I hope you can tell when we meet for our parent/teacher conference just how much I enjoy sharing good news with you about all that your children are accomplishing at school.  This is one of the many things I love about teaching!

During our conferences, I am hoping to provide you with a snapshot of your child's adjustment to first grade as well as a quick overview of his/her academic progress.  Based on some very insightful questions that I have received in the first few conferences, I would like to provide a few notes for everyone.

The two formal literacy assessments that we conduct at Mill Run for first graders are the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (Pals) and the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA).  These assessments provide me with a wealth of data that I use to best differentiate reading, writing, and word study instruction for each child.  The Pals website has abundant information about the program, but best of all, it has a tab just for parents.  If you visit:  https://pals.virginia.edu/parents-monthly-activity.html, you will see background information about the assessment as well as ideas for parents to use at home for further enrichment.  

If you are looking for more context regarding your child's DRA score, one tool that is available to parents is "bookwizard" on the scholastic.com website.  Scholastic makes it very easy to search for books within a certain level.  However, please use this with caution!  It is much more important for a child to learn to love reading than to learn to identify with a particular level.  Levels are primarily useful at school in a small group, instructional context.  Also, many children change rapidly from one level to another.  So, for reading at home, please focus primarily on books that make your child happy.  :-)

This week, please remember that Wednesday, October 31 will be Mill Run's Book Character Dress Up Day.  Here are some key reminders:
     *  Students bring their costumes to school and change into them immediately before the parade.
     *  Students should have a copy of the book, the book cover, or a drawing of the book cover to carry during the parade.
     *  Parents arrive at the gym at 1:15 to form the audience for the parade.
     *  The parade will begin at 1:30.
     *  No masks, weapons, or scary items, please!
     *  In class this week, each student will have the chance to tell the class  about how they chose this particular character.

Finally, a huge round of applause goes to our fabulous runners who gave their best during the Run for Mill Run East last week.  I tried to catch photos of each student from our class during the run, but some of them were just too fast for me!  Outstanding!!!


Traci Tyo
10/29/2012 12:21pm

Thank you for letting us know when the blog has been updated, this is a big help!

Alissa Baker
10/31/2012 3:40pm

Thank you for posting the pictures from the Run for Mill Run East to the blog!

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