I’m convinced!! We really do underestimate what kids can do, but they always find ways to remind us that with the right amount of guidance and choices in their learning, they can do more than we think.

Our journey this year has been one of helping kids understand and apply concepts of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication – 4Cs. These are life skills not just “school only” skills. We must realize that the learners now need us to challenge them to think, not tell them what to think.

I hope you get a chance to either see the recent results of creativity in person or by visiting our Facebook page with the Junk Art Challenge. When adults sometimes ask, “How can we?” our kids answer with, “Let me show you.” These truly are lightbulb moments.

I’m convinced…that they can!!

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Even now with only 11 days left in the school year, I find myself asking where this year went? Is it my age? Business of life? Whatever the reason, there is always more to be accomplished to help us serve our Colts than what time permits. For example, our staff heard from a licensed therapist this afternoon who discussed ways to help reduce anxiety in children. We will be offering parent meetings on this topic in the future.

Even now as we end another year we continue to learn of ways to improve what we provide to our Colts. As I share with potential members to the Colt Family, we aren’t perfect, but we certainly try hard to do our best…even at the very end of the school year.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.

Thank you,

Ron

Yes, I understand that as educators our primary task is to provide the highest level of academic experiences for our learners. With that disclaimer, I want to suggest that we also have as equally an important task which also serves to produce successful learners. It is the responsibility to be nice. This sounds simple, but isn’t always at the forefront of our purpose.  As we enter the ending of one academic year and begin the planning of another, let’s intentionally plan that our students and staff are purposefully nice.

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We fall victim to the need to occupy our time, money and other resources in getting more. Schools are notorious for looking for the “next thing” that they often forget the power of the moment. Look around you and celebrate that there are more students learning than not, there are more parents satisfied than not, and there are more outstanding teachers than not.

So after all is said and done and we hear the question. “And Then What?” the answer might just be to stop and notice all of the good than not.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ron

 

 

Sometimes the questions we ask of the learner are more important than the answers. I know this may seem counterintuitive at first, but please allow me to clarify. 

One of the expectations of all learners in Forsyth County is outlined in the FCS Learner Profile as being able to “Utilize Creative and Critical Thinking.” Both of these expectations include skills which are applicable for the learner in the classroom as well as in the workplace and beyond. 

We understand that the learner must be taught how to be a creative and critical thinker and a solution-oriented individual.
One of the ways to develop these skills is through asking questions that cause the learner to think beyond basic recall or rote responses (lower level responses). Instead the learners should be asked questions that require depth of thought and knowledge (higher level responses). A resource you can use is the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

As you ask your child questions about what he/she is learning, intentionally include questions from the “Analyze, Evaluate and Create” categories. Over time, your child will become more comfortable with these types of questions and should be able to explain his/her thinking about the topic. 

We realize that we are truly fortunate to live in a community whose primary goal is the same as ours: to create a learning environment that provides atypical experiences for every Colt. 

This is only possible through open and consistent dialogue between home and school.
As we continue to explore ways to partner with home as a support around reading, we wanted to share some easily understood and readily implemented ways you can increase your child’s level of understanding.

You have asked about how to find age appropriate and level appropriate books for your child to read. The following lists provides some ways to access them. Additionally the Public Library System in Forsyth is well aware of the leveling systems like Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) that we use as well as information about the Lexile Levels. So, they would be glad to assist as well. 

This certainly is not an exhaustive list, in fact, one of the best ways to select a book for your child to read is to have your child talk about what interests him/her and provide multiple ways for your child to have access to readings about the topic of interest. (i.e.- magazines, newspaper articles, fiction and non- fictional books, etc.) there are children’s version of some of the more popular magazines such as: Time For Kids, Sports Illustrated For Kids, Weekly Reader, National Geographic For Kids, etc.

You can help your child by reading out loud with them so that they hear:

  • How the reader stops at punctuation, uses voice inflections, 
  • Reads fluently, 
  • You can also have your child tell you three things they learned about what they just read 
  • Ask them to create three questions that can be answered after someone reads the passage, chapter,
    etc. 
  • Have them draw a picture of what they read. (This strategy can also provide insight as to what
    your child actually got from the reading. Lots of specifics shown in their drawing indicate a
    higher likelihood of student understanding, while the reverse might be true. 
  • Let your kids see you reading while they are reading, 
  • Point out careers that require some type of reading to be done that requires strong reading skills,
  • Have your child talk a lot as they are reading so they can hear and often clarify any misread words,
  • Ask your child if what they read makes sense,
  • Have they read or heard anything that matches what they read/learned?
    Notice that the suggestions listed do not include questions like “Who’s the main character? Where did the story take place? What’s the problem in the story?” These are basic questions that give an insight to your reader and knowing these pieces are important, but we must be intentional about asking questions of more
    depth and require the learner to provide answers of more than one word responses,
  • Why did the author write this book?
  • How would you have changed the ending?
  • If you were the character in the story how would you change the setting, and would have the
    problem be the same?
  • How would the solution have changed if you were the main character? If the setting had changed.? The goal is to begin getting readers to make connections and problem solve in a variety of ways.
     

As you can readily see, there are many ways to support your child in reading without requiring that you have read their selections or have a deep level of understanding on your part as to specific reading skills.

Hello, Colts.

It is always my honor to serve as the principal of KME. We truly are family, and I cannot tell you enough about the importance of home and schools working together. Again, thank you for partnering with us to create the type of environment where our Colts are glad to be and have the opportunity for unique learning experiences. 

A common question from you is about ways to help your child succeed and we want to help answer that question for you. This communication is the first in a series designed to provide specific information over a broad range of topics in supporting your child. We will also include a link where you can submit your questions and/or suggestions for upcoming topics. 

When focusing on providing support at home with reading, there is not a lack of suggestions and resources that are out there. Our intent is to provide ways you can reinforce reading skills at home in both a timely and readily applicable manner. For example, you may hear things like your child is on a “Level G and needs to be on “Level J” based on the Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) leveling system that we use. The question that we at KME are asking is “Does this type of explanation –Level G to Level J- really provide useful information to the learner and to you, the parents?” 

We realize that we need to communicate the specific reading characteristics that are aligned to a particular level. Linked is a resource based on the F&P leveling system which provides easily understood and helpful ways that you can support your child.