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David Ellis Academy West Family Newsletter

The Eye of the Eagle. David Ellis Academy West Family Newsletter. Pages In This Issue: A word from Mr. Hurd Celebrate Diversity in Children’s Literature Teaching Your Child to Think Communication Tips for Parents Ways to Celebrate Your Child’s 100 th Day of Kindergarten

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David Ellis Academy West Family Newsletter

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  1. The Eye of the Eagle David Ellis Academy West Family Newsletter • Pages In This Issue: • A word from Mr. Hurd • Celebrate Diversity in Children’s Literature • Teaching Your Child to Think • Communication Tips for Parents • Ways to Celebrate Your Child’s 100th Day of Kindergarten • Tips for Parents of Early Elementary Students • Improve Your Child’s Writing Skills • College & Career Readiness in Elementary School • Upcoming Events • Contact Information February 2018

  2. A Word from Hurd Mr. Hurd, School Leader • Tips for Parents on Parent-Teacher Conferences • The first on the list: Show up, please! • We know parents are busy, but it is important to carve out time to invest in your child’s education and ensure success at school. To get the most out of parent-teacher conferences, parents need to take an active role in their child’s education year-round and come prepared to discuss how their child can reach their full potential. • Here are the rest of our tips for parents: • Get Ready. Check Power School prior to parent-teacher conferences. Prepare by writing notes to yourself concerning: • Any questions about the school’s programs or policies.  • Things you can share with the teacher about your child and his life at home.   •   Questions about your child’s progress. • Ask Important Questions • Don’t be afraid to engage in a frank conversation with your child’s teacher. Your goal is to develop an action plan for your child’s success at school. Good questions to ask the teacher include: •  What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses. • How does my child get along with classmates?    • Is my child working up to her ability? Where could she use improvement?   •   What can we do at home to support what you are doing in the classroom? • Initiate the Action Plan • Start immediately on the action plan you and the teacher put together. Discuss the plan with your child and track his/her progress daily. Stay in touch with your child’s teacher throughout the year with regularly scheduled conferences, emails and Power School will keep the communication lines open. • Parents are the best resource to ensure their child's success.  When teachers and parents work together, we can help a child have a successful school year. • Sincerely, • Tyron D. Hurd • Administrator of School Operations

  3. Mrs. Smarsch Reading Specialist Read to Lead • A Boy Called Bat- Elana K. Arnold (Grades 3-6) • The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum, from acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso. For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet. • The Jumbies- Tracey Baptiste (Grades 3-5) • Corinne La Mer claims she isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They're just tricksters made up by parents to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest, and shining yellow eyes follow her to the edge of the trees. They couldn't belong to a jumbie. Or could they? When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger at the market the very next day, she knows something extraordinary is about to happen. When this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne's house, danger is in the air. Severine plans to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn't know she possessed to stop Severing and to save her island home. • Mr. Lincoln’s Way-Patricia Polacco (Grades1-4) • Mr. Lincoln is the coolest principal ever! He knows how to do everything, from jumping rope to leading nature walks. Everyone loves him. . . except for Eugene Esterhause. "Mean Gene" hates everyone who's different. He's a bully, a bad student, and he calls people awful, racist names. But Mr. Lincoln knows that Eugene isn't really bad-he's just repeating things he's heard at home. Can the principal find a way to get through to "Mean Gene" and show him that the differences between people are what make them special? CELEBRATE DIVERSITY IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE THE CORETTA SCOTT KING BOOK AWARDS are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. The 2017 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner is given to Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin for “March: Book Three” March: Book Three,” is a first-hand account of the Civil Rights Movement through Lewis’ eyes. Using vivid language and dynamic visual storytelling, it details events from the Freedom Summer to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Readers experience the realities of segregation, the sacrifices required for the struggle and the courage that defines true leaders.

  4. The Hetzel Report Ms. Hetzel Instructional Supervisor • Critical thinking is an essential tool for everyday living as well as academic success. A key part of teaching children to think critically is helping them become better decision makers and problem solvers. Children with higher-order thinking skills have the ability to analyze problems, develop possible solutions, evaluate their merits, and anticipate consequences. These skills are needed in school, on the playing field, in social situations, and on the job. • The good news is that critical thinking skills can be learned. This does not mean, however, that your child should be taking a course in reasoning. Critical thinking is best taught in the context of traditional subjects and real-life problems. • When it comes to critical thinking, parents may be their child’s foremost teachers. The following are some strategies which you can use to hone your child’s thinking skills: • Pay attention to your language. What you say to your child conveys important concepts. Using past, present and future tenses helps him learn about sequence. Your use of “if . . . then” statements provides a lesson in cause and effect, and your use of new vocabulary challenges your child to figure out the meaning from the context. Using words such as “might” and “would” also introduces important concepts. • Ask thought-provoking questions. Questions invite your child to engage in new ways of thinking. Rather than asking yes or no questions or questions which begin with “who,” “when,” or “where,” ask questions which begin with “Why do you suppose . . . ?” If you read to your child, ask him what he thinks will come next and how he would have ended the story. At the same time, be careful not to bombard your child with questions. • Foster independent thinking. Encourage your child to be intellectually curious and to think on his own. Show respect for his ideas, opinions, and questions. Encourage your child’s inquisitiveness by praising his questions and offering a serious response. By showing respect for your child’s thinking skills and promoting confidence in his ability to figure things out, you are helping your child to become a strong, confident thinker. • Use real-life situations to enhance your child’s problem-solving skills. Your child will no doubt face many situations calling for him to make decisions — from what kind of birthday party to have to how to deal with teasing. Allow your child to grapple with these and other issues and show confidence in his ability to deal with them by not intervening too quickly. If he gets stuck or seeks your assistance, help him think through the problem by analyzing the situation, evaluating the alternatives, and then having him choose the best solution. By Dr. Kenneth Shore TEACHING YOUR CHILD TO THINK

  5. Spencer’s View Mrs. Sharisse Spencer Dean of Students • February’ Leader In Me Focus • Dear Parent(s)/ Guardian(s), • Our Habit for the month of February is Seek 1st to Understand then Be Understood. Listen before you speak! Below are some tip from the American Psychological Association on communication. • Communication tips for Parents • Be available for your children • Notice times when your kids are most likely to talk — for example, at bedtime, before dinner, in the car — and be available. • Start the conversation; it lets your kids know you care about what's happening in their lives. • Find time each week for a one-on-one activity with each child, and avoid scheduling other activities during that time. • Learn about your children's interests — for example, favorite music and activities — and show interest in them. • Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversation with a question. • Let your kids know you're listening • When your children are talking about concerns, stop whatever you are doing and listen. • Express interest in what they are saying without being intrusive. • Listen to their point of view, even if it's difficult to hear. • Let them complete their point before you respond. • Repeat what you heard them say to ensure that you understand them correctly. • Respond in a way your children will hear • Soften strong reactions; kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive. • Express your opinion without putting down theirs; acknowledge that it's okay to disagree. • Resist arguing about who is right. Instead say, "I know you disagree with me, but this is what I think." • Focus on your child's feelings rather than your own during your conversation. • Remember: • Ask your children what they may want or need from you in a conversation, such as advice, simply listening, help in dealing with feelings or help solving a problem. • Kids learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow your lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems and work through difficult feelings. • Talk to your children — don't lecture, criticize, threaten or say hurtful things. • Kids learn from their own choices. As long as the consequences are not dangerous, don't feel you have to step in. • Realize your children may test you by telling you a small part of what is bothering them. Listen carefully to what they say, encourage them to talk and they may share the rest of the story. • Parenting is hard work • Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between you and your children. But parenting is hard work and maintaining a good connection with teens can be challenging, especially since parents are dealing with many other pressures. If you are having problems over an extended period of time, you might want to consider consulting with a mental health professional to find out how they can help.

  6. Let’s Talk Math Mr. Walton Math Specialist • 10 Ways to Celebrate Your Child’s 100th Day of Kindergarten • Did you know that February marks an important day for all Kindergarteners? (No; it is not Valentine’s Day) In February your child will celebrate a great accomplishment: he or she has been a kindergartener for 100 days. This is an exciting time for your boy or girl—days that you, as the parent or guardian, can use to not only celebrate your child’s achievement, but also slip in a little number sense, too. • “Number sense” is actually an intuitive understanding of the quality of a number; in other words, your child simply knows how many things make up a specific number, such as “100”. This is the reason why your child and other kindergarteners spend so much of their math time in school using manipulative to build and rebuild numbers; it takes a lot of practice for something to become intuitive. • Many kids have a hard time forming a concept of such a large number as “100”. Providing your child with the opportunity to work at learning about this big number is very helpful in building his or her understanding of quantity. The following are ten ways you, as the parent or guardian, can help to make the quantity of 100 meaningful for your five-or six-year-old. • Help your child . . . • 1.Make a crown for his or her 100th day of kindergarten. • 2. Make a necklace of cereal using 100 pieces of cheerios or fruit loops. If your child can not count to 100 with 1 to 1 correspondence yet, but can count to 10, have him or her make 10 groups of 10, and then string the cereal on a piece of yarn. • 3. List 100 fun things to do. • 4.Make 10 stacks of 10 pennies, and then have him or her make one stack of 100 pennies. • 5.Build something using exactly 100 Legos. • 6. Make a trail mix of 100 items using 10 of each of the following ingredients: 10 pretzels, 10 chocolate chips, 10 raisins, 10 almonds, 10 pieces of cheerios, 10 peanuts, 10 pieces of banana chips, 10 M&Ms, 10 pieces of popcorn, and 10 goldfish crackers. • 7.Bounce a ball 100 times. • 8.Blink his or her eyes 100 times. • 9.Measure and mark off 100 of his or her footsteps. Then do the same for your footsteps and compare the difference. • 10. Draw a picture of what he or she will look like when he or she is 100 years old, and finish the sentence: “When I am 100 years old, I will ________________.” • These activities are more than just something to do on your Kindergartener’s 100th day of school. They give your child a chance to experience how much “100” is in terms of quantity. Teaching your child number sense is an important math standard in kindergarten, and it takes a lot of practice. So go ahead and have 100 barrels of fun in honor of your child’s 100th day of school!!

