Mrs. Bryer's Newsletter

November 5, 2012

Successful week!

The children did great wearing their costumes for book character day. Each character came with a book. Thank you for helping your child connect to literature. The children shared their books and really enjoyed showing them off. To add to that day we saved the movie we earned (10 more compliments from other teachers outside the classroom) to watch during lunch in the classroom. Amazing, on soup day, we had a very clean room when they were finished eating.

The movie they voted to watch was Leapfrog Adventure to the Moon. If you are thinking of stocking stuffers, anything Leapfrog is educational and fun at this age.

Our Mystery Enrichment day was a lot of fun too! We watched a chemistry show in the morning, went on a scavenger hunt, solved riddles, tried to figure out "Who stole the cookies?" and mixed ingredients together to make flubber.


You will mix the first and second mixture completely before mixing them together.

Mixture 1 3/4 cup warm water, food coloring, 1 cup Elmers glue

Mixture 2 1 cup warm water and 2 tablespoons of Borax soap (in the laundry isle)

Possibilities- add glitter for a little sparkle. To work on the fine motor skills add a few small beads that they need to get out of the mix.

Scholastic Book Orders Due Tuesday

If you would like to order from the Scholastic flyers please do so by Tuesday evening. I will be submitting the order Wednesday morning. Remember, if you order online you can earn free books for yourself and for the classroom. Go to and sign in as a parent. Our class activation code is GK7NN. If you earned a $5 coupon from the last order, please remember to use it when you order.

Student Assessments

I am currently working on assessments for the report card. This week I assessed letters and sounds. It was a lot of fun watching the children when they were able to count how many more letters they knew. For those familiar with Starfall (, we use it during our computer station. I have copied the letter screen and the children are able to add a sticker when they know the upper and lowercase letter as well as the isolated sound and/or a word beginning with the sound. While at the computer station, the children are focusing on the letters in their name without stickers and then A-D.

Next week I will assess reading levels as well as math skills for this six weeks. Thank you to those who have been practicing counting to 100. Those kids were very excited that they were able to get to 100! Others, are almost there. The goal by the end of the 2nd six weeks is 50.

Homework Bags

Any books that come home, generally photocopied, should be added to the
Homework Skill bag and practiced. These are books we have worked on in class. Your child should be able to read them to you. Remember, beginning reading is memorizing the text. Knowing that the words stay the same, a group of letters is a word, and I run my finger under the words to read. When I get to the end of the words, I am done reading. When your child is reading to you, allow them time to correct errors. They are learning to use their picture clues and listen to what they are reading. Does it make sense? When given the opportunity, they will most likely go back and fix it. If they do not, simply ask if it makes sense.

After I finish assessing, I will send a summary of skills your child can work on during "Homework Time". Working 2-3 times each week for just 10-15 minutes will give them the practice they need.

Reading Routine

IF you haven't done so already, put reading into your daily schedule. Once it is a routine, it is hard to forget. There are nights that I would rather just send my guys straight to bed but they are so used to reading as part of the bedtime ritual that it is easier to read than justify not reading. I know there are nights that things don't go as planned. On the nights that my husband is working, I get my oldest to read to my middle child. My middle child reads to the baby, and I read to my oldest. He is in 3rd grade but still cherishes the time we spend reading at night. He is a great reader but still enjoys the discussions we have with more complex topics. It is great to see how his mind interrprets the text.

Some things to remember:

Reading To books should be at a higher reading level but at their comprehension level. These books introduce new vocabulary with some picture support. Children that have a strong vocabulary in relation to their world, often have an easier time learning to read. They are able to use their context clues to figure out unfamiliar words because they know what makes sense.

Reading With books are books your child will begin to pick up and read to you. These are books with high picture support, repetition, and high frequency words for some time. When you child starts reading with you, it is not the time to stop reading to them. It is important that you find time to share the task of reading. Your modeling of fluency (rate at which you read) and expression are important for your child.

Reading By When your child first begins reading to you they will begin by reading the pictures. This is GREAT! Being able to use the pictures in the book to grasp the message from the author/illustrator is important. We practice this through picture walks. We don't even look at the words the first time we look at a book. We walk through and talk about the pictures. When we go back and begin reading, the support layed gives them the skills to make sense of the words.