Alfonso's update - Aug 10

Greetings Friends,
Our plans for Inquiry week with staff (formerly "Teacher Orientation Week" - the week before school starts) are shaping up quite well, with a focus on the IB-PYP* units of inquiry and the whole program of inquiry, as well as a detailed look at what inquiry learning looks like in action. (I went shopping this weekend at Powell’s and found a number of good books on inquiry science and mathematics as well as a fascinating study comparing the math preparation and teaching styles of US and Chinese teachers.)

During inquiry week we are also going to be reviewing closely how we communicate with parents, how we manage students each day, and what kind of homework and how much we give each day for what academic purposes. Attached (click here) you will find a document I put together and sent out to staff last night on homework: what works and doesn’t and how much is appropriate, according to the research. I well remember as a parent trying to struggle through homework assignments and projects that I really didn’t understand , for example when my 6th grade son was assigned a research paper on Bloody Sunday in the Russian revolution ! I vowed never to inflict such suffering on a fellow parent. You can enjoy some homework on homework as a bit of summer reading or ignore it and look out at the ocean some more!

Meanwhile work here goes on and my excitement grows as the start of school draws nearer.

Take good care,
Alfonso

* International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme