September 28, 2015
We made great progress last week. Most students have finished two of their three paragraphs. This week students will finish their 'sloppy copy', have their essay editted and begin typing their final draft.
You may notice your child bringing home the same list two weeks in a row. Students will only move on to the next list after scoring at least 80%. Try to worry about it. Learning is a process. Look for patterns within the words. Each list contains usually two spelling rules.
Thanks to all of the parents who signed up to drive. Please come into to the classroom after to morning assembly to get your list of students and any other info. We will try to leave Achieve right at 8:30.
Parent Help Bootcamp #2
You all are amazing. Thanks for all of the positive feedback last week. Thanks also for the increased effectiveness when working with students. Here is a questions I get every year for classroom help and also homework help.
How much should I help?
It's a tough question, one that teachers think about constantly every day. Here are a few general guidelines. Your help should range from no help at all (tests) to correcting every mistake (editting papers) and everything in between depending on the activitiy.
When helping with most work at home or at school look for teachable moments. Notice that look in the child's eyes when they understand everything you are saying. Stop when they gloss over. If they make 10 spelling mistakes on their homework, correcting all 10 may mean they learn/remember nothing. Look for words you think they will use often or already know from a spelling list.
Another good strategy is to focus on asking questions. You interactions with a group of students during work time could be mostly to all asking questions. "What step comes next?" leads to far more learnig than saying, "Carry the ten." "What is missing?" pushes the student think much more than, "You need a capital and a period." Other ideas include: Could that really make sense? If you add to 8, could it equal 4? Did you completely answer the question? Challenge: Try it! See if you can run your whole group or help you child with homework solely by asking questions!
The last item for consideration when helping students is time. Students are really only learning when working by themselves. Yet, sometimes they cannot do the work and need help. Give a small amount of help and then walk away and let them work it out. Come back 30 seconds to a minute later and check on their progress. Try not to stay with any student very long. One minute is about right for helping a student. Answer their question, or better yet ask them a leading question to get them on the right track, and then walk away.
September 21, 2015
This week stuents will begin writing a 3 paragraph essay about the grandparent they interviewed. We will learn many new writing strategies during this project. Students will learn:
Students will write a rough draft over the next week. I will edit the papers. Then students will type their final draft on google docs.
Each year at the end of our Grandparent Unit we invite all of the grandparents out for a Grandparent's Day celebration. The students will perfom some songs, serve some treats and spend some time with thier grandparents. This year it will be on October 16th at 11:00. Be sure to get this on your parents calendars. They won't want to miss out. More information and invitations from the students are coming soon.
Thank you so much to all of the parents who have been helping in class. This is a very involved class! I came to a realization last week that I have only had one family from this class before. That hasn't happened before. I also realized that for many of you, your second grader is the oldest child in your family. Welcome to having a big kid, not a little kid. They are growing up. Because of this there is some parent help info that I have failed to share, sorry. Here is the first installment of my Parent Help Bootcamp :)
Thanks so much for your willingness to come help in class. It makes our classroom a better place. Coming next time in Parent Help Bootcamp, "How much should I help? What should I have students fix?"