Physical activity is one of the most important parts of being a healthy family. It helps with mood, school performance, health and overall well-being. Children should strive for 60 minutes of fun fitness every day. Adults ages 18 and over should achieve 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity a week.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Try indoor ice-skating or a family adventure walk in place of going out to a movie. Just calling it an adventure makes it more fun.
2. If it’s cold outside break-up your outdoor activities. Try adding three 10-minute bursts of physical activity throughout the day. A quick game of tag or running around the block.
3. Park further away when running errands so you have to walk further to the store, just remember to bundle up.
4. Limit TV time and keep the TV out of your child's bedroom.
5. During TV commercials, take turns choosing an exercise: sit-ups, push-ups, toe touches, or jumping jacks. See who can be the fastest, silliest, or sweatiest.
6. Have a dance party, take out the flashlights and make it a disco night.
7. More ideas for fitting exercise into your family’s schedule.
Motivating Your Child
Motivation is key to your child's school success
You don't just want your child to learn. You want your child to want to learn! Motivation is part of being a successful student. Thankfully, studies show that parents can help if they:
- Stay involved. When parents are involved in education, kids do better in school. Make sure you monitor study time and communicate with the teacher regularly.
- Remember that kids are adaptable. If your child struggles in school, stay positive. Work with his teacher to find solutions.
- Promote independence. Give your child age-appropriate freedoms. You might let him choose between two places to study.
- Limit criticism. School is challenging. Instead of criticizing, use positive words to boost your child's self-confidence.
- Correct mistakes in an encouraging way. Don't say, "You have poor spelling." Try, "You spelled everything right except these two words! I bet you can fix them!"
- Give specific compliments. It's better to say, "Your report is so neat. I can read the whole thing," than, "I like your handwriting."
- Get more out of learning. Let classroom lessons spark your imagination. You might visit the state capital, do a science experiment or figure out a waiter's tip together. The key is to have fun!
Reprinted with permission from the February 2012 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2012 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Sources: E. Pomerantz, "Research: Motivating Children to do Well in School," http://i-parents.illinois.edu/research/pomerantz.html; K. Seal, "Raising Self-Motivated Children," HighScope, www.highscope.org/file/NewsandInformation/ReSourceReprints/Motivated.pdf.
Make homework time easier for your child with motivation!
Sometimes getting kids to do homework is tougher than the homework itself! To increase your child's motivation:
- Develop organization skills. Help your child devise a system that works for her. She might use a homework folder and make daily to-do lists.
- Replace "homework time" with "study time." If your child doesn't have assignments, she can read or review.
- Stick to a routine. Kids resist less when they're used to studying at the same time every day. Let your child choose a quiet, comfortable place to work.
- Help without taking over. Encourage and guide your child through tough problems. But don't ever do the work.
- Be a role model. While your child studies, finish important tasks yourself, such as paying bills or straightening up.
- Offer praise, not prizes. This helps your child become self-motivated--not motivated by things. You might say, "Wow! You kept trying and it paid off!"
Reprinted with permission from the February 2012 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2012 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: C. Moorman and T. Haller, "How to Motivate Your Kids to Do Homework," NewsforParents.org, www.newsforparents.org/expert_motivate_kids_homework.html.
Studies show expectations are powerful motivators
Research links high expectations to high accomplishment. In addition to setting high (yet reasonable) expectations, it's important to:
- Look for progress, not perfection. Keep in mind that goal-setting encourages kids to work hard. Even if your child doesn't reach his final objective, consider his efforts a big success!
- Celebrate often. There are many steps along the way to reaching a goal. Whenever your child passes a milestone, take note. "You're halfway done!"
- Communicate clearly. You might say, "I want you to do well in math. I believe you can raise your grade above a C."
- Learn from mistakes. Help your child see that mistakes are opportunities to learn, persevere and improve. Good can always come from them. Discuss how to stay positive.
- Be flexible. What if an expectation was too high or too low? If necessary, adjust the expectation, but keep it challenging.
Reprinted with permission from the February 2012 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2012 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: W. Parker, "Setting Appropriately High Expectations for Children," About.com, http://fatherhood.about.com/od/succeedingasafather/a/high_expectations.htm
Get parent support for new approach
You may be trying out a new textbook this year. Or you may have adopted a new teaching style you think will help students achieve more. But if parents feel you are experimenting on their kids, there is bound to be contention.
