These past few weeks, I have the privilege to dialogue with many folks, teachers, parents, administrators, students, about various things. One topic that comes to the top is how the curriculum has changed and how different it is from what has been taught in the past. Parents are contacting teachers about homework, or about how to simply “move the decimal point” rather than to understand why the numbers have to move. This is all new to us as educators as well as new for our parents.
In their wonderful book Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships, Anne T. Henderson, Karen L. Mapp, Vivian R. Johnson, and Don Davies devote a chapter on how involving parents can help your test scores. The gist of the chapter is to help families support their children’s learning, both at home and at school. To help their kids at home, parents need to know what is going on at school. What often happens is that teachers may complain that parents don’t bother to check their children’s homework. But parents may say, “We didn’t know we were supposed to check homework. Tell us how to do it and what to look for. Explain what the teacher wants.”
Basically, parents are asking for help and what a wonderful opportunity to bring them in. How powerful will it be to build those relationships with your parents if you hold an evening to help them understand the Math Common Core Standards, what the curriculum is asking us to do and how it is changing instruction. Some may say, “Oh, but this takes time out of my schedule and I cannot commit.” Yes, it does, but the majority of you are parents – wouldn’t you want this for your child?
As you know, the research is there: In a study of Title I elementary schools, researchers found that teacher outreach to parents improved student progress in both reading and math. When teachers did these three things, student performance improved at a 40-50 percent higher rate:
- Met face-to-face with each family in their class at the beginning of the year.
- Sent fammilies materials each week on ways to help their children at home.
- Telephoned routinely with news about how their children were doing, not just when they were acting up or having problems.
Let’s become smarter and tap into this resource. Parents want the best for their children, and what a wonderful opportunity than to open the doors, invite them in, and explain what is happening within our school. I will help in any way possible. Let’s take the challenge and increase our parent partnerships. Have a great week.
- Bus Duty for Sept 23- Oct 4 Team 2: M. Backus, P. Mahay, B. Gauthier. Upcoming bus duty. Team 3: Jessica Serviss, Teresa Kiechle
- Oct 2nd we have a BEDS meeting in the library @ 2:45pm. Please bring a #2 pencil.
- Our next staff meeting is October 7th.
- Group 3 lesson plans are due to me asap.
- Progress reports are due this week. Just a reminder that 3-5 progress reports will be generated through the Schooltool program. Progress reports are due to the office on Thursday.
- We have lots of substitutes in for Thursday and Friday due to professional development opportunities for our staff. Please be cognizant of this.
- I am continuing with walk through visits. I see wonderful things folks, thank you!
- My friend John Falino writes about “Is Twitter Trending or Just Trendy?“
- Peter DeWitt writes about “The Counterproductive Ways Schools Punish Kids” This is a must read!
- Please check the East Side Announcement page for updated dates, announcements etc. Lisa is updating this continually! http://gouverneurcentralschool.org/esannounce/
- What are the five things you are grateful for? Make a list daily. It does wonders!
- Be the change agent for kids! Be a champion for kids. Every kid deserves a champion!
Other Items of Interest
As you work on SLOs, don’t forget the lessons we learned from the process; that reflection is posted at the APPR 2.0 page of the APPR microsite. Additionally, there are new SLO resources on engageNY.org, including revised guidance and examples.
The transition to Common Core Regentsexamination memo has been revised. This was revised to make it clear that the old IA and new A1 exam administration will overlap in June 2014, August 2014, and January 2015. After that, only the new A1 Regents examination will be available.
This advice about feedback rings true when providing feedback to students and adults alike.
If you encounter low expectations for students with disabilities or challenging circumstances, share this post about the “Least Dangerous Assumption.” The post addresses the cultural roots and offers concrete tips to counter low expectations.
This provocative article from The Atlantic points out that we spend more on high-school athletes than high school math students; “The Case AgainstHigh-School Sports.”
If you want higher test scores, do more physical fitness in schools. And, the more difficult the material, the more physical fitness might help.
Research is Core& Common Core, that is! October 25th is a unique opportunity for teams of teachers and librarians across the region to work to define or refine research process, K-12. We will examine how research is different under Common Core Standards. Tools and processes will be shared to develop capacity to implement research process to meet rigorous standards. Registration is filling quickly.
The Teaching Channel has hour-long “specials” prepared for public television:
This source of on-line courses includes some that would apply to teachers – and they are free.
Paula Rutherford and the folks at Just ASK Publications have created a crosswalk between all of theirresources and the NYS Teaching Standards. Instruction for All Students, Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners, Creating a Culture for Learning, and Why Didn’t I Learn This in College are all connected to the Standards.
In the story from The Atlantic, a parent decides to do all of his daughter’s homework for one week. Read about his experience. If you are talking about homework in your school, this is worth reading (after you get done with your homework).
A Touch of Humor