Sunset Park SchoolIssue 20Jan 2018
FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK
With such a diverse community here at Sunset Park School, our students bring with them different values about learning. This month, I wanted to share with you how these different values play an important role in how we teach our children.
At Sunset Park school, we value both the acquiring of knowledge and the importance of creativity. For example, in math we require that all students learn through routines to build their fluency skills. We are also making changes to include more time for students to engage in math conversations with their peers to share how they arrived at their solutions. We value the right answer as well as the process they took to gain an understanding of the math. In literacy, we not only want students to read smoothly and have knowledge of vocabulary words, but we also want them to gain ideas about the text, interpret texts and change their thinking because of what they read.
Our teachers are hard at work looking at student work, researching new methods, and finding ways to help our students gain 21st century skills. At SPS, teachers are learners too.
To give you an inside look at what our teachers do as learners, I’ve listed for you some examples of how our teachers are thinking hard about how to help your child succeed:
* I took a group of math leaders from our school to visit two different schools across Brooklyn—one school that is writing their own math curriculum and one school that has adopted the state curriculum. We listen to how teachers teach and how their students learn. SPS has also joined a group of educators exploring math practices called the Math Collective!
* Dorothy Barnhouse, the writer of Readers Front & Center: Helping All Students Engage with Complex Texts & coauthor, with Vicki Vinton, of What Readers Really Do plans lessons, works with students alongside our teachers, and makes adjustments to how we teach reading to our students. This month she works with 2nd, 5th, and 1st grade teachers.
* Kindergarten teachers receive training around evidence-based social and emotional learning through Bank Street College of Education’s Emotionally Responsive Practice.
* Marie Bouteillon, a Dual Language expert who speaks Chinese, Spanish, English, and French, works with our dual language teachers to develop our curriculum for our bilingual DL classrooms.
* G&R consultants continue their work with our ICT teachers around co-teaching and inclusive education.
I’m proud to recognize all of the hard work our teachers are doing as learners! If you have questions about how we teach your children here at SPS, I am always available to talk with you about it. I hope that 2018 is filled with joy, good health, and learning for you and your family!
All the best,
Students Meet Published Authors at SPS! On December 15th, Adam Gidwitz captivated our 5th graders with his story-telling! Students asked him questions, got their books signed and took pictures with the author. The best part for me was when they asked him how he became an author. He shared a story of how he had to throw away his first 400 page book he wrote. His message was a powerful one — that you can’t give up and you have to keep working hard to achieve your goals.