All About Academics: K-8

October Parent Curriculum Updates from Our Coordinators

Welcome!

Welcome to the inaugural issue of All About Academics: K-8, brought to you by our program coordinators!


We will send newsletters regularly over the course of the school year to keep the community updated.


The academic team values parent input.

We know that you would like to learn more about what is going on in classrooms!

We want to provide you with a comprehensive look.


We have gotten off to a GREAT start to the new school year.

Your students and their teachers have a lot to brag about, as well as some exciting new updates to make a note of in the coming weeks.

------- Content Area Updates -------

English Language Arts and Social Studies

Elementary: WE LOVE TO READ! Check out the book that your child is reading!


  • Share that experience with them to make them better readers.
  • Running Record testing has begun. Contact your child's teacher for the results in a few weeks!
  • Elementary teachers are planning some excellent Social Studies units and are looking forward to inspiring our young minds.


Middle School: Inquiry, reading, analysis, critical thinking! Students are digging deep into literature, history and making meaning of essential questions.


Want to learn more about what your child is learning in ELA or Social Studies?

Contact Dr. Markus: benjamin_markus@greenwich.k12.ct.us, head to our website, or click on the banner below.

Mathematics

We received great feedback from the Big Ideas Parent meetings last month. Thank you for your strong attendance!


Elementary:

  • At this point, students are well into Big Ideas Math and are enjoying both the paper and digital components of the program.
  • Please be on the lookout for the Family Letter that comes home before each chapter. These letters provide you with context, learning targets, and success criteria for the chapter.


Middle School:

  • Middle schoolers started the year with launch units to support prerequisite skills for each course and, in most cases, have now moved into the Big Ideas program.
  • Big Ideas Math is a rigorous program that provides a balance of three essential building blocks:
  1. Conceptual Understanding "discovering why"
  2. Procedural Fluency "learning how"
  3. Application Knowing "when to apply"


Want to learn more about what your child is learning in math?

Contact Mike Reid: mike_reid@greenwich.k12.ct.us, head to our website, or click on the banner below.

Science

Elementary: Students' Science Notebooks K-5 are filled with models, data, evidence, and discovery. Be sure to ask your child: How have you used your science notebook this week?


Middle School: Phenomena, modeling, and projects! Oh my! You may have heard your students talking about models or projects in class. Each unit in middle school science allows students to make their thinking visible, grapple with real-world phenomena, and engage in individual and team projects.


Want to learn more about what your child is learning in science?

Contact Tara Fogel: tara_fogel@greenwich.k12.ct.us, head to our website, or click on the banner below.

K-8 ESOL, FLES & WORLD LANGUAGES

K-8 ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages):

We are happy to welcome approximately 100 new students in K-8 to our district. Languages spoken by our new arrivals include Creole-Cape Verdean, Czech, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish. Now that our screening of new multilingual learners has been completed, we are off to a solid start.


At the elementary level, we reinforce good reading habits while exploring survival vocabulary for our newcomers and autumn-themed vocabulary for our intermediate and advanced multilingual speakers. With the support of Lexia, students are working on reading skills such as summarizing and using cognates to help acquire and understand key character traits. ESOL specialists have been supporting the acquisition of academic vocabulary in content areas such as science and social studies, particularly in the upper elementary grade levels.


At the middle school level, newcomers are getting to know each other and learning how to describe themselves orally and in writing. Our intermediate and advanced multilingual learners are navigating non-fiction texts, more specifically identifying text structures, using context clues, identifying main ideas, and using evidence to support them.


K-8 Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES) and World Language (WL):

In K-2 FLES, students are learning how to identify themselves, colors, numbers, days of the week, months of the year and places around town in the target language.


In 3-5 FLES, students are busy describing themselves, their families, CT geography, sports, and flags of Spanish and French-speaking countries, while they continue to learn how to use Spanish and French to get to know each other.


