Caring and Capable Kids
Important educational research has found that self-esteem is one of the key ingredients to success and happiness. Studies have revealed that the attitude your child has about oneself is closely tied to how successful he or she will be in school. The feeling “I can” is a powerful tool!
We strive to be “caring and capable kids” in the lunchroom, on the playground, and in the hallways.
Readers Workshop is a way of structuring the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as help foster children who love to read and write. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while we provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students.
We will spend our first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of the Readers Workshop and fostering our classroom community. We will also spend time learning about your child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction.
Children will be spending most of their time actually reading, which research supports as the number one way to improve reading. We anticipate the motivation and enjoyment of reading will skyrocket when this gift of choosing their own books is accompanied by extended practice and specific reading instruction for each individual child.
Another initiative that goes with our literacy block is the inclusion of word study time. Word study is not a one-size-fits-all instructional program. The uniqueness lies in the critical role of differentiating instruction for different levels of word knowledge. Research spanning over 20 years has taught us that children need to learn the specific features of words as well as the order in which they learn them. This will be not only a spelling curriculum, but also a great way to improve children’s vocabulary.
Your child will receive a set of words that they will use in different activities such as word sorts, word hunts, games and assessments. You can help your child at home by reminding them to practice their word sorts, and explain why they are sorting them in a particular way. We will send home a letter soon explaining more activities you can do with your child to help them with their word study progress.
Your child will continue working in a program called Everyday Mathematics. They will add and subtract three and four digit numbers, memorize multiplication facts, complete a unit on measurement and geometric shapes, continue working on problem solving, and be introduced to fractions and division facts. Throughout the year we will also work on telling time, money, estimating, and graphing.
We would hope that your child has his/her addition and subtraction facts memorized by the beginning of third grade. It is extremely important that you work with them at home if they do not have them memorized.