What an amazing week!
 
Thank you so much for your support, flexibility, and perseverance! Thanks to your dedication to your children’s education, our first week of Essential New Learning was a success! Thank you to everyone who navigated the apps to practice math and used Lexia to start phonics and fluency practice. Thank you so much for logging into Seesaw to practice using the app as our lesson delivery and assignment collection point.  Here’s a quick run-down of what you’ll see there if you haven’t logged into Seesaw through your child’s Clever account:
  1. All required lessons that will be graded are at the top of the Seesaw feed each morning by 8 am, but you don’t have to be online at 8 am.
  2. Everyone has different family circumstances. Though the class lessons are uploaded daily, your family might have a situation that makes it easier to work on one or two days a week. Maybe you have enough time to focus on all the math on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. That’s OK! We’re all working as hard as we can right now. If you can, please drop me a line so I can change my check in schedule to fit yours.
  3. Reading, writing and math are the focus of these lessons with a goal of 45 minutes a day. In Seesaw, these lessons are right after the morning message. Science, social studies, art and more are there, too, but these are “can do” lessons that are labeled “optional” and are further down the page.
  4. If it’s hard to turn things in on Seesaw due to camera, microphone, or upload issues, please feel free to send any pictures of children’s paper work to my email.
  5. Every week we have some bonus activities at the bottom of our calendar if you are looking for more ways to engage in learning at home. Check them out!
  6. If your child did not log into Seesaw this week, I’ve removed all the optional lessons to make it easier to focus on kindergarten Essential Learning.
Our hardworking specialists put together these great learning ideas, too! https://sway.office.com/re2Y2p8PIv1hWGxP?ref=Link
 
Optional Monday meetings are from 9-9:30
 
Office hours for parents are
Tuesday 9-9:30
Thursday 4-4:30
 
In the school, we use the Zones of Regulation to teach children to identify their emotions in order to find a way to help regulate them. Red is upset or angry; yellow is silly or nervous; blue is sad or down; green is ready to learn and good to be around people in general. We’re all feeling a lot right now, so I’ve attached a Zones of Regulation image to this email to help with any conversations that may arise about how we’re feeling now. There are some suggestions of the things that help move feelings from frustration or anger, sadness, or unsettledness into the green zone where we’re “ready to go.” The image offers some ideas that we use at school to help and may be useful in home-school.
 
Finally, I’m so glad for all your help doing school at home. Here are some tips the Kinder teachers have brainstormed to help with “when to help” while we move into our next, more independent week:
  • As kindergarteners, I’m so glad to see the Brave Spelling (invented spelling based on hearing the sounds in words and knowing the sounds that the letters make). At this age, being brave and taking a risk while learning is a huge step! Consonant-vowel-consonant words like “cat” and sight words like “said” are the words we’re worrying about spelling correctly right now. (Every How-To book that’s come through Seesaw this week has been so brave! Give yourselves a pat on the back for raising such hardworking students.)
  • When a child needs help ask, “What do you think you should do next” or let them “take their best guess.” This helps them think through the problem and put into words what they may know, underneath feelings, they should do. The “Productive Struggle” is one of the best learning tools for future success.
  • Give children time to process instructions as well as allowing for them to work through problems or questions alone. Sometimes they know what to do once they’ve had a moment to think through what’s being asked.
  • Finally, kindergarten is practice for later school, and getting things wrong is OK while we’re practicing. I learn so much from each of my mistakes, and I don’t (usually) make that mistake again. Kindergarteners are the same! If I do it for them or fix a mistake without helping them work through the problem, they don’t really learn how to overcome that issue next time. Seeing that it was wrong and thinking through how to fix something will be invaluable to building the brain pathways that allow them to really know how to do something. As a bonus, it builds resilience!
Watching all your hard work come through with your children’s participation has been inspiring. You’ve really gone the extra mile in patiently supporting your kiddos and navigating new apps. I’m honored to know each of you. If I can help with anything, please drop a line through email or Seesaw. Your children are glowing examples of caring and resilience. Thank you for sharing their learning journey with me!
 
All the best,
 
Kari Ramadorai