Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jan. 20, 2016

The Importance of Parent-Teacher  Communication
There’s plenty of evidence that shows positive communication between parents and teachers helps improve academic performance.
As your child’s greatest teacher and role model, it’s vital that you get involved in their schooling, rather than sitting back and letting the teacher handle it all. Your child need to see the importance that you, as their parent, put on their education, though make sure this doesn’t translate as an emphasis on always having to come first or being top of the class.
While teachers are experts in teaching, you’re the expert on your child. You know what stimulates, bores and interests them, what they’re good at and what they struggle with. You know your child’s learning style and you also know if there are any other issues going on that might be affecting their learning at school. So ongoing communication with your child’s teacher is essential to make sure they can tailor their approach to your child while in class.
Parent-teacher interviews are a great opportunity to communicate with your child’s teacher and hear how your child is tracking academically and socially relative to their classmates. However, they are also a great way to discuss any troubles or questions you may have regarding your child. With many parent-teacher interviews coming up, it is important that you take the time to think about the things you would like to discuss with your child’s teacher – to ensure you make the most of your allocated time.
In saying this, communicating with your child’s teacher isn’t just about attending parent-teacher interviews and conferences; there are lots of other ways to stay in touch and to create a positive two-way relationship, including email, volunteering in the classroom or by adding comments to a homework book. At drop off or pick up time, teachers are usually very busy so it might be best to schedule an appointment for when it’s more convenient.
Above all, remember that it’s a three-way relationship between you, your child and their teacher and that only by working together positively can you help your child achieve their full potential.


Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Discovery School
(504)9500-1720(school cell)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Teaching Children How to Think

Teaching Children How to Think

To function and create change in this modern world, individuals need critical thinking skills – the ability to think about ideas or situations in order to fully understand their implications so as to be able to make an informed judgment or decision.  Critical thinking includes skills such as questioning, predicting, investigating, hypothesizing, analyzing, reflecting, revising, comparing, evaluating and forming opinions.  It involves an inquiry process of exploring issues that may not be clearly defined and for which there are no clear-cut answers. Critical thinking also includes metacognition – the process of thinking that enables us to reflect on our own learning as we develop knowledge and skills.
According to Tony Wagner in his book, The Global Achievement Gap, mastery of the basic skills of reading, writing and math is no longer enough. Instead, work, learning and citizenship in the 21st century demand that we all know how to think – to reason, analyze, weigh evidence and problem solve. He goes on to say that children will need seven basic survival skills to succeed in the world that awaits them:
·         Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
·         Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence
·         Agility and Adaptability
·         Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
·         Effective Oral and Written Communication
·         Accessing and Analyzing Information
·         Curiosity and Imagination
Robert Fisher, a leading expert in developing children’s thinking skills, says that thinking is not a natural function like sleeping, walking and talking. Thinking, he stresses, is a skill that needs to be developed, and people do not necessarily become wiser as they become older. Children learn to think when adults take them seriously, engage them in meaningful conversations, inspire their imaginations and ask them questions that get them to think. This is exactly the approach that we need to incorporate into the classroom.
According to many experts, to develop these basic skills, we need to re-define the role of the teacher and the student. Teachers need to move from primarily being the information keeper and information dispenser to being an orchestrator of learning where knowledge is co-constructed with the student.  Teachers will become facilitators, guides, mentors, sources and resources who make use of spontaneous teachable moments to scaffold children’s learning.   The 21st century will require knowledge generation, not just information delivery, and schools will need to create a “culture of inquiry” that is shared equally by teachers and students.

Ms. Nora Sierra

April 20, 2018

Wrapping Up the School Year The end of the school year brings the expected joy at finishing another year, and perhaps some sadne...