Starting a good conversation about school

Learning is Alive at the Primary

What did you do in school today?

The question that is asked thousands of time over the course of a school year, and with multiple children in a family, many more than that. Typically the response is, "Nothin'".

Then the conversation may stall a bit while we try another tactic or another question that will help with some accountability. I would like you to try being as specific as you can and vary the kind of questions that you ask. Be ready too, with a follow up that asks the son or daughter to think a bit before they answer. Quick replies don't count, you would like a little meat on the answer to chew on. For example, "I read in the newsletter that you had a visit from a gecko today, what can you tell you me about it?" "I saw in your math homelink that you are working on counting money, can you help me count these coins?" If they get it right, they can keep the change, maybe. "Tell me one good thing about school today, (if it's about a non-academic event, be prepared to ask about one of those too.) Getting into a plan where the kids are eager to tell you about their day is ultimate. Sharing ideas with other parents is also good to do-like teachers share strategies about teaching. Best of luck!

Our School Assembly.. . . .

Each month, on the second Wednesday, our school gets together to listen and learn about our school's program and expectations. This past Wednesday we spent our 25 minutes learning about being ready to do our best in school. Things like getting a good night's sleep, a good breakfast, and being ready to go to school are important. Getting organized is another way to be at our best. I told the kids a story about reorganizing our basement storage area with new shelving-what goes where, how to be sure I can find things, what to throw out, how to group things that work together were questions I asked. I talked to them about their cubbies and their desks being ready-keeping folders organized, finding crayons, scissors, glue, etc. easily. We also reviewed how to work hard and focus when doing our MAP tests. I saw the kids this week working hard at these assessments. You would be proud of them.

Guest teachers. . . . .

One of the components of a quality school program is the level of teaching and amount of learning that happens when a guest teacher takes over a classroom. Our school is very fortunate to have a number of guest teachers who deliver the goods when they are here. Class management, following the lesson plans, connecting with the children, correcting work that was assigned, and understanding what our school expects are all aspects of what our guest teachers bring when they are with our students. Our teachers' lesson plans are very detailed and the guests understand that they are to be followed as closely as possible. Our teachers know we are very fortunate to have a list of certified educators who meet our expectations and don't leave more work for our staff when they come back from an illness, professional training, or assessing children. Thanks guest teachers!

MAP Assessments

Our students are in the midst of working on the MAP assessments. I wanted to let you know that I have been observing the kids focusing on their reading tests. They have been taking their time and trying to give the best responses to the questions. The questions become more challenging as the kids give answers, then the computer determines which level of question come next. This takes the kids to a new level of thinking and solving as long as the response is correct. As is our practice, the teachers receive the results within 24 hours and then conduct their own assessment of what teaching should come next to assist the kids based on the results. I am eager to review the results over the weekend. We will continue through the next 8 school days.

Early Start Information.. . . .

Today you will be receiving information about two (2) parent meetings to learn more about and discuss the possibilities of an early start to the school day in our schools. On January 27 at 6:30 PM and February 5 at 7:00 PM, in the Little Theater, Ron Russ, our Supt. will conduct sessions about the concept of beginning the school day earlier than our current start time. Thanks for your consideration in attending.