E-Staff Weekly for 2/1/16
2.3.16 Faculty Meeting
The faculty meeting scheduled for February 3rd will be used to complete the PSSA online training for the 2016 assessment. If you chose to complete this prior to February 3rd, then you will not have to stay after school on this day. Please remember that all teaching staff are required to take this online training. Please provide Tina a printed certificate of completion on or before February 4th.
Spirit Day - Favorite Football Team Jersey
Friday, Feb. 5th, 9pm
820 Callowhill Road
The Adventure of the South Pole Pig
Message from IST about Retention
Electronics in School
With the holiday gift giving season underway, many students will be receiving wonderful electronic gadgets. We ask all parents to remind their child(ren) NOT to bring them into school per PSD Elementary Student Handbook page 7. Please see the link below to access the handbook.
Seylar Stars VS. Harlem Wizards
On Sunday, February 28th at 5:30pm the Seylar Faculty will be playing Harlem Wizards at South Middle School. In order to properly advertise and market, we need to develop our team and cheering squad.
Please consider volunteering for the following:
- Play in the game
- Cheer for our team
- Help at event
2nd Marking Period Report Card Timeline
Teaching Resources, Inspiration, and Sometimes a Good Laugh!
I’m Just Not a Math Person
In this Usable Knowledge article from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Leah Shafer explores the all-too-common dynamic of a student struggling with a math problems, giving up, and saying: “I just can’t get this. I’m not a math person.” Of course the idea that there are “math people” and “not math people” is a social construct, says Shafer: “It stems from the belief that math intelligence is a fixed trait, rather than something that grows and develops with hard work and opportunities to learn.” Students who believe they are not “math people” feel outside mathematics – that math doesn’t belong to them, that it’s not useful to interpreting and navigating the world; it’s just something they have to memorize for tests.
The good news is that it’s possible to change a student’s negative attitudes toward math. Some key steps:
- Shift from a fixed to a growth mindset. Students can be taught to make this shift – that through determination and hard work they can be good at math.
- Create opportunities for cooperative learning. “When students learn from each other by discussing problem-solving strategies,” says Shafer, “they discover new techniques for approaching problems and new attitudes that help them persevere.”
- Give students the chance to productively struggle. Rather than simple right/wrong computational problems, teachers should assign meaty problems that invite students to find their own solutions. Teachers should give students enough time to wrestle with problems and try a new approach if they reach a dead end.
- Encourage participation, even if the student doesn’t have the right answer yet. “If there’s a threat of being wrong every time I raise my hand, and being wrong is a bad thing, then very quickly I decide math isn’t for me, I don’t like this, I’m not a smart person,” says Noah Heller of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Teachers need to frame wrong answers as opportunities for learning and get students sharing tentative answers without fear of failure.
- Re-envision math as a language. Math students should feel they can claim ownership over the language of math in the same way that English language learners claim ownership over English. Math students need to feel they are insiders, able to construct knowledge, and can gain access to skills and tools that will be truly useful in their lives.
“Becoming a Math Person: Why Students Develop an Aversion to Mathematics – and How Teachers Can Help Change Their Minds” by Leah Shafer in Usable Knowledge, January 16, 2016, http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/16/01/becoming-math-person
M. M. Seylar Elementary School
Education is a very personal thing. We at Seylar believe that every child has the right to achieve their highest potential and for them to be inspired, to dream, to be excited, and to have pride within themselves and for their school community. Our mission is to combine these beliefs with your child’s innate passions and love for learning to bring together a mind’s on approach, where students are engaged, challenged, and supported so they can achieve their personal best.