Reading Department

Parent Page

Reading Dept Belief Statement
Parent Involvement
Class Observation Grid
Read 180 Welcome Letter

Attention parents,


If your family needs help with the cost of food for Thanksgiving, then on Tuesday, November 25, you may receive a free food carton to prepare your holiday dinner- if you make the Friday, November 7 deadline for requesting a delivery.  After submitting your request to me (Ms. Luz Fraticelli) or to the school offices by November 7, you, your neighbor, or relative may receive a thawing turkey and other ingredients for preparing a great Thanksgiving meal.

 Grade 8-12 students who help deliver the food cartons on Tuesday, November 25 from 4- 7 PM, will receive community service hours. They must submit permission forms for this non-school event.

In our school offices you will find forms for requesting a turkey delivery or for allowing your child in Grade 8-12 to earn community service hours by delivering in the Hartford area. Please complete the permission forms if you want your child to participate in this community service project.

 In addition, parents and student are invited to a Reading Class Community Service Day this Saturday in Room 236 from 9 AM- 1 PM, when they will be assembling bulletin boards of student work and then having a pizza lunch.  Please sign up with reading teacher Mrs. Cindi Avezzie in Room 236.

Parents! Here is a list of three activities you can do at home to support oral reading fluency of your child:
1) child reads aloud part of a book or article to them,
2) you take turns reading aloud, and
3) you can echo read - when the parent reads aloud and then the child reads aloud the same section back to them.

Please remember that even as your child gets older, reading together remains an important way to spend time together and to practice reading skills. Be sure to help him/her set aside time for reading practice at home every day.


Parent Communication

Through a handout mailed to homes, I will provide students and parents helpful information describing READ 180 program, including the four software zones. I will explain that the READ 180 program a) assures that skill development follows a logical progression, b) provides opportunities for students to think critically and creatively, c) assures that each student works with text at his/her current instructional level,
d) provides opportunities for repeated reading of passages to build reading fluency of connected text, e) provide systematic instruction in Decoding and word recognition, f) is proven to be successful, g) provides enjoyable interaction on computers that will build vocabulary, word recognition, reading fluency, comprehension, and spelling, h) provides a paperback collection of 40 titles (with 5 copies of each title) and 12 audiobooks with 5 headsets (by Oct. 1, 2013)

I will send home to parents an individualized letter that briefly explains our READ 180 program, stating it will help the student recognize and spell words correctly, read with fluency, and comprehend the text. The letter explains that the goal of the program is for the student to read grade-level material independently, with confidence and fluency in all subjects. It reports the student’s level (below basic, basic, advanced) and lexile number. Lastly, the letter lists five activities a parent can do at home to help the student become a lifelong reader. (by Oct 18, 2013)

I will send home to parents a second READ 180 Family Letter that will list three activities they can do at home to support oral reading fluency of their child: 1) child reads aloud part of a book or article to them, 2) they take turns reading aloud, and 3) they can “echo read” – when the parent reads aloud and then the child reads aloud the same section back to them. In this letter I will state, “Please remember that even as your child gets older, reading together remains an important way to spend time together and to practice reading skills. Be sure to help him/her set aside time for reading practice at home every day.”

With input from parents, I will plan, implement, and assess the following possible events that may occur this year which include parent involvement:

  • Class Excursion to Basketball Hall of Fame, including a scavenger hunt
  • Tea with “Moms” (“mom” =any woman who is an important part of student’s life)
  • Donuts with the “Dads” (“dad ” =any man who is an important part of student’s life)
  • Trash Day when students read the book Trash and complete activities that connect to the theme
  • Car Wash Day
  • Bulletin Board Day on a Saturday in November, accompanied by community volunteers from Avon
  • Class excursions to Connecticut Historical Society and Real Art Ways in Hartford
  • Reading Day Celebration during which time reading students and their parents enjoy a banquet celebration featuring student awards, skits, performances, and booths displaying their projects. (Parents will be told that their child will receive an award, present a project, and be invited to join them for a delicious meal.)
  • The Classical Magnet “Let’s Show Off” Talent Show, featuring Parents and Students

Part Two: In addition, part of my action plan includes collecting data :

I will use an attitudinal survey that will indicate parental attitude about our school in November in contrast with parent attitudes about our school in May. The survey consists of five questions for which parents indicate a number from 1-10, indicating how positive they feel about the situation listed. In May 2014 the percentage of the numbers will increase by 30% as a result of parents’ positive involvement in Reading Department parent activities.

