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.