading outside of school, work with your child to practice writing and forming goals, specific to their reading. Some children will be pleased enough to make a goal and achieve it, sans extrinsic motivation. This is definitely something to strive for, but everyone is different. Just as in a career, adults still work for promotions and bonuses, proving a little extrinsic motivation is not bad. If your child needs a little boost, tie in their goals with their data tracking. Here are some great goal ideas!

  • I want to read _____ this many books in March.
  • My goal is to read the __________ genre, because I haven’t read as much from that type of book style.
  • I am driven to read every book that _______________ has written.
  • I want to read 100,000 words this year!
  • I am going to work at increasing my reading fluency to _____ words per minute.

Don’t forget to encourage them along the way!

Create an Ideal Reading Space

Maybe some people would want to read sitting upright at a desk all day, but for many of us, we need something a little bit different. Take blankets outside, build a reading fort, switch to “night reading” by turning off all the lights and breaking out the flashlights, or just have a really comfy chair. Any of these things will encourage reading as the cozy and wonderful activity it is!

Have Access to Books

Even if you don’t own a ton of books, even if your personal library is lacking, you can still provide access to books! If your child doesn’t have opportunities to read books they are interested in, they’re not going to be nearly as motivated to read.

Take frequent trips to the library, many of which offer great incentive programs for youth readers! The more your kids can read books that interest them, the more they will read.

Reading takes a lot of practice, but helping your child be a fluent reader is one of the best gifts you can give them. By practicing these reading fluency strategies outside of school, combined with the direct instruction children receive at Resurrection Christian School, your child will be set up for so much educational success. We are proud to offer highly-esteemed and recognized strategies and lessons for encouraging reading fluency, with over 90 percent of our readers at a fluent level.

They say knowledge is power, and if there’s anything that takes us there, it’s being a fluent reader. Try these strategies with your young ones, and contact RCS today to look into enrollment!


How to Prepare for the School Year in a Christian Mindset

Can you believe it’s already July? Summer always seems to fly by, but July is the time where it becomes most apparent that the school year is quickly approaching. From advertisements on back-to-school deals, to information and class lists being released, it’s no secret that school will soon be in session.

At Resurrection Christian School, we are so excited for the upcoming school year and to see all our families once again! No matter what age or grade level, getting back into school can be a bit of an adjustment. We’ve compiled some ways to get ready for the transition back into school, and each way can be driven from a Christian mindset. Start practicing these ideas now to prepare for the school year, and contact RCS for any enrollment questions!

Start Building a Schedule

“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating he had done.”  (Genesis 2:3)

All throughout the Bible, we see examples of the importance of duty and work, but also the same can be said for rest. When the Bible speaks of God’s work, it speaks of six days worth of some pretty intense work. Then on the seventh day is when God is shown to rest, thus creating the Sabbath.

The purpose of this story is to find balance between work and rest. In ancient times, it was a pretty spectacular concept to take a day off. Even in modern times, it can feel pretty challenging to actually take a day to rest. Families know that weekends, those days which are supposed to be meant for down time and relaxation, are often the busiest. Weekends quickly become the time for birthday parties and sports events and practices and everything in between. While we can’t always free up an entire day so easily, building sleep into a schedule is one of the best ways to ensure we’re getting the rest we need.

Even though rest is one of the first priorities to be pushed aside, creating a schedule that builds in and allows for some down time will help your family in so many ways! Start preparing for the school year by building some routines now. About two weeks out from the start of school, start formatting a bedtime schedule and practice waking the kids up at a scheduled time. An important thing to note is that this does not have to be exact to what you’d like to see during the school year! If you’re wanting your 10-year old to be in bed by 8:30 during the school year, there’s a good chance that time has slipped over the summer. Start with some flexibility, like being in bed by 9:00 or even 9:30, then keep moving the time up gradually over the last few weeks before school starts.