In support of the progress report return project with Team 7, I am joining them in setting a goal of increasing the percentage of seventh grade progress reports returned by an average of 3% each marking period. The progress report is an existing method of communication but we are not rigorously tracking the return rate or rigorously following up to make sure each progress report makes it to a parent and then is returned by the end of the following week. (Exact percentage will be set as an improvement over our baseline data. Each marking period we want to increase our return rate by 3%)


Books for Holiday Giving

Prepared by Denise S. Kennedy, LMS, for Reading Dept, Classical Magnet School


Frederick Douglass: a Noble Life / David A. Adler.
Booklist starred review
Grades 6-10. Adler, the author of more than 200 books for young readers, has now written a thoroughly researched, lucidly written biography of the great Frederick Douglass. Chronicles the life of Frederick Douglass, discussing his years as a slave, escape to freedom, acclaim as a famous orator, journalist, and presidential advisor, work as an abolitionist, and other related topics.  Nonfiction.

Going Blue : a Teen Guide to Saving our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands / by Cathryn Berger Kaye with Philippe Cousteau & EarthEcho International.
School Library Journal review
Grade 7 Up-Not just another book about the environment, this volume is organized around a five-stage concept of service learning: investigation, preparation, action, reflection, and demonstration. Each one is explained in detail with numerous examples of real teens making a difference in their communities. Nonfiction.

The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie : a Doll's History and Her Impact on Us / by Tanya Lee Stone.
Booklist review
YA.  Everyone knows Barbie. And almost everyone has an opinion of her. Stone has done her homework and offers a particularly well-researched read. But she has also gotten many women (and men) to reminisce, comment, and argue about Barbie, and these voices add sparkle. Nonfiction.

The Hunger Games Series/ Suzanne Collins
Horn Book starred review
YA.  Katniss volunteers to represent her district in the Hunger Games, a compulsory, government-sponsored reality-TV show from which only one of twenty-four teenage contestants will emerge alive. A fierce, resourceful competitor, Katniss also displays great compassion and vulnerability. The twists and turns are addictive in this compulsively readable blend of science fiction, romance, and social commentary. Second in series: Catching Fire. Third in Series: Mocking Jay. Fiction.

The Lost Hero / Rick Riordan.
Booklist review
Grades 4-8. Readers longing for a return to Camp Half-Blood will get their wish in the first novel of the Heroes of Olympus series, which follows Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and includes some of the same characters in minor roles. The new cast features Jason, Piper, and Leo, teen demigods who are just coming to understand and use their unique abilities as they learn how much depends upon their wits, courage, and fast-developing friendship. Fiction.

Ostrich Boys / by Keith Gray.
Booklist review
Grades 8-12. When their friend Ross is killed in an accident, Blake, Sam, and Kenny are devastated by the loss and furious at the hypocritical outpouring of support by previously uncaring teachers and fellow students at the boy’s funeral. They  plan a proper memorial by taking his ashes to Ross, Scotland, an adventure-filled journey that tests their loyalty to each other and forces them to question what friendship means. Fiction.


Out of My Mind / Sharon M. Draper.
Booklist starred review
Grades 5-8. Fifth-grader Melody has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects her body but not her mind. Although she is unable to walk, talk, or feed or care for herself, she can read, think, and feel. A brilliant person is trapped inside her body, determined to make her mark in the world in spite of her physical limitations. Told in Melody’s voice, this highly readable, compelling novel quickly establishes her determination and intelligence and the almost insurmountable challenges she faces. It also reveals her parents’ and caretakers’ courage in insisting that Melody be treated as the smart, perceptive child she is, and their perceptiveness in understanding how to help her, encourage her, and discourage self-pity from others. Fiction.
Princess of the Midnight Ball / Jessica Day George.
Booklist review
Grades 6-10. A retelling of the tale of twelve princesses who wear out their shoes dancing every night, and of Galen, a former soldier now working in the king's gardens, who follows them in hopes of breaking the curse. The Brothers Grimm tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” is vibrantly retold and set in a fictionalized nineteenth-century Europe. This is a well-realized and fast-paced fantasy-romance that will find favor among fans of fairy tales, feisty heroines, and dashing young men with strength, cunning, and sensitivity. Fiction.

