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Our district is adopting a new “social and emotional” skills program to improve classroom behavior. I agree that disruptive students are a problem, but with all the new stuff schools are loading on (e.g., STEM, Common Core), do kids really need one more thing?

Social and emotional leaning (SEL) is coming to many districts this fall. While the phrase may sound buzzy, SEL programs can not only help kids hone interpersonal skills and impulse control, they can boost students’ academic success and improve their health.

Even teachers wary of adding more to the school day say SEL is a worthwhile addition because, if well taught, SEL cuts discipline problems and distractions. In a recent survey, more than 90 percent of teachers said they want schools to help kids develop their social skills and build good character.

Roger P. Weissberg, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor of psychology and education, is chief knowledge officer at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (casel.org), a Chicago-based organization that works to bring SEL into schools. Weissberg and his colleagues have worked with many districts to integrate SEL into the school day.

“Each district has their model of integrating the program with other priorities, so it’s not an add-on,” he explains, “but a way to strengthen things they’re already doing.”

Weissberg and his colleagues reviewed the effectiveness of 213 school-based SEL learning programs reaching 270,000 students. Their research shows that the programs produce notable gains in kids’ social skills, behavior and academics.

An effective SEL program teaches five core competencies that students learn to apply in daily interactions, says Weissberg.

– Self-awareness: How to accurately assess one’s feelings, interests, values and strengths.

– Self-management: How to handle stress and express emotions effectively; control impulses; set and monitor progress toward goals.

– Social awareness: How to see things from another’s perspective; appreciate individual and group similarities and differences; recognize and use family, school and community resources.

– Relationship skills: How to establish and maintain healthy relationships; resist inappropriate social pressure; prevent and resolve interpersonal conflict; seek help when needed.

– Responsible decision-making: How to make rational decisions based on standards, safety concerns, social norms and respect for self and others; contribute to one’s school and community.

All “emotional intelligence” begins at home, says Bill Jackson, the president and founder of GreatSchools, an education resource for parents. “Parents have a key role in teaching and reinforcing these skills.”

Working with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, GreatSchools created a set of tools called Emotional Smarts to “help parents help their children build character and shape valuable life skills,” says Jackson.

The online tools include videos to help parents see issues like homework and sibling rivalry from their child’s perspective; a game to help children understand and recognize emotions; and ways to explore “feeling words” in a fun way. For more information, go to ei.yale.edu or greatschools.org.

Our school sent home the usual memo saying “keep screen time to a minimum” and “read with your kids.” I get that reading is important, but our two kids, ages 10 and 11, love video games. There must be some educational value, no?

Games — video or otherwise — can excite and challenge learners. For decades, teachers have successfully used games to teach and reinforce concepts.

“Play is the way the human brain is wired to learn,” agrees Mitch Weisburgh, co-founder of Games4Ed (games4ed.org). “Virtually all kids today play video games, so we need to find appropriate games for learners and teach them to avoid the pitfalls of gaming.”

Weisburgh describes five ways well-designed games can motivate kids and support learning:

– Games are an optimal learning environment. They promote concentration and control, provide a fun way to practice skills and elicit effort that a student might not otherwise put forth.

– Games focus on the sweet spot for learning. They push players beyond what they can do.

– Games get kids to persist. “They engage players through a quick cycle of challenge-act-learn-accomplish,” Weisburgh says, “so that the hard work of learning is intrinsically rewarded, and the learner wants to continue playing and learning.”

– Games encourage trial and failure. Players fail more than they succeed, “but,” Weisburgh says, “failure only means that a particular approach failed.”

– Games offer great real-world simulations. NASA games put kids on missions to Mars. “Zoo U” improves students’ social literacy without risky behaviors. In “Mission US,” students play roles at key turning points in U.S. history. In “iCivics,” students become senators.

In “sandbox games, like ‘Minecraft,’ players build surroundings and then interact with others within their surroundings,” says Weisburgh. “There are history games, like Sid Meier’s ‘Civilization,’ that involve strategy and planning. There are games where kids build games, like ‘Globaloria,’ ‘Scratch’ and ‘GameSalad.’”

Parents play a critically important role in gaming, stresses Weisburgh.