  7. Ms. Novak School Age Readers Tips for Parents of Early Elementary Students Middle childhood, between the ages of 6 through 8, brings many changes in a child’s life. By this time, children can dress themselves, catch a ball more easily using only their hands, and tie their shoes. Having independence from family becomes more important now. Events such as starting school bring children this age into regular contact with the larger world. Friendships become more and more important. Physical, social, and mental skills develop quickly at this time. This is a critical time for children to develop confidence in all areas of life, such as through friends, schoolwork, and sports. Here is some information on how children develop during this time: Social/Emotional Changes Children in this age group might: • Show more independence from parents and family. • Start to think about the future. • Understand more about his or her place in the world. • Pay more attention to friendships and teamwork. • Want to be liked and accepted by friends. • Thinking and Learning Children in this age group might: • Show rapid development of mental skills. • Learn better ways to describe experiences and talk about thoughts and feelings. • Have less focus on one’s self and more concern for others. • Positive Parenting Tips • Following are some things you, as a parent, can do to help your child during this time: • Show affection for your child. Recognize her accomplishments. • Help your child develop a sense of responsibility—ask him to help with household tasks, such as setting the table. • Talk with your child about school, friends, and things she looks forward to in the future. • Talk with your child about respecting others. Encourage him to help people in need. • Help your child set her own achievable goals—she’ll learn to take pride in herself and rely less on approval or reward from others. • Help your child learn patience by letting others go first or by finishing a task before going out to play. Encourage him to think about possible consequences before acting. • Make clear rules and stick to them, such as how long your child can watch TV or when she has to go to bed. Be clear about what behavior is okay and what is not okay. • Do fun things together as a family, such as playing games, reading, and going to events in your community. • Get involved with your child’s school. Meet the teachers and staff and get to understand their learning goals and how you and the school can work together to help your child do well. • Continue reading to your child. As your child learns to read, take turns reading to each other. • Use discipline to guide and protect your child, rather than punishment to make him feel bad about himself. Follow up any discussion about what not to do with a discussion of what todo instead. • More information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/

  8. Reading Strategies Ms. McMichael Reading Specialist Put it to Paper: Tips for Parents to Improve a Child’s Writing Skills Writing is an essential skill. It is more than just putting words on paper. Writing is a process of communication that plays an important role in your child’s life—both in and out of the classroom. Parents can make a big difference in helping a child develop writing skills by encouraging writing activities that are simple and fun. The following are activities parents can do with their child to promote writing at home. Writing Activities Send a Message - Frequently leave notes on pillows, desks, mirrors, wherever. Have your child write you a note in return. A family chalkboard or message board is a great tool for encouraging your child to write messages. Letters - Make letter writing a habit for your child. Have your child write letters to family and friends. “Year in Review” Notebook - Keep an ongoing record of your family’s life. Every family member can add to your family’s story. Include important events that happen during the year. On New Year’s Eve, sit down and read through your “Year in Review” and start a notebook for the next year. To add to your story, include family photos whenever possible. Give Writing as a Gift - For birthday presents or for other gifts, have your child write a story for the recipient. Postcards - Have your child write and mail postcards on family vacations or special outings. Say “Thank You” - Let your child get in the habit of writing “Thank You” notes for gifts or whenever it is appropriate to do so. Journals - On your child’s birthday, give him/her a special journal. Encourage your child to write in his/her journal as often as possible. Make a Menu - Let your child design and write the menu for a family dinner. This is a great activity that will keep a child busy while mom or dad is cooking. If some of the words are difficult, write them down on a separate sheet of paper for the child to copy. Use Writing Prompts - Writing prompts are a great way to help a child begin a story. An example of a writing prompt is— Pretend you are the first person to create a flying car. Tell what the car would look like and how it would work. Be Creative - Encourage your child to write and perform skits or puppet shows. Set aside time for other family members to see the performance. Travel log - When you go on vacations, trips, or special outings, have your child record new sights and experiences from his/her journey. Copy - If your child likes a particular song, have him/her copy the lyrics. Children can also copy their favorite poem, quotation, or short book. Encourage neatness for legibility. Writing Habits Remember that the important thing for parents to focus on is the content more than grammar and other details of his/her child’s writing. When a child begins to write, he/she runs the risk of receiving criticism—parents have the job of encouraging their child to continue. Also, parents should keep supplies of paper, pencils, markers, and other writing tools within easy reach. Writing is a skill and habit. Helping your child put thoughts into words gives him/her a great sense of accomplishment. Fostering good writing habits will make a big difference in your child’s attitude about writing. Help your child learn to write well—and enjoy doing it!

