I sent a note home to my parents yesterday to let them know what we will be doing in class for the next nine weeks. I also let them know that this is the most important learning time of the year. It has been my experience that most children will develop the skills they need for first grade within the next few weeks. After that it is just a matter of improving and increasing skills and becoming stronger students. The crucial “pass or fail” window is about March 1. Most students who are still struggling don’t magically improve later in the year. Spring brings warmer weather, later hours, sports, and less time spent on homework. My students will be distracted and less motivated in April than any other month of the year.
So…this is my chance to teach, teach, teach. This is my opportunity to take these little minds as far down the path as possible. I hope their parents understand my sense of urgency.