Home > Community Updates, Did You Know, Uncategorized > Parent Update – September 8, 2010

Parent Update – September 8, 2010

September 8, 2010

ADVANCED TICKET PURCHASE RECOMMENDED FOR BULLDOG FOOTBALL

To avoid long lines at the ticket booth, we are encouraging all Bulldog football fans to purchase their tickets to this Friday night’s game against Mayfield during the day on Friday.  Adult pre-sale tickets are $6, senior citizen (over 60 years of age) pre-sale tickets are $3 and student (grades 1-12) pre-sale tickets are $3 and all will be available for purchase at Olmsted Falls High School from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

In addition, on Friday, all students in grades 1-12 may purchase their pre-sale student tickets, at their individual school, for $3.  All tickets, for adults and students, sold at the gate Friday night are $6.  Senior tickets are also sold at the gate on Friday night for $3.  The ticket booth opens at 6:00 p.m. on game nights.  Buy your tickets early, by-pass the ticket booth and head straight to the gate. Go Bulldogs!

TWO OPEN HOUSE EVENTS REMAIN FOR FALL 2010

Tomorrow Night! Thursday, Sept. 9th:  OFHS (Grades 9-12) – 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 15th:  Early Childhood Center – A.M. Preschool/Kindergarten 6:45-7:30 p.m.; P.M. Preschool/Kindergarten 7:30-8:15 p.m.

DID YOU KNOW?

Olmsted Falls High School posts both Daily Announcements and Weekly Bulletins on its website homepage.  This is a great resource for keeping both parents and students up to date on important High School activities and events.   For example:  2009-2010 Yearbooks are on sale for $60 during lunches this week and at all HOME football games.

MIDDLE SCHOOL HOMEWORK LAB BEGINS THIS WEEK

Olmsted Falls Middle School offers a daily Homework Lab for students in the morning (7:30 – 8:20 a.m.) and in the afternoon (3:40 – 4:30 p.m.).  The Homework Lab takes place in the Media Center with teachers available to provide assistance to students.  For the 2010-2011 Homework Lab schedule, please click here.

INTERESTING RESEARCH ON HOMEWORK

As we start back to school, and our children begin to come home with homework, our inclination, as parents, is to set up a routine for our children with a time and location where homework is to be completed.  Recently, I received an email from Olmsted community resident Pete Naegele, who shared an article with me on this topic that appeared in the NY Times.  Click here to read.

HIGH SCHOOL ONLY LATE START NEXT  WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 15TH

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR HIGH SCHOOL PARENTS: The first Late Start Day (High School ONLY) of the 2010-2011 school year is NEXT WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th.  To download a copy of the Late Start Schedule, please click here.

OFHS SOPHOMORE’S COMPOSITION SHOWCASED BY CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC

Sophomore Kevin Thompson

Congratulations to Olmsted Falls High School sophomore, Kevin Thompson, who was chosen to be one of only seventeen young composers to have their works performed by an ensemble of professional musicians this summer as part of the 2010 Young Composers Competition, hosted by the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM).   After submitting samples of his compositional work, Kevin was selected to have his work performed at CIM across two days this summer, June 25 and June 26.  Kevin’s work, Triple Pinochle, is an exciting and playful romp that draws inspiration from several genres of American music including jazz, blues, and ragtime and is composed for clarinet, cello, and piano trio. Kevin works hard at his passion and is a member of Jazz Band, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Chorale at Olmsted Falls High School.

Congratulations again to Kevin on this outstanding achievement and honor!

OFHS ACADEMIC TEAM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR FALL TOURNAMENT

The High School Academic Team is gearing up for another great year!  On Saturday, October 2nd, Olmsted Falls High School will host an academic tournament here at the High School.  Teams from across Cuyahoga, Lorain and Summit counties will be participating.  It is called the Fall Kick-Off Tournament and the Bulldog Academic Team is in need of staff and parent volunteers to serve as readers for the tournament.  There will be a training session for volunteer readers on Thursday, Sept. 30th at 7:00 p.m. in the HS Media Center for those who want to see exactly how each match is run and learn some of the rules ahead of the day of the tournament.  It is not required, but if you have never done it before, it is definitely helpful.  Any volunteer help for this exciting event would be greatly appreciated.  Please e-mail Academic Team Advisor Rhonna Smith directly if you can help: rsmith@ofcs.net.

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER HONORED FOR 35 YEARS OF SERVICE

Middle School Science Teacher Mrs. Roberta Thompson

Please join us in congratulating Middle School Science Teacher Roberta Thompson for her 35 Bulldog years of service to the Olmsted Falls School District.

Mrs. Thompson was recognized for her contributions to the District’s success during the annual General Staff Meeting held Monday, August 23rd.

