From the Principal's Pen
May 12, 2019
On behalf of all the teachers and staff and as a recipient of the flowers, gifts, loving notes, breakfast treats, healing sessions, luncheon, survival kits, and an amazing coffee cart, I’d like to add my heartfelt appreciation to all of our parent volunteers that made us all feel so appreciated this week. The flowers were beautiful, the notes were heartfelt, the gifts were generous and the food was delicious. Thank you to all who prepared, served, and cleaned up. You are truly wonderful! We are blessed with an amazing parent community here at Julian Curtiss. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to provide us with all of these special treats! We feel loved and appreciated!
Trish McGuire, Brenda Brush and the JC Staff
IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR KINDERGARTEN PARENTS
Let's talk about...SPELLING!
Spelling instruction and practice are a hot topic among teachers and parents alike. Here are some answers to some common questions about spelling:
Why are children permitted to spell words incorrectly?
Invented spellings are the result of children's spelling development. Rather than simply providing children with the correct spelling of a word, teachers encourage children to use what they know about letters and sounds to spell. The goal is to have children work through the relationship between sounds and letters and internalize common spelling patterns. We expect children to apply this knowledge to other words as well. A teacher does not encourage children to make up the spellings; instead, the teacher guides children to use knowledge and experience to spell the word to approximate the correct spelling. This is why we no longer administer weekly spelling tests since children progress through developmental spelling levels at varying rates.
There are “trick words” such as “was, want, the, should” that children are held responsible for always spelling correctly. These can be found on large word walls inside your child’s K-2 classrooms and are directly taught using a multi-sensory approach. Trick Words can’t be sounded out and don’t follow typical spelling patterns.
In addition to guiding natural spelling development, teachers have strategic plans for teaching their children to become confident spellers (Templeton & Morris. 1999). The strategic plan is laid out at JC through our research-based word study curriculum materials from Fundations and Words their Way.
When should I help my child correct a misspelled word?
This is a difficult question to answer because many variables must be considered. Much of this decision is based on knowing the developmental level of the child's spelling. For instance, a child in the phonetic stage of spelling development should not be expected to spell irregularly spelled words (such as through or could) correctly. However, that child should be expected to correctly spell words such as cat or mop, in which each phoneme represents a distinct grapheme and the spelling pattern is within their age expected level. A parent could also help guide a child to more closely approximate an incorrect spelling to the conventional one. (eg. thig/thing). To honor and encourage the child's writing attempt is more important than it is to correct the misspellings. If a child is too worried about spelling everything correctly it can hinder their ability to write fluently and creatively.
Will my child continue to misspell words the wrong way if errors are not corrected?
Typically, children are aware that misspellings exist in their written pieces, and teachers talk to children about ''kid spelling" and “'book spelling." Children understand that their writing is acceptable at times, but that "book spelling" is warranted at other times. As students gain automaticity with patterns in words they will begin to spell words with greater accuracy.
Adapted From: Explorations in developmental spelling: Foundations for learning and teaching phonics, spelling, and vocabulary by Donald Bear and Shane Templeton
IMPORTANT CALENDAR NOTES
Last Day of School for Students
Smarter Balanced and NGSS Assessments for Grades 3-5
Please do your best not to make appointments for your child that will take him/her away from the grade level assessment time. Also, please ensure that your child arrives at school on time, well rested, and has a good breakfast. On testing days, grade levels follow the schedule below:
Grade 3: 8:45 am - 10:15 am
Grade 4: 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Grade 5: 10:45 am - 12:15 pm
Spring Concert Update
2019 GPS Family Engagement Survey
The 2019 GPS Family Engagement Survey was launched this past Monday, April 29th. You were sent an email directly from the Panorama Education Team with an individualized link. After the launch email, Panorama will send three reminder messages with the individualized links to families that have not yet completed the survey. The surveys and messages will be sent in English and Spanish. As of Thursday, May 9th, Julian Curtiss has received surveys from approximately 24% of our families. Our goal is to have at least 50% of our families answer the survey. The more families that participate, the better understanding we will have of how effective our engagement and communication efforts have been and where to focus our future efforts. Please be on the lookout for this email and take a few minutes to answer this important survey. The survey will be open until Monday, May 13th.