Building a Bridge from the Class to My Home: KIPP 101 and KIPP 201 Orientations

I want to thank the entire KIPP Heritage team, the teachers especially for giving parents tips to help our KIPPsters at home. My oldest daughter is in 8th grade, and my youngest is in 5th grade. Both attend KIPP Heritage in San Jose.

KIPP 101 is an orientation for families and new students where we have the opportunity to meet all of the teachers and the other families, get to know the subjects they will be studying, and what topics they will review in the first semester. This school year, Kipp 101 took place at the beginning of September 2018.

But this type of orientation does not end there. After five months of KIPP 101, the principal and teachers give a continuation to that orientation, KIPP 201. Families come together again in this even more immense reunion which takes place at the end of February. The purpose of KIPP 201 is for us to learn more about upcoming events and about the opportunities for families to get involved and participate at school, which is very important to me. Also discussed are test results and how the students and teachers prepare for upcoming exams, events we have for the remainder of the year, and end-of-year trips. And they recommend that our students have to rest, eat well, and study.

During these two and a half hours, each teacher in each subject explains what is happening in their classes, how we can help our students, and go over resources that can be useful for us at home in order to support our students. Below I share some programs and information to help our children, all recommended to us by KIPP, hopefully you can use them as well to support yours.

Accelerated Reader (AR)

This program is used to evaluate reading and comprehension.

Noredink: Typing club
Supports student practice and the development of writing and convention skills (grammar).

Quizlet: Google classroom
Supports the understanding and use of vocabulary by students. It is used in all content areas. Provides a variety of activities for students using new technologies.

Khan Academy
This is used to practice individual math skills. All students receive a unique list with the skills they need to practice: students can work at their own pace to practice the necessary skills.

How can I help my student prepare for an ELA exam?
ELA exams assess skills that are constantly being developed. Ask your student to tell you about the skills they learn, how to identify solid evidence, or the author’s purpose for writing the text. There are also vocabulary tests: ask your student to make cards and evaluate them with words. Remind your student to practice test skills, such as breaking down the text and writing down the essence. You can also request access to content resources, by talking to your student’s teacher.

Study techniques
Students can study key terms several days before starting. Mr. Maciel provides students with a study guide to review. Help your student by quizzing them on their study guide, so they can practice their answers. Ask your KIPPster to review the strategies for taking tests, such as breaking down texts and writing down the essentials. They can create flashcards with key vocabulary terms. Practice vocabulary words in Quizlet (online website with vocabulary games). Use study guide questions to assess their understanding of the concepts. Have them teach the skill or concept to a sibling or family member.

Considering that very soon students will be taking their final exams it would be a good idea to follow the recommendations and to use technology to support our KIPPsters. It is very important that our children’s schools keep us informed, and provide us resources and information that will help us to better support our students. Hopefully, all schools will offer opportunities for parents to get involved.

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Eva Heredia

Eva Heredia

Eva is a parent leader at Rocketship Discovery Prep and at KIPP Heritage Academy in East Side San Jose. She currently lives in San Jose California with her two beautiful daughters and her husband. She was born in Mexico City in 1976 but also considers Oaxaca as her home because of her mother. She began her leadership at Rocketship Discovery Prep over four years ago. She learned that there was so much more that she could do as a parent beyond volunteering in her children’s classroom. Eva became fully aware of the political involvement a parent must act on. She has the experience and extensive knowledge about public officials, school board members, and school administrators who play an important role in public education in East Side San Jose. She supported the opening of Kipp Navigate at a State level, by advocating for quality schools alongside other parents in 2018. She then became a founding parent at Kipp Navigate. Besides being a champion for high-quality education and choice, she also helped build the Wooster Neighborhood Association in her community. She is the voice for her children, students, and her community. She is a huge supporter of parent engagement, choice, and access to higher education. In addition, Eva also attended an Adult High School and graduated from Independence High School in 2019.

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