This will be the last community newsletter of 2019. I wish you all the happiest of holidays celebrating with family and friends. We look forward to welcoming you back to Janney on January 2nd, 2020!
A gentle reminder that we will host indoor Jamboree for the months of January and February; a schedule is listed at the end of this letter.
As promised, here is the link to sign-up for a staff-led book club on White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. We will host another round of book clubs during the months of April-June if there is enough interest.
Also included in this week’s newsletter: more information on staff efforts in our Culturally Competent Book Clubs group; and, an informational column from our Speech Language Pathologist, Toni Wills.
The PTA Update includes: thanks to the many community members who chaired our December events; and, a final call for SSF donations for the 2019 calendar year.
Culturally Competent Book Clubs
Many of you are aware of our staff-led inquiry group focused on ensuring that our students have access to a diverse range of texts. The Culturally Competent Book Clubs group works towards ensuring that our classroom libraries and the books that we read to our students function as both mirrors and doors and windows – more specifically that students see themselves represented in the books on our shelves and that the books showcase the similarities and differences in others. This team has compiled an extensive list of books that we have added to our teaching units of study and to our bookshelves during their three years of their work together.
This year, in an effort to share this work more purposefully with our families, our K-2 teachers have used a monthly Open House time to share one of these texts in a read aloud format. In many classrooms across our building, teachers are not only using these texts to discuss and celebrate differences, but also as an entry point to conversations about race. I recently shared the article below with the teachers who have hosted these Open House read alouds so that they could pass it along to their parents and families. The article is a worthwhile read and contains a variety of links to diverse text suggestions. If you haven’t done a recent audit of the books on your children’s shelves at home, use this article as a starting point.
As one teacher noted after reading the article, “This is why we do this work. As the article states, ‘…it’s not just our similarities, it’s our differences – and our ability to share them – that make us beautiful.’”
Student Support Services Column
Did you know a positive attitude can really make a difference? It’s the last week before the holiday break, and we are all running around trying to get everything done and no one has time for speech homework…Don’t fret; I’ve got a few on the go speech tricks to help your child practice speech, all while you get things checked off your list!!
Positive reinforcement and home practice are two key aspects for successful speech therapy. Parental support and supervision of speech therapy homework are essential for helping your child achieve speech goals. It is not often that I will provide homework, but in the event your child does receive “speech practice” work (I try to refrain from using the term “homework” since it often can send a not so positive message) here are a few ways to work on it with them at home:
For articulation. Use a mirror to help your child with understanding and reinforcing the position of his/her tongue.The child uses a mirror to watch the mouth until he/she can make the sound correctly in words.
Use your own speech as a model.Children learn speech and language through imitation.Being aware of your own speech production, including grammar, helps your child improve their skills as well.
Have fun conversations! Use the dinner table like a speech therapy session.Discuss everything from daily events to what’s in each room of the home.Conversational skills, such as continuation of the topic and turn-taking are essential parts of speech and language.
Enrich vocabulary with language-based games such as: Hedbanz, Apples to Apples, and Scrabble. These games all help vocabulary skills. I also love a good word search or crossword puzzle for written vocabulary games!
Remember to keep a positive attitude and practice speech enrichment throughout your day, that way it becomes a part of your everyday routine.
Ms. Toni aka The Speech Lady
Toni Carroll-Wills, MS CCC-SLP
Reminder: Indoor Jamboree: January and February
We will move Jamboree indoors beginning in January. Each grade level will be assigned a day to host a grade-wide Morning Meeting in the gym beginning at 8:35am. Please note that drop-off procedures will not change for students in grades PK-K. If you have a student in grades 1-5, please drop-off your child off directly at the gym on their assigned grade-level day. If it is not your child’s assigned grade-level day, students may transition to their classrooms beginning at 8:35am. The turf field doors will be open for arrival between 8:30-8:45am. Students may also continue to use the Albemarle doors for arrival. We ask that parents in grades 1-5 drop their students off on the first floor and that they do not travel to the classroom with students.
Schedule for indoor Jamboree:
Mondays – all students report to homerooms
Tuesdays – PK and K
Wednesdays – 1st and 2nd grades
Thursdays – 3rd and 4th grades
Fridays – 5th grade