Mrs. Hernandez's Family News

January 4-8, 2015

Important Dates & Upcoming Events

Happy New Year to Each of You!


Dates for Planning Ahead:


Jan. 18, 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Jan. 29, 2016 100th Day of School Celebrations

Feb. 15, 2016 Professional Learning Day-No School for Learners

March 21-28, 2016 Spring Break Holidays

April 25, 2016 Professional Learning Day-No School for Learners

May 26, 2016 Last Day for Students

Reflections of The First Semester from Mrs. Hernandez

Learning Families,


It is simply so hard for me to believe how fast this school year is flying by. Its seems like yesterday that we began, and yet here we are beginning our second semester. As you know, I have become quite fond of your sweet children and I am amazed at how much they have grown physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually in such a few short months. During the last two weeks, I have spent some time reflecting about our year thus far and what I have concluded is that it is truly my purpose to make sure that when our learners leave me, they have a sense of wonder, a sense of discovery, and the tools that they need in order to have ownership of their learning.


When I interviewed with Dr. Freeman last February, I said to her that I needed this, I needed to have hope in education again. I needed to feel that children were actually learning and not just regurgitating information that they had memorized. I needed to feel effective and I needed for it to be about the learners and not about some political agenda or report that needed to "show" improvement. What I have observed these last few months is simply amazing. I have seen young learners research topics of their choosing, I have seen them create using all sorts of tools, I have seen them learn through failure, and I have seen them light up when they realized that they finally got it! I have to tell you, it brings tears to my eyes when I see our learners actually exemplifying the PRS mission of truly thinking, innovating, and creating,


As I reflected, I realized something very intricate to the Pike Road Way and it became very clear to me one day early in December when I was playing a math game with one of my learners. We were playing a game that requires the player to roll two dice and add the two numbers together. This learner is pretty fluent with addition, so in order to challenge him further, I required that he multiply the sum by three. I explained that multiplying by three simply meant that he needed to add the number three times. So after I rolled a twelve, and determined that the answer was thirty-six, he rolled an eleven. As he sat there , wheels turning, trying to calculate the answer in his head, I became worried that he was beginning to struggle so I sort of gave him a little hint. He then looked at me with such confidence and said, "No Mrs. Hernandez, I know an easier way. I can just subtract three from that number as he pointed to thirty-six." WOW! I was literally taken aback and after reflecting about that moment for many weeks, I realized that if that learner had been in a traditional setting, his first grade teacher may have never known that he had the ability to compute on such a high level, simply because he may not had the opportunity to exhibit that sort of intellectual ability by completing a grade-level worksheet.


Through my reflections, I have come to realize that it is not so much about the end result, but it is about the true learning and understanding that comes from the struggle, the contemplation, the thinking, and the engagement that is so important. Sure, our learners are learning to read, to write, to add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc. However, it is so much more! They are becoming thinkers, engineers, researches, artists, scientists, publishers, and learners that will have the tools they need as they grow older because the foundations are being laid right now in the first grade.


So in conclusion, as we enter this second semester, I am beyond excited to see what is to come. I plan to facilitate in such a manner that I encourage them to go to the next level and truly own their learning and truly understand that their best teacher is , not me but, themselves. I want to thank you for sharing your precious children with me and it is my honor to serve them. I thank you for your amazing support and your sincere appreciation for what we do each day. Please know I can't do it without you. I appreciate you and I look forward to the New Year and all of the new learning that is going to occur.


Yours truly,

Alicia

Take a Look at Some of Our Learning from our Winter Holidays Trip Around the World

Look What PRS is Getting For Christmas! A Playground!

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