How do you involved parents (and other family members) in the classroom?  In my classroom we have Mystery Readers!  I've been meaning to post about Mystery Readers forever (great intentions, right?)

In the beginning of the school year I invite parents to sign up to come in throughout the year and be a Mystery Reader in the classroom.  The expectations of parents are very simple.  I ask them to choose a date, send me some clues about themselves in advance, bring in a book to read to the class, and keep it all a secret from their first grader!

The great part for me is that I can set the schedule in advance, according to our school calendar.  I have Mystery Readers in about twice a month, at the end of the day on Fridays.  This takes only about 15 minutes of our classroom time, but it is worth SO much more to the kids when their family member walks in to read!  

Once the schedule is set, all I have to do is email the Mystery Reader about a week ahead of time, remind them of their scheduled date, and ask them to reply with five clues about themselves.

During the week I reveal one clue each day during Morning Meeting.  I ask parents to send me clues that start off generic, and get more specific.  By the end of the week my first graders can usually figure out who is going to walk through the door in the afternoon.  Clues might include things like:

I have one son and one daughter.
My favorite food is pizza.
We have two dogs and one cat.
I work as a nurse in a pediatrician's office.
My favorite family vacation is our annual camping trip to the Adirondack's.

My firsties LOVE having their family members in to read to the class!  Usually my Mystery Readers bring their child's favorite book to read, and their child just lights right up.

I also love that extended family gets involved too.  I've had parents, grandparents, and even aunts/uncles in to read to the class!

I try to make sure to take pictures of each Mystery Reader and I include these in our Video Yearbook at the end of the year.  It's such a special memory for those families.

Want to start having Mystery Readers in your classroom?  Just {Click HERE} for a FREE editable schedule!  You can insert a text box with your available dates, or just handwrite them in.  I know your class will love it just as much as mine!

Happy Reading!
Valentine's Day is over and I am officially on February break.  One glorious week off in the middle of this dreaded winter weather, wahoo!!!

Not only was this the week leading into break (and the kids knew it), but it was filled with Valentine's Day activities… AND a full moon.  Yikes.  We were all pretty ready for early dismissal yesterday by the time 12:15 rolled around.

Here are some of the fun activities we worked on this week to celebrate…

Of course we read my favorite Valentine's Day read aloud, Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch.  This is such a touching story.  If you don't own it, I highly recommend you put it on your wish list!

We have been working on opinion writing this month.  This week, we decided whether we preferred Sweethearts or Sweet Tarts.    

This activity came from Susan Jones' Be Mine, Valentine pack.  I LOVE all her writing activities!

For word work, we worked on our Valentine's Day QR Code - Read the Room.  They especially loved the picture of Cupid and all week kept telling me they'd been hit by Cupid.

In reading group, we practiced Sweetheart Synonyms.

Of course, we passed out Valentines.  There was A LOT of loot!

My 200 Follower Giveaway has ended, and the winner is Lori R.  
Be sure to check your email Lori!
And thanks to all who participated.  I can't wait to get to the next blogging milestone!!!

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