The Red Pyramid / Rick Riordan ; hieroglyph art by Michelle Gengaro-Kokmen.
Booklist starred review
Grades 5-8. Brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane accidentally unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes the doctor to oblivion and forces his two children to embark on a dangerous journey, bringing them closer to the truth about their family and its links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs. Fans of the Riordan magic-equal parts danger, myth, and irreverence-will embrace this new series with open arms.  Fiction.

The Rock and the River / Kekla Magoon.
Booklist starred review
Grades 6-10. In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father's nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African-Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.  Compelling characters aptly convey the frustrations and uncertainties dividing the civil rights movement at the time of Dr. King's death. Fiction.

Scat / Carl Hiaasen.
Horn Book starred review
Grades 5-8. Two rapscallions plot to dig a pirate oil well on land inhabited by an endangered Florida panther. A couple of teenagers, a crafty codger, and a demanding science teacher get a whiff not only of the panther's scat but also of the men's vintage-Hiaasen swindle. Don't expect any environmental preaching in this page-turner (a few science facts cleverly sneak in). Fiction.

Viola in Reel Life / Adriana Trigiani.
Booklist review
YA.  Viola has moviemaking in her DNA: her grandmother (Grand) is a well-known actress, and her parents make documentaries. Her own work consists of the video journal she makes about her new, Midwestern boarding school, where she is sent while her parents are filming in Afghanistan. Indiana is not Brooklyn, and no one at her new school can take the place of Andrew, her BFFAA. Can you say “homesick”? But Vi’s three roommates gradually fill her life. Best-selling adult author Trigiani nicely captures boarding-school bonding, adolescent female insecurities, and current teen trends. Fun, breezy, and full of subtle life lessons. Fiction.

Annotations courtesy of Follett Library Services:

Reading Community Service Day

On Saturday, Nov. 1, the Reading Class Community Service Day at Classical Magnet School turned out to be both an enjoyable and productive day for all. Much effort and enthusiasm were displayed by the volunteer team that included four Classical Magnet middle school students (Seventh Graders Jade Plaisimond and Miranda Ramirez, Eighth Grader Tiajalique Carter, and Sixth Grader Benigno Muniz ), eight adult volunteers from Valley Community Baptist Church (VCBC), four children or young teens from VCBC, one Classical Magnet parent (Kowanna Golden-Broughton, parent of Tiajalique Carter ), and two young teens from Hartford who were siblings of Classical students.


With a donation of $100 from VCBC for bulletin boards supplies, our team planned and assembled seven attractive bulletin boards to display student work on the second floor of our school. The boards turned out to be absolutely beautiful! 


When reading students arrived to school on Monday morning, they were delighted to see their art work and essays posted on the walls. It was a time of celebration!


The folks from Valley and the Classical Magnet students and parent worked together well as a team, enjoying each other’s company and taking pride in their work.  We enjoyed uniting our hearts to serve our school community. Sharing a pizza lunch together was also a plus.


The grandfather, son, and grandfather team of John, Todd, and Jonathan Green of Avon once again designed colorful and eye appealing boards, for the third year in a row!  They served as the seasoned volunteers who inspired the first timers.


The four reading students who worked cheerfully and diligently earned both community service hours and the respect of the adult volunteers.


Classical middle school students commented on the friendliness, kindness, and generosity of the Valley volunteers, while the Valley volunteers couldn’t help but notice the amazing helpfulness, good attitudes, and sweet spirits of the Classical students. My family member who came at the end to help with the cleaning up noted the outstanding work ethic and enthusiasm of all the volunteers, including both the adults and young teens. 


Volunteers left saying that they wanted to return in May to assemble bulletin boards once again. This will be a date when we will be delighted to team up again for more fun at our Reading Class Community Service Day. Many thanks go to our school administration and the custodial staff (Miguel and Rick) who supported our efforts.




Interested in applying to Classical Magnet School?

We encourage you to attend an Open House for more information before submitting an application.

The Application process starts Dec 2nd and goes until Feb 28 2013.

Applications are available at The applications and lottery are supervised by the Regional School Choice Office.