Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We are off to a good start this fall in the home school assistance program!  Tina and I have been having great visits with families and our first session of enrichment classes is half way done already! We have a new Apple TV in the room which is pretty exciting.  We now have the technology to play on the TV what is on our computer screen or on an iPad.  There are so many ways we can apply this in our teaching.  Of course, this hasn't come without a few technical difficulties, but we are learning.

Tina has been using the Excellence in Writing curriculum with our older students on Tuesday mornings.  I will let her tell you more about this at another time, but kids are writing and they are learning new skills!

I have been doing Visual Phonics with younger students and their moms on Tuesday mornings.  I took a training in early August and am just so excited to pass on what I learned.  Visual Phonics is a multi-sensory strategy that connects sound to print with hand shapes and movement.  I can't believe how fast the children are learning the hand shapes!  Their little brains are like sponges and we are already putting sounds together to make words.  We have been singing songs and playing games to reinforce the sounds and hand shapes and also to work on our phonemic awareness.

One of the beauties of Visual Phonics is that beyond it's success in helping students learn to read, it is also very useful with older students to help them with irregular spellings, and those hard to read words in our language that break all of the rules.

I am also excited to have moms learning along with the kids and giving them opportunities to practice using Visual Phonics in their own teaching at home.

Tina and I have been teaching another enrichment class called, I Want To Be Responsible.  We will be doing six different classes this year that focus on character traits.  So far in this class we have focused on being responsible for ourselves and also money.  Older students spent some time making collages showing ways to be responsible for their bodies while younger students used some paper dolls and dressed them appropriately for different types of weather.  We have also had some fun with money using an online game for the older students and doing some dramatic play with younger students.  In weeks to come we will cover being responsible for others and our world and end with a project to reflect our learning.

As always, let us know if you have questions or concerns.  We are here to help you be a better teacher!

Happy Learning,