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MESSAGE TO PARENTS

The Ontario Education System is always evolving.  Over the years we have seen many changes in the curriculum and the way in which your child is assessed on their understanding.  As a parent it can be overwhelming and confusing.  You want to help your child succeed, but you are not sure how to make that happen.  This information provides practical strategies to assist you in helping your child reach their full potential at school, and in life.  Hopefully you will find the information insightful and useful. 

 RELEVANT STATISTICS

  • The brain can only effectively study for a maximum of 45 minutes. After this point, the retention rate goes down to LESS THAN 15%.  
  • To keep studying your child needs to take a 15 MINUTE BREAK where they do something that allows their brain to relax.
  • The only music that has been shown to help studying is music written by the composer MOZART.  
  • Studies show that if your child must study with music, it should be music WITHOUT words.  Music with lyrics distracts the brain from learning. 
  • Cramming an hour before a test can DECREASE your child’s performance on the test. 
  • Studies have shown that teens require 9-10 HOURS of sleep per day to be effective academically.
  • Students who are hungry score lower on assessments.  Eating HEALTHY NUTRITIOUS food supports brain function. 

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD SUCCEED

  • Praise and encourage. 
  • Create a space in your home that is FREE from distractions. i.e. no TV, cell phone, iPod, computer, video games etc.This space is where your child should go to get homework/assignments done.  It is also a space where PRODUCTIVE studying can occur. 
  • Attend Parent-Teacher interviews and find out how your child is doing. 
  • Try not to plan extended vacations during the school year.  Your child misses a lot of course work and this can put your child’s credits at risk.
  • Be ACTIVE in your child’s education.  Ask questions about their day that elicits more than just a “yes” or “no” answer.  Get them to EXPLAIN what they learned in each class that day or week. 
  • Ask to see your child’s homework and assessments so you know how they are progressing in the course. 
  • Help them with their homework, or help them study for assessments by asking them questions about the course content.  
  • Do REGULAR homework checks.  This will make them accountable for their school work. 
  • Have your child use an AGENDA to stay organized.  Check it and your child’s school work daily to ensure that tasks are being completed.
  • Many teachers also have CLASS WEBSITES.  Check them often so that you can stay informed about your child’s courses. 
  • Create a Monday–Friday SCHEDULE with your child.  For example: between 4-6pm your child has free time to relax and unwind.  Between 6:00-9:30pm they are in their study space completing or reviewing school work.  
  • Create a weekend schedule as well that also includes time for school work. 
  • Be OPEN to letting your child explore different pathways.  For example, apprenticeship, college, and university.  Help them choose a PATH of SUCCESS.   
  • Engage your child in PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.  This will help them release negative emotions which can prevent positive outcomes at school. 
  • Help your child find a BALANCE between school, part-time work (if they have one) and play.  Too much of one thing can have a negative effect. 
  • Engage your child in activities on a regular basis which forces them to DISCONNECT from technology.  Let your child be “bored”.  Life isn’t always about being entertained.  This will push your child to learn how to think about things and become engaged.  It will help them learn about themselves and it will also develop PATIENCE. 

LEARNING SKILLS SAMPLE RUBRIC

Hopefully you have found the suggestions and tips helpful.  Below is an example of a rubric that may be used to assess the six different learning skills found on Elementary School Report Cards.  Achieving an “E” in all of the categories is another way your child can improve in any subject.  Study and work habits are directly related to achievement.   

 

 

N = Needs Improvement

S = Satisfactory

G = Good

E = Excellent

 

N

 

S

 

G

E

RESPONSIBILITY

I arrive to class on time.

 

 

 

 

I stay on task in class.

 

 

 

 

I use appropriate language in class.  (no swearing or put downs, please and thank you).

 

 

 

 

I complete all work in class and for homework.

 

 

 

 

I hand in assignments/projects on time. 

 

 

 

 

ORGANIZATION

I come to class prepared (pen/pencil, eraser, ruler, calculator, lined & graph paper, binder, textbook, agenda).

 

 

 

 

I keep my work organized (notes in order and with dates, dividers to separate subjects and/or notes, homework, tests).

 

 

 

 

I check the website daily for updates, test dates, worksheets.

 

 

 

 

INDEPENDENT WORK

I follow the teacher's instructions with minimal supervision.

 

 

 

 

I use class time to complete assigned work.

 

 

 

 

COLLABORATION

I interact respectfully during class discussions/lessons.

 

 

 

 

I take responsibility for my share of the group’s work.

 

 

 

 

I have positive and productive conversations in class.

 

 

 

 

I practice different roles in group situations (e.g. recorder, reader, speaker).

 

 

 

 

INITIATIVE

I ask for clarification during lessons and class time.

 

 

 

 

I explain concepts to other students to help them learn.

 

 

 

 

I attempt all challenging homework, problems and activities.

 

 

 

 

I come to class with a positive attitude.

 

 

 

 

I volunteer to answer questions in class.

 

 

 

 

SELF-REGULATION

I create study notes and a study schedule.

 

 

 

 

I make up for missed notes and homework.

 

 

 

 

I make corrections to my quizzes and tests.

 

 

 

 

I ask for help during class, lunch and/or after school.

 

 

 

 

I attend Counting On You if necessary and recommended.