A couple of times throughout each week, Mrs. Knipes’ kindergartners and first graders break out the iPads to review and practice skills. Mrs. Knipes finds that purposeful and meaningful use of the iPad facilitates learning and prepares her pupils in the use of technology as they progress from one grade to the next. Classroom instruction is the key component, coupled with designated iPad time. The students read to themselves, listen to books and stories, and practice sight vocabulary, math facts, and letter formation on the iPad. With instantaneous response and rewards for success, iPad use increases student engagement, provides immediate feedback, assists with fine motor development and coordination, and allows for differentiated instruction.
Growing strong readers
As students read more, they become more proficient in figuring out unknown words, their vocabulary increases, they devise strategies to comprehend, and ultimately, they become rich readers who enjoy reading for pleasure. A gap all too easily grows between those who make time to read independently and those who do not. At KES, teachers make sure children are encouraged to read books that are at their independent reading level, which means, generally, that they can read the book with greater than 95 percent accuracy. KES encourages parents to help by providing time and space at home where children will want to pick up their books and read more on an independent level.
After-school camp begins
The much-anticipated KES Superstar Camp, the new and exciting free after-school program, kicked off its first session on Tuesday, Jan. 20 in the KES cafeteria. The program runs from 3 to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the next five weeks, ending Friday, Feb. 27. Students can sign up for the Monday and Wednesday or the Tuesday and Friday slots. Students will receive a snack, have expanded learning time, participate in an outdoor recreation activity, and have various opportunities for academic enrichment in the areas of Readers’ Theater, Art & Technology, Leadership in Play, and Adventures in Story-Telling. The teachers leading this program are Greg Labella, Eileen Vaughn, Lisa Laird, Sandy Farbman, and Allison Naugle.