Homestead School PTA Curriculum Committee News
Trudy Ottomanelli: firstname.lastname@example.org
Homestead Curriculum Committee Meeting Minutes
Homestead Curriculum Meeting Minutes 11/17 at 11am
Homestead Attendees: Dr. Suzanne Viscovich, Principal, Mrs. Lori Palladino, Kindergarten
PTA Attendees: Jessica Dowd-Wilde, Curriculum, Trudy Ottomanelli
- Math Agenda Items:
- Can you describe what the Math specialist, Cathy Metrick, does in the primary schools when she pushes into the classes?
- Does Cathy Metrick ever pull kids out of the classes or does she always push in?
- Are there any plans for Mrs. Metrick to attend a PTA meeting to help parents understand common core math?
- Technology Agenda Items:
- Will the ipads be used for any instructional math concepts or are they primarily used for practice (what was demonstrated at the last PTA meeting)?
- Have the ipods been rolled out to the kindergartners?
- Do the 3 primary schools work together to decide what applications go on the ipads?
- What specific applications are on the ipads and ipods?How often are they updated?
- Have all the teachers websites been updated- i.e. – specials, helpful links, etc.?
- Yes, we will begin to use the 25 ipads and charging station for instruction. There is a technology summit scheduled for Dec 1 with Dr. Melikian to brainstorm ideas on how to properly and most effectively use the ipads in the classroom.
- We have a few itouches that will be re-used in the classes.Each kindergarten class will get 1 or 2 for re-enforcement (letter sounds, for example)
- All the primary schools use the same apps and are in constant dialogue for consistency
- A list of the apps being used was distributed at the last PTA meeting and will be posted to the PTA website.
- The teachers’ websites are intentionally generic.We need to keep the level of information (specific dates, times, location and child-specific info) to a minimum for security purposes.The websites are updated in September and will have general info (specials calendar, parties, field trip month, etc)
- Social Studies Agenda Item:
- Playtime Agenda Item:
- Do the students have free choice time?
- Wrap-Up Agenda Item:
- What is working?Not working?Changes coming down the pipeline?
- We are excited to have a consultant/trainer who has worked with us in the past on ELA, help us with our social studies curriculum.
- In kindergarten, Ms. Metrick pushes into the classroom and divides the class into pairs or small groups for a group lesson once a week, for about 40 minutes.
- In first grade, she pulls out a few kids who may need support.They go into the mathroom and work with math manipulatives (dice, other hands on acitivities)
- Separately, Ms. Metrick meets with the teachers once a week to help plan for lessons; there is constant contact; the teachers use Ms. Metrick for support
- There are no plans for Ms. Metrick to come to a PTA meetings because there doesn’t seem to be a need.Parents are kept informed by the teachers directly and there hasn’t been any concerns raised.
- In kindergarten, there is free choice time before lunch.
- In first grade, free choice is incorporated into the day.For example, during the centers or the literacy block, the children may have a choice within the activitities
Homestead Curriculum Meeting Minutes
Meeting was held at Homestead on 9/23 from 11:30am – 12:00pm
Homestead Attendees: Dr. Suzanne Viscovich, Principal, Mrs. Lori Palladino, Kindergarten, Mrs. Stephanie Cardinale, First Grade
PTA Attendees: Jessica Dowd-Wilde, Curriculum, Trudy Ottomanelli, Curriculum, Corrin Culhane, PTA Director
- Rollovers from 2013-2014
- New Agenda items for 2014-2015:
- Social Studies
- Class Size
- What is the number of kindergarten/First grade classes?How many children are in each class?What is the layout?
Discussion: There are 5 kindergarten classes that have 19-20 children per class. There are 4 first grade classes that have 23-24 children per class.
Date: November 12, 2013
Attendants: Dr. Viscovich, Ms. Cardinale, Danielle Ardito, Kim Pupke and Dana Salerno
Follow Up from PTA Meeting/Parent Requests:
● Chess Club: One of the PTA committees is Chess Club, a program used at other Garden City primaries where students are taught the fundamentals of chess during Literacy at Lunch. A number of parents have volunteered to assist with chess club and a committee leader is still being sought.
● Some parents have asked for suggestions for non-fiction reading material due to the increased focus on non-fiction work in the common core. Parents were provided with a list of reading level appropriate fiction and nonfiction books at the parent teacher conference. A listing of book resources can also be found at www.booksource.com and www.scholastic.com.
● Some parents have asked if homework assignments for the entire week could be distributed on Monday. However, teachers may modify the homework assignments based on what the students learn in class that day. Homework will continue to be given on a daily basis.
● Some parents have asked for suggestions on how to practice sight words at home. Parents are urged to contact their child’s teacher. Teachers have different tools they can provide or suggest, including bingo games, flash cards and computer apps.
- Homestead’s website is updated throughout the year to include teacher information and photographs of school events. Homestead currently has 10 ipads that are used during the learning centers to teach ELA and math. Homestead’s classrooms are equipped with ENO boards and all are fully functioning.
- How is differentiated instruction being implemented with the common core? If a child has complete understanding of a subject, how are they being challenged?
- A pamphlet explaining how Garden City teachers utilize differentiated instruction is provided at the beginning of the school year and is available on the school’s website. Teachers are able to differentiate content, process and product to ensure that instruction is responsive to each child’s needs. For example, during guided reading/center time, students are provided with different material based upon the student’s level and book baggies are provided to each student that are tailored to their reading level.
There are no plans to implement statewide testing for students in grades K-2.
Currently, Kindergarten classes average 18 students per class and 1st grade averages 23 students per class.
Homestead Curriculum Meeting Summary
September 30, 2013 Meeting at Homestead
In attendance: Dr. Suzanne Viscovich, Principal; Mrs. Stephanie Cardinale & Mrs. Lori Palladino, Teacher Representatives; Danielle Ardito, Homestead PTA Director; Kim Pupke & Dana Salerno, PTA Curriculum Representatives
- Common Core Update:
The teachers will continue to work with consultants in both ELA and Math. These consultants are trained to assist teachers with the Common Core Curriculum. As in previous years, the teachers will attend workshops throughout the year. The first workshop will take place in October.
Parents are still being encouraged to visit http://engageny.org for more details on the Core Curriculum. This website is a great resource for parents.
- New Mathematics Textbooks
Go Math! textbooks are being used as part of the Math Curriculum. The teachers will use these textbooks in conjunction with the Math Curriculum that was started last year to meet to ensure the students are meeting the goals of the Mathematics Core Curriculum. Parents can expect to see both teacher created worksheets and Go Math! worksheets, as part of both classroom work and homework. This allows for deepened understanding of the material and further ensures the success of all students.
- Technology Updates
Teachers continue to use eno/smart boards in the classrooms. Students use iPads and/or iPods to reiterate lessons that have been taught in the classroom. This allows for technology use while also developing a better understanding of the lesson. Depending upon scheduling, this is done weekly.
- Chess Committee
Dr. Viscovich is happy to accommodate Chess Club activities; however, there currently is insufficient interest. Any parent who is interested in the chess club is encouraged to contact the Homestead PTA representative.
- Other Business
Dr. Viscovich is serving on the Social Studies Committee. This committee is district wide and will be working this year to further evaluate the Social Studies Curriculum.
The Curriculum Committee has decided to redistribute the computer apps and websites list at the upcoming Homestead PTA Meeting. This list was distributed last year, but will be a good resource for any new parents. Also, a parents guide from http://enageny.org will also be available at the PTA meeting.