This year we will continue our work with students taking ownership of their learning. In addition, we are working with students on the Graduation Standards that all students in kindergarten through twelfth grade will need to master in order to graduate. These standards are not new but are being presented in grade bands ofK-2 and 3-5. These focused standards are the most important standards that students need to know and show mastery of before moving on to the next grade. As we work with these graduation standards, our staff continues to transition learning opportunities to become even more focused on critical thinking, problem solving, and communication. The following are some ways in which you can foster and encourage these 21st Century learning practices at home:
- Encourage questions! Kids have a million questions about the world. Foster those thoughts and model ways of exploring their questions without just providing an answer. Let them struggle a bit to figure it out; build perseverance within them.
- Set aside time each day to ask your child what he/she learned in school today and why that learning was important. Often kids will say "I don't know ... " and the conversation stops. You can work to shift that conversation by using the papers and work students bring home to guide your conversation.
- Read together or consider reading the same novel or text as your child. This way you can ask questions, discover new vocabulary, make predictions, discover connections, and enjoy some special time together.
- Promote/encourage written correspondence (thank you notes, friendly letters, invitations, etc.) in both hand-written and word-processed formats.
Finally, let your child be the expert! Children love being the teacher, and when they do this, their level of understanding is far more complete.