Our students and teachers are a busy bunch! On this page we’ll recount some of our recent successes as well as post important news and reminders for our students, parents, and community. Be sure to stop back often to stay in the loop!

Keys to Learning Sight Words

As primary students learn phonics and how to create and read words by sound, they also begin to learn sight words. These are words that are often used in reading and writing but don’t necessarily follow phonics rules. They are words that need to be recognized immediately by sight and memorized.
Students will begin to learn these words in kindergarten and first grade, but if you want to give your child a jumpstart or reinforce what he’s learning in the classroom, here are some tips:

  • Practice is the best way to learn sight words. Create flash cards for your child, and let him focus on only four or five at a time. More than that could cause your child to become overwhelmed and frustrated.
  • As you read aloud with your child each night, allow him to pick out the words he knows before you start reading.
  • Show your child a sight word in the book you are reading. For example, “and.” As you read aloud, allow him to “read” the sight word each time you come across it. This will help build confidence and reinforce that reading truly is a fun, engaging, and interactive activity.

As you work with your child, don’t move too fast. Kids all start reading at different paces. Preschool or kindergarten is a good time to start working on sight words, especially since it’s reinforced in the classroom. Some children will master them quickly; others need more time. But if your child doesn’t begin to master those sight words by the end of first grade, it may be time to talk to his teacher.

Sight word lists vary depending on which publishing company or website you visit. For just one list of grade-level appropriate sight words, visit KidZone, choose your grade level, then click on “Dolch Words.” Various games and activities are also available with a simple Web search.

Academic Honesty

High school is one of the last stops on your road to becoming a fully contributing adult member of society. Some students will go directly to the work force and others to a vocational or trade school, community college, or university for a higher education. Whatever you choose, understand that being honest about your schoolwork directly affects your future.

Consider this: Would you want the surgeon who cheated her way through medical school to operate on you or your loved ones? Or would you prefer it be the one who did her own work and actually knows the procedure? Knowledge is a progression; in order to learn calculus, you must first learn algebra. If you are cheating now, you are only practicing to cheat more in the future—and learning nothing.

Some students are confused about what it means to be academically honesty. Plagiarism is a serious offense. You would not steal your neighbor’s car or your best-friend’s jeans, so do not steal other’s work.

  • Do your own work—make a commitment to yourself, and be sure others know where you stand. This includes but is not limited to the following:
    • Working math problems
      • Be sure to work out the problem before comparing notes with friends.
    • Writing papers
    • Doing research
    • Posting to Internet forums, websites, and blogs
  • Use study aids properly
    • First, read the book or assignment, and then use the Cliffs Notes or similar works as a guide to help you more thoroughly understand what you have already read.
    • Treat the Internet like a tool—the same way you would any other source.
      • Do not directly take material and use it as your own.
  • Do not allow others to use your work—you are being a better friend to allow them to learn the concepts and grow academically.

When you are not academically honest, you are hurting yourself and missing your chance for academic progress. When you practice academic honest, you will not only feel good about your achievements, but you may just influence those around you to do the same. So set a good example, and be honest in all of your academic undertakings!