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Ms. Warrick's Classroom

Subject: 
Math, Reading

Welcome to Ms. Warrick's Classroom page.

To ensure your child’s success, we must work together to keep the lines of communication open.  I respect the fact that you know your child the best.  You will be the first to know if your child is having a problem with school.  Whenever you or your child feels worried about things happening at school, please contact me via voice mail, a written note, or e-mail.  My commitment to your child is genuine and our interaction is essential to your child’s education-both academically and behaviorally. 

Building a strong relationship with one another is very important for several reasons.  Some of the most important are:

  • To motivate your child
  • To build self-esteem in your child
  • To reach common goals together
  • To work through difficulties that may arise
  • To see that your child enjoys the mental, physical and social activities at school
  • To see that your child reaches personal fulfillment
  • To nurture and support your child
  • To see that your child learns and becomes responsible

Thank you for your cooperation and for your involvement.  I look forward to working together in the best interest of your child.  If you have any questions throughout the year, I encourage you to contact me.  Remember your care and concern contributes to your child’s education.

Intervention Information

Because we are teaching students on his/her instructional level, teaching reading, writing and math might look different for each child/group.  Below are some of the ways we are teaching the subject areas to your child.

As always, we will be instructing students at their instructional level.  This is a level at which the teacher “stretches” the student’s thinking, or abilities in reading, writing, and/or math.  An instructional level is a level that is just slightly above their ability (an independent level is the level at which a child can easily perform skills).  When students are taught at their instructional level, students are able to make maximum growth.

Reading Intervention

Reading is a fundamental life skill and I strive to produce independent learners whose reading improves every time they read.  Reading involves many different skills all working together to obtain meaning from the written page.  Because of this, I teach reading through a “strategies” approach.  Students will learn how to use a wide range of strategies to help them unravel unknown words. 

Students will be taught at his/her instructional reading level and will be in a strategy group that best suits his/her needs.  The purpose of reading intervention is to help children get meaning from text while using problem solving strategies to figure out words they don’t know, deal with tricky sentence structures, and understand new ideas.  The books we will be reading are from the reading program called Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI).  This program offers students the opportunity to practice and perfect reading strategies, enhance vocabulary skills, study and develop phonic skills, improve writing skills and increase reading comprehension by discussing and analyzing what they have read.

Most students will also be taught reading through a phonics approach.  Often struggling readers have difficulty with decoding words and need to be taught the “code” to read successfully.  Decoding is the ability to apply knowledge of letter-sound relationships, including knowledge of letter patterns, to correctly pronounce written words. Understanding these relationships gives children the ability to recognize familiar words quickly and to successfully figure out words that are not familiar to them.

Students will also practice reading sight words very quickly.  Sight words are words that should be instantly recognized without having to "figure them out."  These words rarely follow any phonetic rules and just have to be memorized. These words will be practiced by using flashcards, doing word work activities (using magnetic letters to make the word, etc.), identifying words in reading and learning how to spell them correctly in writing.

For kindergarten students, we will be working on identifying the symbol for each letter (an A looks like this A a, etc.) and the sound that each letter makes.  We will also be reading simple books focusing on letters and books that are easy to decode which consist of words that follow letter/sound correspondence (also known as cvc words—cat, dog).  We also will be doing numerous phonemic awareness activities as this is the foundation of reading and a predictor of reading success.

A good reader is one who takes the initiative for problem solving and who uses many different strategies when reading text.  Establishing a supportive learning environment that praises attempts (even if incorrect) encourages students to be risk takers.  Students who are supported throughout their reading development gain more confidence in their reading abilities which promotes reading success.

Writing Intervention

Writing will be taught through a phonics approach as well and is often taught in conjunction with reading.  Writers are expected to use letter/sound relationships that he/she knows to spell words in his/her writing.  With more experience, modeling and learning more about phonics and its rules, children will transition from a temporary spelling approach to the conventional spelling of familiar words. 

Writing and spelling activities will be designed to help students learn letter/sound correspondences, learn the meanings of words, discover the patterns and rules for spelling as well as learn the exceptions to those rules.

Students will also be writing to express their comprehension with reading (for younger students, we will do this orally).  Students will mostly be writing summaries and constructed responses, however, students will be working on other writing concepts as well.  In a summary, students will be expected to identify the main idea of the story and then give supporting details to justify their main idea.  In a constructed response, students answer questions regarding their reading in a formulaic way.  Students first restate the question, then answer the question, cite evidence from the text and then explain their answer. 

Student who struggle in writing often struggle with physically writing his/her letters (especially if how to write the letters is not in their memory).  We will be exploring a particular style of handwriting letters with verbal prompts that will help guide students to make the letters correctly and help reinforce these letters to memory.  Handwriting will be more of a focus for the primary grades than the intermediate grades.

Learning to write takes encouragement and a lot of practice.  It is important to support and praise every attempt at writing as your child progresses through the different stages of writing.  This will help build confidence and enable your child to take risks as he/she learns to write.