For older kids and teenagers, work with them about what a reasonable sleep schedule should be. Even if your teenager verbalizes their disagreement about a bedtime (which is not at all surprising), they often need the most help with getting an adequate amount of sleep. In fact, teenagers still need over 9 hours of sleep every night to be healthy and get enough rest! Talk with your family about the importance of rest, and bring it back to the message that God sends us. We rest so that we may grow, and so that we can seize each day to the fullest of measures. When you and your family allot for rest in your schedules, you’re ensuring that success is attainable for everyone.

Go Back-to-School Shopping in a Reasonable Manner

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Those advertisements that have been coming out since practically since school was still in session keep calling: back-to-school. Back-to-school. There are so many beautiful notebooks and pens and pencils and new outfits to be bought, and you simply must have them to be fully prepared for school, right?

Regardless of if back-to-school shopping has ever been a tiresome event for you and your family, or if your family goes all out, reflect on what’s most important. It can be so easy to see the plethora of advertisements telling you what you need to be successful this school year, and forget what you actually need.

Make a two-columned list with your family before taking on back-to-school shopping, dividing the categories into “need” and “want.” Start with the “need” category, and focus on things that are necessary. After completing this column, move over to the “want” section. Your family might want a new pencil case, or a new outfit, and that’s totally OK. Write it all down, and reflect with them on the teachings of Jesus. Talk about what treasures are most important, and think back to what everyone will need to start off the school year in the best way.

Take it a step further, and look to see what school supplies are in demand for students in need. Many schools, churches, or even stores have drives to collect supplies and clothing to help out families in the area. Have a discussion with your family about their needs and the needs of others. Children are often some of the most selfless of us all, and this discussion will be a beautiful opportunity to prepare for the coming year.

Continue to Review Social Skills and Compassion

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

“Compassion” is such an important word, and has more recently shown itself in the classroom. In fact, there are now tons of books and articles for educators on how to teach compassion to students. Compassion is one of the greatest virtues a child can have, and it is one that should carry over into adulthood.

The words of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus have long reflected the importance of loving one another, and the beginning of the school year is an excellent time to have some conversations about compassion. Schools can sometimes be a venue where bullying takes place, and addressing compassion before and during the school year works as an excellent preventative measure.

Present scenarios to your family, and they do not just have to be bullying related. Talk about what compassion would look like if they saw a student sitting alone at lunch, or if they saw a student crying. Ask your children what compassion would look like if they saw a classmate without a partner, or a new student join their class. Reassure them that even if their compassion is not always reciprocated, they tried to do the right thing. These lessons can be especially valuable for teenagers, as some of the bullying can reach its boiling point during the middle school years.

Jesus spoke of compassion often, knowing it was something that could change the world. Kindness is a first step, but teaching compassion to your children is a way to help them think of others in a much more in-depth way.

The school year is approaching, and each of these topics offer great opportunities to prepare as summer is coming to a close. At RCS, we have so many churches and religions represented, all of which are validated and respected. These lessons are good reminders for the upcoming school year, regardless of religious belief or background. Enjoy the time you have with your family this summer, and contact RCS to learn more about enrollment.

 


Keep Kids Busy With Events in Your Area

While coming up with ideas to keep your children busy during the summer may be more challenging than you expected, Colorado is a place full of endless possibilities and adventures. So even if your kids are sick of the same old activities in your town, wherever that may be, there are so many other things going on during the summer that your kids will love.

In our last blog, we went over how to keep your kids busy during the summer. And while trying to force them to go out and do things, it is all much easier when there is stuff going in town to get them excited to go out and about. Looking at the most popular and the hidden gems of Colorado, we will explore some of the best summer events that your kids are sure to love!

Fort Collins

Fort Collins is always a popular spot for festivals, events, and fun for the family. Whether your kids are young and require your supervision or old enough to explore the city with some friends, these events will be enjoyable to everyone.

This summer, Fort Collins has weekly events, monthly events, weekend events, and one time events. There is no reason to be bored in FoCo.

Every Tuesday until Sept. 27, there is a food truck rally in City Park. This involves many of the town’s favorite food trucks coming together to offer great food with a side of fun. Most of the food truck are the same each week but that doesn’t mean there isn’t always something new to try. From chicken and waffles to poutine fries, there are many flavors, different styles of food, music, and tons of space for your and your family. This event is a great time to get your family together for a fun and new experience, not worry about making dinner, and find new favorite food trucks.

