Dear Parents,

It’s hard to believe another month has passed; January was such a busy month.  We had an especially fun week celebrating our wonderful Catholics schools. It really was an exciting and busy week.  As you know we also just celebrated our 100th day of school, we are all 100 days smarter but we still have about 66 more to go. We have a lot of learning yet to accomplish before the end of our year.

Thank you to those of you who contributed to our classroom snack supply, your children really appreciate their morning snacks.  As I have mentioned in the past we really do go through our snacks quite quickly so if you are ever at the store and see a great deal on a good snack item we will definitely welcome any new snacks to add to our supply.  Fish crackers and gram crackers are popular items and we do go through these very quickly.

Your children are currently working on earning a Valentine’s Day party.  I am pretty confident we will be able to reach our goal and if we do we will have our celebration in the afternoon next week Tuesday, February 13th. We will be celebrating a day early this year because Valentine’s Day is also Ash Wednesday.  Your children are welcome to bring in valentines for their classmates. If your child is going to bring valentines please make sure to bring 18 valentines for all of our classmates. I am looking for a few more empty Kleenex boxes; I need the longer type of boxes. I will need these by this coming Tuesday.  If I get enough Kleenex boxes we will use these to make mailboxes for our valentines.  I also welcome any cupcakes or cookies for our party on Tuesday.

Our February book report is included with this letter.  The book report is due at the end of this month.  Keep in mind February is a short month so it might not be a bad idea to get started early.  Just like our January book reports; your child can select any book they would like that is at his/her reading level. There are still a few January book reports that have not been turned in. If your child has not yet turned this in please do so as soon as possible. If you are missing your January book report I do have extra copies at school, just let me know if your child needs one.

Mark your calendars; our first grade classes will participate in two Masses this year on March 28th and May 16th. This is a very special day for our first grade children.  We have decided to combine our first grades for the Masses because many children at this age are not yet comfortable participating in the Mass. If your child has a reading for our Mass they will bring home a practice sheet a few days before our Mass. We will practice for our Mass several times at school but if your child does have a reading part it would be very helpful to practice this at home as well. 

We will have conferences on February 16th. Please make sure you sign up if you feel as if there is anything you would like to discuss with me, but I hope you know my doors are always open and you are always welcome to set up a time to meet with me regarding your child’s progress.

I have included your child’s MAP testing results with this letter.  I was pleased with the overall results of the tests.  Your children have definitely grown a lot since this fall. Many of our first graders, including those in Mrs. Lentner’s class, could use continued reading and basic math fact practice. Both of these skills are very easy to work on at home. The oral readings Mrs. Lentner and I use to test your child’s fluency come from our shorter take home stories. We go through these stories at school but they should also read these at home. Many children are still really struggling with these readings, so I think extra practice at home would be very helpful for your child. If your child is still struggling with their oral reading you can read the story to them but make sure they follow along as you read. The next step you could try is to read the story orally together, after this you could read a whole page and have your child reread the selection after you. Finally, your child is ready to read on his/her own. At the beginning stages of reading it is important that your child hears fluent reading, so your modeling is very important.  Proficiency with basic math facts will also be extremely helpful as our math skills get more complex. I have seen first hand what a difference working on these basic skills in reading and math at home can make on a child’s academic success. Practice definitely makes for great improvements.

It looks as if February will be another busy month for us. It is also a short month so I anticipate it will really fly by, just like all the others have so far.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Walker