Tips to Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension

A bi-weekly column on Fredericksburg.Today by Elizabeth Colon, Above Grade Level in-home tutoring.

Many of my blog posts are written because I see a trend in the assessments completed by students in need of tutoring.  Lately, I have seen an increasing number of students who are struggling with reading comprehension.

Reading is the foundation for all subject matter.

Science, history, math, geography …  all subjects require the student to read, comprehend and answer questions in order to master the content.

Before we can improve reading comprehension, we have to prioritize reading.  Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Set up a reading corner/ area/ chair — who doesn’t love a safe place to kick back and relax.
  • Make sure you have various types of books available: Fun fiction and non-fiction about hobbies and interests.
  • Set a time for reading every day.
  • Be a good role model.   Make sure your child sees you reading, and always use positive language about reading.

Now that you’ve prioritized reading, here are some tips to improve comprehension:

  1. Have your student use sticky notes while reading.  Ask him/her to pause and write down any thoughts he/she has about the book.   It could be a question about the characters or something that doesn’t make sense.  Your child will place the sticky note next to the content in question. The goal is for your student to identify areas he/she doesn’t understand well, so you can explain and review them together.
  2. You can also have him/her write in a journal.  This allows you to keep a log of your child’s thought progression as he/she reads the same text night to night.  He/she will write down questions or thoughts about the book.  The goal is the same as above:  You want your child to identify areas he/she doesn’t understand, so you can explain and review them together.
  3. Encourage your child to ask questions about the book that connect him/her to the text and the world.  Lead his/her thinking by starting the conversation with questions like:  Who do you know like this character? Have you ever met someone like this before? Who and why are they alike?  What qualities do you like and dislike in this character? Why?  What would you change about this story?  What lesson can we learn from this?
  4. When your child finds an unknown word, ask him/her to think about what the word might mean given the context of the story.  Have him/her look for known words inside the unknown word for clues about the meaning. Have your child keep track of words he/she doesn’t know or understand.  When he/she has collected the unknown words from a book, have him/her use both a paper dictionary and online dictionary to define them — this will give hands on  practice at referencing resources.  Ask, “Was your definition the same as the dictionary? If not, what was different about the definitions?” Re-read the book and ask your child to define those terms again.

Many of you have children who do not like to read. Reading doesn’t have to be static.  As you can see, it can be an interactive process.  Try the suggestions above.

I would love your feedback about your child’s engagement after you’ve put these suggestions into practice.  Please email me at ecolon@abovegradelevel.com

Elizabeth

Read Elizabeth’s other Fredericksburg.Today columns.

Columns on Fredericksburg.Today are recurrent features on specific topics or by regular contributors.  Guest writers present their own point-of-view and may not necessarily represent the viewpoint of Fredericksburg.Today.

Thank you for reading.  Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Fredericksburg Police: Scam Alert, Incident Report

By Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg Police Department public information officer.

Fredericksburg Police Department.

Fredericksburg Police Department

Fredericksburg Police incident report for September 16 – 18, 2014.

SCAM ALERT:

We have received reports from several individuals and businesses in the city who have received calls from a man claiming to be from the power company. The scammer threatens he will have the victim’s electricity turned off unless a cash payment is received immediately. If you get a call like this in Fredericksburg, please call the police at 540-373-3122.

BURGLARY:

Commons at Cowan Blvd, 2332 Cowan Blvd, 9/13 – 9/15 8:00 a.m. An employee reported that an unknown person entered the management office by breaking a window and also gained access to the maintenance office by pushing an air conditioning unit out of its frame. Nothing appeared to have been stolen from either location. The investigation is ongoing.

BREAKING AND ENTERING:

2400 block Princess Anne St, 9/9 – 9/16 7:45 p.m. A family member reported that an unknown person shattered the front door glass of his father’s residence and entered the premises while the house was unoccupied. Nothing appeared to have been stolen. The investigation is ongoing.

600 block Littlepage St, 9/16 – 9/17 12:30 p.m. A resident reported that an unknown person stole the license plates from his vehicle. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

Rugged Wearhouse, 2003 Plank Rd, 9/14 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. A Culpeper resident reported
that an unknown person stole her cell phone from her unlocked vehicle in the parking lot. No
suspects or witnesses at this time.

1100 block Great Oaks Ln, 9/15 – 9/16 6:20 a.m. A resident reported that an unknown person
stole her iPod from her unlocked vehicle. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

LARCENY:

1000 block Hickory Ct, 9/13 – 9/16 8:00 a.m. A resident reported that an unknown person stole his satellite radio and other items of value from his unlocked vehicle. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

2100 block Cowan Blvd, 9/14 – 9/15 6:00 a.m. A resident reported that an unknown person stole a quantity of cash from her purse. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

Checks Cashed, 1301 Jefferson Davis Hwy, 9/16 12:30 p.m. A customer reported that an unknown male subject stole money from his hand while they were conversing in the parking lot. The suspect was described as a tall black male wearing a white T-shirt, sweat pants, and a doo rag on his head. The suspect left the scene driving a silver Mitsubishi sedan. The investigation is ongoing.

VANDALISM:

700 block Denton Cir, 9/16 – 9/17 7:00 p.m. A resident reported that an unknown person broke several planks from her back yard fence. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

900 block Caroline St, 9/13 – 9/15 12:00 p.m. A city employee reported that an unknown person spray painted graffiti in the alleyway. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

ARRESTS:
Quamaine Latney, 24, of no fixed address was arrested for assault and battery.

Allen Williams, 54, of no fixed address was arrested for grand larceny.

Kelly Powell, 46, of Fredericksburg was arrested for public intoxication and possession of marijuana.

Jerrica Limerick, 24, of Fredericksburg was arrested for domestic assault and battery.

Mary Wright, 51, of Fredericksburg was arrested on a warrant from Stafford County charging her with failure to comply with a court order.

William Schmuhl, 24, of no fixed address was arrested for shoplifting from Walmart and on outstanding charges of grand larceny and fraud.

Rosalind Wright, 55, of Fredericksburg was arrested for assault and battery. Timothy Margrave, 47, of Stafford was arrested for public intoxication.

Kierra Curry, 22, of Fredericksburg was arrested for violation of the noise ordinance and released on a summons.

Kiesha Curry, 22, of Fredericksburg was arrested for violation of the noise ordinance and released on a summons.

Brandon Badillo, 19, of Spotsylvania was arrested for possession of marijuana and released on a summons.

Stay connected. Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Via Colori, Riverfest, Welsh Festival and More

It’s a very busy weekend in Fredericksburg, September 19 – 21, 2014.  Listed below are the weekend’s special events.  Click the hyperlinks for details.

September 19 – Friday

Via Colori 2013. Photo by Susan Larson.

Via Colori 2013. Photo by Susan Larson.

September 20 – Saturday

 

September 21 – Sunday

Stay connected. Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Your Online Votes Could Net $60K for the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank

Fredericksburg Area Food Bank could win $60,000.

Fredericksburg Area Food Bank could win $60,000 with your online votes.

Your online votes can help the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank win $60,000 to support general hunger-relief initiatives in the Fredericksburg region.

Through its “Fight Hunger Spark Change,” Walmart has committed to donate $3 million divided between the 50 Feeding America member food banks that receive the most online votes between September 15 and October 5, 2014.

Vote online once every day on Walmart’s Fight Hunger Spark Change Voting page.

“The campaign will also encourage Walmart customers and associates to support local food banks by voting, volunteering, and donating,” campaign staff said.

Award recipients will be determined based on the number of votes received in the consumer voting campaign.  Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 5.

The Fredericksburg Area Food Bank partners with grocers, food companies, the USDA and the community to obtain food and distribute it to more than 70 partner agencies and program partners across the George Washington Regional Commission Planning District 16, comprising the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford,

Related Story:

30 Ways in 30 Days: Help End Hunger in Our Region

Stay connected. Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

 

Spotsylvania Family Displaced by House Fire

By Susan Larson

Family of six displaced by fire.  Photo by Elise Marie Smith.

Family of six displaced by fire. Photo by Elise Marie Smith.

A family of six was displaced following the loss of their home by fire on September 13.

Family members were visiting neighbors next-door when they heard crackling noises, according to Spotsylvania Deputy Fire Chief Joe Sposa.  When they went to investigate, they discovered their home at 7207 Towles Mill Rd. was on fire.

The first unit on the scene reported the home was 60 percent engulfed by fire, Sposa said.
“Emergency responders were able to mitigate the incident and mark it under control after approximately 40 minutes.”

There were no injuries or fatalities.

“It appears the fire started in the kitchen, but the cause is under investigation,” Sposa said.  The home was a total loss. The family is staying with family and friends until other arrangements can be made, Sposa said.

Family friend Elise Marie Smith has created a gofundme account to help the family.  “This fund is for a very close friend who lost their home in a fire tonight,” she said. “They lost everything any donations will be appreciated.”

Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

 

Fredericksburg Woman Dies in Essex County Car Crash

By Susan Larson

Virginia State Police.

Virginia State Police. Photo by Susan Larson.

A 32-year-old Fredericksburg woman died following a two-vehicle crash September 15 in Essex County, Va.

A 2006 Pontiac was traveling west on Sunnyside Road at 4:45 p.m., when a 1999 Chevrolet pickup traveling east attempted to turn onto Lewis Level Road, striking the Pontiac head-on, according to Virginia State Police Senior Trooper D. Compton.

The driver of the 2006 Pontiac, Brandie L. Harvey, 19, of Woodford, Va., was transported to Riverside Tappahannock Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  She was wearing a seat belt.

Two passengers in the Pontiac were transported to VCU MCV Hospital in Richmond by Med-Flight. One of the passengers, Erica N. Williams, 32, of Fredericksburg, died of her injuries at the hospital.

The driver of the 1999 Chevrolet pickup, Lazarus E. Boone, 78, of Essex County, was not injured in the crash. He was wearing a seat belt.  Boone has been charged with reckless driving.

Speed and alcohol are not factors in the crash, State Police said.

Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Dates

By Susan Larson

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 8.34.33 PM

Health Insurance Marketplace

The next Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period is the time to apply for a 2015 Marketplace plan, keep your current plan or choose a new one.

Certified Navigator Bill Botts and Dr. Chris Lillis will present a information session about the Health Insurance Marketplace at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30.  It will be held at Central Rappahannock Regional Library Headquarters Branch, 1201 Caroline St. in Fredericksburg.

Four Key Dates for Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment

  • November 15, 2014: Open enrollment begins. Apply for, keep or change your coverage.
  • December 15, 2014: The deadline to enroll if you want new coverage to begin on January 1, 2015. If your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by December 15 to avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • December 31, 2014:  Coverage ends for 2014 plans. Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1, 2015.
  • February 15, 2015. This is the last day to apply for 2015 coverage before the end of open enrollment.

Thank you for reading.  Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Skydiver Delivers Game Ball to Yellow Jackets

By Susan Larson

The James Monroe Jackets won their September 12 game 38 – 13 against the Mountain View Wildcats.  It’s was an exciting finish to a game that had a thrilling beginning.  Skydiver Bobby Page delivered the game ball to Maury Stadium.

Screen shot for the video of Bobby Page skydiving into Maury Stadium with the football for James Monroe's Sept. 12 , 2014, game.  Video by 3rdDimensionProductions.

Screen shot for the video of Bobby Page skydiving into Maury Stadium with the football for James Monroe’s Sept. 12 , 2014, game. Video by 3rdDimensionProductions.

View the You Tube video here.

From You Tube:

3rd Dimension Productions put on another fantastic performance for the James Monroe High School Jackets in Fredericksburg, VA on 12 September 2014..! David Cherry worked the ground crew as Kevin Reynolds, TJ Hammond, and Bobby Page brought a football crowd to their feet once again! High fives all around! Thanks to the Jackets for having us!”

From 3rd Dimension Productions’ Facebook Page:

‘Thanks to the great people at The James Monroe High School for having us Friday night, September 12th. Another perfect night for demos resulted in another perfect night of demos for 3DP. This crowd had never seen parachutists and Kevin Reynolds, Jr., landing first, got them fired up. T.J. Hammond landed second coming in hot to give the crowd a thrill. And Bobby Page wrapped up the show with a high speed swoop surfing to the opposite 20 yard line..! The team had a blast and got to high five The James Monroe High School Football team before kickoff..! Special thanks to Shenandoah Skies for flying the team, and to David Cherry and Kevin Reynolds, Sr. for their on point ground crew work.”

The Jackets next game is 7 p.m. Friday, September 19, against the Petersburg Crimson Wave.  The game will be played at Maury Stadium, located at Kenmore Avenue, Hanover Street and George Street.

James Monroe Varsity Football Schedule 2014

Yellow Jackets Prevail Over Stafford

Thank you for reading.  Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

 

Inspections: Vivify, Fortune Gourmet, Salad Creations, Sullivan’s, Blackstone

Fredericksburg restaurant inspection reports.

Fredericksburg restaurant inspections.

The following restaurant inspections occurred from August 28 – September 8, 2014.  Report details may be viewed online at “List All Food Facilities in this Area (sorted by last inspection date).

  • Salad Creations, 1133 Jefferson Davis Hwy. – 2 critical, 6 non-critical
  • Sullivan’s, 303 Fauquier St. – 0 critical, 0 non-critical

“Ideally, an operation would have no critical violations, or none which are not corrected immediately and not repeated,” Rappahannock Area Health District (RAHD) officials said. “In our experience, it is unrealistic to expect that a complex, full-service food operation can routinely avoid any violations.”

Previous restaurant inspections.

Thank you for reading.  Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Help for Domestic Violence Survivors and Their Children

By Susan Larson

Domestic violence and sexual assault have received national attention in recent weeks due to the alleged actions of NFL players Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, including a video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Rice punching his future wife Janay Palmer.

Statistics show that domestic violence and sexual assault are significant problems in our society.

Empowerhouse.

Empowerhouse.

In the Fredericksburg region, Empowerhouse is here to help.

Empowerhouse provides emergency shelter, housing, court advocacy services, counseling for both survivors and their children, employment supports and assistance in getting back on the path to safety, dignity, respect and hope.

The local nonprofit is the only accredited provider of 24 hour free and confidential domestic violence services to victims in Planning District 16: Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, and King George.

For confidential assistance, call 540-373-9373 (24 hours a day) or 1-877-734-7238 (toll free).

To support the work of Empowerhouse, consider making a donation or volunteering.  Details are available on the orgnization’s website.

Stay connected. Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook and Twitter, too.