In grades 3-5 Native Spanish Language Arts, students are reading and writing about authentic fictional literature set in various Spanish-speaking countries.


In Middle School WL (Spanish & French), beginning with preliminary units of study, students continue to refine their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in the context of thematic units such as school life, describing self and family, recreational activities, and health.


In Middle School Spanish Native Language Arts, students are building on their foundational oral and literacy skills to explore themes associated with Hispanic Heritage month, travel, and legends.


Want to learn more about what your child is learning in English for Speakers of Other Languages and World Language?

Contact Adriane Hirsch-Klein: adriane_hirsch-klein@greenwich.k12.ct.us, head to our ESOL or FLES websites, or click on the banner below.

K-8 Arts

Music: Elementary Core Music is off to a great start as students are singing and continuing to focus on being "tuneful, beautiful, and artful" through various learning objectives. We are still working on the logistical details for chorus rehearsals as each school varies in space and rehearsal times. Each school's core music teacher will have further information if your child is interested in participating.


Instrumental Music: Instrumental small group lessons (Orchestra and Band) have started in each school. We are still awaiting PPE for some of our instruments, so students are learning about the proper playing position, care and maintenance specific to their instrument, and the fundamentals of music reading to prepare them for a smooth transition for playing. While there are no formal concerts in the district calendar for December, schools brainstorm creative ways to have students perform and showcase their learning within their school communities.


Visual Arts: Students are back in their art rooms making art this year, and we are thrilled with the various opportunities to visit and see museums in unique and different ways. In addition to virtual museum visits, Old Greenwich School had the opportunity to visit Weir Farm, a National Historical Park in Wilton, CT!


Weir Farm was home and studio to American Impressionist artist J. Alden Weir. Here students toured the park and learned about the history of his work, took a nature hike on the grounds, and created watercolor paintings inspired by their learning and the 60 acres setting. I am looking forward to encouraging other schools to visit this gem in our backyard! This will be a great addition to supporting the visual art curriculum.


Want to learn more about what your child is learning in Music, Visual or Theater Arts?

Contact Laura Newell: laura_newell@greenwich.k12.ct.us, head to our website, or click on the banner below.

Advanced Learning Program (ALP): 2-8

STEM Blocks:

  • Students in ALP Math are accelerating through the new Big Ideas platform. As a result, ALP Students cover a year and a half of content in one grade.


Humanities Blocks:

  • Deep diving into the rigor of literacy, ALP Humanities students are experiencing meaningful connections, challenging texts, and the excitement of new genres. Ask you ALP Humanities student about their learning!
  • Running record testing has begun. Contact your child's teacher for the results in a few weeks!


Advanced Studies, Middle School:

  • Students participating in the Advanced Science Pathway have started working on their projects. Ask them about the scientists they are learning about, the solutions to problems, and project plans.


Want to learn more about Advanced Learning? We have a NEW EMAIL for all things ALP:

advancedlearning@greenwich.k12.ct.us, head to our website, or click on the banner below.

----------- DATES TO KNOW -----------

Board of Education Meeting: October 21

The Academic Team Coordinators and ALP Facilitator will be providing an update on Thursday, October 21 to the Board of Education. Be sure to log in and stay up to date on:

  1. Advanced Learning Programs
  2. Curriculum Management
  3. Academic Achievement

Grade 2 Parents: Advanced Learning

Save the date! Virtual meeting to discuss placement process for Advanced Studies for Grade 2 Enrichment. More information, including links, is forthcoming. You will be invited to attend one session.

  • November 3 at 6:30 PM
  • November 4 at 9:30 AM

Grade 5 Parents: ADVANCED LEARNING MIDDLE SCHOOL

Save the date! Virtual meeting to discuss placement process for Advanced Studies in Grades 6-8. More information, including links, is forthcoming. You will be invited to attend one session.

  • January 3 at 9:00 AM
  • January 3 at 6:30 PM

Academic Curriculum Coordinators

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