SAVE THE DATES:

Thursday, September 16th – Community Meeting Re: Future of Olmsted Falls Library Branch @ 7 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall of the Olmsted Falls Community Church, 7853 Main Street.  The church is located across the street from the library.

Saturday, September 25th – Operation Medicine Cabinet (Prescription and Over-The-Counter Medication Drop-Off) – 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Jenkins Center.  Following the success of the August Operation Medicine Cabinet – where more than 90 pounds of liquid and solid medications were collected – this second Operation Medicine Cabinet event has been scheduled.  Please click here to download informational flyer.

  1. Just a Mom
    September 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I want to comment on the “Homework” article you posted. While I found the article posted some interesting perspectives on helping children do their homework successfully, I hope to encourage parents become involved in homework process, and mostly, children’s learning process. Let me be explicit, the need for learning not just limited to when schools begin but it’s a constant journey. I like asking my kids questions while driving them from our home to their friends’ home for party or sleepover (You must feel sorry for my kids;-) but it helps them think. If you are up to par with what is being taught in your kids’ school, ask all the “what-if” questions and let them pretend and drive the outcome. This becomes a good conversational piece for the short car trip or long family vacation on the road. Some examples I asked my kids:
    “What if John Adam didn’t get the loan from the Dutch when we were fighting the evolution war with England? Do you think America will be the way it is today? If not, what do “You” think it would have become?”

    “What if bees and butterflies do not do the pollunation process for the nature, say that God had forgotten to put that little requirements of them…what kind of earth will we be living in?”

    “What if 2+2 does not equal 4…. how will we continue our math progress..”

    I think utilize our surrounding and getting involved of kids’ learning materials will prompt some creative thinking in our children. My kids know the rule that they will have to have their homework complete before their mom gets home from work – how they get it done, they will have to master the time and available resources (this teaches them to be organized with their writing instruments and tools needed for accomplishing the task).

    I heard a lot of parents do not have much to say to their children – I find myself becoming my children’s “unexpected” think tank because they don’t know what my next question will be during a shopping trip or any brief together time – and the best hooray I received from them was giving them a surprise reward for their creative thinking when we are done shopping.

  2. peter naegele
    September 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm
  3. 4 kids at OF
    September 9, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Although we totally agree with the concept of parental involvement in children’s education, nothing has shown that homework, in and of itself, has any impact on a child’s comprehension. The concept of homework seems to be more an exercise of busy work and not allowing kids to be kids. Effective use of class time should be more than enough.

  4. peter naegele
    September 9, 2010 at 6:44 am

    @4 kids at OF – I think the traditional concept of “homework” does not fit the tools available to educators nor the wider range of subjects taught today. That being said, the research cited in the NYT article demonstrates that learning in a single environment [or context, in the article] is less likely to foster effective knowledge construction abilities [what I see as comprehension].

    However, you have to remember that from K-6, children are learning how to learn in addition to the subject matter covered in class. During that period, the most important aspect of homework is clear feedback from the teacher because it fosters the development of self directed learning strategies which lead to higher levels of comprehension outside the brick and mortar learning environment.

    So, it really depends on what “homework” entails. If it is simply busy work, as you define it, then yes, it is not a very effective tool for learning. However, if it is the application of something presented in class with constructive performance feedback, then it is useful.

    Think about it this way….if you had to choose between surgeons to perform a tricky procedure, would you choose someone who never performed it before, but took many classes on it, or someone who took many classes AND performed the procedure dozens of times? You’d choose the person with the knowledge AND the experience, of course!

  5. jlloydofcs
    September 9, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Greetings everyone. Homework is always a hot topic for parents and educators. Given my role in the district and having three children of my own; I too have some thoughts on this subject.

    The good thing is that there is a great deal of research about the effect size (i.e. the impact something has) that homework and practice have on student achievement. Researchers use a technique called a meta-analysis to look at the impact of educational techniques on student achievement.

    Some general suggestions from one person who has extensively studied the topic of homework (Hattie, 2009)offers the following insights: Task oriented homework had a higher effect on learning compared to deeper learning and problem-solving homework. Further, homework involving higher level conceptual thinking and project based learning was least effective. These thoughts should not lead one to conclude, “kids should not have rigor in their work.” Rather, kids should have rigor in their work under the guidance of a teacher and continue to build upon skills already learned when doing homework. Practicing something wrong several times obviously does more harm than good…which is why homework is typically practice rather than learning new skills.

