Just one more day of TK! Now that is hard to believe. But the calendar is correct.
So here is a final assignment for you. Follow the link below to learn how to save your child’s Seesaw Portfolio from this year. The steps are laid out very clearly at help.seesaw.me. I don’t want you to miss taking ownership of your child’s work. It will be their digital yearbook from TK.
I have fallen behind in posting photos, so don’t download before July! I don’t want the students to be shortchanged on the memories. https://help.seesaw.me/hc/en-us/articles/208754866-How-do-families-download-an-archive-of-their-child-s-work-
As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun! We have been honing our skills and exploring new opportunities.
The students were introduced to Zoo-Phonics in April. It was familiar to just a handful. But it only took a couple of days before everyone had caught on to the letter sounds. I have used this program for many years and it never fails to give every student a deeper understanding of the letter and sound relationships. I will try my best to make our own Zoo-Phonics video. In the meantime, check out the one made by a previous class on the Class Video tab.
We have also worked diligently on letter formation. I use a program called Handwriting Without Tears. It is wonderful! With this program I can explicitly teach students how to write every letter. It unlocks the mystery of how to make all though “squiggles” so others can read them. The name says it all! No tears here!
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the foundation of the TK curriculum. SEL is at the heart of everything we do in my classroom. When students develop confidence in themselves and empathy for others, they’ll be ready to explore the world, absorb what they discover along the way, and tackle tough problems with creativity and tenacity.
According to Edmodo.com, “There is a growing body of research that provides evidence that emotional regulation is critical to academic success.” Regurgitating facts and formulas can be impressive, but are not effective job skills. Employers need workers who can think creatively and collaborate with others for a common purpose. Those are the skills that take time (years!) to develop and sharpen, but we rarely allow all the practice needed to become proficient.
Here is a link to that body of research. You can read the data for yourself. Let’s rethink education and focus on developing the whole child.
Speaking of art, I just learned about The Arts Advocacy Project (TAAP).
TAAP is a task force of leaders from our community who recognize the cultural, educational and economic benefits of the arts. Musical and dramatic stage performances, dance, music concerts, art shows, literary arts, arts appreciation and teaching sessions, interactive workshops, demos and more will be featured in the month-long ARTSbeat Expo. I hope to see you at one of these events.
Art in public spaces makes our community a more beautiful place to live. You may have noticed a few pieces around town, but do you know how to find more?
The Committee for the Arts created a virtual Citywide Art Guide for the benefit of residents and visitors that includes a comprehensive inventory of art pieces and art events in Elk Grove.
> Click here to access an interactive map.
I know I feel happier when I see beautiful artwork around me. I bet you may have the same experience. I hope you can get your family out and about to share the happiness.
Thought for the day: Those who appreciate the effort and beauty of creating something, are much less likely to destroy it.
The Crocker Art Museum is pleased to announce its new collection of Art Packs, now available for children to reserve and check out through the Sacramento Public Library system. This is a great activity for kids to engage in an art experience that will foster visual literacy, as well as social and emotional development. I want to encourage families and caregivers to check out a free Art Pack at saclibrarycatalog.org, just like you would reserve and check out a book. Bring the Art Pack or the library checkout receipt to the Crocker for FREE admission.
We have been busy learning about the sun, the moon, and the solar eclipse all week. We acted out the eclipse, read books and did an online lesson at mysteryscience.com. We also practiced using a pinhole projector with our sixth grade buddies. We even found out why we should NEVER look at the sun, even for a moment. The dramatic demonstration got everyone’s attention!
We will be observing the changes before, during, and after the eclipse on Monday morning. We will have our big buddies from Mrs. Groom’s sixth grade class with us, but parents are welcome, too. I only have enough eclipse glasses for the students, so bring your own if you will be participating with us. Make and bring a pinhole projector or you can use one of ours.
If you won’t be able to join us at school, I hope you get outside to observe this rare event for yourself. Here is a link to a website with some ways to safely view the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st. You just need a couple of items that are probably in your house right now. http://eclipse.illinois.edu/pinhole.html
It’s been a lovely first week of school. The students are adjusting very well to our routine and expectations. There are many, many smiling faces from beginning of class to the end. It fills my heart to have a room full of happy children who are excited about learning.
Here are a few reminders:
*Sign up for Seesaw. I use Seesaw to communicate with parents and document student progress. It’s easy and so efficient! You can download the Seesaw Family app and scan the code I sent home. Then you will be connected to your child’s digital portfolio. It will give an experience you will treasure forever. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can still log on from any device and have full access.
*Correct and return the student information forms.
*Sign and return the permission forms for Digital Literacy, Internet Use, Library Policy.
*Send a change of clothes for your child in a one-gallon ziplock bag.
*Set up your Shutterfly account to stay up-to-date with class events, access photos, sign up to volunteer. Check your email for an email from me with the link.
*Sign up for a parent-teacher conference through our Shutterfly Site.
*Sign up to volunteer through our Shutterfly Site. Your support for our TK students will make a huge difference all year long.
Discipline is the bit by bit, time-consuming task of teaching a child the sense of acting a certain way.
A friend of mine shared that definition 30 years ago and it is still true. Teaching kids the better way to behave can be exhausting and tough! Ever feel like you are the one being grounded? Are you tired of sounding like a broken record? Ever wish you had a few more strategies for discipling your children? Ever wonder why your method doesn’t seem to be working? There’s got to be a better way!
Don’t give up yet, there’s a workshop for you!
Wednesday, June 7th
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
School District Office Room 117
Call to register: 916-681-7581
Even if child-rearing has been a breeze so far, there will be bumps to overcome. All children will eventually want to see how far they can push a parent. This workshop will help you get ready. It’s the best approach I have ever used. You’ll be glad you looked into it!
What a year it has been! It has been my great joy to have been your child’s TK teacher. How lucky I am to have this job! I get to introduce young children to the school environment and ignite a spark to their imagination and joy of discovery every day. Thank you for that privilege.
I am deeply humbled by your generous support of my efforts to integrate technology in meaningful ways for the students. I have placed an order for a set of iPad 4s and I will be ordering a couple more Ozobots soon because of your donations. You folks ROCK!
These last few weeks have been a whirlwind and I haven’t been able to finish posting some student work. I will get to it later this month. (After I get back from my cruise to Alaska!)
Did you know that you can actually download a .zip archive of your child’s Seesaw journal. It will include all the photos, video, and audio from your child’s journal. It is a wonderful way to keep a virtual scrapbook of your child’s TK year.
Follow this link to the directions: https://goo.gl/YTdEo0 and download by August 1st so you don’t lose access to those precious memories.
With joy and gratitude,
PS: If you have enjoyed the experience with Seesaw, please encourage all of your child’s teachers to contact me to learn how to get it started.