For those that follow our school twitter page, @briarmeadowk_8, you may have noticed certain posts with the hashtag #briarmeadowbelieves. These center around our mission and aim to deliver a belief system that reflects what we know to be researched best practice. This year we will be focusing in on our beliefs and values to provide parents with a deeper insight into our why. We use the Briarmeadow Believes platform to discuss topics such as homework, reading levels, social/emotional learning, constructivism, our approach to math, our inclusion model, and more! We encourage you to watch this space for our Briarmeadow Believes segments!
Briarmeadow Believes, Segment 1: Reading Levels
As report cards start coming home, you will notice a change. Although teachers are continuing to assess our students, the students are no longer being labeled with their reading level. Instead teachers are communicating the progress of each reader’s behaviors. At Briarmeadow, we believe in the research of Fountas & Pinnell. Your child’s teacher should be able to tell you if your child is below, meeting, or above grade level expectations in reading and writing. For more information, feel free to check out this article from Psychology Today. Of course, you are also always welcome to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher.
Briarmeadow Believes, Segment 4: Our enrichments are not "extra".
Briarmeadow is lucky to have amazing Enrichment classes offered during the day: Language Lab, PE, Music, Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, and Science Lab. These are not simply an extra, but are vital components of our school. Students thrive in them and bring that excitement back into their classrooms. Enrichment classes are an opportunity to enhance the whole child. They also enhance what is occuring in the classroom -- art or science that reflects the inquiry unit. Movement that crosses the midline of the body in PE help develop brain growth. Keeping a beat in music can directly impact reading. Check out this article for more information. Learning a new language can improve memory and concentration too. For more information, here's an article that summarizes the importance of another language.
Briarmeadow Believes, Segment 2: Representing Mathematical Thinking
Representing ideas in math is a powerful component of our standards (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, TEKS) and research shows it to be best practice. Going more deeply than a simple calculation, representations, such as base-ten blocks and number lines, allow deeper understanding into the purpose behind algorithms and calculations. For example, I may know 2 x 5 = 10, but with a model, I can develop understanding that this means I have 2 groups of 5. In turn, this can help me figure out when to multiply in a problem solving scenario. For more information about the brain research behind this, check out Dr. Jo Boaler's work out of Stanford University in this article.
Briarmeadow Believes, Segment 3: The Power of Recess
Here at Briarmeadow we value and prioritize recess because we know its power! For our youngest learners, this means multiple recess times per day. We know that recess helps our students focus and to develop stronger social, emotional, and physical agility skills. Students learn how to work together and solve conflicts. When we think about how we develop executive function, play is vital. We believe kids should not be made to sit out recess for non-recess infractions.
As families, we encourage you to get out and play! Here's a list of great parks around town!
This Youtube video from Edutopia does a nice job summing up why we feel so strongly about recess!