Your Weekly Update from Memorial Elementary School
Dear Memorial Families and Caregivers:
My reflection this week is around the topic of teaching our children problem-solving skills. In the real world, students encounter problems that are complex, not well defined, and lack a clear solution and approach. They need to be able to identify and apply different strategies to solve these problems. However, problem solving skills do not necessarily develop naturally; they need to be explicitly taught in a way that can be transferred across multiple settings and contexts.
For teachers, helping their students grow to be people who will be successful outside of the classroom is equally as important as teaching the curriculum. From the first day of school, I have watched our teachers intentionally choose language and activities that help to create a classroom culture of problem solvers. They want to produce students who can think about achieving their goals and manage their mental processes. This is known as metacognition and research shows that metacognitive skills help students become better problem solvers.
As educators, we spend time “normalizing trouble”, naming it, acknowledging it, and calling it what it is: a sign that we’re growing. The goal is for the students to accept challenge and failure as a chance to grow and do better. We look for every chance to share problems and highlight how the students—not the teachers—worked through those problems. There is, of course, coaching along the way and resources that help guide this work. This year we have been piloting a new SEL curriculum, Everyday Speech to help with this work.
As I would never tell my parents “How to” parent, I hope we can agree, it’s important to help our children develop the skills they need to navigate the challenges of life. One of the most important skills a child can have is the ability to solve problems. This skill can help them to be more independent, confident, and resilient, and it can set them up for success in school and beyond.
So how can we teach our children to be problem solvers? Here are the top 5 tips that I came across when doing some research for SEL that can help your child develop this essential skill:
- Encourage them to ask questions and seek answers: Children are naturally curious, and this curiosity is an important aspect of problem-solving. Support your child as they ask questions about the world around them and push them to seek out answers on their own. This helps them become engaged learners who are not afraid to explore and discover new things. As they learn more about the world, they will be better equipped to approach and solve problems.
- Foster creativity and outside-the-box thinking: Problem-solving often requires thinking creatively and coming up with unique solutions. Urge your child to think creatively, try new things, think outside the box, and consider different perspectives. This will help them hone the skills they need to approach problems from different angles and to come up with innovative solutions.
- Provide opportunities for problem-solving: One of the best ways to help your child establish problem-solving skills is to give them opportunities to solve problems on their own. This can be as simple as providing puzzles or games for them to work on, or it can be more complex, such as setting up a problem-solving activity or challenge. As they work through these activities, they will fine-tune their critical thinking skills and practice finding solutions to problems.
- Encourage them to take on challenges: It’s important to encourage your child to take on challenges and to persevere through difficulties. This helps them to develop resilience and to see that they can overcome obstacles and solve problems. As they tackle new challenges, they will learn to approach problems with determination and to persist until they find a solution.
- Model problem-solving behavior: As a parent, you can model problem-solving behavior for your child by showing them how you solve problems in your own life. This helps them see how to approach and solve problems in a practical and effective way. As they observe you solving problems, they will be better able to understand the process and apply it to their own lives.
By following these tips, you can help your child become a confident and capable problem solver. As they grow and develop, they will be better equipped to navigate the challenges of life and to find solutions to the problems they face. Encouraging problem-solving skills in your child is an important aspect of parenting, and it can have long-term benefits for their development and success.
POINT OF PRIDE
Kids Heart Challenge
This past Thursday we laced up our sneakers for our annual Kids Heart Challenge Jump Rope Event. Our students really did an amazing job supporting this cause. It was great to see our community come out in support as well.We also had the opportunity to meet the Regional Vice President of the Heart Association visit our event. Ms. Pascarelli was blown away with how amazing our community has been doing with the fundraising piece of our KHC raising over $54,000.- Thank you for all your support during this exciting time for our students :-)
Things You Need to Know
1. NPS Parent Orientation Night - Thursday, March 30, 2023, @ 7:00 p.m.
Virtual Live Stream on YouTube with Elementary School Principals Parents of incoming Kindergarten students are invited to meet with the Elementary School Principals to learn more about the Kindergarten onboarding process, overall curriculum goals, and how Natick Public Schools works to support its youngest learners. Principals will discuss the orientation process (parent orientation, student assessment, and student orientation) and the modifications in place to support safety at school. Also discussed will be programming and services and the calendar of important events. This evening will help you prepare for your child’s transition into kindergarten. Building-based meetings will be hosted in May to review building-specific procedures. Links will be shared via email closer to these dates.
2. MCAS is approaching for our students in grades 3 and 4.
- Grade 4 ELA is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, April 3rd and 4th
- 3rd ELA is Tuesday and Thursday, April 11th and 13th
Math is coming up in May and we will announce those dates as we approach. Please contact your teachers if you need more information.
3. The following link is a reposting of information regarding registration for ASAP and Early Riser for our new families only: NEW FAMILY ASAP/EARLY RISER Registration Information
4. Parent/Teacher conference are approaching. They are scheduled for Wednesday, April 5th and Wednesday, April 12th. Your teachers will contacting you for scheduling purposes
5. Please enjoy my weekend vibe: U2: It's A Beautiful Day
The Memorial PTO is a parent and teacher run, non-profit organization committed to enhancing and enriching the education of our students and fostering a sense of community within our school. The PTO provides assistance to teachers within the classroom settings, raises funds for educational materials and experiences, advocates school and family social interaction, and provides an unbiased forum for sharing information on issues that impact our students. We believe in cultivating a positive learning environment to allow for students to achieve their highest potential. Please become an active participant in the PTO. Below is the link to their website:
or email them at:
- Title I: Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Title II
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Title VI
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Title IX
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
- MGL, Ch.76, Section 5: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 5