Looking for some more musical fun? Every Wednesday at the Colorado State University Lagoon, there are live bands playing for free. These concerts are intimate, fun for all ages, and have food trucks to support your hunger while you support the bands. This is a fun summer night event and can give you all something fun to do in the middle of the week when you need a break as a family. These concerts start on June 14 and you can find the lineup here.

This weekend in Old Town Fort Collins, the Taste of Fort Collins will take place, featuring concerts, food, and even more family fun. And later in July, another famous Fort Collins festival will pop into action: Bohemian Nights. There are musical nights that are fun for all ages and can give you all something fun to do rather than stay inside on beautiful summer nights.

There are many more events in Fort Collins, but these are some that bring the most attention and last the longest, giving you places to go every week of the summer!

Loveland

Loveland doesn’t quite have as many summer long events as Fort Collins, but it does offer many fun and unique events that can be the perfect family outing.

This weekend, on June 9, the Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art exhibit is coming to the Loveland museum. This exhibit if full of, well blow up artwork, that will be interesting and fun for your family and you to enjoy. Visit the museum for art turned 3D and inflated. These works of art include works from popular artists and add a new look and feel to the museum.

At the Art By Bike Tour, your family can enjoy a laidback bike ride through the art filled streets of Loveland. See murals, sculptures, and more, all while learning about them throughout the ride. Want to see more art work by local artists while enjoying natural beauty? On June 17, the 14th Annual Garden Tour and Art Show brings you through beautiful garden that feature art from local artists. You can also join the town for the 51st Annual Art in the Park on August 12.

Art is a huge part of the Loveland culture but if you have an appreciation for music more than art, you can always catch one of the Foote Lagoon Concerts. Be sure to also enjoy a movie with all of your friends and family. On June 30, the Main Plaza in Loveland will be hosting a Movie on Main, the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors and a movie!

Throughout the summer, on most Saturdays, Chilson Recreation Center hosts a Kids Nite Out—get your kids having fun and hanging with some friends during these events!

Milliken

Milliken, as a smaller town, may not offer as many festivals and events that draw crowds in, but they are still great events for the family and will help you all stay involved in the community.

Join Milliken for their annual Beef ‘N Bean Day, which started in 1924. This event offers many different booths and vendors. Participate in the events, enjoy a pancake breakfast, the parade, games for the kids, live music, and of course beef and beans. What a great way to spend your day as the summer comes to an end. This celebration is on August 12.

There are teen and tween crafts days, candy bar BINGO nights, and drop in craft days that you can enjoy all summer long. Milliken may not host as many events to keep you busy all summer long, but they offer some relaxed and smaller events for days the family is bored at home.

Estes Park

Estes is always a great place to bring the family. Whether it is for one of the many events, or just to explore the town, or RMNP.

There are several events that are educational, interesting, and fun for kids. There are kids fly-fishing, campfire ghost stories, “Who Pooped?” events, and sunset safaris every Friday evening. This is a great place for the whole family. Any and all ages can find something fun and interesting in Estes Park.

You can camp and spend a weekend up in the beautiful town or just head up for a day trip. This town is far enough to feel like a wild mountain vacation but close enough to only spend a few hours.

Whether you stick around your own town or venture to a new and unknown place, Colorado is a great state for adventures, events, and finding something new no matter where you go! Check out the city event calendars to find fun events for the whole family.

Before you start thinking about school again and getting your kids ready for their next year at Resurrection Christian School, plan for a ton of fun this summer! You can always find something fun for you and the family to do in Colorado! Get exploring and enjoy the summer!


Why You Should Enroll Your Kids at RCS

In today’s society, education has become a major aspect in determining a student’s future. Getting a good education, excellent college prep, and learning about the world and its issues have become an important part of life. You want your kids to get the best education possible.

With so many different school options, it is hard to decided the best educational path for our children. We want them to learn and grow in a community that supports different learning styles and abilities. We want them to be accepted and get an education that will help them throughout life. We want them to be successful more than we wanted ourselves to be successful.