“They need to make sure that their kids get enough physical exercise, are socializing, stay safe (parents should monitor for sex and violence in games, as well as who their kids interact with online) and aren’t wasting hours,” he says. “You can only do this by spending time with your kids when they are on their games.”

Ask your kids questions such as, “What is the purpose of this game?” “What are you trying to do?” “Why do you like this game?” “What are you learning?”

If their answers suggest that your kids’ time might be better used, have them show you another game that they like, advises Weisburgh.

“Kids, especially those of your kids’ age, are very forthcoming,” he explains. “They will learn to choose games wisely from your guidance — and will be thrilled that you are taking an interest.”

Find appropriate games at GameUp, BrainPOP’s site for free educational games, and Graphite, a website that reviews and rates education games. Most libraries subscribe to Children’s Technology Review, a monthly evaluation of new educational software (childrenstech.com).

And about your kids’ reading? I’m glad that you “get it” — don’t let your kids go a day without it.

My son Gavin is now in middle school and totally disorganized. He loses papers, forgets assignments and their due dates. While he’s never been organized, it was never this bad. Any tips?

Disorganized elementary students often have trouble when they hit middle school. The transition from a self-contained classroom, where one teacher issued assignments and frequent due-date reminders, to switching from classroom to classroom, with different teachers, takes a more organized brain.

When it comes to teaching these essential skills, “readiness is everything,” says psychologist Richard Selznick, director of the New Jersey-based Cooper Learning Center, a part of Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

Gavin’s middle-school muddle may signal that he’s ready to learn some basics. Don’t expect, however, that he’ll master these skills overnight, advises Selznick, the author of “School Struggles” (Sentient Publications, 2012).

He suggests a “study skill of the month” approach. Make September’s skill “learning to use a planner.” Talk about a planner’s function to record assignments and reminders, and why it’s important to update it with every class. Each night, without nagging, review how it went. Offer pointers for improvement and reinforcement for a job well done.

“On a calendar, keep track of times the skill was practiced with reasonable success,” says Selnick, “using a plus sign for doing the task and a minus sign when it wasn’t done. Offer an incentive for a week of pluses.”

Organized students have mastered two kinds of skills — cerebral and physical, says Donna Goldberg, a learning coach and author of “The Organized Student” (Touchstone, 2005).

Cerebral skills help organize information mentally, Goldberg explains, “filing it in our brain so we can access it, act on it and sequence events over time. Physical skills refer to the way we manage our space and work tools.”

Look at the physical aspects with Gavin. Ask yourself: Is there one place for his backpack when he comes home? Is there a distraction-free place for homework that is well-stocked so he doesn’t waste time looking for a pencil? Does he have a folder system to hold papers he needs for future review? Does he have a three-ring binder or accordion file, labeled by subject, to carry worksheets, quizzes, spelling lists, assignments and so on?

One important cerebral skill is visualizing time. Many kids raised on digital devices “see ‘time’ as a number — not hands going around a dial — and may not know what practicing the trumpet for 20 minutes feels like,” says Goldberg.

For some students, an analog clock can help estimate time.

In addition, “a daily planner can help him visualize his workload so he can gauge how much time he needs to complete it,” says Goldberg.

Sequencing, another important cerebral skill, helps establish routines and habits to stay on task, says Goldberg. Help Gavin establish a predictable sequence each day — come home from school, hang up backpack, grab a snack, do homework, 30 minutes of video games, prepare backpack for the next day, and so on.

Work with Gavin a little each day. “Praise progress and reinforce systems you’ve set up together until he owns them,” says Goldberg. “Expect trial and error. Change what doesn’t work, and don’t worry when it falls apart. Learning to be organized is a process that’s perfected over time.”

My son, Ezra, just entered kindergarten and is one of the youngest in his class. He’s really unhappy, so I want to hold him back a year. My husband says he’ll get used to it and his teacher isn’t concerned, but two friends who held their sons back agree with me. Is there research about this?

The research on holding back a “young 5″ is mixed. You can find studies to support it. Researchers Kelly Bedard and Elizabeth Dhuey found that the youngest members of kindergarten classes scored 4 to 12 percentiles lower than the oldest members in grade four, and 2 to 9 percentiles lower in grade eight. Other research shows that any academic benefits of starting a child later often disappear after middle school.

