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We are so excited about going back to school!

My name is Ms. Colbran and I will be your childs teacher this year for Grade 6. I have had the privilege of teaching at
Wilson Elementary School for two years now. I love our school and I love that I have the opportunity to get to know your
child over the coming year.

My hope for this letter is to communicate to you the importance of reading I hold in my classroom and to inform you of
the strategies I will use to enhance your childs reading and writing.

Literacy is a shared responsibility, we all must work together to foster literacy development in our schools (Alberta
Education, 2010).

Reasons why reading is essential for student learning:
is a fundamental skill that creates life-long learners
and increases engagement in learning
has the ability to develop language skills and improve memory
helps students learn to listen and discover new
builds student imagination and improves spelling
Key components of learning to read:
Decoding Students will gain a deeper knowledge of words and improve their ability to
manipulate sounds and letters, and understand their connection
Reading fluency Students will expand their ability to read with accuracy. Practicing this skill will increase
their reading speed, which will require students to use multiple reading skills at the same time
Vocabulary development Students knowledge of words and their
definitions will be demonstrated through assignments and activities in class. As students expand their
vocabulary, they learn to connect their oral vocabulary to their reading vocabulary. This is an ongoing process
Reading Comprehension Students understanding of the meaning in a text will grow through the year with
practice and repetition

I believe it is important that students practice these components at school and at home. I have noted some suggested at
home readings for the students to practice these key components.

Readings that will be introduced in class:
Readings suggestions for at home:
The White Mountains By John Christopher
Bridge to Terabithia By Katherine Paterson
Tuck Everlasting By Natalie Babbitt
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (#4) By J.K
In Flanders fields: The story of the poem by John
McCrae By Linda Granfield and Janet Wilson
All Creatures Great and Small By James Herriot
Ella Enchanted By Gail Carson Levine
Waiting for Normal By Leslie Connor
Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl By Anne Frank
Gravity By Leanne Lieberman
Holes By Louis Sachar
Alberta Education. (2010). Retrieved October 19, 2016, from https://www.education.alberta.ca/

Comprehension Strategies:
High 5!
The High 5! Strategy consists of 5 steps:
o Step 1: activating the students prior knowledge
o Step 2: generating and answering questions to further their comprehension of the reading (By themselves,
their peers, and by me)
o Step 3: students will analyze the text structure. This can be done in many different forms, one way I find most
successful is by using a web or list to identify key ideas, which I will teach the students how to use effectively
o Step 4: creating a mental image of the text for a further understanding
o Step 5: summarizing the important information and discarding irrelevant information
This a proven successful strategy that I will use to develop and improve your childs literacy development

Putting the High 5! Strategy into practice: One of our units in science is about trees and forests, so we will be focusing
on articles and books about forestry over the next few weeks and will be following those five steps. Students will have
the opportunity for further practice of the High 5! process with homework hand-outs.

Grade 6 students have the
highlight the humor in books,
Reading to self
opportunity to read stories with
introduce new vocabulary, and
I will allot a chunk of time each
the grade 2 class. Students will
teach critical listening.
day for the students to choose
learn to mentor, to adopt
something to read for 20 minutes.
Picture books
strategies from the other
Daily practice is essential for our
Using picture books in my lessons,
students, and to work
brains to develop. The more we
and having them available in my
cooperatively with others.
feed our brains with experiences
class is an effective way to pique
of reading will activate many areas
Listening/audio books
the interest of many adolescent
of the brain. Practice also makes
In most cases, I will have audio
students. Picture books are short
perfect; the more the students are
books available for any students
but have the ability to be
exposed to reading and the more
who wish to use them. Using
extremely meaningful. This is also
time we spend practicing, the
audiobooks can be a benefit to all
a great way to engage the
better they will become at it.
children at any grade level.
students who arent huge fans of
Audiobooks can be used to
long written novels. Picture
Partner/buddy reading
introduce students to books which
books are reader friendly.
As a school, we have started a
are above their reading level,
reading buddy program where the

I will have available many different types of literature in my classroom, for use in independent reading, as well as for
incorporating in my lessons. Some of those options include: Newspapers, magazines, picture books, and novels. As well,
many different genres will be available to all the students. Integrating technology into my classroom is another way I
plan to enhance each students knowledge and appreciation for reading.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter.
I look forward to partner with you in your childs continued success in school, in learning, and soaring to new heights!

Words which are spoken and/or written are the building blocks of life. - Unknown


Ms. Katie Colbran

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me
Phone: (403)-777-1522
Email: kcolbran@weschool.ca
Alberta Education. (2010). Retrieved October 19, 2016, from https://www.education.alberta.ca/