"Long after they've forgotten what you taught them, they will remember how you treated them."
-author unknown

Friday, November 18, 2011

Develop Your Child's Many Ways of Being Smart

I recently participated in a professional development opportunity and was presented with a number of resources.  The article I site below was among these resources.  To be completely honest, I first read this article with the perspective of being a father.  Like many of you, I have two children and sometimes it is hard to believe they come from the same gene pool. How do we (my wife and I) guide our kids to be the best people they can be?  It is a question we ask ourselves frequently.  Parents have the most and best knowledge of their kids (our students).  This knowledge paired with some educational research can be powerful.

The concept of Multiple Intelligences is not a new one, but one that has stood the test of time.  Every kid is smart.  They are often smart in different ways.  Some kids do better when they hear information, some need to see the information and some need to be moving and experience new concepts.  Many kids show strengths with interpersonal skills and others are introspective and deep thinkers.  Any of these sound familiar to you?

At school we try to include activities in our units of study that tap into all or most of these strengths.  This way all kids can use their strengths to show what they know.  It is also beneficial to have students participate in activities that are not in their area of strength.  This will further develops their skill sets.

In the article, activities are mentioned that connect with each type of intelligence so you, the parent, can recognize and foster the development of these attributes.  Recognize the intelligences in your child.  Feel free to call your child's teacher and let them know what you've discovered (or perhaps what you've known all along)! 

P.S.  Please excuse the typo in the title of the article if you download it!   


Friday, November 4, 2011

The OHMS Advisory System

What is advisory and why do our students have this as part of their schedule?

Advisory is part of every student's schedule.  It starts at 7:40 AM and ends at 7:55 AM.  During this time a number of things occur.  Lunch count, attendance and the Pledge of Allegiance and morning check-ins are done every day.  Students are dismissed daily at 2:05 PM from their last academic class.  At this time, students go to advisory for a "check out" of sorts.  Often, advisors will check with their students about how their day went and look at their agendas. Grade checks are also a routine event.

When OHMS has a whole school assembly, field trip or other non-traditional educational opportunity, we often organize the event using advisory groups.  Students sit or participate in their groups.  Advisors work to form a rapport with their students with the end result being every OHMS student has a trusted adult to go to for support.  This is a foundational philosophy for OHMS.  Parents should ask their child about their advisor.  Parents should feel comfortable to reach out to the advisor for assistance or support.

This year we are working on a thematic approach to each grade level's advisory program.  Data is being collected through student surveys to measure the effectiveness of each grade level's programming.  6th grade advisors have their groups for one year.  7th grade advisors stay with their groups through the end of 8th grade.  

You will find on the links bar a synthesis of research that supports advisory systems in middle schools.  It is from the National Middle School Association (NMSA).  You will also find a link to the NMSA website on the front page of this blog.  As always, we appreciate an input or feedback you have about your (or your child's) experiences with the OHMS advisory program.