Once again this year, our teachers are participating in the Professional Development program at Teachers College, the graduate school of education at Columbia University. A workshop entitled “A Day for Families: Supporting a Child’s Literacy Development Takes All of Us” was held in October, and in addition to our teachers, a limited number of parents were invited to attend. Second grade parent Alison Yi kindly shares her notes.
This was a wonderful opportunity. It was great to be able to spend half a day thinking about how to support your child’s development of literacy skills.
I attended three sessions, all structured around important themes but also full of practical advice. The first session began with establishing structure to a narrative and then techniques for elaboration and development of the story. I was intrigued by suggestions on using acting, drama, sensory details, timelines, internal feelings and thoughts to deepen and bring meaning to a story. As a mother of a 7-year-old boy, I’m on the lookout for anything that will help him to give voice to his internal feelings and empathy for other’s experiences.
In the second session, we were presented with many useful ways to support early reading and writing. Sign-making, card-making, list-making, note-taking, letters, games and story telling … a long list. Some games like “Taboo” (a favorite in our family) were recommended for deepening vocabulary and mapping word relationships to concepts.
The third and final session dealt with enriching the reading experience itself to encourage growth and understanding in the developing reader. It covered everything from the what, when and how of the child’s reading to the bigger themes of how the child can use reading material to develop the ability to debate and think critically. At all levels of reading ability, asking the same questions of a reader leads to viewing material through many different lenses as they grow. It made me realize how parents and the family culture play such a critical part in helping children to use their reading to expand their world experience and also to participate fully in the world around them as they grow.
Thanks to Jenny and the staff for continuing to support the Teacher’s College literacy program in the school. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to attend the workshop.
Teachers College is one of the many beneficial initiatives funded by your PTA. Please help the continuation of these and similar programs by contributing to the Direct Appeal.
Then nominate him or her for a Big Apple Award!
The awards, administered by the NYC Department of Education, recognize teachers who “inspire students, model great teaching, and enrich their school communities.” Nominees must be current, full-time teachers, and anyone – students, parents, teachers, administrators, or community members – may submit a nomination.
Following the nomination process, 1,000 nominees will be invited to submit an application. These will be narrowed down to up to 250 applicants, who will be invited to participate in an interview and who will receive a classroom visit. Finally, a Board of Judges will recommend up to 15 final recipients to be approved by the Chancellor. Recipients will receive classroom grants, will be recognized at the Big Apple Awards ceremony in June 2016, and will serve on the Chancellor’s Teacher Advisory Group.
Because it’s never too late for great photos!
Thank you again to parent Cesar Kastoun for the visual recaps of the Halloween Disco, held on Friday, Oct. 30, and last year’s Arts Fest, which took place on Wednesday, June 10. If you’re new to our school, the Arts Fest is an annual celebration consisting of an in-school gallery displaying the best of our children’s art work, and a live musical written by and starring our graduating 5th Grade class, and incorporating performances from all other grades. The show takes place on the big stage at BMCC and exemplifies the beauty of our small school: every child takes part.
Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!
Fresh from the camera of parent and photographer Cesar Kastoun are photos from last Tuesday’s second annual Turkey Trot. This year, the Second Graders joined in the fun, kicking off the morning with a non-competitive 850-meter run around the plaza. They were followed by the older students from Third through Fifth Grades, who raced twice around the course. It was a cold morning and we applaud all the children for their effort!
Thank you to Tony Kunin for organizing the Trot, and to the parents who volunteered to marshal the course.
Did you know we are using a new school lunch menu this year? In an effort to provide our children with more healthful meals, PS 150 has moved to the Alternative Lunch Menu, which, for the month of September at least, alternates between entrees featuring chicken or turkey (there is no red meat) and vegetarian entrees, plus a daily vegetable side. Compare it with the Regular menu and you’ll quickly notice the absence of chicken tenders, burgers, and french fries!
Also relatively new is the payment plan. No longer do you have to decide in advance whether you are going to do school lunch every day or only on Fridays, and pay for the whole year at once. Now, you set up an account at MySchoolBucks, register your child(ren), and deposit money from a credit card. Every morning, your child only needs to tell her teacher that she would like school lunch, and the money is debited from your account. This gives parents greater flexibility – which in our house means a more frequent reliance on school lunch.
The standard price for lunch is $1.75, and you can opt to have your account replenished automatically when it dips below a certain level.
And don’t forget about breakfast! Breakfast is free at all NYC public schools and at PS 150 it’s a great way for your child to meet children in other grades. Breakfast is served in the multipurpose room beginning at 8AM. Children in K-5 may be dropped off; pre-K students (who eat breakfast again in their classroom) must be accompanied by an adult.
Our good friends at SoulCycle Tribeca are once again offering parents and staff at PS 150 a free ride anytime until Oct. 15! The flyer is above. Please take them up on their generous offer and pass the word to other interested parents.