Thursday September 6, 2018

Welcome to the start of the 2018-2019 school year which is now already well underway. Students have also completed informal diagnostic testing to ascertain the most appropriate academic and social settings for them. Education as always will take place in several different formats, including the classroom, field trips, and a variety of other activities. Detailed below are several of the scheduled activities so that you may have an opportunity to discuss some of them with your child and even be involved with the fun of planning together. We look forward to a year filled with fun, learning and growth! 

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

 

 

BONANZA QUESTION

Each monthly newsletter will feature a Bonanza Question or activity for your child to answer, do, or engage in. Those children participating will be eligible for a prize or special activity. We encourage you to spend time with your child partaking in these activities as it is an excellent opportunity to bond and connect with them.

September Bonanza Question: Name all the US states that begin with a “W”.

Deadline Day: Monday September 17th, 2018

 

INFO BURSTS

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTE - Elizabeth Upmal

A big welcome back to everyone!! As summer is now becoming a distant memory and school begins to click into gear, the need for routine and structure with our children becomes increasingly significant.

At Kentwood, we implement structure by providing the students with consistency and grounding from the moment they walk in the door of the classroom. We have specific routines for the way we take attendance, how we write in our notebooks, the notebooks that we use for each subject and the strict schedule that we follow daily. When students are continually late to school, frequently leave early or simply forget their lunches, agendas or homework, it REALLY throws them off for the entire day.

Many well-intentioned parents enthusiastically start out to establish the structure their children need. However, many throw in the towel after a just few weeks (or even a few days) because the routines are not working. "Billy just won't listen”. “He doesn't want to go along with it”. “Every day becomes a battle, and we're all worn out”. “Is there something else we can try?" Usually, routines don't work because parents give up too soon. In order to make structure truly effective and stick, routines need to be seen and implemented not just as simple behavioral strategies, but as a way of life. In these hectic times, it may seem impossible to provide a structured lifestyle. Everyone is juggling schedules: work, school, recreation, music lessons, basketball practice, and so on. Yet in just such times, structure becomes most important. Although it takes a lot of work and patience, being consistent will pay off in the long run with greater productivity for your child, as well as better health and family relationships.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me. Have a fabulous month and enjoy your children! 

 

LOWER SCHOOL

 

MRS. PUSTAVER

Hello, everyone! Happy September! This month, we are reading Charlotte’s Web. The children are really enjoying the story and want me to keep reading! For Language Arts, we have started our spelling units. We are also starting an essay, using the Kentwood techniques for planning, editing and finishing. In Math, we are making sure the students know different vocabulary words, so they can be sure to understand what a problem is asking. We are also getting everyone to their own level so we can continue moving forward at their own pace. In Social Studies, we get to learn about Florida, one of the most interesting states. We are also learning about terms and sources to study social studies more effectively. In Science, we are learning about the nature of science, what makes a good scientist, and how to do a science project by using the scientific method. In Skills, we are practicing following directions and classroom rules. I’m so excited to have all my students in my class and am glad that we are making such good progress already! See you at open house!

 

MRS. RICHARDS

Our class went "Bach" in time as they journeyed "Bach" to school. We learned how Johann Sebastian Bach overcame several adversities in his life and created new musical compositions to express his emotions. His father taught him to play the violin at a young age, so we created our own violins as well. During Social Studies we continued to explore lifestyles during the Colonial Days, and we dressed up in period costumes to get a feel for going "Bach" in time. Our first novel study is Beverly Cleary's award winning Dear Mr. Henshaw. This story encourages our students to conduct a personal interview. We took it a step further and interviewed our grandparents in honor of Grandparents' Day. Using our vocabulary words in spelling units 1 and 2, we will begin the essay writing process. Following directions has also been an underlying theme in our Skills and Science classes. We conducted our very first Science experiment last week and practiced using the scientific method with Ice Fishing. Our Math class has been split into smaller groups so that the students can have a more structured and individualized math program.

 

 

MRS. STEINBERG

Hello Parents. It's been so nice getting to know your kids in class and all of you on the phone. I'm looking forward to our Back to School Night, so that we can speak in person. In English, we are about one third of the way through our first novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Even though the kids are familiar with the story, they are still really enjoying the novel; and experiencing how much more detail there is compared to the movie. When we finish reading, the kids will be writing an essay diving deep into an analysis of the characters. In Language Arts, we have completed 2 spelling units and are working on our 1st 5 paragraph essay using the Kentwood color card system. In Social Studies, we have begun our Geography Unit, and have had some awesome discussions on early human species in science. Math diagnostics have been completed so that students can be placed in their appropriate levels and move forward accordingly. As you can tell, we’re already in the groove and we’re off to a great start!

