Glencoe Weekly Newsletter9/25/2020
Library Book Bag Checkout: Last Name A-L
Library Book Bag Checkout: Last Name M-Z
LETTER FROM OUR PRINCIPALDear Glencoe Families,Things are really starting to move along. I am so impressed by the level and skill of independence I am seeing from our students when it comes to navigating their technology system and learning apps. Teachers have been taking their time to ensure students are also practicing the skills they need to use their devices and systems to the fullest extent. Of course, you also play a big role in this learning process and we appreciate your partnership. As you may have noticed by now, teaching is much more complex than it seems and providing lessons and activities online, rather than in person, can be a challenge.
Teaching contains two major concepts of learning, the Art and the Science. As an art, teachers find the methods and strategies that work best for them. There is not one standard way to teach. What works for one teacher may not work for another. Thus, all the teaching strategies that one learns can be adopted and adapted to fit a particular teaching situation and teaching style.
As a science, there are strategies and practices that a body of research has shown to be effective in enhancing learning. Schools and teachers use research to inform their programs and practice. On the individual level teachers are constantly collecting data by observing their students in order to see if learning is taking place and how they learn best. And, like scientists, teachers experiment with new techniques or strategies to see how they work.
One of the many challenges a teacher faces each and every day is how to balance the amount a student struggles with the amount of support a teacher gives in order for learning to occur. If we make things too easy (little to no cognitive struggle) or offer too much support (remove the struggle) then very little learning, if any occurs. As partners in this work right now, I have talked with many of you who are grappling with these same questions. How much or how long do I let my child struggle to figure out an answer? What if my child doesn’t know or can’t figure out an answer? When is a good time to offer my child support? What does too much or too little support look like?
Here is some advice I would like to offer at this point in time:
· Struggle can lead to growth. We all need to struggle a bit to learn new things. This is expected and yes, some of us struggle more than others. Students vary in their abilities to manage their feelings when things are hard. If your child struggle to manage their feelings when they are faced with a difficult task, talk to your teacher or Ms. Gardner, our counselor. We can help!
· Encourage a growth mindset. It is important to remind kids that it's not about being good or bad at something, but working toward getting better at it.
· Wait time is important. Children take more time to process questions than adults might realize, especially if the question isn’t in writing. Pausing, giving a child time to consider an answer and resisting the urge to jump in, give clues or the answer is important.
· Stay positive and patient. Offering encouragement and being patient with a child’s answer encourages thinking and builds confidence. Consciously waiting for kids to respond will help adults not do the work for them.
· Ask the teacher questions. If you aren’t sure how much you should let your child struggle, talk to the teacher. There are some assignments that might be harder than others for a reason. There are assignments that act as an assessment so if you help your child, the teacher will not know what your child really knows or doesn’t know.
· Remember the science of teaching. Teachers look at student work to judge the effectiveness of their lesson AND your child’s level of understanding. If you have over helped, the teacher will not be providing the adequate amount of support or the right lesson the next time around.
· Stifle your own perfectionism. Maybe their letter 'e' looks kind of wonky or it took them a long time to figure out 4x8. That’s ok! Stay positive, offer upbeat feedback with as much specific detail as possible—not just a generic “good job”—and the child will be more apt to keep practicing. Repetition will lead to improvement which will inspire intrinsic motivation.
The bottom line, no one expects parents to be a full time teacher or to be an expert on educational strategies or content - although you probably feel like that right now. Even if they were at school, they would be expected to work independently many times throughout the day. Teachers are used to walking the room to check on students’ work and give feedback. If you are around and able, just provide support and encouragement and most importantly, expect your child to do their part. Struggling is allowed and encouraged! Don’t help too much. Becoming independent takes lots of practice.
Last but not least, don’t forget our Back to School Night sessions are the week of October 5th. Teachers will have two, virtual LIVE sessions to choose from on their grade level’s evening. Teachers will communicate their Back to School Night date and times directly with families. You can also find them on our School Website.
I will also be sharing a schoolwide presentation for Back to School Night with you, to watch at your leisure, in next Friday’s Newsletter. Before we finalize our presentations, we would like to hear from you. What questions do you still have about Glencoe, our classrooms, curriculum, lessons, community connections in this virtual setting? If you have a few minutes, we would appreciate your time in completing this brief survey.
NEWS FROM THE OFFICE
If your child is going to miss some or all of a school day, please call the attendance line at 503-916-6207, option 2 or email Amanda Shwetzer at email@example.com. When reporting absences, please include the reason for the absence, illness, vacation, appointment, etc. This will prevent the automated call going out to you the next day.
CHESS FOR SUCCESS -3rd – 5th GRADE ONLY
We will continue working with Chess for Success to bring their program to Glencoe this year for students in grades 3-5. This includes trained instructors, free admission to their chess tournaments, t-shirts for the kids, chess clocks for the club, as well as the ability to draw on more coaches.
Chess Club will cost $60 for the entire year (Oct-March) and some scholarships are available. If you qualify for reduced lunch or feel the fee is beyond your means, please get in touch with us so we can work something out. We want to make chess accessible to everyone!
We have developed an “Online Permission Slip” that will supply us with the information we’ll need to get students registered in the club for your school:
We will be collecting payments via cash or check at our coach's house: 644 SE 52nd Ave. This is the small blue house just northeast of school, through the sidewalk path surrounded by tall bushes. If paying by check, please make it out to Chess for Success, indicating Glencoe and the students you are paying for in the notes field.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our coach Dave Petrozzi at his email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special PTA meeting on Thursday, October 1st at 7:30pm via Zoom to elect new board members for the 2020 - 2021 school year. The PTA put out a call in August to fill several vacancies on the PTA board for this school year and these three parents stepped forward. They are Mackenzie Weintraub, kindergarten parent, for Co-president, Whitney Stark, kindergarten and 2nd grade parent, for Co-president, and Anna York, 3rd grade parent, for Secretary. If other parents are interested in running for these positions or the other unfilled board positions of Family Ambassador and Volunteer Coordinator, please let us know prior to the meeting.
In order to vote, you must be a PTA member in good standing. If you were a member last year, your membership is good through 10/31/20. If you are not yet a member or would like to renew your membership, the membership form is attached to this email or you can join online at https://www.oregonpta.org/membership. Cost is $15 per year per person. Please note this meeting is focused solely on the election. There will be a general PTA meeting in mid-October, date TBD, to welcome new parents, go over the upcoming school year, and approve the 2020-2021 budget.
Zoom link for the meeting Thursday, October 1st at 7:30pm
Meeting ID: 831 4807 7929 Passcode: 665342