At our last primary assembly in Week 4, we talked about challenge, specifically when learning a new skill. Three student volunteers were tasked with the challenge of learning to juggle. When the task was first introduced, it was well received by the students despite them never having juggled before and having to demonstrate their new skills in front of the whole campus. Comments like, "it will be hard but I will try my best," were heard and as teachers this is what we want to hear all the time in the classroom. Ms Day demonstrated what success looked like and taught the three students while the assembly continued. With the remaining students in the MPR, we talked about how our role as encouragers is a significant one when someone is learning a new skill. When our volunteers returned 20 mins later, their skills had increased and they were proud of their successes. Were balls dropped? Yes. Was there some frustration? Yes. Did they keep trying? You bet they did! Was there encouragement from the assembled crowd? Absolutely!
This example might not have been something on the curriculum, but the experiences can certainly be equated to those which are as well as many, many other learning activities which we all face in life. As parents, you may have examples to share with your children of when you have learned something. It is important that the children see that adults are still learning and that we don't always get it right first time.
This weekend, we will participate in the annual Stanthorpe busking event. All primary students have been practising their performances and we look forward to seeing students and their families in the Piazza from 9:45am on Saturday morning.
Teaching and Learning
One of the most important gifts we can give our children is to help them learn to read and write so that they can succeed in school and beyond. Confident, active readers are able to use their reading skills to follow their passions and curiosity about the world. We all read for a purpose: to be entertained, to take a journey of the imagination, to connect with others, to figure out how to do something, and to learn about history, science, the arts, and everything else.
Learning to read is complex. Children don't learn one reading-related skill and then move on to the next in a step-by-step process. Instead, they are learning to do many things at the same time: decoding, reading with comfortable fluency, absorbing new vocabulary, understanding what the text says, and discovering that reading is pleasurable and builds knowledge about the world.
For parents/caregivers of primary-aged children, access the link above for more information about how to support your child's reading.
So what happens once children have learned to read independently? Is this where parental involvement ends? Have students learned all the skills they need to understand text effectively by the time they have reached Year 7?
For parents of secondary-aged students, later this term a group of teachers will embark on a period of learning about how to develop the literacy skills of students across multiple subject disciplines. This is a Toowoomba Catholic Schools' initiative for all secondary school students in the diocese. The focus is to empower teachers to be more effective teachers of literacy - regardless of the curriculum subject they are teaching - and give them the skills to enable learners to make meaning across the curriculum. Later in the year, other teachers will embark on the training until all secondary teachers are trained.
In the meantime, what can parents do to help foster a love of reading in their children?puts language at the heart of every teacher’s toolkit. Whether you are teaching Science, Mathematics or Art, whether you are teaching children in their primary language or not, this course can transform your work.
With God's blessings
Assistant to the Principal Primary