Family Outreach Committee

At Sundance, we are very goal-oriented; from our teachers, to our students, and school-wide! Our 90-day Day Sundance goals include literacy goals in phonics and writing, as well as a school-wide math word problem strategy called CUBES.

Through a school focus, primarily in Kindergarten-2nd grades, but also in 3rd grade and as needed beyond, we are incorporating daily phonological awareness and explicit phonics instruction which are crucial for children's reading and writing success. Phonological awareness, understanding how spoken words break down into sounds, forms the foundation for reading, which is one the strongest predictors for reading success. Teachers are equipped with a Heggerty curriculum for whole-group and small-group instruction. Explicit phonics instruction teaches the relationship between letters and sounds, enabling children to read fluently and accurately. These skills improve reading, writing, spelling, and overall confidence. Parents can help by engaging in language games and supporting schools in using effective phonics teaching methods, ensuring their children have the tools for literacy success. Many of our teachers send home the phonics or spelling pattern of focus for the week which you can support by incorporating them into word and sentence practice on whiteboards or on paper throughout the week. Your consistency, encouragement, patience, and celebration of progress make a big difference in your child’s learning.

Our older students in grades 3-6 are focusing on writing strong paragraphs with topic sentences, details, or explanations in supporting sentences, along with a closing sentence that wraps it up before moving to a variety of writing or essay forms depending on the task and audience. You can support your child by adding sensory details to sentences, temporal or transitional words, and making writing meaningful in their everyday lives by journal writing to one another, writing postcards or letters to a relative or family friend who lives in another state or country. Reading and discussing together often also builds stronger vocabulary and language that supports reading comprehension and writing, too!

The CUBES strategy is a Sundance Elementary common and valuable tool for our young mathematicians to tackle word problems effectively and eventually independently. CUBES stands for Circle, Underline, Box, Evaluate, and Solve.
• First, students circle the key numbers, oftentimes including the unit in the problem.
• Then, they underline the question being asked.
• Next, they box any keywords that give clues to the operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division) needed to solve.
• Afterward, they evaluate the information gathered and devise a plan to solve the problem.
• Finally, they execute their plan and find the solution by solving.

Parents and families can support their children in mastering the CUBES strategy by practicing it together. Encourage your child to talk through their thought process while solving problems, ask open-ended questions to guide them, and provide real-life scenarios to apply the strategy. Regular practice and support at home can enhance their problem-solving skills and boost their confidence in mathematics. If you would like practice materials or enrichment, reach out to your child’s teacher, who can send enVisions math extra practice problems, math projects, or sign up your child for Khan Academy math learning.

As always, please do not hesitate to ask your child’s teacher for resources. You can also reach out to me with any questions! Together, we reach new heights for your child!

Mrs. Carolyna Aparici Chavez, Learning Innovations Coach

Bengal TigerOctober 2023 Family Focus Question:

We want to hear from you! The Family Focus Question this month asks for your feedback on how we can reinforce positive behaviors from home to school. Please provide feedback here. Thank you for your feedback!
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