Friday, January 30, 2015

February 2, 2015

Technology and Young Children







Effective Classroom Practice: Preschoolers and Kindergartners


During the preschool years, young children are developing a sense of initiative and creativity. They are curious about the world around them and about learning. They are exploring their ability to create and communicate using a variety of media (crayons, felt-tip markers, paints and other art materials, blocks, dramatic play materials, miniature life figures) and through creative movement, singing, dancing, and using their bodies to represent ideas and experiences. Digital technologies provide one more outlet for them to demonstrate their creativity and learning






Technology Tools and Interactive Media
·        Allow children to freely explore touch screens loaded with a wide variety of developmentally appropriate interactive media experiences that are well designed and enhance feelings of success.
·        Provide opportunities for children to begin to explore and feel comfortable using “traditional” mouse and keyboard computers to  use Websites or look up answers with a search engine.
·        Capture photos of block buildings or artwork that children have created; videotape dramatic play to replay for children.
·        Celebrate children’s accomplishments with digital media displayed on a digital projector or on a classroom Website.
·        Incorporate assertive technologies as appropriate for children with special needs and/or developmental delays.
·        Record children’s stories about their drawings or their play; make digital audio or video files to document their progress.
·        Explore digital storytelling with children. Co-create digital books with photos of the children’s play or work; attach digital audio files with the child as the narrator.

Enjoy,
Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Grade 1 Teacher
Discovery School
(504)221-7790
(504)221-7791(fax)
(504)9500-1720(school cell)
(504)9985-0732(mobile)
DISCOVERY small Logo to web


Friday, January 23, 2015

January 26, 2015

The Importance of Inventive Spelling



Parents of beginning writers often look at their children’s sentences and see something like this: We wnt on a rid it wuz fn. Translation: “We went on a ride. It was fun.”
When children are first learning how to write, they often use “invented spelling.” Otherwise known as phonetic spelling, invented spelling is when children listen to the sounds they hear in words and write down the letters that make those sounds. Words like "cat" or "pin" are usually spelled correctly under the invented system, but irregular words like “special” or “the” are often incorrect.
It can be frustrating to stand by and watch your child spell incorrectly. But using invented spelling is an important stage in your child’s development as a writer. In first grade, especially, children are still learning and practicing which letters make which sounds. Using invented spelling is a great way for children to practice which letter-sounds go with which letter! This practice will improve both their writing and reading. Rest assured, your child will develop standard spelling as she gets older. Use these guidelines to know how and when to help your child with spelling:
Do have your child stretch out the words she is spelling to try and hear all the sounds in the word. For example, “cat” should be stretched out /c/ /a/ /t/. Have your child say the word slowly and listen to all the sounds that she hears. If he doesn’t hear a sound in a word (let’s say he writes “ct” for “cat”) gently push him to listen carefully to the word once more (going with the “ct” example, ask him what sound comes between the “c” and the “t”).

Don’t correct your child’s spelling. Children should feel like successful, independent writers. If children feel like they can’t write without perfect spelling, they will not think of themselves as writers. Children also may develop a tendency to rely on grown-ups to tell them if their spelling is “right.” Instead of focusing on correct spelling, encourage your first grader to write phonetically. If first graders are representing all the sounds they hear in words, they will be able to read their own writing. That’s what we want from young writers-- standard spelling will come later.
Do find out what sight words/spelling words your child is learning in school. If your child’s teacher has taught the students the words “the” and “and”, then your child should be consistently spelling those two words correctly in his writing. You can hold your child accountable for words that he has spent a long time learning about and practicing in school.
Don’t worry if you can’t read your child’s writing. Try to point out why it is important for your child to be able to read her writing. Talk with her about including all sounds in the words she’s writing and remind her to put spaces between her words. Often kids will not be able to hear all the sounds in words-- that’s okay. Usually kids start by representing beginning sounds, then beginning and ending sounds. The final stage of invented spelling comes when kids are able to include middle sounds. For example, if a child is asked to spell the word “cat” she might start by writing “c” then “ct” and finally “cat”.
Finally, and most importantly, DO encourage a love of writing! Writing should be a fun, low stress activity. Take the pressure off your child to spell all words correctly and instead praise him for his imaginative story or interesting details. When your child values writing, he/she will see the importance of writing to be understood, and this will encourage him/her to develop more conventional spelling later.

