Saturday, April 03, 2004

Kindergarten Resources

Kindergarten Resources. Lesson plans, activities, and Internet resources for kindergarten classes.

Frpm the site:

Hop on board for an hour of exploration and sharing of exemplary web sites, thematic units and classroom organization ideas to kick-start your school year.

Click on Sue Roseman for recently added web resources!

Walk away from this session with a wealth of resources and web site links for all subject areas.

Time will be allotted to the exploration of sample kindergarten schedules, worksheet ideas, center ideas, balanced literacy and 4 blocks resources, home/school connections.

Participants will leave with a comprehensive web page handout, accompanying online resources, and simple web-based activities to use with students.

Emphasis will be placed on exploring sites which link to strands in YOUR curriculum.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Small Catholic Elementary Schools: An Endangered Species?

Small Catholic Elementary Schools: An Endangered Species? This article looks at the supposed demise of small Catholic elementary schools. I know of several here is Texas and they seem to be doing fine...

From the site:

In practical terms, a Catholic school is small when students in two or more grades share the same instructional setting. Within this digest, the small Catholic school will considered to be an elementary school with an enrollment of 100 or less. To be financially viable, a small school must recognize its smallness and seek structures and methods appropriate to its size.

WHERE ARE THE SMALL CATHOLIC SCHOOLS?

A recent Small Schools Survey (Reck, in press) found that 462 Catholic elementary schools in the United States enrolled fewer than 100 students in 8-grade schools, or under 12.5 students per grade in schools with fewer than 8 grades. Over three fourths of these schools are located in only 13 states.

HOW DO SMALL CATHOLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS FARE ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT TESTS?

Many persons still remember the argument for public school consolidation in the 1950s and 1960s: "bigger is better." Recent educational research shows, on the contrary, that size by itself does not indicate the quality of a school (Marshall, 1984) and that small schools can and do achieve as well (Alberta Department of Education, 1984; Sher and Tompkins, 1977; Eberts, 1984; ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 1982).

The Small Schools Survey of Catholic elementary schools (Reck, in press) indicates that 94% of the composite class averages are on or above grade level. Moreover, the median class average on the composite achievement score increases through the grades--with the eighth grade composite score 1.8 years above the national norm. In other words, the longer a class studies in a small Catholic school, the higher the group tends to score above the expected level.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Helping Your Child Use the Library

Helping Your Child Use the Library. Details ways that parents can help their children learn to use the library.

From the site:

You don't have to have a house overflowing with books to give your children this kind of experience. Your local public library is home to an abundance of books, plus many other valuable resources.

One of the most exciting and innovative areas in the library today is the children's section. Most public libraries now offer a wide variety of children's books and magazines. Some even offer selected materials in foreign languages (most often Spanish, French, and some Asian languages). Usually there is a children's librarian specially trained to help find just the right book--whether it's Mother Goose or how to do a science project. In addition to printed materials, libraries often lend audio- and videocassettes of children's books and movies. They may sponsor special programs, including story hours for youngsters (from toddlers on up), summer reading programs, and homework help. Many libraries also provide valuable resources for teenagers, such as term paper "clinics" and information and referral services.

Keep in mind too that a visit to the library can help enrich your life as an adult. Whether you are seeking information or just a "good read,"" your local public library has a lot to offer.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Using Microcomputers in Elementary Language Arts Instruction.

Using Microcomputers in Elementary Language Arts Instruction. Despite the age of this piece (it is from 1985) the concepts expressed are still good.

From the site:

The best way to integrate computers into the language arts curriculum is to focus on the student and the curriculum -- not on the computer. Of course, it is important to understand the capabilities that computer hardware and software offer for language instruction. However, the key to using the microcomputer wisely is to consider it in relation to teachers' and students' goals and needs.

WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM?

Elementary language arts instruction is usually devoted to helping children understand language critically and express themselves in speech and writing. But individual students' needs differ from the first years of school. Some children are able to write long pieces fluently, while others struggle with the mechanics of handwriting. Spelling is more difficult for some students than others. Some children like to write, and they write a great deal. Others don't like to write but are quite talented orally. Such diversity is a problem for elementary school teachers because meeting individual needs requires sensitivity to a variety of students, orchestration of the elements of the classroom environment (desks, books, visual aids, sounds), and ideas for stimulating all children to use language in many ways.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE COMPUTER IN THE LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM?

One of the main reasons some teachers find computers attractive is that computers can present and monitor "individualized" instruction to many students -- each at his or her own pace. Many computer programs provide spelling and grammar drills that students can work through, pursuing supplementary or "branched" lessons that are presented if they give incorrect answers. Such programs free teachers from having to repeat the same information many times.