It All Adds Up
A Parent Newsletter About Mathematics at Lyseth School
from Cindy Nilsen, Lyseth's Instructional Coach of Mathematics
For November, we have timely mathematical subjects, pun intended. I enjoyed an "extra" hour of sleep time last night, did you?
Where did Daylight Saving Time originate? Why do we use it? Should we continue? These are questions often raised around the issue of manipulating our clocks.
Here is what I captured from The History Channel website :
The name is Daylight Saving Time (no "s" on Saving).
It's a myth that Benjamin Franklin first had the idea of DST.
In 1905, Englishman William Willett tried to convince Parliament to implement DST, however his continued efforts were all unsuccessful.
Germany was the first country to enact DST in 1916 as a wartime strategy to conserve electricity.
The United States first implemented the measure to extend daylight hours in 1918, also as a wartime strategy, however, Congress decided to eliminate the measure after a farmer-led protest.
Throughout the United States, most places do use DST, with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii. There are other exceptions including Arizona's Navajo Nation and the various United States Territories.
It has never been proven with real data that DST conserves energy. In fact, there are studies indicating that any savings realized by extending daylight hours are offset by increased use of air conditioners. Additionally, the increase of recreational activities during daylight hours results in greater gasoline consumption!
Portland's New Progress Report
Mathematics and English Language Arts
Our first trimester progress reports will have a new look in the Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) sections. The district has made long overdue revisions to these documents in order to bring our reporting into alignment with the Common Core Standards. These changes will bring a greater level of accuracy to our assessment of your child's academic progress.
Common Core Standards are often misunderstood. The standards were created to move us away from learning math as just a set of separate skills to be mastered. The intention is that your child will build a knowledge of math as a coherent body of connected topics and concepts.
The focus in our classrooms is to cover fewer topics so that we can dive more deeply into each one. Through this deeper focus, in grades Kindergarten through Five, your child will learn the basics of addition and subtraction, followed by multiplication and division, and moving from whole numbers to fractions. In our teaching, there is a greater emphasis on problem-solving, mathematical conversations, hands-on activities, and the ability to explain ones thinking.
The standards do not dictate how we teach math lessons in our classrooms. Instead, they serve as goals we set for our students' understanding of what we teach. At Lyseth, we use the enVision Math program as our basic frame for teaching math topics. We also utilize resources and approaches that supplement the enVision curriculum in an intentional effort to support your child as s/he develops strong comprehension of the ideas and concepts we introduce.
At your Parent Teacher Conference this month, you will learn more about the new reporting system and about your child's progress.
If you're interested in pursuing more information about the Standards prior to your conference, here are some websites with plenty of resources:
Critical Thinking Skills
In today's world, our children need critical thinking skills more than ever if they are to develop their full potential as learners and involved citizens. Consider how we are constantly navigating the flood of information with which we interact online, in print, and on the airwaves of television, radio, and podcasts. In order to accurately interpret events in the world around us, we must be able to make sense of, analyze, infer, compare and contrast information utilizing higher order thinking skills.
Here are some tips from brighthorizons.com for you to use as you support your child's development of these essential skills.
For younger children:
Provide opportunities for play
Pause and wait
Do not intervene immediately
Ask open-ended questions
Help children develop predictions and/or hypotheses
Encourage critical thinking in new and different ways
And this from waldenu.edu:
Incorporate different points of view
Connect different ideas
Work in groups
Apps, Games, Websites:
By age level:
And finally, another resource for you: