- Dearing Elementary School
- 2019-20 Principal's Blog
November 2019Posted by David Wiechmann on 11/14/2019
Happy Fall Dearing Families!
We are in full gear at this point in the year and I thought I would take the opportunity to let you know about one of our biggest focuses this year and that is student talk. We are providing many “talk” opportunities throughout instruction, but it’s not just chit-chat. Students are working to have focused conversations that are academic in nature. We are working on this for several reasons. Conversations build academic language, vocabulary, literacy skills, oral language, communication skills, critical thinking. The also foster creativity, promote different perspectives, cultivate connections and help students to co-construct understanding. All of these are life skills that will benefit students across all core areas of instruction.
We began this journey last year, focusing on students connecting to one another’s ideas. Sometimes it was a simple connection and sometimes a student would disagree or agree, but would provide justification for their thought. Our students became quite proficient with this skill.
While we continue to work on refining this, we have expanded our focus this year, teaching students to prompt one another and the teacher with clarifying questions. Sometimes the purpose of the question is to better understand what was said, but many of our students are already learning to prompt one another for reasons and/or examples of a statement, which really supports deeper understanding. It’s exciting to watch this develop.
You may be wondering what you can do to help us foster these skills? You can ask your child about sentence stems and how they are used in the classroom. When your child shares something with you, ask them to provide evidence for their thinking or to “justify” their thinking. It’s a tiny step that requires a deeper level of thinking. Don’t be surprised when your child asks you to justify your position. Don’t be too hard on him/her, as your child is turning into a critical thinker and we love that!
Principal, Dearing Elementary
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October 2019Posted by David Wiechmann on 9/25/2019
Thank you for helping us get off to a great start to this year. There are so many tweaks that we've made this year that I'd like to make a point and share one each month with you.
As I mentioned last month, we have implemented morning assemblies, every day. We gather all students together to begin our day and one of the special things we are doing is a focus on character traits. We talk about the trait and recognize students that have displayed the trait. We also have a home school connection with character traits. Whichever character trait we are working on at school, you will see a giant pride buck come home where you can reinforce your child for the same thing we do at school. I think working on these qualities both at home and school will be that much more impactful. Additionally, when students bring those pride bucks from home, their names are dropped in a bucket for a special drawing each month. Besides recognizing students for great character, we will soon begin recognizing our students for mastering their math facts. They can practice their math facts on xtramath.com at home as well as school, so get them online for a few minutes a day to get them going.
Aside from new programs or tweaks and such, I wanted to remind you 'tis the season for parent conferences. We completed our beginning of year assessments about two weeks ago, so we have data to share with you about where your child is beginning the year academically and what goals we have set for them. Teacher will be reaching out to schedule conferences with you, but don't wait. Shoot an email or phone call to your child's teacher, so she/he can get you scheduled quickly.
Thank you for all your support! We are so happy to partner with you in your child's education.
To read the full version of this month's newsletter please click the link below.
Also, the Fall Festival is coming up on October 25. Wristbands go on sale Sept. 27. For more information on the Fall Festival click HERE.
Principal, Dearing Elementary
September 2019Posted by David Wiechmann on 9/3/2019
Welcome Back, Dearing Families!!
It’s hard to believe that we are already into September. We have our routines and procedures down and are off to a great start. Our dismissal process is beginning to level off and we really appreciate the patience that our community has shown us.
A couple of reminders for you:
- We serve free breakfast to all, every day. The serving line opens at 7:00 and closes at 7:20. A bag breakfast will still be available until 7:30.
- The school day begins at 7:30, and we kick off the day with our morning assembly in the gym. Please make sure your child is here on time, so he/she doesn’t miss it.
- Lunch applications are on the website and we encourage everyone to apply, even if you don’t think you’ll qualify. Our campus receives funding for supplies, materials and teacher training based on the number of students that qualify.
As always, thank you so much for sharing your child with us! We are looking forward to the best year ever!
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