4.21.2014

Parents as Writing Partners at Home

At Village, we believe that your children can learn to write well—that writing is a craft. To get better at writing, it's important that they write a lot. The more children write, the more fluent they are. So one thing you can do is be their cheerleader, helping them develop the stamina it takes to become a fast and fluent writer.
We will teach your children to be writers of narratives, arguments, informational texts, and poetry. We believe in narrative because for your children's whole lives it will matter that they can tell their own stories well. Every job interview, every scholarship application, every college essay will be an opportunity for your children to tell their own stories with grace and power. We believe in argument because we want your children to be able to advocate for themselves and others; to defend positions with logic and evidence; to become ever more persuasive, compelling, and ethical. We believe in informational writing because your children will learn a lot that they can teach others, now and in the future. We believe in poetry because there is poetry singing in your children's souls, and you want to hear it. 
We believe that writers of all ages benefit from having a writing partner who will help them rehearse their writing and give them knowledgeable feedback along the way. Therefore, you can make an immense difference by being a "first reader" for your child. We can help you learn to do that.  Just ask your child's teacher if you are unsure of the type of support they would like you to give at home.  

Parent Prompts to Help Kids Rehearse Their Writing


BASIC PROMPTS

  • How will your (story/essay/article) go?
  • Tell me about the parts.
  • How will it start?
  • Then what will come next?
  • How do you think you want to end?
  • What will be the most important moment in the piece?
  • What will be the tricky part—where might it get confusing? Let me know when you're at that part, and we can talk it out if you want.

MORE ADVANCED PROMPTS

  • Try out a couple of leads on me. Let's see which ones really get a reader interested.
  • What are you thinking about pacing? How will you control tension?
  • Do you want to tell everything at once, or let out the details bit by bit?
  • What do you want your reader to know right away?
  • What do you want your reader to wonder about?
  • What are you saving for the ending?
  • How are you going to tailor this piece to your audience?
  • Do you have to explain any technical vocabulary?
  • Is there a particular perspective or point of view you want to represent?
  • Will you do anything to acknowledge other points of view in this piece?


Parent Prompts to Help Kids Elaborate


  • There was something you said before that struck me … you have to get that bit in here!
  • When you were talking about this, I jotted down this one idea/phrase that was very cool … Is this something you want to add?
  • Say more about this one part …
  • Wait a second, I'm going to jot down what you're saying … Now take this—see if it works anywhere.
  • How did that part we starred [or that part you said was most important] turn out?
  • You know, thinking about how strong this piece is, it might be worth thinking about the beginning [or the ending] a little more …

The aforementioned information is taken from ASCD March 2014 issue: Parents as Writing Partners.  

4.08.2014

The Global Read Aloud Project

Looking for a way to connect your child's interest in being connected to an iPod, tablet or computer with your interest in keeping them reading outside of school?  How about signing up for the Global Read Aloud project?  It is an ongoing project with a pretty great blog that keeps kids, teachers and families involved.  They even have book giveaways from time to time.  

Check it out !  Click here: Global Read Aloud Link

3.25.2014

NYS Assessment Information

ALL 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders will be taking the NYS Assessments in the coming weeks.  It is important to have your child in school on the specified dates. Please note and familiarize yourself with the testing dates.

ELA Testing Dates
Grades 3, 4, 5, & 6:                Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Grades 3, 4, 5, & 6:                Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Grades 3, 4, 5, & 6:                Thursday, April 3, 2014

Math Testing Dates
Grades 3, 4, 5 & 6:                 Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Grades 3, 4, 5 & 6:                 Thursday, May 1, 2014
Grades 3, 4, 5, & 6:                Friday, May 2, 2014

Science Test
Grade 4:                                  Performance – May 21 through May 30, 2014                                                                                       Your child’s teacher will inform you on which day they will be tested
Written - Monday, June 2, 2014

These assessments will provide us with information about the performance of our students in the area of reading, writing, listening, problem solving and scientific reasoning. While it is important to encourage your child to concentrate on what they are doing, it is just as important to assure him/her that promotion to the next grade level does not depend on the results of this test.

As with all tests, it is important that your child be at his/her best.  A good night’s sleep and a good breakfast will help. We would appreciate it if you do not make doctor, dental or any other appointments for your child on test days. 
 
Please be sure your child has 2 sharpened #2 pencils and an eraser on test days.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or counselor.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Tracie Czebatol          Erika Greene          Tina Colby
Principal                     Counselor                Counselor

3.24.2014

April is National Poetry Month

What a great way to embrace spring... with a little bit of poetry!  With National Poetry Month beginning next week, I am sharing links to two wonderful resources which provide different ways for people to interact with poetry.  YOU can even download apps for each site on your phone or tablet.  The "poem of the day" feature can be sent right to your email.

This might be a nice addition to the breakfast or dinner table each day in April.  

The following links include activities, poetry, videos, customized searches, Dear Poet projects, graphics, biographies, etc... 

Click for Links:
Poetry Foundation
Poets.org