In our math this year we are focusing on operational sense. Quite simply, this has meant working with our students on developing strategies for addition, subtraction (primary) and most recently multiplication (junior) that help us to ensure our students are thinking about a problem and determining what is the best way for them to solve it. What many of you as parents realize is that this means the days of just using the algorithm are past (ie. carrying the one, borrowing from tens). In fairness, the algorithm still exists as an option but we have learned that there are many problems where there are much better ways to solve them. A professor at Stanford University has an amazing website that is a resource for educators but also has a parent section you might like to visit. I know I have shared some of her amazing work with you before.
I encourage you to read her tips for parents below and a few of her suggested activities. Perhaps these can be something fun for the upcoming break.
From the desk of Jo Boaler….
1. Encourage children to play maths puzzles and games. Award-winning mathematician, Sarah Flannery reported that her maths achievement and enthusiasm came not from school but from the puzzles she was given to solve at home. Puzzles and games – anything with a dice really – will help kids enjoy maths, and develop number sense, which is critically important.
2. Always be encouraging and never tell kids they are wrong when they are working on maths problems. Instead find the logic in their thinking – there is always some logic to what they say. For example if your child multiplies 3 by 4 and gets 7, say – Oh I see what you are thinking, you are using what you know about addition to add 3 and 4, when we multiply we have 4 groups of 3…
3. Never associate maths with speed. It is not important to work quickly, and we now know that forcing kids to work quickly on maths is the best way to start math anxiety for children, especially girls. Don’t use flashcards or other speed drills.
4. Never share with your children the idea that you were bad at maths at school or you dislike it – especially if you are a mother. Researchers found that as soon as mothers shared that idea with their daughters, their daughter’s achievement went down.
5. Encourage number sense. What separates high and low achievers is number sense – having an idea of the size of numbers and being able to separate and combine numbers flexibly. For example, when working out 29 + 56, if you take one from the 56 and make it 30 + 55, it is much easier to work out. The flexibility to work with numbers in this way is what is called number sense and it is very important.
6. Perhaps most important of all – encourage a “growth mindset” let students know that they have unlimited maths potential and that being good at maths is all about working hard. When children have a growth mindset, they do well with challenges and do better in school overall. When children have a fixed mindset and they encounter difficult work, they often conclude that they are not “a math person”. One way in which parents encourage a fixed mindset is by telling their children they are “smart” when they do something well. That seems like a nice thing to do, but it sets children up for difficulties later, as when kids fail at something they will inevitably conclude that they aren’t smart after all. Instead use growth praise such as “it is great that you have learned that”, “I really like your thinking about that”. When they tell you something is hard for them, or they have made a mistake, tell them: “That’s wonderful, your brain is growing!”
Next meeting is Tuesday March 19th at 7 p.m. – All are welcome!
Coming soon! We will be hosting a Mindfulness Evening for families. Stay tuned for more details.
The 2018 Terry Fox School Run
We are proud to announce that Sprucedale Public School has generously donated $411.17 for cancer research.
39 years ago, determined to make a difference in the lives of those living with cancer, Terry ignited a fundraising movement that cannot be stopped. Today, because of schools like yours, his message of hope echoes loudly in the voices of students and families everywhere.
The Terry Fox Foundation extends to you a heartfelt thank you for your wonderful generosity to continue Terry’s legacy. Be proud and know that together, we are making a difference.
Babysitting Course 10-13 yr olds
Friday April 5/19 8:45am-3:00pm at St.Andrews Presbyterian Church – Stratford. Flyers are available in the front hall by the office.
Shout Out to Egg Farmers
As a school community we would like to thank the Egg Farmers of Ontario for supporting our school nutrition program. These hard boiled eggs are an absolutely wonderful food to have as part of our snack program. The students enjoy them and they are nutritious. A special shout out to Gary and the rest of the West family for making this program happen for Sprucedale and many schools in the region.
Pink Day – “Be a Buddy, not a Bully!”
On February 27th Sprucedale Public School had a Pink Day. Wearing pink on Pink Day is one way that students have chosen to show their support for a positive inclusive learning space in which all children and adults are welcome. The original event was organized by David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick, Nova Scotia, who in 2007, bought and distributed 50 pink shirts after male ninth grade student Charles McNeil was bullied for wearing a pink shirt during the first day of school. If your children do not have any pink in their wardrobe, you may wish to pick something up as the Day of Pink is most likely to carry on as an annual event.
On April 9th Mrs. Bogle will be taking students to Stratford to compete at the annual Chess Tournament. This event takes place at the Army Navy Air Force Veteran’s Hall and has proven to be a very fun day of competition amongst young Avon Maitland Chess enthusiasts. Our thanks go out to Mrs. Bogle for leading our team.
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Dates to remember!
For upcoming events please see the calendar page on our school website.
March 1 – 3/4 and 4/5 Skating
March 5 – 7/8 Rock Climbing
March 5 – Junior Mixed Basketball – Agriplex 1-5pm
March 6 – Intermediate Mixed Basketball – Agriplex 1-5pm
March 11-17 – March Break
March 19 – School Council Meeting – 7pm
April 1 – Grade 7 Immunizations – 9am
April 9 – Annual Chess Tournament – Army Navy Air Force Veteran’s Hall – 9:15am-4pm
April 19 – Good Friday – School Closed
April 22 – Easter Monday – School Closed
April 26 – Dairy Farmers Presentation – K-3 9-11 a.m.