Recent research by professors Kevin Kniffin and Andrew Hanks looked at persons who received doctorates and found that holding kids back has little influence on those who earn a Ph.D. and may have negative influence on post-graduate salary.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that depending on the region, approximately 6 percent of 5-year-olds eligible for kindergarten are held back each year. (The practice is often called “redshirting,” a reference to college coaches who bench a freshman for a season, hoping that an extra year of practice yields a better athlete.)

Alia Wong covers education for The Atlantic. She reviewed several studies and concludes, “It’s far from clear whether relative age has much to bear on a child’s future success. And absent a consensus, it may be best to hold off on redshirting, if only in the interest of playing it safe.” (Find her report at theatlantic.com.)

Every teacher can tell you of a 5-year-old who didn’t demonstrate kindergarten readiness and benefited from “the gift of time.” And that’s really the question: Is Ezra unhappy because kindergarten is a new experience and he hasn’t yet made the transition? Or is he unhappy because he’s developmentally unprepared and struggling?

“Parents will do whatever they believe will help their children compete in school and life. But they need to remember that not all children progress in the same way and at the same rate or benefit similarly from the same opportunity,” says literacy researcher Michael Milone.

“My advice,” he continues, “is to be patient, observant and supportive. Don’t hover, but try to find out why he is unhappy and address these concerns with his teacher and others at school and listen to what they say.”

Meg Meeker, pediatrician and author of “Strong Mothers, Strong Sons” (Ballantine Books, 2014), advises against holding back a 5-year-old who doesn’t need it. She says it “can grow into a devastating parenting philosophy,” sending a message that high achievement is the only thing that matters.

The transition to kindergarten, says Milone, “is often stressful simply because it is a child’s first experience with a perceived major life change.

“Helping Ezra make a successful transition can strengthen his ability to adapt to new situations — an ability that will be incredibly important to his future.”

I just transferred my second-grade son Caeden to a new school. He’s easily distracted; in first grade, he got labeled as a troublemaker at his old school. I refuse to have his first-grade problems define him. Should I meet his new teacher right away or wait until parent-teacher conferences?

Life doesn’t offer many do-overs, but the beginning of each school year gives every child a chance for a fresh start. This is especially true when entering a new school.

If you don’t want his previous record to define him, first make sure that he enters the new school with appropriate behaviors — fix those that may have generated the labels (fair or not) in the first place.

“Second grade is not too young to have a good heart-to-heart talk about how to take advantage of a fresh start,” says Allison Parker, a Texas educator with years of second-grade experience. “Sure, teachers look at a child’s records to get a sense of how well that student has mastered content and behaviors that will make for a successful school year. But most teachers prefer to make up their own minds about a student: They observe carefully and get to know their new students during the first days of school.

“If his new teacher doesn’t see the inappropriate demeanor displayed in first grade, the teacher assumes he’s making progress with positive social interactions.”

Be proactive about improvement; help Caeden master the comportment teachers expect in school. Can he listen intently, or does he talk or tune out while you’re talking? Can he follow a sequence of directions? Does he have basic organizational skills, such as knowing how to gather, store and care for his school materials?

Give him opportunities to practice and be rewarded for behaviors that count in class, such as: respecting adults and other children by listening; raising a hand to ask a question or make a comment rather than blurting it out; focusing his eyes on the teacher when she is speaking; keeping his hands and feet still at his desk; following rules for walking in hallways.

And, yes, make an appointment to see his new teacher soon.

“Don’t wait until the first conference,” says Marissa Gehley, founder of the consulting group KNOW (Kids Need Our Wisdom). “Tell her you want to meet, so together you can get Caeden off to a great start — that you want to make sure that you support the teacher’s goals for student success.”

Ask the teacher to suggest reinforcement strategies to try at home, and be sure to stay in touch with the teacher so that you both can monitor Caeden’s progress and know of any problems right away, Gehley advises.

“Make sure you let Caeden know that you’re talking to his new teacher and that the two of you will communicate regularly about his good work,” she says. “Then ask him to make a list of three or four things that he will do (and that you’ll review from time to time) to make sure second grade is the beginning of his best year ever!”

