Resource Staff Updates
I can’t believe that we are in our last month of school! My first year as an AART was delightful and it has been such a fulfilling experience to be able to work with all grade levels and teachers.
With all groups, we are completing our units and using our last few sessions together as a time of reflection. Writing a reflection allows students to engage in critical and reflective thinking, while also helping them to better process their experience and outcomes. Most of us go through life viewing our experiences as isolated, unrelated events. We also view these happenings simply as the experiences they are, not as opportunities for learning. Psychologists refer to this type of thinking as an "episodic grasp of reality" (Feuerstein, Rand, Hoffman, & Miller, 1980), and it is not a habit we want to pass along to children. Instead, we want students to get into the habit of linking and constructing meaning from their experiences. Such work requires reflection, which is why all students are participating in guided reflective activities.
Level III groups all had the same driving question given to them at the beginning of the school year: “How can you, as a Wolftrap Citizen, use critical and creative thinking skills in order to become the ideal Portrait of a Graduate?” In their reflections, they will hopefully realize that every single activity we have done and every discussion we have entertained have all been related to this very question. This will hopefully give meaning to their learning and in turn make them realize that critical and creative thinking skills and portrait of a graduate attributes are useful beyond the classroom. Parents of Level III students can look for these reflections in your student’s report card on the last day of school!
Samira Ramezan Newman
Advanced Academics Resource Teacher
PBL County Support Teacher
**looking for AAP forms? Click Here
*FCPS Advanced Academic programs webpage: Click Here
ESOL – June 2019
Well, it’s here. The end of the 2018-2019 is almost in the books, and summer seems to have arrived just ahead of it. It’s been such a pleasure working with the students of Wolftrap, both English language learners and native speakers. All of the EL students have made such great strides this year understanding spoken language, reading, writing, and speaking. I’m always so proud of how hard all the students have worked throughout the school year, knowing they are prepared for the work next year.
Over the summer, you can continue to work with your child to enhance reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Fairfax County libraries offer wonderful programs that connects learning to books; writing postcards from camp or to friends when traveling is a way to practice good writing skills, and talking with your child to have them tell you about their day, or having them tell you about a new skill they are learning are great ways to focus on sequence and summary. Virginia history can be learned at any number of the area parks, such as Riverbend and Claude Moore Farm, Frying Pan Park, and of course, our nation’s capital. Math can be taught through cooking or building together, as can science.
Enjoy this time together. Maybe it’s how fast childhood is lived that makes it all the more important to slow down and enjoy the quiet moments.
Guidance and Counseling, Lisa Johnson and Laura May
The end of the school year is approaching, and students in our Wolftrap community are moving through an especially busy period, preparing year end projects and productions, completing assessments, and lots of other activities, both in and out of school. Once the swimming pools open and the hot weather arrives, maintaining focus and self-control in school becomes especially challenging for many elementary aged children. Parents can help us by ensuring your children get plenty of sleep and plenty of unstructured time outside of school to burn off energy and to explore their worlds through imaginative play.
If you are feeling stressed by your family’s daily routines, chances are very good that your kids feel stressed or overburdened, too. Not all children benefit from the same load of extracurricular activities, and it is part of our job as parents to make a discerning judgement on where to draw the line, even when our child might be begging to add one more activity that their friend or classmate is enjoying. There is abundant current research indicating that children NEED unassessed, unstructured and imaginative play to support brain development. We have very limited opportunities to provide such open ended opportunities in school, so it is all the more essential that it happen at home. We hope that your summer plans include lots of down time.
Our guidance focus in June is on transitions, as we work to help students move on with confidence to their next school year’s adventures. We will say good bye to a wonderful group of sixth graders as they head off to middle school, and we will look forward to welcoming our other students back in the fall. We want to thank you for sharing your children with us this year, and for helping to make our work here so rewarding.
As always, please feel free to contact us at any time.