Dear Parent:
        This year, I begin my 23nd year as a teacher.  I am so happy to be teaching your child this year!  I welcome back the eighth graders who seem so much bigger than they did in June, and welcome the new seventh graders to my classroom as they embark upon the wonderful world of Italian!
      For some, learning a second language is comes easily.  For others, not so much.  I have included a Learning styles inventory test for your child(ren) to take in order to determine what type of learner s/he is.  This knowledge can help me as well as your child to discover the best instructional and studying strategies for your child so that s/he will be a successful learner, not only in Italian, but in other subjects as well. 
       Your child has the responsibility of paying attention in class, completing all assignments and letting me know if there is a problem that might interfere with his/her learning.  I am here for your child. 
      We have spent some time on different study techniques.  It is up to your child to study every night, not just for a test or quiz.  This helps to reinforce what was learned in class, aids in memorization, and provides the opportunity for your child to see how much s/he understands the material.  Many students have found it helpful to make flashcards, rewrite notes, color code notes, or record vocabulary into a device which they can play back  many times.  There are many helpful suggestions for students' success in studying for Italian in the folder on this webpage titled "Learning Style Inventory and Study suggestions" .  Please take some time to read them and suggest them to your child. 
       Please be involved in your child's education; helping to quiz a child on vocabulary or even to have them explain their notes to you would assist in reinforcing the material and might also help you to see where there are difficulties, if any.  Who knows, you might even learn some Italian in the process!
      Please help your child to learn to balance his/her time, to put things into perspective, and to become more independent learners.  It is so important for children (actually for all of us!) to quiet themselves and reflect on their day;  this enables them to see what they have learned, think back on their actions, make connections, and also to make right something they might have done wrong during the day.  Reflection leads to deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
      You and I are partners whose main concern is your child's well being and education; it is crucial that we communicate so that we can do what is best for your child.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns or questions you might have, and I shall do the same. (Please email me with times at which I can call you.)
       I look forward to being with your child this year to help him/her along his/her journey from childhood to adolescence. It's a bumpy, but a fun ride! May you have a wonderful year with your child.
    Mari-Celeste Massaro