Sipley School Parent Newsletter

Week of Monday, October 17, 2016

"When we only focus on our results, we miss what is important. When we judge ourselves (or others) based on results only, we miss life's extraordinary gifts, fail to see our own contributions, and discard many benefits along the way."

Daria Boissonnas

The Mathematical Gap between Girls and Boys

Our schoolwide data shows that boys are outperforming girls in mathematics and I am hoping that we can help our girls adjust their inner feelings about mathematics, closing this gap between boys and girls. Our boys are outperforming our girls in the percentage of students at benchmark and when overall growth is considered. As a staff we are in the midst of planning for change to close this gap. If we can involve everyone in this, we can close this gap quickly.

One thing that can help in this area is conversation with our girls. Focus and attention on Carol Dweck's work related to growth mindsets is highly recommended. I shared a link below on growth mindsets.

Here are some other tips I found:

  • Understand that girls generally begin processing information on the brain's left, or language, side. So, girls deconstruct math concepts verbally. Looking at something on a board or screen is not enough. They need to unpack the problem using language. They need to "talk it through."

  • Girls are more responsive to color than boys. Color-code toys and blocks for sorting and patterning beginning at an early age. Buy colored blocks and when you build with them make patterns. Add color to visual representations of math models.

  • Never tell her the answer. Ever. The point of math is not so much to get the answer but to figure out how to get it. The more you do for your daughter the more you short circuit her self esteem. If she is stuck on something, keep asking questions. Ask her questions all the time in every context, especially domestic ones. "How do you think we should do this?" "Could there be another way?" Perseverance is key. Children need to acquire this love of discovery and embrace that journey versus giving up because they can't find an answer or a solution immediately.

  • Never accept language such as "I can't do this" or "I'm bad at math." And so on. She can do it. MATH IS MEANT TO BE HARD. Tell her that. It stretches her brain, just as physical activities stretch her body. The more she stretches the easier it gets. More on this language - It disturbs me to hear a girl, or anyone for that matter, say "I'm bad at math." This has become far too acceptable to say. It is very rare that we hear anyone say, "I am bad at reading." We have to change the language when we hear children say this.

  • Present our daughters with positive role models. Find a female pediatrician, accountant, engineer, etc. Girls often say they hate science and math but they love medicine, for example. (The numbers of females entering medicine is increasing every year with women attracted by the empathic nature of medical science.) And never put down your own ability. Don't tell your daughter that you "are not good" at math, or anything else along those lines.

Check out the Link Below on Growth Mindsets

Mark your Calendar for October 28!

October 28 we will invite parents in for a Pumpkin with Parents event! We will celebrate literacy and creativity with this hands-on collaborative Storybook Pumpkin activity! This will take place in the morning (exact time TBD). We are working on plans for p.m. pre-school and p.m. kindergarten. We will ask each parent to bring a medium pumpkin that they will decorate. We hope that 100% of our students have a parent, grandparent, or family member here at school to work with them. More information will follow.

Mark your Calendar for November 10!

We are finalizing plans for a "Family Literacy Night." It will take place on November 10 from 6:00 - 7:30. The purpose is to provide parents with information about how their child learns to be a reader here at Sipley and ways parents might support their child at home, based on strategies that readers use at school. Parents will learn how to utilize the pacing calendar to see what their child is learning at any given time during the school year, parents will participate in a minilesson, and parents will learn a strategy that they can use at home to guide or question their reader. Parents will also have the choice to attend breakout sessions. These sessions are still being planned. We hope to see our kindergarten through sixth grade parents here on November 10!

Family Literacy Night is different than our Family Reading Night held in the past. We will hose a Family Reading Night again this year, like we have done in the past.

Our STP Fun Run is on Monday

Come by and watch your child run. Stop by the office to pick up your name tag prior to watching your child run. The safety of our students is important and we want to make sure that we have visitors here on campus who are suppose to be here. Thanks for your cooperation. Here is our schedule:

Time - Classes

8:25-8:50 - Ceresa/Pyburn

8:50-9:15 - Siran (AM)

9:25-9:50 - Goldman/Spear

9:50-10:15 - Holub/Zei

10:15-10:40 - Dorsey/Melonides (AM)

10:40-11:05 - Jackson/Graves

11:20-12:20 - Lunch/Recess

12:25-12:50 - Ley/Melonides (PM)

12:50-1:15 - Siran (PM)/Berger

1:15-1:40 - Maris/Serpe

Social Media

Parents, we need your support. When students have cell phones or any other device with wi-fi capability, they typically engage in on line chats, texting, or other forms, using apps such as Kik. I have seen too many children fall into misuse of these apps where there is profanity, harassment, and in some cases, bullying. If your child has a device that they are communicating with others, I encourage you to monitor this closely. When problems stemming from use of these devices enter the school, and they typically always do, the problems stemming from use of those devices then become a school related matter. The best way to address this is to monitor the devices closely and talk to the children about the proper use of texting, chatting, etc. Thanks for your support.

A Glance at the Dates Ahead

Monday, October 17 - STP Fun Run

Wednesday, October 19 - STP Meeting - 6:45 in the LRC

Thursday, October 20 - 5th Grade Outdoor Ed Experience

Friday, October 21 - 5th Grade Outdoor Ed Experience

Tuesday, October 25 - Robert Crown Parent Night at Edgewood School at 6:30 (5th Grade)

Friday, October 28 - Pumpkins with Parents - 8:30 - 9:30

Friday, October 28 - STP Halloween Bash - 6:30 at Sipley School

Friday, October 28 - End of Quarter 1

Friday, October 31 - No School - School Improvement Day

Tuesday, November 8 - No School - Non-attendance Day

Thursday, November 10 - Picture Retake

Thursday, November 10 - Family Literacy Night

Friday, November 11 - No School - Veteran's Day

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