Friday, August 17, 2012

Successful Open House

Last night was Katie's Open House at her new school. The girls had a great reunion. I wished you could have seen them. You would have thought that they haven't seen each other all Summer (the three see each other at church). Lots of hugs!

All the second graders and their parents met up at the gym for orientation with the faculty and other staff members. It was also a great way to see what students branched to the new school. As soon as a student walked into the gym, either I or the girls would say "hey, there's so and so." Principal D had a great presentation, went over a few regulations and code of conduct rules for all of us to remember. We reminded little Missy that we know just a little more than half the faculty at this school and we expect her to be on her best behavior and ready to learn at all times. No pressure! Right? After reading all the code of conduct documents and discipline plan by her new teacher, Katie put her hand to her forehead and said with a big sigh, "I sure hope I can keep from clipping down."

Being proud of our community and school system, I have to report that the standardized testing scores are out and our school system ranked #2 in the state. Of course, Doug whispered in my ear that we should have been #1. In coming six graders scored 100% in math, science and reading, which means they passed everything in their exam. YAY!!! Way To Go!

So far, Katie seems to love her classroom and her new homeroom teacher, Mrs. M. I'm sure the fact that her best friend since Kindergarten might have something to do with it. It is rare indeed, but my child and one of her closest friends have been in the same class every year for the past three years. E's mom and myself really hope that this is a friendship to last the next ten years or more. They really bring out the positive side of each other. I'm very satisfied with Mrs. M's learning strategy for this year. Her main homework plan for each child will be to read for 20 minutes and complete two Saxon Math sheets every day. They will be using Open Court phonics in order to master Spelling. In October, after finishing "Open Court", they will be using Harcourt basal reader. It will introduce new vocabulary words and phonics skills to the students, followed by tests at the end of the week. Of course for Math, they will be using Saxon Math. Grammar skills will be practiced on a daily basis. Social Studies and Science will be alternated between 6 weeks of each.

Of course, Katie is excited over the benefits of being a second grader. She will have the opportunity to join clubs, go on several field trips including the Circus this year. I've already signed a permission slip for her to go swimming during P.E. The coach wants to teach the kids how to swim safely. Since Katie has 4 years of swimming lessons under her belt, I feel good to leave her go. Mrs. D announced that there will be another drama play this year. I've joined the PTA this year and I have a feeling that my friend, Connie, might keep me busy since she is one of officers and asked me before I left if I signed up. We actually worked together last year and I love working with a very positive team.

The other day at Dollar General, I picked up a couple more Addition/Subtraction workbooks for $.50 each for Katie to continue to practice. This Summer, I've noticed that Katie can get a little confused when she goes from adding to subtracting using my technique. If all the questions were addition, she's great. She doesn't have to think too much. She's on a roll. Throw a subtraction in the middle of all the addition, she adds because she doesn't PAY ATTENTION. When she does subtract double digits after adding double digits, she has to really think about the technique I showed her. What's my technique? Well, it's very simple. If you have a problem of 15-8 = _____. I have Katie say 8 in her head. Using her fingers, count to 15 from 8. The fingers you have counted is the answer. I also showed her to add the answer to the bottom number, you should always get the top number. I'm still working with her on checking her answers. Overall, I think she's ready for second grade.


1 comment:

Laura said...

Karen told me that we're using Saxon math this year, too. This is the second year in a row that our school has changed math books. But she said she's taught Saxon before so she's familiar with it. I have no idea on all the other stuff. We haven't had our Open House yet. Ours is the 27th.