  9. Ms. Robinson Student Service Coordinator • College and Career Readiness in Elementary School: Beginning with the End in Mind • The transition from a successful school experience to a successful career does not occur simply in the final year of high school. Proper planning and extended preparation is needed to set a child, and a family, for victory. College and career readiness extends well beyond deciding which job a student wants when they become an adult. Here are areas in which parents need understanding and involvement in order to ensure a smooth transition for their children. • As the world around us continues to change, teachers need to help students and parents prepare for life beyond the structures of school.  What are educators at the primary level doing to help students become college and career ready? • What is college & career readiness? • A “college-ready” student is defined as an academically prepared student who is ready for postsecondary education without the need for remedial coursework. • However, we also recognizes that not all students will choose the college route, so teachers, administrators and counselors should begin informing parents about career readiness. A “career-ready” student is defined as someone who possesses both the necessary knowledge and technical skills needed for employment in their desired career field. • Why does this information matter to elementary school teachers? In order to create an environment where students and families are college and career ready, there needs to be a foundational definition of what this means and looks like for students. • Role of the Teacher • As educators, we provide the first influence for helping students and parents recognize the importance of emphasizing college and career readiness at an early age. Classroom teachers are not counselors and may have difficulty figuring out where they need to begin. • The National Office for School Counselor Advocacy has identified eight components of college and career readiness, yet only six of these components should be applied to the elementary setting: • College Aspiration: Nurture confidence in students to aspire to college by maintaining high expectations and conveying the conviction that all students can succeed in college. • Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness: Encourage students to participate in rigorous academic programs by increasing rigor within your own classroom. Help students realize they are capable of achieving greater academic goals than they set for themselves. • Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement: Push the administration to conduct a school and community audit of enrichment and extracurricular activities that offer participation and leadership options to all students. • College and Career Exploration and Selection Process: Promote a college-going culture where students are encouraged to aim high. They should also begin writing processes that help them develop college application skills such as writing personal statements. College and Career Assessment: When students complete a benchmark test, take the time to share the results with them. Help students become more self-aware of their achievement and take a personal interest in their growth. • College Affordability Planning: Begin financial literacy at an early age. Integrate lessons about basic finance, wealth and money management into math curriculum.

  10. Important Upcoming Dates February. • Friday, February 2, 2018                  • 1/2 day of school for students.  Dismissal @ 11:15 a.m. • Friday, February 2, 2018    • Parent Teacher conferences 12:30-5:30 p.m.  • Doors will close promptly at 5:15 p.m., Parents are asked to arrive before 5:15 p.m. • Wednesday, February 14, 2018  • Be Counted! Student Count Day, 100% students in attendance is our goal.   • Thursday, February 15, 2018    • Black History program @ 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium. • Ms. A. Reed (areed@deaschools.com) in charge. • Friday, February 16, 2018          • 1/2 day of school for students, dismissal @ 11:15 a.m.   • There are no after school activities or programming. • February 19-23, 2018            • School Closed.   Mid-Winter break. • Monday, February 26, 2018          • School reopens @ the regularly scheduled time.  

  11. For More Information… Website:www.deawest.com Facebook: David Ellis Academy West Visit Us: David Ellis Academy West 19800 Beech Daly Road Redford, MI 48240 Call Us: 313-450-0300 Edited by: Kia Thompson

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