Ending Trimester 2, Beginning Trimester 3

Hola!

This is the last week for my trimester with 2nd and 3rd grade. Currently I am finishing make-up classes at Kerr and O’Hara, as many Mondays were missed and some Fridays, too. Both grade levels worked very hard with me over the last 12 weeks to build up to their projects! 2nd Grade cooking show videos are adorable and can be seen here.  There is no real evidence of the 3rd grade restaurants, aside from the table setting paper and scoresheet they should have brought home, but I can say that the vast majority of students worked really hard and saw the results of that in the score they received. The score’s purpose was not to intimidate, just to validate their hard work or to give them some feedback on what the result of their studying choices were. I want them to learn from every experience about how to study effectively (and that’s different for each individual) and how to push towards the next goal. Learning how to order in a restaurant is such a valuable skill for traveling, and the students should be very proud of their accomplishment. Remember, if you want to hear your child in action – just take them to Patron Mexican Grill in Fox Chapel Plaza and have them order their meal in Spanish.

Kindergarten and 1st grade Spanish lessons begin in all 4 buildings next week. I will have nametags for Kindergarten that stay at school, so if you have a question about what your child’s Spanish name is (it takes several weeks for the kids to begin remembering them), feel free to email me and I will let you know! If you email me, please include the name of the classroom teacher your child is with, just to help me find their name faster on my rosters. Kindergarten will not have homework or any expectations to study this year. However, they may come home singing our learning songs to you and telling you what words they can remember. All of this is wonderful and should be encouraged! 🙂  Last year I did a really good job of emailing kindergarten parents weekly to update them with the learning of students and to give them a heads up about what words and songs their children may come home attempting to repeat. I ASPIRE to do this again this year, however, with the increased workload, please forgive me if I forget. If you have any questions, I am always happy to receive emails and to answer your questions about the children’s learning. My email address is: jessica_taylor@fcasd.edu

1st grade will be receiving Spanish folders for the first time. These folders may go home to study with, but should come back every week for their Spanish lesson. To make all of our lives easier, I have combined the first several topics of study into one unit packet. These topics include greetings, numbers, and colors. This means we will have one packet to use for roughly 5-6 lessons, and we will not need to open up our folders (which can be tricky) to take things in and out. My policy for homework this year is for students to study the vocabulary for the topic we are learning for 5-10 minutes per week. This can easily be broken down into 1-2 minutes every day, or one evening a week of more concentrated study. (This first option is probably more effective from the point of evidence-based research on learning, but I know we all have busy lives, so however it happens is great!) Even though in 1st grade the students are still very young and memory can be tricky, they should be able to at least recall what topic we discussed in class. Perhaps they will need some help jogging their memory, depending on the child, but I do not think it will be too hard to stay on track that way.

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