Monthly Archives: May 2018
The Two Club Golf outing is coming up June 2. All proceeds are in support of the OHS Football Booster Club! If you don’t wish to play but would still like to support, any raffle items you would be willing to donate are appreciated. Register soon — It’s sure to be a tee-rrific day! Details can be found here:
“I’m not good at math.” “My mom or dad weren’t good at math and neither am I.” “Math isn’t in my genes.” “I never was good at it, so I understand why my child isn’t either.” If you work in schools or have been around other parents or students that are talking about academics, these are phrases that I’m sure you have heard, or have even said, yourself. In our culture of learning, math is often viewed as one of those things that you either get or you don’t. You’re either born with it or your doomed to struggle with it forever. The bottom line is we view it with a very fixed, rather than a growth, mindset.
So what does this mean and why am I challenging us to change this culture? Mindset is our perceptions or beliefs about our abilities and qualities related to intelligence or creativity, for example. How we handle challenges and respond when faced with difficulties in large part is due to our mindset. Do you have a fixed mindset where you believe abilities are fixed; you either have it or you don’t? Or do you have a growth mindset where you believe that with effort, learning, and persistence, you can impact your abilities?
Take reading and math, for example. There are some pretty stark differences in how we view them. In reading, we encourage daily practice, year, after year, after year. We believe, that with practice, we can and will learn to read. On the contrary, in math, we tend to have the attitude of “I don’t get it so why try.” As staff, parents, and community, we need to treat math the very same way we treat reading. Why can’t you be good at math even though your mom or dad may have struggled with it? Why can’t you be good at math even though you don’t understand it now? We need to emphasize the effect of perseverance, problem solving, and effort. We need to emphasize the theory of “yet”. Instead of telling your child you understand why math is hard because it was for you too, let them know that they just haven’t gotten it yet. Emphasize continually practicing and working with a growth mindset, knowing that they will get it with hard work and effort.
Going out to eat? For the remainder of May, make Chili’s your choice for dine in or carry out. Simply show the attached “Chili’s Dine to Donate” coupon and OCEF will receive 15% of all pre-tax proceeds. This is an easy, no stress way to support the wonderful work that OCEF does to directly enhance education for Oostburg’s students.
Good morning, Parents.
A topic that is getting considerable discussion in the education world currently, especially with high school faculties, is the topic of cell phones in the classroom. It seems like this topic is being discussed in nearly every professional publication, and it is not uncommon to read about schools taking various actions to address these challenges in newspapers. And certainly, it has been a topic of discussion at our school as well.
In a recent article in Principal Leadership, the author made a couple of points that go right to the core of these discussions. He said, “Smartphones are the most engaging, versatile, useful, and entertaining devices ever created. But to put one into the hands of adolescents and expect they will pay attention to even the most engaging lesson is unreasonable.” He also made the point that, “If you believe teens are on their smartphones while paying attention, think again. Most neuroscientists will tell you that multitasking is a myth, with virtually no one capable of doing it, especially not adolescents.” He goes on to cite a study that found that banning cell phones from the classroom led to an average improvement in learning of half a letter grade over the course of the school year.
When we asked our teachers if cell phones were a distraction in our classroom and having a negative effect on learning, 95% of our faculty agreed or strongly agreed with that conclusion. We plan to continue to discuss the best approach to address this challenge, but it seems clear at this point that we feel strongly that eliminating phones from the classroom is necessary. We are still working through the specifics, but beginning in the fall, students will be expected to leave the phones in their lockers when they go to class.
If you have any suggestions as parents to help us address this challenge, please give me a call to share your ideas.
Get your tickets, while they are available, for the Jazz and Voice concert coming up on Friday, May 18th at 6:30pm. They are on sale starting this Friday (May 11) through next week Thursday (May 17). Tickets are $8.00 each and include appetizers at intermission. They may be purchased through the high school office.
Oostburg Band Program
We will be having our instrument fitting night for all of the incoming 6th grade band students on Tuesday, May 15th. Fittings will begin at 3:30 and run until about 6:00 or so. Please sign up for the earliest 10 minute time slot in which you and your child can come in to try instruments to select the best fit for next year!
In addition to trying out and selecting an instrument, we will also have White House of Music representatives present to help talk you through the instrument renting process.
If you already have an instrument, please bring it with you so we can take a look at it to make sure it will work well for your child.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you and your child are just as excited as I am to join the Oostburg Band Family!
Date: 05/15/2018 (Tue.) Location: Oostburg Middle School Band Room Sign Up for a Fitting