Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Friendship Bench!

HOD - it's a friendly place to be!

Yahoo! The NEW Friendship Bench, generously donated by the Norfolk Community League, is finally ready for it’s unveiling!

Our hope is that children who are looking for a friend to play with may sit on the bench and the other children will notice and invite them to join in the fun.  It’s a great way to meet and make new friends.  In fact, the quote on the bench is:

“To Make A Friend, Be A Friend.”

Monday, February 29, 2016

What's Happening in Reading: February 2016

from your literacy specialists

    Kindergarteners at HOD are wrapping up their third unit, Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles!  A lot of students have made the switch to more conventional reading! They are moving from no longer reading just the pictures to being able to read the words in their books!  Kindergarteners have strengthened many of their super powers to become even stronger readers!  They have also learned a new super power: pattern power!  Some readers can use the pattern in books to help them.  Kindergarten readers are continuing to read independently and with partners, as well as in small groups where they can use their super powers in “just right” books with their teachers.  

 First Grade...
    First-grade readers are wrapping up their third unit and have become bosses of their reading!  This unit was more strategy based and allowed readers to become more independent and flexible when solving tricky words.  First graders now have many tools to first solve those tricky words, and then even more tools to help them understand their books.  First-grade readers think about what would make sense, sound right, and look right when solving tricky words.  To help them understand, first graders reread if they don’t get it, make mind movies to picture what’s happening, and keep track of who’s talking as they read.  First graders are now ready to move on to the fourth unit where they will be studying story elements!

 Second Grade...
    Second graders are doing a wonderful job in Unit Three: Bigger Books Mean Amping Up Reading Power! They began the unit sharpening their fluency skills by trying to scoop words into meaningful phrases and pay closer attention to dialogue when reading aloud. They then studied literary language by focusing on various authors’ use of fun and playful wording. As they shift into reading longer books, second graders are learning how to keep track of characters and plot, as well as how to stay on track when books get tricky. The final section of the unit is an introduction to book clubs, paving the way for the work they will be doing in the final unit, Series Book Clubs.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 23, 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians of Students of the H. Olive Day School,
Once again, the children of the H. Olive Day School have demonstrated that the true spirit of the season is not found in a store or in a package, but in the hearts of those who spend their time and energy showing others that they care.  Our students’ participation in and contributions toward our Hat, Mitten and Sock Tree, the Holiday Caring and Sharing Project and the Anton’s Coats for Kidscollection warmed the hearts of all of us during the last few weeks.  Our Hat and Mitten Tree was laden with 227 pairs of mittens and gloves, 175 hats, 109 pairs of socks and 4 scarves.  The Norfolk families we supported through our Holiday Caring and Sharing Project are assured of a happy holiday season thanks to the generosity of our students (and staff who contributed in lieu of exchanging gifts) for our shopping! Over $2300 was donated.  The coats that you donated will be put to good use by families in need. 
 None of this, of course, could have been accomplished by our young students without the support of their families. Here at the H. Olive Day School, we believe that it is our responsibility not only to educate our students, but also to help them to develop a sense of responsibility as members of our school family and their community.  We thank you for reinforcing those concepts through your support of our holiday community service projects.
So, this month, our students excelled in the 4”R’s” – Reading ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and Responsibility.  Thank you for helping them with their homework that went along with the fourth “R”.  We wish you and your families a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday season.  Have a wonderful vacation with family and friends and a very Happy New Year.
 Happy Holidays from All of Us at HOD

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What’s Happening in Reading? 
from your literacy specialists
December, 2015

Kindergarteners at HOD are enjoying their new roles as Super Readers, who can activate all kinds of super powers to become stronger readers! These include: pointer power, reread power, partner power, picture power, snap word power, sound power, and persistence power! In addition to reading independently and with partners, students now also read in small groups where they practice using their super reading powers flexibly in books at their instructional levels.

  First Grade...
First ­graders are wrapping up their nonfiction unit and jumping into a new unit: Readers Have Big Jobs to Do. First­ grade readers are becoming the boss of their own reading and learning new word­solving strategies to help them take action when they encounter tricky words. They will also be learning comprehension strategies to help them better understand the books they are reading, and then putting all of these strategies together while reading fluently!                                            

Second Grade...
Second graders are wrapping up Unit 2, Becoming Experts: Reading Nonfiction. The final bend of this unit explores the idea of growing knowledge of a topic across books, comparing and contrasting information from various sources. We are teaching students to ask questions for deeper understanding, such as “How is this important?” and “What is another example of this?” instead of just looking for interesting facts. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

On Reading Aloud By Kate DiCamillo

When I was nine years old, my mother checked Beverly Cleary’s Ribsy out of the public library, and read the book aloud to my brother and me.  We read a few chapters of the story every night.  The three of us sat side by side on the flowered sectional couch in the Florida room.  The Florida room had orange shag carpet.  Its walls were paneled in cypress, and we could see Lake Minnehaha from the large bank of windows that faced south.
On the floor, stretched out parallel to the couch, was our dog Nanette.  Nanette’s flank rose and fell as my mother read, and the dog would raise her head off the floor and look at us every time we laughed. 
We laughed a lot. 
Ribsy is a funny book.
There was a lamp by the couch.  And as the darkness outside grew darker, as the lake disappeared into the sky, as more of the story got told, the light by the couch seemed to grow brighter.
We were a pack of four: my mother, my brother, the dog and me.  In the book, Ribsy the dog was lost.  But we were all safe inside.  We were together.
That was over four decades ago.
Nanette is gone and my mother is gone.  My brother and I live far away from each other. 
But every time I see the cover of that book, every time I see a picture of Ribsy, I am transported back to that time, to that cypress-paneled room, to the flowered couch, to the lamp and the laughter and the safety.
Reading together is a very particular kind of magic.
When I meet teachers and librarians who tell me that they read aloud to their classrooms, I always try to make a point of thanking them.
Reading a story together brings us together: large groups, small groups, packs of four and packs of two.  When we read together, we come in from the darkness, the cold.
It occurs to me as I write these words, as I remember the darkness outside that room in Florida, that I never explicitly thanked my mother for reading to us.
So, I will thank her here, now, in the best way I can, by encouraging other people to do what she did for me, and for my brother.
I will ask you to read aloud to your students, your children.  Read aloud to your husband, your wife.  Read aloud to your dog.
Push back the darkness.
Sit down beside somebody you love. 
Turn on a light.  Open a book.
--Kate DiCamillo