By Tamara Daly
With the school year now in full swing, there are two SAC initiatives that we’ve planned for the coming months: a survey of teachers regarding their technology needs and priorities; and a survey of parents to find out about their overall needs and priorities. Look for more details in the November column.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table at the Fall Fair to share your ideas about McGregor. This month’s column is dedicated to i) the Ontario curriculum and report cards; and ii) interactive and creative tools to help kids develop their writing and reading comprehension skills.
The full elementary curriculum is available on this site:www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/. The expectations are laid out for each grade for the following skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
- With interim report cards coming out this month, here is some helpful information. This TVO article shares tips for interpreting report cards:http://tinyurl.com/lrvc9jd.
- If you have ever wondered how teachers evaluate children’s writing, another informative TVO article discusses teachers’ use of writing “exemplars” for grading (http://tinyurl.com/lvnr3tu). In brief, teachers can use these grade level writing examples to compare against four examples that correspond to letter grades (A – D).
- If you are a newcomer to Ontario information about the education system is located on this site: http://tinyurl.com/7sqjtfg.
- If your child really likes using interactive media based tools, there are a host of web resources to aid writing.
- For all students, this creative site www.popplet.com enables students to create “mindmaps” to work with their writing ideas.
- Another site, www.storybird.com allows students to read and create electronic “books” using beautiful and imaginative artwork selected from artists from around the world.
- The “story map” site guides students through the main elements of a story:http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/storymap/
- One creative way to work with words is to allow your child to create their own crossword puzzles. Kids get to come up with the words and the questions on this site: (http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/crossword/).
- For students in the French programme, the French as a Second Language homework toolbox on this site is helpful: http://tinyurl.com/mge8tcv.
- Finally, reading comprehension can be a challenge for students. I recently read a library book entitled “How to read literature like a professor for kids” by Thomas C. Foster. The book provided good insight for older elementary students. Its aim is to help students comprehend book themes and to think through how a book’s plot links with other books they’ve read.
As always, we are happy to hear from you. Drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org or stop one of us at the playground. 2013 SAC Members: Nicole Barnett, George Bazios, Anne Clifton, Rod Clifton, Tamara Daly, Meg French, Andrea Keech, Nick Lamacchia, Mark Schrutt, Sarah Smith, Astrid Van Den Broek