Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Back to School Night

. Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Last night was "Back to School Night" at Boo Jr's school. I attended by myself while my wife stayed home with Boo Jr. My wife is sick so that's another reason why I went instead of her. Back to School Night is an opportunity to see and hear what your child will be learning while in Kindergarten. There was a general half hour presentation in the Gymnasium that talked about the overall syllabus. One good thing I was happy to see is they will be incorporating phonics into their reading lessons. They will still have the kids memorize some sight words, but I was under the impression that ALL they did was word recognition. Our baby sitter was taught that way when she went through school, and she has trouble reading and figuring out new words. Boo Jr should do well with this since he already has a head start from my wife doing the DISTAR program with him. Another thing I like about the school is they heavily emphasize being a good citizen and promoting "community". One cool thing is the Kindergarteners are paired up with "reading buddies" from 3rd or 4th grade. Once a week, the older kid reads to the younger kid and then they ask questions to test their comprehension skills. They have the same reading buddy all year. so it's cool that they develop a relationship. The teachers also praised the parents for having their kids ride the bus, talked about how lunchtime works, and reviewed some of their new safety procedures. The main one is that you have to show an ID if you come to school to pick up your child.

After the main presentation, we broke into groups and headed to your child's classroom to meet with the child's teacher. Boo Jr has Mrs. Gopher. I really like her. She's been teaching for over 20 years and has lots of experience as a reading and special education teacher. Mrs. Gopher probably has the best background to work with my son's issues. The teacher got into more detail of how their day goes and talked about some of the lessons they've done so far. Each child created some artwork that was at their table. The artwork was pictures of "this is my house", "this is my family", "this is me", etc. Some other cute notes - The artwork also included stuff like, "I live in Virginia" (with a colored in picture of the state). On his own, my son had written "Rgina" obviously doing his best to sound it out. Even more impressive, he spelled "Midlothian" (the town we live in) correctly all on his own.

After the meeting ended, we had an opportunity to wander around the classroom and see the artwork and projects they have worked on so far. I'm really proud of my son!

10 comments:

Kim said...

Neat stuff. Isn't Kindergarten fun? :-) Our open house is next week and I'm looking forward to it. Does your son's school have safety patrol? Mine son's school does. My school didn't, so this is the first time I've seen it. It's cute! The older kids....4th and 5th graders, are picked to help out. They stand in the hallway, help kids to class, tell everyone to walk and stay to one side, hold doors...it's really rather neat. I keep thinking of Bobby Brady on that Brady Bunch episode, though.

Boo said...

Our school has special helpers too. They help the little kids off the bus, make sure they get to class in the morning, and help them out at lunch, among other things. These kids were selected by their peers and went through "training". I think it's great all this interaction between the older and younger kids.

GreeneyeZZ said...

Boo - How great! and the part about him correctly spelling "Midlothian"??...*I* don't even know if I'm pronouncing it correctly! ;)

And Proud Daddy you are! Rightfully so.

Good post!

~ZZ

Anonymous said...

I'm curious --- why would they praise parents for having their kids ride the bus?

It sounds like boo jr. has a great teacher for his first year in school.

We have open house tonight --- middle school for my guys! Lockers and schedules with 7 different classrooms!

newt

Boo said...

The entire student population is within just a few miles and a 10 miute bus ride from the school. The school encouraged parents to have their kids ride the bus for what I see are the following reasons:

1. Promote independence of students (especially Kindergarteners).

2. Cut down on the vehicle traffic at school (ie - parents dropping their kid off). I live near a private school that does not provide bus service. They create a traffic jam every afternoon because the school's carpool lane can only accommodate a small number of cars. The line of cars literally extends a good quarter mile or so onto the only road I can take to go home. Fortunately, I don't have to go home at 3:00 all too often.

3. The cost of the buses are paid for by our taxes whether they're full or not. We might as well use them. Besides, public transportation is the "green" thing to do. I think the school district is considering converting the buses over to biodiesel!

Anonymous said...

I get why kids should be on the buses. I don't get why parents are being "praised" for doing the right thing.

newt

Boo said...

Because the parents WEREN'T doing the "right" thing in years past. Maybe instead of "praise" I should have said the parents were "thanked". We have a new principal and vice principal too this year. They're introducing some new/revised policies this year (such as the ID to pick up your kid during school hours). They're just trying to promote cooperation between the school and parents.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. It's always good for parents & administration to have good communication. We have great people here in Marcellus --- my kids are very lucky. They're walkers though; they'll only be riding the bus when ski club starts!

newt

Kim said...

How many kids walk or bike to school? I'd like to see THAT encouraged. I don't think enough kids are walking or biking. I see kids in our area who take the bus and who live 1/4 mile from the school. I don't think that encourages good habits. My son rides his bike, but when the time changes comes it's going to be too dark to ride. I'm thinking about either having him walk (with me, of course), or I'll drive him to the last group of houses before the school and he can walk from there, and then we'll either walk home together or I'll drop his bike off for him sometime before school gets out. If the weather is bad, of course, that changes things and I will drive him in that case, but as we only live a mile and a half from the school I really hate the thought of him taking a bus or being driven. Just seems like a waste to me. If he were to take a bus, he'd have to be out waiting for the bus before he leaves for school on his bike now. It's faster for him to ride his bike! Amazing.

Kim said...

HEY! I was wrong! While brushing my teeth this morning I realized that when the time change comes it will be lighter in the morning, not darker! Fall back, spring ahead. That means, when we change in the fall, at 7am (which is when we leave), the sun will be where it is at 8am right now. Hence, more sunlight in the morning! Cool! End of that worry.

 

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