After administering assessments with our students in the fall, we look for two things: areas to celebrate and areas in which to grow.

Our celebrations are many, including and not limited to 84% of our students coming into school where they should be as readers, as well as over 90% of 5th grade students proficient in reading.

Two areas we will work on are:

  1. Reading and writing lots of authentic texts, and
  2. Bringing in more nonfiction reading and writing into instruction.

Regarding nonfiction text, as a faculty we will address this area of growth throughout the school year. Anticipated actions include acquiring more nonfiction texts in our classroom libraries, using personal stories as springboards for real narrative writing, and using authentic books as high quality models for how students can also write.

Of course, we cannot do this alone. Families can be just as important in this work. Here are some initial ideas for digging into nonfiction texts beyond school.


  • When taking your child(ren) to the library, try to check out as many nonfiction as fiction books.
  • At times, choose nonfiction books to read aloud to your kids at home.
  • Encourage your children to read the world around them, such as directions on a toy box or signs in the community.
  • Model yourself as a reader of nonfiction, such as the newspaper, magazines, biographies, and historical texts.


  • Whenever possible, have your children make the list for basic tasks such as grocery shopping and errands to run. Don’t worry about spelling with this type of writing; just get them writing.
  • When your children receive a gift, have them write the thank you letters to relatives and friends. Also consider party invitations.
  • Buy small notebooks or journals and encourage them to keep a diary of their thoughts.
  • Engage your children to write through technology, such as writing email messages back and forth with a relative who lives far away.

For both reading and writing, take your kids to different points of interest. Having experiences at zoos and museums, for example, provides opportunities for kids to build background knowledge about the world. This gives them more ideas to write about and more concepts to connect with regarding their reading.

Thank you for being a partner in our efforts to ensure that everyone at Mineral Point Elementary is a reader and writer!



This is Matt’s eighteenth year in public education. He started as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in a country school outside of Wisconsin Rapids, WI. After seven years of teaching, Matt served as an assistant principal, athletic director, and building principal all in Wisconsin Rapids. As an elementary principal with the Mineral Point Unified School District, he enjoys working with students, staff, and families in their collective pursuit of lifelong learning.