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Letter from Principal Kloss, Jan. 13

Filed in Archive by on January 13, 2017

January 13, 2017

Dear Elsmere Families,

Are you feeling helpful? Dependable? Creative? If so, maybe your children get their strengths from you. This week, students have considered their own strengths and how they want to grow. Check out our huge hallway bulletin board to see how your children describe themselves.

Congratulations to our fifth graders on their graduation from the DARE program this week. Joined by local dignitaries including DARE officer Ken Beck, students committed themselves to making safe and productive life choices. We believe in you!

Younger students were treated to a short concert on Thursday as they enjoyed the fourth and fifth grade choir dress rehearsal led by Mrs. Guyon. Everyone is invited to the Elsmere Winter Concert next Tuesday at 7:00 in the High School auditorium.

There will be no school on Monday as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his contributions to our world. His beliefs and practices have been a topic of conversation in classes lately. Parents are encouraged to talk about peaceful problem solving and equality with children. Sometimes children’s honesty and natural appreciation of differences often can teach us important lessons.

A few years ago, our reading teacher Mrs. Lasky and I attended a wonderful reading conference where we learned some terrific strategies for helping children become better readers. The best news is that this is something we can all be a part of. In fact, studies show that usually the more time children spend reading both at school and at home, the better readers they become. Really, it that’s simple!

So what should this reading time at home look like? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Turn on the closed-caption option on your TV – hey, more opportunities for reading.
  2. Make a pledge to read with your child every day. At least 20 minutes a day is best. Set a goal and have fun this!
  3. Practice reading something such as a poem, a famous speech or a picture book, then put on a performance. Re-reading text helps to develop fluency which leads to greater comprehension and more success in general.
  4. For more challenging text, try “I read, we read together, you read”.  Again, re-reading helps build fluency. Talk about the hard words: what they mean, what words they remind you of (that’s Greek and Latin roots, parents!) then try to use these words in conversation.
  5. Load up your home with great things to read – join our 1,000 Books program, visit the library, swap books with a friend, subscribe to a magazine, e-books are fine too.
  6. Enjoy reading! If progress seems slow, consider the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Have a wonderful, reading-filled three-day weekend.


Kate Kloss