As a Parent, How Can You Support Your Child in Learning?
- If possible, volunteer your time to help student learning in the school. Please see the front office about getting your volunteer clearance.
- For updates on what is happening in the school, sign up for SchoolMessenger, follow BelPark on Twitter at @BelParkCBE, or check our website.
- Follow your teacher(s) on twitter to be aware of classroom engagements and learning opportunities. This helps get beyond the classic “What did you do in school today…?” question.
- Read with your child every night! Ask them open-ended questions about what they think of characters and information in the text. This will allow them to hear fluent reading, as well as build deep levels of comprehension and build confidence during that quality time with you. Scroll down to see tips on how to involve your child in this process.
- Take charge in creating enriching activities for you and your child. For example, take advantage of Bowness Park by going on walks and talking about the flow of the river, the different kinds of trees or note the changes that are seen in different seasons. Some screen time is okay, but nothing beats family time!
- Encourage your child to recognize their efforts and achievements, enjoy them and identify next steps.
- Make school a priority – Instill the importance of punctuality in your children.
- Involve yourself in the School Council and Parent Fundraising Association and attend the meetings which are held on the third Tuesday of every month.
Working with Students Who have Academic and/or Emotional Needs
Often schools are asked about their approach to supporting students with academic and/or emotional needs. These needs could include, but are not limited to: difficulty with classroom academic tasks, difficulty engaging in group work or independent tasks, anxiety, language, crying, isolation. Belvedere Parkway staff work to develop welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments for students and staff. In supporting and guiding this environment we look toward The School Act, Calgary Board of Education’s (CBE) Student Code of Conduct, and the CBE’s Administrative Regulations. Feel free to look at this documentation at:
School Culture and Environment
As situations occur we take a student centered approach, based on educating students on how best to work through the issue they are experiencing. As an elementary school, sometimes the issue(s) that the student is experiencing is the first exposure to something of this nature and the student needs support in dealing with the situation in a pro-social manner. Some examples are: not being invited to a birthday party, parents getting a divorce, grandparents moving, being told that they are not allowed to play, being asked to work with someone new, having difficulty with a concept, etc. Below is an outline which describes how we work with students. Please understand that the information below is general. How we will work through the situation depends on the situation and the nature of student need.
When a situation first presents itself, the following process will be used:
- Classroom teacher is notified about the situation by student(s) and/or support staff
- Classroom teachers have a conversation with the student(s) involved
- A common understanding of events will be determined by all parties
- A resolution will be agreed upon
- Teachers will document the situation and the resolution
- When needed, parents will be contacted
If a similar situation occurs again, the following process will be used:
- Classroom teacher has a conversation with school administration.
- The School Learning Team (SLT) may assemble to discuss the situation and strategies in moving toward the identified area of need; If an SLT meeting is to occur, the parents will be notified of the reason for the meeting
- Administration will: follow the process listed above.
- Depending on the type and severity of the situation, parents will be notified by either the classroom teacher or an administrator.
If further support is needed:
At this stage parents would be involved and the classroom teacher and/or administration would have had conversations to work together to discuss next steps for the student. Some of the results of these conversations could be:
- Decision to contact the Area Learning Team (ALT) for support; the support could be Strategists who will come into the classroom to observe the student, then provide staff with strategies that could benefit the student in reaching the identified area of need.
- Depending on the area of need and complexity of the situation some of the following could be discussed with the family: a visit to the family doctor, pediatrician or optometrist, the possibility of counselling for the student, Psycho-Educational Assessment, Specialised Classes, Unique Settings.
We hope this provides an understanding of how we support students experiencing academic and/or emotional needs.
Reading with your Child at Home
Highly Patterned Texts
- Say “Today we are going to read _______ [What can you see?]. By looking at the cover of the book, what do you think this book is about?”
- Listen to your child’s response. Ensure that there is a connection between the title and the picture on the cover. If your child did not do this, guide him or her towards this connection. (ex: The book is called What can you see? And I notice that everything is yellow! A yellow duck, a yellow sun…)
Looking at the pictures within the book to get your mind ready!
- Flip to the first page of the book. Ask your child to tell you what is seen on the page (ex: a yellow duck). Many children want to jump to reading the words on the page, if needed cover the words to ensure a focus on the pictures. Continue this process for all the pages in the book.
