When Reading is a Challenge. What Parents Can Do. Montgomery County Public Schools Department of Curriculum and Instruction. What do you do when you’re stuck?. Think about a text you find difficult to read: Your cell phone manual? Tax forms? Technical writing out of your field?
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When Reading is a Challenge
What Parents Can Do
Montgomery County Public Schools
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Go to the Washington Post to find a comic.
What does this Dennis the Menace comic mean?
What does this Dennis the Menace comic mean?
Asking questions will also work with print texts:
The train pulled out and settled into a steady motion. Hortensia and Mama took out their crocheting. Mama was using a small hook and white cotton thread to make carpetas, lace doilies, to put under a lamp or a vase. She held up her work to Esperanza and smiled. “Would you like to learn?”
Esperanza shook her head. Why did Mama bother crocheting lace? They had no vases or lamparas to put on top of them. Esperanza leaned her head against the window. She knew she did not belong here. She was Esperanza Ortega from El Rancho de las Rosas. She crossed her arms tight and stared out the window.
For hours, Esperanza watched the undulating land pass in front of her. Everything seemed to remind her of what she had left behind: the nopales reminded her of Abuelita who loved to eat the prickly pear cactus sliced and soaked in vinegar and oil; the dogs from small villages that barked and ran after the train reminded her of Marisol, whose dog, Capitan, chased after trains the same way. And every time Esperanza saw a shrine decorated with crosses, flowers, and miniature statues of saints next to the rails, she couldn’t help but wonder if it had been someone’s father who had died on the tracks....
Pam Munoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising
Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all the gladness left him and deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden. Sighing he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost plank; repeated the operation; did it again; compared the insignificant whitewashed streak with the far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed fence....
At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration.
He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. Ben Rogers hove in sight presently—the very boy, of all boys, whose ridicule he had been dreading...
“Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?”
Tom wheeled suddenly and said: “Why it’s you, Ben! I warn’t noticing....Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”
That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept the brush daintily back and forth—stepped back to note the effect—added a touch here and there—criticized the effect again—Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:
“Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
dispatch you—leave quickly
With your safest haste—quickly, which offers your best chance to leave safely
their purgation—purging, or clearing, themselves of suspicion
As You Like It
When Atticus looked down at me I saw the expression on his face that always made me expect something. “Do you know what a compromise is?”
“Bending the law?”
“No, an agreement reached by mutual concessions. It works this way,” he said. “If you’ll concede the necessity of going to school, we’ll go on reading every night just as we always have. Is it a bargain?”
“We’ll consider it sealed without the usual formality,” Atticus said, when he saw me preparing to spit.
As I opened the front screen door Atticus said, “By the way, Scout, you’d better not say anything at school about our agreement.”
“I’m afraid our activities would be received with considerable disapprobation by the more learned authorities.”
Jem and I were accustomed to our father’s last-will-and-testament diction, and we were at all times free to interrupt Atticus for a translation when it was beyond our understanding.
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird
Now along came this tramp, this public nuisance
who used to scrounge a living round the streets of Ithaca—
...Arnaeus was his name...
but all the young men called him Irus for short...
Well he came by to rout the king from his own house
and met Odysseus now with a rough, abusive burst:
“Get off the porch, you old goat, before I haul you
off by the leg!”
A killing look,
and the wily old soldier countered, “Out of your mind?
What damage have I done you? What have I said?...
You’re another vagrant, just like me, I’d say,
and it lies with the gods to make us rich or poor. So
keep your fists to yourself, don’t press your luck, don’t rile me,
Or old as I am, I’ll bloody your lip...”
“Look who’s talking!” the beggar rumbled in anger....
“Belt up—so the lords can see us fight it out.
How can you beat a champion half your age?”
And Antinous, that grand prince, hearing them wrangle,
Broke into gloating laughter, calling out to the suitors,
“Friends, nothing like this has come our way before—
what sport some god has brought the palace now!
...Here’s what I propose,
Now, whoever wins this bout and proves the stronger,
let that man step up and take his pick of the lot!
What’s more, from this day on he feasts among us—
no other beggar will we allow inside....”
Homer’s The Odyssey, translated by Fagles
So the beginning of this was a woman and she had come back from burying the dead. Not the dead of sick and ailing friends at the pillow and the feet. She had come back from the sodden and the bloated; the sudden dead, their eyes flung wide open in judgment.
The people all saw her come because it was sundown. The sun was gone, but he had left his footprints in the sky. It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment.
Seeing the woman as she was made them remember the envy they had stored up from other times. So they chewed up the back parts of their minds and swallowed with relish. They made burning statements with questions, and killing tools out of laughs. It was mass cruelty. A mood come alive. Words walking without masters; walking altogether like harmony in a song.
“What she doin’ coming back here in dem overhalls?...Where she left dat young lad of a boy she went off here wid?...”
Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God
The smell of blood, warm and wet, rose from the floor and settled into the solemn stillness of the hospital air. I could feel it like an unhurried chill in my joints, a slow-moving red that smoldered in a floating ether of dull, gray smoke. All around me, the bare walls expanded and converged into a relentless stretch of white. The bedsheet white of the hallway was an anxious white I knew by heart. White, the color of mourning, the standard color for ghosts, bones, and funerals, swallowed in the surface calm of the hospital halls.
A scattering of gunshots tore through the plaster walls. Everything was unfurling, everything, and I knew I was back there again, as if the tears were always pooled in readiness beneath my eyes. It was all coming back, a fury of whiteness rushing against my head with violent percussive rage. The automatic glass doors closed behind me with a sharp sucking sound.
Arlington Hospital was not a Saigon military hospital. Through the hydraulic doors, I could see the lush green lawn that stretched languidly across an immense parking lot. A few feet beyond, a spray of water blossomed upward, then rotated in a soundless circle wide enough to reach the far outcropping of grass. The American flag, flown sky-high from a sturdy iron pole, still swelled and snapped in the wind. I knew I was not in Saigon.
Lan Cao’s Monkey Bridge