Math Intervention

Some students will be getting instruction through a program called “Number Worlds”.  This program is an intensive program that focuses on a lot on number sense and understanding how numbers work together.  This program also covers addition, subtraction, money, time, problem solving, geometry, and measurement.  Students practice math skills that have been taught in their Number Worlds Math Journal and through various math games.  These activities help students to build a firm mathematical foundation. 

For students that need less intensive math instruction, they will be receiving math instruction in his/her general education classroom with the support of a special education teacher to help re-teach concepts and modify assignments to their instructional level.  Also, if students struggle in a particular area in math (time, money, etc.) these skills will be addressed even if it is not a focus in the classroom math curriculum.

For kindergarten students, we will be working on learning the three aspects of number which include the quantity of each number, the number symbol (one looks like this 1, three looks like this 3, etc.) and the word used for each number (one, ten, etc.)  We also will be working on the concepts of more and less, numbers before and after, counting up to 20 and backwards from 20, shapes, patterns, and simple addition and subtraction.

Homework

You and I want your child to do well in school.  We also want your child to do his/her best when it comes to homework.  Homework provides opportunities for children to practice essential life skills such as responsibility and practicing independence.  Homework encourages parent involvement and establishes a link between home and school. 

Homework is very important because it extends learning opportunities beyond the confines of the school day.  Studies have shown that schooling occupies only about 13% of the waking hours of the first 18 years of life, which is usually less than the amount of time students spend watching television. 

The primary focus of homework is to help children develop good study habits, foster positive attitudes toward school, and communicate to students the idea that learning takes work at home as well as in school.  Homework is assigned for three reasons.  These reasons are:

  • To Practice and Review
  • The goal is for students to increase their accuracy and speed.  Studies have shown that mastering a skill requires a fair amount of focused practice.
  • To Prepare and Elaborate
  • The goal is to prepare students for new content or have them elaborate on content that has already been introduced. 
  • To Finish or Fix a Previous Assignment
  • The goal is to encourage accuracy and understanding and encourage the importance of being responsible for finishing work.

Various homework assignments will be given throughout the year.  Before any homework assignment is sent home, we discuss the assignment, the expectations regarding the assignment, and when the assignment is due back to school.  If at any time you or your child has questions about assigned homework, please feel free to contact me via voice mail, a written note, or e-mail.  If there is still confusion with the assignment, have your child return the homework to school and I will be happy to assist your child further if needed. 

Homework Assignments throughout the Year

Reading Intervention Homework

The Reading Intervention Folder WILL come home EVERY DAY (on very few occasions, the folder will not come home every day.  If this is the case, students are expected to read a book of their choice at home).  The “take home book” is sent home so your child can practice his/her reading strategies, fluency, and comprehension.  Since this is a familiar book to your child, it should be easy to read, which helps build your child’s confidence.  Students are to read this book several times.  The goal is to read the story fluently (read like we talk).  Please have your child read the book to you one time and then have them tell you what the story was about (a retell).  Feel free to ask your child questions about the story as well.  If your child has trouble with a word, he/she must look at the pictures for clues. He/she must also look at the beginning and final letters in the word. These clues will help your child make good “guesses” about the unknown word. Be careful not to just tell your child any unknown words, but help work through them together.

Your child will also sometimes have a word work word that he/she needs to practice.  Have your child pick an activity from the Word Work Activities page (these activities are listed on the back of the reading intervention folder). 

Again, students are to read the book as many times as possible.  Your student only needs to read the story to you one time.  After you have heard your child read the book and after your child has completed a word work activity, please sign the parent signature form next to the date and book title they read and feel free to write any comments.  Reading Folders are ALWAYS due back the next school day.  These books and folders will be used for the next day’s reading lesson.  If books are lost or damaged, they will need to be replaced so that I can continue to check books out to future students.  Replacement cost is $5.00 for each lost or damaged book.

Math Intervention Homework

Math intervention homework will consist of games and independent practice sheets throughout the year.  These activities allow students to practice and review the skills that they have already learned in school.  The goal is for students to increase their accuracy and speed with each math activity.

Math Homework should always be completed in pencil. 

Math and/or Literacy Game Homework

Math and/or Literacy games will be sent home periodically so your child can practice his/her math and/or literacy skills.  Games provide an easy way to practice skills in a fun environment.  Not only do games help your child develop reading and/or math skills, they also can teach important social skills, such as communicating verbally, sharing, waiting, taking turns, and enjoying interaction with others.  Games can foster the ability to focus, and lengthen your child's attention span by encouraging the completion of an exciting, enjoyable game.  Games also teach children various life skills: Your luck can change in an instant — for the better or for the worse. The message inherent in games is: Never give up. Just when you feel down because you are losing, your luck can change if you stay in the game for just a few more moves. 

