October 2015 Newsletter
for Archer & Allen Jay Elementary
Explaining the Unexplainable
Do you know your Human Rights?
Students are working on figuring out what human rights are violated in different areas and how we can be an advocate for human rights. They are reading many different articles about workers' rights and the right to an education. We will be having a Socratic Seminar where the students will discuss the human rights and their importance.
You can view videos about human rights here: http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/what-are-human-rights.html
Math Quest (4th and 5th Grade Math)
The students continue to travel through an imaginary land where they are learning how to work cooperatively to solve math problems using different strategies. We are working on being able to clearly explain our thinking when problem solving. So we are incorporating a written explanation to accompany our answers.
We are going to be working on these Problem Solving Strategies this month:
- Make and Table or Chart
- Look for a Pattern
- Work Backwards
- Act It Out
3rd Grade Whole Class Services
The CogAT test will be on October 6th-8th. The students and I have been working on a variety of thinking skills. These thinking skills will help them understand how to solve problems that they will see on the CogAT.
We are practicing analogies, equation building, classifying (putting into groups), paper folding, and figure matrices. Some of these skills can be reviewed at http://www.gcsnc.com/pages/gcsnc/Departments/Academically_Gifted/Elementary_Curriculum/3rd_Grade_Thinking_Skills
2nd Grade Talent Development
Each 2nd grade classroom will receive 7 lessons on a variety of thinking skills to help identify students who may benefit from Talent Development services for this year only.
We are working on patterning, sorting by attributes (color, size, shape, thickness, etc), classifying, analogies, and equation building.
Students who show great analyzing skills for these different lessons may have the opportunity to continue to build those skills during enrichment lessons later in the year. Parents of these students will be notified once we complete the whole class lessons. At Archer pullout classes will begin in a few weeks.
Social/Emotional Corner from the AG Department
Simple Solutions for Collaboration between Home and School
When gifted children struggle in school, they often have no other advocate than their parents. Parents attending workshops often ask, “What do I do if my child is unhappy in school?” The answer may seem obvious to some, but to some parents discussing their child’s difficulties in school can be uncomfortable.
Preparing to Meet with the School
Involve your child. What are his/her concerns and what might be some potential solutions? Gather background information that could support your conversation. Know and understand the district’s policies and expectations. Consider ways in which your own involvement can help support your child’s learning experience.
Communicating with the Teacher
Always begin with the teacher. Developing a working relationship with the teacher and understanding his/her attitude toward gifted education will facilitate communication. Plan in advance what you will say. Write down your own observations or thoughts on your child’s abilities. Keep the discussion focused on the specifics of your child’s characteristics and needs. Recognize up front that the teacher faces extraordinary challenges in trying to meet the varied needs of every student and that he/she does have your child’s best interest at heart. Work for a consensus. Since your goal is to find a solution for your child, try to find some common ground.
Criteria for a successful conference:
• Your child was the main focus, not the opinions or agenda of you or the teacher.
• Both you and the teacher listened to each other and considered each other’s point of view.
• You negotiated for solutions that will meet your child’s needs without disregarding the teacher’s responsibilities or your knowledge of your child.
• You came to an understanding even if you had different opinions.
• You both agreed to work on a solution that will help your child and to continue working together.
• You both made commitments and scheduled actions and have a timeline for follow-up steps.
Continue to keep the dialog open. Talk regularly with your child and with the teacher to see how your child is doing. Be consistent in supporting whatever learning option you, the teacher, and your child agree to pursue. Don’t let the burden of the extra work fall entirely on the teacher. Show that you and your child are willing to do your part to support your child’s success.
Adapted from Communicating Effectively with Your Gifted Child’s School by Dr. Joan Franklin Smutny
Click here to find out more about Guilford County PAGE and how to become a member.
CogAT Testing for 3rd Graders
Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 8am to Thursday, Oct. 8th, 11am
All Guilford County Schools
Contact Information and Websites
I enjoy working with your children to help them reach their potential. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Allen Jay (AJE) phone # 336-434-8490 (voicemails left from this number come to my email)
Archer phone #336-294-7335
My Class Website: http://ajes.gcsnc.com/pages/Allen_Jay_Elementary/Classes/deprezb
GCS AG Website: http://www.gcsnc.com/pages/gcsnc/Departments/Academically_Gifted
On the GCS AG website be sure to check out the tab called Elementary Resources for a variety of different sites dealing with the units we are currently teaching.