On Tuesday, September 18, 2007, open school day was held. Seven parents were able to make it. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend!! :)
Open school day was an invitation to parents and guardians to the classroom to meet your child's teacher and become informed about what is going on in the classroom. Here's a quick recap of things that were discussed during this meeting.
I am here to help your child become a successful learner and productive citizen in society. I see us (meaning you and me) as a team. Therefore, I want our lines of communication to always be open. I will keep you informed about your child's strengths and weaknesses and you can keep me updated on anything you're noticing about your child that you'd like me to know--whether it's positive or negative. I will post my hours of conferencing on another page in this site.
I teach Reading, Writing, Math, Social Studies, and Gym. There is a Science teacher and a Library teacher that the students get to see three times a week. In short, each subject (minus gym) is taught using what's called "the workshop model". This simply means that for the first of a 45 minute period, a mini-lesson is taught to the whole group on the rug. Studens learn a skill or concept. Then they go off to their work tables for 15-30 minutes to apply the skill either on their own, with a partner, or in a group. While they are working, I walk around and work with students on a one to one basis. Sometimes I'll work with a student or a group on a separate table if I feel they will benefit from an additional lesson and the rest of the class can stay engaged with their assignment. The last 5-10 minutes of the 45 minute period is spent on share time. This means that I select one or more students to share their work. They explain to the class what they did and how they did it and what they learned. This provides students with the opportunity to proudly show off their work and gain practice verbalizing their learning process.
For reading, students are presently not learning decoding skills. After evaluating their comprehension from read alouds, I discovered that students need to spend time examining the pictures of the books they read. If students are not able to discuss what they are seeing in pictures, this will present a problem when it comes time to actually read the words--which are associated with the happenings in the pictures. For homework you will notice that I request one day of simply taking a "picture walk". This means that all students should do is look at the pictures in each page and talk about what they see, predict what is going to happen next, explain why they think certain things are happening, and naming objects or places they see. This builds relevant background information that will help them when it comes time to read the words.
For writing, students are learning to tell stories about themselves and represent their stories with drawings and writing. I explained to parents that kindergarten writing has several different appearances depending on their stage of development. Students have already been told that their writing may look like scribbles (1), random letters (2), letters that represent the sounds they hear in the words they want to write (3), and writing that contains a blend of sight words and invented spelling (4).
Our math program is hands-on, meaning that students learn a skill and apply it through the use of manipulatives and or games. Wow, this is such a condensed version of our discussion. Please feel free to stop by during my conferencing hours if you'd like to chat some more about our programs.
Gym is on Tuesdays and Fridays is reserved for Health Education. Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately on Tuesdays for gym. If you'd like to purchase gym uniforms, order forms have already been sent out. If you need a new one, let me know.
There's a supply list section somewhere here, so I won't go into details about it. But, I will explain what some of the supplies are used for.
The 5 folders are for each of the subjects taught: Reading, Writing, Math, Social Studies, and Homework. Work is stored in the folders until the end of the year. During parent teacher conferences, you will have the chance to look into their folders and see the kind of work your child is doing. Also, at the end of the year students will be putting their work in porfolios. This will allow you to see their progress from the beginning of the year up to the end.
The two notebooks are needed for classwork and for homework. The homework book goes home and is to be brought the next day so that I can check it. The classwork book stays in school for....classwork.
Our next scheduled meeting is parent/teacher conference, which will be held in November. But, feel free to pay me a visit sooner!