Thursday, December 15, 2016

ALL kids will only succeed as readers if WE are "ALL" in!

Parents, teachers, tech tools: working together for student achievement
by Sharon Davison | Apr 28, 2015 | Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, Voices

"What a wonderful surprise I had in my Gmail yesterday! I have been sick and many of my students have been out as well. So one of my innovative parents decided to create and connect Kindergarten at home with her child who was not well.

The reason I am posting about this is because as a teacher, I am able to model explicitly how I use digital tools, but also more importantly how they can offer an opportunity to connect and engage when you are not able to come to school.

Parents working alongside teachers
In my classroom parents understand that the blogs I use are ways for them to connect, reflect with their child and engage in the learning. So because this parent looked at our class blog, she was able to connect the learning happening in Kindergarten with her own child. I love this because it reflects and displays so beautifully the seamlessness that blogging can offer. As an educator I want my students and their families to be a part of our daily learning. When this is encouraged, parents feel welcomed to engage. Through our ability to model this and offer invitations to extend learning outside of our classrooms parents begin to work alongside us, the teachers who are working hard each day to make a difference for all of our students."

We have been reading a variety of texts and creating our own persuasive writing pieces. One of the things I love about Kindergarten is how excited my students are when we read together. Through reading a story out loud and making it interactive I am able to model and make connections. My students pick up on this right away! During our turn and talks everyone is excited to share,participate, reflect and engage in their own writing to share their point of view!"

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

What Does My Child Do in School All Day?

Parents need to be partners in their child's learning/education.  I want to encourage parents to learn about their child's school day.  What is the child learning in reading, writing, social studies, science?

Here is one resource that might be helping in learning about reading.  It is based on the Common Core State Standards:

Read Works
Educational institutions join forces with literacy nonprofit
"Literacy nonprofit ReadWorks, the most consulted creator and provider of ELA curriculum in the U.S., announced partnerships with several leading cultural and educational institutions that will give teachers access to high-quality content, free of charge. The news comes shortly after ReadWorks surpassed the one million Active Teacher User mark for the school year."

Here are a few other suggestions:

Get engaged in your child's education by volunteering if possible.  If not, try to visit at least once a trimester or quarter.

Check to see if your child's teacher has a blog. 

Take an interest in the papers/work your child brings home. Just in case the child doesn't bring home papers, check to see the child's reading folder/bin while visiting the school.

Ask your child's teacher for recommendations for children's books or authors.

Read all progress reports.  As for a conference if you don't understand them or are concerned about your child's progress.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Starting Early Matters; What YOU Know Matters

I don't usually post this kind of K-12 resource on the TALK blog, but if we really want to help children to grow in their language/literacy/learning skills, we need to know as much as we can about

What kids know.

So, take a look at the Knowledge Matters site and follow through to the Seize the Day posts.

Knowledge Matters Resources.  What You Know DOES Matter.

Go to Dig Deeper
And then click on Seize the Day:
Continue on to Resources for Parents (There are Teacher Resources, too!)
There are several links that give you a quick sketch (video) of what children know in reading writing, math and life skills in grades K through High School.  Knowing what kids CAN do is critical to knowing what we should be possible for kids who are struggling.  

So check out Seize the Day resources:

“All of us can spend more time—at school and at home—teaching our children about the world. We can seek out nonfiction videos and texts, discuss current events, and make time for museums and libraries. We can also share this infographic showing why knowledge matters and use this guide to improve curricula and instructional materials.

Resources for Parents
From reading books aloud to visiting museums to asking teachers for more knowledge-building assignments, parents can do a great deal to ensure that their children build the knowledge that they need to do well in school.
Milestones Videos  Especially valuable!....especially if you aren't sure of that Kindergartners or Third Grades, for example, are able to do:

This extensive set of short videos show parents what grade-level work looks like from kindergarten to high school.

There are also:

Resources for Teachers
These resources are recommended by teachers for knowledge-rich instruction—and most of them are free.