Dear Parents, Guardians, Family and Friends,

Welcome to a new school year!  I am looking forward to all of the exciting activities and experiences that your child and I will share together this year.  To achieve a successful educational experience, I feel that it is important for you, your child and me as the teacher to work together as a team.  Good communication between home and school is vital to your child’s education. 

Mission Statement
My mission is to help each child become an independent life-long learner.  I want to help them build their self-esteem by teaching them skills they need to feel confident in their academic abilities, and by instilling a sense of pride and satisfaction that comes form doing one’s best.  I will establish high expectations for academics, behavior, work habits, interaction with others, and social skills.  I will help students become self-disciplined and motivated to have these same high expectations for themselves in and out of my classroom. 

I believe that homework is important because it is useful in reinforcing what has been taught in school and provides necessary practice.  It also helps teach students responsibility and how to develop positive study habits needed for their entire school career.

Reading Homework – (It is really important!)
Research shows that the more a child reads and is read to, the better reader he or she will become.  Also, parents/guardians who are good role models as readers raise children who are better readers.  So, if possible, let your child see you reading as well.

Students should read silently or aloud, partner read, or listen to someone else read aloud for at least 15 minutes, 4 nights per week.  Students may take home their library books or reading books.  It is important to give children opportunities for free reading time so that they will learn to appreciate literature, develop positive attitudes toward reading, and be motivated to become better readers and listeners.  Hopefully, students will be enthusiastic about their reading at school and continue reading at home. 

It is also important for you as parents/guardians to read aloud to your children even when children are able to read to themselves.  Researchers recommend reading aloud from a book that is two grade levels above the child’s current reading level.  This helps to broaden their vocabulary so that in the future when your child is reading at that reading level, he or she will be familiar with the words and the definitions.

Our First Topic – Concepts of Print
It may seem very easy for us now, but at some point we all learned how to read.  And the first step in developing the ability to read is to understand the concepts of print.  The first thing your child will be learning about in reading is about this subject.  I will help your child to answer questions like…
  • Where is the cover?
  • Where is the title?
  • Where do I start reading?
  • What does an upper case or “big” letter look like?
  • What does a lower case or “small” letter look like?

It is also important for your child to be involved with these ideas at home.  There are many ways to help your child develop their knowledge of the concepts of print.
  • When reading with your child, hold the book or other text so children can see it. Point to words as you read them.
  • Write in front of your child in such a way that they can read it.
  • When the time seems right, explicitly tell children about particular concepts of print (e.g., “this space here tells you it’s the end of this word”).
  • Have children “help” you with concepts of print: ask questions like “What is the Title?” or “I forgot where is the front of the book?”
  • Take your child to the grocery store with you, but before going have them help you create the list.
  • Make a book with your child using familiar photographs.  You can write it together and read it together, while pointing to the words as you read.
  • Always keep reading to your child.  Let them make predictions of the story before continuing.
  • Create mini games while reading like count the letters or playing Eye-Spy with the words For example, “Eye-Spy a three letter word-and have the child find it.”
  • Use a magnifying glass for a child to act as a “letter detective”
  • Have a family message board. Let your child watch adults leave messages for one another. Read those messages aloud in your child's presence. Write messages to your child. On the day that you are going to visit relatives, write "Today we are going to Grandmother's house!" and show your child the message when he or she awakens in the morning.
  • Develop "to do" lists with your child. Let your child see that you begin at the top of a piece of paper, write from left to right and then return to the left for the next line. Say the words slowly as you write them. You can revisit your list occasionally and let your child cross off what you have completed. 
  • Give your child his or her own calendar. Record special events on the calendar. At the end of each day, talk about what your child did. Let him or her dictate what he or she wishes you to record for the day.
  • Have your child sit next to you at a table and dictate thank you notes for holiday and birthday gifts. Together, write letters to friends and relatives.

Again, I just want to stress to you how important it is for your child to develop a strong grasp of these concepts.  Being able to do so, will help them be better and stronger life-long independent readers.  These are the building-blocks for reading and in order to build up, you need to start with a strong foundation. 

Attached to this letter you will find a few introductory homework assignments I would like for you and your child to start working on together.  Take time to really devote the attention to your child and work with them on this subject.  Spread them out during the week.  The most important thing is make them fun. Developing a positive attitude towards reading now will help to ensure your child's love of reading forever.

Let’s work together to make this a wonderful ear of growth and learning for your child!


Your student's teacher,