At Resurrection Christian School, your child will be given the best education, have several options for extracurricular activities, and be part of an amazing and supportive community. It is never too early to start thinking about your child’s future and the type of education you want for them. At our school, your child can be part of a growing community. From preschool to high school, your child can learn and develop with their friends, build important bonds, feel a sense of belonging, and be part of something bigger than themselves.

Enrollment for Resurrection Christian School is starting soon, and we would love to be the community in which your child gets the best education and preparation for the real world. If you have a little one about to enter school, consider Resurrection Christian School. They will be able to get a great education while growing in a community that is supportive and accepting.

Need more convincing? Here are reasons why our school would be a great choice for your children.

One Community

Like we mentioned earlier, our school is for preschool to highschool. You child will not only get a great education, but they will grow in one community. While going to new schools every few years is exciting and gives children new experiences, a stable and supportive community is very beneficial.

While many public schools generally just filter a few elementary schools into the middle school and a few middle school filter into a high school, allowing for children to keep friends and meet new people, these transitions can be hard. Some students may have trouble with the transitions, their friends may find new friends, and their tightknit community is lost.

But when their friends and community grows together, the structure in their life can help them feel more comfortable. Community is an important factor at our school. It is what makes our campus so special. We all know someone who is still friends with their childhood friends, and that is something to envy. It is almost like having a second family.

But students do not miss out on the excitement of switching schools. The Resurrection Christian campus is made up of elementary school, middle school, and high school. Each school has a different principal, different staff members, and a new and exciting atmosphere for the students. But their community remains the same.

Excellent Education

We are proud of our educational programs. Our students go above and beyond when it comes to education.

Elementary School

Elementary schools use the DIBELS system to measure a child’s reading skills. This system helps us identify those students who need more help in certain areas of reading. Out of our elementary students, 92 percent are performing at, or above, the benchmark.

Our elementary students are also scoring above other students taking the Terra Nova standardized test. We teach our students more than just academic skills and lessons. We teach them spiritual, emotional, and social lessons as well, allowing them to develop as a person and learn how to apply these to real world situations.

Middle School

In our middle school, it is important to us the every student have a positive connections, with the school, fellow students, and teachers. We understand that this is generally a difficult time for many students, which is why we work hard to encourage and help students. Our academic programs are meant to help our students understand what they should understand and be able to do, helping prep them for high school.

High School

Our high school students get both academic and real world education. All students must participate in a mission trip as a graduation requirement, where they will share the gospel and serve the community. They will also be well informed and prepared for the real world.

Students will be offered courses to help them succeed in this technology advanced century. These classes revolve around technology and help them learn important skills that many employers look for in potential candidates. These include skills like digital video writing, programming skills from HTML, CSS, and more, computer-aided design with 3D printers, and the mechanics behind cell phones, laptops, and more.

We also teach student cultural awareness. We offer programs such as mission trips, Operation Christmas Child, Art of Water, and other fantastic opportunities. Our goal through these programs is to get students acknowledging what is going on in the world around them, give them a basic understanding of technology and how it applies to everyday life, and how they can help improve the world.

We offer our high school students excellent ACT and college prep, helping them score higher and be prepared for whichever college they choose. Over the past eight years, RCS has had higher ACT scores than other schools across the state.

To prepare our students for college we teach them how to write a good resume, essays for college, build a portfolio, and many other lessons to help them prepare for how to get into college and handle college. We want all of our students to succeed, that is why we teach them these life lessons that they are sure to use for years to come.

Extracurricular Activities

Our school offers many different activities for our students. Art, music, theater, and sports. Your children will be able to explore and learn about their hobbies, what hidden talents they may have, and have fun doing it. Extracurricular activities help students stay involved and become even more part of a community, while also getting a break from their school work.

At RCS, our students are our top priority, just like your kids are yours. Give your child the education they deserve, an education that will help them throughout life. Enroll your children at Resurrection Christian School for the next school year and allow them to become part of our amazing and supportive community! Take a free tour of our campus and feel free to contact us today with any questions you may have!