Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Spring Break

Spring Break is typically a time of rejuvenation. Families begin planning for summer vacations and activities. 4-H members busy themselves with finishing up fair projects while others earnestly work with their fair animals as the fair countdown begins. Teachers in grades 3-8 put the final touches on their curriculum as they prepare for end-of-year state testing, and primary teachers (grades K-2) continue their magic in helping students become the best readers and writers they can be.
Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 pandemic is limiting or canceling the aforementioned activities. Instead, teachers are busy planning what the rest of the year in Distance Learning looks like, and some parents are concerned about how all of this will impact their child's academic success next year.
Here's the good news. Our entire nation is in this together. And if there's one thing I can confidently say about educators, they will do what it takes to help one another out. Since the closing of school buildings began in March, we have seen a plethora of online resources be made available, for free in most cases, to entire school districts.
I have no doubt that there will be "bridge packs", "crossover curriculum", "gap curriculum", or whatever name will catch on, created to help us all bridge the "distance learning" gaps that may have developed by not having face-to-face teaching during the majority of Trimester 3.
While our Lake Staff continues to do a phenomenal job to keep every child on track for a solid standards-based education for the remainder of the year, we continue to rely heavily on parents to offer the support, guidance, and time needed at home to effectively get the work done.
We've heard from you and have seen the funny, and sometimes true, memes on social media. We know the task placed on you in a very short period of time has not been easy. Yet, to help put parents at ease, I want to paraphrase some information my good friend and principal, Teresa Lightle, shared on her school's Facebook page (Ophir Elementary).
At all grade levels, first and most important is to...
Have your child READ! or Read to them. Turn closed captioning on your TV. Read a recipe, a cereal box or magazine. If you are in need of books, email me and we will get you books.
For parents who've been with us for more than a year, you know about our Summer Reading Program. We support summer reading because it is one of the best things you can do for your child. But here's a little known secret, IT'S NOT JUST FOR SUMMER! If you find yourself overwhelmed with Distance Learning, at the very least take the advice from my friend, Teresa, and read with or to your child, no matter the age!
Wondering about math facts? Here's what your child should be able to do at the end of each grade level, quickly and consistently:
Kindergarten: adding and subtracting 1-10
First Grade: adding 1-20
Second Grade: adding and subtracting 1-20
Third Grade: multiplying 1-12 
Fourth Grade: multiplying and dividing 1-12
Fifth Grade: all of the above fluently, add and subtract fractions

For our students in grades 6-8, fluency in the above skills will help them become strong math students in junior high.
If your child starts school next year knowing all these basic math facts as outlined and reads consistently and fluently, they will be well on their way to a successful year.
Remember to be kind to yourself during this time. Take one day at a time, or even one moment at a time. Our children are precious and deserve our best right now. If there is ever anything you need, academically, behaviorally, or emotionally, please let us know.

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