Conferences provide us time to share information and ideas with a common goal of improving your child’s learning experience. November marks the first quarter of the year and is also for scheduled Parent-Teacher conferences. During our time together, we will review the report card, talk about kindergarten reading and writing and discuss your child’s strengths and, if any, concerns.
We begin the conference with your child’s assessments. Here you will see growth your child has made thus far. Results are used to evaluate standards on the report card (See report card link under my picture). The report card summarizes significant aspects of your child’s progress. When you look at the top of the form, you’ll notice marks (“+” at or above, ? approaching, - below grade level) used to evaluate your child. First, I look at whether they are on grade level in each major academic area. I also evaluate effort. Is a child putting forth minimum, satisfactory or extra effort at school. At the bottom is a space for a comment, which I use to reflect on personal observations regarding your child’s progress.
Next is my favorite subject: Reading and writing. Your child has also increased in their reading ability. From sounding out letters to sounding out words, go to (See “Reading Levels” on left hand side) to see your child’s present reading skills and ideas to help him/her advance to the next level. Writing is such a valuable way to express oneself. We have been writing every day, but once a week we write in our journals. You must see the journals. Even in this short time span, you will see a new comfort level in your child attempts at sounding out words, using punctuation and responding to assigned topics.
Your child’s strengths are another topic we will cover. Don’t forget to have me answer your concerns. We can schedule more time if needed.
As we bring the conference to a close, we will review our discussion and decisions. I am looking forward to meeting with you and building a stronger connection between home and school.
Reading can be Fun and Rewarding too
Kindergarten: ‘My Reading List’ is part of a program to encourage reading at home as well as school. Anytime a book is read between parent and child, write down the title on the reading log. Once the log if filled up (15 books), return it to school. Your child will receive a charm to add to an ongoing necklace. When the necklace has five book charms on it, a child can take it home and a new necklace is started.
Chapter books count as one book per chapter. All other books count! If your child brings home a ‘take home’ book or you read them a story, WRITE IT DOWN!
Additional Reading lists are available under the red box or print the attachment below.
First Grade: A monthly reading log is sent home in the homework folder at the beginning of the month. If you need an additional copy, please print the attachment below and fill in the month.
Kindergarten Reading Levels
Scholastic Book Orders
This school year, when you send your child’s Scholastic Book Club order to me online, our class earns $3.00 for Free Books for our classroom library!
Ordering online is fast, easy and 100% secure! Use your credit or debit card to pay.
Children must be able to read well to be successful in life. Studies show when children pick their own books, their motivation and academic success improve.
It’s so easy:
Sign in: http://www.scholastic.com/readingclub
Enter our class activation code: GKCLD
Folllow the prompts and choose your books.
Voila! You are done.
They will be delivered to the classroom in about a week.
What are the Common Core Standards?
The New Common Core Standards have been adopted by a majority of states across the nation. The English Language Arts standards encompass reading, writing, speaking and listening, as well as language. The shift for ELA is an emphasis on non-fiction reading, text complexity, and using text evidence to support reasoning. Writing will include many different genre such as opinion, narrative, research and other explanatory options. In mathematics we will be focusing on the eight mathematical practices that are the same for all grades K-12, however what we as of students within these practices goes deeper as they progress through the years. We will be requiring students to “explain their thinking” using strong academic vocabulary. Instructionally, the shifts are Focus, Coherence, and Rigor. By having critical areas of focus for each grade level, students are able to master fewer concepts and skills on a deeper level, thus laying the conceptual foundation for long-term math understanding & application.
• K-‐2nd is addition and subtractions with fluency and conceptual understanding of whole numbers and measurement.
• 3rd-‐5th focus is multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions. Coherence requires students and teacher to link major math topics across grades, as well as to see math as a set of related ideas within each grade level. Rigor is expected-not harder work, but the depth of what is expected. There is a balance between deep conceptual understanding
Week Ending August 16, 2013
Week Ending August 23, 2013
Week Ending August 30, 2013
Back to School
These are the textbooks used in class:
Science and Math: Scott Foresman: envision MATH http://www.pearsonsuccessnet.com
Reading: Houghton Mifflin http://www.eduplace.com/kids
Social Studies: (Brand new this year) Macmillan McGraw-Hill http://www.macmillanmh.com
What are we learning in ...
