Power House Parent Newsletter
Welcome to 6th grade!
Power House Teachers
Power House Promise
8th Hour Skills Development
Power House Homework Philosophy
On the subject of Reading--It's a simple fact that students who read daily develop strong reading, vocabulary, and writing skills. Reading at least 15 minutes per day is important. Students who struggle with reading should be reading books that are not above their reading levels; that's counterproductive. We'll help your child choose reading materials appropriate for them
Math fact practice--A child who has a solid grasp of basic math facts has an advantage in the classroom and is able to work more productively. There are lots of online websites with fun games to play while refreshing math computation skills, and there's always traditional flashcards if you don't have computer access at home.
Of course, if your child's been absent or doesn't make good use of time at school, you can expect to see work at home. You can check Skyward any time to see if your child is caught up or not. Click here for instructions for how to do that.
Fairness and Student Learning
We use Google products extensively. Google Apps work most efficiently on Google Chrome; a fast, free web browser for which Google has a free download. To avoid frustrations resulting from using other browsers, we recommend downloading Chrome (instead of using Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) when using the Google Apps on your home computer. Let us know if you have questions about this.
Independent Learning: As teachers, we know that if we are doing all the talking and guiding of students, we are doing them a disservice. Power House students will be encouraged to explore and puzzle their way to solutions sometimes; this type of independent thinking is an important skill. We want to develop independent, confident learners who can explain their logic, because we know those skills are desired in today's world. Of course, every child is unique, and not everyone will be as ready as others for certain levels of independence; we'll work to meet every child where they are and take them as far as they can go!
The Growth Mindset: For generations, students (and teachers) have striven for "the right answers." Power House teachers wants students to value the process of learning as much as or more than getting "the" answer. If they get 100% of a math assignment correct but cannot explain how they got the answers, we've missed an important part of the learning process. A student who perseveres through a problem but solves it incorrectly (and learns from mistakes) will be celebrated for his/her efforts. We are going to spend some time teaching the students how the brain works and the importance of having a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. The poster below shares different ways of looking at the learning process.
Because research shows that students who teach others learn more through that process, students who finish early will be invited to either take on additional individual practice or spend time supporting other students as they learn.
A great deal of Power House communication will be sent via email. We also have a Power House Facebook page, as well as a Power House Instagram and Twitter account. We will use these to share information about upcoming events, important house updates, heads-ups on bigger projects coming due, and also to share pictures that celebrate the learning that is taking place. Follow us on Twitter @PCMSPowerHouse and on Instagram at pcmspower.
This year, PCMS will be using Canvas, an online tool for communication between teachers, students, and (eventually) parents. It's kind of like an online binder. We are now in the beginning stages of using it, but will be using it much more 2nd quarter. Stay tuned!
If you need paper copies of information we share, please let us know.
We understand that there might be mornings where your son/daughter may not have time for breakfast at home. There may also be times when they have after-school activities and may not get home until later in the evening. Also, 6th graders eat last, 7th hour (12:43pm), and that may be a long time to wait for some students. Therefore, we are allowing students to bring in healthy snacks that they may eat in the morning during homeroom, during 5th or 6th hour, or during their Team Study, 9th hour. We also encourage your son/ daughter to bring a clear water bottle into all of their classes, so that they do not need to leave class to get a drink. Please note that the kitchen also serves breakfast each morning.
Trish Challe (back in early November)
Lisa Desautels (here until early November)