    Another study by Marzano, Pickering and Pollock (2001-Classroom Instruction that Works), found a link between homework and practice that was significant. Their generalizations include:

    1) The amount of homework matters and it is contingent upon the grade level of students. Older students (grades 6 through 12) get greater achievement benefits from homework when compared to younger ones. However, while homework may not improve student test scores for younger students it does help them to develop good study habits and think about what they’ve learned.
    2) Parent involvement in homework should be kept at a minimum. I “do” homework with my kids, but I try to act as more of a facilitator than anything. Research supports this.
    3) The teacher should identify the purpose of the homework for students and clearly articulate it to them. Is this for practice? Is it to prepare me for tomorrow’s lesson? Clearly stated, “You need to practice this because ______.” In Olmsted Falls we have continued to focus on making things clearer for kids and having them understand the relevance of their work.
    4) Homework is most effective when teachers comment on it. Commenting doesn’t necessarily mean grading. Written feedback or comments on how a student can improve their work are much more effective than writing points accumulated at the top of a paper.

    Finally, based on the research it isn’t completely clear as to what the right amount of homework should be, however several studies made some recommendations. Six studies pertaining to the appropriate amount of homework have been conducted since 1966 and the time ranges devoted to homework are listed below:
    Primary: 10 to 30 minutes per day
    Upper Elementary: 30 to 90 minutes per day
    Middle School: 50 to 120 minutes per day
    High School: 120-180 minutes per day

    *If anyone is interested in the research study citations for this post please contact me at jlloyd@ofcs.net

    • 4 kids at OF
      September 10, 2010 at 4:38 am

      So high schools children should have two to three hours of homework a night! Those people that perform those studies obviously don’t have a life outside of academia. How are students to be involved in anything else?

      • September 10, 2010 at 6:34 am

        Actually, the amount of homework listed by lloydofcs is a not complete portrayal of what the research shows.

        The majority of research suggests 10 minutes per grade level per night, but that has to also be balanced with other activities [as suggested in the Marzano & Pickering article linked below, which goes back to the 1930’s].

        So, the parent needs to be involved to determine what is appropriate for their child and communicate that to the teacher.

      • Dr. Jim Lloyd, Assistant Superintendent
        September 10, 2010 at 10:41 am

        Hello 4 kids at OF. Your point is a good one as well. I too have kids (only 3 though). The research I spoke about shows that as practice/homework time increases, student achievement increases. Think of it in terms of a skill level like basketball. The more you practice shooting the ball, the better you become. “Homework” in this case is folded in with practice. The more you practice something, the better you become at it…just like in sports. The thing to remember here as well is that some kids require more practice than others. Thanks!

  6. Just a Mom
    September 9, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Peter
    Good example. I was educated in Taiwan where Chinese students are conditioned in memorization to score high points – all to get into a reputable college so their families can be proud. Too often, after getting my master here in the U.S., I found many of my competitive Taiwan students are good at theory but lack of real-life experience. So the tradeoff is that many American students will partner up with these Chinese students to strike a balance for each other’s shortcoming in education and learning experience.
    I hope we continue this conversation with teachers’ input if possible. I find my children – one with very strong memorization skill and the other is rather free spirited. They both need to explain their homework to me daily so help me understand how and why they are learning. I am not opposing little work after a day of school; I do prefer they have some meaningful projects that reenforce what they learn though.

  7. September 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    The Marzano, Pickering and Pollock book is decent, and a boiled down version of the meta analysis [in nearly plain English] is available here:

    http://www.hampdenstreet.school.nz/assets/Uploads/School-Community/BOT/Case-For-and-Against-Homework.pdf

    Hattie’s work has also been quite influential. His Visible Learning Lab paradigm also focuses on the importance of feedback over the outdated traditional testing scenario. His work can be found online here:

    http://www.asttle.com/pageloader.aspx?page=534d96d0d0

    Again, all that being said……the game is changing. You can take an entire semester of algebra on an ipad now, and at your own pace [http://gizmodo.com/5633745/a-full-year-of-algebra-class-on-your-ipad]. I record all of my labs on video [called screen- or course-casting in higher-ed] and make them available to students immediately after the session ends [http://vimeo.com/9681321]. The point being is that the definition of a classroom is changing, and so too should homework.

    Further….say I record a complete lecture and have students watch it BEFORE coming to class and then utilize that class time for discussion and working through problems. Now, which is the class and which is the homework? More importantly, does it matter?

  8. September 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    JustAMom – 你好!

    over the summer, I was the technology coordinator for a language academy and worked with several instructors from China [teaching Chinese, obviously] who had advanced degrees in things like electrical engineering and biochemistry. They repeated the exact scenario you did! There’s a world of difference between the theoretical and the applied, but to fully achieve, you need to experience both.

  9. Dr. Jim Lloyd, Assistant Superintendent
    September 10, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Peter Naegele :
    Actually, the amount of homework listed by lloydofcs is a not complete portrayal of what the research shows.
    The majority of research suggests 10 minutes per grade level per night, but that has to also be balanced with other activities [as suggested in the Marzano & Pickering article linked below, which goes back to the 1930’s].
    So, the parent needs to be involved to determine what is appropriate for their child and communicate that to the teacher.

