Skip to main content

Coach's Corner


Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Starting the new school year can be a time of great excitement… and anxiety. Help calm your child’s fears (and your own) with these teacher-approved tips.

Meet the new teacher.
For kids, one of the biggest back-to-school fears is “Will I like my new teacher?” Breaking the ice early on is one of the best ways to calm everyone’s fears. Take advantage of your school’s open house or back-to-school night. Some teachers welcome phone calls or e-mails — another great opportunity to get to know each other before the year begins.

If personal contact with the teacher isn’t possible, try locating the teacher’s picture on a school website or in a yearbook, so your child can put a name with a face. If your child’s teacher sends a welcome letter, be sure to read the letter together.

Tour the school.
If your school hosts an open house, be sure to go. Familiarizing your child with her environment will help her avoid a nervous stomach on the first day. Together you can meet her teacher, find her desk, or explore the playground.

With an older child, you might ask him to give you a tour of the school. This will help refresh his memory and yours.

Connect with friends.
A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. You might try calling parents from last year’s class and finding out which children are in your child’s class this year. Refresh these relationships before school starts by scheduling a play date or a school carpool.

Tool up.
Obtain the class supply list and take a special shopping trip with your child. Having the right tools will help him feel prepared. While keeping basic needs in mind, allow for a couple of splurges like a cool notebook or a favorite-colored pen. These simple pleasures make going back to school a lot more fun.

School supply lists also provide great insight into the schoolwork ahead. Get your child excited about upcoming projects by explaining how new supplies might be used. Let him practice using supplies that he’s not used before — such as colored pencils or a protractor — so he will be comfortable using them in class.

Avoid last-minute drilling.
When it’s almost time to stop playing, give a five-minute warning. Giving clear messages to your child is very important.

Chat about today’s events and tomorrow’s plans.
While it is important to support learning throughout the summer, don’t spend the last weeks of summer vacation reviewing last year’s curriculum. All kids need some down time before the rigors of school begin. For some kids, last-minute drills can heighten anxiety, reminding them of what they’ve forgotten instead of what they remember.

Ease into the routine.
Switching from a summer to a school schedule can be stressful to everyone in the household. Avoid first-day-of-school mayhem by practicing your routine a few days in advance. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother.

Stop by anytime to discuss your child. Mrs. Bourgeois



Top 5 Testing Tips!

1. Have a Positive Attitude
Approach the big test as you'd approach a giant jigsaw puzzle. It might be tough, but you can do it! A positive attitude goes a long way toward success. 

2. Make a Plan
The week before the test, ask your teacher what the test is going to cover. Is it from the textbook only? Class notes? Can you use your calculator? If you've been absent, talk to friends about material you may have missed. Make a list of the most important topics to be covered and use that as a guide when you study. Circle items that you know will require extra time. Be sure to plan extra time to study the most challenging topics. 

3. The Night Before
Cramming doesn't work. If you've followed a study plan, the night before the test you should do a quick review and get to bed early. Remember, your brain and body need sleep to function well, so don't stay up late! 

4. The Morning of the Test
Did you know that you think better when you have a full stomach? So don't skip breakfast the morning of the test. Get to school early and do a ten-minute power study right before the test, so your brain is turned on and tuned up. 

5. Test Time
Before the test begins, make sure you have everything you'll need - scratch paper, extra pencils, your calculator (if you're allowed to use it). Understand how the test is scored: Do you lose points for incorrect answers? Or is it better to make guesses when you're not sure of the answer? Read the instructions! You want to make sure you are marking answers correctly. 





April is here! And testing has begun! NO worries!

Our Gibson Tigers are READY!! 

Remember these simple tips to get your kiddo off to school right:

1. Eat a healthy and yummy breakfast---NO TIME??? Not a problem! Just make sure you get them on the bus and we will have a warm meal ready for them!

2. Make sure they go to bed early the night before! A good night's rest always does wonders!

3. Let your child know you love them and you are proud of them no matter what. 

Stop by anytime if you ever have questions:) 

Jutta Bourgeois



March in the Coach's Corner we will look at questions! There are many questions you can ask your child but here are two types! 


Ask a Closed Question: These questions generally elicit yes or no answers. They can bring students to different temporal areas or elaborations of details, but the extent of this is structured by the question. For example: Do you think Goldilocks knew how the bears would feel about her action? Was it a good idea to lie down in one of the bears' beds? Were the bears frightened of Goldilocks? Do you think the bears will ever leave their front door unlocked again when they leave the house?


Ask an Open-Ended Question: These are the questions that open up the fullest range of distancing possibilities and open up students to the largest possibilities for accommodation of their thinking and elaboration of their existing understanding about what they are reading about or otherwise considering. For example: How would you describe the scene from Mama Bear's point of view? From each of the bears' points of view? How did Goldilocks' feelings change at each point along the story? What were all of the consequences of what Goldilocks did, positive and negative, for herself and for others? What other stories have you read that are like Goldilocks and the Three Bears in some way? What are all the ways that the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is similar or different from the story of The Three Little Pigs? From Chicken Little?


BOTH types of questioning are an important part of the learning process- have fun with it and eventually your child will start to ask higher level questions! 


Check out this website to read about the importance of questioning.



February in Coach's Corner we will look at our DIBELS data! 

Have a look at our graph-we are moving up!


DIBELS is an assessment used in TPSD for all K-3rd students. We test them three times per year, Beginning (BOY), Middle of year (MOY), and End of year (EOY). 




Monitoring comprehension

Students who are good at monitoring their comprehension know when they understand what they read and when they do not. They have strategies to "fix" problems in their understanding as the problems arise. Research shows that instruction, even in the early grades, can help students become better at monitoring their comprehension.

Comprehension monitoring instruction teaches students to:

  • Be aware of what they do understand
  • Identify what they do not understand
  • Use appropriate strategies to resolve problems in comprehension


To help your student visualize a story try one of the following:


Story Maps




Answering questions! Having your child answer questions about a story will greatly increase their understanding! 


Questions can be effective because they:

Give students a purpose for reading

Focus students' attention on what they are to learn

Help students to think actively as they read

Encourage students to monitor their comprehension

Help students to review content and relate what they have learned to what they already know

The Question-Answer Relationship strategy (QAR) encourages students to learn how to answer questions better. Students are asked to indicate whether the information they used to answer questions about the text was textually explicit information (information that was directly stated in the text), textually implicit information (information that was implied in the text), or information entirely from the student's own background knowledge.


There are four different types of questions:

"Right There"

Questions found right in the text that ask students to find the one right answer located in one place as a word or a sentence in the passage.


Example: Who is Frog's friend? Answer: Toad


"Think and Search"

Questions based on the recall of facts that can be found directly in the text. Answers are typically found in more than one place, thus requiring students to "think" and "search" through the passage to find the answer.


Example: Why was Frog sad? Answer: His friend was leaving.


"Author and You"

Questions require students to use what they already know, with what they have learned from reading the text. Student's must understand the text and relate it to their prior knowledge before answering the question.


Example: How do think Frog felt when he found Toad? Answer: I think that Frog felt happy because he had not seen Toad in a long time. I feel happy when I get to see my friend who lives far away.


"On Your Own"

Questions are answered based on a students prior knowledge and experiences. Reading the text may not be helpful to them when answering this type of question.


Example: How would you feel if your best friend moved away? Answer: I would feel very sad if my best friend moved away because I would miss her.