Grade 1
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Dear First Grade Families,
We are looking for Mystery Readers to share their love of reading with us this year.  This year we will welcome our Mystery Reader into our classroom on Fridays at 1:00.  If you would like to surprise your first grader by coming to read to us, we’d love to have you!  Here’s the scoop on becoming a Mystery Reader:
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What is a Mystery Reader?
A mystery reader is someone who comes into the classroom to read a book (or books) to the class.  They are a "mystery" because the children do not know who is coming-it is a surprise!  Please help to keep this a surprise and don't tell your child that you are coming.  It's very hard for 6 and 7 year olds to keep this a mystery, and they usually end up revealing the surprise to their classmates if they know.
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Who can be a Mystery Reader?
First grade parents, older siblings, grandparents, relatives, or other special people may volunteer to read a story to our class. The goal is to remain a “mystery” so that even your own child is surprised to learn who our weekly Mystery Reader will be!
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What does a Mystery Reader do?
Things all Mystery Readers should know to prepare for their visit:  The week prior to your visit, we will send you a reminder, along with a request for five clues to be read to the students, one per day. They should be 5 clues that start general and become more specific. By the fifth clue, your child should be able to guess that you are the special mystery reader for the day!  The mystery reader should plan to arrive at 12:55.  Check into the office upon your arrival and the office will call up to the class and let us know you are here. The class will be eagerly anticipating your arrival!  Mystery readers are welcome to choose any age-appropriate book to read to the class.  You should bring a book (or two) of your choice or if you would like to borrow a selection from our classroom library, you are welcome to do so.  You can read a short chapter book or several books that are all connected in some way (same author, same genre).  Thirty minutes is a long time, so you should plan a lengthy book and read slowly, stopping often to ask questions or engage them in the read aloud (all things that I'm sure you do on a normal basis reading with your child). Some readers may select favorite stories from their childhood.  In the past, (my kindergarten teaching years) some mystery readers planned activities or crafts to go along with their stories and brought in costumes or props related to the story but it is not necessary to do so.  However, if you choose to, you should plan for your reading and the time it will take for the craft or activity to fit that 30 minute block.  No matter what you choose to do, we are sure that we will enjoy spending time learning with you!
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How can I sign up to be a Mystery Reader?
A sign up sheet will be available on Back to School Night and I will get back to you to confirm your date.  The program will start in October.  Please see me, send an e-mail or drop me a "secret" note if you have any further questions.  Thanks so much for participating in this exciting program and sharing your love of books with our class.
The Academy of
St. James of the Marches
400 Totowa Road
Totowa, NJ, 07512




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The Academy of St. James
400 Totowa Road, Totowa, New Jersey 07512
Phone: 973.956.8824
Fax: 973.956.9430