The Importance of Establishing

Good Homework Patterns

You have the unique opportunity to have a positive effect on your child’s future.  The development of homework patterns begins during childhood and shapes how your child will work throughout life.  It is important that you help your child to establish good homework habits that he/she can take with him/her into adult life.  Here are several things you can do to set a healthy homework tone:

  1. Find an appropriate place to do schoolwork.  Select a comfortable, quiet spot and make that a designated homework area.
  2. Have your child place his/her backpack and materials at his/her “study station” when he/she arrives home from school.
  3. Find a quiet area without distractions.  A place without a TV, radio, or stereo is optimal.  Make sure the spot is away from others who are not doing homework.
  4. Find a place that is well lit or create a well-lit area. Poor lighting creates eye fatigue.
  5. Make sure the study area has the necessary supplies close at hand.
  6. Establish a good time to do homework and have your child study during this time every day.
  7. Encourage your child to do his/her best work and to get his/her homework done on time.  Do not do the homework for your child.  If there is something he/she doesn’t understand, guide him/her through the directions in order so that he/she reaches the goal by him/herself.  If there is still confusion with the assignment, then return the homework to school with a note that the homework was attempted.  I will be happy to assist your child further.
  8. Have your child repack his/her backpack with the completed assignments and materials as soon as he/she has finished his/her homework.
  9. Have your child place his/her backpack by the door through which he/she will leave for school in the morning so it is not forgotten.
  10. Praise your child’s efforts-not only when they get a good grade but for small efforts too.
  11. If your child is not doing his/her homework, listen to why and then communicate firmly that you expect him/her to be a responsible student and get his/her homework to school when assigned.

Parent Involvement Partners in Education

Parents can be a powerful resource for increasing children’s academic achievement.  Studies have continuously reported that students who have home support usually have higher achievement than those students without such home support.  Today in many schools and districts across the country, parents are seen as partners in their child’s education.

Your role as a parent is essential to the success of your child.  You are encouraged to:

  • Provide a stable, loving, and supportive home environment.
  • Show your interests by ensuring your child’s prompt attendance every day.
  • Establish good homework and study skills habits.
  • Encourage your child’s efforts and point out the things that he/she did well (if your child does make a mistake, remember he/she is still learning).
  • Listen and interact with your child.
  • Invite your child to be involved in planning and some decision making (this prepares your child for decisions made during the school day).
  • Expect your child to do well and encourage them (this greatly enhances your child’s academic development).

Teacher Communication

In order to establish and maintain good communication between home and school, I will be communicating through intervention folders and through email.

Intervention Folders

Reading and/or Math Intervention Folders are a great communication tool designed for you to examine your child’s progress throughout the week.  Occasionally you will see comments I have written on student’s papers.  Please feel free to respond in the Parent Comment section.  Your comments and mine can help us communicate throughout the year. 

Parent Communication

If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your child and/or intervention, please let me know.

  • Email me at Kristin.Warrick@adams12.org
  • Call my voicemail at 720-972-5690
  • Write me a note and send it to school with your child in his/her intervention folder
  • Make a comment in the Intervention Folder

***Please Note—it is difficult for me to return calls and/or emails during the school day, however, I will make every effort to get in contact with you as soon as possible.

Attendance Reminders

Daily and punctual attendance is one of the most important factors that determine a student’s success in school.  When your child is on time, he/she will feel more confident and ready for the day’s activities.  When a student is late or absent, he/she doesn’t have the same opportunity to prepare for the day and may feel ill prepared and apprehensive.  It is important that your child has the best opportunity to get the most out of his/her educational experience. 

Your child will participate in an intervention reading/writing and/or math group on a regular basis. Therefore, it is very important that your child attends school every day so that he or she can continue to make rapid progress. 

Practice at Home

Parents are a powerful resource for increasing children’s academic achievement.  Your daily support of reading, writing and math activities is an essential part of your child’s success in school.  Studies have continuously reported that students who have home support have higher achievement than those who do not. 

Reading: Please listen to your child read every night and encourage him/her to practice his/her reading strategies.  Also please practice the listed word for “word work” by doing several word work activities (these are listed in your child’s intervention folder).  Reading aloud to your child will expose your child to a richer vocabulary and can have positive impacts on his/her language, intelligence, and later literacy achievement. Ask your child questions regarding what he/she has read.  Have him/her retell the story in order, or summarize the story by just telling the important parts.

Writing: There are many ways to help encourage and support writing at home.  These include having your child write his/her own thank-you notes, party invitations and letters to family.  Allowing your child to write the grocery list.  Finding a pal for your child would make writing “real.” Helping children make the connection between writing and the “real” world will increase an interest in writing.

Math: Play math games with your child, this helps support his/her mathematical thinking.  When students find different strategies for solving problems it deepens their understanding of numbers and operations.  When games are played repeatedly, it also supports students’ development of computational fluency.  Games present fun opportunities for practice, often without the need for teachers/parents to provide the problems.