How much do we talk to our kids about goal setting? I know at my house, there is often such a rush between meals, homework, activities, playing outside, and chores. I am hoping to do a better job with my own boys talking to them about goals and reaching those goals. I also want to know a lot more about their goals.
This coming week in Second Step during middle school advisory at Kelvin Grove, students are talking about goals. They will learn an effective strategy for achieving goals, because we see our students often aren't sure how to go about their goals, other than simply naming them. They will practice breaking big goals down into small, simple steps and creating plans for how to take each step.
I think there are several ways we can begin to help with this at home. Think of a time you achieved a big goal, such as learning to drive or graduating from school. Tell your child about your goal and how you achieved it, and ask your child to tell you about a goal he or she has. Make comparisons and contrast your goals with thiers. Make the conversation about the both of you and your goals.
Good luck with goal setting this week!
Not all books are worth reading, and I certainly could not agree with everything in "The Coddling of the American Mind". But I did like very much the advice the author gives for lessons we might teach our children about how to be happy and successful as adults.
The author includes 3 ideas to be "happier, healthier, stronger, and more likely to succeed in pursuing your own goals."
Our jobs as teachers will be much easier if parents partner with us in encouraging these principles.
In continuing to talk about how we help all students to learn, regardless of their income status, regardless of the employment status of their parents, regardless of their class, we want to highlight the ways in which Milne and Kelvin Grove make sure these children learn! Last time we talked about how schools in which the teaching and learning is driven by high academic expectations for all students do better. These classrooms are characterized by conversation, inquiry, and collaboration. Today I would like to focus on what this looks like in our classrooms.
Students in classrooms with conversations excel. Sometimes I walk by a classroom and one of our teachers will explain to me why it is so loud. sometimes they are worried I will not like the volume. I always reassure them that this is the sound of learning! Our teachers tell each other to turn and talk, they have debates, and they ask questions. Ask your stduent tonight what kinds of questions they asked today and what kinds of conversations they had with their classmates.
Students in classrooms with inquiry learn more. Students in our schools aren't just told what to write down are what the answers are. They notice. they wonder. They discover. Our children are capable of making great discoveries and talkking about their learning in way s that help make it solid. Ask your children what they have discovered this week at school.
For more about inquiry learning, click this button.
Every school has a group of kids who are living near the poverty level. Some schools have more than others. Our schools have about 38% of our students living near the poverty line. We do not label these students, we don't treat them poorly because of it. But we do want them to succeed and we do go out of our way to support these students, regardless of how well resourced their homes are.
There is no silver bullet to helping students who live in poverty learn more. We call it closing the achievement gap, and there is no easy way to do this. But in the next couple of posts, I want to highlight the work we do at Milne grove and Kelvin Grove to make sure the gap doesn't get any wider. To make sure students from poverty learn just as much as students from homes where there are more resources.
Before I highlight this weeks strategy, I want to point out that students who live in poverty are infinity diverse, and by no means do we believe their homes are similar or can be generalized by blanket statements. We do believe that parents know what is best for their children, are doing their best, and we continually partner with all parents to ensure we are also doing what is best for children. We believe all our children are very capable and so are their parents!
Our strongest strategy for closing the learning gap is making sure we have high expectations for all our students, and especially for our students who need to close that gap faster. We believe that high expectations are best expressed through high-order learning activities that give students high level skills. We know that the research shows students who have access to higher level learning are surprisingly less likely to drop out than their peers. It just shows that children elevate themselves to our expectations. If our expectations are low, so will their growth be. If our expectations are high, out growth will be too!
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.