Graphing: Asking questions, collecting data, sorting objects, organizing data and making generalizations.
Algebra: Recognizing attributes/characteristics of objects and noticing groups and patterns in everyday situations.
Number Sense: Counting, reading, writing and sequencing numbers. Understanding sets, comparing, estimating and verifying. Showing awareness and modeling addition and subtraction in every day life.
Measurement: Understanding size, weight, time. Using nonstandard units to measure objects.
Geometry: Recognizing, describing, comparing the attributes of basic shapes. Correctly using the terms: Over, under, above, beside, below, top, and bottom.
Letter Recognition: Visually recognize and identify letters of the alphabet.
Letter Formation: Properly form letters, correctly holding pencils and using correct posture.
Letter-Sound Association (Phonics): Learn letter sounds independently and be able to blend to make words.
Phonological Awareness (Ability to think and manipulate different parts of spoken language): Being able to rhyme, listen for beginning and ending sounds and alliteration(different words, same beginning sound)
Sight Words: Learn a unique set of words without the help of decoding.
Text Comprehension: Use background knowledge, prior experience and phonics so text makes sense.
Five Senses: Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell
Life Science: 1) Kinds of animals, their growth, movement, body parts and coverings.
2) Kinds of plants, their parts, seeds, growth and how people use plants.
Earth Science: 1) Landforms, rocks, soil, water and natural resources.
2) Weather, seasons, tracking and predicting
Physical Science: 1) Sorting, moving objects, magnets and how we use tools.
2) Water’s characteristics, sink/float, how it changes
How do friends get along?
Why do people live in neighborhoods?
What kinds of work do people do?
What meanings do national symbols have?
Why do we study about the past?
Social: Chooses friends, plays cooperatively, understand rules and shows an awareness/concern for others’ feelings
Self-help: Knows street address, city and phone number, Ties shoes and dresses self
Communication: Retells a story, speaks in sentences, takes turns in conversations, asks for word definitions and can tell a make-believe story in their own words.
Gross Motor Skills: Jumps Rope, Hops on one foot, Runs, catches a ball, skips, walks backward
Small Motor Skills: Holds pencil correctly, writes name, holds scissors correctly, cuts simple shapes, and able to use glue.
Sent home at the beginning of the month and due on the last school day.
The assignments reinforce what is being taught in school.
Homework should average about 15-20 minutes per day.
To encourage good study habits, students should have space set aside with crayons, pencils, glue and scissors available.
Book Charms are used to encourage and reward reading. When your child reads (or is read to), write the title on the list. Return the list when filled and I’ll add a book charm to their necklace. When the necklace has 5 charms, they’ll wear the necklace home and begin a new list and necklace.
Journals and Memory Books
Journals inspire writing. Along with all the other writing we do in class, journals are a sample of your child’s work. They are given a topic once a week and they’re responsible for everything else: Writing, picture, spelling and grammar. Journals are a beautiful keepsake of your child’s beginning writing skills.
Memory books are also a wonderful memento of your child’s first year at Graystone Elementary. Every month, a different page is completed. Each page reflecting a monthly theme and showing your child’s growth in their abilities and skills.
Welcome to Ms. Leonard’s Website
The whole art of teaching is nly the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards. —Anatole France
Welcome to Graystone Elementary!
2014 promises to be a great year in room E-24!
Graystone Elementary is a wonderful school. I have known this for the last 17 years! One might say we have a history together. I have had the pleasure of being part of many changes including two State Distinguished school awards and a National Blue Ribbon.
Sixteen years ago, I moved into room E-24 and have taught there ever since. Most years, I was busy teaching kindergarten, but have ventured as high as first grade and even a few combinations of first and kindergarten.
I’m looking forward to this year. I already have ideas and dynamics to share with my students and their families. To me, teaching is full of challenges but nothing compares with the delight of presenting a lesson in which both encourages growth and stimulates students to want more. My favorite is watching a student’s face light up when mastery is accomplished! I live for these moments!
During our year together, we will build a community; develop academic skills and work to reach our potential in all areas. Entering kindergarten is very exciting! It promotes a new avenue for children to mature, be more independent, and take on more responsibilities. Students love this feeling of success and love school. I look forward to instilling this attitude towards education that will last a lifetime!