Our local service club is assembling backpacks with school supplies for students in our community’s poorest schools. We’ve purchased generic supplies only to learn that many teachers compile specific lists with brand-name items. Isn’t it better for a child to have a “no-name” notebook rather than no notebook at all? Why does a child need a certain brand of glue stick?

Kudos to your club for undertaking this wonderful effort. Every child deserves to start school with a backpack full of fresh supplies that support the work of the year ahead.

Is it important to follow teacher lists to the letter? It’s not critical, but try if you can. If you’re filling a pack for a specific student identified by the school counselor, you’ll know the child’s grade and teacher and can match the backpack to that child’s needs. If not, look for general grade-level guidance from the schools you’re serving. (For typical lists or to search for individual teachers’ lists, go TeacherLists.com.)

Teacher-approved lists may seem picky, but they serve a purpose, says Tim Sullivan, the founder and president of PTOToday.com.

“By sticking to the list, you won’t end up with things a child doesn’t need,” he explains. “When it comes to brands, teachers often have good reasons. For example, one type of notebook with sections and pockets might better suit the way a teacher organizes workflow. Or teachers might put supplies in a shared bucket for all the kids, so having one brand eliminates dustups between the kids over who gets what.”

Forgo notebooks, pencils and backpacks with television, video game or movie characters. Many schools discourage them, plus kids outgrow themed supplies. That “Minions” backpack may not be so trendy come springtime.

Class supply lists, once limited to pencils, erasers and the like, now include hygiene items such as disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.

“Tissues and paper towels are among the top five most requested back-to-school items,” says Sullivan.

Activity fees are another school expense that has increased over the years. Since the Great Recession, many schools have asked parents to pony up for sports, field trips, after-school clubs — even science lab courses and Advanced Placement tests. Approximately two-thirds of middle and high school students pay a fee to participate in school sports, according to a University of Michigan study.

The National Retail Federation projects that the average family with kids in grades K-12 will spend roughly $220 on new clothes, more than $100 on new shoes and just under $100 on school supplies during the back-to-school shopping season. If electronic devices are required, parents will shell out another $200.

For poor families, back-to-school shopping can present a real hardship, says Sullivan, which is why your club’s project is so laudable.

“Not only will parents and kids appreciate your donations, teachers will too,” he says. “Each year, teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money on their class. The less they spend buying notebooks, the more they can devote to children’s books, games and art supplies that increase engagement and motivation.”

Our oldest child starts third grade soon. The school sent information on the Common Core learning standards and says parents should provide kids with keyboarding opportunities. We don’t allow our children to use computers or digital devices. Why would third-graders need this?

There are good reasons. One, keyboarding is in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Here is a grade three standard for students: With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Keyboarding is an essential word-processing skill and the sooner students master it, the more effective they’ll be at using technology. Research shows that learning to use a keyboard and execute basic word processing commands in the primary grades prevent poor habits from forming. Studies also indicate that students who use word processing become more motivated and better writers because they can revise, edit and review their work more efficiently.

Two, when it comes time for testing, students in most states with CCSS will take online assessments. Bill Laraway teaches at Silver Oak Elementary in San Jose, California. He helped his district transition from paper and pencil to online testing.

“By third grade, students are expected to feel comfortable with technology, especially the keyboard,” says Laraway. “New online Common Core and midyear benchmark performance testing requires students to input answers in a variety of modes: trackpad/input device, keyboard and the manipulation of online tools (especially in math). There are not only multiple-choice responses, but questions that require short-answer responses and essays typed directly into text boxes. Students with keyboarding skills can focus their time and energy during the assessment crafting their written responses.”

Starting keyboarding at an early age makes sense, says Laraway.

“I know parents who have an extreme ‘no computers/technology’ position, but it puts their students at a serious disadvantage,” he explains. “I’ve seen parents of fourth- and fifth-graders type their children’s reports because they see their kids struggling with the keys. Unfortunately, those children miss keyboarding practice that’s vital for success during the school day.

“Kids need these skills, not just to be better test takers, but to become wise digital citizens. As with everything else in life, taking a moderate approach to technology is sensible.”

