Mrs. Christensen | Kimberly

Barbara Christensen
(208) 423-4170

Kimberly School District

Barbara Christensen/Title I teacher


Dear Parent/Guardian,


I am so excited to work with your child this year! I know some parents are apprehensive about what it means to be in Title I. This program was created to help students who do not have learning disabilities but are behind grade level in reading. If your child was in Title before this year it was to work on fluency, translated into speed or number of words read. In 4th and 5th grade we work less on fluency and more on comprehension and reading skills (i.e. note taking, decoding words and text, cause and effect, skimming for information, context clues, predicting and inferring, among others). Our goal is to help your child reach grade level and develop skills and strategies that will help them be successful readers throughout their lives.


To begin this year we will talk about the brain. Amazing research has been done in the area of the brain and learning. We will reference John Medina's book, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. We will ask the question, Why does some stuff stick in your brain and other stuff fall out? Then we begin a review of phonics, in what I hope is a more meaningful way so that it will stick. Following our phonics review we will work on coding and decoding words by learning to syllabicate words and using affixes. At this point we have reached and are working on Idaho Core Standards at grade level.


One of the ways I keep current on best teaching practices and research is to visit the Learning Disabilities website ( It often gives me things to ponder, such as a recent article about flexible thinking. The following is from that article.

  • Flexible thinking allows kids to switch gears and look at things differently.

  • Flexible thinking requires the ability to “unlearn” old ways of doing things.

  • Flexible thinking plays a key role in all types of learning.

...Here's an example of how those skills work together. Kids often start out learning to tie shoes using the “Bunny Ears” method (making each lace into a loop). They then often progress to the “Squirrel and the Tree” method (making one loop and wrapping the other lace around it). Flexible thinking enables kids to consider this new squirrelly approach...”unlearn”(ing) the old bunny-ears way in order to use the new method.


The article is by Amanda Morin and is entitled “6 Ways Kids Use Flexible Thinking to Learn”. As an adult the skill to think flexibly is a great asset and as a teacher it's imperative! So for that reason I'm always willing to listen to your ideas and suggestions to make the best educational opportunity available for your child. If you ever have questions or concerns, please contact me by phone (message during school hours) or e-mail.


I'm looking forward to a great year of learning with your child!

Barbara Christensen

Title I Teacher