- As a parent, you should be aware of the words on the page and guide your child to picture walk using the words (ex: I see a yellow duck.). Most of these books are pattern books. Guide your child towards the words that are on the page.
- After the picture walk ask “What is this book about.” Then have your child make the connection between the title, cover, and what they have just seen within the book.
- Re-read the title of the book to your child and ask your child to read it back to you, pointing to the words as each word is read.
- Read the first page of the book together, to ensure that your child is reading the patterned text and is pointing to each word.
- Ask your child to read the book on their own and once your child has finished reading to let you know.
- When your child comes to you, have them read the book aloud starting with the title.
- Enjoy it! Ask your child what they think they might choose for their next book.
Parent – Listen, Monitor, Support
- Fluency – Is your child fluent? Does it sound like your child is talking? Is your child reading in a monotone manner? Is your child ‘grouping’ the words like you would in natural speech?
- Practice Echo Reading – you read aloud and your child copies you
- Record – if your child does not hear the difference between your reading and his/her reading, record and play back
- For longer patterned texts, pointing to each word could slow the reader down, teach your child to slide their finger and read
- Accuracy – Is your child reading the words on the page? Are there any errors? Re-read the sentence as your child reads it. Ask “looking at the picture, does this make sense?” or “thinking about the first letter of this word (point to it), does this make sense?” Support your child in using the picture to self-correct the error
Texts without a Pattern
- Say “Today we are going to read _______ [Mouse Soup]. By looking at the cover of the book, what do you think this book is about?”
- If your child has read a similar book (same author or series), ask your child what they already know about the series
Picture and Book Walk
Looking at the pictures and text features within the book to get your mind ready!
- Books at this stage will contain fewer pictures and may contain a table of contents or headings
- Through your questioning concepts like fiction (story) or non-fiction (information), the difference between fiction and non-fiction reading, how the table of contents supports reading, the importance of headings and diagrams should be discussed; as well as the contents of the book
- If you notice specific content words that your child may find challenging, point these words out, read the word to your child and discuss the meaning of the word
- At this stage your child knows a number of sight words and has a variety of strategies for solving unknown words, so listening to your child read the entire book aloud is not necessary
- Ask your child to find a quiet place to read the book and remind them to return to you when he or she has finished the text
- Ask your child to read one page aloud (a page that was interesting, challenging, favourite, etc.)
Parent – Listen, Monitor, Support
- Fluency – Based on the page read aloud, is your child reading fluently? Does it sound like your child is talking? Is your child reading in a monotone manner? Is your child ‘grouping’ the words like you would in natural speech?
- Practice Echo Reading – you read aloud and your child copies you
- Record on your iPhone or iPad – if your child does not hear the difference between your reading and his/her reading, record and play back
- At this stage, students are no longer pointing nor sliding their finger beneath the text.
- Accuracy – Is your child reading the words on the page? Are there any errors? What are the errors?
- Re-read the sentence as your child reads it. Ask “Based on what you have read (or the subject matter), does this make sense?” or “Look at the end of the word (point to it), you read [runned, the word ends with -ing] what should this word be?” Support your child in using the subject matter, sentence structure, and if available pictures to read the word
- If the word is a content specific word that would be a challenge if there was no background on the subject (ex: chrysalis or echolocation) tell your child the word and discuss the meaning
- What happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story? Your child should be using the characters’ names, describing the setting, the problem, and solution, as well as making a connection to the text (personal connection, text connection, and/or world connection)
- How did you learn about the characters in this book? What interesting/new words did the author use? How did the characters behave? Connect the characters’ words and actions to describe what you know about the characters.
- What was the author’s purpose for writing this book? What was the message/lesson/moral in the story?
- Why did the author use - - - (select a specific key word from the text) when describing the setting?
- The character said (select something from the text), what do those words tell us about the character? (character traits)
- Explain why you think the author decided to use (insert a piece of figurative language, e.g. simile, metaphor) to compare (insert comparison).
- What was the most interesting part of the text? What makes you say that? (fiction and non-fiction)
- What were the main facts? (nonfiction)
- How does ______ (information in the book) connect to something you already know? How did reading about _______ help you understand _________ better? (non-fiction)