Goal Setting Conferences: October 1 – October 5

Our children have been back to school for just a month and goal setting conferences are around the corner!

Goal setting Conferences are all next week before and after school. (Remember next week is a week of minimum days and all students are dismissed at 12:45pm, Monday – Friday, October 1 – October 5).

If you haven’t heard, KMES students did very well on the 2012 CST. Check out the Data from last year’s CST tests. Kings Mountain Elementary Students have much to be proud of. KMES met all schoolwide goals in Language Arts, Writing, Math and Science. The improvements seen by each grade are a testament to the increased collaboration among staff and the strong and early emphasis on writing in the last few years, beginning in the K-1 classroom.

Please take the time to read the Goals that have been posted in the areas of student self-assessment and writing. The continued focus on these two areas are at the heart of the professional development teachers are receiving this year.

As promised in earlier posts, the Resources page has been updated to include not only the documents that are referenced by this site, but also websites useful to students, parents and teachers. If you know of any websites that would be useful and interesting to students in the areas of reading and writing, please let your child’s teacher know and we’ll add them to the list.

Finally, the Timeline for Project 2013 is posted. Visit this page to see when the next Benchmarks will be. The Timeline also lists when the next School Site Council meeting is scheduled. In October, the SSC will meet to discuss where the students are in Language Arts, what the goals are for 2012 – 2013, and how students will be supported in reaching those goals.

It has only been a month since the start of school, but there is already so much underway.

Video of Parent Night With Charlotte Knox

On the evening of September 11, from 6pm – 7pm, Charlotte talked to KMES parents and staff about what parents can do to support learning, specifically writing, at home while teachers and staff support students at school. If you were unable to attend the “Parent Night with Charlotte Knox”, you can now view it online (click the blue text). Many thanks to Tom Pohl for recording this event for our parents and community!

At the parent night, Charlotte impressed upon parents the importance of reading. She shared data that illustrates the direct correlation between current and future student success and how much students read each day.

Also, two websites were mentioned that can help support student reading:
The first is a book club site, Spaghetti Book Club. This is the largest site of children’s book reviews written and illustrated by kids for kids. The second website mentioned, Scholastic Book Wizard, can be used to choose those “just right” books for your child.

What are some of the things you can you do as a parent to support your child’s learning at KMES? First, get interested in what your child is reading. In the video, Charlotte gives examples of the types of questions to ask your students about their books. Students at KMES are tested for reading proficiency and comprehension. If you find that your child is having a hard time deciding what to read, ask your child’s teacher what level books your child is reading in class. Then use the Book Wizard mentioned above with your child to choose other books that might be interesting at his or her level. If the books are not available at the school library, the public library is likely to have them. Also, have your child check out the Spaghetti Book Club. Perhaps reading the opinions of other kids will inspire her or him to read the same book.

Secondly, ask your child what they are doing in class and how well they are doing. Every other week, students will be checking off standards they have learned in their binders. Ask your child’s teacher to see the binder at the upcoming goal setting conferences.

Finally, ask your child’s teacher how you can support the writing projects in their class. Perhaps you can volunteer time to help students word process or bind final projects. Whatever the project, teachers will always have ideas for how you can volunteer.

Parent Night With Charlotte Knox

Tonight parents of KMES students gathered in the 4/5 classroom to hear from Charlotte Knox about what parents can do to support their children at home while our teachers support them at school.

Charlotte reviewed how to read the CST scores that parents should receive in the mail this week and how students will discuss the scores with their teacher during an upcoming “Test Chat”. Test taking strategies that will be reviewed with students were also shared.

Much time was spent discussing the importance of wide reading, talking with children about their reading, and specifically the kinds of questions parents should be asking their children about what they read. Parents requested a source to use to find those “just right” books for their children as well as a place for children to share what they like to read with other children. Perhaps this could be an addition to the “Resources” section of this blog. An email will be sent to parents when the “Resources” section is updated.

Today with Charlotte, our students wrote about themselves and the daily news in the K-1, discussed writing fables and wrote a fable as a group in the 2/3, and discussed narratives and wrote scary stories in the 4/5. Ask your child about what they wrote. My daughter was reading her story aloud in the car on the way home.

Today teachers collaborated over standards and created plans for writing for the school year which will be shared monthly with parents. Much of the writing will take place in class. There will be writing homework titled “Night Writing” that comes complete with instructions so parents know how to support their child at home. Finally, there will be a few assignments that will occur over weeks at school and home and culminate in larger published pieces that will be celebrated in a public way at school.

Tom Pohl recorded the evening and it will be shared with families, you’ll be notified via email when it is available. There are extra copies of the handouts given tonight at school. These will be kept in the office if you would like to pick one up. Also, a copy of Charlotte’s book titled “Backwards Planning for Success with Writing” will be available in the office for parents and community members to browse. This book is filled with many of the tools the teachers are using in their classrooms this year. As I flipped through the book, I quickly recognized a few.

Thanks so much to all the teachers for all their hard work!

Thanks so much for all the parent and community support for our teachers!


Mark Your Calendars!

As mentioned on back to school night, Charlotte Knox will be hosting a parent education hour at Kings Mountain Elementary School, Tuesday, September 11, 6pm – 7pm.  She will discuss grade level standards, grade level expectations and testing results.  She’ll also discuss how parents can best support their child’s learning beyond elementary school.  Charlotte will be guiding our teachers through professional development this year and we are fortunate to have her offer to speak to parents as well.  Here is your chance to see some of the materials they will be using.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from her about how you can support your child at home, as our teachers support them at school.
Hope to see you there!