PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

I Couldn’t Do My HW….


Dear Families,

There has been a lot of interest on how to help my child with HW at home.  Specifically, how to help with spelling, punctuation and grammar.  Let me be clear that if you always talk with your child about spelling and grammar you will stifle their will to write.  Always comment first on the content of their writing or how long they wrote or make a positive statement before zeroing in on the mechanics.  When you do help them with mechanics, here are some tips.

A parent during Curriculum night brought up a very valid question about how much should she should “check” the grammar and spelling of their child’s homework. I put together a resource for you that might be of some help. Each grade according to the common core stipulates a new area of growth. When that area of growth is not again mentioned that means a child should have “mastered” it. If you see your child doing something that he/she has not “mastered,” please go ahead and correct him/her.

Some of the fourth grade material has not been taught. Therefore, do not correct him/her on that. For example, we will cover comma usage with conjunctions mid year. When we are currently covering it, please go ahead and correct him/her.

Here is the LINK for the continuum.

Let’s now talk about content for the Writer’s NB.  Basically it should be filled with ideas that reflect themselves.  Things that they are passionate about, afraid or, wish for.  We hope as the year progresses that they don’t get stuck in one “style” or “type” of entry.  We hope to see a variety of “types” around one passion.  A child could write about his ideas about soccer in a poem, a letter to a famous athlete, facts about the sport, etc.  The point is not to make it a diary.  “Today I went to gymnastics.  It was really fun.”  A lot of the time it becomes a list of nonsense just to fill the page.  Make it creative!  Draw pictures, put stickers in it, photos….  Just make it a true reflection of who they are as people.


  • The air conditioning is WORKING.  Send them in with a sweater or a sweatshirt that they can take off for recess.
  • I published the preliminary grades onto School Loop.  The percentages are a little off because I have only one grade for work they completed in school.  The only grade that reflects that is the spelling test.  I will put more grades in and it will reflect more accurately their average.
  • I am very happy so far with the ReadWorks web site.  I am able to track their progress and it allows me to give specific feedback.  Let me know if you need help navigating it.  If you lost the access code you can have your child ask another student who shares the same group for it.  They are all the same for that section of kids.
  • I am sending home a permission slip for our first field trip today.  Please send it back soon.  I have to pay for the trip in advance.