Here are some tips for enlisting parental support instead:
- Write a newsletter that spells out what you're doing. Address parents' concerns directly. Share some of the research that informed your decision to adopt this new approach. Share specific examples of the success of what you are doing.
- Give parents some hands-on responsibilities at home. Include discussions with parents as a regular part of your students' homework.
- Offer parents many options for contacting you--your phone number, your school email and other applicable ways of reaching you. If your school policies permit, invite parents to visit your class to see what's going on.
Reprinted with permission from the December 2011 issue of Better Teaching® (Secondary Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2011 The Teacher Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: B. Geuder et al., A Life Saver for New Teachers: Mentoring Case Studies to Navigate the Initial Years, Roman & Littlefield Education.
Raising Performance of ELL Students
Focus on developing good homework habits
One of the challenges of teaching English learners is that they often fail to meet their homework obligations. There are plenty of explanations: Students may not understand the work. They may need to work to help support the family. Or the family may simply not recognize the benefits of doing homework.
So getting students to complete nightly work is a project that should involve both the students and their families. Here are some suggestions:
- Teach the importance of homework. Help students see that by practicing a skill they have learned in class, they will improve that skill. Once you have taught the lesson, send a letter home to parents making the same points.
- Do more in class to help students prepare. If students don't have an agenda book, consider a two-pocket homework folder. This will also give parents a chance to see completed and graded work.
- Teach homework and study skills. Have students read along as you give a homework assignment and underline the words that tell them what they should do. Also teach them to ask questions like, "How does this assignment relate to what we did in class today?"
- Write an occasional note to parents when students are showing effort and progress on their homework.
Reprinted with permission from the December 2011 issue of Better Teaching® (Secondary Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2011 The Teacher Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: D. Campos et al., Reaching Out to Latino Families of English Language Learners, ASCD Books.
RULES & REGULATIONS:
Nominations Needed Committee of Practitioners
The SD Department of Education’s Committee of Practitioners is currently seeking additional members. The Committee meets twice a year in the fall and in June with other phone meetings as required. This advisory committee provides input for the Department by reviewing proposed or final state rules or regulations and giving comments to the Department. Items of discussion recently were: DOE Accountability Workbook, School Improvement Grants, and program area plans such as Even Start guidelines and grants, McKinney-Vento State Plan, etc.
The committee is composed of twelve to fifteen members as necessary. As this is an advisory committee, members are not compensated for their time, however, all expenses are paid. The committee must be composed of administrators, teachers, vocational educators, parents, school board members, private school representatives, and pupil services personnel (i.e. counselors).
The Committee seeks membership from across the state and from large and small districts. Additional members to be added this fall are parents, school board members, pupil services personnel.To to http://doe.sd.gov/oess/title/1Abasic/generalinfo.asp#Committee%20of%20Practitioners to view the current list of the members.
The Committee wishes to have additional appointees in place as soon as possible. Self-nominations are appropriate or districts may wish to nominate someone to the position. The Department Secretary has final authority on nominations. Go to http://doe.sd.gov/oess/title/1Abasic/generalinfo.asp#Committee%20of%20Practitioners to download an application.
The Committee is defined in ESEA Section 1903(b) and Title I Section 1111(c)(11).
Proposed Accountability Model for South Dakota
To read the Proposed Accountability Model for South Dakota go to: http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/documents/ProposedAccountabilityModel.pdf
- National Title I Conference: > - Jan. 21-24, 2012
- South Dakota Council of Teachers of Math and Science Conference
> - Feb. 2-4, 2012
- National Conference on Family Literacy - March 25-27, 2012
- SD NAEYC/SDHSA Conference for Early Childhood Educators - April 12-14, 2012
- 26th Annual TIE Conference - April 15-17, 2012
- Parent Involvement Summit - April 24, 2012
Cedar Shores Resort, Chamberlain, SD
- International Reading Council Convention - April 29-May 2, 2012
- DOE Online Calendar of Events
- Monthly Title Time Phone Calls
January 10, 2012 - Topic: Highly Qualified Teachers and Paraprofessionals,
February 14, 2012 - Topic: Parent Involvement
March 13, 2012 - Topic: TBD