Highlights - November 14, 2011
Dear Parents, Autumn in Colorado never ceases to amaze me. The diverse color palette of red, yellow, orange and brown, paints the landscape, leaving a stunning portrait in its wake. The snow laced grasses, the snowcapped Rocky Mountains, and the glowing sunsets at times serve to take your breath away. Autumn in Cherry Creek School District represents a time for learning, growing, and sharing. It is a time for parent-teacher conferences. This year’s conferences were an absolute success! As I meandered through the halls of both Holly Hills and Holly Ridge during the evenings of conferences, I was encouraged by the high level of collaboration, communication, and connection between teachers and parents. It is quite evident that the Holly’s community has the best interest of its students in mind. Thank you to all of the families and staff who participated in our parent-teacher conferences. We appreciate your willingness to share your time and knowledge with us. As we wind down from conferences and head toward the holiday season, it is important to emphasize our need to stay focused on rigor and learning. The weeks approaching the holidays are often filled with an energy less focused on learning and more focused on the holiday buzz. We may even be tempted to relax our homework or school attendance standards. You may be surprised by the long term ramifications of a few missed days or a few late mornings on a child’s academic growth and development. The weeks leading up to winter break, along with the official time off from school, can produce some of the same ill-effects as the infamous summer slide. Let’s commit to maintaining our high expectations for our students’ learning in the midst of the holiday frenzy. We want our learners to grow and thrive despite the season or time of year. Below are some suggestions for ensuring that your child experiences continued academic growth even during the holidays:
- Read! Read! Read!: We all know and love the old adage “practice makes perfect.” Maintaining a steady reading routine will prevent regression and increase growth. Be sure that your child is reading books at his or her level – not too hard and not too easy. Our school and public libraries have an exhaustive amount of books from which students can choose. Please access the library to allow variety in your child’s reading diet.
- Read Aloud: Hearing texts read aloud benefits all learners. The oral presentation of texts creates an image in the listeners’ mind. The text comes to life for students. Hearing texts read aloud further expands students’ vocabulary, increases their listening comprehension skills, and aids in the development of their own reading fluency.
- Capitalize on Opportunities to Read: We are immersed in a world of print. Encourage your child to find opportunities to read throughout their day. Below are some suggestions from Parents online magazine for finding opportunities to read everywhere:
- Morning: The newspaper — even if it is just the comics or today's weather.
- Daytime: Schedules, TV guides, magazines, online resources, etc. For example, if your child likes the food channel, help [him or her] look for a recipe on the network's website — then cook it together for more reading practice.
As we forge ahead into the holiday season, let’s commit to staying focused on learning and capitalizing on these brief moments in time that we have to support our children’s academic growth and development. Have a great autumn!Sincerely,Mrs. Tolbert
- Evening: End the day by having your child read to you from the book he/she is currently reading. Have him/her rehearse a paragraph, page, or chapter before reading to you. Rereading will help him/her be more fluent — able to read at an appropriate speed, correctly, and with nice expression. (Retrieved on November 9, 2011 from http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/three-ways-to-prevent-summer-slide)
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