Laraway suggests that third-graders should learn the keyboard layout and understand the function of the space bar, delete and arrow keys; know how to click and tap; grasp how to cut, paste and highlight; understand how to scroll; know how to select and unselect an object, text or area; and be able to drag, slide and drop selected material and use drop-down menus.

There are many online games that teach keyboarding, says Laraway.

“What motivates one child may bore another,” he says. “Let trial-and-error lead you to games that are fun and effective practice. Go beyond the drill and practice apps. Give the child a purpose for using those skills, like writing an email to Grandma.”

Most states teaching CCSS use tests from either the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (smarterbalanced.org) or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC, parcconline.org). You can find online practice tests at both websites.

Our son just graduated from high school, but isn’t ready for college. Mariano’s considering military service, but I worry that he’ll never go to college if he enlists. His job options are few in our small town, and I’m afraid he’ll just drift if he stays here. Our minister suggested a “gap year” in a service program. Can you recommend a program for a teen with talent who hasn’t figured out how to use it?

A gap year — a break from formal education, often between high school and the start of college — can include traveling, volunteering, interning, working or a combination of activities. The time off can be a good option for students such as Mariano, “as long as the year has a purpose, structure, routine and goals that will help him bring the benefits of further education into focus,” says Sally Reed, editor of College Bound, a monthly publication on college admissions and financial aid (collegeboundnews.com).

Ideally, this time away from formal education increases self-awareness, challenges comfort zones and encourages experimentation with possible careers, according to the American Gap Association (americangap.org).

For example, Mariano might consider the following programs that attract high school students interested in doing a year of service before heading to college.

– AmeriCorps offers a range of opportunities from VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America), a program that helps eradicate poverty through education initiatives, to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Corps, which puts young people at the forefront of disaster relief.

AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a full-time residential program for men and women ages 18 to 24. NCCC is modeled on the successful Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s. Members work from one of five campuses — Denver; Baltimore; Sacramento, California; Vicksburg, Mississippi; or Vinton, Iowa.

AmeriCorps volunteers receive a modest living allowance and limited health benefits. Check out various programs at nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps.

– The National Park Service’s Public Land Corps restores and protects America’s National Parks. Members, who are between 16 and 25 years old, receive a living allowance and are trained to build and preserve trails in remote areas, prevent wildfires by clearing fire fuels, remove invasive species and add features that keep park visitors safe. Go to nps.gov/gettinginvolved/youthprograms.

– City Year (cityyear.org), a national youth service program founded in 1988, operates in 26 cities across the United States. Members are a diverse group of 18- to 25-year-olds who complete a year of rigorous community service, leadership development and civic engagement.

“City Year brings young people together to do great work, center themselves and decide their futures,” says David Caplan, dean of New York’s City Year chapter. “I love to see Corps members go from their service year to colleges and universities, work for Fortune 500 companies or even start their own nonprofits. The experience teaches them firsthand their power to change the world around them.”

– If Mariano chooses to go into military service, encourage him to connect with Student Veterans of America (SVA), an organization that helps veterans get the resources needed to succeed in higher education. (Learn more at studentveterans.org.)

My daughter Mikayla, a high school freshman, recently moved in with my new wife and me. She’s such a perfectionist! Her room looks like Martha Stewart cleaned it. She’s a competitive athlete and an A student, but stresses over things that don’t go according to her plan. We’re happy we don’t have to nag her about school, but worry she’s too obsessed with grades and getting into a top college. Should we be?

Since she’s just settling in with you, it’s unfair to Mikayla to assume she has a problem with perfectionism, says Dr. Jane Bluestein, educator and author of “The Perfection Deception” (Health Communications Inc., 2015).

“Welcome her with open arms,” she says. “There’s much to praise in a high-achieving teen who keeps her room tidy, aces her courses and has her eye on college. Take time to know her better. Support her efforts to excel.”

That said, today’s teens are subject to many parental, peer, academic and media pressures that can lead them to think that they must be perfect, notes Bluestein.

“To help her focus on the satisfactions of accomplishment, rather than the impossibility of perfection, help her learn four fundamental lessons,” she advises.

