The class is so excited that they are almost halfway through their L3A year! Time certainly flies. As a new calendar year begins, students will be asked to consider new academic goals that they will have for the second semester when we come back in February. It is important for students to begin thinking of these goals now, so that they will already have them in mind when the new semester begins. I hope to encourage students to create detailed goals that address current challenges for them. I encourage parents to help them in this step as well.
With our mid-year major assessments recently behind us, the progress that students have made is easily visible in their improvements since taking the beginning-of-year assessments. They have recently improved in their usage of punctuation; students have even learned how to use quotation marks in their writing, a high level skill, but they are enthusiastic to practice it in their writing. In the coming semester, our overarching classroom goal for writing will focus on students’ abilities to create a beginning, middle, and end that are connected throughout their writing. Of course, this is an ambitious goal that focuses on the “big picture,” and we will certainly continue to focus on the more easily manageable areas of writing development as well. All the while, students’ reading speed and fluidity continue to improve steadily, as they gain more practice and a deeper understanding of phonics, particularly phonemes consisting of more than one letter.
Throughout our recent theme studies over Bugs, Winter & Christmas, Dinosaurs, and Countries, focusing on the USA and Brazil, students have really enjoyed the content and related activities. Students were very surprised to learn that bugs are invertebrates, as they do not have a backbone like the animals we had previously learned about. We also discussed that, even though many people do not celebrate Christmas, many of the holiday’s traditions are very visibly present in the USA and other Western countries at this time of the winter season. Of course, learning about dinosaurs and paleontology was a big hit with the students. They were incredibly excited to create their own fossils in science class and later become paleontologists themselves during role play and dig up the fossils carefully!
As mentioned previously, parents can provide help in the coming weeks by encouraging your children to choose academic goals that will assist them in overcoming their greatest challenges. If you also discuss the topic at home, students will likely be much more receptive to taking these goals seriously within the classroom. We are very excited about the excellent progress everyone has made so far, and we are so looking forward to experiencing even more growth over the coming months!