 

MR. LEBO 

The students are off to a great start as we begin the 2018-2019 school year! In English, we have started our novel, Bridge to Terabithia. The class has really enjoyed the beginning stages of the book. Recognizing character traits, following the plot (sequence of events), and identifying the theme are just a few of the things we stress. Early language arts classes have emphasized nonfiction reading comprehension and working through the spelling books. In addition to using our color coded syllable system to break down the words, the students learn the meanings and how to use them. For example, we work on analogy activities and questions that require the student to use the context of a sentence to figure out what the word means. As we do in all classes, we strongly stress the importance of organization in math. They each have graph notebooks in which to complete their problems. This style of paper really helps them to line up problems correctly and with improving their work neatness. Reviewing the operations of math has been the focal point of early lessons. Our social studies curriculum will focus on early American history up to and including World War I, American geography, and economics. In addition, we also discuss current events at times. For example, with the recent primary election, we talked about the election process. The Pleistocene period and the animals that lived during the ice age was the topic of the most recent science lesson. The students quite enjoyed this lesson, partially because they are so familiar with the animated movies that centered around this period. Science labs were discussed, and we went over in detail the lab form that will be used. Social skills, as always, is a huge part of our program. In addition to spending brief moments throughout the day discussing appropriate social engagement and norms, we have a class dedicated to this a number of times a week. Possible topics may include getting along with others, being respectful to parents, making good decisions when out with friends, utilizing social media responsibly, and more. The goal is for the student to take what is learned in class and apply it to situations both inside and outside of school. Overall, I have been very pleased with the effort the class has shown thus far, and I am quite proud of them! 

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL 

Hello Kentwood Families! We are excited to welcome everyone and are looking forward to a great academic year! Thank you to all who came to our High School orientation night. From the feedback we received, it appeared to be both enjoyable and constructive. 

During the first couple of weeks of school we have been working on diagnostics, assessing each student’s academic level to determine the appropriate classroom placement. We begin each day with Home Base. During this time the students have an opportunity to prepare for classes, check in with their teacher, order lunch and socialize with their peers. A double period of Math (including logic) follows, where each student has been placed on the individualized program allowing them to work at their own pace. During double period of English every day the students work on different sets of skills. On Mondays, they work on research papers, focusing on finding the main idea of the research topic and building their writing ideas around it. On Tuesdays, the students write essays and work on the grammar lessons with their teachers. On Wednesdays and Thursdays the students read and discuss their novel, and then organize their ideas on the factor sheets which they are going to need when it is time to write their book reports. On Fridays we write another essay and work on the grammar lessons. The students are taught to utilize our Kentwood color coded writing system, which helps them organize and express their thoughts on paper.

In Science and Social studies classes the students work with the textbooks, periodically watch a film and learn how to analyze and write. We find that students who are visual learners do well in these kinds of lessons and those who are not visual learners acquire visual learning skills. These types of lessons also encourage the student to think systematically and to organize an opinion around facts. In social studies classes the students work in groups focusing on preparing a presentation on an assigned topic.

We are learning the alphabet in Spanish and new vocabulary words as well. It was interesting to note that the students remembered the difference between consonants and vowels. They were able to transfer that knowledge to Spanish class and discover that grammatical structure is not universal. A vowel in one language may not be so in another. We all had great fun learning to trill our Rs. The students seem happy, because we always learn about some mistake that is not always the most PC and how to avoid it. One of the fascinating parts of teaching a foreign language is learning that what is funny in one culture is meaningless in another. The students get the benefit of language and culture.

HOMEWORK: Each of the high school students have been placed on individual homework levels with at least one assignment every night. They should take home their agendas, red homework folder and anything they need. In high school, it is the student's responsibility to remember the assignment or carry the agenda. It is not the parent's or the teacher's. Please help us enforce this to help our young people develop organization skills and a greater sense of responsibility. No student should spend more than one hour on an assignment this early in the year. We will let you know when the amount of homework increases. If the student works for an hour and is unable to complete the assignment, there is no penalty. The student will be given more time to work on it; but the student must show some work. Thank you for your support.

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