    Mr. Naegele…the source that I used came directly from Marzano (Marzano, Pickering & Pollock, 2001). Actually, if you look back at my post and the number of minutes of practice/homework that was stated from this source it coincides with your 10 minutes per grade level statement (e.g. Primary–Grade 1, 10 min; Grade 2, 20 min; Grade 3, 30 min, and so on). The point I was trying to make was two fold. First, the amount of time one spends on homework & Practice has an impact on student achievement, but it has a larger impact as students get older. Secondly, the research isn’t exactly clear as to the amount of homework that students should engage in. This is the reason why I posted the ranges that came from Marzano’s work.

  10. September 10, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Dr. Jim Lloyd, Assistant Superintendent :

    Peter Naegele :
    Actually, the amount of homework listed by lloydofcs is a not complete portrayal of what the research shows.
    The majority of research suggests 10 minutes per grade level per night, but that has to also be balanced with other activities [as suggested in the Marzano & Pickering article linked below, which goes back to the 1930’s].
    So, the parent needs to be involved to determine what is appropriate for their child and communicate that to the teacher.

    Mr. Naegele…the source that I used came directly from Marzano (Marzano, Pickering & Pollock, 2001). Actually, if you look back at my post and the number of minutes of practice/homework that was stated from this source it coincides with your 10 minutes per grade level statement (e.g. Primary–Grade 1, 10 min; Grade 2, 20 min; Grade 3, 30 min, and so on). The point I was trying to make was two fold. First, the amount of time one spends on homework & Practice has an impact on student achievement, but it has a larger impact as students get older. Secondly, the research isn’t exactly clear as to the amount of homework that students should engage in. This is the reason why I posted the ranges that came from Marzano’s work.

    Jim, the source I was using [and linked to above] was Marzano, Robert J., Pickering, Debra J., (2007). The Case For and Against Homework.[Electronic Version] Education Journal: Responding to Changing Demographics 64(6), 74-79.

    The point is that there are upper and lower boundaries for homework. Those boundries are yoked by “non-homework” involvement. I was addressing the question from 4 kids at OF:
    “How are students to be involved in anything else?”

  11. September 10, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Dr. Jim Lloyd, Assistant Superintendent :

    Peter Naegele :
    Actually, the amount of homework listed by lloydofcs is a not complete portrayal of what the research shows.

    Mr. Naegele…the source that I used came directly from Marzano (Marzano, Pickering & Pollock, 2001). Actually, if you look back at my post and the number of minutes of practice/homework that was stated from this source it coincides with your 10 minutes per grade level statement (e.g. Primary–Grade 1, 10 min; Grade 2, 20 min; Grade 3, 30 min, and so on).

    Also….Marzano’s perspective has changed somewhat since 2001:

    “Focusing on the amount of time students spend on homework, however, may miss the point. A significant proportion of the research on homework indicates that the positive effects of homework relate to the amount of homework that the student completes rather than the amount of time spent on homework or the amount of homework actually assigned. Thus, simply assigning homework may not produce the desired effect—in fact, ill-structured homework might even have a negative effect on student achievement. Teachers must carefully plan and assign homework in a way that maximizes the potential for student success (see Research-Based Homework Guidelines).” Marzano, Robert J., Pickering, Debra J., (2007).

    Of course, this was the whole point of the original NYT article I had sent Dr. Hoadly.

  12. 4 kids at OF
    September 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    It does seem to boil down to the type of practice that homework reinforces. Carrying the basketball analogy, homework that focuses on making and creating plays is good, mindlessly putting the uniform on and off, just for the sake of doing it, is not.

  13. Just a mom
    September 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    @ Peter – hello to you as well:-)

    We seem to put a baseline measurement of amount of homework in this discussion so far. Each child is different but the homework system is, we hope, to reenforce the daily classroom learning that is applicable to the students full within the bell curve. We have to take care that when a child is below or above the curve, special assistance or activities are needed to ensure s/he learns adquately and continue to excel academically and in real life. Parents need to get involved for certain and sometimes I even find myself enjoy a good refresh course seeing it through the eyes of my own kids. What’s the “real” balance of homework quantity, again, each child is different but you have to start somewhere. Some years ago I remember it so well was being in an all-girl catholic school, the homework was tremendeous that kids our age (14-16) had 3 hours of homework after being in school apprx. 8 hours excluding traveling time. That was a little excessive!! I find kids today do not have enough homework load hence many of them find themselves challenge orders and rules to rid their boredom. I am sure many scholars and researchers have their study in what’s enough homework for children, I will have to ask firstly what do the homework mean to accomplish?
    Finally, I thank you for your thoughts on this article – your opinions and suggestions reveal that you care enough about education here in this community to have dialogues.

  14. 4 kids at OF
    September 16, 2010 at 4:11 am

    “I find kids today do not have enough homework load hence many of them find themselves challenge orders and rules to rid their boredom.”

    Sounds more like a parental issue than the school system.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: