Academics » Supporting Literacy Skill Development at Home

Supporting Literacy Skill Development at Home



Why Is Evaluation Important ? 


Over the course of the academic year, teachers conduct several different types of evaluation. While each evaluation serves a unique purpose, all provide necessary data to ensure classroom instruction meets the needs of each student. 


Baseline Assessments: Typically, baseline assessments are administered at the beginning of each year. These assessments are designed to determine a student’s “baseline” or beginning skill level in reading, writing and math. Our goal is to meet each student at this “starting point” and provide the classroom instruction, academic support, and challenge necessary to shape their optimal academic progress. 


At mid year and end of year, a combination of these baseline instruments are again conducted to measure growth. In addition to examining individual growth, this information enables our educational leadership team to evaluate whole class progress and strengthen both curriculum and practice. 


At each grade level, a variety of baseline assessments are employed at Yavneh Hebrew Academy (YHA). These instruments include: 


  • Curriculum Based Assessments: Wonders, Step Up to Writing, Go Math
  • Responsive Computer Based Assessments: IXL Math
  • Informal Reading Inventories: Basic Reading Inventory, San Diego Quick Assessment
  • Teacher designed writing prompts  
  • NWEA MAP Growth 


As teachers share these baseline results with you, please feel free to inquire about the tools used at your child’s grade level. 


Formative Assessments: Teachers conduct these assessments throughout the course of the year. Formative assessments do not contribute to a student’s grade. These assessments include written assignments, quizzes and tests. Formative assessments provide teachers with information about student learning. After collecting this information, teachers know if they need to reteach a concept, provide more practice or move to the next concept or skill. 


Summative Assessments: When students have completed a chapter of learning, teachers more formally assess their skill mastery. Students are assessed through tests, quizzes, oral exams, and written assignments. These assessments are reflected in a student’s grade. 


When reviewing any assessment, it is important to remember that this is only one piece of the larger picture of student growth and progress. To gain a full picture of your child’s academic development, please be sure to consult with your child’s classroom teacher and their academic team. 


What Can I Do to Support My Child’s Literacy Development at Home?


The connection between home and school is critical to the emotional well being and academic success of every child. In addition to the instruction provided in the classroom, parents can play a critical role in their child’s progress. Often, your child’s teacher will recommend specific strategies to support your child’s growth. In addition to these targeted recommendations, there are many resources parents can consult to aid them in guiding their children’s learning. 


As a starting point, it is crucial to understand your child’s developmental stages and what is expected at each juncture. When reviewing this information, it is important to keep in mind that no two children are alike. The trajectory and pace of growth may look different from one child to the next. When questions arise, it can be helpful to connect with your child’s pediatrician, school directors, Guidance  or The Center for Achievement and Learning (CAL) at YHA to talk through your concerns. 


An excellent resource for understanding development can be found in


Chip Wood’s Yardsticks: Child and Adolescent Development: Ages 4-14


The following document provides a brief overview of what you will encounter in that text: 


Common Developmental Traits 4-12 Years Old



Literacy Resources

From an early age, children begin to develop the building blocks for reading. An excellent overview of these literacy milestones can be found at :


Reading Development Skills at Different Ages 


The following are a list of resources to assist our understanding of literacy at each grade as well as useful tools for home based support: 


Grade K and 1:Early Literacy 


Regional Educational Laboratory Program: Supporting Your Child’s Reading at Home: K


Regional Educational Laboratory: Supporting Your Child’s Reading at Home: 1


Common Sense Media Recommended Technology Based Tools 


Very Well Family: Reading Activities for Families


National Literacy Organization: Beginning Reading  


Reading Rockets


30 Days of Families Learning Together 


PBS for Parents


Storyline Online 



Grade 2-5: Developing Fluent Readers and Strong Comprehenders  


Regional Educational Laboratory Program: Supporting Your Child’s Reading at Home: 2


Regional Educational Laboratory Program: Supporting Your Child’s Reading at Home: 3


Oxford Owl


Reading Partners  


National Education Association 


Strategies for Parents to Boost Their Child’s Fluency 


7 Effective Strategies to Improve Reading Fluency for your Child


How to Help Kids Become More Fluent Readers 


7 Tips To Help Kids Understand What They Read 


Reading A to Z: In Grades 2-5 each YHA student has a RAZ account. For your child’s information, please contact Jenn Spellman at [email protected]


Middle School 


How To Motivate a Middle School Reader 

20 Ways to Keep Your Middle Schooler Interested In Reading 


How To Improve Comprehension in Middle School 

Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension