This month we are focusing on developing our vocabulary skills. Our activities are helping us to work on synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms/homophones. Homophones are the biggest focus of this month. Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and therefore mean different things such as: their, there, & they're. Knowing and understanding the differences between these words helps students with their writing skills and carries over to their success in other classes. English is a flexible language, and it is important to teach students how to understand the ways in which English works.
Here are ways to help your students with vocabulary at home:
Engage your child in conversations every day. If possible, include new and interesting words in your conversation.
Have you child read each day. When the book contains a new or interesting word, tell them to pause and define the word. After they're done reading, engage your child in a conversation about the book.
Help build word knowledge by classifying and grouping objects.
Help build your child's understanding of language by playing verbal games and telling jokes and stories.
Encourage your child to read books they're interested in on their own. The more children read, the more words they encounter and learn.
Critical Thinking Month!
This month is dedicated to expanding our critical thinking skills. Some of the activities will be geared towards comparing and contrasting and others will focus on gathering clues from text to make inferences. It is important that students begin to develop their critical thinking skills before they get to high school. In high school, their teachers won't expect them to remember every event that happened in U.S. history, what they will expect is for students to be able to think. Students need to be able to make connections between ideas and evaluate information critically. Here are 5 ways for students to think more critically:
Formulate your question: Know what you’re looking for specifically.
Gather your information: Now that you know what’s relevant to your problem or decision, research it.
Apply the information and ask critical questions: What concepts are at work? What assumptions exist? Is your interpretation of the information logically sound?
Consider the implications: Look beyond the short-term and think about how your decision will shape things in the long-term. Something that will benefit you now may not benefit you in the future. What’s at stake? What can go wrong?
Explore other points of view: By understanding other perspectives, you learn more about the subject. You’re also given an opportunity to reflect on the information you have and how you feel.
WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL!
Welcome students and parents!
Each month we will be targeting a different area of language and practicing that skill with a variety of activities. Check back here each month to see what your students are working on with me in school!
August is our "Getting to Know Speech" month. As your students change their schedules and get familiar with their middle school routines I'll be bringing them slowly into the Speech Room to tell them what day and times they're scheduled to come to Speech. We'll be going over the rules of our classroom and what our expectations are for the school year both in and outside of the Speech Room.