One, the goal of effort should not be achieving perfection, but doing our best, says Bluestein.

“There’s a big difference,” she explains. “Perfectionism — the belief that we can make all things perfect if we put in the right amount of effort — has high costs: stress, loneliness, fear of failure, perceived loss of control, negative self-worth should the littlest thing go wrong. These can lead to a mental health crisis if they add up.”

Two, it’s OK to take risks and fail.

“Recognize her achievements, precision, care, attention to detail,” says Bluestein, “but also make her aware that highly successful people succeed because they aren’t afraid to fail. In Silicon Valley, it’s viewed as a strength to have failed in a few start-ups, because it means you’ve gained experience that will be valuable when you tackle your next venture.”

Encourage her to join a group such as a robotics or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) club, where trial-and-error projects are valued.

Three, accept and use constructive criticism, says Bluestein.

“The ability to view feedback as a positive, not a negative, helps high achievers benefit from the wisdom of others and develop resilience,” she says. “It defines them as learners who can work collaboratively as part of a team.”

Four, help her develop a strong social and emotional core that will serve her when she’s challenged by her goals. One way is to reflect on her achievements.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, successful high achievers know how to take time out for themselves. They don’t multitask 24-7. They nourish their souls, and can step back to gain perspective,” says Bluestein. “They can calm their minds and look within so that they can continue to be creative. Perfectionists are so good at being busy that taking time to reflect feels like cheating.”

As she embarks on her high school career, encourage Mikayla to be guided by Winston Churchill: “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Our son Liam’s teacher suggested we work on reading comprehension skills this summer. He starts third grade this fall. We’re reading daily. Is that enough?

As you read together, you can do simple things to boost Liam’s ability to understand ever-more complex texts.

Comprehension skills are “the essential tools that children need to actively engage with content, construct meaning and grow their understanding of big ideas in the world,” says reading expert Debbie Miller, author of “Reading With Meaning” (Stenhouse, 2012).

Until recently, reading was taught as a progression of five skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Today, comprehension is front and center, especially within the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

“CCSS emphasizes higher-level comprehension work, even for our youngest readers,” says Miller.

Kids with strong comprehension skills connect new information to what they already know. They determine and remember key points in a passage. They use text clues to guess new words. They synthesize information to gain new knowledge. They also distinguish fiction from nonfiction.

The academic nonprofit Urban Education Exchange lists 21 strategies in its Concepts of Comprehension framework. By reading with Liam, you have a perfect opportunity to teach some of these before school starts:

– Find explicit information. After reading, ask Liam questions about information in the text. Have him show you where it’s located.

– Be able to tell fiction from nonfiction. Reading and discussing paired books on a common theme can help Liam learn the difference. For example, if you’ve read a “Star Wars” book, follow it up with Brian Floca’s gripping true story of “Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11″ (Atheneum, 2009). You can find paired books that match up Liam’s interests at your library or online.

– Make predictions. Discuss a story’s title and ask Liam to guess what it might be about and to explain his reasons. Stop occasionally to ask him to predict what will happen next and why.

– Describe the setting. In other words, have Liam tell you where and when the story takes place.

– Determine the main idea. The “big idea” can be in a title, the opening passages or even the last sentence. Have Liam make note of words that are repeated. At the end of the story, have him summarize the main idea.

– Determine the story’s sequence. Most books for young readers have a clear beginning, middle and end. As you read, discuss its sequence. Use a graphic organizer if you find it helpful.

– Find clues to new words. Help Liam look for context clues. For example, words such as is, are, was, were, like, including, known as, meaning, or called provide clues.

For example, in this sentence, “Several African nations, including Gabon, Uganda and Kenya, are on the Equator,” the word “including” gives readers clues as to what are the three nations.

– Learn how to read the different parts of text features. Especially important in nonfiction reading are headlines, graphic devices and pictures that help organize information. Find articles in magazines, newspapers or online news sites. Point out headlines, sidebars, photographs, captions, graphs and other features that would help a reader understand the story.

– Finally, make it fun! Weave these strategies into your reading time in a conversational manner so that it never seems like a drill. Keeping Liam interested, curious and eager to read should be your main goals this summer.

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