It is hard to believe that fall is officially here and that we are over one-eighth of the way through the school year! We have gone from not being exactly sure what the 2020/2021 school year would look like to sailing right through the first half of the first grading period. Time surely flies when you are having fun! All of our early testing has been completed, and teachers are busy using that data to determine which of our students need additional support in the area of reading. We used our 2-hour delay on September 25th to meet as grade-level teams, review the available data, and start using our reading specialist teachers and aides to provide intensive and need-specific support to those students who are struggling. Reading is the foundation of learning in all subject areas, and if a student is not a good reader or if he or she has difficulty comprehending what they have read, they will most likely struggle in all subject areas. The key to success is to catch reading deficiencies early and provide timely and adequate support. Parents sometimes wonder what they can do to help their children in the area of reading, and the answer is quite simple – READ! If your child is in the primary grades, take fifteen minutes a night to sit down with your child and read. Re-reading a book your child brings home from school is a great way for them to practice new words they are learning and it helps to build their fluency. Fluency is the speed at which a child reads and is often expressed in terms such as “words per minute” or “correct words per minute.” If your child is older, have them read aloud to you. By reading aloud, students can often catch mistakes that they make because what they have just read does not sound right. There are times when our eyes may see “tired” but our mind sees “tried.” When we have students read aloud, our ears can help to catch some of the mistakes that we make as we read a passage. Oral reading can help with both fluency and comprehension of what was read. Parents also sometimes believe that helping their child requires a sizable time investment. Over the years, I have encouraged parents to find two 15- minute blocks of time to help their child. Spend fifteen minutes reading to your child or listening to your older child. Likewise, spend fifteen minutes working on math. Students at all levels of the elementary can benefit from working on number recognition, putting numbers in sequential order, or practicing their math facts. The key is to keep the time spent on the task limited. Don’t spend too much time on the task or your child may feel like it is a punishment, and we don’t want to discourage them. Throw a set of math flashcards or sight words in the car. Encourage your child to practice while you travel to the grocery store or grandma’s house. As you make dinner, ask your child to read to you. These small investments of time now will pay big dividends in the future! As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the school. Be sure to mark November 4 th and 5th on your calendar as our parent-teacher conferences are just around the corner! More information will be sent home in several weeks!
Respectfully, Mark Lange Principal