Parents = Children's First Teacher

Teachers recognize that the parents, more than anyone else, are the closest observers of their child. Parents are a child's first teacher and they know their child in ways no one else does. The ability of the parents to assist in the educational development of their child enhances the child's progress toward reaching his or her fullest potential.

Approximate Reading

"Approximate Reading" is retelling a story from memory using the story's picture clues. Children may use their finger to point to words or pictures.

Scribble Writing

Scribble writing is making different lines or strokes which may or may not refer to specific words or letters.


Children label or comment on items found in books.

Reciting a Story Orally

Children recite a story orally while looking at pictures.

Using Temporary Spelling

Temporary spelling is the use of a letter or letters to represent a word or phrase. For example, l or lik may be used to represent the word like.

Develop pre-reading and pre-writing skills:

Read with your child every day. Read a variety of stories (folktales, fables, information books, and poetry). Read different written materials such as cereal boxes, recipes, books, magazines, signs, and greeting cards.

Model reading and writing in your home. Involve your child in writing shopping lists, telephone messages, or reading letters from relatives. Let your child see you reading books, instructions, newspapers, magazines.

Expose your child to wordless picture books. Such books encourage your child to use picture clues to make up his/her own stories.

Encourage your child to take chances. Build the concept that learning means taking chances and not always being right.

Take trips to the library.

Include your child in family discussions. Use questions that involve who, what, where, why, and when.

Use family activities as a chance to explore new language. Visit and talk about the zoo, library, park, store, movies, or sports events.

Play games that involve following directions. "Simon Says" is a good game that involves following directions.

Sing and read simple songs and nursery rhymes. (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; Wheels on the Bus). Clap the rhythms.

Read and follow recipe directions. This provides children with the opportunity to listen to and follow step-by-step directions.

Reread favorite stories. Allow your child to choose the book for story time.

Provide writing materials - pencils, pens, chalk, markers, crayons, different sizes and colors of paper, envelopes and tape. Allow your child to write messages to family members, book authors, or friends. Also leave notes on the refrigerator or in a lunch box from you to your child.

Ask your child questions which require more than a "yes" or "no" answer. Example: "What do you think will happen to Goldilocks?" Look at books and magazines and ask questions about what was read.

Listen to your child when he or she speaks. Show that you are interested in what is being said. This encourages good listening habits.

Develop muscle coordination

Draw letters or numbers in the sand or on the sidewalk with a paint brush and water

Use puzzles

Use clay or dough

Use crayons, scissors, snaps, buttons, zippers


Catch a ball

Hop on one foot and two feet

Help your child develop independence

Let your child:

Make simple choices

Help choose his or her clothing

Perform simple household tasks

Dress him or herself when possible

Find letters of his or her name in books, magazines, or signs.

Sort things by size, shape, and color (clothing, buttons, dishes).

Count seeds, pennies, stamps, M&M's or any other objects.

Locate food items in the grocery store by looking at the pictures and the labels.

Read with your child:

Let your child have opportunities to choose what book they want to read.

Pick a quiet time to read.

Refer to your child as a "reader."

Sit close to your child. Let your child see the pictures and print.

Praise your child for any attempts to participate.

Point to words as you read them.

Discuss words that your child may not understand.

Talk about the story and story characters. Compare with other stories.

Ask open-ended questions.

Reread the book and encourage your child to join in on familiar phrases, turn the pages, and predict what will happen next.


An active PTA sponsors family socials, like the spring 5Kwalk, Bingo Night, and funds assemblies, field trips, and materials that enrich the school program. Parents can and do make a difference in the education of their children by joining other families and staff as members of the Vienna PTA. A packet of general information about the PTA is sent home on the first day of school. Everyone is encouraged to join the Vienna Elementary PTA. Ideas, suggestions, and concerns are always welcomed.


Vienna Elementary School enjoys the support of an extensive volunteer program. Parents and community members are invited to participate by contacting a PTA officer, the classroom teacher, or the school office. Volunteers typically work with students, assist in the library, help with art projects, perform clerical jobs, prepare instructional materials, or work on PTA projects. Schedules and responsibilities are as varied as our volunteers and their many talents.