Save the Dates
Dec. 7: K-2 Student of the Week Assembly, 8:30am-9:00am
Dec. 11: 3rd Grade History term test
Dec. 14: Coffee and Conversation, 8:00-8:45am. Join Mrs. Kershner in the art room for a conversation about assessments and how we use them at Venable.
Dec. 17-21: Book Fair (ends on Friday Morning)
Dec. 17: Scudder's class to Gordon Ave. Library, 12:15pm
Dec. 18: Schock's class to Gordon Ave. Library, 12:15pm;
PTO Meeting, 5:30, and Winter Concert, 6:30pm (3rd and 4th grade choruses performing)
Dec. 19: 3rd Grade Midyear MAP Reading assessment; O'Brien's class to Gordon Ave. Library, 12:15pm
Dec. 20: 2nd Grade VA Museum of Natural History presentation
Dec. 21: Grades 3-4 Student of the Week Assembly, 8:30am-9:00am; Chorus performances at Morningside of Charlottesville. 3rd grade, 9:30-10:45 and 4th grade 12:30-1:45. Last day of school before Winter Break
January 7: School Resumes
Jan. 9: 3rd Grade Science term test
Jan. 10: 2nd Grade Reading term test, Venable Electives higlight at School Board meeting, 5pm
Jan. 11: K-4 Student of the Week Assembly, 8:30am-9:00am; 3rd Grade Reading term test
Clarification on Make-Up Days from Hurricane
The superintendent has indicated that we have enough instructional hours in our school year beyond the state requirement, making it unnecessary for us to make up the two hurricane days. Please disregard the notice in last month's newsletter about those make-up days.
Golden Apple Award Nominations
If you would like to nominate your child's teacher for the annual Golden Apple Award, please do so by January 31. A paper copy of the nomination form went home in Thursday folders in October. If you would like an additional copy, you may contact the office or download the form here.
Missing Pyrex Dish from International Pot Luck
There were two Pyrex dishes left over after the international pot luck dinner. One was a bit larger than the other. It appears that there may have been a mix-up in getting them back to their owners. If you picked up an 8 x 11" dish and meant to pick up a 9x13" dish, please contact Ms. Poindexter in the office so that we can fix the error.
Special Thank-You's to:
Reflex Math Implementation in January
Beginning in January, students in grades 2-4 will be using an online program called Reflex Math. Many of our 3rd and 4th graders used it last year during the year and during summer school to help strengthen fluency in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Teachers will receive refresher training in December and students may receive their logins before Winter Break. For more immediate information, visit the Reflex Math website. Teachers will also be giving you information about how Reflex Math will be used in their classrooms and how you can use it at home as well. This is a program that our students and teachers found worthwhile last year, so we are pleased that the division was able to partner with ExploreLearning to bring it to all CCS students in grades 2-12.
Bookfair Coming Soon and Volunteers are Needed!
Please follow this link to a sign-up page for volunteers to help out with our book fair. Various times and dates are available. Thank you for considering!
Responsive Classroom: Reinforcing Language
The following summary is from The Power of Our Words by Paula Denton, pp. 91-110
Reinforcing language is very specific language that teachers and parents use to coach children in the use of positive academic and social behaviors. The goal of reinforcing language is to promote a child's ability to self-reflect and learn from his/her successes, rather than be reminded of failures or mistakes (which only gives the child another example of what not to do). When we point out what students are doing well, particularly when what we are targeting might be a bit of a stretch for the child, we offer the child something tangible upon which to build future success. This makes it all the more important for us to be vigilant observers and listeners so that we can know when a child is stretching herself and catch that behavior that led to a partially correct answer or performance. Learning is often about approximations, and when children make small steps toward completing a task successfully--even something like cleaning the bedroom independently--we need to help them recognize those accomplishments and keep building on them.
Reinforcing language is different from general praise. While both are important, the specific nature of reinforcing language is designed to foster growth in students. It also teaches children not to seek approval or praise from others, but to recognize the remarkable strides they are making and to seek self-satisfaction from their accomplishments. For example, many children will ask a parent or teacher if they like something the child has just created. We often fall into the habit of giving them our personal approval ("I love it!"). If we use reinforcing language, we might respond by saying that we noticed the many different colors that she used or the way she created shadows to give the picture some depth. Then we might further the child's thinking by asking him/her to tell us what she/he is most proud of with regard to the picture. In providing that specific feedback, we are letting the child know that his/her efforts are something to be proud of him- or herself.
While there are certainly times when students need to be reminded of what to do or not to do, and times when we just want to celebrate and provide general praise, reinforcing language has the greatest potential for sparking cognitive growth. It should be used liberally at school and at home.