Family Literacy

Each year, the governor of Massachusetts declares November to be “Family Literacy Month.” (See the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s page on the role of the parent in family literacy for tips on raising a reader.)

There are many great books out there, tons of classics as well as new materials being published every day. Obviously this can get quite expensive, however a weekly trip to the library can remedy the cost.  I just did a quick “google” search and found many, many, websites that publish book lists for families, lists for girls, lists for boys, lists by ages, lists by interests, etc., etc.   The Tyngsborough library even has a searchable database for children online.

That being said, my favorite way to find a book is to browse.   I grew up in the city with a neighborhood library we could walk to.  My mom had a gigantic bag for all our books and off we went.  I remember taking books off the shelf, sitting right there on the floor and starting to read!  Do your children have library cards?  Do you?  Well, go put them to good use and celebrate “Family Literacy Month.”

Try this!

Number sense – it’s what children need to be successful in math and what many parents and teachers consider “the basics.” Teachers frequently fill brief gaps in their day (waiting in line for the bathroom, waiting for dismissal, waiting for an assembly to start) by doing short challenges such as this. Try the activity below at home – see what happens.

Number of the Day

A sad commentary on the 21st century ….

Mary Bilunas, our music teacher, found this article in the NY Times last week that many of us at T.E.S. found disturbing.

If you are equally bothered, good news … November is Literacy Month and the annual T.E.S. Book Fair.  Also, the Tyngsborough Public Library would love to have families come, visit, and take advantage of all they have to offer.

F.Y.I.  upper elementary parents, my years in the classroom were all spent in 5th grade and while these pre-teens may be reading chapter books, they were always in love with a good, captivating, picture book read aloud!

Manners, Manners, Everywhere!

Students who have Guidance class this trimester have spent the month of September working to improve their manners.  Mrs. Reichard and Mrs. Manganis have focused on six specific words, using the mnemonic “TES Invites Everyone to Practice Your Manners.”   This was created to help remember to use words  like Thank you, I’m sorry, Excuse me, Please, You’re welcome, and May  I.  There are posters and bulletin board displays around the building, and classroom teachers have added to the discussion within classroom meeting times.   Teachers in the cafe each day also provide gentle reminders to apply what students are learning during lunch.

Yesterday students in grades 3-5, and today students in grades preschool-grade 2, attended community building assemblies to reinforce what is going on in guidance, our Go Green program, and to set a positive tone for October.  There were friendly greetings, skits, “Mystery Guests”, and our upper elementary students have been challenged to create a song parody for our school!

As a “Mystery Guest” I spoke with our primary students about growing up and how I remember learning about manners.  My most vivid memories aren’t word specific, but rather action based.  “No elbows on the table” and “No hats inside” were two of the concepts in my house that were equally as important as any Please or Thank You.   It seemed our younger crew were very familiar with the elbow rule, but very few hands went up when I asked if anyone still followed the “No hats” rule.  Interesting.

A quick web search found many helpful articles for parents about reinforcing manners in children, but the best piece of advice I can provide is to practice what you preach.  Parent and adult role modeling helps children to be friendly, kind, and polite, but also creates a social skill set that will be invaluable later in life!