The first-graders at Langley have got it good with an invigorating dinosaur-themed classroom makeover that includes some rrrrRrrradical furniture. The first-graders, AKA the Responsible Raptors, are test-driving non-traditional seating options this year - bouncy ones, wobbly ones and super soft and squishy ones too.
The cozy nooks and cushy surfaces invite new readers to settle in with a good book. The chairs that move are great for kids with restless bodies and wandering minds since they increase secondary focus, relieving the student's need to fidget.
These specially designed seats set the tone at each station of the classroom. They promote closer attention to detail and retention of lessons - oh yeah, and they're fun.
Langley parents, registration is now open for autumn's excellent selection of after school enrichment through Flex Academies! If you're dreaming of improving your child's sportsmanship, providing opportunities for artistic expression or introducing your child to the many benefits of meditative stretching, you're in luck: soccer, art and yoga are this sessions offerings. Classes begin the week of Sept. 24 and are open to all our students, not only those enrolled in aftercare. Please contact Ms. Wortham if you'd like your child to be considered for a scholarship.
Check out the flyer below for pricing and more info, or click here to register.
A group of Langley students were in for a treat on Monday afternoon: Ted McGinn, the school's longtime volunteer and garden educator gathered students in the garden for a yummy lesson. Mr. McGinn prepared okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake containing many nutritious ingredients - some harvested right from the garden in front of the school. The Japanese word okonomi means "how you like it," Mr. McGinn explained, and yaki means "grill." While the grilled snack wasn't to everyone's liking, some children couldn't get enough.
Over several years Mr. McGinn has developed Langley's garden into a beautiful and abounding outdoor classroom. Preschool students help place plants in the raised beds and planters and older students help care for them. A Three Sisters planting (corn, beans and squash) occupies one bed each year, as part of a Native American hands-on living history project, which also includes bead and pottery making with clay collected from the garden's clay pit and fired in the fire pit.
Stop by and say hello to Mr. McGinn next time you see him working in the garden - you are sure to learn something new! And don't forget to have him introduce you to the rescue turtle that is our garden's year-round resident.
By Dawn Madura
My daughter was one of a few preschoolers recently recognized by her Principal and her teachers for mastering a special new skill. I'm sure you're thinking it was writing her name legibly, counting by 10s to 100 or tossing her juice box in the trash.
This recognition (which came with a certificate and everything!) was for mastering the skill of assertiveness. A mother couldn't be more proud - first, that my kid is assertive at school and second, that she goes to a school that teaches such an important method of communication. "Be nice, be nice!" That's pretty much the extent of my own early childhood social training.
Telling preschool kids to be nice doesn't cut it. According to Dr. Becky Bailey, founder of Conscious Discipline, the third and fourth years of our lives are the most aggressive. When conflicts arise, children use the problem-solving tools at their disposal: often hitting, kicking, biting and screaming. Expulsion rates for preschoolers is 1,300% higher than any other grade level. I've known parents who have declined to send their children to preschool, for fear of exposing them to violence.
Langley parents, enrollment for Spring enrichment activities is now open! Tigers can get centered on Tuesdays with Young Yogis, lead by Breathing Space Yoga, and polish their coordination and soccer technique on Thursdays with The Players Soccer Academy. Classes begin the week of April 9 and welcome kids in Pre-K-3 through first grade.
This is an awesome opportunity for students who are already enrolled in aftercare or children who do not attend aftercare, but could use an extra energy outlet at the end of the school day. The Langley PTSA has chipped in to bring the cost of these courses down, and there is one free scholarship available for each, so please see Ms. Wiggins or Ms. Wortham if you'd like your child to be considered.
Check out the flyer below for more info! Click here to register.
Annie Wright with her son, Antonio Malik, who is a second grader at Langley Elementary.
My son, Antonio Malik, has been a Langley Tiger since Pre-K-3 and is now a vivacious second grader in Ms. Simpson’s homeroom. Langley has made a great deal of very positive changes over this past year and has always had a very friendly and family-oriented atmosphere. The school song, “We are Family, here at Langley Elementary," is truly fitting for this school.
During my son’s first three years of his education, Langley was under the leadership of an amazing principal, Ms. Spann. Principal Drumm then took leadership during my son’s first grade year at Langley. There were some challenges that year, which were understandable being that it was Principal Drumm’s first year at this school. However, I must say, every challenge that was brought to Ms. Drumm’s attention was handled in a very professional and ethical fashion. The staff is very transparent and delivers great "customer" service to all parents, other staff members and the students.
Langley has always been a home away from home for Antonio; he simply loves the staff and I am always complimented in the hallway on Antonio’s progress and how he has grown over the years. Langley is definitely the place to be if you want your child to grow up to be an exceptional, intelligent citizen. Antonio wears his Tiger Pride well.
In kindergarten, the most basic reading level is learning about books. Our biggest focus is on learning how books work. We talk about the front cover, the back cover, and where we start reading in a book. We then practice touching each word as we read. That looks like the teacher (or parent) reading the story while the student is touching each word. Having that one-to-one matching is an important building block for reading!
As students progress, we begin working on being able to read books that have strong patterns in them. The books may sound something like, “I run in the forest. I run in the park. I run in the sand.” Students should then be able to follow that pattern and begin to recognize some of those sight words (I, the, and, in, etc...).
From there, we start to push basic word solving skills. In my room, we call them "Beanie baby reading strategies.” The first strategy we use is called “Lips the Fish.” We get our lips ready to read the first sound in words. So if the word is ball, the students will read /b/ and think about what would make sense. When they consistently read the first sound, we then use our "Peekin' Poodle Strategy.” This strategy is when the students initially read the first sound in the word, then they check the picture to see what would make sense that starts with that sound. So for the "ball" example, the student would say /b/ and then there would be a ball in the picture to help them solve the word.
As students improve, we start reading books that have less of a pattern. We focus on learning lots of sight words. All sight words are great. You can looks for a dolch word list and start there! We also work on "Chunky Monkey,” where we look for chunks in the word we know (such as sight words or word families). The other strategies are “Stretchy Snake” (stretch out the sounds in the word), “Flippy Dolphin” (flip the short vowel sound to try out the long instead), and “Skippy Frog” (skip the word, get clues from the sentence, then go back to solve the word).