A New Word: Schema

During January we learned a new word – Schema is everything that we already know. It’s our life experiences, including all the books we have ever read and everything we have learned through our five senses. We have learned that our parents and our teachers schemas hold much more than our Grade 1 schemas do. Whenever we learn anything new it is important to use our schemas to think about what we already know and use these experiences to better our understanding of what we are learning. Because experiences are so important for helping children make connections between what they know and what they are learning we encourage your family to regularly enjoy rich experiences together.

In Literacy, we have been exploring how expert readers read and think at the same time in order to learn new information. In Grade 1 we call this making connections. We make connections to a text to help us better understand what we are reading. We have learned that in order to be successful in making connections, we need to:
– look at the cover of the story, read the title, and think about what you already know
–  use our experiences to help us understand the character and the story

Children at this age easily make connections between things they hear in the story and themselves, but we are focusing on making more meaningful connections by making sure that the connections helps us understand the story and is not just a statement about themselves.

At night, when reading to child:

  • ask them to share their connections (be sure to ask how they felt, why they did what they did, etc. which helps them try to understand how the character might be feeling or why they are acting the way they are, etc.)