Thank you so much for visiting us during Parent-Teacher Conferences. I hope you found your meeting to be pleasant and informative about your student's learning. Please stay in touch with your child's classroom teacher. Don't hesitate to reach out if we may be of help.
Another highlight this week was our Literacy Night and Book Fair held at Wheelock. Thank you for coming! We all enjoyed participating in this fun event. Thanks to the PTO and Jim James of Park Street Books for their support and some great books! Thank you to our parents for all of their donations to our classrooms.
I have many conversations with parents and sometimes they seem surprised that we have many resources to help our students in the social emotional arena. We are happy to work with outside service providers as well, if you sign permission for us to communicate with the outside physician or therapist. If your student is struggling, don't hesitate to reach out to the teacher or me. We are happy to help or facilitate a connection to our guidance counselor or psychologist. Sometimes even one conversation can be very helpful. Here are some resources that may be helpful to you. I am proud to let you know that our psychologist, Jenna Johnson's blog has been named one of the Top 10 Elementary Pyschology blogs on the web by Feedspot!!
Mr. David Worthley is our Director of Social Emotional Learning for the district. Mr. Worthley maintains a great website, as well.
If you noticed the Flash this week, I added a short piece about kids who are different. Teaching our children to respect those with differences is very important to us at Wheelock School. In the Flash I mentioned the movie, Wonder, has come out. For the right age group, it's a tremendous opportunity to discuss topics of this nature. I also learned there is a more primary book on this topic entitled We're All Wonders by the same author, Palacio.
In my former life, I was a reading specialist so I greatly enjoy visiting the Wheelock reading room. Observing a lesson moved me to remind you that we can't take for granted that our children know the meaning of words we take for granted. Consider this, have you ever told your child that you were going to "tuck" him or her into bed? Do they know what the word tuck means? Ask you child if he or she knows what the word tuck means. It can be eye opening. Many of our kiddoes have rich experiences, yet they lack in vocabulary.
Between the ages of two and five, children learn an estimated 1500 new words every year, or about 5 words a day (Beck & McKeown, 1991). It doesn't stop there!
Research points us in the direction of natural interactions as the source of vocabulary learning. Whether through free play between peers . . . or an adult introducing literacy terms (e.g., sentence, word), as children engage in play with literacy tools, the likelihood that vocabulary will 'stick' is heightened when children's engagement and motivation for learning new words is high. Embedding new words in activities that children want to do recreates the conditions by which vocabulary learning takes place in the crib." (Justin Harris, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, "Lessons From the Crib to the Classroom: How Children Really Learn Vocabulary." Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 3, ed. by Susan B. Neuman and David K. Dickinson. Guilford Press, 2011)
Next week will fly by! I wish all of our Wheelock community a safe, restful and Happy Thanksgiving!