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Setting Up for Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR)

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From Our House to Yours

Setting Up for Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR)

So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota  ‘box day,’ and am setting up for Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR). My first step is to read through DITHOR’s Introduction, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and understand what my guide covers. Likewise, it is important to read through the beginning pages and the “Getting Started” section in the Appendix.

Setting Up for Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR)

You can either set up DITHOR at the start or do it as you move through the plans. If I do this at the startI fill out each DITHOR Student Book’s “Reading Calendar.” Using HOD’s “Optional Book Recommendations,” I fill in the page numbers to be read each day. For example, if my son is using the DITHOR Level 7/8 Boy Interest Book Pack, I see ’15 days’ next to Biography: Stonewall Jackson. So, I divide the total number of pages or chapters in Stonewall Jackson by 15 and fill out the Reading Calendar accordingly. I might do this for each genre or just the first one. Or, if I am choosing my own books and not using a book pack, I choose 1-3 books and pace them out accordingly. Also, I might choose my first genre kickoff in my DITHOR Teacher’s Guide.

Genre Log, Reading Strategies Lists, Qualities of Good Reading Lists, and Optional Vocabulary Activities

One final thing I like to do is make a photocopy of the Genre Log found in the Appendix. I note the books my child is reading on this log and include it in his portfolio binder as a record of what he’s read for the year. The Appendix also includes excellent reading strategies and qualities of good reading tips. I like to photocopy the Reading Strategies: Teacher’s List, Reading Strategies: Student’s List, Qualities of Good Reading: Teacher’s List, and Qualities of Good Reading: Student’s List. Carrie does give permission to photocopy these. I keep the teacher’s lists for me to reference and the student’s lists for my child to reference. However, you can always just put a tab in your DITHOR guide’s Appendix and label it “READING TIPS,” if you’d rather.

Notes on DITHOR’s Pacing Options

If you’re using DITHOR alongside a main HOD guide, follow the pacing in your main guide. For example, if you’re using DITHOR with Beyond… or with Bigger Hearts…, the pacing of DITHOR is 5 days a week. If you’re using Preparing Hearts through Missions to Modern Marvels, the pacing of DITHOR is 3 days a week. You can find the pacing for DITHOR noted in the Language Arts box of the daily HOD guide’s plans. Finally, if you’re using DITHOR as a stand alone program, you can choose whatever pacing you’d like. In general, a pacing of 3 or 5 days a week works well. If you choose a pacing of 3 days a week, you’ll get through about half of the 9 DITHOR genres one year, and the other half the next year. A 5 day a week pacing will get your student through all 9 genres.

Notes on Vocabulary Options and Phonics Options for DITHOR

If you are using DITHOR and not an HOD main guide alongside it, you may want to photocopy the optional Vocabulary Activities from the Appendix. These vocabulary activities can be used when the DITHOR teacher’s guide suggests them as optional activities. Heart of Dakota’s main guides that include all subject areas already include vocabulary activities in their daily plans. Because of this, there is no need to add the additional optional vocabulary activities noted in DITHOR’s Appendix, unless you feel this is an area your child needs to work on improving. Likewise, if your child still needs additional phonics practice, there is a reminder in the DITHOR plans to include this another way. However, this is optional. If your child is past needing phonics, there is no need to include it.

In Christ,


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