Musings on Math by Julie Hartley, 1st Grade Teacher
“That’s not the way we learned it.” Yep, times have sure changed when it comes to learning math these days. Even at the first-grade level, current math strategies are different enough that we are all learning together, with parents coming after school to meet with teachers to learn the “new way.” We can be assured that 2 + 2 will always equal 4, and yet now with last year’s adoption of the Singapore math curriculum, we have all had a learning curve – students, teachers and parents alike. Today’s learners are pushed to go beyond the basic facts and algorithms, and even beyond the “challenge” story problems we had when we were kids. No longer is it enough to simply memorize facts and the steps to solve addition and subtraction problems. Remember the days of “cross out, carry the one” and not understanding why, but just doing it?
The focus is now on going deeper, stretching the limits of our math understanding so that we know numbers inside and out and how they relate to each other. This gives us the power to change and rearrange numbers with full confidence, knowing that manipulating them to make more sense is always more valuable than just solving by rote practice. Our students are delving into number sense at a whole new level and know that math problems can be solved with a variety of strategies. Terms like number bond and bar model are becoming basic vocabulary to even our youngest learners.
We are growing successful mathematicians at Hope. They use the technology we have available to practice math concepts on the Smartboard and master math facts on Xtra Math on the computers instead of only relying on fingers and flash cards. There are many hands-on materials to support learning and even a math club after school. Last spring, we hosted an all-school Math Night with lots of hands-on activities, and students were able to show their families just how fun math can be. The best part of the transition to Singapore Math for me is hearing my students teach each other, as they are proud to show not just a right answer but the critical thinking that got them there. This is exciting stuff and I can almost hear the “a-ha moments” in the classroom!
Door Access Security System Update
As part of our ongoing assessment of our school’s security systems, some of you know that we have been researching different door access systems since last spring. We are so thankful for the guidance of one of our Hope parents, Kevin Wartelle, who has volunteered countless hours to help us navigate through this surprisingly complex process. We have looked at a variety of solutions and are at last in a position to ask our Hope Church and School Board of Directors to approve our choice. We hope to receive approval at their next meeting at the end of January and we would then begin the much more exciting part, the implementation stage. We will keep you posted on the implementation and how it will affect our families as we move forward.
Calendar of Events
Tues. 1/14: 6:30 PM Annual School Open House
Wed. – Fri. 1/15 – 1/17: Grades 7/8 Only – Semester 1 Finals
Fri. 1/17: Quarter 2/Semester 1 Ends / Free Dress Day
Mon. 1/20: No School – MLK Holiday – ESC Closed
Tues. 1/21: No School – Semester Break – ESC Open
Thurs. 1/23: 6:30 PM All School Auction Meeting
Hope Lutheran School Re-Enrollment to Begin Today, January 14, 2014
Re-enrollment materials along with the tuition rates for the 2014-2015 school year will be coming home today, January 14. Please return the re-enrollment form along with applicable fees no later than Friday, January 24 to reserve your child’s space for next year. We do anticipate several full classrooms for next year and new family enrollment will begin Monday, January 27, 2014. Contact the school office with any questions at 206-935-8500 or for additional enrollment forms.
Seahawk Support – January 17
To show support for our Seattle Seahawk football team in their final playoff game this coming Sunday, we encourage students to wear Seahawk apparel and/or colors (blue and green) on Friday. This Friday, January 17 is a free dress day. Students not wearing Seahawk apparel or colors will of course be able to still wear free dress clothing.
All School Auction Meeting – January 23
Come join us as we continue our preparations for the Hope Lutheran School 2014 Gala Dinner and Auction. Our biggest PTH fundraiser of the year is only 2 months away!
Anyone is welcome! All Committee Chairs, Committee Members and PTH Members should definitely plan to attend. Please be prepared to discuss the progress made in your specific task. Please turn in all donation slips to date. We would love to have all donations in by Feb. 13th. There is still a lot to be done to make this important event a success. Be there to help support our great school. See you there!
Kelly Gorman – 206.229.4181 – CKlGorman@comcast.net
Jennifer Young – 206.915.6427 – email@example.com
Seattle Lutheran High School Open House
January 30, 2014, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Prospective students and families are welcome to join us January 30, 2014, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at 4100 SW Genesee Street for our Open House. You will meet students and teachers, see classrooms and learn how iPads are used to enhance the learning experience. Come see how we make education personal and relevant for 21st Century learners. For more information call Rachel Bigliardi at 206-937-7722 or go to our website at www.seattlelutheran.org.
Parent Involvement Program Opportunities
Library Help: Help will be needed in the New Year to level books in the library. Contact our librarian, Karin Roney at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Who Did You Really Marry?
Looking to strengthen your marriage in 2014? Join us for an eight week marriage class on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am in the school Multipurpose room beginning January 19th and going through the end of March. Childcare is provided. If you are interested email Patra Mueller, Hope Church Family Life Minister, at email@example.com.