Enjoy,
Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Grade 1 Teacher
Discovery School
(504)221-7790
(504)221-7791(fax)
(504)9500-1720(school cell)
(504)9985-0732(mobile)
DISCOVERY small Logo to web



Monday, January 19, 2015

Math and the Common Core Standards


For more than a decade, research studies of mathematics education in high-performing countries have concluded that mathematics education in the United States must become substantially more focused and coherent in order to improve mathematics achievement in this country. To deliver on this promise, the mathematics standards are designed to address the problem of a curriculum that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.”
These new standards build on the best of high-quality math standards from states across the country. They also draw on the most important international models for mathematical practice, as well as research and input from numerous sources, including state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, professional organizations, educators, parents and students, and members of the public.
The math standards provide clarity and specificity rather than broad general statements. They endeavor to follow the design envisioned by William Schmidt and Richard Houang (2002), by not only stressing conceptual understanding of key ideas, but also by continually returning to organizing principles such as place value and the laws of arithmetic to structure those ideas.
The development of the standards began with research-based learning progressions detailing what is known today about how students’ mathematical knowledge, skill, and understanding develop over time. The knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for mathematics in college, career, and life are woven throughout the mathematics standards.

Enjoy,
Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Grade 1 Teacher
Discovery School
(504)221-7790
(504)221-7791(fax)
(504)9500-1720(school cell)
(504)9985-0732(mobile)


Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

Many classrooms count up to the 100th day of school and then have a celebration on that day. It’s not only a milestone, but a great way to incorporate math into an entire day’s worth of learning. The learning doesn't have to be limited to school, though. Here are some ways to get your child prepared (and psyched) for the 100th day of school.


 Learn more about the 100th day of school.
·         Read books about the 100th day of school.
·         Make her a 100 breakfast--a link of sausage next to two halves of a bagel.
·         Make a family timeline listing 100 important events that have happened in the history of your family.
·         Go through your child’s toys and the rest of your house and find 100 items to donate to charity.
·         Choose one of 100 things with which to create a 100th day of school collection.
·         Begin a log of Random Acts of Kindness, vowing to do 100 acts between now and next year’s 100th day of school.
·         Reinforce number sense and participate in 100s chart activities.
·         Look up a newspaper dated 100 years before your child’s birth, read it together and discuss how life has changed over the years.
·         Talk with your child about the things she uses in her daily life that weren’t invented 100 years ago. Does it make her life easier or harder?
·         Talk to your child about his predictions about how life will change over the next 100 years.
·         Make a list of 100 books you and your child have read together over his lifetime. They don’t have to be literary classics; even the board books you read when he was a toddler count, too.
·         Make a list of 100 words your child has practiced spelling and mastered.
·         Go to the grocery store with your child and try to stick to a 100-dollar budget.
·         Discuss what it means when people say things like putting “110 percent effort” into a task. Is it really possible to put in more than 100 percent?
·         Build a creation using 100 Legos or other blocks.
·         Try to beat your child in a 100-second staring contest.
·         See who in your house (if anybody) can hold his breath for 100 seconds.
·         Make a 100th Day of school necklace, using beads, colored macaroni or Fruit Loops cereal. Ask your child to make a pattern using ten each of ten different colors.
·         Hide 100 pennies around the house and give your child treasure hunt clues to find them. 


Enjoy,    
Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Grade 1 Teacher
Discovery School
(504)221-7790
(504)221-7791(fax)
(504)9500-1720(school cell)
(504)9985-0732(mobile)

DISCOVERY small Logo to web

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January 7, 2015





New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain.

Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later, a 2002 study found.

It's hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you've swept up the confetti, but it's not impossible. Let’s begin by thinking our resolution, writing it and carrying it out.

Enjoy,
Nora Sierra
Grade 1 Teacher

EC Assistant Principal



September 18, 2017

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